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Old 03-18-2012, 09:27 PM   #661
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I don't think simple is always better. It depends on the complexity of the story.
I wasn't arguing that simpler is always better. Just that you're a pretentious tool if you try to shoehorn angst in when it doesn't belong.

Which I don't believe this is a case of that either. It's just poorly written and poorly executed.

however, you can't watch Anime at all anymore without waiting for the eventual "gotcha" moment. A couple have done it well, most just look stupid and manipulative. It would be a much bigger problem if that was at the end of every game I played.
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:04 PM   #662
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To be honest, I feel as though it's at the end of every "Blockbuster" game these days.
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:06 PM   #663
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however, you can't watch Anime at all anymore without waiting for the eventual "gotcha" moment. A couple have done it well, most just look stupid and manipulative. It would be a much bigger problem if that was at the end of every game I played.
The lesson Bioware should have learned from anime: When your big artsy dramatic moment is a joke to your audience -as-it-happens-, you have misjudged your story.

I let out an audible chuckle by the 3rd time Starchild punctuated a choice with, "... and you'll die." (paraphrased). In the moment I was thinking that they needed a Renegade option there to just flip him a double bird.

Talking the Illusive Man into killing himself was unintentionally funny to me as well, in that I immediately thought of the big mistake they made in Return of Jedi: don't end your 3rd movie with the same big moment as the first film (the Death Star blowing up in that case). I was immediately thinking of a new Shepard VI program: "Hi, my name is Shepard and I make people commit suicide when I talk. Some call me THAT boring, but I prefer to think of myself as PERSUASIVE... If you're still listening and not blowing your brains out, congratulations!"
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:08 PM   #664
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Yeah the more I think about it the more I think they should have just went ahead and made the decision for you.
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Old 03-19-2012, 01:15 AM   #665
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Well, I finished this up this evening and thought I'd lay out what worked for me and what didn't. If anything, it's cathartic for me to get it all out after this long journey over the past five years so if this is just babble to you, feel free to move on

Pros
* The set pieces. Best job of all three, I think. Not just in the locales that were visited (and revisited) but how they were decorated, lit, textured, everything. Probably my favourite part of the game.
* Lack of hacking/reduced scanning mini-game. I got really annoyed with these by the end of ME2 and was relieved that they were reduced to just an optional series of scanning/fetch quests where you dodged the Reapers.
* Integration of previous decisions during the story. It was very smooth how they dropped in surviving characters to various roles and I like that this resulted in a quasi-unique experience for everyone, depending how their previous game went. This also goes for the dialogue referencing previous decisions, though this seemed a bit forced sometimes.
* Inventory/powers system. Weapons, weapon upgrades and powers implemented better than the previous two here. Nice variety in the skills and managing inventory wasn't frustrating.
* Combat. While there may have been a bit more shooting than I would have liked, what was present was well-executed and engaging each time. Controls felt tight and never felt like there were any cheap engagements.
* Music. Aside from the disappointing club music, everything else was fantastic. I'm a big fan of Clint Mansell's work and he definitely made his mark here.
* Multiplayer. Aside from the "Galaxy at War" rewards system this was attached to, they did an excellent job of creating Mass Effect multiplayer. Something a lot of people (myself included) thought blasphemous initially.

Cons
* Plot / Writing. In general the plot was a good idea, but it was executed in a very sloppy and disconnected manner. A lot of the writing was extremely sub-par compared to the previous two, a lot of it felt forced. All of the coincidences and "twists" in the story just started to graate on me about halfway through. Everything just jumps around, there's no real cohesion or progression to the story. Also, it's very impressive how someone can dig in their heels on a topic and outright refuse to budge, but when I stroll by and point at them and tell them they're wrong, they suddenly see the light and change their mind. Shepard should have been a diplomat.
* Level design. While the levels looked good, they were almost always pretty annoying to progress through. Not only were the weapon upgrades peppered in ridiculous and overly plentiful places, but there were way too many ladders, chest-high walls and gaps that I had to climb and jump over. After awhile it started feeling like they were putting those in just for the sake of slowing me down. Also, aside from the beginning of the game, there really wasn't a lot of "found lore" that the previous two used to help build the atmosphere. In place of where these should have been were "salvaging" points that just gave experience or money for no reason. Bleh.
* Quest system. They should have been better categorized between actual missions and "fetch" ones. Also I had many problems with the fetch quests as they wouldn't update to tell me I had found the doodad I was looking for, nor did I have a way of seeing what doodads I found so far to turn in. Basically this led me to just ignore all fetch missions for the latter half of the game.
* Galaxy at War. I found this system exceptionally ridiculous. Upping your readiness should have remained a single-player mechanic, not forcing you to play multiplayer (which is well done, as I mentioned previously) or iPhone apps. Not to mention it decays, further coercing you to keep grinding. As soon as I discovered this I stopped caring and just finished the single player with whatever % I had.
* The end. Obviously everyone has an opinion on this and while I wasn't aghast or angry at the end, I will agree that they could have improved the "epilogue" element of it, letting us know what happened to all the characters and locations I became so invested in these past five years. Hell, this could have even been text with flat pictures or something. Anything more would have been great. The only thing that really bothered me was the smirking "Shepard's a legend! Now buy DLC for more stories." The only DLC I'd be even remotely interested in is one that lets you learn more about what happened after your end. As others have stated, I too would have liked to see more of a "customized" ending based on the decisions made in all three games. I understand the technical limitations, but after spending so much time maintaining the persistence of my actions, it felt a bit cheap to offer the same three endings to everyone.

Overall the Mass Effect series was an amazing one and I'm very happy I had the oppourtunity to experience it as they came out, bringing Luna Shepard along the entire time. There hasn't been anything quite like it in gaming and I hope other companies take notes and iterate on the model.
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:04 AM   #666
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http://angryjoeshow.com/2012/03/top-...ect-3s-ending/

With the exception of 4, he covers all the valid points that people seem upset about. I would agree more with the later ones myself. I mean the game had 2 examples of AI not killing organics so the god childs theory gets blown out there, plus given my sheps previous actions (uniting the geth etc) he would never had taken any of those choices.

I would have sat there and watched my forces duke it out to the end!
Great vid, thanks for linking it. Should practically be required viewing for people entering the thread.
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:33 AM   #667
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I thought it was a good summary of many of the points people have raised, and although he was a little angry, it spares much of the silly vitrol people are flinging about the ending.
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:37 AM   #668
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I must say, now I've had a day for it to settle in, I do kinda feel strange about the way they ended ME3. Maybe it's just that the series has come to an end, but I've been feeling odd about the whole thing it's been dwelling on my thoughts. Haven't had a game do this for awhile.
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Old 03-19-2012, 01:59 PM   #669
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I must say, now I've had a day for it to settle in, I do kinda feel strange about the way they ended ME3. Maybe it's just that the series has come to an end, but I've been feeling odd about the whole thing it's been dwelling on my thoughts. Haven't had a game do this for awhile.
Nut shots usually leave you with that odd feeling for a couple days if it was HARD enough, unexpected enough, and you didn't have your defenses raised.
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:20 PM   #670
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I've had a few days to sit on the ending now. I have come to the conclusion that it simply isn't an ending, and more importantly isn't the ending to the Mass Effect series. I don't mean that it isn't the end in the sense of there will be other Mass Effect universe games, I mean either they're making a DLC expansion to ME3 that will contain the rest of the game (which in my mind the justification for this would be they simply couldn't convince EA to allow them to delay it any farther and just needed more time to finish the content that came after that point in the story) and hopefully release it for free, or there will be a Mass Effect 4 on this generation of consoles. In my opinion the ending isn't bad, it just is in no way, shape or form, an ending. It is the content they could complete in the time they had left.
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:23 PM   #671
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Hmmm. Amazon giving full refunds on even opened copies of ME3. I can't find out WHY but I got a notice and the BW forums have a couple threads about it. Looks like DA2 users were able to do the same.

Not sure why they are doing it but...wow. That doesn't make much sense to me and I hate the ending...but that doesn't make any sense.
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:26 PM   #672
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Hmmm. Amazon giving full refunds on even opened copies of ME3. I can't find out WHY but I got a notice and the BW forums have a couple threads about it. Looks like DA2 users were able to do the same.

Not sure why they are doing it but...wow.
I see that you said that you don't know why, but did they give any indication if its on Amazon's end or the publisher end?
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:33 PM   #673
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Physical copies only or Amazon download versions?
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:36 PM   #674
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Physical copies only or Amazon download versions?
For sure physical. I am trying to find if digital too.

Link to story
http://igogaming.net/2012/03/19/fans...-full-refunds/

I found the forum post as well. But again not sure of whats going on. But seems strange to me. But I guess websites reported the same thing occurred during DA2's complaint storm and that was not near this big. Ok so a good number have done it.

I don't get it. Myself. Just more weird news concerning all this.
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:39 PM   #675
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Squeaky wheel gets the grease? If enough people have tried to return their copies to Amazon they might be making an exception to their usual rules for this one product.
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:41 PM   #676
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At this point I almost feel bad for them.
All I can say is "what a shame".

Proper ending DLC would take at least 3-4 months, probably more time than that. Is it even worth it at that point? You can't play ME3 for the first time again.
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:41 PM   #677
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Squeaky wheel gets the grease? If enough people have tried to return their copies to Amazon they might be making an exception to their usual rules for this one product.
Most likely. I don't like the "opened copy" return though. I mean I don't know. I didn't get an open copy return on Spore and I couldn't play that for over 6 months due to all the login issues and WANTED to. But anyway. Just weird shit.
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Old 03-19-2012, 03:09 PM   #678
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At this point I almost feel bad for them.
All I can say is "what a shame".

Proper ending DLC would take at least 3-4 months, probably more time than that. Is it even worth it at that point? You can't play ME3 for the first time again.
Keep in mind that this is entirely my speculation but:

The thing is Bioware isn't stupid. The Mass Effect team has been intelligent enough to make 2.9 amazing Mass Effect games. They pay attention to fan feedback, they're aware of how passionate the fans of the game are and have been around long enough to see the reactions to other games with endings like that (which are almost always the middle game). They apparently decided on the "ending" that is in the game now at the end of 2011. So lets say that 50-75% of the team crunched on the content up to and including the "end" of ME3, while the other 25% completely shifted to the remaining content. The game goes gold, and now 100% of the mass effect team is crunching on the this content. They have said nothing definitive about the ending so far and multiple bioware employees and the official mass effect twitter accounts have been responding extraordinarily cryptically to anything regarding the ending and one employee has gone as far as to point to a thread about "the indoctrination theory". They can't respond to anything about the ending right now because I'm sure they have some sort of way of knowing what percentage of the people who have bought the game have finished it. So talking about it is out of the question for two reasons; 1) Spoiling the ending, 2) it would be INSANE to talk about DLC containing the rest of the game if a large percentage of people haven't finished it. Once a reasonable percentage of the people who purchased it have gotten the trophy or achievement or whatever origin does for finishing a game, they'll find a venue to announce this. It would be killer if they announced the rest of the content on april fool's day.

Thats my theory anyway.
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Old 03-19-2012, 03:21 PM   #679
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I will say this about Bioware: While they're very good at responding to player feedback, they're not as good at predicting how players will react, both positively and negatively.

Compare that to Valve, who focus-test their titles like crazy, and are willing to change practically anything, including the story, if it's not getting the desired reaction. Of course, being a privately owned company, Valve has the luxury of scrapping weeks or even months of work without a publisher breathing down their necks.

I do have to wonder how many people got to see and weigh in on the ending of Mass Effect 3 who didn't have a hand in creating it. It's possible that the script leak from last year spooked them into keeping their cards very close to their chest.
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Old 03-19-2012, 04:31 PM   #680
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I agree Ink, I do think it odd that they didn't see it coming. I mean so many of the major themes of the game are thrown out, or given completely opposing options to those themes at the end. I'd be surprised if someone didn't go "Erm, isn't this going to piss a ton of people off?" at Bioware.
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