Videogame Deathmatch: Leah Jackson vs. Nikole Zivalich


Posted December 10, 2010 - By Eric Eckstein

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Videogame Deathmatch: Starcraft 2 vs. Mass Effect 2

Videogame Deathmatch has consumed us all for the past several weeks. The staff of X-Play and G4tv.com's web team have spent entire days debating which game was the best with each new bracket. Every game that entered the proverbial Deathmatch ThunderDome deserved to be there. All were unquestionably great titles. But as with any epic battle when two enter, only one shall leave victorious.

It might be challenging to see which game deserve the title of Best Game of 2010 but for two of TheFeed's writers the choice is clear. Leah Jackson is positive StarCraft 2 deserves the title Game of the Year. However, Nikole Zivalich knows Mass Effect 2 is the rightful heir to The Game of the Year throne. The two must fight it out the only way they know how. Pillow Fight. Enlightening and lengthy debate.



Opening Statements.

Nikole: Clearly, Mass Effect 2 should win the Videogame Deathmatch because it's a unique gaming experience for each person who plays it. BioWare, the masters of RPG, have built upon everything we loved from Mass Effect 1 and fixed the things we didn't. They improved the inventory system, fighting mechanics and added even more layers to the story. Most importantly, your choices don't just affect the game, they make the game. You decide what to say, who to help, when to help them. My decisions decide who lives and who dies. I am Commander Shepard.

Leah: My decision is that YOU’RE WRONG. Starcraft 2 should take the win because it’s the total package: a great campaign, side missions, mini games, achievements, and something your sci-fi space romp doesn’t have: multiplayer! The game is simply a masterpiece and its multiplayer is the icing on the cake. How can Mass Effect 2 even compare?

Nikole: Let’s talk about what’s really important, Wrex. He’s a giant toad-alien with a heart of gold and a shotgun of whatever shotguns are made of. Iron? Is that why I kept mining it, for shotguns? Anyway, what amazingly loveable characters does Starcraft 2 have? 

Leah: Who needs loveable when you have total badasses? Though, if you’re looking for a heart of gold you don’t have to look any further than Jim Raynor.  He went to hell and back just to save the love of his life Kerrigan from her Zerg infestation. I can agree that the appeal of SC2 isn’t all about its characters though, there's so much more.

Nikole: If you love Jim so much why don't you have consensual space sex with him? Can you pursue adult relationships in StarCraft 2? You can in Mass Effect 2. I'm not talking cheap GTA sex, I'm talking meaningful, hours of dialogue sex. You actually have to earn the trust and respect of these characters. You can "romance" Miranda, Jacob, Jack, and Kelly, and those are just the people. This game not only promotes same-sex couples, it also encourages inter-species relationships. Finally, change I can believe in. You can also get it on with Thane, Tali, and Garrus. Granted, I still wish I could do it with Mordin, Grunt or Leigon but I'll take what I can get. What kind of relationships does Starcraft 2 have?

Mass Effect 2

LeahSC2 doesn’t have any weirdo alien sex like Mass Effect 2. That’s strange. And it’s weird how much you’re into the alien sex to be honest. If we’re talking about relationships, I have to bring up the relationships and friendships that can be found and had through Starcraft 2’s multiplayer. It’s a worldwide phenomenon and it brings together friends and new people from all over the globe to fight against one another or even to work together towards a common goal. Mass Effect 2 doesn’t even HAVE multiplayer. It just has a lot of big guns.

Nikole:  First off, in my main save I didn’t have sex with anyone because I was staying true to Kaidan Alenko, my love from Mass Effect 1. I wanted to carry over that relationship across the trilogy. Yes, there were other files where I dabbled in alien-sex, but that’s neither here nor there. I’m a weirdo, but a loyal weirdo! Mass Effect 2 does not have multiplayer, but that is no way a flaw. It’s a two-disc action-RPG. It didn’t need that type of gameplay to make it an encompassing experience. What it lacked in actually playing with other people it made up for with the conversations I got to have with every person I knew who played it. Each one of us had a different experience. Different classes, a plethora of weapons, and a non-linear story that allowed you to decide who you recruited and the level of loyalty you wanted from them meant no people two people had the same story or ending. Plus there are the choices from ME1 that shape ME2. I spent hours talking about the different ways I went through the game with someone who made totally different choices. Mass Effect 2 is a snowflake dammit!

Leah: If Mass Effect 2 is a snowflake, then Starcraft 2 is a blizzard. Pun intended. In StarCraft 2 there isn't simply one way to play the game. With both the campaign and the multiplayer you’re able to make hundreds of different strategic choices based on your personal playstyle. In the campaign, there are upgradeable units and in some missions you can choose different paths just like you can in ME2. Two players’ campaign experiences will be completely different. Each of the three available races in SC2 multiplayer offers endless varities and ways to play against your opponents. You’ll never play the same game twice in multiplayer whereas ME2 only gives you the choice to be good or evil. Once ME2 is over, that’s all you get, right? SC2 is never ending.

StarCraft II

Nikole: Right? Wrong. Mass Effect 2 is like the song that never ends. The Cerberus Network allows you to download tons of additional DLC. Upon the game’s release there was already free bonus content that instantly added to ME2’s life. Over the past year DLC packs have been released for minor things like appearance, to major things like bonus characters with their own loyalty missions. Then there was Lair of the Shadow Broker which didn’t just add hours, it allowed you to further explore a mission from ME2 and help bridge the relation gap left with Liara after ME1. It gave me closure I didn’t even know I needed. Over a dozen pieces of DLC for an infinitely re-playable game, all in 11 months. How long did Starcraft 2 take again? 37 years?

Leah: 37? Can you even count that high Nikole?! I’ll admit it did take a long time for SC2 to come out but for good reason. The amount of polish and shine on the game is easily visible to anyone who bothers to play it. Plus there are two expansion packs on the way to offer more chapters in the StarCraft storyline. While DLC is cool and all, if ME2 actually had any type of story outside of the boring loyalty quests, then maybe they wouldn’t feel like they needed to come out with all this extra content in the first place. And speaking of a song that never ends, the StarCraft community is constantly a chorus of millions of people offering advice, stories, game replays, commentary, and more. There really is no other gaming community out there like the SC2 community. Does ME2 have anything that even compares?  

Nikole: Sure. There’s a community there. The BioWare forums are rampant with gamers who love the series. I think Mass Effect 2 appeals to a much larger group of gamers in terms of dedication to gaming. When it comes out on the PS3 next month it will be a multi-platform success too. I just don’t think a game that's only for the PC will win Game of the Year. There, I said it. But we could fight about this for hours, we should probably just let the readers decide. Have you seen my pillow?

Leah: Yeah, come and get it.

Videogame Deathmatch: Leah Jackson vs Nikole Zivalich

VOTE NOW or forever hold your peace. Voting closes tonight at 9pm Pacific!

Videogame Deathmatch: Leah Jackson vs. Nikole Zivalich


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