Mass Effect 3: The movement

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irishda:

Blind Sight:

irishda:

I'm pretty sure the phrase "Happy Ending" here is referring to the players' state of mind after the ending.

Not so sure about that, one of the bigger journalists' criticisms of 'Retake ME3' is that they weren't satisfied with the bleakness of the ending and wanted a 'happy' ending. Considering that it's much easier to interpret the comic that way and without any qualification otherwise it comes off as such.

I haven't seen it as one of the bigger criticisms. It's been a criticism of course, but only because that's what some people have complained about. There's not complete solidarity within Retake that I think a lot of people assume. There's a lot of different reasons people didn't like the ending, and they don't just boil down to

-our decisions didn't matter
-illogical

I have seen comments even here on the Escapist of people who were mad because all their work was for naught and they didn't get a perfect, happy ending.

Personally, I laugh at the irony of so many people yelling at critical writers with the line, "It's not about the happy ending; they don't get it", when these people are either willfully simplifying the criticisms of Retake or they themselves just "don't get it".

Depends on the source I suppose. 'Bigger' might have been too forceful a word, but there has been some criticism directed at people wanting a 'happy ending' so it's hard not to take the comic in that way.

The final part made me LOL so hard. It really is a reflection of what happened in the protests. Eventually, someone somewhere was going to come up with that idea.

OMG people, it's a phrase. He's not saying "You just want a happy ending". The punchline wouldn't have been as funny as "A Happy Ending for a Different Ending".

Seriously, stop being so stubborn about this. He's not mocking you I swear.

Wait A happy ending can be Oral?! Those lil asian ladies have been gypping me!

.... I dunno what I think of this one.

I just move along when I read on an article defending Bioware and ME3's ending that people is angry because it didn't have a happy ending. That is on most of them. I'm guessing that these people simply don't have enough time to play the whole game or just don't care as much. They simply hear about the ending that "Shepard dies" and they assume that's the problem with the ending. There's been too few who actually try to defend the ending while not going into "people are just angry because there wasn't a welcome back party with cake and everyone was happy ever after". That's why fans disagree and attack them, because they totally fail to see the point.

On a more related point. The punchline was awesome.

wintercoat:
Dude...this thread is working towards a singularity or something. It's people bitching about people bitching about the people bitching at the people who bitched at people for bitching. If we don't stop the exponential bitching, it'll form a black hole of bitching...a bitchhole if you will. Then we're all just fucked man.

Also, fuck the Chevy Sonic.

image

The pathetic nature of these rehashed arguments is actually more funny to me than the comic.

Moo!

You're making fun of Retake Mass Effect?!?! RRRRRAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

Oh, wait, no. I have a sense of humor. Great comic, as per the usual.

Oh look. Another failed attempt at slandering gamers for being more critical than the gaming press.

Grey Carter:

So, just to get this straight, you're calling me corrupt? That's a very poor way to start a conversation.

Really? It's something of a turn-on for me.

OT: Blimey, that's a lot of flaming, there. Y'know mass effect fans, it might help your case if you could occasionally drop the smallest slights against your opinions. No? Guess not then. *sigh*

That One Six:
You're making fun of Retake Mass Effect?!?! RRRRRAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

Oh, wait, no. I have a sense of humor. Great comic, as per the usual.

See! SEEEEEE!!! That's what I'm talking about! Thank you good sir/madam!

There are a couple things at play with the Mass Effect ending debate. The first thing is this, whatever you think about the validity of the complaints about the endings, what is the last game that garnered such a reaction to its ending? Can ANYONE name in recent years? Ever? Personally I don't care about the Mass Effect series, I barely played the first game. But something must have been seriously wrong for there to be such a huge revolt and expressing of displeasure.

I think many game journos are just out of touch with actual gamers. These are people who see "how the sausage is made" so to speak. They get developer previews, they get beta access, they play games they hate, they play games they love, they play games all the time. It has to change your relationship with games. The journos (short for journalists obviously) may not all have connected with the game the same way as many other gamers. That is just supposition on my part though.

Bottom line, something had to be rotten for things to come this far.

I hope this is entirely fictional. If there really is a "Happy Ending for a Happy Ending" movement out there, I might have to give up gaming entirely.

Way to miss the point!

Players don't want a HAPPY ending, they just want an ending where every single one of their squadmates is left alive after the ending, the Mass Relays are fully functional, and life in the Galaxy continues just as it was before, only without the threat of the Reapers hovering above them.

It's just a comic.

NO wait they're missing the point!

The punchline should have been:
It is our view that the ending of the last installment of Mass Effect 3 abandoned the core idea's of the series. In literature one should be wary when introducing new characters and plot points that change the face of the rest of the story. Moreover, the starchild being the citadel is a strange concept, considering that the citadel is also a mass relay, if the starchild controls the reapers why couldn't he just have brought them in as planned? And why couldn't he overturn the removal of the signal to make the keepers no longer do the reapers' bidding? And this crucible that aliens troughout the cycles have made. How could it have the technology to not only affect the reapers but also: Combine all synthethics and organics into new lifeforms with new dna, control AND destroy the reapers? If the combined races of the galaxy could make that, and the starchild can only say OK, that really stops the reapers from being this powerful all consuming force that they were meant to be. And the whole series was about shepard. But in the last 10 minutes of the last game he just up and decides to listen to a synthetic that wants to save organics from synthetics by means of genocide? It seems as though bioware felt that a standard we win/lose ending was too low for them. As though they are these amazing artists that can give you this meaningful message. But that we win/lose ending would have been in line with the concepts of the game that beats you over the head with these messages of working together and stopping the cycle. It would have been by no means a happy ending, as most of the galaxy lies in ruins. This for me would have been a great ending. Depending on your actions troughout the games the destruction varies, shepard could die, and more impact could have been done on the ending. And we could have gotten an epilogue that explained what happened to shepard and his squadmates. A good, bittersweet ending, no?

Buretsu:
Way to miss the point!

Players don't want a HAPPY ending, they just want an ending where every single one of their squadmates is left alive after the ending, the Mass Relays are fully functional, and life in the Galaxy continues just as it was before, only without the threat of the Reapers hovering above them.

And they all get cupcakes, they don't have to be happy cupcakes but there needs to be cupcakes or its just not good enough.

What's the next step? Blowjob giving cupcakes that occasionally do charity drives?

BreakfastMan:

Zachary Amaranth:

-They were promised player choices through the series impacting the end, which they didn't get.

Actually, the did. Quite a bit. Just not in a way that was immediately obvious. The war assets you acquire (you know, the choices the player makes throughout the series) affects which endings you can select and what happens in those endings. Source: http://www.ign.com/wikis/mass-effect-3/Endings

NOTE: Your other complaint is completely understandable though. Without IT, the ending has more holes than a strainer.

I don't think that's what they mean. The endings boil down to

Which is silly, considering the lack of choice in that. I mean, they could at least give us different endings.

As a side note, who the hell thought boil down to, was a good phrase. Its habit for me to use it, but I don't get it.

RaikuFA:

Kasurami:

Retake Mass Effect, and the people peripherally attached to it, seem to have a modus operandi of deifying journalists and publications that agree with their point, and demonizing those that don't. Whatever your feelings on the ending and some the pressure to change it, accusing people who don't share your opinion of either not understanding it or being corrupt is intellectually dishonest.

To be fair, calling us entitled, whiny crybabies who should just get over it isn't exactly what I expect from journalists. I'm not saying they're corrupt or that they 'don't get it' (although one or two of them really don't) but they fail to look at both sides, which to me is a fundamental failing of journalistic integrity. They act like we're attacking or outright destroying art, when shouldn't they want to see games being the best they can, which would include reevaluating one's work with an aim to improve it?

You're one of the better ones from what I've seen. As most go "You're with us or against us."

with us or against us?

almost every one Ive seen is "WE ARE RIGHT, IF YOU DO NOT AGREE YOU ARE BEING PAID BY EA AND BIOWARE AND WE WILL YELL LOUDLY ABOUT IT!"

I mean, hell, George W. Bush'es "youre either with us, or with the terrorists" had more thought behind how the ME3 crybabies made their point.

Grey, the problem here is that most of the journalists involved in this tend to entirely overlook the issues involved when they take the "disagree" stance. I can't say that I've ever seen anyone in the media really address the issues of Bioware's promises and/or what was said in the interviews that were outed in their $3 ending app. For that matter those in the gaming media who do agree with "The Line" tend to overlook it as well. The basic perception being that this is so black and white given Bioware's own words that there is no valid position that can justify agreeing with what Bioware did here, though it's understandable that someone in the media who is already taking the other side can't exactly come out and say that a company being run by EA is a group of liars in no uncertain terms.

I know how it looks, but this issue involves so many fronts that it's crazy, it goes well beyond the ending itself, and into sub-issues like how the gaming media is generally dependant on money from the people it's supposed to be watchdogging.

Your a dedicated humourist for the most part, so you tend to get a pass, that reviewers don't, even when you take a "side" to be funny. Compared to say "Penny Arcade" who get a ton of fire nowadays because of things like PAX, which makes them a lot of money and generates a lot of prestige, and is largely dependant on the good will and support of the industry... something that taints them more when they take a side in defense of a company like EA.

I don't get this movement. Why is this so important? I played all games, I got the same shitty, illogical ending with no closure, but I have much bigger problems than this, like the fact that my master's degree is less than useless, it's actually stopping me from getting a high school level job. So much money and so much labor went towards it and I'm worse off than before i went to the university.
P.S. I know what some people would say, I didn't get a useless degree like philosophy, I got a master's in Architecture. It was one of the best paid jobs with less qualified people than there were job openings when I started. Now you get less than minimal pay with no job security and no contract if you have a relative in the firm. I have no such relatives.
P.P.S. Anyway, the ending was shite, but even though I was so invested I'm not going to pay for cupcakes or some other bullshit, I'm just not going to buy any of their products. Bioware had one good thing- narrative, now they have nothing!

Grey Carter:
Retake Mass Effect, and the people peripherally attached to it, seem to have a modus operandi of deifying journalists and publications that agree with their point, and demonizing those that don't. Whatever your feelings on the ending and some the pressure to change it, accusing people who don't share your opinion of either not understanding it or being corrupt is intellectually dishonest.

Seems equally intellectually dishonest than calling everyone that disagrees with a game's ending "entitled", so I don't think you can cry foul here :)

almost every one Ive seen is "WE ARE RIGHT, IF YOU DO NOT AGREE YOU ARE ENTITLED"

Yep, you're a typical defender of it. Indeed, George W. Bush'es "youre either with us, or with the terrorists" had more thought behind how the bioware crybabies made their point.

Quite simply, if you call people that disagree with a company "entitled", being accused of being viral marketing guys is pretty much what you deserve, considering "entitled" is pretty much a corporate strategy to downplay critics. If you copy that strategy and aren't paid for it, calling you being paid for it is actually thinking better of you than you are, because it's accusing you of doing it for a reason, not hzsr being stupid and just buying a rather transparent corporate PR move hook, line, and sinker.

Quite simply, nobody but very stupid people and PR departments of companies call critics "entitled". It doesn't matter what company it is, the moment "entitled" is brought out, you know someone is either being very stupid, has been bought, or both.

TechTim:

Qitz:

TechTim:

A WITCH! A WITCH! BUUUUUURRRRN HER!!

Burn her? Don't you people know ANYTHING. To prove one is a Witch you must FIRST, weigh her against a duck. Then you can burn her.

As for that "strategy" at least once they get an actual load in the face they'll be a physical representation of how they've been feeling since they've beat ME3.

but where are we going to get the extra witches for the kindling?? and could we not build a bridge out of her instead?

Don't you know anything?
You can also build bridges out of stone, but stone doesn't burn, first we need to determine if she is a witch...

edit: nvm, just saw someone else posted the video already :p

Meh, as long as the debacle is over, I could really care less...

At this point I don't think anyone cares about the ending being changed or not anymore.

We just need to make it clear that the last 10-20 minutes of ME3 were poorly written and poorly implemented (c'mon, you finish an action game based on player decisions with like a 5 minute WALK with no player interaction???), and whoever was in charge of that should feel really bad for failing as a storyteller and an artist.

The rest of the game is good though, so people in charge of doing it should be proud of themselves.

And I am sure that these were separate teams, given the scale of ME3 production.

The whole ME3 debacle has boiled down to circle-jerking fans spouting bile against circle-jerking journalists that also spew bile. Very few individuals on either side of the argument have made any worthwhile commentary that supports their stance without mocking the other side.

Though, and you are free to call it confirmation bias on my behalf, the few fans who have made useful commentary have been able to successfully disect and critique the reasons why the ending is bad. The only non-derrogatory commentary I've seen from journalist only harp about how we shouldn't feel entitled to change art and how it sets "a negative precedent". I've yet to see a journalist break down the ending and explain why it's not a fantastic example of horrible literary execution.

I can't think of a single movie I've seen or book I've read that has committed the flaws ME3 has at the very end and has managed to be a successful film or publication.

Abedeus:
Great, another person totally missing the point about why people are complaining.

Not because ending was sad.

It was because they shat on the lore, technology, characters we came to like over the past 3 games, their actions and filled the ending with plot holes and inconsistencies.

Pretty much this, people who say the problem was because the endings are sad are ignoring the fact that the endings aren't sad, they're just badly written, with a twist so ridiculous that they might as well have made Twilight Sparkle pregnant with Shepard's child "just 'cause" and it wouldn't have made it any less nonsensical, it wouldn't even be less original, since the "choices" are already blatantly stolen from Deus Ex, hell, we might as well make EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE Rainbow Dash's brother (even if they're female) while we're at it (who, unlike Twilight, didn't come into exist in the universe, yet despite that EVERYTHING AND EVERYONE is Rainbow Dash's brother), there's already so many plotholes from the ending that we've got nothing left to make holes in.

Back to the subject though, I'm not sure this actually fixes anything, say I buy a car, and it's missing an engine, the staff at the car dealership offer to replace the wheels for free. It's free, and they weren't required by law to do it (not so sure about the missing engine though), but my car still does not have an engine.

(USELESS NOTE OF NO IMPORTANCE WHATSOEVER: No. I'm not implying that Twilight Sparkle and Shepard had sex in my joke ending, that makes too much sense, Twilight is literally pregnant just 'cause she is, and that is made 100 percent clear in this hypothetical ending. Also, this is the origin of my new Dark Souls character, Terry Sparkle who's "parent" willed herself into the regular MLP setting (with Terry, because nobody deserves to be part of that ending) via the massive holes in the plot, sad that she could not take Marauder Shields with her, as he survived, but fell down another plot hole into TF2, and now lives with Demopan. Terry died via a backfiring spell while trying to kill the guy you meet at the first bonfire in Lordran, but neither of them remember this).

P.S. Even though I've only played ME2 recently and haven't even finished it, I'm still pissed off by the ending because I'd have payed $60 bucks and be unable to get a refund if I didn't hear about the ending first.

Grey Carter:

Rigs83:
Mass Effect 3 is why I play on the PC. You wait a year, get it dirt cheap and don't care how they screwed up because you still have plenty of dough to by somehing else.
As for the ending I will refer people to the Smithsonian Art Exhibit that to paraphrase "Videogames are an art form with three creators; The Designers defined as the creators behind the game, the mechanics defined by what you see or hear and interact with and player who makes the choices and takes control."

Ick. Not a philosophy I agree with. Picking dialogue options and shooting aliens =/= creative work. If developers and players are in the same creative group, then the players are Ringo.

Picking dialogue options and shooting bots however is to playing like developing the single player Battlefield campaing to developing. Why don't take:


or

as people take bioshock or psychonauts for developing?

Then i can't see how your argument that the players are Ringo can stand as a generalization. I can say that most of my videogaming highlights are in social gaming, either doing a perfect score in Dance Dance Revolution, being at progression guilds at WoW or doing arena/BGs there, etc. Edit: It doesn't mean that a kind of videogames is superior to any other, I just tend to appreciate interactive gameplay based videogames that can be art at the hands of the right player to narrative ones.

That said, i don't agree with the poster you quoted for different reasons. Playing ME 3 a year later is indeed cheaper, but you will miss too much IMO to be worth waiting, the multiplayer for starters.

Grey Carter:

After considering the issue, I'm a bit more moderate, but still convinced this whole issue will encourage other developers to experiment less when it comes to narrative. They'll take the safe option rather than risk fan outrage. That, to me, seems like a step toward the heavy duty focus testing of Hollywood films.

At first, this notion was absurd to me, but I understand how the outcry can be interpreted this way. The ME3 ending was not a creative experiment. It was a rushed hack job. It's closer to being the "safe option" than anything. But Bioware is known for their attempts at creative narratives and if a developer isn't sufficiently aware of this issue, they could misunderstand the outrage as something condemning experimentation.

TaboriHK:

Abedeus:
Great, another person totally missing the point about why people are complaining.

Not because ending was sad.

It was because they shat on the lore, technology, characters we came to like over the past 3 games, their actions and filled the ending with plot holes and inconsistencies.

This. This and this and this again and again and again, because no one paid to have an opinion on this subject seems to want to actually understand it.

Does this mean I can't find a cute ReTake Mass Effect grrl and ask her for a blowjob to help the cause? If it does, then I'm going to have to call shenanigans on you.

LetalisK:

Grey Carter:

After considering the issue, I'm a bit more moderate, but still convinced this whole issue will encourage other developers to experiment less when it comes to narrative. They'll take the safe option rather than risk fan outrage. That, to me, seems like a step toward the heavy duty focus testing of Hollywood films.

At first, this notion was absurd to me, but I understand how the outcry can be interpreted this way. The ME3 ending was not a creative experiment. It was a rushed hack job. It's closer to being the "safe option" than anything. But Bioware is known for their attempts at creative narratives and if a developer isn't sufficiently aware of this issue, they could misunderstand the outrage as something condemning experimentation.

I would hope the lesson is that the ending of a game is not where you cut corners, as is the industry norm right now.

Phlakes:

Abedeus:
Magic. Got it.

Garrus died in the assault, then he's magically on Normandy.

Joker decided to leg it from the most important battle in the history of mankind (and probably current galactic civilizations altogether).

He crashlanded, but somehow survived despite having freaking brittle bones.

God-AI claims that synthetics and organics can't coexist, and yet on Rannoch Geth and Quarians are living peacefully.

And they somehow managed to drop the "Dark Energy" theme in favor of philosophical bullshit that is contradictory as hell on at least two accounts. Synthetics didn't rebel against creators - they were either defending themselves or, IRONICALLY, being controlled by Reapers, Sovereign specifically.

Not to mention the fucking "Yo dawg" about killing organics to save us... And green ending is pure fantasy. Not even science fiction, just space magic.

The endings really aren't that complicated or deep. They're just rushed, unfinished and unpolished. And filled with multiple holes.

*Harder sigh. If you really can't come up with a reasonable explanation for those, it's not bad writing, it's you being ignorant.

This is one of the funniest things I've read in a few days. You've started to make the argument that writing is a secondary issue, since it's up to the audience to fill in the blanks where the writer leaves blanks. If game studios followed this sort of logic, it would be quite acceptable for a game studio to cut the amount of writers in half and either leave the rest of the team the same, or maybe add a few more animators to make the game look pretty.

So.

Why is it up to the audience to explain what appear to be issues that don't fit into the accepted laws and rules of the Mass Effect universe? These aren't like the "white beam" that transports people up to the Citadel; there is more than enough in the Mass Effect laws and rules that make this plausible. (There is a miniature mass relay in the Citadel as of Mass Effect 1. The animation for moving through mass relays has a bright blue or orange light, so it is not unreasonable to explain it as a form of mass relay which goes up to the Citadel) That is something that is plausible with what we know already. The game didn't need to come out and explicitly say that.

But some of the points that Abedeus brings up don't have reasonable explanations, and in fact some of them are directly contradictory to the laws and rules we know of already. Adjusting those laws is perfectly fine - but they need an explanation. Laws and rules of Mass Effect say that destroying a Relay creates what is compared to a Supernova, and destroys the solar system it is in. We don't know that this has been changed with the ending - we make that assumption. We have nothing in the Mass Effect laws and rules to back it up. We don't know how Joker managed to pick up some of the crew members who were on Earth, or why. We don't know why he is fleeing, and why he has left the Sol system. We don't know why part of Shepherds crew consents to flee with Joker, or if they had any choice in the matter. None of Shepherds crew has given indication that they would do anything but die for Shepherd, and yet they are fleeing Earth and the Sol system entirely. These are just a few of the issues that are certainly plausible, but it is weak storytelling to leave the reasons for this up to the audience.

We do know that Joker can survive a crash landing of the Normandy with minor injuries; in ME2, the ship crashes on the Collector base and Joker is able to fly and I believe there is a cut scene where he is out there shooting at Collectors as Shepherd flees the Collector base. The logic of the Reapers is annoying, but it isn't nearly as bad as it's made out to be; semi-organic Reapers destroy the most advanced races in order to ensure that they do not create full synthetics which would reach the conclusion that all organic life must be destroyed before it destroys synthetic life. I'm not a fan of this logic, but I do think it makes enough sense that I don't regularly cite it as a problem with the ending. (What's annoying is that there is an obvious counter-argument that is ignored (Geth-Quarian, EDI-Joker) even when both are able to be used.) Dropping the Dark Energy plot is annoying but was not developed in ME2 as anything but a reason for Tali to be somewhere dangerous.

tl;dr - Why is it up to the audience to explain why the game appears to break its own rules and laws, and not up to the writers to explain why they are breaking their own rules?

Tono Makt:
le snip

So basically you need everything laid out right in front of your face or it doesn't exist. I guess not showing something that can easily be explained with a second of thought from the audience is too much of a risk these days.

Phlakes:

So basically you need everything laid out right in front of your face or it doesn't exist. I guess not showing something that can easily be explained with a second of thought from the audience is too much of a risk these days.

Plot points need to at least be implied. An audience shouldn't have to actually make up chunks of the story in their mind. That is criminally bad storytelling. If you feel that a few moments of thought can explain some of the massive plot-holes and nonsense logic in the ending, please elaborate and enlighten everyone.

Phlakes:

Tono Makt:
le snip

So basically you need everything laid out right in front of your face or it doesn't exist. I guess not showing something that can easily be explained with a second of thought from the audience is too much of a risk these days.

Obviously, since I made no attempt to explain why Joker was able to survive the crash, nor the white beam that transports people up to the Citadel.

Okay, sarcasm off.

Dude, you can attack me all you want, but all you're doing is showing that you don't want to answer the question. I've put a pretty big post up there, and I've actually gone to some lengths to explain using the Mass Effect rules and laws why some of the things in the ending may not break those laws and rules. I've laid out that it's not wrong for a writer to break their own rules and laws as long as they explain it.

And what have you done? Insults and flames. So using your standards that I, the audience, need to explain this for myself, I'm going to explain it as that you are an unpublished writer who has received feedback from publishers which amounts to "This makes no sense. We aren't going to publish it." and instead of learning from your mistakes, you're trying to force the idea that the audience is responsible for explaining poor writing. If enough people begin to believe that, perhaps you will be published one day.

LetalisK:

Grey Carter:

After considering the issue, I'm a bit more moderate, but still convinced this whole issue will encourage other developers to experiment less when it comes to narrative. They'll take the safe option rather than risk fan outrage. That, to me, seems like a step toward the heavy duty focus testing of Hollywood films.

At first, this notion was absurd to me, but I understand how the outcry can be interpreted this way. The ME3 ending was not a creative experiment. It was a rushed hack job. It's closer to being the "safe option" than anything. But Bioware is known for their attempts at creative narratives and if a developer isn't sufficiently aware of this issue, they could misunderstand the outrage as something condemning experimentation.

I agree with a lot of the criticism of the ending, certainly that it was rushed, but I don't think it's a "safe" ending at all. The game took a very allegorical turn in the last five minutes, and the endings made monumental changes to the series' universe. In a market full of games with "open" endings to ensure a direct sequel is possible, I find the finality and scope of the ME3 endings refreshing. It's a shame everything else about them sucked.

Grey Carter:
I agree with a lot of the criticism of the ending, certainly that it was rushed, but I don't think it's a "safe" ending at all. The game took a very allegorical turn in the last five minutes, and the endings made monumental changes to the series' universe. In a market full of games with "open" endings to ensure a direct sequel is possible, I find the finality and scope of the ME3 endings refreshing. It's a shame everything else about them sucked.

From my limited experience, the bolded part seems to be a common sentiment among those that rail against the ending, so that's common ground. As for the ending being safe, in my opinion it felt like it was a go-to ending-in-a-box that was slapped on the end. I didn't feel there was any kind of creative exploration and it was an ending just because it needed to end at some point. So they threw in three "different" endings that required relatively little time to develop and if there was any sort of new creative allegory or changes it was not given its due. I don't see this as a creative error on their part, though. I see it as a business error as I get the distinct feeling that deadlines and pressure from above were the primary problems in this whole debacle. The idea that Bioware created this intricate story and then at the end said "Screw it, we're tired and don't care, let's just slap something on the end and call it a day" is something that makes no sense to me.

On a side note, I'm firmly in the "Retake ME3" camp(even though I disagree with the name), but I didn't see that comic as insulting at all. It was quite humorous as usual. :)

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