When cuddly old Bob Hoskins said that it was 'good to talk', he was trying, in his loveable Cockney kind of way, to get us to rack up enormous phone bills. He wasn't advocating that using endless exposition was the best way to get you into space fairing action RPG epic. He'd probably politely tell them to 'shut iiiiit'.
Eurogamer say that despite the niggles, Mass Effect is most definitely a great game with an awful lot going for it - but one that doesn't quite deserve unquestioning praise. For what it achieves in delivering a compelling narrative and wonderful atmosphere, BioWare deserves a huge amount of credit, as there are few games that come anywhere near it in this regard.
The dialogue system, and the impact it has on individual missions and the game as a whole is exceptional, adding greatly to the potential replay value. Where it doesn't quite hit the mark for me is in the action stakes.