I've been ill recently, which means I was stuck on the couch moaning like a bitch (only if my girlfriend was within earshot, obviously). I've also just got my 360 back from its second trip to see the doctor. So, what does one do when at home with no new games to play? Crazy idea: how about finishing those games that you played for 10 minutes before the next shiny thing came along to distract you?
I bought Mass Effect the day it came out. I read the reviews, I loved the style of what I'd seen and apparently it had Vangelis-esque music swirling throughout. That pretty quickly qualifies as a no-brainer, solid-gold, dude-you-gotta purchase. I also bought it pretty soon after I got my lovely big Panasonic plasma; as soon as Mass Effect glowed into life on that bad boy, I was wowed by how good it all looked. I quickly played through the first mission, and started noodling about on the Citadel. I turned the console off, content with a good first impression and optimistic for the amazing experience that doubtlessly awaited me...
The disc never made it back into the machine.
So, what happened? Knowing me, I can only assume that some other game wandered into my vision. It would have been some piece of fast and shallow entertainment that I would have breezed through in a few days. I'm pretty sure I then saw Mass Effect as 'too involved' and 'not what I wanted right now', and so it slipped further and further into the dusty depths of the drawer it sits in.
But now it's back in the 360. Maybe it was the fever that gave me a new perspective on things. Maybe it was the fact I couldn't peel myself off the sweat-soaked couch to get a new game. Whatever the reason, I decided it was time to really have a crack at immersing myself in this vast game that seems so popular with the populace. I put the game in, created a brand new Shepard (Tyrone) and quickly got through that first familiar mission.
When I hit the Citadel, I was wondering if I'd falter again. This had been where it had fizzled out for me on my last attempt, and I feared history repeating. But then I got hooked by all those funny little side missions available. Then I travelled to my first planet. Suddenly, it all started feeling like this dizzyingly deft blend of shooting action and grand adventure and puzzle solving. I'm still getting over this damn flu, and yet it was 3.30am and I had to begrudgingly drag myself to bed.
You got me, Mass Effect. I'm sorry it took so long for your seductive whisper to reach my ears. I'm sorry I was off getting loose with those other games when I could have been spending some quality (and quantity) time with you. Those other games meant nothing to me, honest. Let's never fight again.
NOTE: The author wishes to point out that he's still a little loopy from being sick, and normally would never let on that he sometimes talks to software in this way.