originals\ Nov 18, 2011 at 9:16 am

Eight Ways to Kill Time While We wait for Mass Effect 3


I don’t know about you guys, but I have an unhealthy obsession with science fiction, and especially long, epic, sci-fi stories.  So, as you can imagine, I’m really, really into Mass Effect.  Like, unhealthily so.  It’s an epic sci-fi trilogy that lets me explore alien planets, make tough decisions, meet all sorts of interesting people and things, and then shoot them.  What’s not to love?  Also, the ability to have your choices deeply impact the future games in the series really makes it feel like you’re the main character in a sci-fi epic.  Which, honestly, is pretty much all I’ve ever wanted in life.

All this being said:  I’m pumped for the third game.  However, it’s still months away from being released, and there’s only so much crying in the dark I can do to keep myself occupied in the meantime.  So I’ve compiled a handy dandy list for you guys, of all the things I’m doing to keep myself sane until ME3 comes out.  Hopefully you find this helpful, or at least amusingly pathetic.

Read Some Good Science Fiction

Mass Effect is, in my opinion, one of the great Sci-Fi stories told in the past few years.  However, Science Fiction has been around for a very long time, and there’s some great sh*t out there, especially in book form.  And if you have a problem with me using this article to plug sh*t that I love, well that’s just too damn bad.  Put the following books in your eyeholes.  They’re good for you.

The Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons.  This is actually four books, but you can get away with just reading the first two.  It’s about a planet that contains these mysterious buildings that are constantly moving backwards through time, and a big metal guy made of spikes who travels through time and space.  His name is The Shrike, which is awesome. 

The Culture books by Iain M. Banks.  This is big, epic, space-adventure stuff.  You should probably start with the first book, Consider Phlebas, (No, I don’t know how to pronounce that either) but the best in the series is Use of Weapons.

Lastly, if you haven’t read Ender’s Game, (Which, let’s be honest, if you’re on gamezone.com, you probably have) then get on it.  It’s about a little kid learning to fight space bugs. 

See?  Kids and space bugs.

Show “Star Wars” to the One Person You Know that Hasn’t Seen It

It’s hard to get your epic Sci-Fi fix sometimes.  I mean, after all, one can only watch Star Wars so many times, right?  Well, wrong, but if you happen to feel that way, here’s a way around it:  find someone in your life who has never seen Star Wars (probably of the female persuasion, cause let’s be honest, have you EVER met a dude who hasn’t seen Star wars?), and watch it with them.  That way, if they love it, like they’re supposed to, you can be there to share an awesome experience with them.  And if they hate it, you have every right to yell at them.  Or throw bricks at them.  You know.  Whatever.

This kid’s about to get his mind blown.

Play Some Old Bioware Games

Anyone who loves Mass Effect but hasn’t played the Knights of the Old Republic games, all I have to say is this:  You like Mass Effect? (Of course you do.) You like Star Wars? (Of course you do.)  KOTOR is a very similar in tone and design to the ME games, BUT WITH LIGHTSABERS.  And everyone knows that lightsabers make anything cool.

Perhaps you’re not a Star Wars guy.  Perhaps you’re into....oh, lets say, ancient Chinese mythology?  Well, have no fear, there’s a game for you.  Find an old Xbox, a copy of Jade Empire, and thank me later.  It doesn’t have lightsabers, but it has lots and lots of Kung Fu, which pretty much balances out in my book.

No lightsabers, but that’s a pretty neat firesword.

Replay Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2 a Few More Times

One of the nicest things about the ME series is the replay value.  There’s so much to do, so much to see, and so many different decisions that you can make, that it’s easy to find something new each time.  Haven’t played the game as a bad guy yet?  Go ahead, kill some virtual children.  Already played it as a baddie?  Try saving the Universe.  It’s very satisfying, I assure you.

Or, spice it up a little.  In my last playthrough of the first game, I made a character that looked just like Bruce Willis, but he was a total asshole.  At no point did I stop finding it amusing. 

Also, there’s hella planets to explore.  (I just said hella.  You can’t see it, but I’m hanging my head in shame.)

I just wanna kick this guy’s ass over and over and over...

Talk Like an Elcor For a Day

For those who don’t know/remember, the Elcor are a race in Mass Effect who are incapable of inflection, speaking only monotone.  As such, they say what emotion they are feeling before each sentence they speak.  It’s hilarious, and at one point in ME2, there’s even an ad for an all-Elcor production Hamlet, which would be simultaneously the most hilarious and excruciating thing ever to sit through.

My point is, if there’s an International Talk Like A Pirate Day, I see no reason there shouldn’t be an International Talk Like An Elcor Day.  Just make sure to do something really important, and be as deadpan and toneless as you can. To your boss, for instance: “Outraged: I quit, you asshole.” To your girlfriend: “Sincere and Romantic: I love you more than anything.”  “Defensive: I swear officer, I had no idea there was a body in my trunk.”

“Bored and impatient: When does ME3 come out again?”

Watch Battlestar Galactica.  Shut Up, Just Do It.

You like space battles, you say?  You like space politics, you say?  You like, uh, space?  Well, the newer version of Battlestar Galactica has plenty of space.  It also has political intrigue, beautifully written and acted characters, and plenty of shit getting blown up. 

I know it’s hard to get people to watch something called Battelstar Galactica, but I promise it’s worth it.  It’s totally my favorite show set in space, except for Firefly, which I won’t even go into. (Well, maybe a bit:  Go watch Firefly, a**hole!)

Like the bible, but in SPACE

Get Shit Done (Before You Lose Your Life to ME3)

There’s a very good chance that when ME3 comes out, the number of articles you see from me will drop off for a couple weeks.  Why?  Because I’ll be busy saving the universe, damn it!  It’s hard to pretend that going about your daily life is important with an impending Reaper invasion, you know?

So, in the mean time, work on that project you’ve been putting off.  Go to the gym, do some writing, clean your room, whatever.  Cause when the Reapers get here.... well, let’s just say that Fluffy’s gonna have to feed himself for a little while. 

This is the first thing that came up when I typed ‘getting sh*t done’ into google.

Pretend You’re in Space All the Time

I’m pretty sure that Science-Fiction doomed me to be miserable from a young age.  I mean, once one is aware of lasers, space ships, and aliens, the real world just doesn’t feel like enough, you know?  Maybe this is why I love the ME games so much.  They fill a very specific void in my life.  So how can I fill this void in the meantime?

Easy.  Just act like I’m in space all the time. When I get pulled over for speeding, I’ll just explain that it’s not speeding if you’re in hyperspace.  I’ll seal up my windows to protect against the vacuum of space.  That’s not just the neighbor’s dog!  It’s a Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal!

I think I’ll have some new business cards printed up.  They’ll say Eric Zipper: Destroyer of Worlds.

I’ll be just like this guy, but with a cooler hat.
About The Author
Eric Zipper Eric Zipper is a writer and comedian living in Los Angeles. When he's not making you laugh, playing video games, or watching movies, he's probably sleeping. Follow him on Twitter @erzip
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