Extra Credits Takes a Stab at the Mass Effect 3 issues

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Holy shit there's a lot of anger and bitterness in this thread. It's perilously close to name calling, that's how immature some of this is.

Anyway, interesting stance on it. I didn't like the ending, not one jot. I don't have the motivation to power through Insanity difficulty because I know that it's waiting for me.

However, I'm not sure if I want it changed. Yes, it seems rushed (and probably was), it answered nothing and made more questions, and didn't make my choices seem to matter, but I'm not sure changing it completely would be the answer.

The indoctrination theory seems the most plausible way of sorting this out, as they can simply declare the Star Child to be fluff and give people a more concrete ending. However, if it is true, good luck to Bioware in not making themselves look like greedy bastards who planned to sell the ending from the start (or EA, depending on who your personally blame.)

BloatedGuppy:

Starke:
As a parody it could have actually been pretty funny. The problem was that it was pretty apparent that the video that this was him pouring his heart out.

The problem is, you can't really "pour your heart out" with complete strangers because they just don't care about your well being. (Not you personally, "you" as an indefinite.) And the end result blows so many social cues you basically destroy your credibility.

It's not even that I don't care about his well being. It's that, going by that story, his well being was never really in jeopardy. He liked some games, some pretty low impact shit happened, and now he's fine. The end! Given the emotionally heady tone he adopted I was anticipating stories of smashed relationships and alienated kids and lost jobs and a once promising life derailed. It was an utter non event, and he completely misjudged the impact of it. It's like trying to describe a dream to a friend. For you, it's fraught with emotion and subtext and meaning. For the friend, it's a bizarre little anecdote that is utterly meaningless and doesn't apply to them in any way.

...unless of course they mention that it included gay sex with you, in which case it goes from utterly meaningless to freakin' weird... (I actually had a slightly more psychologically friend do exactly that, once.)

But, yeah, well said.

Fawxy:
image

No but seriously, why's there so much butthurt in this thread?

Another question: how does Mass Effect 3 being "art" absolve it from criticism? Anyone care to explain this?

I seriously cannot, I think I know why but my literary skills are lacking to the point of butchering any attempt to textually convey my inner thoughts so and thus I will not even try as I run the risk of having half a dozen replies scolding or praising my inaccurate statement. Neither of which are remotely desired by me.

EDIT: One thing I can add is that we are by nature designed to argue, even when proven wrong and even when we actually self acknowledge it we will not cave to keep face. In the end just back and forth bickering.

I haven't even played any of the Mass Effect games and I already knew the stance Dan was going to take based on how he always reacts to gamer rage. Does that make any sense?

Eh, I can't say I agree with their take on "artistic integrity" in this case as, from a narrative perspective the ending's a veritable trainwreck and as I see it an unwillingness to either point out or fix flaws in one's craft should be anathema to an artist. That said, I can respect EC's position as well argued and researched.

I'm tired of talking about ME3, but the worst part of what they said was "the first two games didn't have different endings so this one doesn't need them." The problem with that(besides that BioWare SAID IT WOULD) is that the first two games didn't end so much as they had a stopping point. The story is a TRILOGY. It wasn't really an ending until ME3. The first 2 games had to set up the next one, they COULDN'T end drastically differently! No such restrictions on ME3.

I don't understand the concept of people having to accept it just because it's art when they are making people pay a price for it. At that point it becomes a buisness and buisness is all about supply and demand. No matter what a beutiful peice of art someone thinks it is, it needs to appease it's audiance or they're not going to have a profit.

I understand if people want to call it art, but there's also a buisness side to it and you can't make a piece of shit, call it art, and expect people to buy it... no matter how many journalists and reviewers decide to look down upon you.

Not-for-profit games are what I would call art; designed not for profit but to convey and idea. When you put a price on it, it becomes a buisness and must adhere to the rules of one. Bioware is a buisness and should act like one.

I'm surprised he didn't support the idea of a kick-starter page to get a new ending made. Then once they had enough money, and keep the extra.

Limecake:

Maybe I am missing something, I just find it ironic people can claim "It doesn't matter if games are considered art or not" When they are talking about the most story driven game I've ever played.

This whole uproar is based around the story of the game. The emotional investment you have towards the Mass Effect universe only exists because the people making the game consider it art.

you don't have to be an 'artsy' guy and you don't have to care. But I can see a huge step up from games with almost no artistic value (like space invaders) to modern games like Bastion and Limbo.

Blah I find this argument completely noxious to actual intelligent discussion. "You have to care about games being considered art because otherwise games would never improve." It's the exactly same narrative extra credits always uses on their numerous attempts to impress on people that "games being art is super important."

First off, not only are the terms nebulous buzzwords, nobody can even prove anyone who worked on a game actually had a care for games being art/ artistic integrity/ artistic direction. How can we attribute any let alone all progress to "people caring about art" when this invisible phantasm notion can't even be shown to be relevant to whatever game you're discussing.

And more importantly this "our games are art" shit only comes indies and the numerous "story-driven" pseudo cinematic video game hybrids that are littering the high budget game industry. The sentiment is absent in developers of Multi-player FPS, RTS, TBS, Simulation, racing, sports, gun shooting, fighter, STG, rythym, MUD, MMOs, rougelikes and numerous other genres. It's all for the best considering the games that are considered the "pinnacle of art" are mostly deprived of complex mechanical design or good multi-player.

longboardfan:
Hey artistic hacks, guess what. This is a game, a product one buys and spends money on.

Stop sucking on Kubrick's wang and get over yourself. 2001 was not a good movie, stop trying to force that on us.

See, when I'm talking about people being anti-intellectual and immature, this is the sort of thing I'm referring to. How is this guy helping anyone?

Hammartroll:
Not-for-profit games are what I would call art; designed not for profit but to convey and idea. When you put a price on it, it becomes a buisness and must adhere to the rules of one. Bioware is a buisness and should act like one.

So it stops being art when you're no longer doing it pro bono? I don't follow.

Halo Fanboy:
And more importantly this "our games are art" shit only comes indies and the numerous "story-driven" pseudo cinematic video game hybrids that are littering the high budget game industry. The sentiment is absent in developers of Multi-player FPS, RTS, TBS, Simulation, racing, sports, gun shooting, fighter, STG, rythym, MUD, MMOs, rougelikes and numerous other genres. It's all for the best considering the games that are considered the "pinnacle of art" are mostly deprived of complex mechanical design or good multi-player.

Film is considered art, but not all films are artistic. And those that are, aren't always good. Same thing with prose. And music. And painting. And photography. As much as I love the filmography of David Cronenberg, there are some nights where I just want to pop in a Roger Corman creature feature. Is there a reason I can't have both? Do I have to pick one or the other and stick with it?

Further, do you believe that you can art in moments? The bomb scene in CoD 4 gets a lot of praise, and rightly so. It was genuinely unexpected and generated a real visceral response in players that drove home the unpleasant realities of warfare. The rest of the game was basically just gun and explosion porn, but does it make that scene any less clever or evocative? Is there any reason we can't have more stuff like that?

Sutter Cane:

endtherapture:

SmashLovesTitanQuest:

No, fuck this, im done. Im never reading anything remotely related to EC again. I knew it was coming, I read it anyway, fuck this, fuck EC, fuck everything.

*Leaves tossing over random objects and kicking doors*

(Seriously though, I disagree. I knew EC would role out the pretentious artistic vision shit.)

Games critics defending "artistic integrity" blah blah blah is getting so fucking old.

Yeah, how DARE game critics want to treat games as a true art form? Shame on them for trying to treat the medium with a little bit of respect.

As a gamer myself I have to say that video games right now don't deserve that respec

Thoric485:
Wow, i even read his posts in that annoying voice he uses in his videos.

Anyway, it's kind of funny that people are so outraged at the fans compromising BioWare's creative vision, but don't say a peep about EA's influence on the company. So BioWare are perfectly fine with having a 2 year development cycle, cutting up their games for DLC and inserting idiotic cameos, but this is what crosses the line?

EA are the frontmen of the games as a service idea, cutting corners for profit is their goddamn company policy. The work BioWare produce under them is not art, calling it art is an insult to every developer that invests genuine love and craftsmanship into their games.

Thank you. No really, thank you for seeing this for what it is. This isn't some poor up and coming movie director living next door, or the quintessential starving artist you see on the street corner. Why can people not see this. Video games in the current climate are on a whole different plane than movies, paintings, etc. It's an environment predominantly built upon making as much money for as little effort and in as little time as possible... I don't understand how anyone can miss this. It surprises me that so many of these "artistic integrity" advocates are willing to stand up for the slimy likes of EA.

News flash for you guys, EA and by extension Bioware (I really feel bad for what's happened to them) don't give a syphilitic rat's ass about art. Neither I would assume does Jessica Slutbot or Freddie D-bag jr. Oh, but they will take that money you have in your pocket there...

oh....you wanted what you actually thought you paid for? I see you have some more money in your pocket there....we'll take that for the DLC.

SaneAmongInsane:
I'm surprised he didn't support the idea of a kick-starter page to get a new ending made. Then once they had enough money, and keep the extra.

They also offered to refund anyone who gave it to them, outlined a specific plan for it related to their purview and, most importantly, didn't tell people to give over the requested amount in the first fucking place. So yeah, full story.

DrVornoff:

longboardfan:
Hey artistic hacks, guess what. This is a game, a product one buys and spends money on.

Stop sucking on Kubrick's wang and get over yourself. 2001 was not a good movie, stop trying to force that on us.

See, when I'm talking about people being anti-intellectual and immature, this is the sort of thing I'm referring to. How is this guy helping anyone?

Well, to be fari Kubrick's movies seem to be alwasy shitty as adaptations of the source material. 2001 was a great film, but if you read the book start to wonder if Kubrick ever did.

DrVornoff:

longboardfan:
Hey artistic hacks, guess what. This is a game, a product one buys and spends money on.

Stop sucking on Kubrick's wang and get over yourself. 2001 was not a good movie, stop trying to force that on us.

See, when I'm talking about people being anti-intellectual and immature, this is the sort of thing I'm referring to. How is this guy helping anyone?

hahaha, oh wow congrats for ignoring the entire rest of my post. Oh noes! I dare to mock the famous Stanley Kubrick. How dare I! I'm not helping you, I'm helping ME! I want to help me by venting online. I'm being anti-intellectual? How full of crap you are. You're implying that the artistic hacks claiming that the ending is perfect, that we're "just too stupid" to understand the brilliance, are some how better then the rest of us. Oh really, well here's a clue. I paid money for a finished product. I didn't get one.

Podunk:

SaneAmongInsane:
I'm surprised he didn't support the idea of a kick-starter page to get a new ending made. Then once they had enough money, and keep the extra.

They also offered to refund anyone who gave it to them, outlined a specific plan for it related to their purview and, most importantly, didn't tell people to give over the requested amount in the first fucking place. So yeah, full story.

Why tell the full story when you can complain on the internet?

Tanakh:
Well, to be fari Kubrick's movies seem to be alwasy shitty as adaptations of the source material. 2001 was a great film, but if you read the book start to wonder if Kubrick ever did.

That depends on whether or not you believe the adaptation must be totally faithful to the source material. I don't.

longboardfan:
You're implying that the artistic hacks claiming that the ending is perfect,

No I'm not and no they aren't. Had you actually read what they said, you would have already known that.

that we're "just too stupid"

I wasn't going to say anything.

Oh really, well here's a clue. I paid money for a finished product. I didn't get one.

Caveat emptor, sunshine.

DrVornoff:

Film is considered art, but not all films are artistic. And those that are, aren't always good. Same thing with prose. And music. And painting. And photography. As much as I love the filmography of David Cronenberg, there are some nights where I just want to pop in a Roger Corman creature feature. Is there a reason I can't have both? Do I have to pick one or the other and stick with it?

Further, do you believe that you can art in moments? The bomb scene in CoD 4 gets a lot of praise, and rightly so. It was genuinely unexpected and generated a real visceral response in players that drove home the unpleasant realities of warfare. The rest of the game was basically just gun and explosion porn, but does it make that scene any less clever or evocative? Is there any reason we can't have more stuff like that?

Uh, I just want to demonstrate that art issue isn't as necessary to good games as people are saying it is.

If the "failure" of Mass Effect 3's final minutes has done anything, it has proven exactly how successful the rest of the trilogy was.

Fantastically said, Daniel Floyd, if only there were actually people who didn't realize how amazing the series had been up until that point. Even the best whiskey, perfectly aged in the greatest of oak casks, can have a soured opinion if the aftertaste leaves you wondering if they slipped in some rancid horse urine there at the end. Congratulations him on completely grasping the thing that made us all so angry, then saying that he wouldn't talk about it.

No closure, no account, no affirmation, and an ending theme completely disjointed from the rest of the point of the narrative would make anything fall flat. They want to end it on a bleak note, great, fantastic, it's their option as creators. People can bitch about that all they like.

Know what else would have proven how successful the trilogy was? If it had ended efficiently. Does anyone think Star Wars or Lord of the Rings would have been improved with a botched ending, where we could say "Wow, what a great series. Except for the ending that was so crap it threatened our memories of the rest of the trilogy." No. There's no call for an ending so messed up, when everything else in the series has come together to be an actual, honest to gods epic, a tale of impossible odds, of victories and deaths, of noble sacrifice and of heroic deeds.

DrVornoff:
That depends on whether or not you believe the adaptation must be totally faithful to the source material. I don't.

But if you are going to change it, then improve it. HAL was improved, so i am fine with that, the ending was horrible! You don't mix hard Sci-Fi with surrealism, not to mention fucking up the continuity for the next 4 books.

That said, i am totally cold to the psychodelia and most of the 60's, so YMMV. I am just grateful Clark ignored that hippy nonsensensical end in the rest of the series.

Halo Fanboy:
Uh, I just want to demonstrate that art issue isn't as necessary to good games as people are saying it is.

The second half of your post didn't make that terribly clear. Nevertheless, I too believe that every medium benefits by the handful of artists who try to do new and interesting things with it. Think of how many good movies we got because Georges Meliers more or less invented special effects.

Tanakh:
the ending was horrible! You don't mix hard Sci-Fi with surrealism,

Debatable. I preferred A Clockwork Orange myself, but 2001 still had an impact on me.

BloatedGuppy:

klaynexas3:
it was a well written ending, and was like a tragedy. i did like that i could keep playing after the new ending, but still, i feel that prevents it's ability to have any closure and have any effect on me.

Hehehe really? Really? I remember there was kind of a "BLAT" noise, and you were a little bit of dust, and then you got some really perfunctory aftermath paragraphs, and then the game was over. I guess you could argue that the CONCEPT of the sacrifice was kind of moving, but the execution was so hilariously awful I actually can't stop laughing while I'm writing this.

No...Broken Steel was necessary, unfortunately.

i remember it differently, maybe because i haven't beaten it in a few years, but i remember things getting woozy and me dying of radiation poisoning, and yeah, the narrator comes and talks about what happens after this, but i'm dead, not like i can really play through the after math. and i guess that's a matter of opinion on whether the continuation was necessary or not, because i think the game was fine enough as was before hand

Tanakh:

DrVornoff:

longboardfan:
Hey artistic hacks, guess what. This is a game, a product one buys and spends money on.

Stop sucking on Kubrick's wang and get over yourself. 2001 was not a good movie, stop trying to force that on us.

See, when I'm talking about people being anti-intellectual and immature, this is the sort of thing I'm referring to. How is this guy helping anyone?

Well, to be fari Kubrick's movies seem to be alwasy shitty as adaptations of the source material. 2001 was a great film, but if you read the book start to wonder if Kubrick ever did.

I hate to get off-topic, but the movie was released before the book.

DrVornoff:
Debatable. I preferred A Clockwork Orange myself, but 2001 still had an impact on me.

Debatable my ass. You would need to be a genious of Robert Johnson proportions to combine two things as diametrically oposed as surrealims and hard sci-fi ending up with someting better.

I guess he had little choice though, the ending of the book open, it was obv planned as a series, and back then trilogies were out of style. So for an ending that he needed to devise it was good enough.

217not237:
I hate to get off-topic, but the movie was released before the book.

Yep, it was, and?

So, I have a question for the "games are art" folks out there. Let's say, just for a second, that games are art. Why then, are they the only form of art in the world that is immune to criticism? Nobody is forcing Bioware/EA to change the game. All people are doing is voicing their complaints, some better than others, but nobody has a gun to someone's head forcing them to change it.

Why then, is it a terrible strike against artistic integrity when gamers say "No, this is shit. You should change it" but it isn't when someone says it about a painting or music?

Tanakh:
Debatable my ass. You would need to be a genious of Robert Johnson proportions to combine two things as diametrically oposed as surrealims and hard sci-fi ending up with someting better.

Are we really going to argue taste?

Is anyone going to acknowledge that maybe the idea of consumers holding a studio responsible for their actions might be a good thing? This will lead to developers being more inclined to accept real fan-feedback because it proves that we are still a powerful force to be reckoned with, and they'll be less likely to cut corners in places where it matters.

I'm very disappointed in EC for falling into that tired 'artistic integrity' bulls**t. It doesn't apply to a commercial product, and it does not justify a failure to meet the promises made before release, and Bioware will not set a 'dangerous precedent' by fixing their crass mistake, end of story.

DrVornoff:
Are we really going to argue taste?

Yes we are! How can you justify changing from a hiperrealistic Sci-Fi narrative (as realistic as Sci-Fi can go anyway) to a mystic based one in the last minutes of the film? And PM me, we have derrailed this long enough :P

And by we i mean I, have that nasty habit on boring threds

Tanakh:

217not237:
I hate to get off-topic, but the movie was released before the book.

Yep, it was, and?

Well, your comment said it was a poor adaptation.

217not237:
Well, your comment said it was a poor adaptation.

It is, the movie is based on the book mate. The movie also happens to be realeased before.

Jodah:
Why then, are they the only form of art in the world that is immune to criticism?

I personally at no point said that it was. Just that I have mixed feelings about changing it.

Nobody is forcing Bioware/EA to change the game. All people are doing is voicing their complaints, some better than others, but nobody has a gun to someone's head forcing them to change it.

Well, there is that one dildo who's filing a lawsuit with the FTC, but I think we all know that will end in hilarious failure.

Why then, is it a terrible strike against artistic integrity when gamers say "No, this is shit. You should change it" but it isn't when someone says it about a painting or music?

I never suggested any such thing. I will say this though. If the artist hears that people didn't like one of their works and decide to change it, that is their prerogative. If however you demand that it be changed to appease you (as a few here have done), if you wish active malicious misfortune upon the artist for selling you a work that you didn't like (again as some here have done), or your complaint is mind-blowingly stupid (see the would-be songwriter Gavin Dunne describes in his Encore column about Sovngarde Song), then I will politely leave the room so that you can have some privacy in which to go fuck yourself.

Gigatoast:
I'm very disappointed in EC for falling into that tired 'artistic integrity' bulls**t. It doesn't apply to a commercial product, and it does not justify a failure to meet the promises made before release, and Bioware will not set a 'dangerous precedent' by fixing their crass mistake, end of story.

Technically, all Dan said was that if Bioware want to add an addendum for closure, they're free to do so. He just hopes that if they do so, they stand by their decision not to go with a more predictable sort of ending. What's so disagreeable about that?

Tanakh:
Yes we are! How can you justify changing from a hiperrealistic Sci-Fi narrative (as realistic as Sci-Fi can go anyway) to a mystic based one in the last minutes of the film? And PM me, we have derrailed this long enough :P

No, because I don't argue taste. Ever. No one comes out of such an argument smelling like roses. If you didn't like the ending, that's your business.

I hope Bioware's DLC screws up the ending even MORE...just to piss off all these crybabies.

I have to respectfully disagree with the EC guys.
For this whole argument about artistic integrity, I've thought of a new point to bring out.

EA likely doesn't give a shit about artistic integrity, and I highly doubt that Mass Effect 3 is the game that it is because EA respected Bioware's artistic vision. I'm still convinced that multiplayer was put in just so they could charge for an online pass.

So, I'm pretty sure Bioware's artistic integrity was already shot by EA, and even if it wasn't, I don't think that adding on to the ending (I highly doubt that they're actually going to change it completely, and any DLC is probably just going to add onto the ending.) does anything to damage the message or theme that they were trying to get across. And even if it does, they sacrificed a coherent ending for artistic integrity, and given the choice between the two, I'd take a coherent ending.

I'm amazed people are still flipping out about .01% of the game, when I'm sure more than 60% are replaying the game regardless.

They'll make a new ending that goes with DLC just like Fallout 3 and Sonic 3 & Knuckles, then everyone will be upset they have to pay for the new ending like it's something that hasn't been done before.

Jodah:
So, I have a question for the "games are art" folks out there. Let's say, just for a second, that games are art. Why then, are they the only form of art in the world that is immune to criticism? Nobody is forcing Bioware/EA to change the game. All people are doing is voicing their complaints, some better than others, but nobody has a gun to someone's head forcing them to change it.

Why then, is it a terrible strike against artistic integrity when gamers say "No, this is shit. You should change it" but it isn't when someone says it about a painting or music?

It isn't immune to criticism anymore than books and movies are. You are perfectly allowed to say "I really didn't like the way you did this ending, I think you could have handled it better."

However you are not allowed to demand them to change it after the work has been released- if they ask you for your opinion before the product is released, you can tell them that they should change it- they are asking you to take part in their artistic vision. After the piece is released, everybody else is not taking part in developing it- they are experiencing it. There's a bit of a difference. As far as I know, there hasn't been anyone that had DEMANDED an ending be wholly rewritten after the piece has been released in any medium aside from video games.

RatRace123:
EA likely doesn't give a shit about artistic integrity, and I highly doubt that Mass Effect 3 is the game that it is because EA respected Bioware's artistic vision. I'm still convinced that multiplayer was put in just so they could charge for an online pass.

You know what? You're probably right about that. But doesn't that make Bioware something of an underdog?

I don't think any of us (who weren't born with fetal alcohol syndrome) really believe that Bioware made that ending just to say, "Haha, take that, fuckwads!" If you have a grievance, by all means say so. But assuming that Bioware release a DLC to alter the ending, would it be so bad if they simply tied up the loose ends, provided closure and otherwise stuck to their guns?

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