Life is full of disappointment and even Mass Effect 1 and 2 had things that I wished they had done better. But Bioware did enough things right that I was able to overlook the things I thought that they did wrong. The primary disappointment from ME1 to ME2 was that they cut so much from the game that they had in the first one. Why does it seem to be the standard is to "reinvent" something instead of keeping what works and improving what doesn't.
Mass Effect 2's story, for the most part, was good enough for me to overlook the massive chopping up of the elements of the first game. (Although I have yet to be able to come up with a "fix" for the "Human Reaper".) I don't really have a problem with the idea of the Reapers being some kind of vessel for holding the essence of a race, but the execution of that idea was nonsensical. A race is not simply its DNA but what they were able to produce with that DNA. So if the Reapers wanted to preserve the pinnacle race of that cycle in the shell of a Reaper then that Reaper must hold more than just vast DNA samples of that Race. It must also hold records of the accomplishments of that race, both scientific and cultural. If this was the case then for every Reaper destroyed, they would be wiping out all that was left of an advanced civilization. I could see Liara having a massive conflict of interest with the destruction of the Reapers if that was the case.
And then came Mass Effect 3. When they announced the Collectors edition I went out to my local Game Stop and preordered it. It took me several months to pay it off, but I was ready for the midnight release. Along with the $80 for the game I have also ordered the action figures and the Liara statue. Then Adam Withers [link] said he would take commissions for custom Shepards for his Mass Effect crew group picture. Well I jumped on that too. I was so excited for the new game, but then the cracks began to form. First the mini comic that came with the collectors edition was ripped. Then the opening of the game introduced Vega without any explanation of how Shepard knew him, not to mention that he was out of uniform. And the annoyances kept piling up, until we reach the end of the game.
I don't have the words to describe how I feel about what they fed us as the ending to what had been one my best gaming experiences ever. I've made a certain amount of peace over how Science Fiction is presented in movies and TV shows. For the most part I just shrug away the bad science and just try to enjoy the show. Maybe that's my problem, I expected to much from Mass Effect and Bioware. The writing in ME1/2 reminded me favorably of stories written by Heinlein, Bradbury, Smith, Weber and Ringo. Sure there were problems with things like the way the military was portrayed, but as I've said before, there was enough good to overlook the bad. But with ME3 the bad far overshadows the good.
I've now had almost two months to ponder Mass Effect 3. I've done what I could to support the "Take Back Mass Effect" and "Hold the Line" campaigns. I know that Bioware had announced a "clarification" DLC, but really I'm not going to hold my breath for it to really change anything. So what do I do to close out my obsession over Mass Effect? Do I simply put it behind me and move on? "It sucked, but what can you do?" I was able to do that with the ending to Star Trek: Enterprise. The only problem is that I've never written fan fiction for Star Trek. I never linked my own characters to Star Trek. At this point I think I've invested to much of myself into Mass Effect. So I've decided to finish what I started.
My subconscious has spit up several ideas that will let me tackle my problems with Mass Effect. The real question is should I wait until the clarification DLC comes out this summer or start posting what I've come up with right away? For those who have read through this big block of text, let me know what you think?