I can't remember the last time I left my apartment for something other than class. I've been playing Xbox for the last 9 hours and now I'm sitting in the dark writing about why the Mass Effect 3 controls bug me and eating Froot Loops without milk because I'm too lazy to go to the fridge. I don't know why I'm single. Oh wait. Yes I do.

Mass Effect 3 video game

I've spent a lovely evening with my Xbox playing Mass Effect 3 and listening to my Steam-using friends whine about how Origin sucks giant green Krogan balls. Got a visual of that last bit? You're welcome. I spent the first few hours of Mass Effect 3 trying to figure out the slight adjustments to controls from Mass Effect 2. With ME3, you can push the green "A" button not just to run and climb over shit, but also to make Commander Shephard leap across stuff and do an odd sort of graceless dive thing. All with the same fucking button, which guesses what you're trying to do based on how close Shephard is standing to stuff. No room for error there! There's probably a way to change it but I'd rather whine about it instead.

It's taking me forever to get used to using this stupid button correctly, so for the first few hours of the game, combat has gone something like this:

Me: THAT THING IS GOING TO KILL YOU, TAKE COVER!

Commander Shephard: (Pirouettes gracefully into line of fire and dies)

Me: TAKE COVER, ASSHOLE!

Commander Shephard: (Does some approximation of the worm, landing directly at enemies' feet, with several hundred bullet-sized piercings where his torso used to be. Dies.)

Me: Okay, take 3. Load times are still pretty slow, so please get don't fuck this up. That big thing with a better gun and 8x as much armor as you have wants to murder you. You need to take cover. Like, now. Go!

Commander Shephard: (Approaches cover from the one angle that doesn't trigger the option to take cover. Vision dims too much to re-approach cover as the friendly alien shoots some approximation of a heart into Shephard's skull. Shephard successfully jetés into cover where he promptly dies.)

A few minutes later:

Me: YOU'RE OUT OF AMMO AND THAT THING IS HEADING RIGHT FOR YOUR HIDING PLACE! RUN AWAY!

Shephard: Take cover?

Me: NO, RUN AWAY!

Shephard: Look, I took cover!

Me: RUN!

Shephard: Look, I can do a pirouette out of cover! Well hel-lo there. I think I'm supposed to kill you, but my, that's a big gun! Say, where did you get those pants? Your ass looks amazi- (Dies).

Oh but wait, it gets better. "A" is also the button you use to interact with stuff. So to open a door, you press A. To pick something up, you press A. Except if you're like me, then when you have a minute and a half to get out of a building before it blows up, you start pressing "A" the minute you can see the door in the hopes that you won't have to pause for a second and wait for it to open. In Mass Effect 3, however, pressing "A" with nothing to interact with makes Shephard either run faster or flop face-first into the floor, usually while the door opens a few feet in front of him because belly-flopping onto the floor brought him close enough to activate the door.

My awkward ME3 combat skills are made up for by the fact that so far the game designers have chosen to crap neon circles and triangles all over the interactive parts of the environments in an apparent effort to make sure everyone understands how doors work. It's kind of annoying, but then again thanks to the stupid A button I don't think I've managed to intentionally open a door yet so perhaps I really am as stupid as BioWare seems to think.

Mostly though, I've spent the game so far being a dorky fangirl and squee-ing at every familiar character and at pretty much every scene that includes Commander Shephard, which is, well, all of them, so there's pretty much just a constant high-pitched "eeeeeeeee!" emanating from my apartment at this point. But seriously, Mass Effect 3 kicks ass. It's like a giant, mildly gropey hug from the first two games. I would write more but I think my Xbox has cooled off enough that it will stop making its little threatening-to-RROD noises and I have to go, you know, save your asses from the Reapers.

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