He's a journalist for the San Jose Mercury News who at one point wrote a very negative review of Mass Effect (he titled the review "Mass Defect", as a start). Recently, he amended that review after a second playthrough. The reason? He... forgot to assign talent points the first time around. I don't think I would've even believed that if it didn't come from the man himself:
The dumb thing about the way I played the game, as many pointed out, is that I didn't make use of my Talent Points. I started the game doing so, but while on Feros, I didn't pay attention to all the Talent Points I was accumulating after every encounter. Those points just sat there. They were waiting for me to assign them to specific character trait improvements...A lot of positive effects flowed from this expanded repertoire in game play.Dean Takahashi
When so many readers wrote in to tell me that I messed up my review of Mass Effect, I had to take a second look. It turns out, you were right. I was wrong. I owe an apology to you for writing a bad review. I also apologize to BioWare, which made a better game than I thought, and gulp, to Microsoft. The game play is not as flawed as I thought.Dean Takahashi
That last line is hilarious, such an understatement. Did this guy think he was playing GRAW In Space? Kinda makes you wonder how many other reviews of Mass Effect, and other games in general, are skewed because of the inability of the reviewer to properly play the game. It's because of stuff like this that you can't really blame Bioshock for the quest arrow and item shimmering. I mean this guy's supposed to be a professional critic.
And everything is explained in detail in the ME manual, anyway. Not every game needs to include a built-in, extended tutorial. Some in-depth menu tutorial would've hurt Mass Effect's atmosphere and taken you out of the game. RPGs don't need menu tutorials. Remember Barrett teaching you about materia in FF7? I know you could skip it, but good lord that was tedious.
Props to Takahashi for having the balls and integrity to admit his mistake, though. You don't see that often.