As an aside from ME3;
I started my canon trilogy play through a few days with a Paragon FemShep. About 20 hours in so far, and loving it all over again. Hadn't played the first game for about 3 years prior to this - the things that I remember frustrating me before (Mako, clunky combat, inventory system) hardly bother me at all now. ME1 has a sense of scale that's never really been recaptured in the second and third games - the Citadel is huge, Noveria too, then there's Feros as well. One thing that the Mako did do was to give the planets a sense of size. In the later games you land, kick ass, and then get back on the Normandy. Generally speaking.
The number of side-missions is staggering, and there seems to be more variety than in the later games, particularly ME3. Good job there's a proper journal system to keep track of everything. Missed that in ME3 too.
Quite like the ranking system and equipment setting as well. The dialogue wheel seems populated, but not as refined as in ME2 - ie. there's often a choice of things to say, yet whichever one you pick you end up saying pretty much the same thing anyway. Can't remember if ME2 did that quite so much. Guess I'll find out soon.
A few more side missions to do and then on to Virmire. Sorry Ash, knowing what I know now, I think you'll be getting a one-way ticket through the pearly gates this time. Kaidan was so much better in the final game. Wrex will be surviving this time too.
There's so much in ME1 that I'd forgotten that it almost seems like an entirely new game.