756 Playhouse.


The other night, while playing Mass Effect, I was wandering around some science lab where some kind of aliens were loose. At one point I found some survivors and started wandering around their base. I found a door that was encrypted but it was easy so I just opened it and all Hell broke loose. Suddenly the whole base was attacking me. I’m not sure how I missed that I wasn’t supposed to mess with the door, but apparently it was a BIG no no. I had intended to save these people. Up to that point I had lived with any decision I made, but this crossed a line I wasn’t willing to live with. There have been several moments where the potential outcome of a situation was morally ambiguous. Situations turn sour really fast in this game, and a lot of them have taken me by surprise. Plus sometimes it’s hard to tell what will happen when you choose certain responses. Or a choice that was available at the start of a conversation may disappear if you explore certain subjects. I ended up backtracking, and ALMOST started over. Partly because of some of the “bad” outcomes and partly because I understand the leveling system better now. I decided to stick with it in the end, since I think you can take an old character into a new game. I may play through a second time and see what other options make themselves available if I have some foreknowledge of situations.

I get a really strong feeling of deja vu with this game. I mean it’s very similar in structure to KOTOR, but it’s not just that. Things that I know I’ve never encountered give it to me sometimes, like encountering a Thresher Maw for the first time, or finding Liara. To the point where I wonder if I saw video of the game years ago on youtube, or something. I get a similar feeling just from looking at the box for Mass Effect 2. It bothers me. As I’ve said before I’ve gotten feelings like this since I was very little.

What really strikes me as strange is that I don’t get these feelings from Mario Galaxy much at all. A game that uses THE EXACT SAME BOSSES AS GALAXY 2 from time to time. I mean it all seems similar, but I don’t get a feeling like I’ve done it before, but in some cases I ACTUALLY HAVE. Almost every boss in the first Galaxy are in the sequel, but I don’t get the deja vu when I face them. I mean, there’s one fight where the stage is EXACTLY the same as it is in 2. Like they just lifted it out and stuck it in the sequel as an afterthought. The boss even uses the same attack patterns. Hell, they all do. Or at least as similar as makes no odds, but it doesn’t make me feel like I’ve done it all before in the same way.

The mind is very complex, and often annoying. Sometimes making us feel apart from it while still being a part of it. Like there is a base you that exists and the mind just messes with the code from time to time. At least that’s how it feels to me sometimes.

Do any of you get this kind of feeling? How do you react to it?