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If you’re a longtime reader of Game Informer and Gameinformer.com, you’ve likely suspected that I’m an idiot for quite some time. It turns out that you’re right. The story I’m about to relate – about my complete failure at playing the original Mass Effect – has always amused my coworkers. I thought I’d share it with you today.Given my profession, you might think that I’m an early adopter of all the latest and greatest in electronics. You’d be wrong. From HDTVs to laptops to smartphones, I’ve always waited a few years past the introduction of any major new technology to purchase it – I’d rather pay half as much for something twice as good, “cutting edge” be damned.As a result, I held out (in retrospect) far too long before I bought an HDTV. Money was a little tight at the time, and I just couldn’t justify it in the budget. However, around 2006/7 the writing was on the wall – thanks mostly to the increasingly hard time I was having reading onscreen text in games like Dead Rising, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, and – most notably – Mass Effect. The fact that I was overdue for a new prescription and set of glasses wasn’t helping matters.Excited by my workmate’s raves about Mass Effect and eager to have an interstellar adventure, I popped in my disc and went about creating my version of Commander Shepard. Soon, I was hopping around the galaxy, engaging in firefights and tense conversations – all the while struggling to read any text onscreen. I was using an old-school, standard-definition tube television, a hulking beast that weighed well over 100 pounds. It was common problem for that time for games intended to be viewed in high definition to have small, nearly unreadable text when displayed on an SDTV.I must have been about four or five hours into the game. I was wandering around the Citadel, engaging in whatever mission objectives or conversations that were in front of me. I had been in a few battles by now and had some credits to spend, so I thought I’d go shopping for some new weapons, gear, and armor.I pulled into a vendor, and was blown away by the prices! Seriously, this was a galactic fire sale to end all fire sales. Every item on the list was priced extremely low – had I found the first Costco location in outer space? Sensing opportunity, I nearly bought the store up. After this orgy of consumerism was over, I strutted out into the Citadel, ready for my next excursion.My error didn’t hit me until the next combat sequence. Charging into battle, I suddenly went into my inventory and realized I was heading into combat wearing what amounted to Space Boxer Shorts and a Medium-Sized Space Nerf Bat. Due to my poor eyesight and the tiny onscreen text, my “shopping” experience at the Citadel had actually been a “selling” experience. Thinking I was taking advantage of some great deals, I had sold nearly my whole inventory for a paltry handful of credits. After I quickly died in combat, I backtracked to the store where I’d sold the stuff, hoping to buy my gear back (while cursing myself for not bothering to maintain multiple save files). The merchant was happy to do so – at prices around two or three time what he’d paid me for the items. Crook!I ended up abandoning the game for a while and eventually starting over completely. Soon after, I decided an HDTV was no longer a luxury for a next-gen gamer, but a requirement. I also left my time with Mass Effect with a nice reminder that maybe – just maybe – I’m not too bright. Thanks BioWare.
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I was in the same boat as you up until summer of 2010. I think I even did the same thing at one of the vendors in Mass Effect, but I realized it after only selling one or two not too terribly important things.
I don't think I ever sold all of my stuff on accident, but I was using an SD TV for most of my gaming until September of last year. A few games were fine, but some of them were nearly impossible to play. I had to sell Banjo Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts (this was before I had Xbox Live) because I had no idea what to do at some point.
Remember when Tim did something like that in Mega Man Legends? He sold all of his weapons at the shop for the Kevlar jacket. I was screaming at my computer monitor to have him come to his senses but it didn't work.
That tiny text was definitely a problem when I had my roommate play Heavy Rain on the crappy TV we had in our apartment. I had never played it on an SD TV so I didn't realize how hard it would be for her to read the text. And that's the kind of game where you really want to know what kind of decisions you're making!
I had a similar problem with Mass Effect. I'm the kind of guy who spends his first hour or two meticulously crafting my character if they let me. All was well in my Mass Effect universe until I go an HDTV and realized I gave my (then level 59 character)horrible violet eyes!I couldn't stand it, deleted the playthrough and started over. This was before we knew Mass Effect 2 would allow you to recreate your character.
The upside: I decided to branch out when creating my new Shepard, and tried the Adept class. It's now the only way I'll play either Mass Effect.
Oh that sux
that is a b*tch. When you said you lost all of your stuff, and died in your boxer shorts, it reminded me of a time when I was playing Skyrim. I went to jail, and when i broke out, i forgot all of my stuff. and then when tried to load the part when i was in jail, i accidentally loaded my self to the very beginning of the game. moral of the story, SAVE MORE!
I guess I'm lucky that I got my 360 after upgrading to HD.
Well, at least you can rap?
I played Mass Effect through the first time on a standard-def TV and I never really had a problem. It was a little dim but I made it!
I started Mass Effect using an SD tv, and when I switched to HD I noticed Shepard had bright orange eyebrows that had looked brown when I started.
My first playthrough of Mass Effect was on a standard def TV. My solution to reading the blurry text? Sitting 5 feet away from the screen. Eyesight be damned! Then I got an HD TV and my mind was blown at how much better all of my games looked. Standard def is dead to me now.
Unfortunately, I am still on an SD TV :( Luckily, developers have gotten slightly better at making sure the text is readable. I couldn't read any of the text in Arkham Asylum.
Haha, I never had that problem, even though I held off on buying an HDTV as well. Why's that? Well, I also held out on buying an HD console until I had the more or less necessary television. Was it worth it? Maybe.
Still, I paid $800 for a 42' 720p plasma. Look at the televisions today. Almost makes me think I should have waited longer. I could have saved money, and got a better television to boot.
I'm curious though, what brought this up? This happened almost 5 years ago?
I used to play games on a SD and i hated it. Playing on HD is amazing i cant imagine gaming in standard def anymore.
I was a late adapter to the HD scence as well. I didn't get my current T.V until the summer of 2010, Before that SD.
I used to play on an SD tv, and it was horrible. I used to have to play with the sound turned down, so subtitles were a must, but once games hit the point were they had to be played in HD, trying to read the subtitles meant for HD tv's on an SD was horrible.
I did the exact same thing. Luckily, I did keep a few save files so it was not such a loss.