The 6th of March 2012: The date that is likely to be the Harbinger of our destruction. Or maybe I am just being overly dramatic here…
It is common knowledge that the release date for Mass Effect was pushed back, or in my opinion shoved into dark space. I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of physical pain within the pit of my stomach because of this news.
I for one like to believe that I can be quite optimistic. The promise of Mass Effect 3 resting delicately inside my Xbox360 in a few months was the kind of thought that spurred me on.
College seemed slightly easier and life in general seemed to get easier with the thought of having Mass Effect 3 released in the near future. Then intel dropped the bomb! Well, Bioware announced that Mass Effect 3 was being pushed back. Same damn thing.
This news, left a really bad effect on me (Pun not intended). It’s like being pregnant for months, getting all excited for the birth of your child then one day you get told by the doctors that your child isn’t ready to come out yet. You try to remain calm and optimistic, I mean you’ve waited for months already another month will not hurt right? Only you are not waiting for another month to give birth, you are waiting till next year!
There are discussions and disputes between Mass Effect fans surrounding the change of release date. At first we all settled down with a conclusion that Bioware were torturing us this way in order to make the game perfect. (The baby is in womb not ready to come out yet, still developing apparently. That’s okay however, you want your child healthy and at it’s best when it enters the world.)
Then there were rumours about Mass Effect 3 being postponed because they wanted to add in Kinect features and Multiplayer mode.
(More or less running tests on your unborn child, fitting it with electro-chips to alter it’s appearance and genetic traits. The undying love for that baby tells you that the child is perfect just the way they are. They do not have to change.)
Why am I using all of this metaphorical nonsense you say? I personally do not like children, yes I am an awful human being. Trust me even when I was a damn child I disliked my age group. However this is not the point of the guide. The point is that I am trying to appeal to your motherly side, or fatherly side, take your pick.
Why try to fix something that doesn’t need to be fixed? Mass Effect = Your son/daughter (They are perfect just the way the are.) If and I use ‘if’ as the key word here. If these rumours are the case then I can understand why Bioware are doing it.
Mass Effect 3 is the big finale, they are looking at attracting old audiences and new audiences. But dare I say Bioware, you unfortunately cannot please everybody. You have to pick a side. Loyal Mass Effect players or new Mass Effect players?
I would never deny someone the right to play Mass Effect, but I am honestly against changing things that will end up bringing in more players instead of pleasing the fan-base they already have.
I don’t want to sound harsh here really I don’t. Bioware studios have a unique passion for their games that I have not seen in a long time.
I am just clinging onto the hope that they are pushing Mass Effect 3 back to give characters more depth, to sort out the bugs and to polish up the levels.
Take care of my baby Casey! Okay that sounded wrong on so many levels. Regardless the tumour of a sentence stays.
So with all this commotion going on have you ever just sat there for a second and thought to yourself, “Andraste’s knicker weasels what am I going to do with myself now?”
If yes then feel free to read on, if not then this is extremely awkward and I apologise for wasting those ever so precious minutes of your life.
STEP ONE: Let all of your emotions out
A real man (or woman) is comfortable with crying. If there is huge build up of intense salty tears in your eyes then please, just let them out. Or maybe the news made you angry rather then sad? In that case please, find a punching bag or pillow (we don’t discriminate here) and punch the living daylights out of it. Better yet something I do when I can feel a fan-girl scream creep up my throat is scream into a pillow. Perhaps the news left you emotionless, a hollowed out vessel left to drift on through life until you are revived? I will not allow this! However if you reacted unpleasantly to the news, do not bottle up how you feel. This series is a masterpiece, you all have every right to get emotional. The first step to surviving till the 6th of March is getting all of the emotional bits out of the way, and accepting the fact that you are going to have to wait till next year for the shining light that is Mass Effect 3.
STEP TWO: Make Mass Effect friends
Believe it not my fellow effectors you are not alone. Many of us are trembling with anticipation for Mass Effect 3. One thing I noticed when the news struck me? I had nobody to talk to about how saddened I was by the push-back or how excited I was about it still coming out. My friends in general despise Mass Effect. Maker’s breath that sentence hurt to write. As you guessed because of their utter hatred for the game I couldn’t actually talk to them about it which sucked. In all fairness however they probably hate Mass Effect because I spend more hours with it than them. The amount of times I have gave up on giving excuses and just settled for honesty by saying, “Sorry I can’t come out, I’m playing Mass Effect” is actually quite laughable. Mind you I’m sure they don’t find it amusing…I’m a bad friend. I eventually cracked under the wisdom that talking to yourself will only sate you for so long. So I went online scouring the internet for others like me, and ladies and gentlemen there are fans just like you. They can be found on Youtube, Tumblr, Bioware’s site…A common interest in Mass Effect is known to build the greatest bonds in friendships. Okay I made that up, but I genuinely believe that theory of mine. Talking to other fans about Mass Effect 1 & 2 or your hopes for 3 helps a great deal. Not only does it gain you friends and helps you socialise but it does help you get through the months leading up to Mass Effect 3.
STEP THREE: Make a Tumblr account
I am aware that I am promoting the site but you’ll have to trust me that I am gaining nothing out of this. This step is a friendly piece of advice that you may choose to ignore if it doesn’t appeal to you. I had a Tumblr account just laying around once, it was unused and I admittedly didn’t like the site that much. For starters I find it hard to adjust to new sites, and technology (besides gaming platforms) always leaves me confused. That’s when I randomly typed in ‘Mass Effect’ on the search tags bar and I can honestly say that I haven’t looked back. By having my Tumblr account not only do I burst into fits of giggles over some of the Mass Effect posts but I am given information regarding Bioware and Mass Effect 3. This is also a chance to meet really cool people who love Mass Effect just as much as you. Tumblr is a place where you could literally post something about how heartbroken you are about Kaidan or Ashley dumping your arse on Horizon and people will comfort you. The same applies to venting out your frustrations or dreams about ME3. It’s another escapism to occupy your time and actually benefit you.
STEP FOUR: Unleash your creative side
Do you know what’s so great about Mass Effect? Come to think of it games in general. Everybody and I mean everybody has a place or can get involved one way or another. It’s nice to think that while you are painfully awaiting the arrival of Mass Effect 3 that you can actually gain some new skills or brush up on some things that involve one of your favourite games. After squirming my way inside the fandom that is Mass Effect I realised that many players were busy doing something Mass Effect related. Here’s a few tasks or hobbies that you might want to give a go;
-Fan-art (Whether to improve your skills or learn how to draw.)
-Fan-videos (If you’re quite into media and filming you can teach yourself to make fan-music videos or simply learn how to edit certain scenes of the game for a laugh.)
-Fan-Fiction (If you enjoy writing or feel the need to write some hardcore smut after the head-bump with Garrus, *Ahem* or simply to brush up on your writing skills with a subject you enjoy.)
-Achievement Hunting/Trophy hunting (The feeling of getting every achievement in Mass Effect 1 & 2 is orgasmic, well not orgasmic but close enough. *Smug alert* I should know having achieved this myself, DLC included. But seriously it’s a reason to play the games again or to discover new aspects of it by trying to get the achievements. It’s a good way to keep busy till ME3.)
-Sing/Write songs (Do you have a decent voice, or do you just enjoy singing? Then start writing your own Mass Effect related songs, it’s a chance to have some fun while being incredibly creative about the game you adore.)
-Cosplay (Get your friends together or just yourself and make your own Shepard, Grunt, Thane, Miranda, Garrus etc. costume. It’s a hobby and the feeling of accomplishment afterwards is complete bliss.)
These suggestions are only some of the ways that you can get creative with Mass Effect. I personally achievement hunt, write/sing songs that are Mass Effect related and write fan-fiction. I tried the art route and discovered that I am not a very good artist. Honestly doing things like these is fun and will make the months go by so quickly. You might even find yourself appreciating the Mass Effect franchise even more.
STEP FIVE: Buy Mass Effect merchandise
It might be worth taking a look at. Don’t get me wrong the shirts (The good ones) are a tad expensive but hey Bioware has to make a profit I guess.
Ever heard of retail therapy? It actually works, buying some Mass Effect gear will cheer you up and remind you that the Reapers are coming…next year. I am not trying to force you to buy anything I am simply suggesting it. They have T-shirts, replicas, figures, books, comics, bags, caps etc.
Personally from the Bioware store I have bought a ‘I *dragon* Alistair’ shirt (Dragon Age related), a ‘Zevran Approves’ shirt for my friend’s christmas present (Dragon Age related), a Garrus shirt (I desperately had to have it) and three of the Mass Effect books.
Confession time: I actually bought the Mass Effect books off of Play.com my sincere apologies Bioware but I couldn’t keep on affording the postage and packaging on top of the asking price. Forgive me?! Retail therapy will always be there to get you through the hard times.
STEP SIX: Read the Mass Effect books
If none of the steps above are doing it for you then Andraste’s flaming sword this will! The books give you so much depth into the Mass Effect story. Drew Karpyshyn wherever you are, thank you for writing them. Down below are the books in order if you do not know about them.
Mass Effect: Revelation:
This is basically the backstory of Saren and Captain Anderson. It will also introduce the character Kaylee Sanders who is a BAMF dare I say. This novel sets the scene for Mass Effect 1 and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Mass Effect: Ascension
This one holds a special place in my heart. It focuses more around Cerberus and a young powerful human biotic called Gillian. It features Kaylee Sanders again and Gillian’s father Paul Grayson. You also get to learn a lot about the Flotilla from this. Definitely worth reading.
Mass Effect: Retribution
Currently reading this one. I don’t want to give too much away, let’s just say you don’t cross The Illusive Man and get away with it huh? Features Kaylee, Paul and Anderson.
Mass Effect: Deception:
This is the book you got to look forward to next when it’s released. I already spoiled the storyline for myself by accident like I always do. This shall not be your fate dear reader. Just trust me, it is going to be awesome. It’s not written by Drew sadly but I can accept the change.
Of course to get all of these novels it will cost you money. I would honestly suggest scouring the net for some low prices and seriously giving them a read. They are really good and it’s something to look forward to if you ever feel the Mass Effect 3 depression coming on. I got mine by the way on Play.com cheap and free delivery cha-ching!
STEP SEVEN: Read Mass Effect related fan-fiction
Whatever your taste, the fan-fiction world has it. If it doesn’t it is as simple as heading to http://masseffectkink.livejournal.com/2320.html and submitting a request. Updates on new chapters of Mass Effect fictions is something to look forward to other than Mass Effect 3. There are some hilarious and really good writers out there that can be as smutty or as creative as you want them to be.
You want Fluff? Smut? GarrusxThane pairing? Hey it’s your life, ship who you want. It’s a great way of learning new writing skills, new words and more importantly being entertained.
I personally ship Garrus and Shepard hard. So if you want to check these out, they are currently my favourite Mass Effect fan-fictions at the moment.
Enemies Like You And Me by Warlord Fil (Smut, very well written and creative where Shepard and Garrus meet during the First Contact War.)
Masses to Masses by iNf3ctioNZ (A awesome series, self insert fic, hilarious and entertaining, lots of Garrus.)
Shades of Night by Faerlyte (A fiction I adore that is very creative about Pallin and a girl named Pilar. Might get smutty in the next update, hopefully.)
We Were Heroes Once by december.s-flower (Very angsty, honestly the most angsty fiction I have ever read. I actually managed to finish this long story but couldn’t bring myself to read the series that followed. Reason being that it was just a tad too angsty for me, but throughout I noticed that it was very well written, very creative and features Thane and Shepard.)
Vulnerability by Tree Wyrm (The first proper fan-fiction I read that involved me reading a sex scene, also the first fan-fiction that actually made me cry. Well written, quite emotional, featuring Garrus and Shepard.)
The Garrus Vakarian List by LockDown (As you guessed this is about Garrus, and is absolutely hilarious. Think Chuck Norris.)
Admittedly my list is a bit biased in terms of Turians, Garrus and sexy times…It’s an addiction what can I say? Regardless it’s something to get you started. There are many more fictions out there that are worthy of recognition but I would be here forever if I listed them all.
www.fanfiction.net (The site to visit for more fan-fictions)
You guys still with me? Don’t die! I can’t handle anymore deaths on the team, damn it Mordin why?! Why did you force me to reload the whole suicide mission in order to save your butt?!
STEP EIGHT: Play other games
It isn’t betrayal…not technically speaking anyway. Let’s put this in terms of Dragon Age shall we? I know how much you love the metaphors.
This is Alistair from Dragon Age: Origins another great Bioware game in my humble opinion. Now for argument’s sake Alistair metaphorically symbolises the game ‘Mass Effect’.
Alistair = Mass Effect
This is Zevran who is also from Dragon Age: Origins. Now here for argument’s sake he can be whatever game you want him to be. For the sake of naming him for this awful metaphorical explanation which I am already losing track of, Zevran now symbolises ‘Assassins Creed: Brotherhood’.
(I just realised that Zev is an assassin and he represents AC:B I literally put down the first game that came to my head, honestly. That’s quite funny…because he is an Antivan assassin…Okay it isn’t….Moving ever so awkwardly on…)
Zevran = Assassins Creed: Brotherhood
Now where was I going with this?…Ah yes. So Alistair (Mass Effect ) enters your life and now you can’t imagine being without him (it.). You stay dedicated to him throughout the relationship (gameplay) while waiting for him to actually have sex with you (while waiting for Mass Effect 3 to come out.)
Zevran (AC:B) the party member (game) is casually sitting around the campsite (casually waiting to be played.) You dare not speak (play) with him (it) you are sworn (devoted) to Alistair (Mass Effect) through better or worse. However let us be realistic. You really want to get laid (Play a game) and Alistair (Mass Effect 3) is just not putting (coming) out yet. It’s okay to sleep (play) with Zevran (AC:B) in the meantime. Alistair (Mass Effect ) will forgive you and rock your world later on in life.
I feel dirty and clinical…
Seriously though there is a point here…somewhere…
It is okay to play other games, you are better off not doing what I did for a while and just take a long break from Mass Effect. The last thing you want is to find Mass Effect boring from overplaying it. There are other good games out there.
STEP NINE: Listen to Mass Effect music
Believe it or not listening to a game’s soundtrack is a good way to deal with withdrawal. I suffered from withdrawal when I tried to stop myself from spending too much time on Elder Scrolls 4. You’re tired but cannot sleep because you need your fix of the game. So I downloaded the Oblivion soundtrack and fell asleep to it every night and let me tell you, it helped. Five months clean. Thank you, thank you no need to clap!
I also noticed that whenever I listen to my favourite music from games that it cheers me up. So if you’re feeling down switch on some game-related music and you should feel better. It’s a few minutes away from the fact that you still have to wait till next year for Mass Effect 3.
Also like a I mentioned earlier people do fan-songs that I tend to really enjoy so you might want to check them out to help your ME3 depression.
Kabuto The Python (NERDCORE!)
Gembat (Mass Effect, Dragon Age and other covers)
Amixia (Dragon Age and Mass Effect songs)
STEP TEN: Wait
Expecting a grand finale? My apologies. This is I’m afraid the full guide to getting through this. No matter what method you try ‘Step ten’ will always be involved. Unless you cryogenically freeze yourself to the 6th of March 2012 then ‘Step ten’ does not apply and you are very lucky to own a cryogenic pod. I for one own a freezer that I can’t fit in so I have to fall back on these steps.
However all jokes aside guys there’s nothing we can do but make the waiting bearable, and if I know Bioware Mass Effect 3 will be worth the wait.
Just keep optimistic and together my Effectors we will get through this and play the masterpiece of a game that we deserve, which hopefully involves a Reaper landing on Velarn’s head.