Rna53

Rated NA 53: We plan the podcast on the podcast

It’s high time for Mass Effect 3 spoiler talk, with your feedback on the community response. We also highlight Brea Grant’s new film: Best Friends Forever, and review Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, The Hunger Games (film), and the very addictive rComplex for iOS. Let’s get into it.

Rated NA 53

Scott

Hi, I’m one of the founders of Nerd Appropriate and the Rated NA podcast. I like good and bad sci-fi films and tv, pho, and the retrofuture. I am primarily an Xbox gamer, but also do some PC and Wii U gaming as well. By day, I am a research scientist, mostly in topics related to human-computer interaction and user experience. Before all this, fellow NA co-founder Matt and I played music together in various bands. I also used to make "comedy" videos for my high school morning news program before there was a place to post them online. Favorite Star Wars character? Admiral Ackbar. Best Bond era? Timothy Dalton (Craig a close second). Game of all time? Maybe System Shock 2. Thanks for being a part of this labor of nerdy love with us.
  • Micah G

    Great discussion guys. As you guys know… I really didn’t like the ending. And it wasn’t because it was “sad”… it was because a) it didn’t make sense (Normady landing on a temperate planet other than earth in our solar system? All life would die no matter what with detonation of the relays), and b) it was too short and left too many questions.

    I already told Ash, I was hoping the ending was two options… either let the reapers win, or stop the reapers. And it turns out there is a very very compelling reason to let the reapers win (and the illusive man supports that view). So the decision is “save your friends” or “make the universally clear headed decision to let the cycle end.”

    Oh, and also, I don’t like how the “synthesis” ending turned out… that little bastard kid said, “the cycle will end and new life will be created”, not… “CITADEL MAGIK WILL CHANGE ALL DNA!!!”… which is ridiculous haha.

    • Micah G

      P.S. Mordin should have lived… obviously!

      • Had to be Mordin. Someone else might have gotten it wrong.

        • Micah G

          Truth

  • Dibol

    Yes, I was that individual that asked StumpyNat that question, for the record.

  • Dibol

    Posting my comment regarding the Mass Effect 3 endings: I do not consider our complaints to be entitlement whatsoever. Last time I checked, BioWare made so many promises out of their ass for the past year up to the point the backlash is justified. Where we’re at problem-wise:

    1. The endings are not varied enough. Let’s face it, the endings are “Blue explosion, green explosion, and red explosion” with variations of “Earth FUBARed, Earth half-destroyed, Earth completely fine” with the Normandy stuck on Gilligan’s Planet. Coming from someone who invested triple-digit hours and fourteen Commander Shepards, I am not motivated enough to finish the damn game considering the outcome is the same REGARDLESS OF WHAT I DO (Make peace with the Geth and Quarians and curing the Genophage won’t make a damn difference. Everyone’s still stuck on Earth regardless.). The endings just came out of left field up to the point that it made what you did for the ENTIRE TRILOGY meaningless. ME3’s ending is like telling your real life war veteran friend, “Congrats for serving in our country and sacrificing your life for our freedom. You are doomed to die or live alone while we rape your spouse and kids.” Reporting this shit to the FTC, I’ll admit, the people that did do it went too far, but the way I see it, they felt lied to and betrayed, and I sure as hell would have done it myself if I had

    I preferred Mass Effect 2’s system. Do everything possible, earn a possible happy ending, not “No matter what you do, everything plays out the same, even if you skip on side missions.”

    2. Multiplayer is MANDATORY to get Shepard living, which is utter bullshit. Gamble dropped the ball with his whole schpeel of “You do not need Multiplayer to get the optimal ending.” People on the BioWare forums have data-mined the shit out of Mass Effect 3, and as it is, the War Assets are insufficient. From what I’ve been reading on numerous posts, only 3700 EMS is possible for those that do single-player only runs. As it is, getting the Readiness scale requires MP or the other social media like Data Pad and Infiltrator. Gameplay should be stand-alone on getting the extra ending. What’s next, “Buy the next Mass Effect novel” to get the best ending for future Mass Effect games?

    • I must admit, I now have a better understanding of your (and I’m sure many others) position.

      I wonder if future plans for this franchise require that all of the endings have similar themes (e.g. mass relays blowing up) to lay groundwork for future narratives. That is to say, perhaps there would have been more variation in the endings if this were the last game ever set in this universe, but it most likely is not.

      Just to play devil’s advocate for a moment, couldn’t a similar argument be made for the endings of Mass1 and 2? I mean, you can’t save Saren and convince him to join your team, and you aren’t given the option to kill the Illusive Man in 2 (which I was about ready to do). Again, devil’s advocate.

      Do you think it was a matter of what was promised vs what was delivered? That is to say, if there were very little to calibrate expectations against, would there be such a strong resistance to the ending?

      Do you believe that any optimal ending requires Shep’s survival? I would have been upset had everyone come out of this one unscathed and the game ended with everyone kickin’ it on the Normandy drinking PBRs.

      I was actually surprised that the latest comic run didn’t include multiplayer DLC codes. To that end, I wonder how much of these things (the push toward multiplayer with paid components, other DLC, download codes, etc.) are out of the developer’s hands and more at the demand of the publisher.

      Something else we didn’t talk about is whether anyone played the game on the other settings (story mode or action mode) and how that might have impacted the experience. Considering that, it might have been tough for someone who played the game only for the narrative (Story mode) to be asked to struggle through multiplayer, so I understand your point about that.

      Good discussion, and we appreciate your input and participation in the discussion.

      • Dibol

        If BioWare in any way shape or form could not live up to the promises made, they should not have made it in the first place. As it is, the marketing strategies they have done for ME3 is outright misleading. Here is a link to Angry Joe’s 10 Reasons of why we hate the ending. Should give you a little clearer picture of the opposition:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6M0Cf864P7E

        The subtitled interviews cited were made 2 months ago.

        Regarding the optimal ending: I want there to be a choice in the matter. As it is, I expected a bittersweet ending, and by bittersweet, I mean sacrifices were made, but Shepard and crew survived in the process. As it is, the current endings just end up being “Three shapes of bitter, no sweet.” I’d be fine with Shepard dying, but not as the ONLY option.

        Enjoy the debate though. Looking forward to the back and forth.

        • This video brings up some good points about the game, but I disagree with the persuasive tone of the video. I perceive the primary purpose of this video to be entertainment, as opposed to a laying out of the facts.

          The narrator speaks in a condescending tempo, makes snarky comments that don’t add to the discussion, and interjects personal opinion about the narrative among the facts. This video could have been half as long, while containing the same amount of factual information, instead of using the other 10 minutes as a sharp stick to poke people with. But, I can’t argue with the video as a conduit to page hits on the brand’s website.

          Also clever use of the game’s own music at the end to bolster the impact of the closing remarks of the video. Still, I understand the factual arguments made in the video.Should be quite an interesting PAX East panel.

      • bill

        I think you make a good point about their not being too much variation in the way ME1 and ME2 ended, but I think the difference there (especially in ME2) is that you choices throughout the game made an impact on how that directed narrative played out. That is, if you didn’t do loyalty missions you got to see your squadmates die, or if you made poor leadership choices during the collecter base assualt you lost teammates or crew. Hell in ME2 my entire normandy crew, except for Dr. C and Joker, died because I took to long to get there while doing other side missions! In ME3, I’d be fine if every possible end to the story needed Sheperd dead (or nearly dead) if I could have see some other choices play out in “my” ending cutscene. The fact the everyone who played ME3 got one of 3 (or 4) endings is dissapointing given the number of ‘customized’ endings that you can find for ME2 from what players have posted on youtube. To be honest after ME2 I expected, I think reasonably, to have at least that level of detail included. After all, Bioware had shown the ycould do that already. In that way the final cutscene to ME3 was a big step backward.

    • Dibol

      Just an update in recent developments. Topics calling out the devs regarding the MP marketing strategy has been locked down and as of right now being outright deleted. Censorship much?

      Allusion: There’s a certain topic from one of the PR people explaining the mechanics of the EMS and the war assets (Jarrett Lee) and as it is, a certain piece of info is an outright lie (lie being “MP not being required to get all endings.”) With my recent post about Shepard’s survival being reliant on MP, I feel this is relevant now. Chris Priestly’s behavior regarding this is showing him in a negative light. Here is a link to one of the previously locked topics showing the original message:

      Jarrett Lee’s topic: http://social.bioware.com/forum/Mass-Effect-3/Mass-Effect-3-General-Discussion-No-ME3-Spoilers-allowed/A-note-about-multiplayer-in-relation-to-the-endings-9665384-1.html

      My own topic: http://social.bioware.com/forum/1/topic/323/index/10288735/2

      Note. Subsequent versions of my topic has been deleted and can not be viewed publicly.

  • Ash

    Thanks Dibol, we always welcome your constructive and articulate feedback..

  • Dibol

    To Scott: ” I wonder if future plans for this franchise require that all of the endings have similar themes (e.g. mass relays blowing up) to lay groundwork for future narratives. That is to say, perhaps there would have been more variation in the endings if this were the last game ever set in this universe, but it most likely is not.”

    This is the murky territory. I don’t remember which interviewer did it, but I remember watching/reading something along the lines of Casey Hudson saying “We’re cutting loose with the endings and don’t have to worry about tying everything back together.” I’ve been trying to Google search this like crazy, but it is not possible at this moment. I will make an addendum with the cited link in the event I do find it.

    “Just to play devil’s advocate for a moment, couldn’t a similar argument be made for the endings of Mass1 and 2? I mean, you can’t save Saren and convince him to join your team, and you aren’t given the option to kill the Illusive Man in 2 (which I was about ready to do). Again, devil’s advocate.”

    I’ll admit this. Wanted to kill the Illusive Man first chance I got, and I wasn’t a big of being railroaded into Cerberus ME2-wise. The only thing that’s barely consoling is we got out of their clutches in ME3. As for Saren not joining the team, I would not have even shed a tear, considering how the Revelation novel portrayed him as a one-dimensional genocidal jack-ass.

    To Bill: This is what made me love ME2 in its entirety, and I was expecting something similar. As it is, All War Assets do is determine whether or not your squaddies survive Harbinger’s attack and/or Earth being the least-screwed, and nothing else came out of it. Oh, right, 4000 EMS with destroy ending ensures Shepard’s “Forever Alone” ending.

    To Ash: Hey Ash, thanks for putting up with me on this. I love 95% of the game. It’s just that 5% that ruined the trilogy for the game for me as a whole. Been wracked with emotional pain over this, since this is THE game I was waiting for all of the past two years. Compared to my entire gaming library since the mid 1990s, ME1 and ME2 are the only games to the best of my knowledge to clock in those triple digit hours, which speaks volumes. No other RPG would have ever made me invest into military science fiction games like Mass Effect.

    • Ash

      We’ll be attending PAX: East next week and will have the opportunity to talk to the folks at Bioware. I’ll be sure to bring up a number of the issues you’ve brought up.

  • Dibol

    Thanks Ash, I officially owe you for that. Ask the hard questions for those of us out there. 🙂

  • matt

    Thanks everyone for the feedback, Seriously! It’s good to hear thoughts on something we spend a decent amount of time talking about.
    All well thought out with good points. I think the only response I would have is that I think the ending disappointed me less because of how I felt through the whole story. It felt so much like I wasn’t choosing much at all the entire way. Like this was a narrative and less like my story. I feel really torn about the reaction to the ending, but as long as it’s productive and constructive then I am all for it.

  • Dibol

    Post addendums with news sources cited regarding pre-hype claims. Still trying to find the “Cutting loose with the endings” interview , but the story I’m posting first is the closest thing to the claim, for a two-month-old article.

    http://www.oxm.co.uk/37677/mass-effect-3-citadel-is-bigger-than-ever-endings-will-be-more-sophisticated/ (The only recent article promising the diversity of endings and not having everything tie together for a future title. Dated January 11, 2012).

    http://www.shacknews.com/article/68481/mass-effect-3-choices-endings (ME3 hyped to follow ME2’s system of endings. Dated May 17, 2011)

    http://mygaming.co.za/news/news/30662-mass-effect-3-ending-with-sophistication-and-variety.html (ME3 hyped to have diverse endings. Dated January 12, 2012)

    http://www.computerandvideogames.com/337446/mass-effect-3-is-40-hours-long-has-definitive-ending/ (ME3 promises of no cliffhangers and loose ends. Dated February 27, 2012)

    http://news.softpedia.com/news/Mass-Effect-3-s-Ending-Has-Been-in-the-Works-for-Many-Years-BioWare-Says-255935.shtml (Similar claims as the previous item. Dated March 1, 2012)

  • @ Dibol and Bill. Thanks for helping me to understand this position. I can’t say that I was necessarily disappointed with the narrative part of the ending, but I get how it could have been so much more in terms of variation. Even if certain decisions triggered a certain set of cutscenes from a pre-rendered assortment — this would have shown a bit more gratification in the ending.

    For me, it wasn’t so much the ending, but this “battle” that I had been anticipating throughout the entire game. I mean I thought that the attack on Vancouver was the tip of the iceberg, and that we’d return to earth guns-a-blazing along side geth, rachni, and krogans — meanwhile asari, quarian, and alliance ships battle in the space above earth like some kind of independence day craziness (“welcome to earth”).

    A total blow-out battle cutscene is really what I missed in the ending, although I wasn’t entirely opposed to the starchild ending

    • Dibol

      @Scott: Really expected a more epic battle. Combine Independence Day with Battle: L.A. (minus the shaky-cam) and I’d be perfectly fine, or at least pull off a Black Hawk Down for the sense of scale.

      @Micah G: No problem. Glad I got this out in the open myself.

      @Justin: I actually posted a link to AngryJoe’s 10 reasons in my earlier post actually, so everyone’s in on the loop on this. I’ll agree everyone else should give the video a view.

    • bill

      Yeah I expected that epic battle as well. Really when you make your return to Earth is when I started to be disappointed with an otherwise truly amazing game. It was once you brought the fleet back with you to face the Reapers head on that I think the cutscenes and story got a little shallow. It was really night and day before and after that point for me…like two different teams worked on it.

  • Micah G

    Thank you Dibol, you lay out very nicely the problems I had with the ending.

  • Justin

    Thanks Dibol, everyone should watch that video about the top ten reasons we hate the ending to Mass Effect 3 if you are a die hard fan. Love the points you brought up.

    Ash, after listening to the podcast I was suprised you didn’t seem too mad about the ending, being how much you love the series. Do you agree with what Dibol said in his previous posts?

    • Ash

      Justin,

      You’re right, I do really love this series. That being said, I also have a lot of faith in the team at Bioware. While the ending left me feeling a bit confused, I didn’t think for a second that the ending that I experienced was really the end of the trilogy. Perhaps I was just being wishful or naive, but I always felt as though there would be more to the story.

      You also have to realize there is a whole lot going on behind the scenes that we’re not privy to. The folks that work on this franchise, LOVE this franchise. At some point you just have to have faith that they’re going to do what’s best for the longevity of the series.

      I suppose It’s sort of like having faith in your general during wartime.