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Author Topic: Mass Effect Impressions  (Read 33113 times)
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mikeg
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« on: November 10, 2007, 05:35:21 PM »

I have the game in my hands right now.  I went by Kmart, they had it, said they wouldn't sell it, I asked for the manager and explained that OTHER KMarts were selling it and all he had to do was call  corporate, and wallah, they sold it to me.  Done deal.

I will crack it open today and be back with first impressions.  AND I will keep it spoiler free. 
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« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2007, 06:36:32 PM »

holding breath...............hurry...........up...................
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« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2007, 06:58:46 PM »

 icon_eek
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« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2007, 07:22:55 PM »

 icon_eek

I hate you.
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« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2007, 07:47:01 PM »

I hear MS is banning people from XBL for playing early- they check the gamertag history.
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« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2007, 07:48:07 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on November 10, 2007, 07:47:01 PM

I hear MS is banning people from XBL for playing early- they check the gamertag history.
Stop scaring him-you know they don't do that for legit copies since its the retailers fault.  slywink
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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2007, 07:48:45 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on November 10, 2007, 07:47:01 PM

I hear MS is banning people from XBL for playing early- they check the gamertag history.

They said that about Halo 3 and it turned out to be false.  However, why is it the customer's fault if they bought the game early?
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« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2007, 07:50:52 PM »

In the Halo 3 case, that was someone who used a Live exploit to access the Halo 3 friends and family test.  So far, I have not heard of a single person who was banned for playing a store bought copy of Halo 3 early.  In fact, MS was rather nonchalant about the store that sold it early having sold it.
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« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2007, 07:55:53 PM »

Quote from: Calvin on November 10, 2007, 07:48:07 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on November 10, 2007, 07:47:01 PM

I hear MS is banning people from XBL for playing early- they check the gamertag history.
Stop scaring him-you know they don't do that for legit copies since its the retailers fault.  slywink

gee, just ruin all my fun whydontcha?  kthankbye  Tongue
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« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2007, 07:56:30 PM »

Quote from: leo8877 on November 10, 2007, 07:48:45 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on November 10, 2007, 07:47:01 PM

I hear MS is banning people from XBL for playing early- they check the gamertag history.

They said that about Halo 3 and it turned out to be false.  However, why is it the customer's fault if they bought the game early?

Quote from: Turtle on November 10, 2007, 07:50:52 PM

In the Halo 3 case, that was someone who used a Live exploit to access the Halo 3 friends and family test.  So far, I have not heard of a single person who was banned for playing a store bought copy of Halo 3 early.  In fact, MS was rather nonchalant about the store that sold it early having sold it.

I was just razzing him  icon_twisted
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« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2007, 08:06:18 PM »

damn.  now i'm going to go to all of the k-marts in the area and check.  for reference, where in the world are you?
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« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2007, 08:09:42 PM »

Quote from: Caine on November 10, 2007, 08:06:18 PM

damn.  now i'm going to go to all of the k-marts in the area and check.  for reference, where in the world are you?

tulsa, oklahoma, I'm guessing
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« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2007, 08:11:12 PM »

I'm hearing that those on the East Coast are having a bit more luck than us West Coasters. Also, make sure you visit there in person - it's harder for them to say no (especially if it's in their case) in person.

Last thing - this has spread around like wildfire. K-Marts are getting bombarded with calls according to reports, so your odds of finding this are going down as the day goes on.
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« Reply #13 on: November 10, 2007, 08:29:17 PM »

I got my copy at kmart today, had 2 left, I'll add some impressions later tonight.

Got some play in, graphics are great, voice work is great, combat is still being tested, though the Shotgun starting out isn't that great and the hybrid class seems to be midway good at two things but not great so I'm thinking of restarting and going as a straight "mage" or a straight shooter, not sure yet.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2007, 10:03:17 PM by nymanium » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: November 10, 2007, 08:36:17 PM »

I saw mikeg's post in Trading and for a moment was worried he was going to say it was so horrible he didn't want it anymore....
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« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2007, 08:55:13 PM »

Quote from: nymanium on November 10, 2007, 08:29:17 PM

I got my copy at kmart today, had 2 left, I'll add some impressions later tonight.

I hate you too.
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« Reply #16 on: November 10, 2007, 10:18:11 PM »

Quote from: KePoW on November 10, 2007, 08:09:42 PM

Quote from: Caine on November 10, 2007, 08:06:18 PM

damn.  now i'm going to go to all of the k-marts in the area and check.  for reference, where in the world are you?

tulsa, oklahoma, I'm guessing

Yep, Tulsa.  Went to the Kmart on 21st.

Anyway, after an hour and a half here you go:

Sound: Perfect music score.  Very scifi-ish and when combat starts it appropriately get very quick and pulses nicely.  When approaching some major moment, like the first time you reach the Citadel, it is awesomely epic and orchestral.  Music is perfect.  Weapons sounds are loud and sound very powerful.  None of that wimpy light beam stuff here.  Nice basey weapon thumping shots from each weapon I tried.  Nice nice nice.  Voices are also excellent and after an hour and a half not a single cheesy line or bit of dialog.  All professional, movie-quality voice overs.  No complaints in sound at all.  Oh, and if you have a nice sound system be prepared for some serious fun. The first time I heard a starship take off I thought the walls of my house were gonna crack.  Nice.

Visuals:  Characters are very detailed and the facial expressions during conversations are just as advertised.  Nicely done, better than average lipsynch, and you can actually read emotion in most cases.  I like it alot.  The alien faces and characters as a whole are over the top awesome.  Friggin awesome actually.  The ship is very cool what with the lighting and control panels all lit up.  The one planet I have visited was very detailed.  The only negative was that I have seen some pop-in of textures from time to time.  You know how you come to a new scene and you get blaze textures then all of a sudden they finish loading and everything looks really detailed as it should be?  Doesn't bother me in the least, but it is noticeable.  Frame-rate can't be on the high side, but everything is smooth enough that it does not detract at all from gameplay.   I think everyone will be blown away by the space scenes, as they are quite frankly breathtaking.  Overall, the graphics are very nice with all the characters weaponed out, lots of armour detail, explosions are quite nice, etc etc etc.  Bottom line, just what we hoped for.

Gameplay:  You move just like in Gears, and many other 3rd person game.  No difference there.  You can pull up a weapon by either just pulling the trigger or hitting the b button.  You can heal yourself or squad mates with the y button if you have medigel available.  Cool affect when you do it too.  I have to say I was worried about combat, but those fears are gone.  You shoot and take cover just like in Gears and Rainbow Six.  With weapon drawn you can shoot from the hip or hold the left trigger and get the zoom affect.  You can crouch by clicking the left analog stick, and you can take cover behind objects like in R6V by just walking up to an object.  You will only take cover if your weapon is drawn.  Then move to the edge, put your cursor on the target and press the left trigger and out you'll pop and then you press the right trigger to shoot.  You throw grenades with the back button.  I haven't gotten the hang of the grenades just yet to be affective with them, but one cool feature is you can throw one by pressing back and then whenever you want to detonate it you press back again.  So, you can detonate in mid flight if you want or right over their heads.  Will take some getting used to, but is cool none the less.

Dialog is extremely well done.  Many branching trees. You get two to three choices up front, but in almost all situations you eventually can choose one of those or the investigate option and dig deeper. Just depends how far down you want to go in the conversation.  Love it.  That alone is fun to do and it integrates with the action and what is happening in the scene very nicely.  Best ever imo.

For those of you who like to go deep in upgrading your character, you are gonna love this game as you accrue points that can be spread over many attributes.  You also get to the do the same for all your squad mates.  One neat thing is that while on the Normandy, your ship, you can go to the crew's room and go to one of your squad mates locker and outfit them the way you want right from there, or you can simply hold the right bumper and tell them which weapon, or special ability to use in each and every encounter.  Or you can just let the game select all that for you.  Just depends on how much control you want to have.  I think in character building, squad control, weapon upgrades, special ability choices and upgrades, and so so so much more the choices are almost endless.  After the short time playing so far I have barely scratched the surface.  Too early to give much on that.

Overall:  I like how the game thrusts you into the story right off and it all feels very movie-ish.  You have very little screen loads or interruptions to break up the flow of the story.  I won't give anything away, but you can see whoever did the writing knows his stuff.  It all feels over the top epic is all I can say.  You really get a sense that you are this character and that your actions will make the difference between the universes survival or not.  What more could you ask from a game.

Any rpg-ers out there are going to be in gaming heaven.   This is everything you have been waiting for.  This game will make you forget KOTOR I think.  Action game players will like the combat as it is not as stilted as I feared.  Oh, and you can select how much aim assist you want-alot, normal, or none.  I find normal is perfect. 

I could go on and on and on.  Oh, and you can, by pressing a certain direction on the Dpad either tell your squad mates to follow, stay put, or investigate or attak something.  It works.   

That's it for now, but I will post more as I remember stuff.  Just so much to take in.  I wish you all had it so I could hear your impressions. 

Oh, and this is coming from a guy who generally can't stand rpgs.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2007, 10:35:27 PM by mikeg » Logged

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« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2007, 10:18:26 PM »

If anyone who has it spoils anything, they will be killed. Killed real bad. drillsergeant
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« Reply #18 on: November 10, 2007, 10:18:38 PM »

WTF... K-Mart of all places... did they not go out of business. They are so far behind in everything how the hell they get ME 2 weeks early?
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« Reply #19 on: November 10, 2007, 10:22:12 PM »

Quote from: ATB on November 10, 2007, 10:18:26 PM

If anyone who has it spoils anything, they will be killed. Killed real bad. drillsergeant

just gouge your eyes out so you don't have to worry then.
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« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2007, 10:31:06 PM »

Quote from: mikeg on November 10, 2007, 10:18:11 PM

I wish you all had it so I could hear your impressions.

Nice touch. smile

Thanks for the impressions and keep them coming. Going to be a long 2 weeks.
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« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2007, 10:38:22 PM »

Oh, I remembered something. One reason I usually suck at rpgs is because I get lost or have no clue what to do next.  For those like that I think you can put those concerns to rest.  I never felt that once. Even at the Citadel, which is humongous.  You can go to a travel station and zip right to an area, or if you choose to hoof it, you can and you have a flashing arrow on your mini map showing you the direction to head.  Helps. 

more to come....
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« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2007, 10:41:54 PM »

 crybaby crybaby crybaby
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« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2007, 10:46:29 PM »

Quote from: mikeg on November 10, 2007, 10:18:11 PM


Gameplay:  You move just like in Gears, and many other 3rd person game.  No difference there.  You can pull up a weapon by either just pulling the trigger or hitting the b button.  You can heal yourself or squad mates with the y button if you have medigel available.  Cool affect when you do it too.  I have to say I was worried about combat, but those fears are gone.  You shoot and take cover just like in Gears and Rainbow Six.  With weapon drawn you can shoot from the hip or hold the left trigger and get the zoom affect.  You can crouch by clicking the left analog stick, and you can take cover behind objects like in R6V by just walking up to an object.  You will only take cover if your weapon is drawn.  Then move to the edge, put your cursor on the target and press the left trigger and out you'll pop and then you press the right trigger to shoot.


You just made me weep.  Seriously... I'm weeping.  Bioware, thank you for giving us a good cover mechanic.  Saying "I can not wait to play this" is understatement of the freakin' year!
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« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2007, 11:00:51 PM »

Though I say combat players will be happy, don't get me wrong.  This is an rpg first, and combat second.  It is not as polished a shooter as Gears or Rainbow ofcourse, but it works.  Takes a smidgen to get use to the cover system, but once I mastered it, it was the difference from surviving an encounter or not.  That much is for sure.  When I say get used to I mean you have to learn how far out to look once behind cover.  Look too far and out you come from cover.  So, that takes getting used to.  I found I kept popping out because in those others you will not pop out until you release some trigger or press some button.  Not here.  Lean to far and out you come.  But once you get used to that and find that sweet spot it works fine.  Like Lockdown, I am just thrilled it is there in the first place.  Thank God for that.
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« Reply #25 on: November 10, 2007, 11:02:53 PM »

Quote from: Lockdown on November 10, 2007, 10:46:29 PM

Quote from: mikeg on November 10, 2007, 10:18:11 PM


Gameplay:  You move just like in Gears, and many other 3rd person game.  No difference there.  You can pull up a weapon by either just pulling the trigger or hitting the b button.  You can heal yourself or squad mates with the y button if you have medigel available.  Cool affect when you do it too.  I have to say I was worried about combat, but those fears are gone.  You shoot and take cover just like in Gears and Rainbow Six.  With weapon drawn you can shoot from the hip or hold the left trigger and get the zoom affect.  You can crouch by clicking the left analog stick, and you can take cover behind objects like in R6V by just walking up to an object.  You will only take cover if your weapon is drawn.  Then move to the edge, put your cursor on the target and press the left trigger and out you'll pop and then you press the right trigger to shoot.


You just made me weep.  Seriously... I'm weeping.  Bioware, thank you for giving us a good cover mechanic.  Saying "I can not wait to play this" is understatement of the freakin' year!

+1.  A cover mechanic like R6:V?  hellz yeah!
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« Reply #26 on: November 10, 2007, 11:06:03 PM »

Must. Have. Now.
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« Reply #27 on: November 10, 2007, 11:47:25 PM »

How is the frame-rate overall? Does it get choppy during combat or when entering a new area?

Also, how is the A.I for your squad? Are they actually helpful?

Man, it would be fucking AWESOME if I could get my hands on this game now for Veteran's day weekend.
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« Reply #28 on: November 10, 2007, 11:48:18 PM »

Awesome impressions Mike G. Making me want this even more!!
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« Reply #29 on: November 11, 2007, 12:37:34 AM »

I'm so glad I have this preordered now. Excellent impressions Mikeg, this game's sounding very much like it's everything I hoped it would be. I personally didn't expect a combat mechanic as good as what you described.
2 weeks is going to be a long wait indeed, I'm glad I already have some excellent games to distract me.
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« Reply #30 on: November 11, 2007, 01:30:04 AM »

Quote from: Ridah on November 10, 2007, 11:47:25 PM

How is the frame-rate overall? Does it get choppy during combat or when entering a new area?

Also, how is the A.I for your squad? Are they actually helpful?

Man, it would be fucking AWESOME if I could get my hands on this game now for Veteran's day weekend.

Yes, there is a little frame rate dippage when entering a new area.  Not so much in the combat that I have seen, but when you are running and go through a door into a new area you will skip a beat as it loads.  I wish it could have been optimized a bit, but I am not going to criticize too much.  I will say though that my only major complaint, if you want to call it major, it the dip in frame rate here and there and the slight slowness in texture loading.  Like I said, all forgiveable considering there has not been a game to compare this to so far on the system imo.

I just used the Galaxy map for the first time and man oh man are there a butt load of systems and planets to explore in your quest to save the universe. 

Also, I want to comment on how neat, and deep, all the detail and upgrades are.  The menus are extremely deep but after an hour or so you will navigating pretty good.  I literally am dumbfounded on all the possibilities of special powers, weapons, and the like.  Sometimes I just sit and stare not knowing what I should choose.  Oh, and open every crate, which you most often do by doing this little hit-the-keys-in-sequence minigame, because just like in Resident Evil 5 you can sell any and everything to gain more credits to buy what you really want.  Oh, and if your skill and hacking is high enough I don't think you have to do the key-sequence minigame.

Back to the Galazy Map.  It is really awesome in scope and fun to zip to a planet detail screen and read about it, do a quick survey for minerals, or travel to and investigate.  I noticed not all of them are open to you to actually go to.  Hope that is just because I don't NEED to right now and not because you can't ever.  But I landed on my first planet and your rover vehicle handles, and shoots, just like a vehicle in Halo.  Identical.  And it has one hell of a weapon zoom on it.  You can snipe with that bad boy.

.....back to the game....
« Last Edit: November 11, 2007, 01:32:07 AM by mikeg » Logged

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« Reply #31 on: November 11, 2007, 03:21:10 AM »

Mike:  What is the game 'manual' like?  Is it sufficient in explaining the various character classes, and myriad skill choices, combat mechanics, etc...?   I wonder if this game will have a strategy guide and if so, how it will sell.

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« Reply #32 on: November 11, 2007, 03:29:00 AM »

So have any of the previews/reviews mentioned the average length of this game? How would it compare to say, the length of KOTOR?
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« Reply #33 on: November 11, 2007, 03:37:56 AM »

So is the combat not like Knights of the Old Republic where you can pause and issue orders to your party?  Sounds like to me it's just straight on real time combat. 
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« Reply #34 on: November 11, 2007, 03:39:24 AM »

Have you had alien lesbian sex yet?
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« Reply #35 on: November 11, 2007, 03:40:15 AM »

I recall they did have a pause and issue orders in the game, not sure if it's still in though.  You basically paused, detached the camera which allowed you to direct your teammates exactly where you want them to go.  In later videos all they were showing was the giant radial menu.
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« Reply #36 on: November 11, 2007, 03:44:08 AM »

Quote
Gameplay:  You move just like in Gears, and many other 3rd person game.  No difference there.  You can pull up a weapon by either just pulling the trigger or hitting the b button.  You can heal yourself or squad mates with the y button if you have medigel available.  Cool affect when you do it too.  I have to say I was worried about combat, but those fears are gone.  You shoot and take cover just like in Gears and Rainbow Six.  With weapon drawn you can shoot from the hip or hold the left trigger and get the zoom affect.  You can crouch by clicking the left analog stick, and you can take cover behind objects like in R6V by just walking up to an object.  You will only take cover if your weapon is drawn.  Then move to the edge, put your cursor on the target and press the left trigger and out you'll pop and then you press the right trigger to shoot.  You throw grenades with the back button.  I haven't gotten the hang of the grenades just yet to be affective with them, but one cool feature is you can throw one by pressing back and then whenever you want to detonate it you press back again.  So, you can detonate in mid flight if you want or right over their heads.  Will take some getting used to, but is cool none the less.

Crap.  That's starting to sound really action/shooter-ish again, which is a bad sign for me.   Any feel on the difficulty level for those of us who are typical RPG gamers (i.e. FPS & action game retarded)?
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« Reply #37 on: November 11, 2007, 03:50:12 AM »

A good way to see how pause works is to watch this one little video.  At least, it helped me understand it.  It's some random battle, and it's pretty short, so I wouldn't worry about spoilers.  (It's the radial menu turtle was referring to)

gametrailers link
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"A young woman led them across the galaxy, and it is she who will lead them again.  Her name is Karan S'jet."
Turtle
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« Reply #38 on: November 11, 2007, 03:52:21 AM »

Quote from: Gratch on November 11, 2007, 03:44:08 AM

Crap.  That's starting to sound really action/shooter-ish again, which is a bad sign for me.   Any feel on the difficulty level for those of us who are typical RPG gamers (i.e. FPS & action game retarded)?

Actually Gratch, earlier in this thread it was shown that the game has varying levels of aim assistance, including one where the game basically aims for you, and probably your stats and equipment that determine hits and damage.  You can change it by going into the options menu.  I think someone said there was full aiming, balanced, and full assistance.

Oh and unlike in that video, in previous videos they were showing off actual troop placement with a detached camera, which would be nice.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2007, 03:54:53 AM by Turtle » Logged
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« Reply #39 on: November 11, 2007, 04:01:09 AM »

Quote from: mikeg on November 11, 2007, 01:30:04 AM

Quote from: Ridah on November 10, 2007, 11:47:25 PM

How is the frame-rate overall? Does it get choppy during combat or when entering a new area?

Also, how is the A.I for your squad? Are they actually helpful?

Man, it would be fucking AWESOME if I could get my hands on this game now for Veteran's day weekend.

Yes, there is a little frame rate dippage when entering a new area.  Not so much in the combat that I have seen, but when you are running and go through a door into a new area you will skip a beat as it loads.  I wish it could have been optimized a bit, but I am not going to criticize too much.  I will say though that my only major complaint, if you want to call it major, it the dip in frame rate here and there and the slight slowness in texture loading.  Like I said, all forgiveable considering there has not been a game to compare this to so far on the system imo.



Hmm, I don't mind a delay in texture loading as its pretty common in a lot of games, however I can't stand a choppy frame rate, which has been my concern for a while now. If you don't mind, keep us updated on the overall smoothness of the frame rate, perhaps it's a spotty issue rather than common.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2007, 04:03:21 AM by Ridah » Logged

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