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Mass(ively) Effect(ive)

Immersion, with crack sprinkled on it

**EDIT: There might not be a Spanish-audio version of the Mass Effect games. I’m working on it with a team of scientist cheerleaders**

My name is Matt and I’m an addict.

I’m addicted to… living in space with French people.

I’m traveling around the French galaxy, exploring French planets, meeting strange new French species, assembling and building rapport with my hand-picked French comrades, all in order to save the French universe as we know it.

See, I purchased Mass Effect 2 a week ago, and have been practically living inside it ever since. This is absolutely the closest you can come to living in a French-speaking world without leaving your room. It’s better than movies, TV, and reading. How?

Mass Effect is massive simulation of living in a universe entirely populated by francophones. There are hundreds, if not thousands of hours of recorded dialogue for all the people in this world. You must listen to them, understand them, and *gasp* interact in the right way to get things done.

Pro-tip: keep the subtitles disabled. I have to listen closely at all times to know what people are saying, and can’t glance at the bottom of the screen to know what I should be doing, where I should be going, etc. When put in a corner, your brain will come through. Trust me. This is positively the closest you can get to interacting with a real person without interacting with a real person. As far as my brain is concerned, I’m in space-France and my life is on the line.

Check it out (watch in full screen HD to get a feel for how immersive it is):

It’s just like this, but without subtitles. No safety net for me. My life and the lives of my digital French friends depend on my ability to listen and respond wisely. You can even engage in full-on romance if you can understand the subtleties of what’s being said. Say the wrong thing and blammo, romance down the drain.

Elle m’aime

Now, if you’re in the early stages of language acquisition, this game would completely kick your butt back to your L1, but if you’ve reached an intermediate level, you’ll love it.

Seriously. I’ve spent XXX hours (censored out of shame) on this game, and can’t stop. It’s too fun. When you’re completely addicted to something in your L2, you’re winning. As soon as I finish, I’m buying Mass Effect 3.

All that time spent on Dora the Explorer, Lost, Ninja Turtles comics, Chrono Trigger, Calvin and Hobbes, and French films led to this, and it’s glorious.

In outer space, no one can hear you scream… unless you scream in your L2.

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Matt is an unorthodox teacher and, above all, an unorthodox writer. He taught himself French mostly by watching TV, and now lives in Korea where he is training for the International Bench-press/Bicep Biathlon.

29 Comments…

Andrew May 27, 2012 at 9:25 pm

You know what, that’s really cool, I love that idea. My whole thing is about using popular media such as movies and books and whatnot to learn foreign languages, that’s what I preach, and this is exactly the same thing but with a new and different medium that I’d never considered before: video games. Awesome! Thanks so much, I love it, I’m definitely going to try this at some point (absolutely not a gamer at all but I’d be willing to try it just for this).

I have a very important question though: how are you talking? That is, when you have something to say do you have to come up with the whole thing yourself and type it in, do you have a multiple choice type of thing where you select the correct answer from 4 possibilities or something, what? Do you have a microphone and you actually speak and voice recognition software determines what you’ve said? How does this work? Sorry, I’m not the least bit familiar with video games, the last time I had anything to do with them was 13 years ago when I was 14 and playing Mario Bros on Super Nintendo.

Cheers,
Andrew

Reply

Matt May 27, 2012 at 9:51 pm

You select your responses from a little wheel at the bottom of the screen (there are usually around three, sometimes up to five though). The thing is, you can only see a little bit of each response option, and need to be able to read into it. Are you trying to be conciliatory? Pragmatic? Nice? Threatening? Romantic?

I started Mass Effect 3 this morning. It's on sale at amazon.com for 25 buckaroos today if you're interested, though I'd recommend that you buy Mass Effect 2 first ($20 on Steam) so you know the story and characters better (you can safely skip ME1).

Reply

Mark May 29, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Hi,

How do I change the audio to a different language? I could not find any settings like this in the game. I've changed my console language settings to Spanish. Now the game options are in Spanish, the subtitles are in Spanish, even my response options are all in Spanish but all of the in-game audio is still in English.

Thanks
Mark

Reply

Matt May 30, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Hey Mark, I wrote a reply yesterday but I think it got caught in the spam filter. Long story short, there are language packs floating around the internet so you can change the language to French, German, and Italian, but not Spanish. I recommend pirating the Spanish version of the game.

Steam made it easy to change the language of Mass Effect 2 – you just change your steam language and redownload the game. EA doesn't want to let you do this with Mass Effect 3 because they need to constantly remind everyone how much they suck.

Reply

nico June 6, 2012 at 4:29 am

Thanks for the great post Matt, I'm really looking forward to doing this. I am using a PC but I'm in the same boat as Mark. I downloaded the ME2 demo in Spanish and this has English VO, but with Spanish installer, subtitles etc. Is there definitely a Spanish VO version of this?
Maybe not, but worth a try too: can you recommend anywhere to find the Spanish version of the game? I'm really struggling and I've been looking for some time only to be disappointed when that first movie starts with English VOs!
Thanks again, great post.

Reply

nico June 6, 2012 at 4:39 am

Apologies for the double reply – looking around youtube and so on, I can't find any Spanish VO's, just English dubbing with the Spanish subtitles. Ah well, I can always use some French practice. If Spanish voices can be had on any of the trilogy, I'd really appreciate anybody confirming this, or if somebody finds a video online with this, that would be fantastic.
Thanks!

Reply

Matt June 7, 2012 at 6:30 am

I'll look around for ya and reply here if I find anything.

Chris May 31, 2012 at 4:13 am

Thanks for making me go out and get this game today Matt! May I ask which mode you are in, as in rpg, story…

Reply

Matt May 31, 2012 at 9:09 pm

I just played the normal single player campaign. It was fantastic!

Reply

@MrHateCoffee July 2, 2012 at 8:47 pm

This would be nice if it was in Spanish (which IS why we come here right?) and on a console.

I've tried to find a list of Xbox 360 games with Spanish voice overs to no avail.

Games I know with Spanish vo's (off the top of my head):
-Heavy Rain (PS3)
-Uncharted 3 (PS3)

Reply

Ramses July 3, 2012 at 9:39 pm

It sucks not many console games are available in Spanish. Most games I found only supplied Spanish subtitles. Voice-over in Spanish is mostly something of the past I'm afraid :-(

Reply

Matt July 3, 2012 at 11:54 pm

This is strange, because I could find French, German, and Italian dubs, yet there are way more Spanish speakers… weird.

Reply

Peter July 13, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Just wanted to report back that while Mass Effect 2 does not have Spanish voice overs, Portal 2 does!

Reply

Matt July 14, 2012 at 6:29 am

Excellent, thanks for the find! I played through Portal 2 in French and loved the hell out of it!

Reply

Livonor November 3, 2012 at 1:13 pm

I really want a playstation 3 to play Fallout NV in japanese

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ARQY3tvVg60

Reply

Livonor November 3, 2012 at 1:18 pm
Matt November 3, 2012 at 1:51 pm

This looks amazing! Great find. I wonder if it’s in Korean… (probably not).

Reply

Michael April 17, 2013 at 1:42 pm

The best games I’ve found in a full Spanish dub are the Assassin’s Creed series.Also Batman Arkham Asylum and Arkham City have full Spanish audio. Great games, though not as dialogue heavy as Mass Effect, but still definitely worth checking out!

Reply

Julio and Tamra Rivera April 15, 2016 at 10:27 pm

We would like to get into voicing animation characters, but we are slowly working our way up through other VO genres. Thanks for all the great information!

Reply

Peter June 19, 2012 at 5:58 am

Any luck on this? I found a copy of the PC version of ME2 cheap and picked it up, only to be disappointed by the lack of Spanish audio.

Reply

Nico June 21, 2012 at 7:04 am

For me, no luck still. I've been playing with Es subtitles, but it's not very immersive when you hear the English all of the time too. Looking at amazon.es, doesn't look good even on the Spanish DVDs for voices. I've looked on YouTube too and it seems we're out of luck, even up to Mass Effect 3.
Please let us know if you find something Peter!

Reply

Matt June 21, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Peter, did you get ME2 through Steam? If so, try this:
1) Delete the game from your steam library
2) In steam settings, change the language to Spanish
3) Restart steam
4) Re-download the game in your Spanish version of steam

That's what I did to get French audio.

Reply

Matt June 21, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Everything I've found has been Spanish subtitles only. Sorry guys, looks like there might not be a Spanish-audio version in existence :p I'll keep looking though.

Reply

Peter June 25, 2012 at 5:32 pm

No, found it cheap at half-price books. I bought because I remembered you talking about this game for French. I am disappointed that there's no Spanish audio, but I might still play it by keeping the subtitles and turning off the dialog audio.

Reply

Matt June 25, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Good idea! It'll be like an exciting Spanish choose-your-own-adventure book 😀

Reply

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