Jimquisition: Changing A Game's Ending And Destroying Art

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As usual Jim is right again, its nice to see at least one game journalist is not spouting all this video games are a sacred art and shouldn't ever be changed shit.

THANK YOU

Man, I can't begin to explain how much of a relief it is for someone in the gaming media to address the criticism of the Mass Effect 3 ending and not just cast it aside as people whining for a "happy" ending. Really, really nice to see someone actually listen to the substance of what people disliked about the ending.

Good point, well made; legendary opening.

I too started off as a hater and find this to be a strange (tingling) feeling, but thank God for Jim.

Ok... this might've changed my mind. Damnit, I really need to play that game.

Fucking A' Jim wasn't trying to understand the argument easier than being a twat right out of the gates? Keep it in mind for the future.

It's nice to get different opinions on these things... Bob still looks at video games from an old-fashioned point of view, namely looking at movies and TV shows as example. But here, Jim looks at Mass Effect's ending from a completely different angle, from the angle of all the hype Bioware and EA put into the game, and saying, yeah, they should have put more effort into it. Not making it the BEST ending, but make it better than it is, and using reasonable logic to defend his position. If Bioware didn't think they ending was all that good as well, then yeah, maybe they SHOULD change it.

The way I see it, yeah, the ending was shit, and, yeah, we deserved better, but the difference between your early episodes and ME3 is that no one ever changed your early episodes, they're still shit. You just learned from your mistakes and made better stuff in the future. Mass Effect 3's ending is already out there, and I personally believe we should instead hope that BioWare learns never to make an ending like that again.

Indeed, thank God for Jim.

Jim is really smart guy.

And pretty handsome in that coat too.

I'm surprised, I don't always care of the Jimquisition, but I rather enjoyed this one, mainly because it was fair and honest to both sides.

However, the drawn images got boring/annoying part way through.

Jim, i love you.

There i said it, i want you to retake me right here right now. Be as renegade as you like i can take it.

Also your pronunciation of suicide was epic

217not237:
The way I see it, yeah, the ending was shit, and, yeah, we deserved better, but the difference between your early episodes and ME3 is that no one ever changed your early episodes, they're still shit. You just learned from your mistakes and made better stuff in the future. Mass Effect 3's ending is already out there, and I personally believe we should instead hope that BioWare learns never to make an ending like that again.

But why? The system is in place to easily distribute patches/DLC, and people are receptive to it. If the teacher gives you a 2nd chance to turn that D paper into a A, why not do it?

Well said, Mr. Sterling.

If a book with a shitty ending is sent to a publisher, they can tell the author to change it. If a film manuscript has a terrible ending, the same. If a film already shot is shown to a target group and they say the ending is awful, it can be changed. This is simply how things work and no one has ever started whining about art being undermined.

It is ironic, really, how certain pundits decry the fans for being childish and petulant, when it is the very opposite that is true.

Bioware has a great opportunity here to fix a broken game, and if they jump on it, it would not only be great for Mass Effect 3, but for the entire medium.

I hoghly doubt bioware wanted to purposley piss off their entire fanbase and ruin their most well known and profitable franchise.

Hallelujah! Now I can just post a link to this in all those Mass Effect 3 threads and be done with it. Discussion over, everyone go home.

Also Jim, thank God you improved and your show stayed. You seem to echo most of my thoughts on this show, which is probably because I am always right, but whatever. Seriously though, good show.

O-kay...that was one of the best takes on the issue I've seen yet and definitely the most reasonable, concise view I've seen a GAME JURNALIZT put forward since it began.

So, a man who openly trolls for a living and starts his videos off with pun-based phone sex has a better understanding of both art and journalistic integrity than 98% of the gaming media.

The point of all this shouldn't be to make games more or less 'artistic'. The point is to make them better. And if changing the stupid, terrible ending to Mass Effect 3 makes it better and Bioware has the opportunity to do so then they clearly should.

And while I may not believe in God, I'll thank evolution for Jim. He is clearly homo superior with the mutant power to both make sense and have integrity.

Mikeyfell:
Who would have guessed, Jim is right again.

So we have Jim and MovieBob with polar opposite opinions, what ever happened to Extra Consideration?

I don't think Jim and Moviebob have opinions that are that much at loggerheads. Bob never said that gamers didn't have a right to complain and that the ending wasn't bad, and that Bioware should never change it. He said that a large portion of the RME community are acting like entitled children, and that Bioware shouldn't be forced into doing anything and that Bioware doesn't have to compromise their artistic integrity if they don't want to.

Jim's position is that if Bioware isn't going to stick up for their artistic integrity, for whatever reason, neither should anybody else. If Bioware had made an effort to defend their ending - then most likely Bob and Jim would have been in a similar position.

In this case, Bioware is choosing to alter their ending - whether it's because they think it's terrible as well or see points where they can improve or whether they just want to make their fanbase happy - it's not really an artist violating his own integrity - since they're doing it themselves and hopefully for the purpose of doing something better that maintains their overall objectives for the plot (as opposed to Broken Steel...)

My only thoughts on this - one, is Jim reading my posts - I made an obscure joke in another thread about Thatgamecompany having a bunch of rabid COD:MW fans convincing them to add more terrorists and gunplay into Journey and either Jim made a similar joke by harmonic convergence or he's stealing my material.

And two, as probably the only person who openly LIKES the ending to ME3, I wish people would give it more of a chance. I think people openly hate the ending because they had different expectation, but while the ending could be painted with slightly broader strokes and needs a bit of fine tuning, there's something incredibly interesting from a philosophical and game writing perspective in that ending. It's really quite remarkable, of all the easy bad endings they could have come with, that they chose this one in particular.

Good, last episode on Mass Effect 3, no more talking about it. Thank you, Jim.

Perhaps now you can move on to a more...happy episode. I mean, no one wants to just watch episodes where people rag on things, it'll turn people cynical and make them think no good exists. Which is a lie, because Psychonauts is running around and that is nothing short of a pure good.

Malignanttoe:
Why do half the drawings on here have penises? It just seems a little juvenile and detracts from the intelligent point being made.

Because of LOLZ! Also, Jim himself seems a bit juvenile. Its better to listen to the videos then to watch them due to this type of shit.

Most game "journalists" or commenters have their head up their ass and immediately rant on about how horrible all the fans are, how devious and psychotic they are for stating their opinion and appealing the creators to change something they didn't make.

Jim, thanks for at least looking into what the whole deal was about and THEN making a proper statement on it.

I'm sick to my stomach of all the knee-jerk reactions there have been from webcomic artists, game journalists, reviewers and who ever the hell else they think are important, who just kicked a lot of people in the teeth because of a few outspoken people and not the fanbases that speak for their cases and try to appeal calmly and in a friendly way. Such as sending cupcakes.

While I don't necessarily agree with all of Jim's opinions, I have much for respect for him, for actually looking into the matter, unlike the typical writer out there who thinks they have everyone else figured out.

I don't believe Jim, we'll have another ME3 video soon :-p

Thank you Jim so many people when they look at the people asking for a better ending and just call them intituled little shits. You look at the movement and the game from a different angle rather than crying about setting back art

I'm glad to see the site can host both sides of an argument. Jim's feelings on this one are pretty close to mine, so I'm inclined to view it favorably (I'm silly that way), but I certainly appreciated that he took the time to give the matter some serious consideration rather than shooting from the hip.

The "retake" people are in kind of a strange position, if you think about it. I suspect a lot of the anger people feel is due to the bad ending being not just a game's bad ending, but the final game of a series' bad ending. Under normal circumstances, what could they do about being offered something that arguably detracted not only from the final game, but the ones that came before it? Those who have played through can't threaten not to buy the next in the series. They could threaten not to buy the DLC, but frankly, that's pocket change compared to the amount garnered from the popular series itself. They could threaten to boycott all future Bioware releases- indeed, some have- but such a response seems even less likely to get the pundits' respect than what they have done.

So... they did something fairly novel. I think you could argue that the sheer shitstorm that has come of that makes it unlikely, despite some commentators' [overstated] fears, that this tactic is likely to become a frequently used one in anyone's playbook, and that's probably for the best. But I agree with Jim that it's quite possible that the result will be a good one, a beneficial one, in this case. Certainly the ever-increasingly customer-hostile EA could stand to learn a lesson if anyone could.

I'm outraged not because the ending was shit (hell, i swallowed Fahrenheits ending)It's because of all the lies. Bioware promised 16 DIFFERENT ending, no "choose your end" button (hello DeusEx) and many more things. They essentially did everything that they promised not to do. Beside, you can feel that the game was cut significantly, same enemies, almost no side quests, no impact what so ever was made by your army.
P.S. I really think that Bioware is the victim here, i think that they were rushed by EA to meet the release date.

You can change art, it's the how and why that matters. Take the biggest case of all...Star Wars.

Releasing a polished up 5.1 with deleted scenes added back in and maybe the odd tweak (adding stormtroopers when Han runs around the corner made more sense for example) jacking up the resolution till you get HD, all great, because you are releasing a classic that now stands up to today's expectations in quality and adding a little to make it sweeter to buy if you already owned it.

Filling it full of unessential cgi, and changing things in a massively clumsy way...fuck off.

It's a fine line, but it is there.

Smilomaniac:
Most game "journalists" or commenters have their head up their ass and immediately rant on about how horrible all the fans are, how devious and psychotic they are for stating their opinion and appealing the creators to change something they didn't make.

Jim, thanks for at least looking into what the whole deal was about and THEN making a proper statement on it.

I'm sick to my stomach of all the knee-jerk reactions there have been from webcomic artists, game journalists, reviewers and who ever the hell else they think are important, who just kicked a lot of people in the teeth because of a few outspoken people and not the fanbases that speak for their cases and try to appeal calmly and in a friendly way. Such as sending cupcakes.

While I don't necessarily agree with all of Jim's opinions, I have much for respect for him, for actually looking into the matter, unlike the typical writer out there who thinks they have everyone else figured out.

To be fair, what exactly do you expect to be a site's headlines - "Game Fans Present Reasoned Opinions for Game Edit" or "Game Fans Kick ME Writer's Teeth in on Twitter". It's the problem with a quiet reasoned opinion and a loud nasty one. Also, while there were a lot of reasoned opinions, there have been more then a few violators of the "John Gabriel Internet F***wad Theory" in the RME side.

The issue with the cupcakes and the Child's Play is that it's hard to tell if something is an intentionally nice method of trying to get people's attention, or an intentionally nasty way of using a nice method to draw positive PR to one's side and negative attention to the other. I'm sure lots of people donated to CP/Cupcakes with the best of intentions - to show Bioware how much they love them and the ME series while simultaneously drawing attention to their issues with the game. I'm also sure lots of people donated to CP/Cupcakes as a method to place a "sugar-coating" (pun definitely intended) on their attempts to railroad a company to change their game.

Just when I thought everyone had weighed in on this. Actually, I do want Moviebob's opinion on the subject again when he's a little less "death to fanboys" about it. Even if he still defnds his position of art defending bad writing in an already heavially consumer demand focused market, at the very least something without the ire he's had on the subject.

And thank you for knocking the artists off their high horse, even if this may the the only time the fanboys have it right. Game companies already seem to be shitting on the consumer a lot lately without the creative staff taking on your ego without it being a joke.

PS as omeone that did rag on your show at first, it's nice to see you've found the balance between content and toilet humour. It's become the high point of my Monday.

Jim, regardless of whether you agree with the fans or not, I commend and respect you for becoming more informed on the subject matter before voicing your opinion. Count me in amogst those who have slowly but steadily grown to like and look forward to your column.

Bioware can make a much better ending. There is too much wrong with the ending to simply have been overlooked when they made it and they know fans care about that stuff, especially after "Deception".
I'm pretty sure we got this ending because of a lack time and resources. If it's true what's written in "The Final Hours of Mass Effect 3", then Mac Walter and Casey Hudson decided pretty much at the end of the development what the concept of the ending is going to be. Somewhere in November if I remember correctly and the game was released in march but went gold a month or more earlier.
So I really doubt that that's the ending that everyone at Bioware had wanted, they know themselves what's wrong with the ending but of course they can't simply say that. Mass Effect is first and foremost a product, art is only secondary. Without having to worry about a deadline and resources, they would have definitely made a much better ending that is much closer to "art", than what we have now.

So yeah, I don't think much would be lost if they changed the ending. Famous artist have always changed their creations based on fan feedback, sometimes it turns out better, sometimes worse but I just don't see why it would be so much worse if this happened in the gaming industry.

I have no problem with people wanting the the ending changed or Bioware changing the ending, in fact I applaud a company willing to go back and fix the problems in there games, but the few people who filed FTC complaints forcing there opinions on Bioware instead of presenting them, took it to far and unfortunately colored in the view a lot of people have on the retake Mass Effect and all the other petitions floating around out there. It also doesn't help that instead of asking Bioware to make an ending that lives up to the quality of the rest of the series they ask Bioware to stop making crap, it's a matter of wording.

lead sharp:
You can change art, it's the how and why that matters. Take the biggest case of all...Star Wars.

Releasing a polished up 5.1 with deleted scenes added back in and maybe the odd tweak (adding stormtroopers when Han runs around the corner made more sense for example) jacking up the resolution till you get HD, all great, because you are releasing a classic that now stands up to today's expectations in quality and adding a little to make it sweeter to buy if you already owned it.

Filling it full of unessential cgi, and changing things in a massively clumsy way...fuck off.

It's a fine line, but it is there.

Here's the thing - there are plenty of people who try to present completely demented theories on the Han/Greedo fight that basically amount to George Lucas is violating his own artistic integrity - which puts them in the awkward position of trying to defend George Lucas's artistic integrity...from George Lucas.

It's partially because I think people have an opinion of George Lucas as this wildly talented movie supergenius instead of a guy who captured lightning in a bottle. A director/producer that has shown both degrading skill as a filmmaker and his propensity for wild silliness, which was mostly constrained by producers and studios and budgets in the 70s and not so much now. (But this is BESIDE THE POINT.)

I agree with Jim that if Bioware doesn't care about their artistic integrity, why should I, but I also think that a lot of people who absolutely reviled Roger Ebert for saying games aren't art and have no artistic integrity immediately dismissed the idea that Bioware had a right to their artistic integrity because it was convenient for their argument.

I think we may want to make a decision on this and stick by it.

Mikeyfell:
Who would have guessed, Jim is right again.

So we have Jim and MovieBob with polar opposite opinions, what ever happened to Extra Consideration?

Considering Shamus Young and Yahtzee also offered somewhat differing opinions on the ME3 ending, that could have been an excellent 4-way Extra Consideration.

What's that, Arthur Conan Doyle? Fans complained?

Well, you make art, so... NOOO DON'T CHANGE THE ENDING NO... Great, Sherlock is alive, thanks a lot! YOU BETRAYED ART AND WILL BE FOREVER HAUNTED FOR IT!!!

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