The will likely be spoilers, but should I talk about something super new I'll warn ya. But consider this a pre-emptive warning! You're WARNED!

Sunday, March 11, 2012



So I knew I would clear a block of time when Mass Effect 3 arrived, like I did for ME2, so I could just play until completion. There has been completion.

And over the last 12 hours, as I've been thinking about it- this ending that will set, at least, The Internet on fire- I've literally gone from



thinking it's absolutely the most ingenious ending to a video game ever.

This requires faith in what's to come, but even thinking about it...I am completely blown away. And I'm blown away by the process it took for me to completely flip my opinion- that the game provides an answer that is not clear cut and/or easy. I'm stunned.

Of course, maybe I'm wrong and that's that. We shall see.

Now hurry up and finish, everyone, so we can discuss!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

the saddest tale ever told

Let me just begin by saying: I am not playing Mass Effect 3 right now. "BUT," you say. "It has been available all day! What's going on? This is disconcerting."

Indeed it is, my friends. Indeed it is.

The short of it: has screwed the pooch on this one so badly that...that...I JUST DON'T KNOW. Sit back and let me tell you the saddest and most boring tale ever told: that of a huge Mass Effect nerd who is not currently playing Mass Effect 3 (me).

No really, it's boring- you've been warned.

Way back in June- June! JUNE! JUUUUUUUUNNNNNE!- I spotted the ME3 Collector's Edition on Amazon and immediately pre-ordered. Into my cart it went! Completed the sale I did! Waiting I began! Heck, the game may have still had a tentative 2011 release date at the time, but I did not care. BioWare stated that the CE would be limited in quantity, but I did not care. My order was placed as early as could be. When the time came, Amazon would charge my card and send my game. Hooray!

Release day eventually began to draw near, and I thought "Hmm. I will check and see if Amazon is offering release-day shipping/arrival for pre-orders. That was what I chose when I pre-ordered Skyrim and verily, I would like to receive Mass Effect 3 on March 6." So I checked, and there was no option. Okay, I could wait a couple of days I GUESS.

Yesterday- the day before the US launch!- I checked my order. Still open, with an estimated delivery date of March 17th. Whaaaaa? That seemed...excessive. I clicked on the actual product, and found this message on the screen:
Due to high demand (and possibly the imminent Reaper invasion), we have unfortunately run out of our pre-order allocation for Mass Effect 3 - Collector's Edition. We are looking to secure additional allocation from the publisher and will update this page if that occurs. Please note -- if you have already pre-ordered this edition -- do not cancel as you may not be able to re-order.
I figured YEAH, but I pre-ordered in JUNE, mofos, so mine should be, like, the first one out the door.

This morning, I woke up with an email giving me a code for my Amazon pre-order bonus DLC- some assault rifle or something. Yay! The game must be in transit! I checked Amazon. Order is still open, delivery estimated- March 17. I checked my bank account- the amount is "pending", but has essentially been taken out of my account.

I call around town, figuring I'll buy one, then when the Amazon one arrives I'll return it. No dice- it's sold out everywhere.

I poke around yon Internette, seeing if anyone else had any issues. I found a forum where someone mentioned Amazon being sold out, and another person responded with a "nuh uh, click this"- and it was a link to the same product on a different Amazon page. Add to cart! Just like any other new product that is in stock.

So, I immediately bought it and opted for 1-day shipping...though I still didn't cancel the other order, figuring better safe than sorry. Another pending debit on my bank account appeared...and the item is now "expected in stock" on the 8th, and I should have it on the 9th. The original item page is still up, and the corresponding order is still listed for delivery on the 17th.

I just went to check Amazon again on a lark (about three hours after I placed my second order), and I guess it's officially "sold out", now. The Collector's Edition is listed as being available only from other sellers, and it's already $130.

Will I get a Collector's Edition in the mail on Friday, or not? Will I get another copy a week later? Or will I get a cancellation from Amazon with a ""Sorry, sold out"? I have no clue and it's fairly infuriating. Not only know...I really want to be playing the game right now, but because fuck you, Amazon.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

30-Day Mass Effect Challenge: Day 10

Favorite weapon(s)

I always do Kasumi's loyalty quest so I can pick up the Locust submachine gun as early as possible. My Shepard is a vanguard, and the SMG is about as heavy as she can roll, and Locust is the best, plain and simple.

Later on Shepard gets advanced weapon training, and I always choose sniper rifles because sniping is just so much damn fun.

As for heavy weapons, the Cain is amazing- launch a nuclear warhead!- but I tend to have the Arc Projector with me at all times. It's a chain lightning gun, and it's great for taking down heavy mechs.

30-Day Mass Effect Challenge: Day 9

Best piece of DLC

Without a doubt, the best DLC is the alternate costume pack #2!

No wait, what I meant to say is Lair of the Shadow Broker.

There's actually a lot of terrific DLC for Mass Effect 2- Arrival and Overlord are pretty bitchin', but come on. Nothing holds a candle to Shadow Broker!

I think of it a bit like Shepard's loyalty mission, particularly if you're in a romance with Liara- helping her out and taking down the GD Shadow Broker helps clear Shep's head for the suicide mission.

The gameplay is varied, the locations even moreso. There's humor, drama, romance, and a never-before-seen alien species. There are a couple of boss battles, including one against fellow SPECTRE and all-around BAMF Tela Vasir, who cuts Shepard down to size in more ways than one.

Then there's Liara herself, who has gone through a great deal of change in the two years since the events in Mass Effect. She's become her own person- one whose plans may not always align with Shepard's any longer. Focused on revenge to the point of obsession, Liara has hardened and become a total badass in her own right. And I love- love- that the major plotline of the mission is a "damsel in distress" scenario, and for once it's a woman doing the rescuing of a man- and that it's not her boyfriend she's out to save. It may seem like a small thing, but BioWare has flipped gender (and genre) conventions on their head.

On top of all the great story and combat, Lair of the Shadow Broker sprinkles delightful goodies all over the player once you've taken over the Broker's base, in the form of moolah, resources, crew member dossiers that provide huge amounts of insight into everyone on your squad, and surveillance videos from around the galaxy, which are often good for a laugh.

Lair of the Shadow Broker isn't just my favorite piece of DLC, it's one of my favorite missions in all of Mass Effect.

Friday, March 2, 2012

30-Day Mass Effect Challenge: Day 8

Anything you wish they had kept from Mass Effect in Mass Effect 2?

Mako, baby, I miss you.

I loved tooling around in that frequently-frustrating thing! Ah, the exploration. Coming across all the little unexpected goodies- an abandoned dig site here, a giant skull from an unknown creature there- busting around in the Mako is part of what gives Mass Effect that true sci-fi feel. I don't know why they ditched it completely in ME2. The shuttle was handy, but it was all get in - do the mission - get out. Maybe because matters were a little more urgent and pressing in the sequel? That does not bode well for a Mako-endowed ME3, where shit is really going down RIGHT NOW. Bah!

But then they gave us that P.O.S Hammerhead and UGH- is it made out of papier-maiché? Like, three hits from a turret and it's on fire.

Another thing from Mass Effect they should have kept in the sequel: removable helmets. I miss out on some sweet bonuses (and aesthetics) because I never wear any armor with a helmet or face mask...because they never come off. It seems like a small thing to complain about, but I want to see Shepard's face in dialogue scenes. And it's flat-out ridiculous when Shepard does something like drink right through the visor.

Other than that, yeah, I miss having so many RPG elements with regard to each character. Talk about streamlining! And level caps are always a drag.

But what's past is past! Onto the future: the new launch trailer is here! I see Jack! I hear Liara! Tali seems sad! I have feelings! I don't want everyone to die!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

30-Day Mass Effect Challenge: Day 7

Favorite alien species

Duh, asari.

I like the calm world-view their 1000+ year lifespan affords them. I love their military prowess. I love that their monogendered, pansexualness means that they can mate with any gender from any species- not because oh, it's so sessy, but because oh, it's so insidious. In the Mass Effect universe, asari appeal to every species through some sort it shapeshifting ability? Mind control? I don't know if that's been specified, but the point is, asari appear essentially humanoid to humans, salarian to salarians, and so on. And if they do mate with someone from another species, the babies are still asari. That is some sly take-over-the-universe shit!

Oh, and I love elcor, too. I am just saying.