Ah, Mass Effect 3. How long have I waited for thee? Collecting the comics and the gear, playing your little Twitter and Facebook games. And now I have you. Join me as I chronicle my journey so far with ME3.
Collector’s Edition or No?
The first big ME3 decision was not made in-game. I had to decide whether to pre-order the Collector’s Edition. As a Capricorn, it hurts me physically to spend money. I sometimes cry. However, considering that I got the first two MEs for about $25 TOTAL, spending $80 on one game did not look so bad. When I did the math, I was still getting a discount!
Also, at the time, it was believed to be the only way to get a FemShep cover. When I saw the news of the reversible cover for the regular edition, I had a moment of teary rage.
Upon opening the Collector’s Edition, I was mildly disappointed. The art book contained at least two spoilers (three if you couldn’t guess who you would be fighting in the end). The lithograph was all right, but the best part of the physical collection was definitely the N7 patch. I proceeded to wear it everywhere, on every kind of hoodie.
As for the in-game content, the doggie proved TREMENDOUSLY disappointing, but the weapons and N7 hoodie were just my style. As for the DLC squad member, I had a very, very laggy experience. My computer glitched so hard that I missed many of the cut scenes and even magically dropped dead like someone hit a kill command at one point. I managed to get through because I picked a solid squad, but I was virtually helpless for the entire DLC adventure.
I haven’t heard of anyone else having this issue, so there is probably nothing to worry about, but it was very frustrating for me.
My next big decision after ordering the Collector’s Edition was whether or not to go to the opening event at another GameStop, or to skip it or leave early to pick up my game at midnight.
The GameStop Midnight Launch event in LA appeared magically on my radar with the help of my magical assistant, Loser Geek. I found out about it the same day, so I had to decide whether or not to attend this event or the WIGI mixer.
The real story was actually much more complicated, and involved happy luck more than anything, so I will skip most of it and just give the highlights.
- I met Jennifer Hale, Casey Hudson, Mac Walters, Courteney Taylor (Jack), Ali Hillis (Liara), Brandon Keener (Garrus), Kimberly Brooks (Ashley), and Maggie Baird (Samara).
- I got to tell those lovely ladies what an inspiration they were. They seemed to appreciate it. ❤
- Casey asked what my FemShep was like. I not only told him, but showed him her picture.
- Epic Meal Time guy was there, and he tried to swallow G4‘s microphone to prove a point. I won’t say what that point was. >_>
- I took a picture with the voice of Garrus. He held me so warmly. *swoon*
- Said Meal Time guy interrupted Tobuscus‘s interview. It was embarrassing.
- The GameStop employee tried to rush us because we weren’t picking up our game in that store.
- I waited in line from 7:30 PM, only to be told that everyone after me could go in first because they were picking up their pre-orders. I was also told I might not get in at all (but was not told this until 11 PM).
- My “line buddies” Mandie and co. had to leave early to go pick up their pre-order, and missed the chance to meet anyone but Brandon Keener.
- None of the employees knew what was going on. They said they had no idea that many people would turn up. All of the people I met in line, and myself, were actually surprised by how FEW people were there.
- I actually arrived at 7:30 PM because I called the GameStop and asked if I could switch my preorder to their store. They told me sure and to come by before the event started. I headed there immediately, only to be told that I could not switch my preorder because I bought the Collector’s Edition.
- Basically, those of us who spent the most money at GameStop (bought the Collector’s Edition) were the most royally screwed. We were not allowed inside, we were not told what was going on, we were told a different time for the event to start, and we were all mislead into believing we could switch our games to this GameStop.
All in all, the event was horrible, but finally proved worth it in the end. I highly recommend that BioWare coordinates a little better with GameStop if they ever want to do this kind of event again. It was embarrassing.
Finally, Playing…Oh Wait, GDC
So I had to get my game the next day. And then hop on the bus to GDC. That’s right folks, I had to abstain from playing ME3, WHILE IT WAS IN MY POSSESSION, for an ENTIRE week.
It was hard, but I survived. The amazing people I met at GDC were all worth it.
OK, Finally Playing For Reals
So. I finally began to play ME3 on March 12th. There are some things I love about it, some things that need improvement, and NOTHING I hate about it so far. The following contains NO SPOILERS.
Things I Love
The integration between cut scenes and the action is stunning, and I shake my head in admiration each time it occurs. Basically, when you move from the end of a cut scene back into gameplay, the camera just gracefully swings behind you to the normal combat position. It is very impressive, and I hope that future RPGs take their cue from this little detail.
I also love seeing everyone again, of course. Old squadmates pop up in the most delightful ways, and BioWare, being BioWare, makes sure to poke fun at all the old memes from the first two games.
The Galactic Readiness is simple, and alleviated my fears about how multiplayer was going to affect game completion. Everything makes sense. And system scans instead of planet scans are no less addicting, so I am satisfied.
Speaking of multiplayer: I LOVE IT. It makes perfect sense within the story, and the story still makes sense even if you don’t play it. My only regret is that I wish I could play it more! But alas, I have only one ethernet cord and must constantly make the choice between Internet while playing the main story and multiplayer with no one to talk to…long story.
Room for Improvement
Oh, mini-quests. How you aggravate me so. So I will give an example that does not really happen in the game to illustrate the issue here.
You walk up to Bob and hear him talking about his missing pants. You then get a quest to find his pants on Tatooine. Well, you have no idea what system Tatooine is in. So you look around every system like a dummy, not finding Tatooine. Then you Google it and find out that the system Tatooine is in is not opened yet because you have to progress the story a little more. So you progress the story, open the system, then search for Tatooine. Reapers come and get you a few times, hampering your progress. You go off and search a few more systems, because you also have to find a million things for a million other Bobs in a million other star systems. You forget where the pants are, remember, and go get the pants. Then you do some other missions.
Then you decide…okay…I should turn some of these quests in. Did I already get Bob’s pants? I have no clue. I can’t remember. Oh well, maybe I should just go find Bob. You wander around the Citadel, trying to remember where Bob is. You finally get to the right place and search for him. You return his pants. Alternatively, no, you did not grab his pants, and just wasted another hour searching the Citadel.
The problem here is that these mini-quests do not tell you when you have the item, they do not show up on the Milky Way map thingy, and then you have to actually go to the correct area in the Citadel to find the person again. It is very annoying and inelegant in such an elegant game.
I also had a bad, quest-breaking glitch at one point which could only be avoided by choosing Renegade options. The quest affected my galactic readiness, so this was pretty frustrating, as you can imagine.
And finally: WHY CAN’T I ROMANCE ANYONE AND EVERYONE I WANT? IT’S MY SHIP.
This game is awesome. Go buy it. I would go through all this drama again gladly for the experience I’m getting right now. That might change once I get to the apparently horrible ending, but for now, I am in ME3 heaven. BioWare has again managed to write me into tears and into laughter in what will become known as a classic in video game history.