Sunday, March 25, 2012

EPISODE 68: "Crass Effect"

Here it is - The OverThinker on "Re-Take Mass Effect."

Yes, I wish I could've thought of a better title, too.


MerelyAFan said...

Okay I've never played Mass Effect; hell I'm a little unsure as to what genre the game series is, so as far as the game proper, I have no specific dog in this fight.

Now the issue as you have laid out it is that the campaign by fans that Bioware should change the ending via alteration or DLC is a false entitlement by the fans, which is assuming the same level of creative rights as the makers, and is perhaps hurting the game's status as art and making/confirming its status as just a product. I'm hoping I've got the gist.

So... is it specifically the attitude and/or is it the specific action by the fans that are causing a backlash here? Is wanting someone to make a better ending the entitled aspect or does that not come in until they're pushing the creators to do it?

Because the steps here would seem "Not liking the ending, fine; wishing the ending had been different, fine; campaigning for them to change the ending, absolutely not because that's entitlement." Specifically its the tone and language that the fans have when in fact the creators do not owe the fans, nor should they have to do it; and all that's putting aside the potential damage its doing by limiting video game's potential as art itself.

And on paper I guess I can get that, but where do you drawn the line specifically for the artistic process? Let's say hypothetically that Michael Bay was going to have the turtles from TMNT be aliens, but the backlash and an online campaign caused him to change that while in production. Is that entitlement by the fans because its directly causing a piece of art to be altered? Or does that only apply to completed works?

If an audience at a test screening responded negatively to a character in a film for whatever reason, and included in their response that the particular character should be different, and such an alteration was indeed done; has the film lost a sense of artistic status because its content changed thanks to viewer response? Is that a case where because its a test screening the entitlement is to be expected?

Why does this only apply to the story? If a creator of a PC game emphasized that it was meant to be played in a certain way, and mod/patch request to alter some aspect of the gameplay existed, and was released, is that just considered okay in comparison to a story change?

Ignoring the legal problems that would ensue, if someone (outside Bioware) independently created a free DLC that in one respect or another fixed issues with the ending, would that be considered fine because like fanfic its not forcing the creators to do it?

Don't get me wrong, pragmatically I can see the negative effects of Bioware relenting, specifically in that it could put in an expectation that every ending that doesn't please somebody should have another alternative. But I guess in and of itself I'm not sure precisely where the reasonable responds ends, and the outrageous fan action begins.

volvo crusher said...

I agree on the fans, this sense of entitlement is stupid. I was as hyped as you could get for this game, but even I wouldn't go that far if I didn't like the ending.
But the thing is, they're not telling Bioware to go against their vision. That's their intention, but there's no way that this was the ending that Bioware would have wanted. They made me a gamer, I've been playing their games for years, and I can just tell when something feels off.
There's just a lot of things pointing to either them or EA wanting to put the real ending as DLC, for what reason I don't know yet. It's not big hints either, it's really little touches that you always see for replays so that whatever twist happens is backed up by what preceded it. I can't really go much more into it unless you've played the game.
Also, I get your skepticism about choices, but they do work in games, and only games. The comparison to choose your own adventure books isn't as good as you think those choices do nothing but pull you out and go off into random stories, all of which feel half assed because of how many plots the author needed to write. Games don't do that, picking a choice is helped by being in a conversation with a character, and they tend to adhere to a very similar plot in Bioware, it's the little things that are changed. And this company is great at handling the little things, that's why their games have worked. If they're not for you, that's fine, but they do have a place and can be used to tell a great story. Every medium has its own strengths and things only it can do, choices are something which can only be done with gaming.

Thomas Winwood said...

One point of clarification, Bob, since you haven't actually played Mass Effect 3 (I haven't either, not being a Mass Effector, but I've spoken to people who have).

The choices made ingame don't affect the ending in the slightest. You reach the end and pick a colour, and that's the colour of the explosion at the end. That's it.

Jacob said...

I agree though if this campaign does sort of work which games are you going to sarcastically say should have their endings changed to be good (stares at Baten Kaitos). Anyway I don't have much else to say on the subject, but i don't have a twitter so I thought I would write the pre-2000 characters that deserve 2nd shot here, note I only played a few of these games and the rest came from random searching where the concept sounded interesting and the game could be just awful:

1. Hype from Hype the time quest. A ripoff of legend of zelda with playmobil. That is good enough for me.

2. Croc from Croc and Croc 2. A platformer where you jump on things and collect other things. I liked it and I wasn't the only one so why not.

3. T'ai fu from T'aifu: wrath of the tiger. A martial artist tiger trying to get revenge on martial artist dragons. Need I say more.

4. The snowboard kids from snowboard kids. I really liked the game for some reason and had a blast as a kid so why not.

5.Slave Zero from Slave Zero. A guy puts his mind in a captured giant robot to fight other giant robots. I love video games.

6. The Shadow man from Shadow Man. He's a voodoo warrior loosely based of a comic book. Good enough for me. The game did get a sequel in 2002, but i can't find much info on it so i think he still counts.

7. Tomba from the Tomba series. He's a caveman with pink hair who fights evil pigs. I really love video games.

8. Rynn and Arkoh from the Drakan series. Rynn is a woman who rides her dragon Arkoh when she isn't killing monsters. Also got a sequel released in 2002, but there need to be more dragon riding games so I'm counting her.

9.Klaymen from the Neverhood and Skullmonkeys. There needs to be more art styles and a game that looks like claymation would be awesome to do so why not put bring this guy back.

10.Glover from Glover. A magical sentient glove. Why not.

So that's all I got for now and I enjoyed the video.

Mads said...

Wellp, this show was full of straw men.

I mean...yeah, you're right to answer each of those questions the way you answer them, but those questions aren't repressentative of what the fans are saying.

Those questions are certainly interesting and poignant to answer, but they just don't get at the actual complaints.

So I don't know what to do with it.

That said, the idea that an author has absolutely no responsibility to his audience? Ridiculous. Financially, and in terms of property, absolutely true.

But how would you feel if Luke Skywalker became a mascot for bud light? Would that shit be alright?

eric said...

" ugh people on the internet whining about something" is pretty much the most boring discussion topic one could possibly muster.

Inert and pathetic petitions are a dime a dozen on the web but in the cases where game companies actually listen to fans the results are pretty much always positive. AE2012, Futari 1.5 and Bungie adding the MLG playlist are good examples and this will only continue as games become more easy to modify.

Your argument that people don't have the right to demand anything is correct but "rights" are severely unimportant in this issue. Rights are for lawyers, if I see something I disagree I'll exert whatever small influence I can to change it lol.

don't give a shit about ME3 btw

TheDVDGrouch said...

Thank you Bob you took the words right out of my mouth.

I'm a Mass Effect fan & I like to think I know a betrayal when I see one. And Mass Effect 3 was no betrayal. It had a slightly disappointing end but that's it.

So did Lost & The Soapranos but we live we learn and we move on.

Vector said...

Responding to points as you go.

Nobody really expected every choice to come into play, but nothing comes into play, in fact the ending ignores two major storylines that have direct impact on the motives of the bad guys. You disproved their entire reason for being and it doesn't even get a mention, they didn't care enough to handwave it. They did not even bother to give the illusion that the previous games mattered. If you promise that our choices will matter in the ending, then have nothing prior to the ending come into play then you have deceived your audience in a unforgivably way.
People also say "nothing matters" because not only does none of it impact the ending but the ending makes it so that all choices end up in the same place. Up untill the ending our game worlds could be vastly different and going in very different directions for the future, after the ending they are the same.

So you can be as deceptive as you wish, so long as you do not technically lie? You would not accept a politician saying that they favor women's rights if by "women's rights" they meant the right to take a beating. Would you be happy if fans used the words "Intentionally Deceptive" or is this more than empty semantics on your part?

Also why does their changing their work based on fan reaction different from a novel or movie changing the ending, something that does happen. Are you suggesting that I shouldn't respect books?

Anonymous said...

One thing to the people who said that the ending doesn't change or have any relevance to your actions. I get that for the final Final part, but isn't the whole game in itself a big send off ending of the trilogy. There are so many things changed by you in the final game and the ones before. Your actions did change things, nearly the whole game. Just my opinion, what do you guys think?

Jannie said...

I seriously can't believe you're willing to wade into this fight without even watching the ending. Let me spoil it for you:

God comes in a tells you that he created robots to kill all organic life in the galaxy because he was afraid robots would kill all organic life in the galaxy. If anyone here sees a logical error in God's reasoning, congratulations, you're over the age of six. At any rate, after this you're given a choice to either kill every robot in existence, even the good ones; take control of God's robot army and tell it to kindly fuck off; or merge all organic life with robots to create cyborgs...somehow.

All of this, mind you, is achieved by a huge series of interstellar explosions caused by the series' FTL drive of choice melting down. Every cinematic is precisely identical, so regardless of what they say, in the end none of these endings is appreciably different. Yes in one God's robot army flies off, in another the sky turns green before they do, and in another they just lay down for a nap, but if you want to argue anything other than that has changed you're simply wrong.

Now here's the thing, and I know this is hard to believe, but yes Bioware did lie. They said, in no uncertain terms, that there would be SIXTEEN endings and each would be "wildly different" (EXACT WORDS) from one another. There are no more than three if you're generous, one if you're being honest. If that isn't lying in your book Bob I have no idea what would count.

This is beside the point but, really, what is this obsession with games being "taken seriously"? By who? By critics? By Roger Ebert? By God? Who is this nebulous Council of Serious Dramas that decides games aren't a "real" medium unless and until every game is Dear Esther or whatever? And more so, why should I care?

If games being taking "seriously" means what makes them genuinely unique--that they change, that players decide their own path--has to die I would rather give up all the art in the world than something I and millions of others truly love to make some art critics' dicks feel bigger. Games aren't art...thank Christ.

Jannie said...

By the way, totally off topic, but needs to be said--seriously, FUCK art.

There is no such ting, objectively, as art. It is impossible to quantify and if you asked 100 people what art was they'd say 100 different things...each! In science when you preform an experiment and get different results each time, its called "bullshit".

But even if, by definition, art wasn't subjective and therefore bullshit it STILL would be completely irrelevant because, again, it's impossible to quantify. You cannot actually measure or determine any kind of actual artistic merit because what is and isn't art is a concept so blurry it may as well be a 3DS game. I;m reminded of a story about how once some rich guy invited a bunch of art critics to see paintings made by a monkey which, of course, every one of them loved. It was such a famous hoax it's been replicated by later trolls with books, movies and art again.

And even if THAT weren't true, even if it could be quantified and defined, even if it weren't bullshit and subjective STILL is a complete wash. Humans create things, and it doesn't matter if you're consciously aware of it or not, but we create things purely because of either utility (i.e, something we need like a hammer or a gun, that serves a single purpose) or for aesthetics--not JUST being pretty but also being appealing in some other way. The Scream is just as aesthetically pleasing as a picture of a flower but for different reasons. Therefore all art is not created for the purpose of artistic merit but for aesthetics, usually the unique aesthetics of the creator, due to the fact they serve no utilitarian purpose.

In short--the reason games aren't art is because games are:

B--well defined
D--actually fucking exist

So if someone says they want games to be art, my response is that I want to be a dragon, but those don't exist either so neither one of us gets to have our dreams come true.

T4_was_here said...

Meh, this whole gen is entitlement.(and not just with games)
If they want a better ending mod it them self.
Dont ask, just DO.
Like the guys that remade all of the Morrowind grafix in HD.
That the true way.
Its also why I think the whole games MUST be ART is B! S!
Or atlest I'm sick of it.
I'm a fan of Warhammer and other board games and they will never be art, but I can still injoy them.
But I'm curious where the Mass Effect franchise will go after this.

Anonymous said...

I will concede that after choosing an ending for Mass Effect 3, my overall reaction was summed up as "That's it? You've got to be shitting me." The thing is, while the ending isn't particularly good, it's only the tip of the iceberg. Now that we have the complete picture, I think it's finally dawning on us that there's quite a bit wrong with it. "Fixing" the ending isn't going to address all the other problems (some of them kinda serious) with the story.

Anonymous said...

"But I'm curious where the Mass Effect franchise will go after this."

Everyone and everything is dead.
Not a lot of ways for that to play out.

Jon The Wizard said...

My sole problem with the ending is there is zero closure. That's it.

Megabyte said...

entitlement.... it's becoming one hell of a problem across culture, not just gaming culture. Although I suppose if any creative area would show it first, it would be video games. I mean, you mentioned books, but we have an entire generation who overall believes books are a waste of time and they can get the same stories from movies quicker. They wont see it there.. and for the same reason wont for movies iether. They wasted, what, two hours if they didn't like it?

To that end, games are unique in that this new generation will spend more time with one then any book or movie series. Expect this to get worse before it gets better.

Spongey Blob said...

Well, it's been a while since I've commented here.

So, to quickly address the Mass Effect thing before going onto my main points so everyone knows where I stand. Are the measures Mass Effect fans taking reasonable? No; I see where they're coming from (onto that in a minute) but the whole death threat thing and an entire organisation is extremely stupid and petty. Were they wrong to begin protesting and ask for change in the first place? Again no; Bioware promised the exact opposite of this, and seeing as EA have made such a habit of DLC, then a number of endings that DO reflect the series and do it justice is not an unreasonable thing to ask for. Do see why the Mass Effect fans are so angry, and why the Retake Mass Effect campaign start? Oh hell yes, but not for the time it took or how much I enjoyed the games. It's the money for me. In Britain, a new game costs about £40, but Mass Effect 3 also tied on disc locked content that I had already paid for, but I had to fork over another £10 to get at, and there was another £20 for ME1 DLC, £40 for ME2. This isn't a film where I spend £5 on a cinema ticket, it's a good 90 minutes but the ending 10 minutes sucks, and I go home with five quid less. This is, assuming I bought them all brand new and every package of DLC, roughly £200 for a full experience. If I had put £200 into something and was then suddenly given a shit ending that pretty much made everything beforehand null and void, I'd not really be in the mood to be reasonable about this. So, while I disagree with the methods, you're not wrong to ask for new endings and I completely understand why you're angry.

Now that's out of the way, my first complaint is also my shortest. The idea that gaming needs to be respected by other mediums, or else we'll never be respected. Who the fuck cares? No, really, who in the flying fuck cares about 'video games are art'? Art is subjective; as much as I'll trumpet that you can objectively say one thing's poorly made and one isn't, if someone finds meaning then, to them, it's art. Hell, and as much as saying this makes me want to puke, even Twilight is art to someone, even if they are a fourteen year old girl who smells like the inside of a scotch egg and cums at the sight of the boy sitting in front of her wetting himself. So why do gamers need some kind of validation to know that video games are art? If you've found meaning in any game, then they're art to you, and if you're really the insecure type who feels that he needs to get approval from other people before he can cry at the Silent Hill 2 In Water ending, you have no business trying to defend it anyway.

And who are we asking for validation from, anyway? News outlets? They've made their mind up; they'll hound video games until something even more current and scary comes along. Fox News will attack anything to the left of Mussolini, so they're pretty much the last people video games want approval from anyway. And what about film, books and television? The mediums that are repeatedly and utterly crushed by video games in the profit it makes and the numbers it reaps. To paraphrase noted TV critic Charlie Brooker; "... video games asking for approval from television is like a young, amazing warrior with wounded pride begging for approval from a dying, irrelevant king with dementia." Besides, have you turned on the TV recently? As much as I bash Nintendo for pumping out the same games every console generation, even they are lightyears ahead of TV in terms of artistic meaning and innovation. "Oh, look, a fly-on-the-wall day in the life of Peter Andre as he carries a camera into the toilet and talks about sandwichs incessantly. Oh goody, a ripoff action show of a ripoff action show of a ripoff of 24, which was shit past the first season anyway. Neat-oh, more psychics making people cry and pretending they can talk to their dead relatives." Is this really what video games aspire to be?


Spongey Blob said...


And now for the assertion that interactivity in a story somehow devalues it automatically. Come off it. I get what you mean; most games with multiple endings have about two endings that are cool, then the rest make no sense. Guess what? Most games have really shit stories. Most films have really shit stories, as do TV shows and books and fucking everything. Most stories are mediocre at best because that's what mediocre means; a not-particularly special average that fails to impress or horrify. But are we really going to pass judgement on game stories that alter to your actions simply by virtue of "well, your actions impact the world, so that automatically makes the story crap"? By that logic, Roger Ebert is actually right.

And anyway, your actions impact the story in a game whether you know it or not. You pressing a button will impact the story. If you don't press a button, it's still part of the story. "And lo, did Mario stand completely still." That's a story. It's shit, but it's a story. The first goomba you see in Super Mario Bros is part of the story. It might not seem like it, but stamping on that goomba happened, so it's part of the story. As stupid and annal as this will sound, everything that happens, happens. What you see on screen is a narrative, and you impact by doing stuff. It happens, so it's something Mario did. You might change it, you might decide to do something completely different the next time around and the change will be minimal, but it's still a story that you impacted.

Besides, what about when it works? I know that Silent Hill 1 and 2, Bastion, the Justine expansion to Amnesia, that bit in Chrono Trigger where you're tried for your crimes, and on the subject, Mass Effect... would all be worse off without stories the player makes a definite impact to, and they're considered amongst the cream of the crop of video game story telling. Must we abandon all that because interactivity doesn't always work? Must we abandon hammers because sometimes they bend nails?

Aiddon said...

I think Bob made an interesting point on his Twitter recently:

"Mass Effect might be the best case AGAINST player-affected narratives yet."

Sadly, I'm inclined to agree. The only game where decisions actually affected the narrative outside the ending was the Ogre Battle series.

Anyway, having played all three ME's now and having about five more Shepards to go through the game with to see how the whole of the narrative is affected, I will admit that the ending sucked...but under no circumstance did it make me angry. I mean, Jesus, this is a bad ending but not enough to get homicidal over. It could be that ME3 as a whole I consider to be an ending and since the majority of it is very well-done it took the sting out of it, but this latest gaming tantrum entered the realm of silliness so fast that I'm sure Star Wars fans are telling people to take a chill pill.

Also, to take from a Gsmesradar article ( quoting RME organizer Robb:

"You have been heard. Now it is time to make sure they get the details right”

Okay, wait, did I just read that right? Is he SERIOUSLY telling people to make sure Bioware makes an ending to their exact specifications? One word: creepy.
There's a difference between critiquing someone (I've done so many, many, MANY times) but I don't write angry e-mails demanding they change it. And Bioware supposedly caving in just shows how gutless game developers can be when it comes to their work. This is a mark against gaming being taken seriously as even pop culture. This makes me want to write up Nintendo and tell them never to listen to the so-called "hardcore" ever again. It's a toxic relationship that will leave you miserable with nothing but pablum being produced

Akio91 said...

Yeah, Bob, I was all set to agree with you, and then you used the "e-word". Play the game before you comment please. Trust me, it's a lot worse than you've been told. I'd have more to post here, but you need to deposit 5 dollars into my Paypal account to read it.

NiGHTS Noob said...

The ending to Mass Effect 3 is, quite simply, comparable to Highlander 2 in comparison to the first.

The ending completely flies in the face of everything the series stood for. Mass Effect was ultimately a series about racism, and how by working together you can overcome much more than on your own. Each of the species in the galaxy are very similar at their most base, even the synthetic Geth, so even though they have wildly different cultures they can all band together and contribute something.

The ending says the only way for people to get along is for all synthetics to die or be controlled, or for genetic diversity to be erased. You know the two things that would make the entire freaking point of all three games up to that point completely moot. This is even considering that only a few hours earlier you were able to achieve peace between the Quarians and Geth depending on your actions.

Sheperd, the character who's entire shtick, regardless of Paragon or Renegade path, is that he'll forge his own path and not taking anyone's options given to him if he can see a better one. And yet in the ending you are forced to take what the VI says at face value without forging your own path at all even when it's so obvious the VI is full of shit, completely flying in the face of Sheperd's character.

This isn't a question of artistic merit, or rather the ending completely flies in the face of any artistic merit the series may have had. That's the problem with the ending. I'm not asking for something happy, I'm asking for something that, you know, works in the context of the series narrative. This doesn't, at all.

JPArbiter said...

For me I have been unable to comment on Mass Effect 3s ending cause I have not finished it yet, and thus have yet to see it for myself.

I also have yet to see a thorough, logical, well thought out indictment of the game and it's ending from anyone. the summary by Meds is the best I have been able to find, laden with emotional drivel and a false sense of entitlement.

here is the thing for those arguing straw man towards Bob. he is not deconstructing the ending and arguing FOR it. having not invested in the entire mass effect series, he really is not in a position to do that, and he admits as such.

what Bob is doing is addressing the community reaction to the ending. there is a huge difference there. it is akin to critiquing Trekies as opposed to Star Trek itself.

something to think about

Anonymous said...

(Maybe Spoilers, tried to keep it very vague, but it's polite to warn anyway)

This isn't about entitlement. It isn't about getting an ending that I wanted. It isn't about having my choices actually mean something. It's about actually giving the series a damn ending. There needs to be closure for something that I put my time into, that I waited for at midnight launches. I'm not mad about day one DLC, or the face-import nonsense. Hell, I'm not even mad at what they did at the ending. I thought it was pretty cool. But it wasn't an ending. There was no closure. This isn't the same as not getting your lesbian warrior fantasies unfulfilled. This is like if a story that you were told was the definitive ending of something, and then it ends at a climax, with no real explanation of what the hell just happened and what the hell happens to everyone and everything. It's not an ending and that's the problem, to me anyway.

Sylocat said...

Bob, when you refer us to another article and display the URL in the vid, can you put a link in the video's description or something?

In other news, at least Screwattack's video player seems to be working properly this time.

Anonymous said...

The game's status as 'art' was compromised with day one DLC, spending far more money injecting IGNs Jessica Chobot into the game rather than spending any creative talent into giving Tali a face (photoshoping a stock photo, really?), and trying so hard to appeal to the COD crowd.

If this was another game I might have agreed, but this is EA we are talking about here. Mass Effect has been nothing more than a product parading itself as art since Mass Effect 2.

As long as Bioware is under EA they will be treated as nothing more than a product until they go the way of Bullfrog, Maxis, Westwood, and Pandemic.

If you want to support developers that don't treat their fans as nothing more than open wallets, look elsewhere. Double Fine Prod. and Brian Fargo (Wasteland 2) look to be actually taking fan feedback and treating their fans/customers with far more respect than EA Bioware ever will.

az-amon-ra said...

Here's my problem with the ending (the fact that I said "ending" singular, is more or less my problem).

Anyway, so I'm not a long term ME fan, I got ME3 because I wanted to see if it was any good. I liked the first mission so I figured I'd get the other two games and once I'd finished playing blind as femSheperd I'd make my own character in ME1 and play her through all three games to see which ending I got from a blind play of the last game in the series and then from the beginning of the series.

Obviously there is no point any more since you get the same ending every time!

Look you can talk about writer's vission all you like but when the player is given a direct say in how the story plays out then the writer has forfited absolute control over the direction of the story. This doesn't mean they have to give up their vission, they can still incluse their prefered version of the ending they just have to except that not every player will experiance it.

Or they could just not give players the option at all. If they had a singular intent for how the game was going to end from the start then they shouldn't have given the player the option to influance the story to begin with.

Jannie said...

If games can't be art because players drive the narative then please explain to me what the alternative is?

Because even in the most linear JRPGs the players drive the narrative because the players actually play the game. Mario's story, such as it is, is actually MORE dependent on you playing than Mass Effect because, theoretically, you could argue that an ending where Shepperd dies but the victory fleet fights on and wins could happen. In Mario the entire narrative stops completely the second you refuse to jump over a turtle. I'm not even sure what games DON'T have player driven narratives--not even Journey, it DEPENDS on the player to get to the end, otherwise the little character just stands there in a desert.

That's why I brought up Dear Esther because that's what a "non-player driven narrative" is: its pictures you look at while listening to a story. I.e, not even technically a movie. I guess that counts. (And literally the second I wrote that I realized that, even THEN, in Dear Esther you actually have to navigate the game world too so, no, it doesn't!)

I mean, Christ, I'm sorry but that's just the most illogical thing I've ever heard.

And you know what, Bob, I don't actually believe that's even you're problem, that players interact with the game world. Because that's fucking stupid. I think that what this is really about is that games need to be--in your mind--viewed as art. But to get "respect" from critics, that means, in your mind, games need to be as static as possible, because of the idea that REAL art (whatever that is) would be also which you apparently have.

And you know what--that's perfectly fine. I disagree and I don't feel games need to be taken seriously as art, one because art is subjective so technically anything and everything is art, and two because games are huge and powerful economically now anyone who doesn't "respect" games for any reason is at best a stubborn idiot and at worse just bitter. But that's just an opinion also. My problem isn't that, my problem is in that doing so I feel you're wrongly painting the Retake Mass Effect movement (one of several, I might add, who are petitioning for a change) in an unnecessarily negative light for no reason.

Anyone who really doesn't "get" this by now or get the real reasons why this is happening, please: read Jim Stevenson's article on Writers Block, watch Jeremy Jahans and Angry Joe's videos, go to Game Front and read their article about it. This is so far beyond just people wanting more endings it's not even funny.

Mads said...


Another name for this episode: Mass Defect. That woulda been pretty sweet.

ALSO relevant:

Why is this relevant? I'll tell you why with a quote:

"And his broader commentary on the way the medium approaches female characters in general are hard to argue with. Agree or disagree with his thesis and conclusion, I think it was a worthy piece of criticism. Exactly the sort of criticism that is sorely lacking in the gaming press itself, to be perfectly frank. What it definitely wasn't, was something to throw a giant, internet-wide crybaby hissy fit over; especially considering that the game itself was so new that a lot of the people complaining about it had probably not played much or any of it themselves, and thus weren't so much disagreeing with hulk as they were leaping into the automatic 'must defend the medium mode'"

Fundamentally, retake mass effect is a new kind of organized criticism. They're not doing death threats or lawsuits. They're respectfully telling bioware that they're really pissed, and that they're going to do everything they can to tarnish biowares reputation, which is absolutely their right, unless bioware recognizes the problem and fixes it. They're not using underhanded methods to do this either. They're simply spreading the message that they're incensed and that Bioware fucked up.

If anything, they're being more cordial than usual critics by giving bioware a concrete out, where they can do right by their fans.

And you know, the movement is doing everything it can to highlight and illustrate an artistic issue, as well as trying to hold the game industry accountable. Just as Hulk was doing. And who's throwing the crybaby hissyfit this time? Who's automatically leaping in to defend the supposed freedom of the medium ? Bob and many other journalists, who do so without having played much or any of the game. This time, I'd like to tell Bob to take his own medicine and grow a thicker skin...but you know, I'm not going to.

It's fair to hold his position, ignorant as it may be. And it's not fair to call anybody hissifit crybabies - it wasn't fair in batslap, and it isn't now, so I apologize for doing that...but that's also where I have my beef, because of what Bob has been tweeting and saying prior to the release of this episode about the retake movement...the retake movement and ME fans do not deserve that kind of bs.

Jannie said...

Not to link-bomb but this is all very relevant to the discussion, to help articulate precisely why this ending is a problem and under what circumstances:

Jim Stevenson:

Jeremy Jahns:

Angry Joe:
What's Wrong--

Indoctrination Theory--


I would advise anyone who really wants an idea of what this problem is about and what the Retake Mass Effect movement stands for to read through at least the Gamefront articles, which do a great job of summarizing things. Stevenson's blog basically lays it all out in the most extensive and detailed way possible, and I would prefer you'd read at least the last half or so of that but if that's too long, don't read then Jeremy and Angry Joe also basically say the same thing but with a more humorous side and it's a video so yeah.

This isn't a demand or a must read, but for Christ's sakes people EDUCATE YOURSELVES before just screaming "Entitlement!" because you heard it dribble from the mouth of games journalists.

Anonymous said...

Man, I couldn't even get to the end of this drek before I had to leave a comment.

Congratulations Bob, you succeeded in getting more page views. You'll probably get more page views in the future in the same way that Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern get more listeners; people who hate what you have to say will come to listen (for a while, maybe) just so they can insult you for what you say. Because you've insulted us with this infantile drek of an opinion.


Seriously Bobby boy, if the internet had been as powerful in 1994 as it is in 2012, you better believe HEAT would have gone nuclear just as fast as the Mass Effect fans have gone. And had ME3 come out in 1994 instead of 2012, it would have been fodder for one of your Big Picture episodes - meaning 90% of the viewers would go "Oh yeah, I remember that game. Wasn't there a nuclear holocaust or something in that one?" and realize that we confused Mass Effect with Fallout.

Student 0172648 said...

You know, I would like to see an entire GO episode based on fan reaction. See, fan reaction... isn't ALWAYS a bad thing. However, it's the bad times like this, which spark debate and arguments left and right, which cause people to think it is. I means, I remember hearing stories of how fans help make a lot of games better by voicing their complaints and such. Just look at games from the iTunes store: those are always getting better because the people who play them (mostly fans) can let the makers know directly how they feel.

However, these are most effective on bugs and game mechanics, and story is once again, subjective. A fan who says "the ending should be changed" is pretty up in his own ass about how the things HE likes are good another anything less is NOT GOOD.

But I think one thing that's really different and key for video games is that, more than most mediums, is that technology is involved. Let's look at movies: sure, billions of computers and technical equipments are use to make a picture, but what does the audience need to experience it? Nothing much more than their 2 eyes, the rest is supplied for them. So, if an ending sucks, is it likely that all the audience and all it's fans will know how to let the movie makers know? Not really for a majority of them.

Gamers, however, know their technology, especially with newer games like Mass Effect. They are able to all get together and find out how to directly tell the game makers that they aren't satisfied. And most of them figure, with a big enough voice, that they can be heard and will make a difference, especially in an age where DLC and moding are common theme. They think that if they can be heard and bowing down to their demands is easy ("Just release a DLC") that it can happen. That's where things get a little out of hand. Just because it can be possible, does it really make it right? I mean, do you really want to take the series from the people who made you love it, and turn it into what all the fans want? What if you become happy with it, but a larger group of fans want something even more different? When does this level of fan interfering stop?

I know its hipster to say this, but often, when a company or creator starts fan pandering, it ruins the product. One of my favorite examples is Total Drama Island: a TV series I loved. The first season was amazing and you can tell there was a clear vision to the end. However, then the series got too popular and the creators started doing a lot of things just to please the fans. I couldn't watch second season to the end because it had become too predictable as it was always what the fans had wanted.

I know that fans feel creators owe their success to them, but a clear line separating the two must be show. And as much as the creator may owe his fans, the fans owe it a lot more to the creator for creating in the first place.

So... yeah, this is why I think the issue of fandoms should be addressed.

Anonymous said...


I believe you are talking about fan pandering at its most base level.

"Hey fans want boobs right, well put in more boobs!"

Correct me if I am wrong, but are these RE-Take guys demanding a super happy ending tailoring to their every need? Or, you know, just a good complete ending? Or a ending that doesnt contradict itself?

I dunno. I'm not part of that movement so I can't speak for them. I just do know that it is ridiculous that they would want stuff like My Little Pony and dinosaurs put in, as some 'parodies' have tried to joke about. As if the only thing they want is Shepard having a wedding with his chosen wife/husband ala Star Wars.

Jannie said...

I had to type in "Buttrap Dycomp" to write this...somehow I think this blog is trolling me :P

All joking aside:


Almost every fan is asking not so much for a happy ending (whatever you consider that to be--I'd be glad if it just meant that Tali and Garrus live somehow instead of starving to death on some alien jungle world) but more so are asking for the simple chance to take a fourth option.

One of the poles on Bioware's own website basically spells it out: what they want is for, maybe, a chance to just tell the Space Baby to kindly fuck off. Every other conversation you have in every game there is, if not a series of rebuttals, then a chance for a renegade "interruption", what TV Tropes would call a "Shut Up Hannibal".

That, is basically it.

I really don't care if they kill of Shep, its the end of the series anywyay. I don't even care if the rest of the crew survives but frankly if Tali died I'd be pretty upset cause she was like my BFF through the whole trilogy. And really I've yet to hear anyone specifically say they wanted some tailored special ending.

What the VAST MAJORITY say, and this has almost been repeated verbatum on a hundred different sites from what I can see, is that people want a chance to say "No, Space Baby, I will not work for you. I will not help you. We're going to sit here and watch my fleet take on your fleet if that's the only other option, so fuck you very much and good day!"

I mean what was the point of collecting war assets if it means nothing in the end? Maybe just an option to let the fleets slug it out. One pole on Bioware's forums suggested a SUPER HARD MODE ending where, if you 100% everything and had every crew member alive in a save from ME2 and all that, you get to tell the Space Baby fuck off and let your fleet beat his Reapers once and for all, THEN Shep dies stopping the Crucible.

It's the hardest possible path to the best possible ending, in classic RPG fashion and it also makes the whole "collect war assets" thing pivotal to the plot. It would even further integrate the multiplayer because you'd have to 100% that too to get there. In short, it would make the game a hundred times more challenging and the ending a thousandfold better.

That, the general consensus is, what the majority of the REM folks want.

Me, I'd be fine just having an ending where you can rebuke the Space Baby, and then die killing the Reapers and we just cut to the Star Gazer. It uses 99% of the same resources and could be half-assedly pushed out the door in probably a month.

Majority opinion though is that Shep can and should die to put the final coda on the series. Just not die serving such an insidious force for such an illogical reason with so many retcons and contradictions and plot holes.

I'd almost say people would have accepted ONE of those endings if not for all the plot holes. Like an edited version of the synthesis ending (minus Joker fleeing from battle, minus the Mass Relays self-destructing, minus the jungle planet--i.e, minus all the plot holes) from what I have heard and read anyway seems...unsatisfying but otherwise inoffensive.

Jannie said...

And I spelled "polls" as "poles" about a dozen times in that response.

That's what I get for trying to play Gears of War while typing.

Anonymous said...

Well I was disappointed; that wasn't nearly as inflammatory as I expected. I think Bob may be loosing his touch!

Joking aside, hey Bob, why don't you PLAY THE FUCKING GAMES first and then come in and try and call us crybabies.

The endings suck, enough people to constitute a significant profit margin say it sucks, everyone except the reviewing sites balls deep in EA's sphere of influence say the ending suck and the endings should be changed. Hell, even Forbes has had several articles calling bullshit on the game.

The Retake Mass Effect guys aren't demanding, they aren't holding a gun against Bioware's head, they are ASKING NICELY, "Bioware could you change the ending?"

And this wouldn't be the first time this happened either, Fallout 3 had a infamously crap-tacular ending so Bethesda released Broken Steel and retconed the whole thing.

Next, stop throwing around the word "entitlement", because you are using it wrong. "Entitlement" implies being owed something you're not, and that is not the case with Retake Mass Effect, or the outraged fans. Bioware made multiple, recorded, and very specific promises that the endings would have sixteen unique and "wildly different" endings, so much so that the game was practically marketed on these promises.

Finally, FUCK games as art, and "taking games seriously", because this sentiment is doing more damage than the ME3 ending backlash could ever hope to achieve. This whole notion of games as art is asinine because what is and isn't considered art is wholly dependent on the context of which it is viewed and on the minds of those viewing it. I could take two people, plop them down in front of several different works of art, say a painting, advant garde film, and/or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and get completely different answers on what is and isn't art. Comparing games to other genres of art is stupid since games are a completely different beast from films, because of the crucial inclusion of interactivity. Hell, even within games themselves there's gray area on what is and isn't art: is Rage any less artistic than Fallout? Is Half-Life any less artistic than Bioshock? Castle Crashers vs. Braid? Doom vs. Heretic? You get my meaning.

Who gonna take games seriously? YOU WILL. You are the sole way games can be taken seriously. Some people may not take games seriously, and that's fine, that's their taste. I don't take film seriously, and for some reason it's held on some pedestal.

As a side note, I love how you picked the worst, most strawman-y arguments to refute in your video. That's doesn't show a lack of journalistic integrity at all does it? Nope not one bit!

JediMB said...

Mass Effect 3 is the story of how a switch in lead writers, due to publisher meddling, turned a character-driven space opera into a self-contradicting Halo wannabe.

The game was art for as long as the competent writers were allowed to do their thing, but once the lead writer and EP shut them out... the whole thing just turned into bile.

Bob... the original ending, the one that actually made sense and was foreshadowed in ME2, was written out because the new lead writer thought the target demographic WOULDN'T BE SMART ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND IT!

This is the reality of the situation, and while I'm usually a fan of yours I won't even dignify this video with a view.

JediMB said...

Err... what I meant to say was that the original ending was *cut* for the stated reasons.

Anonymous said...

Well this video was probably made right before the announcement that Bioware 'totally caved in'. Bob's follow up would be his twitter where he descended well over the line of absurdity.

Now this may be a huge WHAT IF. But what if, because of this, Bioware actually produces a better ending. And I don't mean a fan pandering ending, just a better ending overall in the eyes of everyone, whatever that may be.

Yeah I guess it is a absurd speculation, but isn't that what the current situation is right now? It is no better than yelling out that Bioware caving and changing anything will send art in video games back a decade, especially when Bioware hasn't CONFIRMED ANYTHING DEFINITE as of yet. Looking into the issue of "clarity and closure" means nothing right now, and it is useless to argue points about artistic integrity until they announce something more concrete.

Besides, would we really look such a gift horse in the mouth if they ended up changing it into something, you know, not terrible? This isn't Citizen Kane were a talking about, hell it isn't even a Starship Troopers, or even a Metal Gear Solid. It is friggin Mass Effect.

(Sorry ME fans, but I really think the series went to crap at the second game.)

Aiddon said...

Also, I'm more of a Game of Thrones guy, Bob. Peter Dinklage is AWESOME in that show.

patrick j doyle said...

So, while i agree with you that the amount of backlash that fans have given is quite ridiculous, I would like to make a small point about the multiple endings. Yes, you can get multiple endings, no it is not because of choices you made in ME3 or any other ME game, save for one choice at the end. Without spoilers: You are asked at the very end of the game "Would you like to do A or would you like to do B?" If you have completed enough side-quests and online multiplier he says: "I noticed you have a done a lot of side-quests, so if you want, you can do C" If you choose A, ending A; and so on. The three endings are very similar (and disappointing, IMO), but my main issue is you can get any ending no matter what choices you made. Again though, the backlash was WAAAAY too far.

Anonymous said...


I agree. However I feel that the backlash against the backlash was equally infantile.

I feel the fans should have sought out an alternative method of protest (a better one would be to protest against the whole of ME3, not just the ending, refusing to purchase future Bioware/EA products) without any demands in general. I think the whole Childs Play donation might have gone over better without the demand to change anything immediately. It is called capitalism, if EA Bioware saw that they were losing sales, they would be more apt to do something on their own. But then again, I am far too hopeful about stuff like this.

But instead of advice, all that I heard from the moment the protest started, was the most angry counter bitching from respectable 'gaming journalists' I have ever seen. If they thought calling the fans entitled whiny brats that would send the medium back a decade would somehow snap them to their senses, well, they were wrong.

Anonymous said...

I've been thinking about your comments that the entire concept of play agency was discarded toward the end because you cannot have any level of that and a logical or engaging narrative.

However this is indicated to be false by Mass Effect 3. The game up untill this point was doing a decent job of letting the player shape the story, within the bounds of what had been created but still with enough agency that players could feel satisfied.

However the ending lacks any player agency and is terrible, it's narrative fails on every level.

It's not as if the choice was between "player choice" and "good sotry" as you imply, because the ending gives us neither and many people have offered suggestions and possible alterations that could correct this issue. At best it's a Deus Ex Machina with zero thematic connection to the rest of the game, thats if I'm being nice.

The fact you haven't played the game is what is holding you back, you're speaking to the concepts you think are at play based on fan reaction, rather than what is really there. You're presenting this as if you're talking about ME3, but you seem to be speaking more generally, and you are, how can you get into details and talk about something you have not even seen.

B.L.C. Agnew said...

Bob, I love your shows, but you have committed perhaps THE cardinal sin of positing and defending an informed opinion - you didn't bother to get informed.

Firstly, BioWare started this party. They're the ones who invited the players in, said "Yes, BE the author of your experience." And I'm not just talking about "pick from different hairstyles or who to bang" - they went so far in listening to fan reactions as to alter core mechanics for the second and third games, change the roles of characters in the universe so that squad mates like Tali and Garrus are possible romantic interests in the second and third games.

You see, the players were already dictating the direction of the story, both in and out of the actual mechanics of the game. So. . . BioWare compromised well before 2010 right? Their franchise has already been tainted and can't be taken seriously because of actions they took years ago, according to what you're claiming.

But wait, no that's incorrect. BioWare made the choice - at the very start of this artistic endeavor - to involve their consumer and player base to this extent. They did. THEM. At this point, one could argue that delivering on certain standards of narrative (not "Did I get a big happy hero baloon party?" but "Does this make any sense at all in the context of the fiction meet any sort of narrative standards whatsoever?") bears as much weight in the quality department as "Are the game mechanics balanced?" and "Do the controls work?"

If those latter things were outright broken, fans would be damn well within their rights to demand that they be fixed. It would bear the hallmarks of a confused, rushed, or broken product.

PadMasher said...

Well, I'm glad I waited to see Bob's vid before commenting on this. I kinda see what Bob is trying to say. This whole "Re-Take Mass Effect" thing is going overboard. However, this whole "co-author" relationship people have with things they "love" isn't particularily new by any means and I'd argue that this is more or less the point of the Misery.

This reminds me of how people demanded all these changes be made to the Sonic franchise to "fix" it as if they have any right to control someone else's IP. That's not to say people aren't allowed to ever complain at all but, come on. All because I want to call Eggman "Dr. Ivo Robotnik" doesn't mean the dialogue in Sonic games HAS to refer to him by that name (especially since both are considered canon ever since Sonic Adventure).

I think this is where I get a divided on Bob's arguement. Sure, telling someone how their work should be made is over the top but, this wouldn't even be an issue if the ending to ME3 was terrible for all the reasons the fans stated. Not only that but, I'm sure there are just as many fans shouting death threats at critics of ME3's crappy ending as there are fans threating Bioware for it.


B.L.C. Agnew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
B.L.C. Agnew said...

There's also the fact that BioWare is not a single entity. They're a huge company comprised of many different development teams each one with several writers, artists, and programmers who all contribute to the developers' games.

They're also owned by a multinational megapublisher that has a great deal of say about what they will publish as part of their product.

Because oh yeah, GAMES ARE PRODUCTS. They are art, yes, but they are products too. No other artistic or entertainment medium is monetized as much or as repeatedly as videogames are. So there's already some precedent for the symbiotic relationship between those who MAKE the games, and those who BUY them.

Games are very different from any other sort of "art" that we've every created as a society. It stands to reason that if they can't be held to the same rules as to how they are created, they also can't be held to the same rules as to how they are compromised or "owned."

B.L.C. Agnew said...

(Conclusion: Finally!)

So already the argument that Mass Effect is a singular vision is questionable at best. What is amazing is how GOOD the storytelling and character development has been in the franchise (for the most part) in spite of being committee-created, profit-driven, and subject to the fiscal whims of Electronic Arts. This is why fans have been as vocal in their disappointment as they have - they expect better of BioWare because of the developers' track record.

And THAT is where the crux of the matter lies - the fan outrage stems less from entitlement and more from a sense of "But you're BETTER THAN THIS!" Because fans know BioWare is - in spite of the chances it's taken, in spite of the way it flies in the face of convention in so many ways, in spite of the fact that it DARES to incorporate player agency and have it MEAN something in the context of the story, BioWare PULLED IT OFF.

They created one of the most well-realized fictional "worlds" in the genre - not the medium, the entire genre of science fiction. The Mass Effect universe is home to some of the most memorable characters of this generation - not because you got to choose who to bang, but because the characters were deep, complex and well-drawn people with flaws and arcs and clearly-defined reactions to everything the player did.

Name the "Choose Your Own Adventure Books" that managed that.

So yes, it's pretty absurd to demand that BioWare rewrite a completely new ending that can please every single individual fan out there, but is it too much to ask that they take the time to truly deliver the ending that their own franchise (their FIRST EVERY HOME-GROWN IP) deserves? Is it too much to demand that their own fiction deserves better than a likely-rushed and certainly ill-thought-out conclusion that provides no consequence, no closure, no affirmation whatsoever? Is it too much to ask that BioWare take the time to actually explain and intelligently incorporate all the ideas that were thrown at the wall in the last 10 minutes of one of the most narratively-important franchises this console generation?

Does BioWare owe this to their fans? Well, one could argue that they've always felt they owed a lot to their fans, especially looking at the way they've shaped the franchise from the beginnings. And if they truly were proud of what they'd done and firm in their belief that that was exactly how their art SHOULD end. . . they could have just told everyone else to fuck off. But they didn't.

Because you know what, even assuming that NO, they DON'T owe it to their consumers, the fans who made the Mass Effect a legitimate trilogy as opposed to another failed effort like Too Human, the fans who made BioWare valuable enough to be enticing to EA in the first place. . . even if they don't owe it to the consumers, they at least owe it to themselves.

Tell me how that viewpoint is entitled bitching.

Anonymous said...

Hmm. I have been a fan of your show, Bob, since approximately episode 17. For the most part you've made a lot of sense but this time around I think you have entered a discussion you do not belong in. Not because you don't have anything valid to say but because you don't have the full knowledge on why people hate the ME3 ending so much.

I admittedly was only interested in playing Mass Effect once I heard that the third was coming out so I don't have all that much invested time in the series. But I did play the story from the beginning of the first to the end of the third and I must say that whether you are a serious fan or not this is an unforgivable ending. Allow me to elaborate.

!SPOILERS AHEAD! The ME3 ending goes against its own story so much as to make not just minor errors to the established fluff of the series but to actually deny the entire point of the story, game, and philosophy. From the very beginning you are lead to believe that, although the world may be doomed to a horrible fate, there is still a bright chance that life will overcome and defeat the big bad robot bad guys. Instead all life goes extinct. period. The Reapers, a mysterious race of super advanced machines, are coming to kill everyone for some unknown reason. In ME2 we learn that they melt down organic matter and use it to reproduce, possibly their motivation? In ME3 at the end we learn that countless billions of years ago the Reapers were created because somebody came to understand that organic life inevitably creates artificial life. Then they learned that artificial life, like the reapers for example, would inevitably destroy every last trace of organic life. Their solution to preserve organic life was to build and deploy the Reapers. So the Reapers exist to destroy every organic civilization in the galaxy the moment they create a race of synthetic life. In the end they are machines committing galactic genocide to prevent other machines from committing that same galactic genocide. There are also hundreds of minor problems scattered around the story, such as the software on board Legion dieing inexplicably when he/she/it communicates with all other geth to turn them into individuals. Heck, the geth already were individuals. They were software living, communally, on hard drives basically. But now they are somehow the hard drives and not soft ware. !END SPOILERS!

The "our choices didn't matter" thing is only the tip of the ice berg. This was a story which was based on the fact that every little thing you do alters the story. It was done in a way which was actually far less complicated than the traditional multiple ending nature of, say, the original Resident Evil. They could have made a collection of maybe five different ending cut scenes (and perhaps levels... they sure had the budget and time for it) which are achieved based on a combination of choices made throughout the game. Instead it was a generic multiple choice ending with three check boxes... each with the same words written beside them.

I wish this was a matter of self entitled fans demanding their ending to some one elses story, but it really isn't. It is a matter of a big developer royally screwing up their own story to the point that it isn't even the same story anymore. Imagine if at the end of the next Mario game you are challenged to a pie baking contest with Spider Man instead of a show down with Bowser. Or Luke Skywalker, from Star Wars, turns out to be unrelated to Darth Vader after all and Chewbacca has secretly been the emperor the entire time. Yeah, it's that screwed up.

PadMasher said...

What kills me is that this was "justified" to most people when it happened to Sonic the Hedgehog. Hell, there was even a "protest" in regards to Sonic 4 where fans claimed they'd buy Sonic 1 to show Sega what they "deserved" as consumers. Fans and critics alike have been telling Sonic Team what they're basically not allowed to do for 10 years now and while they totally have the right to make suggestions on what would make Sonic better, claiming that games like Sonic Unleashed were some kind of "injustice" because it wasn't exactly like the damn Genesis titles is where we need to draw the line.

Apparently, Bob had no problem not only making suggestions on how to "fix" Sonic, he did so with an obvious lack of knowledge of the games made past 1999.

Now,I wouldn't call Bob a hypocrite especially since he isn't outright attacking Sega unlike "real fans" of Sonic often did but, I find it weird that he decides to talk about fan entitlement NOW when this has been an issue for decades amongst multiple mediums with the Sonic fanbase being a perfect of example of telling the creators what they "should" do rather than what they could.

What makes Bob's arguement even harder to agree with, even though he has a point, is that he's talking about ME3. The same EA owned ME3 that had IGN's Jessica Chobot being in the game as a selling point. The same EA owned ME3 that promised multiple endings that were effected by choices made throughout all 3 games and let almost everyone down and had the gull to market DLC right after the game ends. Did I mention that the game was published by EA?

Look, I understand that these "protests" are incredibly immature but, this is hardly an issue of gaming being held back as an artform. I'd argue that the folks at Rockstar have more artistic integrity because they don't "cave" so easily to backlash.

Be honest guys, EA probably planned to make the real ending(s) DLC since day one. I wouldn't put it passed them. Even FF13-2 did something similar to this by ending the game with a "to be continued" message.

All I know is this, gamers have been crybabies over a lot of things for ages now and the developers seem more greedy and spineless for every DlC pack and SDoF fiasco they pull. Asking the same people who call anyone with a different opnion a "fanboy", that play games with ridiculousy proportioned women punching eachother, and make wild generalizations about things they don't really understand (which Bob sometimes does with his FPS bashing) to "grow up" is like telling Sneakers O'toole to take his sneakers off.

Anonymous said...

more like the game neverthinker

Anonymous said...

When I stumbled across this, I thought it was the strawmaneverywhere guy that criticized Bob's Other M video. But apparently it is some totally different dude.

Makes for a fun read though, even if he makes the same points others have made in these comment sections.

willywild256 said...

Agreed. This entire thing has turned into a debaucle of "Misery" proportions.

Smashmatt202 said...

"You'll miss out on all the kabooms though". Yeah, poorly rendered, very fake sounding kabooms, so you're not missing much. Yeah, don't bother trying to pretend anyone's actually interested in seeing what "story" you have.

I'm not, but I'm watching it anyway, just so I can point out all the stupid inconsistencies, bad acting, and headdesk-inducing jokes. Because hey, you asked for it.

You know, if that's supposed to be "Zombie Galaxia", then why is it more like Space Invaders?

So about Mass Effect... I actually just bought a pre-owned cpy of the first Mass Effect, thankfully untouched by all the DLC nonsense the other two games have. Oh it has DLC, but not much, only two missions if I'm told correctly, neither of which are that important. Thing is, I've got so many other games to play, I haven't had the time to start this game out yet. So I'm going to wait until I pick up Xenoblade Chronicles and by some Microsoft Points to play Mass Effect, so I can buy the DLC when the time comes.

I remember watching Jim Sterling's take on the reaction to Mass Effect 3's ending, and how he's glad that we're so in love with a series, a series that so good, that we actually CARE about how it ends, instead of the usual shitty ending we get in almost EVERY mainstream game. It's an... interesting look at it, and thankfully, spoiler-free.

Ironically, Jim also compared their reactions to the fan reaction of Lost or the Star Wars prequels. And while Lost DID have a shitty ending, I'm with Bob in that fans reactions to the prequels have gotten WAY out of hand and have been bitching and moaning about it for over a decade now, to what end? Nothing but continued bitterness and resentment, as far as I see. I guess that's sort of the thing here, so many Mass Effect fans HATE the ending to the extreme. I can't really say how I feel about it, since, like I said, I haven't played the games yet, but I intend to, and hopefully, after the LONG hours I've spent chiseling away at the series, maybe I'll begin to understand where they're coming from, justified or not.

This is something I get a lot of conflicting notes from, particular from Extra Credits, Yahtzee, and even sometimes Jim Sterling. They all thing that video games, as it's own medium with it's own unique way of experiencing stories, should stick to those stories, or at least that's what I get out of them... Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but at least games are really, truly experimenting with the dynamic to see what does and doesn't work. From what I'm getting from Bob, perhaps it IS good that there's one big ultimate ending to the series, regardless of what choices you make. You know, closure. But I can understand why people are upset. The game prides itself in being all about player choices, and to have those choices ultimately not mattering much when the end comes around, it's upsetting. AND seeing as this is GAMERS we're talking about, NATURALLY they're going to overreact like, as Bob once put it, the hammer of Thor as wielded by Stimpy.

Say, just wondering, do the people who hated the ending to Lost send death threats to J.J. Abrams?

Smashmatt202 said...

Oh my God, YES! Misery is AWESOME, and it's HILARIOUS how often it's played out on Internet fandoms! Kathy Bates is such a psycho fan, and yet you can see about a hundred or even a THOUSAND of them on any given message board! It's ridiculous, and very tragic when you actually think about it.

I like this way of going at actual complaints and Bob addressing them as reasonably as possible, it's a very nice change of pace of just hearing Bob talk about what he thinks of a particular subject, and it's a LOT better then introducing a straw man just so he can easily defeat it, let me tell you that!

I DID have fun actually, more fun then you having fun making these silly storylines. Thinking about stuff is fun. Turning off our brain to watch VERY cheap-looking Internet shows... isn't. :/

But whatever, great episode in that regard. Let's see what happens with Activision's CoD department!

I can't believe you took out all those ships with what can only be called a laser handgun!

Wait... "Hyperbole"? Dammit, I need to look up that word...

"Hyperbole is the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech. It may be used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, but is not meant to be taken literally."

...Oh, well alright then.

You know, EA and Ubisoft can just go straight to Hell, but please, spare Apple, Microsoft, and Sony, since after all, they don't just make games.

Zynga... I don't know, I don't "hate" them as much as everyone else seems to hate them. Honestly, I don't mind their games. Yeah, they're simple, shallow, and doesn't really enrich your life, but hey, so does most mainstream games! Besides, if players WANT to give Zynga their money to improve their own playstyle for Zynga's games, let them, it's their money. They're just giving the players want they want, and reaping the benefits thereof. It's not like EA or Ubisoft, who expect, if not outright DEMAND their costumers jump through several fire hoops and do a backflip while throwing all their money at them.

I like how the Necrothinker turned the Sharkcade his old hangout/living place into his own personal Fortress of Doom! XP

Even though the actual building itself is still in ruin...

antecedentless said...

Just watched Misery for the first time for no other reason than this overthinker episode. Wow, just... wow.

It's available on netflix streaming JSYK. If you haven't watched it, go watch it. Who knows how long it will be available for streaming.

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one that read Misery. You know, the book the movie is based on?

Joe said...

I haven't played ME3 yet, I'm still finishing up my ideal playthrough of ME1 and 2. But when it comes to Mass Effect, I highly respect the opinions of your Escapist colleague Shamus Young. He recently explained why the ending didn't work, but didn't support efforts to change it. Probably because the story was already DOA after the ridiculously stupid plot of Mass Effect 2.

The story was already derailed the moment Shepard was "killed" by the Collectors and forced to work for Cerberus for no discernable story reason. It's not really surprising ME3 couldn't salvage it. It's only the outstanding character work, dialogue and voice-acting coupled with decent (if repetitive and uninteresting) gameplay, that made this franchise worthy. But the fantastic premise set-up in ME1 was squandered long ago.

Anonymous said...

Bob, first of the "choose your own adventure" books are for the kids due to time and space constraints. There's no literary reason something like Lord of the rings couldn't have had written tangents about Frodo staying with the felowship or leaving Gollum behind except it takes a lot of time and space to do so. While the Japanese visual novel may never escape it's pornographic stigma, it can and has produced things that "at least the fans think" have great emotional weight even without a fixed endpoint or even tone.

Second, I don't want to get into ME3. You have enough people doing that. Rather, I want to get into the gamer culture here and how this may have been inedivable. I'll admit to running into a lot of whining in my life, but the word "entitlement" has been tossed out so much it's lost a lot of meaning often devolving into a defensive attitude in trying to villify anyone asking for anything. Look at the political landscape: we're not entitled to health care even if we're dying. We're not entitled to more money even if we're doing more work. We're not entitled for the necessities of life to be affordable. ect.

As far as gaming oes, what have we been told: we aren't entitled to all the content on the disk (the ME3 controversy before the ending blew up the internet). We aren't entitled to not have to prove we're the original purchaser of a game. We aren't entitled to DRM free games. We aren't entitled to even a discount on digital copies of things we own the physical copies of. We aren't entitled to sue for problems. We aren't entitled to have access to any feature a company wishes to remove. We aren't entitled to old games or even the means to play them. And if they could swing it, they'd probably say we aren't entitled to the right to buy a game second hand.

Something was going to break.

After so much of being told what games we can play and what hoops we have to jump through to make it happen, the line got drawn at making sure the games we play don't fly off on some poorly done tangent based solely on artisitc whim not narative structure, advertised promises, or even general sense (and all that's based on the assumnption that all this wasn't a sham to get us more willing to pay 10 bucks for the "real" ending down the line). There's a strong sense of betrayal when you come home with your pre ordered copy, registered your account, signed in for your online pass, downloaded your day one DLC, imported you save file, and played the game every waking moment you had only to end on something that's a big "screw you and your wishes" from the writers.

The internet has enabled game companies to ask a lot more of their gamers than was used to so I think it was natural for something to be asked back given the same reason: now the technology will let us do these things so it should happen. I'm not saying it's direct retaliation, but entitlement breeds entitlement. Comapnies making statments about how A B or C is ruining their business (even if they are legal acts) leads to customers compaining D E or F is ruining their fun.

And to be fair, I do understand where you position comes from. Running multiple opinion shows must get you a lot of people just looking for your opinion to match theirs, and I've seen the comments expecting the story segments of this one to go away despite your enjoyment of them (for the record I've grown rater fond of them myself to the point of enjoying them more than most of what's on network TV). Most of the time I do side with the artist and their wishes as fans are generaly ...uh.. let's say myopic to the big picture. Still, I can't help but wonder if in the next Mario game Peach came out in domanatrix gear, you might have something to say about artistic abuses.

Anonymous said...

Gameoverstinker. Has a nice ring to it.

Marcomax said...

@ Everyone

Wow you guys work fast. I need to address a lot. I'll try and start with the show and Movie Bob and work my way to the comments if that's ok

@ the Game OverThinker

Overall I liked the episode. You did well in trying to address the main complaints without playing the ending. The fact is I doubt that your opinion would would change if you played the games or saw the ending. You seemed to be more focused on the fans themselves rather then the games which is where a lot of the criticism is coming from.

From my perspective, your looking at the situation from the point of view of a content creator who wants to keep control over their creations. Stuff like American Bob and the Game OverThinker are your projects and you have a vision for both of them. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, it just feels like it fits with your stance in other places.

That being said, I think your not being very flexible when it comes to the situation. It's easy to dismiss the effort as merely entitled fans crying. But the truth is that these same fans were invested enough to care about these characters and how their story is resolved. Plus, if the creators are willing to change the ending, I think the point becomes null and void. You see after learning about the Dragon Age and Fallout 3 ending changes, they seem a lot more plausible now. I think this might use the new power and freedom offered by gaming to experiment with idea's like these. Good or Bad, I'm just interested in seeing what comes out of this situation.

As for the skits, the segway's are good but the effects could use some work since they just seem to end on a line. Plus, while the cape looks better, Still have some trouble taking the NecroThinker's costume seriously. The thing is that the NecroThinker arc seems like a filler arc between the straw Ninja's and Jack Liberson's ultimate plan. Hopefully it all warps up nicely.

If I missed something, let me know. Part two will tackle the comment's section.

Marcomax said...

@ Commenters

The reason I decided to wait until now to comment was because I wanted to wait until the comment section built up. Half the fun of a Game OverThinker episode is reading through the comments. This is not an Insult. There are some actually good posted being made by the people here. There were just something I wanted to address directly. Noting personal just stuff that I needed a second look at.


Your first comment on the show's straw man argument bugged me at first but rereading the post again I think I see where your coming from. He missed the key complaint regarding the issue. I think he got the bulk of the major complaints but what important fact was he missing? Plus, wouldn't your last argument be considered a straw man as well. Bob never said the author has absolutely no responsibility to his audience. He says it exists up to a point. That's where the debate seems to be, where that line is drawn.

On the second comment, those were both great links. Thinking of Re-Take Mass Effect as a new form of criticism is an interesting way of framing the group. I do think that the amount of negative attention the Re-Take movement has received is a little loopsided. While I not with them, I'm not against them either. I was going to talk about the tone of the last two paragraphs but I'm just going to leave it. The unfair treatment of the Re-take movement has you ticked, I understand. Sorry to do you first but what you said was in the back of my mind for most of the day.

@ Jannie

Again thanks for the links. I've gone through most of them before hand but the Jeremy Jahns and Gamefront are new to me. Though I think the point has already been made.

The same thing happened for me with Transformers 2. After I saw it I just brushed it off. Then I heard all the hubbub about how terrible it was. It was two years later and I'd pretty much forgotten about it so I looked up the reviews and upon closer inspection I realized why people said it was so bad.

The more interesting part of your post is you stance on games as art and player driven narrative. Film Crit Hulk posed this same question in his Modern Warfare article. If a game became art, would it not longer be a game? Your answer is yes and you make a strong case for your stance. However, I'm sorry but while I agree with you on MovieBob's treatment of the Re-Take movement but I think you've done the same with his views on art. Here,

I was trying to find where this link was but this is what I wanted to bring up. This is what I think of when it comes to games and art. Just the drive for continual improvement in every possible area. Whether or not this is also Movie Bob's opinion is for him to say. But it's definently not art for art's sake.

Those were the major posts I wanted to touch on. I'll read through the trend again and if there is any other intresting posts I'll talk about those as well.

Honestly I'm posting so much because I feel torn. I should be as angry as every one else about the ending. All the details have been spelled out multiple times. However after the current ending, I just felt this clear sense of release as if all the tension from my body just melted away. It may have just been from finishing the game but it doesn't matter. So I have to ask, what does everyone want from me the Mass Effect player who's caught in the middle but has already let go?

JediMB said...

@Marcomax: "So I have to ask, what does everyone want from me the Mass Effect player who's caught in the middle but has already let go?"

I have to say I'm happy for you.

I'm really trying to let go of the Mass Effect franchise, and simply accept that it has been destroyed, but it's hard to not try to cling to hope when it comes to a developer with BioWare's past and a franchise with so many loveable characters.

What I really should be doing is moving onto some other game in my backlog, but instead I find myself stuck playing ME3's multiplayer mode...

Anonymous said...

Marcomax: "So I have to ask, what does everyone want from me the Mass Effect player who's caught in the middle but has already let go?"

Nothing. Nobody should tell you what to do. If you want to continue to support Bioware and EA in the future, that is your decision. But after this whole ordeal you have to admit you would be far more wary about buying their games on launch date without a second thought from now on.

Gareth said...

I think you should have done a bit more research into this issue, I understand you don't have much time but it isn't that hard to look up and won't take very long.

Angry Joe for example has a video stating 10 clear reasons why the ending was recieved the way it does.

I'm conflicted on how to react to the fan backlash but I have seen the ending and some anaylsis, I have the same exposure to Mass Effect as you Bob but I agree with the fans. The ending is stupid, really, really, stupid.

When it comes to stuff that I didn't enjoy the ending of I just think of an ending that I like better and imagine that one happened instead.

Hyperme said...

Since you've already been grilled for your fucktarded lack of research, I'll won't comment on that. Onwards!

You claim that player-driven narrative is somehow a bad thing, that lessens the artistic effect of games. This is quite franky, bullshit. Games are THE interactive medium. Every event beyond the first opening whatever is a direct result of the players action. It doesn't matter how linear or non-linear the game is, it's player driven. So when you say that the player shouldn't drive the narrative, you are wrong. This probably comes from your film critic background. Ebert did something similar. Films and Games are not created equal. Films have a one-way relation between Watcher and Director. Games have a two-way relationship. No extra work is needed to enjoy a Film. They are laid out before you. However, Games must interacted with, played to completion for the story to live. A Game can only reach it's true artistic potenial if it embraces interactivity. Otherwise, well sucks to be it. Perhaps you should cast away your film criticness when viewing a Game, to see what it truly is, instead of trying to see a weak imitation of a Film. Unless said Game is a weak imitation of a Film, at which point the writer people have failed.

Which is why I think, bad writing aside (oh Deus Ex Machina, how you are the Mary Sue of plot devices), Mass Effect 3's ending is bad. While I have not played Mass Effect, I've looked into the ending. If peeps are truthful, it takes the perfect interactive artistic potenial the ME series had, and throws it out for a mockery of choice and plot holes. Hooray. I mean, chosing to control doesn't result in a Reaper being all like 'That thing about Synthetics Star Child? It's happening to you.' Which would be a gooder ending, because more villians need to say 'fuck you' to Deus Ex Machina.

Also, a fuck Book Prizes. You've admitted the Oscars are pretty pointless, so the same should apply to their Booky counterpars. Mainly because they result in tales of whiny losers where somebody dies.

Marcomax said...

@ JediMB and last Anon

Thanks for the reply. The last part of my post wasn't really necessary just me getting a little over emotional. I guess like Bioware, I have trouble with endings. (That joke was worth it)

@ Gareth and Hyperme

So from both your posts and some of the other stuff in the trend, you wanted more of a discussion on the ending it self. I still doubt that knowing more about the ending would change Bob's opinion. Like with Bat Slap, this is less about the game and more about the people surrounding the game (Fans, Creators etc.). I can understand wanting to do research just to add credibility but in the end I don't think it would change his opinion.

Gareth said...

@Marcomxm, I can't speak for anyone else but in my case you are incorrect. I knew the episode would be focussed on the backlash going into it and I didn't wish for the episode to be anything other than that.

The reason I think he should have done research so that he could have commented from a stronger position, even if doing so wouldn't actually change his opinion. For me it is purely an issue of credbility.

Sylocat said...


I imagine it would help the "case" if it weren't for the fact that even when Sonic Team gave the fans exactly what they'd been screaming for (the Rush miniseries, Sonic 4, etc.), the fans weren't satisfied.

It's a perfect microcosm of this whole mess, isn't it? Bend over backwards to please the fans, and they'll complain that you're not breaking your own spine for their amusement, or they didn't mean you should bend over THAT far, or whatever.

Their demands/tastes/perceptions of reality will shift rapidly around to whatever gives them the best excuse to whine their asses off on the internet and complain they're getting shafted.

Even Yahtzee, of all people, sees the painfully obvious truth on this: If you try and please everyone, you'll just make the game even worse, and the fans will never be happy anyway.

Sylocat said...

I'd also like to point out that many Sonic fans claim to want "better writing" when all they really want is a verbatim transcript of SatAM.

Jannie said...

So then what is YOUR idea, Sylocat?

Just fuck everyone and anyone, make it known you don't care what anyone thinks and will never accept criticism or attempt to change, and then say "oh by the way, give me sixty dollars you lout"

Cause that's not vain and self-indulgent at all, and certainly isn't going to break the ground speed record for how fast a game studio folds. I mean God forbid you attempt to please the people who actually pay for your haughty ass to make games.

How precisely would even build up a fanbase or any kind of goodwill with gamers that way? Why would anyone even buy your game if they know you literally do not care if they enjoy it or not? I mean, why even make a game then, why not just make an indie movie for half the price and get like Kevin Smith to put in a good word for you with movie critics. It must be cheaper.

And if you feel so poorly of fans then why make games at all. News flash, YOU'RE A FANBOY! Everyone here is a fanboy, by definition! Some more than others, surely, but yeah you've become everything you gate dude. And even if that weren't true again, if your fans, who by the way pay for your lifestyle as a game studio, are so stupid and pointless why make games at all? Why not make something else? For the love of making games in general? Then for who--nobody? It just doesn't make sense.

It makes no sense economically, logically or from a business standpoint to be that adversarial to your own FANS who, again, PAY FOR YOUR PRODUCT!

And Ben Crenshaw? Really? I mean, the way you say it I get the idea you're not exactly superfan number one of Zero (talent) Punctuation but that's like the worst person in the world to ever reference for anything gaming related. He plays games about as well as my vagina--which is to say, not very. His very first review, I recall, he got caught up on a simple "puzzle" (not even that) in a game demo for Christ's sakes. Several times he doesn't even FINISH a game before reviewing it, yet feels the need to squawk about every aspect of it as if he was there when it was made. And let's not get started on the many, many times his ridiculous insecurities and feelings of impotence and hatred of women, children and anything else he can't control slips into his meandering "reviews".

Or have you never wondered why Crenshaw is always so defensive about his shit games that no one buys or cares about? I'll give you a hint: he's an insecure, vain little twerp who uses ridicule to indulge is infantile power fantasies and I'm TOTALLY sure that's not a sign of some underlying inadequacy he feels the need to hide. Yep, not at all.

Jannie said...

Look the bottom line is this:

We can talk all we want about the "power dynamics" of a storyteller and his audience, or about how fans ruin everything--somehow, that's never explained and is totally nebulous--or whatever but the fact remains that unless you NEVER intend to release the game you made then you are making it SPECIFICALLY for fans.

Either fans of your previous work, fans you hope to have, or fans of similar works.

No one, no artist, no matter how vain and self-righteous and self-indulgent has ever made anything simply to do so. NO ONE makes "art for art's sake" because it would be such a waste of time as to be literally insane. And even if someone says they do, they're either lying or they're unaware of what subconsciously they really want.

All humans want approval from their peers, and at heart all artistic endeavors are just that, but usually more arrogantly termed as some kind of expression of some supposed feeling or emotion or notion that can't allegedly be conveyed by simple words alone. And even if that were true, it would still not necessitate making paintings or drawings or books or games or movies or WHATEVER unless you intend for someone to see them. Maybe you don't want their approval but you want them to see it in some way or you would keep it inside your head.

So in short, fans are the only reason anyone, especially artists, do anything. Fans signify the approval of your peers and that is the driving force of nearly all human art or what we like to call fact if, and this is a huge if, one were to argue that art could be quantified that'd be the closest thing to a description for it: something flashy and or provocative you do to attain approval and praise from other people.

Having some deep, adversarial hate-boner for your fanbase isn't going to make you any more legit or any more pure, it just makes you look as vain and self-centered as most "artists" actually are, or were in some cases.

God forbid that you should embrace your fans instead of look down your nose on them...people may actually LIKE you and enjoy your creations. And no one ever became Legit Artsy doing something stupid like building a fanbase. And whatever you do NEVER EVER accept criticism and try to change and build better stories, that just pisses away your Legit Artsy street cred right there.

PadMasher said...


Totally in agreement about. That's what I find so odd about Bob's take on the issue. I can understand fans being disappointed but, asking the ending to be literally changed is simply over the top.

However, as I mentioned, many gaming sites were encouraging this very behavior regarding the Sonic fanbase. I understand that Shadow and 2006 were shitty (Hell, I own copies of both) but, I'd rather have the next game simply be good than have it be restricted to a "Dos and Don'ts" list.

Look at the critical reception of Sonic Unleashed. Barely any real gameplay issues were addressed by most critics. They simply went on about how Sonic "should" be and almost each review I read started with some "back in the day" nostalgic nonsense. (Yeah, I remember Sonic 1 guys. It was my very video game for christ sake!)

Now, all the sudden, fans demand a better ending to ME3 (they aren't even demanding any real game play changes or major tweaks) and NOW fan entitlement is an issue?

I don't wanna make this into a "They aren't being fair to Sonic!" debate but, I feel like this arguement is so old that it would have been better discussed back when Bob made his Sonic in Crisis videos rather than now of all times when every hack "journalist" and their mother is trying to justify why a $60 game concluded a franchise many people loved in such a shitastic way as to piss of 95% of the people who actually played it.

Mads said...

@ Marcomax
I appreciate knowing that at least someone was getting something from reading my thoughts 

The unfair treatment of the Re-take movement has you ticked, I understand. Sorry to do you first but what you said was in the back of my mind for most of the day.

It really does. Ad hominems tick me off to no end, and Bob has consistently framed the retake ME people as though they’re crybaby dipshits. It’s an ongoing trend with him; he framed the people angry at the filmcritic hulks criticism the same exact way... and he does it all the damn time on American Bob to republicans. So this time, I wanted to illustrate that if those who disagree with him are crybabies on principle, then he is as well.
As for the strawmen…well let’s just look at his rhetorical questions. Here’s what he feels like fans are propositioning:

1: The ending sucks!
2: The endings aren’t different enough!
3: Bioware lied to us
4: Yes they did
5: Bioware said our choices would make a difference, but there doesn’t seem to be much difference
6: Bioware owes me a better ending!
7: I put a lot of work into these games, so I deserve a better ending than they offered
8: I love mass effect probably more than some of the people who made it. That ought to count for something
9: But this is different! The game’s story was effected by my choices, which makes me a partial author!

All of these propositions are interesting, to a degree, but they do not get at the real issue…and worse, they’re framing the discussion in a fashion that doesn’t reflect reality.
Here’s the questions he didn’t deal with:

10: I don’t actually care whether or not bioware owes me anything, legally speaking. I’m angry. I’m pissed. These guys broke the narrative contract, and they did not give me, or anyone for that matter, anything in return.
11: So you know what? I’m going to call these guys out on it. In fact, I’m going to call them out on it so hard that they will lose millions of dollars in revenue, so hard that I will permanently tarnish their reputation. That’s my goddamn right. I might have no power over the mass effect franchise, but I have some amount of power over bioware because I’m a consumer and I have the right to free speech.
12: And ok. If they so happen to fix this, I’ll stop making a stink. They can save their reputation, and fix the damn mess they made, or they can just sit by and let me and my friends ruin them. Choice is up to them. I know what I’d prefer, but I’ll happily take either one.

Bob doesn’t address this core part of the retake movement, so his response is pretty useless. In avoiding that question, he doesn’t deal with the deeper issue of what the limits of criticism are. It’s, in other words, not overthought at all. It’s underthought, and the most interesting part of the subject is avoided, just to hate on some strawmen.
@ Jannie
I should also thank you for the links. Particularly the closed bioware thread with the PR analysis. It made for a fun and interesting read.

Anonymous said...

When it all comes down to it, yeah the fans have no control over what happens.

Bioware has every right to make their game however they want in the end (even if EA meddles with it).

It is the same as Bob's videos. He can put in as many silly little storylines he wants, and we can not, and should not force him to stop them.

That being said, if we feel that the product being sold to us is shoddy, incomplete or did not fulfill our expectations, we have the right not to buy them. Yeah we ended up buying ME3 and are mad as hell. But you know what? Just don't buy the next one (or if available, return them to Amazon for a full refund), and it is okay to let Bioware or any other developer know this. You (probably) can't force them to change their content directly, but you can tell them that if you feel that what they are making is unsatisfactory, that you won't be making any future purchases of their products.

As for the 'art' argument, well don't most agree that the ending is bad? The only point of contention (with Bob) is that art shouldn't be tampered with, no matter how bad. Doesn't mean we have to willingly pay for bad art every time though.

B.L.C. Agnew said...

Here's something people either seem to forget or just not be aware of:

BioWare ASKED for this.

Yep, sure did. For those who might not know, not to spoil it (because heaven forbid Bob do as much research on this as he would before a Big Picture on Doctor Who or Manga), the VERY LAST THING the player sees at the end of Mass Effect 3 is a screen that says this:

"Congratulations on Commander Shepard being legendarily awesome! Buy our DLC for more ledend-building awesomeness!"

Not. Making. That. Up.

We knew Mass Effect 3 would have DLC. ALL of BioWare's console games this gen have had it, ME3 had it on Day 1, and - oh yeah - the end of their flagship series straight up said "Look out for more DLC!"

So what did fans do? They told them where they could damn well start with the $10-a-pop expansions.

That's not entitlement. That's not a confusion of ownership or a destruction of artistic integrity - that's a crowd shouting out "Freebird!" when the band announces "Now taking requests."

Mads said...

@ B.L.C. Agnew

That's a good point. It's no different from people clamoring for a tannooki suit.

@ Anonymous March 27 2012 4:31PM

It is the same as Bob's videos. He can put in as many silly little storylines he wants, and we can not, and should not force him to stop them.

That's absolutely right. We should not force him by going to his place of residence and holding a gun to his head. And we should not force him. And we should not force him by suing him, unless we actually win.

That last one is derpy, but consider if he plagiarized something; clearly suing him over it and winning should be able to stop him by 'force'.

The point is, that's force, and that's completely different from what the retake ME movement is doing; they're not using force. That's the whole bloody point. And using a vernacular that suggests they're using force is completely disingenuous.

Marcomax said...

@ Mads

So if I have this right, the main point of the questions you brought up are based on the power dynamic between the Fans and EA - Bioware. Ultimately for Bob, he seems to have his own definition of where this line is drawn and you and Jannie seem to have a different one entirely. And since the answer to these three final questions are based on his OPINION, the show would still reach the same point. If framed differently, these questions could become a new straw man. If their is anything I'm really concuss about it's word uses.

It's times like this that I wish the Game OverThinker had a companion article similar to Intermission for Escape to the Movies. Just to put a cap on these topics.

"I wanted to illustrate that if those who disagree with him are crybabies on principle, then he is as well." So by calling Fans crybabies, Bob is a crybaby as well. Look I hate that he call them crybabies and introduced that language into the discussion. But will throwing it back at him really do anything. I get the basic idea, for Bob not to be a crybaby he has to retract his statement call certain fans in the ME re-take movement crybabies. Sorry to bring this up, it's just another wording and toning thing that just pokes at me.

Look what we have is an episode focused on his immediate opinion of the Mass Effect situation. Not an analysis of the game ending or a deeper discussion of the issues brought up by the fans. Just a quick hits list of Bob's Stance. Maybe a year from now we can get a Crass Effect Revisited and can look at this issue again with the benefit of a year to calm down and go over everything. And if anyone makes a crack about "at least then he can play the games" I'll log back on and smack you through the screen.

Marcomax said...

Sorry posted before I could read your new post Mads. I think I'll bow out of this discussion for now. Unless there's something else that needs to be talked about, I'm done.

Anonymous said...


I sort of doubt that Bob will ever change his opinion. How many times have people tried, oh so tried, to get him to see any positive point in the FPS genre? Even his Other M revisited wasn't that different.

The majority of Bob's content is just how he feels. So when he puts up HARD TRUTH, that just means it is BOB'S TRUTH that is being exposed, not some universal truth. It just happened with that art argument. Ebert had a view on what art was, Bob has a view on what it is, and everyone else has theirs. And no side is willing to see the viewpoint of the other as having any sort of legitimate claim. And to claim that your viewpoint is the single arbiter of TRUTH, is well, just absurd.

Mads said...

First, a link:
This is a thoughtful, academic approach, a long literary essay on the mass effect series, it’s relation to art, and just what happened concerning the ending.
If anyone doesn’t get the issue with the ending and want to understand, point them this way, as there is a really good analogy inthere.

Mads said...

@ Marcomax
“So if I have this right, the main point of the questions you brought up are based on the power dynamic between the Fans and EA - Bioware.”
“Ultimately for Bob, he seems to have his own definition of where this line is drawn and you and Jannie seem to have a different one entirely”
That’s the thing: We don’t know. We don’t know because rather than dealing with the very concrete power dynamic as it exists, he deals with proposed reasons for specific actions, and proposed actions which aren’t actually happening.
“And since the answer to these three final questions are based on his OPINION, the show would still reach the same point.
Not necessarily. The purpose of the straw man is to present an argument as though you undermine the opposing position even though you technically undermine an entirely different position.
The reason this is effective is generally that there will be no logical fallacies, and that you can eliminate further implications by changing the position you’re arguing against. This makes the argument itself invulnerable to the powerful rhetoric and logical tools that would generally expose fallacies when confronting the actual opposition rather than the made-up one. For instance, if Bob confronted the propositions I outlined in a fashion where he claimed the fan I allude to is morally or otherwise in the wrong, it becomes incredibly easy to draw a parallel to his own work as a game critic.
Mind you I’m not suggesting that Bob is being willfully manipulative; I’m not saying his utility of straw men aims to deceive anyone, that’s not my goal. What I am saying is that if he dealt with the actual issue here, rather than some made up ones, and he held the “fans are in the wrong” opinion, I could crush that by illustrating how it would make him a hypocrite by extension and implication. It might also be open to a reduction ad absurdum counterargument, and in fact I suspect it would be.
”If framed differently, these questions could become a new straw man”
Well, yeah, they could be. I’m not saying that the questions as I framed them are perfect either; but I think they get at the issue of the power dynamic, and what I want is to hear Bob’s response to that, not some schoolmasters lesson on ip, going like: “no, intellectual property actually belongs to the author who produces it, not anyone else, and they don’t actually need to do anything with it even if you consume it”.
It’s true but it’s also completely irrelevant, because no one is saying that in the sense of the word Bob uses in that sentence. That’s why I feel he presented straw men, and why I feel the questions I outline are not.
“ If their is anything I'm really concuss about it's word uses.”
Wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s important to be questioned.
” So by calling Fans crybabies, Bob is a crybaby as well.”
Not really what I was going for, but yes, by calling fans crybabies in the hulk case, and by acting as he does now, he is a crybaby by the same definition he used to call the hulk-critics crybabies.
Now as I said, I don’t actually think he is a crybaby – just that what he says means he should think of himself as one if he doesn’t want to be a hypocrite. It’s not a particularly elegant argument, but it is logically sound, and that’s good enough. It gives me evidence that his position is self-contradictory, which is enough for me to dismiss it outright, and honestly, that’s all I wanted to do.
” Look what we have is an episode focused on his immediate opinion of the Mass Effect situation.”
I agree with you. But if that was the intention of the piece, I wouldn’t be arguing that the strawmen were strawmen. The intention is to illustrate that the retake mass effect movement have done something wrong, and the strawmen make it seem like they have, but without dealing with the actual actions and the powerdynamic overtly, it doesn’t actually ever say that the RME did something wrong; it just seems to say that they did something wrong.

Sylocat said...


What was it that drew people to Mass Effect? What was it that gamers liked about it? If you asked them, a lot of them would say "writing."

In fact, writing seems to be the consistently major draw of BioWare's work in general (it's certainly not the gameplay... at least not consistently). So, for all your claims that quantifiability is key, a nebulous and unclear thing like "writing" seems to be a major factor in purchasing decisions.

That's why the precedent being set here matters.

I agree that the current ending sucks, it didn't surprise me one bit to learn that it was a rushed substitute for something else, and I'd love to see them add the other ending (or better yet, Karpyshyn's original ending) back in via DLC and use the Indoctrination Theory as the "excuse."

But at this point, too much mud has been slung, too many petitions have been tossed about and too much bile has been vomited for it to all be shrugged off. The response matters because it represents something.

Simply put: If big-name developers/publishers start buying into the notion that fans have a moral right to veto creative decisions by screaming loud enough, no writer worth a damn will ever want to work in video games again. That may make them "hipsters," but "hipsters" are apparently what created that whole "art" thing that drew people to Mass Effect.

Which means, Mass Effect will be even less likely to happen again. Publishers are already terrified to try anything new, and this will just make things a zillion times worse.

You know what BioWare should do? They should spin it. Make a big show of blaming EA (who probably, knowing them, deserve it anyway) and saying that this was the ending they wanted to do all along, and that they're just using the fan backlash as an excuse.

That's what they should do to set a half-decent precedent.

Anonymous said...


Sort of like what Extra Credits did with the Escapist right?

But unlike them, Bioware is far to scared to do something like that. Publishers like EA and Activision have a tight grip and want to squeeze out as much money as possible from their franchises.

I just find it weird how many people in the media seem to gloss over this and decide to lay the blame of games being ruined on the fans and fans alone, regardless of how immature they are. I dunno, I always thought that greed and lazy development had a far more negative effect on games than a bunch or nerds crying about Sonic's eye color.

Anonymous said...

Mass Effect 3 and Art Envy: Reaping What They Sow

Will English said...

All of the choices at the end of Mass Effect 3 leave the thing open for another game and do absolutely nothing for least that's how I see it based on what my friends have told me (I have yet to play the game yet either). The whole issue of feeling entitlement over it is pretty f-ing stupid.

Anonymous said...

I'm also inclined to side with my wallet, which allows me not to give money to debauched corporate artists.

Anonymous said...

The thing most people don't seem to understand is that (at least in the US) art is considered protected by the first amendment, while merchandise is not.
Therefore, if games are not art, the government can make laws to ban games which contain content they find objectionable, be it sexuality, violence, or simply messages that run counter to their political / economic / religious views.
In short, the term "Art" is not just semantics, it is a matter of concrete legality and personal freedom.

Deadpool said...

Points 1 and 2: Correct.

Points 3, 4 and 5: Wrong. Bioware didn't mislead, they actively lied. They didn't say "Oh you're gonna love these endings!" Well, they DID, but that's not the lie people are complaining about.

Casey Hudson said, among a few other lies, that it's not going to be something so simple as an A, B, C ending type thing. And what we got was EXACTLY an A, B, C ending type thing (except that all three are essentially the same anyways).

Now, to be fair, I'm not exactly mad at the lying part. Companies lie, developers lie too. Peter Molyneux likes to play the whole "Well, I THOUGHT I could do this" but let's be honest here, he lied. Maybe I'm a cynic, but I just expect this...

Still, people complaining about it DO have a point. Bioware DID lie.

Point 6: Correct again. Bioware don't owe fans a damned thing, and I personally think actually ASKING them to make a new ending (and PAYING them to do it!) is an awful idea and sets a pretty shit precedent... And makes me wonder if this wasn't the plan all along...

Point 7: I'd say even MORALLY they don't have a point. You don't DESERVE anything.

I get WANTING a better game. Hell, you SHOULD want a better game. I'm constantly amazed at people who DON'T. But ou don't deserve anything.

Point 8: Correct.

Point 9: Correct. Bioware made all of the story. We did nothing, we just put it together.

Deadpool said...

Points 1 and 2: Correct.

Points 3, 4 and 5: Wrong. Bioware didn't mislead, they actively lied. They didn't say "Oh you're gonna love these endings!" Well, they DID, but that's not the lie people are complaining about.

Casey Hudson said, among a few other lies, that it's not going to be something so simple as an A, B, C ending type thing. And what we got was EXACTLY an A, B, C ending type thing (except that all three are essentially the same anyways).

Now, to be fair, I'm not exactly mad at the lying part. Companies lie, developers lie too. Peter Molyneux likes to play the whole "Well, I THOUGHT I could do this" but let's be honest here, he lied. Maybe I'm a cynic, but I just expect this...

Still, people complaining about it DO have a point. Bioware DID lie.

Point 6: Correct again. Bioware don't owe fans a damned thing, and I personally think actually ASKING them to make a new ending (and PAYING them to do it!) is an awful idea and sets a pretty shit precedent... And makes me wonder if this wasn't the plan all along...

Point 7: I'd say even MORALLY they don't have a point. You don't DESERVE anything.

I get WANTING a better game. Hell, you SHOULD want a better game. I'm constantly amazed at people who DON'T. But ou don't deserve anything.

Point 8: Correct.

Point 9: Correct. Bioware made all of the story. We did nothing, we just put it together.

Aqua said...

So yeah, anyone hear about the cupcake thing now? If not, check the Escapist. This shit's getting riddiculous, these self-entitled crybabies need to get it through their thick heads that the game has been made/packaged/sold/bought/played/returned/sold at a discount at Gamestop already, and get the fuck over themselves. Goddamn, I can't even immagine having that kind of fucking insanity over a bad ending like that...

Aiddon said...

yes, the cupcake thing is very sad. It's also embarrassing that this fiasco has been going on for a few weeks now.

Anonymous said...

"no ending could possibly be bad enough"

Yeeeee..... no.

I thought so too. I knew that there was rage on the forums but I thought: "Whiners! Bioware is excellent in their products."

And then I experienced what others have called and what I would call: "Without giving anything away, (directly, as all subsequent links will contain some spoilers) the ending, by which I mean the final five to ten minutes, of Mass Effect 3 is easily the worst finale I’ve seen compared to the preceding quality that came before it – in any medium. At literally every level, it’s objectively terrible." ( - california literary review)

Yes a professional review site called it "objectively terrible" at every level and I have to agree. I actually tried to find redeeming qualities for it, spent days on the web etc. and compared it to the worst i had experienced in every other medium. I can not help it:

This is so bad at so many levels that it could be an intentional attempt at trolling. There are so many people who think "this is an 'it was a dream all along' ending" that it is not even funny.

If you intentionally tried to make something as bad as possible you would probably make a better ending.

People have made lists about the 10 worst aspects of the ending.

Let me try to explain it differently: In jest someone made a demotivational comparing Twilight and the ME 3 ending. I know about the Mormonism/abusive relationship things going on in there. However, I could not deny that this comparison was rather accurate. I love that game and the franchise I am a DAMN FAN OF IT (find any fan of anything but twilight that will accept a comparison to anything of their franchise). But when I realized that it is actually the worst ending ever it broke my heart. Some female gamer onthe internet said after the ending she cried and turned it of cause it felt like she had just experienced her own death.
All other people had the same statement only in not as strong a formulation.

It is really hard to believe if you have not seen it but this takes the cake. Remember I want to love it, hell I even defended the day one dlc thing on the net.

With Bioware my relationship was: "Shut up and take my money!", now I am not certain that I will ever play any Bioware game. Some people had problems to pick up even unrelated games and could not play for weeks.

"no ending could possibly be bad enough" I agreed before playing, and during playing but after that end... This is even worse. To be honest if someone would loose it over this I would not be surprised.

It is that bad and worse. I can only tell you and draw strange comparisons but as a movie bob fan that agreed almost always with you I have to say: you don't know, and be glad you don't.

Sylocat said...

And now BioWare has given away all the cupcakes to charity.

Let's hope they're not actually poisoned like some of the fans were threatening...

Aiddon said...

this has reached the point of unintentional parody

Mike M. said...

Since when did "artistic integrity" become the go-to excuse to cover for flat-out shoddy workmanship? It’s hardly surprising for Bioware to try spinning it that way for the sake of damage control, but that doesn't require journalists, who really ought to know better, to accept these claims at face value.

It's no secret that ME3's original ending, which would have taken advantage of extensive foreshadowing introduced throughout the previous games, was scrapped at the eleventh hour and replaced with the current version. Nor was their "artistic" vision so pure as to preclude excising a large swath of content vital to the story in order to sell it separately as Day-1 DLC. Appropriately enough, the last vista we’re shown in the series is a datapad begging us to BUY MOAR DLC! Classy. Oh, and the big reveal of Tali's face? Turns out it was a royalty-free stock image with some minor photoshopping. Or you can go onto Youtube and watch the video of EA's CEO John Ricietello musing wistfully over his schemes to monetize every square inch of their products.

Are people seriously suggesting that all that's going on here is some ivory-tower fantasyland of unfettered creative expression and art for art's sake? ME3 is a big-budget product produced by a publicly-held corporation to make a profit. It is not Blue Dog, as one recent article hilariously tried to argue.

So why, in an age of DLC and content patches, is it so crazy to think that if Bioware sees the point of the complaints they could act to expand the range of options in the ending to be more in tune with the tone and interactivity that are the defining characteristics of the series? Nobody credible is suggesting that fans “deserve” anything in some legal sense. Why should a group of concerned customers, who are only trying to make a company who clearly lost its way understand what is broken about their product, be met with such contempt?

Ironically, game corporations don't hesitate to stoke the fires of community involvement when it works to their advantage, whipping up fans to generate word-of-mouth, increase pre-release sales, and sell pricy merchandise. If fans have a sense of "entitlement," it's due in no small part to Bioware's own pandering, such as this statement from associate producer Mike Gamble:

"And, to be honest, you [the fans] are crafting your Mass Effect story as much as we are anyway."

Well, now they're finding out that when they fail spectacularly to deliver on their promises that passion is a sword that cuts both ways. You live and die by the expectations you create.

Anonymous said...

Is it any wonder Bob sides with the "artists" over the fans now that he's embroiled in his own battles with fans over the direction of his show?

Fat Ninjas. Crappy endings. Same diff.

Xaos said...

The Game Scientist said...

I can agree that the fans of a franchise--in this case, fans of BioWare and Mass Effect franchise--don't own and have any say on what the story should be at the end of the third game. This franchise was given to us from BioWare, along with Commander Shepard, and we're told to play with him and his buddies/antagonists for 90+ hours. It's like going to a friend's house to play with their new toys to a new franchise. They are new and exciting toys to a franchise, and they are fun to interact with, but the toys belong to your friend, and they decide when you have had enough playing with their toys.

The problem here is BioWare tried to mix the core mechanics of the game with the narrative of the story and...Eh, the results are mixed. Like you MovieBob, I don't have much interest in the Mass Effect series or have much invested in the game. I can applaud what BioWare is trying to do in connect the two parts of the game (core mechanics and narrative engine) together so they don't conflict with each other like in a Japanese Role Playing Game. Yet as you stated MovieBob, the role of the narrative telling the story is best when there is little influence from the audience in modifying the story.

However, that is a matter of opinion on what makes a "good" story, even to the eyes of the story-teller. "Mass Effect 3" is a good example of this where BioWare used a narrative event (or cutscene) to tell the final moments of Shepard based upon what choice you make. They decided the conclusion, and it wasn't appealing to the fans. To look at it from another perspective: I share your own opinion that "Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World" movie is an awesome film, yet my Dad and Mom don't consider it a great film and prefer "Expendables" instead.

The advantage with video games is they have the ability to create the story based upon the player's input, not tell a story like a book or film could do. Would it be a great story? That is an opinion one person might share versus another person. However, it is still a story created by a person that may have special meaning to that person. Many people boast about memorable actions they do in a video game to accomplish a challenge or get a chuckle out of a death that happened to them. If I'm playing "Kirby Super Star" on the Super Nintendo or Nintendo DS, I may pick a different order of "mini-games" and have a different set of challenges accomplished in those than you would playing through the same game. Sure we would encounter each challenge and reward at the end of the game, but our "journey" to that end is radically different from each game session.

Marc Leblanc's theory of "emergent storytelling," where the core mechanics of the game tell the story based upon the player's actions and not the narrative engine, is visible in this scenario. This is what makes "The Sims" and other Life-Simulation games appealing to some people because they care about their jargon-speaking 1s and 0s or their tomagotchi. The death of an LCD creature might make a player cry, like the death of their favorite pet. Video games have the advantage of making us laugh or be afraid by using the core mechanics of the game--so its only a matter of time that we may recognize a unique story being made with each game when we select "New Game" at the main menu.

Shark said...

Did anyone watch Adult Swim last night? Toonami did a review of Mass Effect 3 that summarizes all the strengths and weaknesses of the game in the span of a minute.

Xaos said...

Actually, Shark, I DID watch Adult Swim last night.

I spent three hours just staring at the screen open mouthed. Holy Shit, the nostalgia...Gundam fucking Wing.

El Pibe Progre said...

The truth:

Thank God for Jim Sterling

Sylocat said...

And here's the problem with what Jim Sterling said in that video:

His whole idea about "showing that endings matter" would be great, but that's not the lesson that will be learned here, by publishers OR by gamers.

The actual precedent that will be set here is: "Fans can force artists to change their work just by screaming loud enough."

In which case, no writer with a shred of decency will ever want to work for the big-name publishers again. If you think they're churning out garbage now, believe me, you definitely don't want to see what they'll be producing if they think their work can be tossed out on the whim of the Internet Hatedom.

And, since writing is what drew people to Mass Effect in the first place, yeah, that does matter. Because it means that Mass Effect just plain won't happen again.

Aiddon said...

Jim Sterling, once again littering the net with his vapid, ignorant pseudo-intellectual ramblings.

Anonymous said...

For once Addion, we agree.

-Troid- said...

Bob, I've been a long time viewer of your show (probably been said a thousand times right?) and I have to say that this was probably the first overthinker where I've found you come across as underinformed, though the reasoning for that is because you haven't played Mass Effect through all the way.

It's also partly because you probably don't want any spoilers on the games since you said you were going to eventually play them. But just as other people who have weighed in on the topic without having actually finished the game and/or doing some research on the ending (in detail) you have to leave out some important parts that come up in the discussion.

Now I won't spoil anything, but suffice to say most people I know and talk to don't like the ending because it ends up not only creating a huge plot hole, but also gives off a very different thematic vibe than the rest of the three games. It completely makes you think about the rest of the events in the games, but not in a good way, but in a bad way as what is revealed ends up conflicting canonically with significant part of the rest of the series.

I won't go any further into that subject as to avoid spoiling anything, suffice to say I don't know who wrote last few minutes of the game but they just seemed to ignore what had been already established.

As for developer advertising/promises, ME3 crosses a fine line because higher-ups in Bioware actually went on record (leading up to release) saying that they specifically wouldn't have ME3 end with and A choice, B choice, C choice circumstance, yet that's exactly how they ended it. What would that be considered? I suppose you couldn't peg them for false advertising since it was never on the advertisements, but it still doesn't sit right when one of the lead devs/producers makes such a claim to raise interest/assurance and then goes back on it.

I will go on record saying that people petitioning for an ending change or bringning a case to the Better Business Bureau is probably rash, but the ending is just bad on many levels; albeit it's not terrible (it can always get worse), but the butchering of the canon after playing so many hours just leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, and even though I haven't petitioned etc., I'm at least hoping for some sort of retcon or added information to sort out the mess the ending created (instead of say wanting a whole new ending, I'd just like a bit better explanation/elaboration on the one already there).

Eric said...

Bob, with all due respect -

Do your research before you make a video next time. While I agree the fan reaction to the ending has been stupid and overblown, the ending really is horrendous to the point of being offensive. It reeks of a rush job and reveals that the game's lead writer outright lied about how the series would conclude.

Furthermore, Mass Effect has no "artistic vision" you can argue and never did, unless that was "rip off Star Trek." Looking at the stories of each game it's very, very obvious that nobody at BioWare actually had any idea what they were doing for the trilogy. There was no grand design, no epic conclusion - and the stories in the final games were still sloppy, junky and full of holes. Trying to appeal to the "author intended X" factor would require the author to have a fucking clue.

That said... I don't know what's sadder, that BioWare can barely string together a coherent story anymore, or that the fans are so desperate that they are literally willing to pay money for a better ending, practically begging it. Apparently "your favourite game has a horrendously bad story" is enough to leave fans delusional, even though it was clear to just about anyone with a working brain as of Mass Effect 2.

Caladors said...

I look forward to the next gameover thinker cartoon/non content thing where the nercothinker attacks the gameover thinker and he leaks straw everywhere.

I am sorry if you found that offencive but trying to be as reasonable as possiable donating money to charity for to show I wasn't a screaming fan boy makes me an entitled loser, I used to think people were to harsh with you when they said that you lived in your own NES fantasy world, maybe I was wrong.

Please don't mock me for believing that if I am lied to that I should not be fine with that.

Anonymous said...

I hope the next video's about Sony's anti-used game bullshit. I hope everyone pirates their games if the companies keep acting this way.

Unknown said...

Due to posting issues and some mess up with the paste tool, A long Rant I had has to be shortened for patience reasons:

Essentially, You do not own Mass Effect. But do you know what you do own? The ability to just plain make your own ending. Because Bioware has it's version that you CANNOT change unless they will it. But you have YOUR ending YOU wrote that if Bioware is feeling generous, will let you have if YOU can get it to work. They probably won't give you an official channel to do it, but they will probably let you get away with doing it through other means.

Do you know what I'm refering to? Mods! Fanfiction! All that stuff.

Bioware isn't a democracy, it's a company, and fans don't get anymore say than Bioware lets them have (which they have already been more than generous with). But while they have their version, you can just make your own. A version you control that ideally goes however you want it to go.

Your story will porbably never be "offical" as a part of "true" mass effect; but you know what? that's the good part. Because "unofficial" works don't tie you down to Bioware. "unofficial" works like fan fiction let both sides have their cake (or eat it if they prefer): Bioware can have their verison, you have your's everyone is happy... Probably.

In other words, you already have your perfect ending to Mass Effect, for it is in you! Waiting to come out! All you need to do to make it so it make it; while also accepting it's probably never going to be official.

And so
1: if the ending sucks, make your own, but don't you dare force bioware to make it official if they don't want to.
2: if there's not enough endings, make your own, but again, no forcing of official-ness.
3: If they lied... fulfil their promise on their behalf, but don't force it on Bioware.
...You get the picture, right?

Of course, this might be an entirely different issue if people were asking Bioware for a sequel, then it wouldn't quite be forcing, but rather just saying "we want more!" which unless Bioware is sick of the franchise all together, will be more than happy to do. (And if they are sick of it, tell them they can pass it on to another studio that wants to do it. But if they refuse at that point... you're probably screwed.)