Behold my angry, angry review.

It’s just my angry, angry opinion.

So back in March, for my birthday, I got Mass Effect 3.  I often get video games as gift because they are a sure way to make me happy when I tear open the wrapping paper.  Video games are my way of unwinding and relaxing you and fuck you if you don’t like it.  My idea of the perfect vacation is a sandy beach, a waitress bringing me sushi and iced tea on that beach and a sand-free Xbox and flatscreen blocking any possible view of the ocean.

Prior to video games, my game of choice was Dungeons and Dragons.  Since it is nearly impossible to find a decent game of D&D at my age, you could imagine my delight when I heard not only did Mass Effect have a role playing element, but you could play the main character, Shepherd, through ALL THREE GAMES.  Fuck, yeah.  Sign me up.  I immediately drove to Game Stop and bought used copies of Mass Effect 1 and 2.

Mass Effect 1

Mass Effect takes place in the future.  You’re an Alliance soldier named Shepherd.  Your mission is to deal with alien races or shoot their faces off.  When you’re not shooting their faces off, you’re walking around a big mall-like space station called the Citadel.  Guess which activity is more fun?  Who the fuck thought walking around a well-lit mezzanine with shops would be fun?  Did a 16 year-old girl write this fucking game?

Now I don’t know how you play video games, but I believe the controls should be intuitive.  If I can figure out the controls in three minutes of walking around, fuck it.  I got my receipt, I go back to the store and get whatever Rockstar just made.  And I am not walking out with nine dollars store credit.  I will do my doddering-old-man-can’t-work-the-controls until the clerk breaks and trades me something I can play.

But still, I hang with the game figuring, well, the first game is always gonna have problems.  But after walking around the mall, the first problem happens when I first get killed.  This game has shitty, shitty save points.  Almost non-existent, really.  If I hadn’t been busy that Spring, constantly shutting off the game at various save points I needed for my own convenience, I would’ve been pretty fucking pissed the first time I went face down.  Because I like to play to see how long I can get through a game without dying.

Continuing, Shepherd is trying to figure out why this ancient race, called the Protheans, left all these ancient artifacts behind.  There’s a race of robots called the Geth that are, for some reason, trying to get them.  Shepherd is also vying for becoming a Specter, which is some kind of supercamando position on the Citadel that usually only aliens get.  Shepherd is going to be the first human.  Well, an alien Specter turns against the Citadel and is causing all the fuss.  He’s gathering up the artifacts and trying to bring about the end of the universe.  Blah, blah, blah, you gotta kill him.

In the process, you got to various planets, do missions, rescue aliens, recover valuable ores and salvage parts for… I don’t know, points or something.  The best part of the game is meeting various aliens and having them join your crew.

About halfway through the game I hit a wall and couldn’t finish one of the missions.  The space pirates just kept killing everyone.  In desperation, I flipped through the options only to realize none of the weapons I had been purchasing for the last three months were in operation.  Unless you specifically switch the controls to the new weapons, you’re still on the initial ones you get issued.  WTF game?!  I don’t give a shit about all these imaginary “models” of weapons you came up with.  Just give me the one with the most damage please!  So I upgrade and, of course, I decimate the fuckers in two minutes.  Fuck!  I gotta spend two minutes during inventory every time I fucking go to the Citadel.  More shopping!  What is this?  The fucking GAP?  I was THIS close to going back to Game Stop with all three games.  What a joke.

So finally, I finish the game.  Done.  I’m just relieved it’s over.  Like I got mugged.  Two has got to be better.

Mass Effect 2

It is!  Holy shit!  So much better!  First, everything about the controls is better.  Quick, effective, intuitive.

The story kicks major ass.  After an exciting opening (setting the stage for why you’re going to relearn all the controls), Shepherd is made a captain of a new ship under Cerebus.  It’s sort of a human-only organization that believes more in Shepherd than the Alliance army every did.  In the first game, Shepherd realizes that the true threat are an alien race called The Reapers.  They return every 50,000 years and wipe out the galaxy’s biggest civilizations.  Okay, now we’re cooking with gas!!  Fuck yeah!

Cerebus’ leader is the Elusive Man.  A bit on the nose for the name, but I can forgive since he’s voiced by Martin Sheen.  Shepherd has to build a new crew and owes Cerebus since they essentially brought him back to life after what happens in the opening.  Shepherd then bounces around the galaxy picking up clues and shipmates, while also mining various ores to help him fuel his ship and increase his weaponry.  Elegant and integrated.  Nice!

And for the second time, I have to decide who lives and who dies.  The game makes it easy, but still.  I love the ragtag group!  There’s even an awesome on ship invasion.  Definitely an homage to the Borg, but it kicked so much ass.  By the time the game ends, I got like a 12 man crew!  Fuck yeah!  I could play this game all day.  Even the final boss was creepy and made sense within the context of the alien invasion.  It all came together.  I’m sorry I ever doubted you Mass Effect!  You rule!  Let’s get to the third installment!

Mass Effect 3

What the fuck is this?!  What the fuck did you do?!  Now I heard the ending sucks, but I didn’t think the whole fucking GAME would suck!  Ahhhhh!  What did you fire the guy who came up will all the God damned hallways to walk down in 1, then hire him back for 3?!  If I wanted to walk, I wouldn’t play God damned video games!  Are steps and hallways and shops exciting to these people?!

And after building up a gigantic crew in 2, you don’t scale it down!  The best part of the game was meeting aliens and hearing their story.  Because that tied into the mission.  I WANTED to help the aliens in Mass Effect 2.  In Mass Effect 3, I’m forced into every God damned encounter.  Plus, I spend most of the game fighting Cerebus, the guys I worked for in 2.  Can’t these guys do their own thing?  Their not the main enemy anyway.  They’re supposed to be all for humanity.  Doesn’t it make sense they team up at least to a point?!  Even Shepherd brings that up, but no, we need a mountain of bodies I guess.  Ridiculous.

Now Mass Effect 1 had all new locations in the Citadel, but one of the was “the Consort” and a dive bar with strippers.  Mass Effect 2 ups the ante with new places, like Omega, a bar on an asteroid in the ass-end of space.  Citadel locations are basically updated, but the same.  Now what does Mass Effect 3 add for locations in the Citadel?

The hospital.

Great.  I don’t want to go to the fucking hospital in my REAL life, who the fuck wants to visit one in a game?!  What other locations for the next game?  Funeral Home?  A place to do your taxes?  Jesus tap dancing Christ!

And the cut scenes!  Oh, Lord!  Half the fucking game is cut scenes!  The designer of this game are so in love with their creations its pathetic!  Like a Dungeon Master that won’t let his favorite monster die!

The only bright spots in this game are when the characters from 2 show up.  You catch up with them, but in the end, they can’t join your crew.  Awesome.  Just what I expected.  LESS for my money.  Thanks Mass Effect!

And what the fuck is it with all this ducking for cover bullshit?  The game demands that you hide every time you get hit until your shields regenerate.  And hopping over a barrier?  Well, you might as well stand up and say, “Hey, aliens!  Shoot me five God damned times, because I’m going to spend about ten seconds slowly sliding over this barrier!”  And what kind of alien minions with far, far superior techn0logy keep getting stopped by cement dividers?  You do realize we have weapons NOW that can blow through them, right Mass Effect?  What are these minions saying back at HQ.  “Gee boss, we would’ve killed Shepherd this time, but he keeps hiding behind a curb!  We just can’t seem to beat rock despite are many, many years of futuristic technology!”

The thing that really got me in MA3.  The moment where I almost just turned it off and went to Youtube to see the ending, was where I was battling the aliens late in the game.  Now through the entire FRANCHISE, the basic deal is, you wipe out all aliens.  Every last one, to get to the end of whatever fight you’re on.  Save point.  Done.  Suddenly, after several tries, I managed to kill both banshees.  Now I’m like, “Okay, don’t blow this.  Kill the lesser aliens and go.”  So I look and I notice there’s quite a few more.  “Okay, no problem.  It’s the next wave.  I just have to kill them and get to the shuttle.”  Suddenly, the game says, “Shuttle destroyed.  Mission failure.”

WTF?  You suddenly change the rules on me Mass Effect?!  I wanted to run through the God damned gauntlet of aliens just to finish this shit game!  Now you change the rules?!  Fuck you!  Fuck you and your rule change!  That’s not clever!  Now you’re just being assholes!

Oh and did I mention the “wonderful” dream sequences in this game?  Every play a dream sequence?  It’s slow, boring, stupid and it doesn’t even fucking matter to the story!  God dammit!  God dammit!

Shitty Ending (spoiler alert)

I should’ve heeded your warnings.  How I wished I had heeded!

So let me get this straight, I get to bring the same character across three games, but all three times his stats don’t matter because I still end up building them on THREE DIFFERENT POINT SYSTEMS.  That negates the whole point of carrying over the fucking character!  The guns are a God damned mess.  Couldn’t even buy them all.  It’s the end of the God Damned universe.  You think the guys in requisitions could maybe float me the best fucking gun they got?  I mean, just so I can save THEM?!

Speaking of which, by MA3, Shepherd is supposed to be a legend.  But people STILL don’t listen to him.  Saved the universe twice and it’s, “Well, we’ll think about what you’re saying.”  WHAT?!

But even all THAT, I could forgive.  The problem is, Shepherd at the end is faced with a choice.  The whole game ends with a coin flip.  A very retarded coin flip.

Now, keep in mind, there are points for being a “paragon” or a “renegade”.  These points should mean something.  They don’t.  In the end, they mean nothing because you’re just flipping a switch left or right.  The worst part is, you don’t know what your decision would bring the other way unless you’d like to spend another six God damned months playing or go on YouTube!  God dammit, I should’ve just watched the damned game online!

Your choices are horrible.  You can either control the Reapers and all sentient machines or kill them all.  If you kill them all, you also kill the Geth, who I turned into allies.  If you control them all, that’s essentially the “good” ending, even though that was the Elusive Man’s plan all along!  Don’t make me accumulate good and evil points if they don’t mean anything!  Ahhh!

The defining moment of this game comes when you spot the wrecked body of Mass Effect 2’s “boss” from the final boss fight.  Right then you know, Mass Effect 3 designers had no other move than to constantly go back to the same idea well.  What a huge, fucking disappointment.  And yeah, I realize I’m months late on voicing this.  So what.  I’m pissed.  This is not relaxing!  This game has made me very angry!

I’m going back to playing Grand Theft Auto IV on Xbox live.  Rockstar, please go teach Bioware how to make a game.