Jimquisition: The Positive Side of Mass Effect 3's Ending Drama

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Jimothy Sterling:
Snip

Although I agree with you to an extent Jim, there is a 'limit' to how far fans will put up with companies and what they do with games that people invested over 300 hours into. And Bioware clearly crossed that line with Mass Effect 3 even before the ending was shown. The Day 1 DLC was something fans shouldn't have to put up with and the ending certainly shouldn't be ether.

I've heard that the journey is what matters and really it is what should matter... but is the ending excusable anyhow? Not by a long shot. I know for a fact people if not myself (which I might not be best for, but..) can write a better ending then what Bioware did for ME3. The worst part isn't even what happens during the ending, but after the credits.

A message pops up saying "You're a legend.. continue playing and buy our DLC". It literally says that Jim, and I know you made a video saying that companies should not pull off that crap with DLC marketing. Still, not going to hate and bash Bioware but regardless of your points I am indeed very disappointed in Bioware's ending. That, and this article here where Casey Hudson the director of Mass Effect 3 makes a very poor response about the ending. He Addresses the Ending Controversy.

Not only missing the point, but he doesn't seem to really.. care at all. It stands out as if Mass Effect 3's ending was a way to make people want to buy the ending DLC or buy ME4 for sure to find out answerrs. Not only that Jim, but the ending wasn't just bad.. it was very hollow. Here, watch this video if you've got the time and this will help you understand why ME3's ending let everyone down and not because people demanded some perfect ending that was truly epic of some sort.

Even when I generally agree with Sterling, I always sort of want to punch him.
Remarkably, I found his point so intriguing that I almost DIDN'T feel the desire to punch him until the very end, so I guess that makes this a good video?

It reminds me of Moviebob's recent video on The Phantom Menace where he argued that the Phantom Menace, while not especially good, was only reviled because fans had unreasonable expectations. Its true that the expectations of fans were too high in the case of Mass Effect (I for one wouldn't have been completely satisfied unless my Shepherd was crowned Emperor of the Known Universe) it's also true that on its own merits the ME3 ending was not especially good. The ending doesn't invalidate Mass Effects 1 and 2 (or even 99% of Mass Effect 3) a satisfying ending can make the whole worth more than the sum of its parts (see inFamous 2, Chrono Trigger, Dragon Age) I can't help but feel that we had a missed opportunity in Mass Effect.

Pandabearparade:

Zachary Amaranth:

Anyhow, this is a pretty good point. People are pissed because they are so invested. That really is important.

They're also pissed because Bioware outright lied to them about what to expect. They didn't say the ending would be mysterious and deep, requiring deep meditation (and DLC) to discern. They claimed it would be an ending that wraps up your specific mass effect and give closure for the series.

Obviously that didn't happen, and while I find the ending to be one of the funniest damned things I've seen so far this year, I can certainly relate to people being pissed off. They were just told a massive pork pie.

And at the same time, if people weren't invested in such a story, there wouldn't be this huge outrage.

Having enjoyed the ending thoroughly contrary to the majority (Yes, been a fan since the first game - insult away as to how I'm not a ***True Fan*** for liking it or whatever), this video doesn't soothe any of my pains - it instead makes the rage TWICE as fun for me to watch!

Thank you Jim! I thank God...for you!

Bioware promised that the ending to this game would take into account all the choices that the player made along the way, not just in this installment but in the first two as well. That clearly, clearly did not happen. The vast majority of variables involved, from the major conflicts that should have been addressed and given closure down to the little issue of who was in your party at the end, and should therefore be unavailable to be elsewhere, were simply discarded, and made no difference whatsoever.

This is not an opinion, this is a mathematically provable fact; what they promised was not delivered.

What was delivered was not even the same genre of thing as what was promised... it isn't a case of shooting for the stars and falling short in some particulars (as such ambition could have been forgiven... people understand budget and time constraints). All these variables are tracked and calculated and not only matter, but matter beautifully until the last fifteen minutes of gameplay... at which point the player is cast onto the three-option railroad through nonsense land. Not only that, but the three options share some REMARKABLY similar scenery, and all three tracks end without giving the player even the foggiest notion of what happened to the universe at large, what the outcomes of their choices were or even what the outcome of that final, forced choice was. All you have is the word of a character you met minutes before, little better than reading the labels on the buttons you're pressing and hoping they are accurate.

The ending to Mass Effect 3 is not of a piece with the rest of the franchise... it swerves sharply and all too briefly into left field, without proper setup, explanation, or closure. Everything, EVERYTHING hangs in the balance on those last fifteen minutes and no matter what you choose, you don't win, you don't lose, you don't come to a draw or a conclusion of any kind because you don't know anything about what happens.

All of which is to say, really, that this is about a lot more than not liking the direction Bioware went with their story.

I disagree to the point with Jim where people are unhappy because the game didn't end the way they wanted it to end. I mean, there will always be that slight disconnect between how the game ends and how you thought it could have ended. You'll always have the feeling of; "What happened with X?" or, "Z just seemed, pointless". But over all, as long as vast majority of people getting a feeling of "closure" or a ending that is 80% fulfilling or meaningful to the story, people will be over all happy and content.

ME3 provides none of that. It rips you from all connection and enjoyment of your accomplishments. Everything that you worked for, decisions you were making just was sort of tossed in the garbage.
The ending of ME3 boils down to how much War Resources you were willing to grind for, which leads you to a ending that was in every way disconnected from the core of the game - choice. Even the indoctrination theory has its own set of serious issues to contend with.

Endings that at least end to the values of the core of the game still can end up letting people go away happy, even if it wasn't their version of the ending. ME3 fails on every sense of that respect.

I absolutely disagree with you here, Jim. Those Lost fans are clearly both mental and schizophrenic.

I vote that this episode's TRUE ending involves Jim fighting and then having sex with a T-Rex.

Abedeus:

Fr]anc[is:
I was honestly expecting you to just troll and flame bait for 5 minutes. Thank you for not doing that.

He already did that once on youtube.

artanis_neravar:

mjc0961:
Interesting thoughts. I still didn't like the ending, though. :(

Well, let's just put it this way:


If you need proof that he actually said that: http://www.gameinformer.com/b/features/archive/2012/01/10/mass1525-effect-3-cas5ey-fdsafdhudson-interviewae.aspx?PostPageIndex=2

Ok, re-read that quote and tell me where he says you won't be picking from ending A,B,or C. He just says that you won't be able to say which ending you got, which is true because you directly choose which ending is your ending.

I think YOU should re-read that quote. He said that there won't be a situation where you can pick A, B, C and name them.

We can name them.

Or we can give a quote where they promise 16 different endings. Even if you consider 3 Red endings ("Good", Bad, Vaporization) and 2 blue endings, that's 6 endings total (5 + 1 green).

No he said "It's not even in any way like the traditional game endings, where you can say how many endings there are or whether you got ending A, B, or C." Tell me where it says there won't be an A,B,C choice. All he said is that it is not like the traditional game ending where you got this ending or that ending. You chose your ending, you didn't get anything. Also a quick google search gives this

That would be 16 ending.

Lucas is the ultimate troll. As soon as people get over the prequels. Boom....release them with additions. Then all in 3d. You wonder what he will do next? Release the original trilogy where Luke is played by a Labrador?

OT. I'm ok with people being disappointed by the ending of ME3. But demanding it change? That's wrong, isn't that censorship? Isn't that against what everyone bitched about Lucas making changes to his movies?

A most surprising and informative albiet lil depressing episode. On the other hand if ME3 ended like this then I would die happy.

Murmillos:
I disagree to the point with Jim where people are unhappy because the game didn't end the way they wanted it to end. I mean, there will always be that slight disconnect between how the game ends and how you thought it could have ended. You'll always have the feeling of; "What happened with X?" or, "Z just seemed, pointless". But over all, as long as vast majority of people getting a feeling of "closure" or a ending that is 80% fulfilling or meaningful to the story, people will be over all happy and content.

But you see, this shows that Jim is right.
1. You wanted the game to have some closure, or something what was fulfilling or meaningful.
2. Mass Effect, IYO, didn't have this ending.
3. You are upset because of 2
4. Therefore using 1 and 2 - It didn't have the ending you wanted.
5. Therefore using 3 and 4 - You are upset because Mass Effect didn't have the ending you wanted.

and here we go again...

did anyone else notice that except for one person, everyone who posted on this page of the topic pretty much said the exact same thing?

Folks listen, I for one agree, but this is becoming slightly ridiculous!
Somehow I get the feeling that this is how it has to be though...

I heard that the ending is rather sad, with something along the lines of Earth being blown up or Shepard dying for it. Frankly, that's the kind of ending that a novel would have, considering some of the unpopular, yet critically acclaimed, novels I read for my collegiate American Literature class.

Examples of narratives ending on depressing notes include the movie Black Swan and Ernest Hemingway's Snows of Kilimanjaro.

The Admiral:
So everyone keeps ripping on "Retake Mass Effect" as wanting to take it back from someone who apparently stole it but that doesn't make a lick of sense. I think RME means they want to redo Mass Effect like a "retake" in a movie production.

Let me got about 5 margaritas in me and maybe that will start to sound plausible.

Xman490:
I heard that the ending is rather sad, with something along the lines of Earth being blown up or Shepard dying for it. Frankly, that's the kind of ending that a novel would have, considering some of the unpopular, yet critically acclaimed, novels I read for my collegiate American Literature class.

Examples of narratives ending on depressing notes include the movie Black Swan and Ernest Hemingway's Snows of Kilimanjaro.

No one is pissed off at the ending because it's sad (or at least not the majority.) I went into Mass Effect 3 fully expecting a bad ending, because I didn't really see a way to beat the Reapers head on. In fact I think an ending showing a valiant last stand against the Reapers would have been awesome.

What we got instead was an ending that came straight out of left field, basically introducing God in the final minutes, and then telling you to pick button A, B or C. You're literature degree would be appalled at the complete breakdown in narrative structure, pacing, and overall stupidity of the ending.

In short, we're fine with a sad ending. We're not fine with an ending that makes no sense.

I certainly didn't mind ME's ending because of the way things pan out. I think it is sensible for the story to end that way. But the palette swap does tick me off as being a smidgen lazy.

Also, you can't compare Arkham Asylum (an action adventure game) to an RPG like ME. People don't go to Arkham looking for stories--but they got more than they expected, which is why the game was so celebrated. ME...well, I think someone over at RPGamer puts it best--"The ending can be summed up in 2 words: Buy DLC". It's just greedy and shameless.

Sesambrot:
and here we go again...

did anyone else notice that except for one person, everyone who posted on this page of the topic pretty much said the exact same thing?

Folks listen, I for one agree, but this is becoming slightly ridiculous!
Somehow I get the feeling that this is how it has to be though...

You are going to have to clarify what exactly you are talking about.

Michelle Rodriguez of videogames? Say what?

Qitz:
I suppose that is one way to look at it but by god man WHAT DID YOU JUST DO TO SONIC?!

I demand a re-doing of the ending where Jim takes Sonic out to a classy dinner first!

I suppose you're new here. That video clip was taken from another video.

Plus, he did worse. Once he had his pants down while humping the same sonic plushie.

MiracleOfSound:

Eric the Orange:
Jim sterling everyone, the only contributor that has actually gotten in trouble for attitude on the forums. Not that it's unexpected I guess.

Actually I got suspended for 5 days once for attitude on the forum :D

Ah, but was that before or after you became an official contributor.

thank you Jim for seeming to go to lengths to not actually spoil the ending, but rather just talk about the controversy. I personally haven't got a chance to play the game, as March just happened to be a really tight month in terms of money and there are no rental places anymore, but it's impossible not to hear whispers about the ending spoiled when the blowback is this massive.

I'm going to ask some questions that I don't intend to get answers for, and even if I do, I won't read them cause I probably won't come back to this thread, as I really don't WANT the answers until I've played the game, but isn't the controversy basically that it's impossible to save earth? Earth is a no win scenario, so get out your pitchforks? That's what i've gleaned while trying hard to avoid actual spoilers.

But wasn't the purpose to stop the Reapers from destroying all life in the GALAXY? Earth was a rallying cry for humanity and the systems alliance, but wasn't the real threat to galactic civilization? The reapers attacked earth first, of course they annihilated it. Anyone who thought that the reapers would just arrive, and float there above the world waiting for Shepard to stop them is just silly.

And just because the game as shipped had an unsatisfactory ending doesn't mean that there won't be some final closure in the form of DLC. In most cases, I'd find that to be abhorrent - adding extra story stuff and finishing the game in DLC, but Mass Effect has precident for doing just that. Mass Effect 2 did it with the Arrival DLC. And in Mass Effect's case, if ME3 truly is the end of the Trilogy, I would hope that that the DLC would actually be substantial in terms of story, going out with a bang and so forth.

So As it stands now, just knowing the basics of the controversy, I'm not too worried about being disappointed. Now if the only endings involve the destruction of the galaxy, and the whole trilogy was just a lolgag, and it never mattered because the reapers win in the end, that would be disappointing. But I doubt that's the case, and they're just crying because the reapers managed to destroy some planets, including the one the main character lived on.

The Michelle Rodriguez of Videogames? That's quite an interesting comparison, Jim.

It's also a very good comparison.

MonkeyPunch:
You know there's an "old school" thing you can do if you don't like a stories outcome. It's called "fan fiction".

I challenge any of the Mass Effect 3 whiners to write some and then have others scrutinise it.
Better yet I challenge all the Mass Effect 3 whiners to agree on one ME3 fan fiction ending outcome. Let's just see how far they get with that :)

To be honest it'd be an improvement on their time usage and much more productive than making silly and ridiculous groups like the Retake ME thing.

MiracleOfSound:
never promised you a different ending to the one you got.

[edit] someone enlighten me: what ending was promised and where?
(sounds a bit strange off the bat - divulging an ending to a game before it's release...)

http://social.bioware.com/forum/Mass-Effect-3/Mass-Effect-3-Story-and-Campaign-Discussion-Spoilers-Allowed/This-guy-got-the-ending-right--9833130-1.html

Your move Mr. Bond

Edit: Nvm, I assumed you were a fan of ME. The link would mean nothing to you. Sorry!

The devs promised 16 widely diverging endings that would factor what decisions the player made in the storyline across three games. They also said they would not pull a Deus Ex: HR and make the ending a simple a, b, c choice via end-o-matic.

Then they did the exact opposite. The game ignores your choices and gives you 3 endings that are identical save for a palette swap. This is not a joke. Imagine if Bioshock ended the exact same way no matter how many little sisters were harvested. But the water changes color from green to red.

httparkis.deviantart.comartMass-Effect-3-Alternate-Endings-SPOILERS-289902125offset=80#comments

After the sh*t you've posted on DTOID, you, Mr. Sterling, have zero credibility on anything. Too bad, I used to like you.

Enkidu88:

No one is pissed off at the ending because it's sad (or at least not the majority.) I went into Mass Effect 3 fully expecting a bad ending, because I didn't really see a way to beat the Reapers head on. In fact I think an ending showing a valiant last stand against the Reapers would have been awesome.

What we got instead was an ending that came straight out of left field, basically introducing God in the final minutes, and then telling you to pick button A, B or C. You're literature degree would be appalled at the complete breakdown in narrative structure, pacing, and overall stupidity of the ending.

In short, we're fine with a sad ending. We're not fine with an ending that makes no sense.

To clarify, I'm not going for a literature degree, but I know a thing or two because my university requires a whole variety of classes.

As for that bad ending, yeeeeeeahh... now it really makes sense how Jim had that Fable 2 screenshot.

Wow, talk about having the glass half full Jim!

I didn't even consider this. But Yeah, I agree with your point as well!

But then again, I find all fans angry at the ending idiots. Come at me.

Altorin:
thank you Jim for seeming to go to lengths to not actually spoil the ending, but rather just talk about the controversy. I personally haven't got a chance to play the game, as March just happened to be a really tight month in terms of money and there are no rental places anymore, but it's impossible not to hear whispers about the ending spoiled when the blowback is this massive.

I'm going to ask some questions that I don't intend to get answers for, and even if I do, I won't read them cause I probably won't come back to this thread, as I really don't WANT the answers until I've played the game, but isn't the controversy basically that it's impossible to save earth? Earth is a no win scenario, so get out your pitchforks? That's what i've gleaned while trying hard to avoid actual spoilers.

But wasn't the purpose to stop the Reapers from destroying all life in the GALAXY? Earth was a rallying cry for humanity and the systems alliance, but wasn't the real threat to galactic civilization? The reapers attacked earth first, of course they annihilated it. Anyone who thought that the reapers would just arrive, and float there above the world waiting for Shepard to stop them is just silly.

And just because the game as shipped had an unsatisfactory ending doesn't mean that there won't be some final closure in the form of DLC. In most cases, I'd find that to be abhorrent - adding extra story stuff and finishing the game in DLC, but Mass Effect has precident for doing just that. Mass Effect 2 did it with the Arrival DLC. And in Mass Effect's case, if ME3 truly is the end of the Trilogy, I would hope that that the DLC would actually be substantial in terms of story, going out with a bang and so forth.

So As it stands now, just knowing the basics of the controversy, I'm not too worried about being disappointed. Now if the only endings involve the destruction of the galaxy, and the whole trilogy was just a lolgag, and it never mattered because the reapers win in the end, that would be disappointing. But I doubt that's the case, and they're just crying because the reapers managed to destroy some planets, including the one the main character lived on.

Beat the game and see. I was one if the first to write off the movement as comprised of hysterical fanboys. But it all changed during those final 10 minutes. At least the memes that come with it are funny.

Here's to you, Marauder Shields.

Jimothy Sterling:
The Positive Side of Mass Effect 3's Ending Drama

So, fans are up in arms over Mass Effect 3's controversial ending, and there is much misery to be found on the Internet this day. Do not despair though, friends, for your humble Jim Sterling has found the positive side of this entire debacle. The drama surrounding Mass Effect 3 ultimately means good things for videogames. Really? Yes, really!

The happiest man on the Internet explains exactly why. He also doesn't spoil ANYTHING in Mass Effect while he does it ... although he does talk about the end boss of Arkham Asylum, as if that should matter to anybody.

Watch Video

Good vid, but why did you have to ruin Poison Ivy for me.....sure any fantasies I may have had about her would have probably ended in certain death, but at least it would have been worth it!

No, it is not a positive thing, I am afraid.

This videogame has managed to get the same fan rage as Star Wars because it IS Star Wars + Star Trek combined and nothing else. The only way that videogames would trully achieve victory in fan rage is when (for example) Suda51 isn't allowed to make a game as awesome and political as Killer7 or when Legacy of Kain gets a reboot without the guidance of the original writer (Amy Hennings since Soul Reaver 1 and onwards) or when Tim Schafer isn't allowed to make videogames anymore (for whatever reason).

Another example of a well justified fan rage would be the remake to a FPS of Metal Arms: Glitch In The System. Because you know, its not like they are cashing in on a Intellectual Property that was stolen from his creator and DENIED to him.

Now THAT would be something positive, not something as a Star Wars "homage". That its cheating.

Jim, sometimes your brilliant, and sometimes you manage to start out with a premise so inherantly flawed that it ruins anything you might have to say later. In this case the idea that the outcry over the "Mass Effect 3" ending shows that video games have somehow "arrived" due to the outcry... yet really we've seen all this before with say "Final Fantasy VII". FFVII having been what probably actually showed video games becoming a big deal a long time ago, and doing it much the same way by having an absolutly Sh@t ending. An ending I might mention which lived on in video game infamy for a very long time, until the game eventually received the finale it arguably deserved as a full length animated movie called "Advent Children" which didn't satisfy everyone bit was pretty well received by the fan base.

Like a lot of people who defend the industry and writers, you seem to head into the entire "well, they couldn't make everyone happy" defense, the implication that the problem is with the fans rather than the writers, as the fans would have been upset no matter what is done. That's not really the case however. In general a decent ending that doesn't match the preceptions of fans will generally be accepted, with various people saying "that was okay, but I would have done things differantly" and leaving it at that. The kind of hate you see here comes from an ending that is utter crap and manages to piss off the vast majority of people who experience it.

Pointing a finger at Star Wars is kind of a good example on a few levels. For one "Mass Effect" was stated to be the spiritual successor to a Star Wars game called "Knights Of The Old Republic". For another it shows how a proper, well written, ending can redeem a lot of flaws. The sheer awesome inherant in the final battle in Star Wars which tied up the loose ends and saw the redemption of Darth Vader, caused people to receive the movie well despite mocked elements like say... the Ewoks. By the same token a crap ending really CAN destroy entire series by turning them into downers or leaving the watcher unfulfilled. Who the heck wants to watch 120 hours worth of something only to find out it's all futile, the bad guy wins, and everyone dies horrible, pointless deaths? Endings which aren't endings are the worst of all.

Let me make an analogy I've used before.

Let's say your watching the original Star Wars trilogy and everything is like you'd expect up until the finale. Just as Luke is entering the emperor's chamber the screen whites out. Rather than the end of the story with the redemption of Vader and the destruction of the Death Star, and freedom in the bloody galaxy, we're treated to a 70s esque light swirl of the type usually intended to simulate an acid trip. In the middle of the swirl a rainbow hued cartoon platypus appeals and introduces itself as "Mingo" the embodiment of the force. Mingo proceeds to ramble on about the events of the series so far, the natures of the light and dark side of the force, and what might happen here... but being careful to say that what seems to happen might not actually happen, much like Luke's experiences in the cave on Dagobah... oh and maybe he never left the cave. Then the end credits roll... assuming you manage to sit through them (or are paralyzed in shock) you are treated to a scene of some old astronaut with a hippie name like moonbeam and borderline alzheimers on a nature walk with his grandson, who is begging him for another tale of "The Skywalker".

The thing here Jim is that if George Lucas had ended RoJ that way, there would have been no massive continuation of the franchise in anyone's hands, and he never would have had the oomph to get prequels made so he could screw things up. After all who the heck would want to see a prequel to that?

You can't put crap writing on the fans, and an ending that manages to cheeze almost everyone off is always, always a bad thing.

EA/Bioware ignoring people is not the right thing to do here, it's arrogant stupidity, especially if they want a franchise out of it. They are in a position to make things right, much like what happened when "Farscape" got cancelled on a craptastic cliffhanger and they did a mini-series to finish off the series (Peacekeeper Wars) and not have it end on that note. With all of the money EA/Bioware has made there is absolutly no reason why they can't come up with a proper ending, which will by no means be universally loved by every fanboy, but won't be reviled either. Hating the ME3 ending is one of the few things pretty much the entire ME fanbase can agree on (there are of course exceptions, like there are to everything).

I'll also say that unlike TV series like "Lost", "Mass Effect" costs the people playing it money and thus customer satisfaction is a big deal. If this was a movie, you would have had people storming the ticket booths demanding their money back (it has happened before) which would have been blown right back up the chain by theater owners to the production company. You'll notice EA/Bioware doesn't seem to be in a hurry to buy back all the copies of the Mass Effect trilogy they sold. If they were to say offer everyone $60 per game (up to $180 per person) for the software... since this reflects on the whole thing, you might have a point. Right now you can't viably get your ticket refunded and that in of itself puts this in a position differant from movies, or TV (which costs nothing). Part of the reason why there are campaigns that are so extreme to demand "taking back" the series, that investment not just of time but of money does affect how people think in cases like this.

Jim Sterling:

Films several videos discussing various ways in which Publishers and Developer fuck gamers on a daily basis.

Films a video making fun of gamers for taking a stand and saying "No more bullshit."

We're not upset because it didn't end how we wanted it to. We're upset because it didn't end how THEY said it would.

I felt at the barely least it was anti climatic. The biggest issue for several people is they played all three games hoping their decisions would actually mean something in the final battle. I beat it already and started to replay it but you miss some characters completely if you don't see them in time so its not really worth the effort.

**Minor spoiler alert**
People complain is because they just don't understand the ending.
By picking the synthesis option you reveal the true focus of the entire trilogy.
Joker finally gets laid!

It's still the answer to all this controversy.... :)
*

I'm also in the camp waiting for DLC to "fix" my ending, at least for one of my Shepard.... Oh yes I have many, 3 that has been since ME 1 all of them with different choices...
But honestly the ride is worth the empty feeling I had in the end.
Now give me my DLC take my money and start building the next space opera...

Jim, you're full of shit if you're thinking that it's arrogant that the petition for better endings is called "Retake Mass Effect."

The fact that you basically voice the opinion "It's Bioware's work, so their vision is what matters" when they make VIDEO GAMES, which are about satisfying the CUSTOMER...

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