The Big Picture: Mutants and Masses

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ThreeKneeNick:
What made the Mass Effect ending into a controversy is this need for everyone on both sides to have their word be the final one, and thus Bob having an irresistible urge to ruin a perfectly good episode of The big Picture by saying nothing we haven't heard already dozens of times.

I think this man is on to some thing...

MovieBob, capable of switching from respectably endowed with knowledge to completely missing the point faster that the flash can run since 2010.

Jaebird:
Geez. Haven't seen this much of an outcry over fictional media since... Lost?

At least people forgot about it within two weeks for that one, even if they were only mad because they the weekly format for the show meant things that are vital to the actual understanding of the show get played as itsy bitsy unimportant events that people forgot happened until they realized they should have been paying attention.

Goddamnit, Bob. Thanks for going on a Mass Effect rant, even after doing an entire episode of your long-since-ruined Game Overthinker show. -_-

Static Jak:

wootsman:


This best explains the whole Mass Effect 3 controversy.

That was actually pretty good.

That was fucking brilliant, reposting so that more people can see this.

The Gentleman:

Stalydan:

The Gentleman:
I have said it before and I will say it again: What was so bad about the ME3 ending?

Lack of closure and elements that conflict with those already established in the rest of the game and series overall. They were so many parts of the ending that could be picked apart by saying "Wait, did I disprove that before?" and then having such a vague epilogue that doesn't really give you reasons for why a lot of the stuff you're seeing is happening.

But that alone isn't really deserving of the insane amount of rage generated by this. Sure, it's got a broad and somewhat undefined ending, but, as it was clear well before the game was shipped, there are more Mass Effect games coming. Covering every [surviving] companion's ending would be much more clunky and expository in a way that doesn't add to the narrative or story whatsoever.

Did you ever watch the end of Children of Man? The ending is about as vague and as non-conclusive you can get for a movie with a rich lore and narrative behind it, but it worked because it relied on the audience to fill in the details (was he dead? What was the ship? What happened to the rest of the world, etc.).

Stalydan:
Disregarding the fact there is no option to refuse, it's really weird that nobody pulled the writer of it over it to say "The ending doesn't fit with the rest of the game". Then again, hearing the rumors about the ending generated by one of the writers, it sounds a lot like Casey Hudson didn't talk about the planned ending much.

Shepard's end is documented and there is no way that she is going to refuse and completely walk away from three options, each of which would end the cycle of the reapers. It may not be the ending you wanted, but it was fairly clear throughout the game, in my opinion, that the Crucible was going to be that kind of McGuffan.

The question that results always when you complain about an ending is this: how would you have ended it? It's one thing to complain, but how do you end a narrative arch where the entire last game is a third act? You realize the moment that you hit that first dream that Shepard is not walking away from this one, so how do you end her life in a way that brings closure to her story (not necessarily the story of the galaxy as a whole)?

Ahhhh you had a Fem Shep. Good on you. I'm going to do a playthrough one day as her but I need to play ME2 again before that.

My Shepard had already faced so many of his own problems. He'd been raised on the colony on Mindoir that had been raided by slavers and then enlisted in the Alliance. He held off the Batarians on Elysium single-handedly and became a War-Hero. Even after all the things that happened with Reapers, he still survived. I always believed that even in the worst, as a soldier, he'd either win or go down fighting. One of the big points for me with that was with Tali on Rannoch; at that point, I was fighting as much for her as much as I was fighting for Earth. After making closure with her story and that romance option, it felt right that Shepard could die now but only if it would make a good difference.

But after finding out what the Catalyst would do, all that time spent with Legion and Tali and seeing how they could work together felt like it had much more meaning, especially when Legion sacrificed himself so the Geth could become better and help the Quarians. I really did not want to let that go but I'd promised myself that I'd destroy the Reapers and end the cycle. If the game reinforced any points about the series for it was that "Nothing is impossible and everything is achievable". After gathering my huge fleet and people willing to lay down their lives for Shepard's cause, it felt so wrong that my Shepard would abandon them all on Earth without the Mass Relays and, in my case, destroy all Synthetic life. I could easily have seen them having a last stand against the Reapers but it didn't play out like that, instead I didn't even get to do that or see the effect of my actions that had been built up for three games. It's why I disappointed. I think some of the things that people done in response to it have been stupid but I don't think the reaction to it was unjustified; it was quite a let-down for a game that had built up for years.

I'm fully supporting a new ending. Not taking away from the original ones but expanding on them as to what is going on during those last bits. Sometimes being vague works but other times it just doesn't. I feel this is one is of the latter. I also support adding more options to it. Refusing is what a lot of fans felt Shepard should be able to do. Taking risks has always been something that he does and I think after taking all that time to assemble the biggest military force in the history of the galaxy, Shepard could rely on those people to stand their ground against the Reapers. He could trust his crew to lead the fights, take down the enemy and even win. It'd have its costs but when I compare it to the rest of the decisions, it's the logical one that I'm surprised you weren't allowed to take. The others aren't down to chance but that one is. That was what my Shepard would do and it's why I was sad that that wasn't his end.

Full Disclosure; I have not played Mass Effect 1, 2, or 3. I have been watching this from the sidelines. I do not intend to play Mass Effect 1,2, or 3. My exposure to the series is the snippets i read on the escapist and elsewhere, And also the let's play series "Spoiler Warning" on shamusyoung.com.

From where i'm sitting i'm seeing a disconnect between the creators and consumers. Everyone who makes something sees the Mass Effect thing as a threat to creative risk. I don't think that that is really what's being railed against here. Especially because most of those creators aren't fans of the series, so i don't think they have a good perspective to talk about the issue.

And i think that fans are not unified enough and as always the loudest are the most radical.

I don't think so much that Mass Effect players want the end to change. Most i think would agree that the ship has sailed and even if they did change the end it would be hollow and rushed and stupid. The problem is the game was built on system that said
-you make choices and those choices affect the outcome.
-your choices do matter.
-and each choice will bring a different outcome.

And then the directors and creators and advertisers all said those things. And the end of the game gave no choice, or at most choices that didn't matter. Take note that the FTC complaint isn't that the game or the ending sucked, it was that promises were made and then broken. that a game was falsely advertised. and that in my book is a legitimate complaint.

The problem is that the choices all have the same outcome (basically), and that every single person get the same choices. Same choices a, b, or c, regardless of playstyle, paragon/renegade meter, the armada strength thing..., how you ended the first two games, or any choice you made in any of the games. I not saying that they should change the ending, but i do think that someone should stand up and dole out honest answers. Which theoretically is what an FTC complaint would do. Bad endings wouldn't be anything new in this medium. I we've all shielded ourselves against such disappointments, but a game that advertised itself a certain way, played a certain way and was told would be a certain way and then does a complete 180 turn at the end? Thats more than just a lack of closure, plot hole sealant, and affirmation of theme, thats false advertising.

Tl;Dr ; I don't think a new ending should be made, but i do think the FTC complaint is legitimate.

And as for the turtles, doin' my level best to not care.

GamerMage:

MovieBob:
Mutants and Masses

MovieBob goes into detail about the difference between artists and fans.

Watch Video

So,you just want us to shut up and take it? NO. Just no. I'll voice my opinion if I want,thank you very much. I just didn't expect you of all people,to say something so stupid,so arrogant. You ever heard of Sherlock Holmes? He died once. He's better now,but the reasoning behind the reappearance? The fans. I like and respect you,Bob,but you haven't played the games,and well,know next to nothing (broad claim,I know,but you haven't proved otherwise) about Mass Effect. You can do better,Bob. If you can persuade me that One More Day isn't as bad as people say it is,then....yeah.

He didn't tell you to not voice your opinion you muppet so stop putting words in people's mouths. Moviebob is of the opinion that if you didn't like the ending you should make that painfully clear. However, that will never give you the right to demand a new ending. And for your information Arthur Conan Doyle didn't bring back Holmes because of his fans, he brought him back because his mum asked him to. Maybe you could read a little more before talking about what you know nothing about next time. Then again, you don't really listen to whatever anybody else says so why would you listen to me?

Revolutionaryloser:

GamerMage:
You ever heard of Sherlock Holmes? He died once. He's better now,but the reasoning behind the reappearance? The fans.

And for your information Arthur Conan Doyle didn't bring back Holmes because of his fans, he brought him back because his mum asked him too. Maybe you could read a little more before talking about what you know nothing about next time.

honestly i thought it was about the money.

All I want to say about the Mass Effect thing is this: I'm not upset because the devs made a shitty ending. I'm upset because the Mass Effect series has been advertised in such a way that one could reasonably believe the dozens (hell, nearly a hundred) of choices you make per game actually have some kind of meaning and will determine how the epic trilogy finally resolves. And when BioWare said "check it bitches, we have 16 unique and totally rad endings" I thought to myself, well yay! A game company is actually following through with their promises for a change (I'm looking at you Skyrim)! And then we find out that not only is the ending bad, but all sixteen endings are basically the exact same. That's pretty much false advertisement of the most severe degree. That's two hundred dollars of hard-earned cash blown up in my face. That's half-assing something that you KNOW will make you filthy rich regardless. That's what's wrong with the industry right now. Nobody's pushing the boundaries, everybody's turning out another sequel each year, and when one game finally tries to change that, backed by the excellent writing we've come to know and love from games like Baldur's Gate (not Dragon Age), but then they also not only cave into including useless (albeit, actually decent in this rare case) multi player in a previously dedicated single player experience, just to ensure both single player and multi player DLC sales in the future, and cater to the Cod crowd, but then give the actual fans of the series one of the worst endings imaginable? Yeah, no, people have a right to be mad, and all too many voices in the video game community are adopting a pretentious tone and claiming that nobody has a right to express their distaste towards one of the most important decisions BioWare has made in the last decade.

Are some of the fans overreacting? Of course. But hey, apparently they're going to sell us a new ending in DLC now, so guess what, everybody loses, not just the fans. I guess we'll drag them to hell with us, if we have to.

Dansen:

Static Jak:

wootsman:


This best explains the whole Mass Effect 3 controversy.

That was actually pretty good.

That was fucking brilliant, reposting so that more people can see this.

Yeah. This guy really knows what he is talking about. He says it straight. Like when he told Jennifer Hepler she was a fat cow who had to lay off the cakes and stop writing yaoi fanfiction. That taught the bitch. This is one really mature and intelligent individual and we could really gain from listening to his wise opinions.

Baby Tea:

Frank_Sinatra_:
Remember: BioWare has stated that their fans are equal creators in the story along with their actual writing staff.

Fans are equal creators in the same way that readers of 'choose your own adventure' books are equal authors.
Read: They aren't.

"But they SAID we are!"
Yeah! And the cover of my 'Choose your own Adventure' book says I pick where the character goes!

But even IF every choice I make in the book ends up at the same, unsatisfying conclusion on the final page, the bottom line is: That's how it was written. I might not like it, and I might even feel cheated, but that's the creator's choice. I can not buy from them again, I can critique it like crazy, I can even bitch about it on the internet, but to DEMAND that a creator, that an artist CHANGE THEIR WORK because I am unsatisfied is the height of self-entitled bullshit.

No, it's not false advertising.
No, they don't owe you a thing.

Geez, I'd be happy with another bullshit 'boycott' rather than this garbage.
People need to grow up. Seriously.

Actually, one could fairly argue that your post is the very height of self-entitled bullshit.

It seems as though you are the type of person who thinks that stating something categorically in a no-nonsense tone automatically makes you correct. If someone has the temerity to disagree you raise your voice and state it louder. Then, if resistance still remains you'll insult their intelligence/gender. Finally, when it becomes clear someone still doesn't agree with your revealed truth, you'll strawman or ad hominem them.

I am certian you're a blast at a party.

I understand where you are coming from, there are some immature elements to the whole retake mass effect, but I suspect that your tone does not go a long way toward developing some sort of dialogue to help others recognize the flaws in their argument. Much as my immature diatribe will fail to do the same with you.

People care about the ending, they feel the ending delivered was more Molyneux than Miracle on Ice. Promises were made by the developer which were either not met or blatantly ignored. That has nothing to do with art and everything to do with false advertising. If I bought a game where the developer was on record stating that the ending would absolutely not boil down to a simple three-way ending, where I was told all along choice mattered and the final product was a three-way ending where my choices did not ultimately matter - then yes, they owe me something - the PRODUCT they promised. If I bought a car that was supposed to go 100mph, and all of the advertisement said it went 100mph; where in reality the car's top speed was 50mph, I'd sue the manufacturer. Lots of people say cars are art, should automakers be immune? Do they not owe me a functioning car because they are really art and as such inviolate?

I'm not saying I'm right, but I am categorically denying that you are.

Klitch:

laserwulf:

Klitch:

I'm not so sure about us being the minority here (Poll 1)(Poll 2).

As to your last question, unfortunately I would say yes. The defining point of the entire Mass Effect trilogy was that you got to shape the galaxy with your actions and choices. This is literally THE driving force behind the game right up until the last 10 minutes of a 100+ hour journey where every decision you have ever made is rendered moot and you push one of three buttons to get one of three differently colored, but otherwise identical, cutscenes with no closure, no explanation, and no resolution (not to mention numerous newly-introduced plot holes).

To be clear the first 99% of ME3 is, in my book, one of the greatest games I've ever played, but I literally can't bring myself to go back and play any of the trilogy again knowing that nothing that I do matters in the slightest and every mystery and plot arc that I start will forever remain unfinished. This is a sentiment I've heard reflected in many places. I don't want a new ending; you can't un-write what has been written. I'm disappointed that this is how what is arguably the greatest RPG series ever made had to end, but I can deal with that. The lies, though...

The only thing those polls show is that the majority of people who answered that poll are dissatisfied. And who's more likely to take the time to visit a developer's forum and answer a poll about what content should be added to the story, those who are content (or even happy) with the game, or those who are displeased or angry?

Once I get near the ending of ME3, I'm going to just turn my 360 off, so as to not negate the fun I've had getting to that point.

Honestly, that is probably a brilliant idea, but I don't mean to ruin the experience for you. You should definitely finish the game (especially if you have plugged in hundreds of hours into a carried-over save) because you might not hate the ending. I honestly don't understand how anybody could have possibly been satisfied by it, but some people have claimed as much. You should form your own opinion.

Also, I know those polls aren't scientific by any means, but when 97% of nearly 70,000 people on a forum that is owned and operated by the people who made the game express their dissatisfaction, I'm inclined to believe that we are actually the majority in this case. My own qualitative observation of various forums and media outlets (as well as my own exceedingly negative opinion of the ending itself) would seem to support this viewpoint. But it really doesn't matter which "side" has more people. I think everyone agrees that the entire situation is exceedingly unfortunate.

Edit: I should have mentioned that the prompt for Poll 1 has spoilers, sorry about that.

I was being sarcastic about intentionally not watching the ending. :|

Anyways, EA has apparently sent 3.5 million copies of ME3 to retailers, and sold 890,000 copies just in North America, in just the first 24 hrs. ~70,000 people may seem like a lot, but that's still less than 8% of the fans so devoted that they bought the game as soon as possible. And who do you think is going to be more vocal with either their praise or hatred than the die-hard fans? Equipped with this knowledge of a lackluster ending, more recent buyers and the entire European market may approach the game with more moderate expectations. I'll be honestly surprised if that 8% goes anywhere but down over time.
http://venturebeat.com/2012/03/08/electronic-arts-reveals-new-mass-effect-3-and-star-wars-mmo-numbers/

[Don't worry about spoilers, I don't freak out about them since I still want to know a narrative gets to such points. Thanks, though.]

Agreed MovieBob. I played ME3 and the ending did suck bad BUT then I realize its just a video game and there's no reason to get upset over it. In 10 years you won't even be playing the damn thing anyways and whatever "choices" that felt so important to you in the now won't matter when you're playing Rass Defect or whatever new games will be out in the future. So please, everybody just calm the fuck down :(

Revolutionaryloser:
This is one really mature and intelligent individual and we could really gain from listening to his wise opinions.

Delicious sarcasm is delicious.

Hmm, almost 400 comments on the day the video came out? I can only assume this means perhaps a few people are angry with what he's said.

-this line separates the time before and the time after watching this episode-

Yeah, I'm gonna go with people being pretty mad about this. Oh well, that's the internet for ya. Toodles!

In all seriousness though, this isn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I haven't read every single post here because I have important things to do like check e-mail, watch DVD commentary and secretly wish that Tron: Legacy had actually sucked just so we could all call it the "New Tron Bomb."

I thought that compared to some episodes where Bob has something to specifically say to us...this was one of the less insulting ones. I usually find myself agreeing with Bob, sometimes I don't. Sometimes even when I do agree with him on stuff like hating certain movies, I can still think he goes too far (for instance: Bob...I KNOW you don't like the Transformers movies. I don't either. You don't have to mention it so much...)

But this one I thought was a pretty well written, calmly spoken episode. He wasn't saying "Hey ME fans, if you didn't like ME3's ending, you're stupid and suck it up." He was just pointing out that certain factions of the internet are taking the rage about it just a little bit too far. And if you can't even agree with that then...I feel like anything I say here could get me reported, so I'll just drop it.

I kinda have mixed feelings about the whole Mass Effect debacle. One the one hand, from what I hear, the ending is stupid, but... it still rubs me the wrong way. I think EA had something to do with how it turned out, though.

(And now I'm reminded of the whole "Save Derpy Hooves" issue. Sheesh, people never learn, do they?)

As for the "Teenage Alien Ninja Turtles" thing, well, technically, the turtles have an alien-related origin... but making them aliens seems to be going a bit far...

(Personally, I liked the '03 cartoon - at least until they went into the future and it got all stupid - but to each their own, I guess.)

Bob, here's the thing: If you commission a painted family portrait, you expect that all of your family members that sat for the painting will be, you know... painted. If the artist runs out of time and pencils in a stick figure of Grandma at the last minute, you're going to tell him to go fix it. The fact that the rest of the family is incredibly lifelike and detailed only goes to show that the artist is capable of doing much, much better than a stick figure of Grandma.

If the artist tells you that the Grandma stick figure is his artistic vision, and your insistence that he finish the painting is an affront to his artistic integrity, you might demand your money back.

That is the situation with Mass Effect 3. The issue isn't whether or not I like the ending, the issue is whether or not there actually is an ending, in the context of the rest of the game. The story line and narratives are carefully developed and the consistency maintained throughout three games, then at the end they just add something that doesn't make sense, doesn't fit the context, doesn't reflect the quality of the series overall.

Now, I didn't commission the game, and no one should ever change a consumer product based on my dissatisfaction. When more than half of respondents on every forum or poll are telling you that the ending is some half-assed thrown-together shit, though, maybe 'critics' like you need to get the hell out of the way and let BioWare have their do-over.

It's pretty clear at this point that the ending we got was a result more than anything of simply running out of time--EA had a release schedule that BioWare Edmonton had to abide by. If Casey Hudson and his team had been able to spend some more time with this game a lot of things would have been different, and I think most of us know that the end would have been one of them. This piece of shit does not reflect anyone's "artistic vision," it reflects someone's budget.

I want to see what the Mass Effect developers can come up with now that they've been given a little more time and chance to take a Mulligan on the ending of ME3. I don't have to like the ending for it to be good, but it does need to reflect the quality of the rest of the game and series.

In other words, the artist doesn't have to make Grandma beautiful, but he does need to actually paint Grandma.

MovieBob is still missing the point that BioWare didn't deliver on ANY of their promises. Thus customers were mislead, into buying something they thought would be one thing, but turned out to be something completely different and infested with plotholes.

RaikuFA:

370999:
So once again Bob doesn't understand the difference between games and movies. And misrepresents the retake ME movement. Standard stuff from him them.

Considering people are demanding donations back, making death threats and making BBB complaints over it, hes a bit justified. Hes just saying those above three make all fans of something look bad.

Aren't we kind of above letting a few bad eggs define the whole group? Isn't that the entire point of the "Gamers aren't basement dwellers, don't let the few 12 year olds on xbox live define us" argument?" If Bob lets the few wackos define the Retake Group, then that's being a hypocritical.

I'm honestly shocked how little Bob has looked into this conflict. He's honestly one of my favorite contributors to the Escapist, but his ignorance in this matter is pretty appalling.

Revolutionaryloser:
He didn't tell you to not voice your opinion you muppet so stop putting words in people's mouths. Moviebob is of the opinion that if you didn't like the ending you should make that painfully clear. However, that will never give you the right to demand a new ending. And for your information Arthur Conan Doyle didn't bring back Holmes because of his fans, he brought him back because his mum asked him to. Maybe you could read a little more before talking about what you know nothing about next time. Then again, you don't really listen to whatever anybody else says so why would you listen to me?

Let's just be clear about one thing here - BioWare asked. Yes, they did.

One of the characteristics of recent BioWare games is the DLC that is made available after release. One of the things that BioWare does is ask for--and consider--fan feedback for their DLC. They're kind of known for it. Fans asking for DLC that adds more options to the ending, or makes the ending make sense, or just makes the ending suck less, has to be considered within that context.

DLC changes the game. The only DLC currently available for Mass Effect 3 adds a new character available as a member of your squad for almost all missions who adds story context on certain missions (like Thessia) that fills out the story. Other developers have offered DLC that completely changed the ending of their games.

When BioWare asks what DLC their fans want to see, and the fans respond that they want something like "Broken Steel," who the hell are these reviewers to come in and criticize? BioWare is always free to stop listening, you know.

Hey Bob, try doing a little research next time first. Stop lumping everyone in with the fringe groups. Your ego is getting planet sized now.

Frozengale:
You got burned, but you entered into the social contract, you signed on the dotted line.

Generally I try to be polite whenever possible, but nothing short of mocking derision really suffices here. You should not be wielding these sorts of concepts if you have absolutely no idea of their meaning or the context to which they belong.

The Gentleman:
I have said it before and I will say it again: What was so bad about the ME3 ending?

I don't know whether or not this has been replied to, but thank you for being polite :)

The main reason this whole debacale occured is because of an built up emphasis on YOU and YOUR CHOICES thoughout the series, ME3 ending though doesn't emphasize YOUR CHOICES insted it does something really weird and makes all of those choices moot and kills the universe at the same time, thus the ending (it is also the climax) is non-reflective of the 130+ hours piece of art that is Mass Effect.

All the fans are doing is telling bioware they can make it amazing, and giving them the chance to fix it; sometimes quality trumps artistic integrity; which is why you never could sell a picture of stick figures- even though you think it is the best picture in the entire world

Analogy:
Books: building a great story, then just as the climax happens; an astroid hits

Movies: Just as the hero is beating up the bad guy or getting the love intrest, an criminal comes up to him and kills him, then it shows the L.I with someone else, or the bad guy robbing a bank; CREDITS

Painting: Just as the masterpiece is finished the artist puts a stick figure over a central part of the painting

@Gxas Excellent observation!

Only episode of any of Movie Bob's that I disliked.

ME3 fans are angry they got lied to, told their decisions would have an effect at the end, blah blah blah, someone else has already said it better.

camazotz:
I am speechless...kudos to Movie Bob, but holy cow, it's like he laid it all out and then everyone on the Escapist (and that facebook thingy) went ahead and decided to carry out a live demonstration of crazed, maniacal fans at work.

You know, I absolutely hate this.

I live in a primarily white neighborhood, and in my school there was only one black kid. Everyone would constantly say (even the teachers) that blacks are such aggressive beasts. I'm not joking. They would constantly put him down, and say blacks are always so angry.

It bugged this poor kid that he got bullied by everyone just based on his race, one day he punched a kid who was mocking him in the face 3 times.

He got suspended, and everyone just said "See, blacks are angry and violent".

I propose a question, what disagreement statement could I say that wouldn't be called "a demonstration of crazed, maniacal fans at work". If I agree with the premise, I'm fine. If I disagree, I'm a fanboy.

Because, I'm a very casual player of Mass Effect, I like the series, and I like the games. But I really don't like being lied to by devs, and being told it wouldn't just be an ABC ending, and then it was.

Shepard is written with a Hesiod-ic. A Cassandra Syndrome, "the kid" is for-shadowing, to the inevitable conclusion. A Chekov's gun.

The Dream Sequences, are tropes from Gaius Baltar of BSG, complete with many other rip's of that franchise. Hall of the Dead, "It's in the Frakin Ship", Kera Thrace "Kara Remembers" so on and so forth. Gaius isn't convinced that he "ISN'T a cylon, until much later in the BSG story".

When everything is revealed.

We never got the reveal. So we are left with a plot hole.

He is convinced that "God's Hand" is at work, as he frequently has visions of 6, just as Shep has visions of the God A.I. Gaius also IS an angel for the Cylon's 6 but this is never seen in the ME universe. So all we have is a 1 sided version.

Indoctrination, to me, is a vestigial tail, like dark energy, that was never fully realized in any meaningful or coherent way. Had it of been, we could of witnessed a trope of the Cassandra Syndrome, played in reverse, and had Shepard call BS on the "Hand of God" fate.

But that would be contrary to the "massive" retcon's of the universe given in ME3.

(It would of been sweet though) a true M. Night Shyamalan moment, but no, that is not what happens.

We could go with Philip K. Dick, and say "Total Recall", but that hurts more than helps in many respects. "If this is a dream, I don't want to wake up".

The catalyst, like the Trojan Horse, could be seen as the "final solution", but we have to know some Greek myth stories to really work that angle. Unfortunately, it ITSELF has to be "self-created", which in turn makes the case that it created the reapers.

Another plot hole. As no exposition is given as to WHY the catalyst exist in the first place, other than "it chooses to be".

That "it" had this plan all along, is plausible, if we simply accept that Shepard, is the chosen one, the Ubermensch a "Roy Batty vs. Tyrel", Lobster-Buddha, or Robo-Genetic-Jesus. This gets us into some "hard determinism" and "predestination" problems on both philosophical levels, and narrative levels. It happens when we play with Deus Ex Machina literary devices.

The cycle is no cycle, once the supreme organic comes to the rescue... again, a metaphysical problem, as the God A.I. never posits "why" organic life is important on any level.

What is so special about Shepard? Is he messianic or not?

We choose Ubermensch and "God" is dead. Cycle is broken. For a time? Who knows? -Roy Batty- Bladerunner- was Harrison Ford a replicant?

We choose Buddha, and we go to the void, with the reapers, as a reaper, and we escape Samsara. Samsara still exist, but WE get out. - Babylon 5 Sheridan Experience (this is rather contrary to Buddhist teachings though). Pop Culture version... go figure.

We choose Genetic Jesus, problem solved, diversity is ended, A.I. is no longer a threat, as it is no longer divergent from "God's Plan". - Battle Star Galactica - Hera

Legion helps us with this... but the "end game" writers, perhaps pressed for time, perhaps not as well versed as they could of been, ignore that explanation.

We just have to accept it. Just as Shepard, free from agency, has to accept "God's" explanation.

Alas, what we have is the Hesiod argument that even Zeus, cannot bend Fate for Achilles. Much as with any messianic archetype, Shep, has to kick the bucket. The "breath" plays off the Matrix - Neo ending, which in some ways could be seen as acknowledging the material, but taking it a different direction.

What is the God kid, other than Col. Sanders from the Matrix?

It struck me as last minute.

I would also add that we never fully see the destruction of the citadel, just the catalyst core.

I find the whole thing sloppy, poorly handled, poorly written... but that's my take.

There was (to me) a better narrative here... and it just slipped through the collective fingers of the writing staff.

Sorry... I guess?

I sort of liked the ending, more I liked the idea of the ending, but I don't think that Bioware handled it too well in the closure department. It is very important to note, Bob, that Bioware never said it was "changing" the ending, more they're adding onto it to give fans more closure.

That being said, yeah, people REALLY need to calm down about the ending. Yes, it was and a, b, c, or d choice, which they said it wouldn't be. Was it lying? Well, from what I hear, most of the bioware team wasn't too happy with the ending, so they might have planned to have not such a simple ending. I cannot see why people are saying how it destroys the series, even if the ending was as bad as they make it out to be, It still wouldn't ruin the entire series for me.

permacrete:

Revolutionaryloser:
He didn't tell you to not voice your opinion you muppet so stop putting words in people's mouths. Moviebob is of the opinion that if you didn't like the ending you should make that painfully clear. However, that will never give you the right to demand a new ending. And for your information Arthur Conan Doyle didn't bring back Holmes because of his fans, he brought him back because his mum asked him to. Maybe you could read a little more before talking about what you know nothing about next time. Then again, you don't really listen to whatever anybody else says so why would you listen to me?

Let's just be clear about one thing here - BioWare asked. Yes, they did.

One of the characteristics of recent BioWare games is the DLC that is made available after release. One of the things that BioWare does is ask for--and consider--fan feedback for their DLC. They're kind of known for it. Fans asking for DLC that adds more options to the ending, or makes the ending make sense, or just makes the ending suck less, has to be considered within that context.

DLC changes the game. The only DLC currently available for Mass Effect 3 adds a new character available as a member of your squad for almost all missions who adds story context on certain missions (like Thessia) that fills out the story. Other developers have offered DLC that completely changed the ending of their games.

When BioWare asks what DLC their fans want to see, and the fans respond that they want something like "Broken Steel," who the hell are these reviewers to come in and criticize? BioWare is always free to stop listening, you know.

Ha. Broken Steel. That's like code language for "stop listening to me. I am either trolling you, crazy, competely stupid or I just heard another rabid fanboy mention Broken Steel and thought I would just throw it in see what happens."

I'm out.

Sentox6:

Frozengale:
You got burned, but you entered into the social contract, you signed on the dotted line.

Generally I try to be polite whenever possible, but nothing short of mocking derision really suffices here. You should not be wielding these sorts of concepts if you have absolutely no idea of their meaning or the context to which they belong.

Sorry I used the wrong term. Sue me, and whine more. What I was trying to say is that when you buy the game, you are accepting it as it is. People were saying that Bioware was breaking promises, but that isn't true. They promised a game, they gave the consumer a game. The promise was kept, the figurative "contract" was upheld. That's why I used that term, I forgot it meant something else. When a consumer buys a product they are legally obligated to receive the item. Bioware promised this and delivered. Just because you don't like it doesn't mean that you deserve something else.

So please forgive me oh wise internet guru, I will now go scourge myself because obviously in your eyes misusing a term is a horrible sin.

EDIT- I just realized I shouldn't have said "Sue me". I'm dealing with Mass Effect people here. They might actually try to do so.

Bob I don't agree with movements like "Retake Mass Effect", but if you think that these two scenarios are comparable then you have fundamentally failed to understand the situation.
I don't think the issue is because you have not really paid attention to the games, I think it's because you didn't pay attention to Bioware.

Dansen:

Static Jak:

wootsman:


This best explains the whole Mass Effect 3 controversy.

That was actually pretty good.

That was fucking brilliant, reposting so that more people can see this.

That was a very good video

TornadoADV:

How can a game get perfect scores and nobody except those that reviewed after release date mentions this? Because it exposes a conflict of interest between game reviewers and game companies.

This, I beieve, is the important point to take away from the debacle, not this nonsense about "whiny" fans, as it further exposes the likelihood that something is horribly rotten with game journalism. Were Mass Effect 3 a book or a film, many critics would have savaged the ending, yet I don't recall reading a single review on release day that addressed even one of the dozens of issues with the ending. I'm not saying that the endings are objectively bad, but look at the Escapists own review. Not a single moment of attention is given to the ending, unless one counts a brief "it's the ending the series deserves" in the opening paragraph, which is more likely just a comment on the game as a whole. Surely such an important part of a finale, whether good or bad, is worthy of more analysis than that?

Then as the fans get uppity, the industry media at large opens up with a broadside of ad hominems, absurd strawmen and bogus appeals to artistic integrity, the latter of which is particularly laughable when one considers the furor surrounding Mass Effect: Deception, not two months before ME3's release. For those who may have forgotten, Bioware released a book riddled with an insane number of continuity and canon discrepancies, there was a huge fan outcry, and Bioware apologised and pledged to have the book rewritten. I don't recall anyone rallying to the defence of William C. Dietz's artistic freedom, nor did I see any hysterical slippery slope arguments about setting novels back a decade as an artform, and yet the situations are far from incomparable.

The whole situation indicates to me that the mainstream reviewers either fail to notice the problems with the ending, or are unwilling to bite the hand that feeds. When the only explanations are incompetence or complicity... well, as I said before; something is rotten.

As a minor but related digression, I personally see the anger directed at the ending as vindication for the games-as-art crowd. Look at what most of us are arguing about. It isn't the gameplay, it's the story. We're arguing over the games artistic merits. We're treating it as though it were any other piece of art. We're expecting a game to live up to the narrative standards of books and films. Is that not a good thing?

Digression 2; I'd just finished writing the above when my laptop decided to restart. Not to update, just a random unprompted restart. Thankfully what I'd written remained when I reopened firefox, otherwise I suspect my rage levels would have reached the fiery peaks of the more virulent commenters on the ending subject.

Nicolairigel:
Well, from what I hear, most of the bioware team wasn't too happy with the ending, so they might have planned to have not such a simple ending.

Most of the quotes come from Casey Hudson, the project director. Most of the dissatisfaction (which is rumoured) came from the WRITERS.

So the people making the promises (largely, person) were the ones (one) least in a position for that to work. And the writers being dissatisfied, if true, does not make any of this less a lie.

rayen020:

honestly i thought it was about the money.

The reason is inconclusive, though I told my mum the "his mom made him do it" one, because it would amuse her.

However, I will posit this to those who say "the fans weren't responsible:"

Arthur Conan Doyle made a choice that, if played fairly and equally in context to Mass Effect 3 getting a new ending, would have been considered by the same people to be "caving in" and "hurting the media's artistic integrity."

Doyle had a choice, and so does the Bioware team. They can listen to the fans or not, but if the internet were around during Doyle's time, he might well have received identical criticism, regardless.

It's ultimately their choice, but they would be wise to listen when this many fans are outraged. Just ignore the Moviebob strawman that people were unhappy because the ending was not to their exact specifications. And Doyle may have done it for the money, since he could pretty much write his own check at that point. The tricky thing is, the most circulated stories about him (for the fans, for the money, for his mum) all have one thing in common:

They were not for the art. The crux of the original message nested in the quotes would point against the whole "artistic integrity" thing.

This seems a bigger issue than specifically whether he did it for the fans or the cash.

Has Re-take Mass Effect gone too far?

Maybe.

But defending a shoddy, lazy final product under the banner of "artistic integrity" is just plain wrong. All art is created for an audience; this is doubly so for "art" that is meant to be consumed by a large audience. If said "art" fails to connect or resonate with the audience, it has failed.

Secondly, Bob falls into the Video Games=Movies logical trap. Video games audiences differ from cinema on a functional level; watching a two hour movie is a very different experience than playing a 20+ hour video game. Gamers are used to shaping stories more actively and expect the freedom to do so.

Finally, on a commercial level, Bioware cannot afford to plug their ears go "LA LA LA, ARTISTIC INGEGRITY 2DEEP4U!" A Sizable chunk of their customer base is pissed off and seriously disinclined to support future Bioware games. Do they need to change the ending? No. But they can't just go into full denial mode. They have to address this. They have to please their customers or they might not have customers to screw over in the future.

Wait.

"Artists need to be able to take risks as freely as possible."

Since when? I make video games. Trust me, COMMERCIAL ART is for the player's enjoyment, NOT OURS. And if they want it changed, we CHANGE it.

Shakespeare changed his plays due to audience reactions. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle brought Sherlock Holmes back from the dead after fans demanded he undo the death. Charles Dickens wrote a happier ending to "Great Expectations" after his readers expressed their dissatisfaction with it. Herman Melville added in a chapter of "Moby Dick" to fix plotholes and plot threads he overlooked.

Leonardo Da Vinci was paid to make 99% of his art, and there are hundreds of rejected drafts that his patrons disliked before they found the draft they did like. He was a slave to the whims of the people paying for his art and skill.

People have invested a great deal of time and money into the Mass Effect universe, and, here's a big point, GAMES are NOT movies, books, and paintings. They are not passive. You can't just watch them. You have to INTERACT with a game, invest in it, immerse yourself in it. YOU are the key character of the fiction, and as such you DO have an artistic stake of ownership since the game would not BE a game without a player to play it.

That doesn't mean games must give you all the options you demand, but Shigeru Miyamoto himself stated to us developers that "a good game will give players the freedom to play the game the way they want to play it."

Mass Effect 3 is a bad ending. A very bad ending. Worse, it's a bad GAME ending. It strips away all the player interaction to funnel players down a path that is counter to the vast majority of people's playstyles. However you play the game, your character pulls a heel-turn in the final 10 minutes to willingly annihilate the universe fans have grown to love against all the player's wishes. It violates its own writer-reader non-verbal contract and denies players the catharsis and reward that a roleplaying game entails.

That doesn't mean the game isn't happy, or sad, or what. It just means it strips away the payoff; that makes it a bad game. It is like a Mario game without Princess Peach at the end. It fails on a narrative and gameplay level and ceases to be either a good game or a good story, which is problematic considering everything up to the final 10 minutes of the series has been running counter to that.

Even now, go to the website of the game. "Decide how it ends" the website claims. But, the thing is, you can't. The ending is pre-determined, nihilistic, and no amount of talent, skill, or time commitment wins you the freedom of choice to decide your own fate, which has been the theme of the entire series up to those final few moments.

Games are not books. They are not movies. They are not comics and they are not music CDs or tv shows. They require players claim an artistic stake of ownership and become the role they play. They don't passively watch the hero; they ARE the hero.

When I make games as a developer, that is the most important thing to remember. I disagree with MovieBob on this one. I make games, and I don't violate my "artistic integrity" when I give players the options to form their own narrative paths, even if their path would be different than my original intentions.

If anything, I find giving players the power of choice in a game is an art in and of itself, a skill so few can successfully manage and execute. I find choice and player ownership to be something so much more powerful than any other form of art, because it is the only art that allows people to form their own personal, intimate relationships in a game universe on such a powerfully effective and influential scale.

That is the art of games; not the graphics, not the level design, not the hardware power, and certainly not the rulebook of movies. It is the part of games that no other medium can touch; it is the power of player choice and player ownership. And it's a beautiful, frightening, and glorious thing to explore in this industry.

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