This Week(end)s Geek - Sequel Prep

You may have noticed that we did not have a podcast this week. Due to schedule conflicts we were unable to record one. I did feel bad about it though, so I am giving you all a bonus This Weeks Geek. Our focus for this article is prepping for game sequels, mainly Mass Effect 3.

Now in the event that you live under a rock, or just plain forgot, Mass Effect 3 comes out on March 6, 2012 with a demo coming out February 14. The Reapers have arrived to harvest the galaxy, and only one man/woman can stop them, Commander Shepard. It had been about two years since I last played Mass Effect 2, and when I did not all of my team lived. Mordin, one of my favorites, failed to survive the mission after a shot to the head. I contemplated going to a save file just before the suicide mission to make things right, but I have also purchased a fair amount of DLC since my last visit to the Normandy. With this in mind I made the decision to start a new game. This would allow me to survive the suicide mission and experience new content. While this was my reason for playing again, I had forgotten how much fun this game is. I realized how much I missed the gameplay, the voice acting, and the story they are telling. By starting again with such a large gap between plays it feels like a whole new game. I am also getting reminders of some of the more subtle plot points. This makes me really pine for Mass Effect 3.

There is a downside to playing a game that was so great so close to its sequel though. I am already hyping up Mass Effect 3 to be game of the year material, but now I will have a fresh image in my mind of how good the series is. Many people wanted Uncharted 3 to be better then Uncharted 2, but they were so close to the same that some were not as enamored with the third game as they hoped to be. I slightly worry that I may disappoint myself by not having the game as fresh as possible in my mind. I worry that it will be too much of the same. I may also find that in playing the second game, I will have burnt myself out on the gameplay. This could cause me to put Mass Effect 3 on hiatus for a bit mid way through the game.

For good or bad though, I have started my preperations.  How do you prep for a sequal? Do you play the series through? Do you read wikipedia pages to refresh yourself with the story?  Or do you just look at the media hype and await the day of the release? Share you rituals, or lack thereof, in the comments. I look forward to reading them.