Sunday, April 15, 2012

Badass Digest Out-Geeks "Re-Take," Again

Episode 69 is in the can and awaiting a release date (you'll find out right after I do), but it's not a spoiler to reveal that I'm going one more round with "Re-Take Mass Effect" in light of EA/BioWare's decision to attempt placating them* with "story-expanding" free DLC. I'm glad I finished it up last night, because I probably would've felt compelled to scrap my plans in a fit of "what else can I POSSIBLY add after this!?" envy and defeat after reading today's piece by Badass Digest's Devin Faraci. B.A.D. should be a daily stop for geeks and film buffs anyway, but this was a real (if SPOILER-Y!) treat.

The argument itself isn't necessarily "new;" Devin mostly laments the degradation of fandom from loving a work(s) of fiction so much that lore-obsessing and continuity gaffe "a-ha!-ing" became a fun communal game into the obsession=ownership entitlement mentality that leads people to treat - without a HINT of irony! - an ending you didn't like as a consumer-rights issue.

What I like best is that he grounds his opinion in proper historical context; not only via a pretty terrific uber-geeky Tolkien reference but with heavy reference to fanboy founding-father Philip Jose Farmer, who's not only one of the more interesting scifi/fantasy authors largely forgotten by modern audiences but also more-or-less the inventor of Professional Fan-Fiction. That kind of broad perspective is sorely lacking in a lot of the games-as-art discussion, and one of the reasons for the curious phenomenon that so much interesting games journalism pieces recently have come from folks who usually write/work in different mediums.

For some reason I've never comprehended (this is expanded upon in Episode 69, incidentally) it's considered verboten in some gaming circles to draw critical or artistic paralells between games and any other media - as though the fact that some cursory interactivity and/or player-input renders video games so incomprehensibly different from movies, books, etc that the comparison is utterly unwarranted.

In any case, read the column. Agree or disagree, I think it's an important addition to the discussion.



*Speaking of "placating," if you haven't see "Cabin In The Woods" yet, you're missing out on probably the most brutally honest piece of commentary about the fandom/creator relationship to be filmmed in a good long while. I won't say anything beyond that, other than that you really do need to see that movie - it's AMAZING.

42 comments:

Chris the Gamer said...

I do think that the Re-Take Mass Effect movement is to much, but we should not forget that the ending of Mass Effect 3 is really bad on multiple levels, some of with are only accessible to people that have played all three games. The linked article addresses only one of the multiply grievances most people have with the ending.

Joshua the Anarchist said...

It's interesting what you said about Cabin in the Woods because when I saw it--

SPOILERS!! SPOILERS!! NOBODY READ THIS UNLESS YOU'VE SEEN "CABIN IN THE WOODS"!! SPOILERS!!

--I originally interpreted the whole "must kill to please the Ancients" thing as a metaphor for the idea that we watch horror films partially to placate our own darker impulses.

But if it is about the creator/fandom relationship as you say, I assume the Ancients do not represent our dark primal instincts for violence, rather they literally represent US, the audience, and how we pitch a fit whenever we don't get our way or the story doesn't go like we want it?

Damn that last sentence was a long one.

SPOILERS OVER!!

Sabre said...

I won't criticise the linked post itself, but what I will criticise your argument. Specifically 2 points.

1 is the way you (moviebob) have constantly ignored the comments/counter arguments so you can keep using the same mass effect 3 straw man over and over. I don't have a side in this debate, but it's clear you are not listening to reason, and rather fishing for justification of your own opinions. You don't have to change your mind, but enough with the strawmen please.

2 will have to wait for the next episode to see the argument in full, but-
"For some reason I've never comprehended (this is expanded upon in Episode 69, incidentally) it's considered verboten in some gaming circles to draw critical or artistic paralells between games and any other media - as though the fact that some cursory interactivity and/or player-input renders video games so incomprehensibly different from movies, books, etc that the comparison is utterly unwarranted." is very easy to explain.

If I complained that a film didn't have enough text, like a book. If I complained that songs didn't have a colourful cast, like a film. These arguments would be shot down as complete bollocks. People keep comparing games to films, or books, or other passive media. As the amount of terrible licensed games of films (or films of games) shows, the stories of one do not translate to the other. Yet it keeps coming up "Games should have better stories like film!" or in the case of Mass Effect 3 "Film has standard X, so clearly that should apply to games too!". No it shouldn't, it can't. Games are not 'film lite', games are games.

Looking Down The Crionics said...

Sabre, he did the exact same shit Metroid Other M. This is why he should have his shows shut down and taken away from him. He takes a controversial side and ignores all the great points made against him. Which is the whole point of debate in the first place. I don't even know why he bothers to even have a comments section.


I really can't wait til Bobby gets jumped at a convention. Fuck "what your heart desires." It's time the fans started taking this shit into our own hands.

I hope Mass Effect 3 gets a happily ever after ending just to spite Bobby.

Sylocat said...

Now that I think about it, Cabin in the Woods was almost prophetic in its allegory for the ME3 backlash.

[SPOILER]If the horny teenagers don't die in the correct order according to how impure they are by the moral standards of white suburban America, the audience will revolt![/SPOILER]

In other news, this is an amazingly insightful piece from Devin. At first I almost thought he was just being a contrarian (which is something I've often wondered about him), but now he's made some incredibly good points.

Anonymous said...

There is a certain yes and no to that. We've all had that convesation with someone over something tirival that can be explained away in 10 seconds but if it isn't outright stated, someone has a fit. On the other hand there is a level of laziness behind it, especially in the computer age even if you don't have the personal database, someone probably has a wiki for it. I've often thought clinging to continuity is a fan's way of denying that the writers (and more often the editors) don't share the level of love we do on a project. We know otherwise, but just don't want to admit they didn't want to take a few mintues to look something up.

How bad this is depends on the degree. The Relay thing was for me at least, the least objectionable part some something that might ahave been a good idea, just one not done that well. It made sense to just say relays can be taken out in differing ways with differing results. Compare that to, say, the forth Mass Effect Novel which was couted as having something like 60 errors in lore (in a 350 page book). Funnially, no one shouted "artistic integrity" when that one got shouted back to the printers for corrections.

It's a matter of balance. We as fans can't be anal, they as creators can't phone it in.

Anonymous said...

At first, I wanted Bioware to change the endings, but now I realize I'm having more fun calling Casey Hudson and Mac Walters talentless hacks.

Aiddon said...

and of course the comments section of Devin's article EXPLODES into the same behavior that he spent the article talking about. It's...kind of sad.

Anyway, this whole fiasco also reminds me of why comic books have had a mixed history (to say the least). Comic books are inevitably written or edited by people who want to write "official" versions of fanfiction and thus some stuff comes off as just...odd. It's why Spider-Man's whole series is completely borked and how apparently being married in the Marvel universe is some sort of gigantic sin. When you get the input of fans you're more than likely going to end up with dreck.

P.S. I find hypocritical of Whedon to try and make a commentary on fan-creator relationships when in fact the only reason he's relevant in the first place is due to his overly-rabid fanbase that constantly babies him.

Anonymous said...

I'm just tired of this issue. And I'm not sure how your coverage of the fallout will bring anything new or enlightening to the table.

Someone mentioned that in this entire fallout no one really won. The presumably whiny bratty fanbase don't get their dream ending, Bioware took a black eye, EA is awarded worst company of the year, and gaming journalism wishes this issue would blow over.

No amount of dlc, free months of The Old Republic subscriptions, pro-gay stance, or coverage of the tired affair will solve anything in the end for anybody.

Misterprickly said...

Posts: 1702Joined: 24 Feb 2008 "The Cabin in the Woods" is the most BORING film I've ever seen.

When I wasn't laughing at the pitiful jokes, I was scratching my head and wondering "What did I just watch?!"

The only "good parts" were the control room scenes in the early to mid-film.
The rest was nothing that I haven't seen, done better, in other films.

It was like Scooby doo, Evil dead, Halloween 3, any number of Stephen king flicks, House on Haunted hill and the Truman show mixed together; with Sigourney Weaver thrown in for flavoring.

This movie is over-hyped and underwhelming.

SAVE YOUR MONEY!

***DO NOT WATCH THIS FILM***

If you absolutely MUST watch this... waste of time; Then I suggest that you see it on cheap night.

Wish I did.

Mads said...

Devin again has strawmen.

He acts as though people are angry about the relays blowing up, or angry that the ending is unhappy.

That's incredibly disingenuous. People are angry because the ending sucks. They're pulling out all the stops in regard to continuity because they want the ending changed.

The relays are just an easy target, but it's not the actual reason. It's about how the ending makes the player lose all sense of narrative cohesion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MlatxLP-xs&feature=player_embedded

This is far too long. Here's a timestamped link to the central argument:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MlatxLP-xs&feature=player_embedded#t=23m

For whatever reason Devin of BAD doesn't recognize this, and defaults to the "waaah waaah, retakers are whiners just like me, waaaah I don't know how to make a good argument waaah" that seems to be the default of the anti-retakers.

Hyperme said...

i don't know what to say really

its a stupid artical

how is saying 'derp hulk not should be here' any different from 'derp mass relays should kill everyone'? they both equally sad in way.

also, if artificial life always turns against creator, why reapers work for star child? make no sense.

Aiddon said...

and now for something completely different:

http://nintendoeverything.com/86628/miyamoto-still-interested-in-wii-music-idea-new-mario-wii-u-game-at-e3/

JPArbiter said...

people who Bash this article, and really bash Bob's take on the Crass Effect (what can I say I thought it was clever) are really missing the point of the ReTake Counter Argument.

The Fans who are arguing against ReTake are doing so from a very fundamental principle. One way or another, there is a line between Content Consumer and Content Creator, and at no point is the Content Creator beholden to change their work, their effort, based on the whims of the Consumer.

the ReTake crowd has been attempting to subvert that fundamental principle of media. their methods have been haphazard at best, and down right unhelpful at worse. they address every argument as though they are trying to win over converts to their side, as though really this whole snafu can have people converted to it.

PEOPLE OF THE INTERNET LISTEN TO ME AND UNDERSTAND. NO ONE GIVES A SHIT, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, REGARDING HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT THE ENDING OF MASS EFFECT 3.

If you liked it, great. if you hated it... great. if you think that Bioware is obligated to change it, fine, you have fun with that, but don't involve or try to win over people that don't agree with you.

Anonymous said...

If people not invested the games genuinely don't care, then they are free not to respond to the "Retake" movement and simply ignore them, like what usually happens with gamer activism that doesn't directly affect us all (you think non-Nintendo gamers like me gave a shit about project rainfall?). They haven't so it must be assumed that they do in fact care for some reason.

Sylocat said...

Someone in the comment section of that article raises the interesting point that, since the Retakers are so loudly claiming that interactivity is what sets the medium apart, maybe the "ending" isn't just the cutscene after the final level.

The whole game is the "ending" to the trilogy. It's everything leading UP TO the final cinematic that constitutes the ending, and that's full of ripples of choices made in the previous games.

So, which is it, ReTakers? Does the interactivity of games set them apart, or doesn't it?

B.L.C. Agnew said...

Devin glibbly misses a central point of the whole Mass Effect 3 fiasco, and Bob gleefully parrots him. Gee, haven't seen that before.

And for the record, I love Cabin in the Woods, but it caters shamelessly to it's audience (its target one anyway) every bit as aggressively as a Michael Bay movie. It's just a little smarter about it.

JPArbiter said...

BLC, enlighten us please, WHAT IS THE CENTRAL POINT?

I seriously have not seen, until 30 minutes ago, a well thought out, understated calm indictment of ME3. without that I really can not see the issue beyond nerd rage.

Anonymous said...

You know what, I liked that BAD article, if only because the guy presented his point in an honest and respectful manner. I know there is definitely more to the story that what's in the article. But then I looked at the comments and all I see are people going "BAW" and I don't care.

I was ready to learn about why the retake Mass Effect thing is happening. However, the general negative attitude of the fans just makes me feel like you are all a bunch of entitled brats. Someone presents a counter argument and you all freak out. I've hardly ever seen someone say, "Okay I respect your opinion but this is why I disagree with you dot dot dot".

You demand to be taken seriously but you are all acting like children. The project rainfall guys weren't going "BAW" over not getting there games. They said, "Hey this is why we want these games to come to American and this is why you should support us". They didn't send angry letters to Nintendo or anything like that (that I am aware of). If you want people to join your cause, maybe think about how you present yourself to the people that don't know anything about you.

I eventually did learn why you all are upset. Guess what, I don't give a damn. Sorry but if I want someone to change the ending of a video game I'll get them to change the ending of Metal Gear Solid 4. The "please everyone happy ending" is never the best ending, just look at MGS4 (still the best modern video game ever though).

While I don't think Bob did a good job with his first Mass Effect video, his arguments were still very convincing. But those arguments were largely ignored by fans who thought he was just trollin' (I assume). Hopefully he frames his argument better this time so that the Retake people can understand where he's coming from.

Thanks for reading my long post.

Sabre said...

Hey Anon, nice post. I am in the same boat as you, but feel the opposite.

"I was ready to learn about why the retake Mass Effect thing is happening. However, the general negative attitude of the fans just makes me feel like you are all a bunch of entitled brats. Someone presents a counter argument and you all freak out. I've hardly ever seen someone say, "Okay I respect your opinion but this is why I disagree with you dot dot dot"."

In my experience, most are this exact kind of person. People who aren't asking for the world. Just upset at 2 points. 1 is that bioware lied, and 2, the ending was terrible and want something not farted out at the last minute to meet a deadline, but as mentioned, people like moviebob, and the anti retakers, all ignore the rational people to present a strawman of "WAH WAH WAH! WE DEMAND HAPPY EVA AFTA!"

To me, it shows the anti retakers have no argument. There the auteur theory, which doesn't seem to hold up as most accounts and leaked material seem to show the current ending was not planned, just thrown on as something at the last minute. The other argument is the "art is static" argument, that is not the case with film, books, music, and even if they were static, games can't be judged by the same standard as games aren't films, paintings, music, books, sculptures ect.

Now, you can still argue that the ending shouldn't be changed, this is all opinion after all, and some of the retakers are arseholes, but the anti camp pull the same tired strawmen out over and over and over, no matter how many times and how politely it is corrected.

Anonymous said...

You people throw around the word "entitlement" so much the word has lost all meaning.

You want a an argument against the ending that doesn't involve nerd rage? Fine. I'll try, but no guarantees.

The ending to Mass Effect 3 is bad on a number of levels;

First and foremost, it invalidates, literally, all the choices of the past three games. For a games series that built itself on changing with the player's choices this is inexcusable.

Second, it's completely out of place. The Mass Effect series has avoided mysticism, space gods, and omniscient beings up until this point at the end. It represents a tonal shift that doesn't feel right. This is the equivalent of having Captain America show up during Saving Private Ryan.

Third, Bioware lied. Yes, I know, this has been trotted out dozens of times, but it bears repeating. Bioware promised, on multiple occasions, that there wouldn't be an A/B/C choice and yet there was.

Finally, one thing that pisses people (or maybe it's just me) off the most is the internet pundits. I'm not talking about the Pro-ending people, as I'm sure that there are people who support the ending and that's fine. What I'm talking about are the journalists attached to big websites like Kotaku and IGN, outright attacking people who hated the ending and wanted Bioware to change it. This being dismissed as whiny children, (as if our reason for not liking the ending because it "wasn't happy") even in the face of "Re-Take Mass Effect" donating eighty thousand bucks to buy toys for children. This defending big companies that don't need it, this using Artistic Integrity as a catch-all without knowing what it means, this casual disregard for the consumers is what gets people in a uproar.

When Bioare said they're going to release DLC that is supposed to "clarify" the endings without changing it people, as expected, saw it just polishing a turd.

This has to end. This constant bickering has gotten us nowhere, except further down the toilet.

We aren't talking to each other, we're just screaming past each other, and people like our illustrious Mr. Chipman have done nothing but pour fuel on the fire. Artistic Integrity is not a criticism proof shield. It does not excuse shoddy workmanship nor does it prevent the artist from going back to change things.

I also find it extremely hypocritical for people to demand Bioware not change the ending while chastising the people who want a new ending.

Anonymous said...

I just read the article.

What a complete crock of shit. This is the exact same argument trotted out dozens of times that completely ignores the vast majority of arguments, instead focusing solely on strawmen.

This is not a argument, or a commentary, it is yet another insult to the fandom of Mass Effect.

I'm so angry, I can barely get my thoughts down.

CAN WE PLEASE JUST DROP THIS STUPID FUCKING FIGHT ALREADY!?!?

This has gone beyond a debate and just devolved into pundits of relative positions of power badmouthing people and acting like narrow minded jackasses!

CALLING "RE-TAKERS" WHINY CHILDREN IS BULLSHIT. It was bullshit at the start of this debacle, and the passage of time has not changed that.

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

"JPArbiter said...

BLC, enlighten us please, WHAT IS THE CENTRAL POINT?"

Of the outrage over Mass Effect 3? Basically, that BioWare shipped a broken product.

Devin wrote some interesting stuff to be sure, but that's a discussion for another time. The reactions over the canon inconsistencies introduced in the last 10 minutes of Mass Effect 3 (the amount of which is considerable and impressive given that they only had 10 minutes to do it) is merely symptomatic of the fact that BioWare threw together a total mess of a conclusion after scrapping a different (seemingly much more coherent, morally intriguing, and canonically consistent) ending that got leaked months before the game's release.

There's also the fact that Devin adopts the "People are whining because they didn't get a happy ending" which is almost more ignorant than it is insulting and disingenuous. People aren't pissed because the ending isn't happy - gamers LOVE sad endings. Ico, Shadow of the Colossus, Final Fantasy X, MGS3, Arkham City, Super Metroid, they eat that shit up. The difference? Those were GOOD endings. They were the natural and logical progression of the themes and narrative presentation. Mass Effect 3's ending is none of these things. People don't like it - not because it's a sad ending - because it's CHEAP, LAZY, and POORLY IMPLEMENTED. If the game's weapons balance, multiplayer, or control interface had been equally botched, people would be demanding that those be fixed, and rightly so. And since BioWare's been selling the Mass Effect series by its interactive narrative, and given all the claims made by the developers, project director, etc. about the ending that simply WERE NOT TRUE, how is a broken narrative any different?

As for the argument about fans bitching because ownership or entitlement, that can fuck right off too. You know what the final image is at the end of Mass Effect 3? A screen that says "Good job guys, no buy our DLC to make your Shepard's legend even awesomer!"

And people wonder why fans demanded that BioWare do something about the ending via DLC. THEY WERE PRACTICALLY INVITED TO DO JUST THAT.

Nixou said...

"He acts as though people are angry about the relays blowing up, or angry that the ending is unhappy."

Because they are. Because the reason they say the ending sucks is that Bioware writters had the guts to tear them away from the masturbatory power-fantasy of the invincible Space-Marine by making Shepard mortal and failible.

Sure, there is the more reasonable crowd who demanded a longer, more detailed ending because they felt that 3 minutes after a 100 hours long trilogy was a little short, but their criticism was almost immediatly drowned by the wailings of the spoiled kids shouting I Wanna My Yub Yub Dance, spoiled kids who thought they could hide their dumbfuckery by using the game's lore as an aliby, inventing plot holes where there had never been any, all in the name of giving a pseudo-intellectual veneer to their tamper tantrum.

B.L.C. Agnew said...

^ And cue someone missing the point without any of Devin or Bob's intelligence. Grats bro.

Mads said...

Nixou:

Well you claiming that BAD didn't use strawmen doesn't make them any less strawmen.

This is not about a vocal minority, or about people who are sad because the ending was sad. You're free to assume so if you want, but it's an outright ridiculous notion.

If that was all it took for fan outrage, you'd see the same thing happening with the end of infamous, for example. This game is not the first to have a sad ending.

Furthermore, EVEN if you were right and reasonable people didn't complain for this reason, but actually did complain because the ending sucked (which it did, because it was broken), BAD should then stop pretending it's dealing with the interesting issue. It's at most dealing with the two most popular issues, not the hardest criticism levelled at the ending.

BAD isn't dealing with the argument that has the most merit, and that alone is offensive when it pretends it does.

@ JPArbiter
JPArbiter ! LISTEN TO ME! NOONE CARES ABOUT HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT HOW PEOPLE FEEL ABOUT THE ENDING OF MASS EFFECT 3! IN FACT THEY CARE EVEN LESS ABOUT THAT THAN ABOUT HOW PEOPLE FEEL ABOUT THE END OF MASS EFFECT 3!

So take your own advice man =P

az-amon-ra said...

Ok, first if the creators wanted to make that ending then that's fine, the problem is that Mass Effect 3 was suppose to have 16 diffferent endings! Seriously, all they had to do was make their shitty ending and 15 other better endings and there wouldn't have been any problem.

As for that artical, yeah fuck that guy. Are we seriously just suppose to shrud our shoulders and say, "oh well, whatever" at mistakes?

Sabre said...

"And cue someone missing the point"

-and why I'm more inclined to side with the re-takers.

Anonymous said...

If anything, the anti-re-takers need to take a step back and look at (excuse the term) the big picture. Controversy is nothing new to Bioware and EA, from day one DLC, to gay characters, to online passes, to an increasing number of micro transactions, they have generally stuck by their choices. Therefore, why cave now? Was anything different from the week prior when people were endless bitching about Javik? I honestly doubt the whining line had been reached and they felt this was the big thing they couldn't igore.

The thing is, the fact they caved so quickly says to me that a lot of people at Bioware weren't happy with the ending themselves. I envision more than a few "I told you so"s were tossed around the office. It just wasn't a product they felt they could defend as art as it stood.

There's a difference betwen defending art and the artist. I've gotten a stron impression from the anti-re-taske crowd that their main concern isn't the quality of the end product, but shelting the creator from things that make the job harder, (perhaps due to their own artistic ambitions). I get the dream of getting paid to create without selling out, but I also know some of those artist that make my subway sandwhich.

Deadpool said...

To say people are mad about a sad ending or the destruction of the MAss Relays shows an almost comical misunderstanding of the situation.

For the record, one of the most critically acclaimed game stories of all time is Planescape: Torment and it is about as sad as an ending can be (* I'll spoil the ending at the end of the post).

The problem with the Mass Effect ending is that it fails on pretty much every possible level short of "credits are rolled." so every time someone tries to argue FOR it they argue for one, tiny, infinistesmal problem.

There is no one issue. There is no single "this is inexcusable and anyone who does this is bad" moment in the ending that caused all this reaction. It was ALL OF IT.

The problem here wasn't that they promised, SEVERAL TIMES, widely different endings and provided us with 6 ending videos that were 85% identical, although they DID that.

The problem isn't that neither the main character nor the main villain nor any other character involved in the ending cinematic have any reasonable or logical reason to act in any of the ways they do, although that's TRUE also.

The problem isn't that canon is broken, or that there is no closure, or great, universe changing concepts are introduced in the last two minutes and the changes are never explored at all, although all those are true.

The problem isn't that there is no true confontation, physical, mental or philosophical with the main antagonist, or that a trilogy that prides itself in choice/consequence (or the illusion thereof) dispells it completely for a railroad ending, or that all decisions made throughout all three games boils down to a number that has only the most tangential effect on the ending, although that is also true.

The problem isn't that the player gets to see no commeupance, deounment or validation after the ending, although THAT is also true.

The problem isn't that there are so many plot holes in the end that the player spends the entire last few minutes of the game going to himself "Wait, but why did this happen?" over and over and over again until any sense of immersion is gone and destroy, although this is ALSO true.

No, the true problem is that ALL OF THESE THINGS HAPPEN AT THE SAME TIME.

Any ONE of these would be bad, but forgivable. Maybe even two, or three. But ALL of them produces an ending so awful it is a testament to the human love of argument that there are people defending it.

Also, Retake Mass Effect, while horribly named, did not DEMAND an ending. They did not whine and beg and cajoled people into making their ending.

They put their money where their mouth was. They said "we think this sucks, we think we should get something better, and here's a simple, monetary way to gauge how serious we are" and they raised a few thousand dollars. THAT IS ALL THEY DID.

As far as fan reactions go, I'd say that's pretty damned mature.

*SPOILERS PLANESCAPE TORMENT SPOILERS*

*SERIOUSLY, IT'S AN AWESOME GAME, YOU SHOULD PLAY IT FOR YOURSELF*

*FINAL WARNING*

The best possible ending in Planescape: Torment has you dying and going to hell for all eternity to pay for your sins. This is considered one of the greatest video game stories of all time and I can't remember anyone bitching about the ending. Because sad endings don't bother people. BAD endings do.

Mads said...

@ Deadpool

Yup. Planescape has the best damn ending ever...because sad endings can, indeed, be much better than happy ones.

This particular ending, though, is just horrible.

People will claim otherwise all day, because for some reason, the reaction against Bioware and EA must be cut down, and actually talking about the issue is just a bridge too far.

Deadpool said...

I know, apparently consumers complaining about the quality of the product they bought is some great, reviled act...


Oh if only gamers were sophisticated like movie, comic and literature lovers...

Mads said...

yeah, because a game with this in it:
http://i.imgur.com/rX9GR.jpg

Should clearly be above things like organized boycotts. I mean, the artistic vision there is just astonishing, and wanting a cameltoe-free gaming experience is simply too much entitlement.

...

Ryan Keys said...

Yeah, I was actually entirely behind this guy, and enjoyed the article, until he decided to use Asperger's Syndrome as a fucking slur.

And now he's being a dick to people in the comments section, just because.

Yeah, no, I like Film Critic Hulk, but fuck Badass Digest, I'm never visiting that site again.

Jannie said...

About Cabin in the Woods:

If it's about the "relationship between the storyteller and viewers" and how viewers screw everything up or whatever...then why did the storytellers end up screwing up the story themselves? They wanted to kill the characters in an exact sequence, they failed due to their inability to, you know, CHECK ON THINGS and somehow this is a denouncement of the viewers? Huh? If anything it's about the storytellers/cultists being arrogant enough to not check and see if his story is straight before presenting it to the Ancient Ones/viewers and thus screwing up everything.

See if the "storytellers", the cultists, had just stopped to make sure they did things right instead of shotgunning through with no concern for what happened other than to push the product out the door then they'd have noticed that Shaggy wasn't dead, but they screwed up at the very end and then it was too late to take it back and all the Ancient Ones revolted because it turned lore/canon inside out.

Then they tried to fix it, tried to lock it down, but failed when the very people they thought they controlled turned out to be more capable than they had anticipated. Too clever by half, as usual, the cult tries one last ditch effort to send out it's leader to negotiate with the victims but even when one of them turns on the other she fails to turn the rest and the whole thing collapses under it's own weight, more a victim of poor planning than of any lack of quality or functionality. After all the zombie rednecks had a proven track record who could have known they'd screw up at the last second, or that turning the sacrifices against each other and trying to shame one into killing the other would fail so extravagantly.

In a sense it was just like...

Just like...

Mass Effect 3...

OH WAIT I GET IT NOW!

Whoa, props to you Joss Whedon I did not see that coming!

So wait does that mean that the failure of the Japanese J-horror kid to kill the schoolchildren, lingering until the last second before being defeated, was supposed to represent the slow meandering death of the JRPG in the face of the WRPG hence why the douchebag scientist guy said "you wan't quality, buy American"?

Jannie said...

In all seriousness though this Devin guy is easily the most myopic guy I've ever seen. Forget that he's not even addressing the main argument, that the ending is simply not good on an objective level, canon be damned, he's not even arguing from a logical standpoint anymore. Either/or, he can't even grasp how outlandish what he's saying is.

Let me put it this way: if I said--in no uncertain terms, with no ambiguity whatsoever--that the only way to kill an Immortal is by decapitation, but then you decapitate one, and they still live, what then? Would you then argue I should ignore this or that it was "some other kind of decapitation"?

WHAT other kind? What POSSIBLE other kind could it be? And if this is the case then why not ever say that AT ANY POINT in the 100+ hour previous story? Are you saying there was time for multiple women to bed but not one, single line of dialogue to the effect of "Oh by the way the Crucible seems to also cause Mass Effect relays to release special energy that fuses organic materials with inorganic materials somehow...strange..."

Actually now that I said it the "synthesis" ending makes even LESS sense than it did before.

And I always hated that "No Prize" bullshit. What passive aggressive nonsense, I mean as if...and what does that even say? That they knew it was a mistake but didn't care or that they didn't but now they're upset someone pointed it out? I hope not the latter, because that's the kind of catty stuff I'd expect from a fifteen year old girl arguing with her clique-mates not grown adults but I guess I underestimate how catty grown men can be when they get called out on their mistakes.

"Oh yeah, we fucked up, but instead of admitting we made a mistake or printing a retraction no we're going to mock you for pointing out our failure to read our own scripts. But seriously thanks for doing our job for us! We'd hire proofreaders but we're too lazy and cheap and we figured everyone was too stupid to figure out we screwed up anyway, but you weren't so now we're publicly shaming you for doing our jobs for us, you lucky reader you! Buy our crap!"

Jannie said...

Sylocat:

"Someone in the comment section of that article raises the interesting point that, since the Retakers are so loudly claiming that interactivity is what sets the medium apart, maybe the "ending" isn't just the cutscene after the final level."

No, in this case it is. That's ALL it is because it has NO connection whatsoever to anything that happened previously. In fact there are instances of EDI showing up in the end cutscene even in the "destroy all robots" choice. Meaning even your very last decision is complete bunk if the ending just randomly picks her, and it does, from what I understand and what people have said, just randomly pick a female to end up on the planet with Joker.

So in this case yes it is JUST a cutscene since it has no actual impact or connection to the story or even the actual "three color explosion" and just randomly picks characters to survive.

"The whole game is the "ending" to the trilogy."

Even if that were the case it wouldn't make it make anymore sense nor would it change the fact it flies in the face of everything that happened previously, including what the Reapers themselves say. Such as one of them being asked point blank why they kill people and instead of saying "to harvest bodies" it says some malarkey about being nations onto themselves and that everyone will die because they demand it. So if the whole game is the ending then the whole game is a failure because it makes no logical sense.

"It's everything leading UP TO the final cinematic that constitutes the ending, and that's full of ripples of choices made in the previous games."

No it isn't. As I said, people have kind of sussed out that it just RANDOMLY picks someone to survive so even your last decision makes no difference. And even then your choices earlier have no impact--if Ashley lives or dies, if the Quarrians and Geth make up or not, if the Krogan survive or go extinct, none of it has any impact whatsoever on anything because the ending is a randomized series of images where even dead people can show up.

Yes people have seen Ashley show up even if she had previously died in the other games. Somehow. Just like EDI shows up even if you kill all robots in the universe. Somehow.

"So, which is it, ReTakers? Does the interactivity of games set them apart, or doesn't it?"

It does, this game doesn't do it right, so stop being so gungho you haven't found some magical silver bullet to make all Mass Effect fans vanish into the ether Sylocat.

And even if you made some great epiphany and the scales fell from everyone's eyes or whatever...so what? Is that what you want? You want me to say games are just like movies and therefore should never be edited?

Highlander 2: Renegade Edition, the creators edited it after they realized how shit it was.

Blade Runner the director's cut. All fifteen of them.

Clerks was altered from the original ending and it ironically was what launched Kevin Smith's career, so if it had been as he intended he'd still be a nobody from New Jersey.

Movies change endings all the time because the original ending sucked or was poorly written. Even if games are JUST LIKE movies, and they aren't but even if they were, you'd still be wrong to defend this bullshit.

Popcorn Dave said...

Ugh. I hate the argument that when something doesn't make sense, it's the job of the viewer to "figure it out". Devin is basically saying that it's totally okay for the creators to fuck up their own continuity; he believes that the "true fan" is someone who "gives the creator the benefit of the doubt", and diligently plasters over cracks in continuity on their behalf. In other words, it's the responsibility of the FANS to tell the story properly. Bullshit. That's not being a fan, that's being a sucker.

I can't remember the exact quote but SFDebris said something like this in his Star Trek (2009) review: When it comes to having the viewer "fill in the blanks", there's a HUGE difference between "what was in the briefcase to make him do what he did?" and "why is this story completely incoherent and nonsensical?". He also pointed out that the creator shouldn't ever get credit for things they didn't put in the movie. There may well be a good explanation somewhere for the ME3 ending (by the sounds of it, the indoctrination theory may qualify) but if it's not there in the story, the story has failed.

Jannie said...

The part that pisses me off the most is the idea that by even ACKNOWLEDGING that a problem exists, i.e the whole "No Prize" malarkey, then somehow you're not being fair to the creator or some bullshit.

Well excuse the shit out of me, I was unaware of how little the simple continuity foibles of one issue of a comic or ten minutes of cut scene could just DESTROY someone's faith in their work. See I had assumed I was dealing with adults producing entertainment for the consumption of other adults not petulant teenagers scribbling half-assed poetry in their journals because they're upset their parents are getting divorced, so I just assumed--and this is my naivety showing through--I just blithely assumed that a grown fucking adult could deal with the fact they made a simple mistake, or several, and admit failure.

Apparently I was wrong. Apparently the second you so much as point out or even acknowledge that a mistake has happened the claws come out. Apparently people who actually pay attention to these stories and know what is going on in them need to be publicly shamed for telling someone they made an error they could just as easily print a retraction for or fix with some halfhearted DLC, a la Broken Steel.

Hilariously the actual GAMEPLAY part of the game is fine, the story (up to the point where Marauder Shields gives his life to try and stop the horrible ending) is fine, no one is complaining about Mass Effect 3...they're complaining about a terrible, stupid, objectively INCORRECT ending. So the comparison to the Marvel "Smug Asshole Editor" prize is misleading because that involves an actual flaw in the story itself while this is a flaw in the last five minutes of a 100 hour story.

Anonymous said...

Ah, once again, in lieu of research, first hand knowledge or paying attention to the arguement in the first place, MovieBlob has put all his efforts into finding another corrupt hacks pathetic strawman arguement to post. Between this, a halfhearted defence of barefaced lying, profoundly troubling willful ignorance (from one who decries poor behavoiur and presupposition almost fucking endlessly) and complete distain for his own fanbase and their reasons for being such, Bob has basically earned himself a place in the pantheon of self righteous, ill-informed douchenozzles he so regularly decries. So Bob, we shouldn't put up with sexism, racism, or any kind of unthinking, emotion-led reactionary behaviour, unless it comes from you? Seriously, do the research you fucking well know you should have done and stop desperately trolling in hope of enough angry replies to quote unfavourably to somehow support the flimsy sheet of wishes and assuptions you ever so lamentably refer to as your arguement. Peace out. Oh, and tempting though it may be, I hope no-one so much as says mean things about this to you at conventions, let alone gives you the violent incident your trolling suggests you're hoping for...

Smashmatt202 said...

I COMPLETELY forgot about this episode of Extra Credits, and what they say directly contradicts MovieBob's thoughts on "the artist must be inherently superior to the viewer/player".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XlfeXpiSuQ

...I'm sure that Bob has already seen this and I doubt watching it again will change his mind, but for everyone else, check it out!