Do you prefer Mass Effect or Mass Effect 2?
Don't make me choose a favorite child!
It's a tough call, to be honest, although comparing the two is a bit apples and oranges, they feel so different to me.
Mass Effect hit me out of nowhere- "I really dig Knights of the Old Republic," thought I. "I will try this game!" and WHAM- I was in love. Even though it vaguely follows the same pathline as KotOR, ME was really like nothing I'd ever played before. The missions! The companions! The exploration! The Shepard! The epicness of it all truly dazzled me and I played it so much I thought my roommate would end up killing me or smashing the disc.
Along came Mass Effect 2. I got it the day it shipped, but I didn't crack it open until the weekend so I could basically do nothing but play it interrupted. I was that excited. I don't know what I was anticipating, necessarily, but I don't think I anticipated quite so many changes. My companions, mostly gone! Liara is being such a bitch (DID WHAT WE SHARED MEAN NOTHING)! Where's my inventory? Everyone has, like, four abilities now? But I have email!
It took some getting used to, but I loved it as much as I'd figured I would. It lacked that certain wonder of its predecessor- the galaxy was no longer new. Naivety and wide-eyed exploration was a thing of the past. Shepard was tired and frequently drunk, working with an organization she loathed toward a seemingly impossible goal. Mass Effect 2 is a pretty dark game.
For all the changes, ME2 feels more solid, I guess, than ME. While it's not as customizable in terms of abilities and skills, there's really no denying that the gameplay is tighter and better in the sequel. And while inventory is one of the best things in an RPG, I'd rather have none than that unwieldy mess we got in Mass Effect. But if we're talking story in general, the first game is tighter and better. Sigh.
Boy, that's a lot of blah blah blah...and I still don't know the answer. Maybe I should just base the decision SOLELY on which game I've played more often, or which one I'll pop in when I feel like firing up the Normandy. Otherwise, I'll be here forever. So, I choose...
Mass Effect 2.
If Mass Effect had the same gameplay style as the sequel I would have chosen...ARGH I have to stop. THAT WAS SO HARD TO DO.