.:[ Revy ]:.

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All right, so I finished [b]Mass Effect 3[/b] yesterday.

I'm down with the spirit of the ending, if not so much the execution. [spoiler]I thought the **** with the little kid was terrible throughout the game, and seeing the kid representing the Catalyst is a facepalm moment. I agree with others who have suggested that the squadmate who dies on Virmire would have been a much better choice for that stuff. I don't really like Kaidan or Ashley at all, but they would at least represent a more personal connection for Shepard. And wouldn't that person's death haunt Shepard much more than some kid? The BioWare writers do such a great job of hitting emotion hard throughout the game that the kid stuff sticks out as being not so great.

And though there are a few hints about this path throughout the game -- the most obvious and heavy-handed being on Thessia -- the whole deal with the Catalyst is still a [i]lot[/i] to take in with such little time to lay out everything. I don't think it's a terrible plot rush, actually; it's laid out as simply and clearly as possible. But it's a bit too deus ex machina for my taste. Still, I actually do dig this plot direction more than if the Crucible had merely been a superweapon capable of destroying the Reapers and bringing about a Happy End. You [i]can[/i] do that if you choose, but there are other options. (Personally, I chose to integrate organics and synthetics.)

I also wish there were a bit more closure with your other squadmates. Presumably everyone survives, but mostly I'm just worried about Garrus, because he's been my boy throughout the whole series!

The one complaint I don't really agree with is about the ending not reflecting your choices. It totally does in the way that [i]all[/i] [b]Mass Effect[/b] endings have reflected the player's choices. In the first game, your choices could cause Saren to kill himself. In the second game, your choices affect whether your squad lives or dies. In the third game, your choices could cause the Illusive Man to kill himself. The major story beats, though? Always the same, no matter what your choices are. There may be a few differences in how they play out, but they're largely the same. Complaining about how choice doesn't play enough of a part in the finale completely ignores how the plots of [b]Mass Effect[/b] have been built from the beginning.[/spoiler]

Whew, that's a lot! Final word: I don't think the ending is perfect, but it's certainly not bad enough to ruin what has been a fantastic ride for me. I liked [b]Mass Effect[/b] and loved the second and third iterations of the series. The battles are great fun, the characters are awesome, the emotion is there, and on and on. This is an excellent conclusion to Shepard's story, and the ending actually has me [i]really[/i] interested in how BioWare would continue the series, since they've shown obvious interest in doing so, and EA obviously can't turn away from an opportunity to squeeze more money out of gamers.

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[quote name='Shinmaru' timestamp='1333121544' post='711133']
[spoiler]I thought the **** with the little kid was terrible throughout the game, and seeing the kid representing the Catalyst is a facepalm moment. I agree with others who have suggested that the squadmate who dies on Virmire would have been a much better choice for that stuff. I don't really like Kaidan or Ashley at all, but they would at least represent a more personal connection for Shepard. And wouldn't that person's death haunt Shepard much more than some kid? The BioWare writers do such a great job of hitting emotion hard throughout the game that the kid stuff sticks out as being not so great.[/spoiler][/quote][spoiler]I hated that kid. I agree on the Virmire choice, but the Prothean might've been okay as well as Bioware's original plan was. Basically, the kid was completely random, didn't look very interesting, and was stupid. They should've just had the kid for stupid noobs who didn't import ME1&2, and the Virmire or an abstract something for people who did. Though I hate Kaiden, and he always died on Vimire, and I didn't like him living. Hm... Maybe some random thing then.

Though I like the theory of the kid being just an indoctrinated hallucination as nobody else sees him and he causes Shepard some bad nights of sleep. Huhu. Ho.[/spoiler]

[quote name='Shinmaru' timestamp='1333121544' post='711133'][spoiler]I also wish there were a bit more closure with your other squadmates. Presumably everyone survives, but mostly I'm just worried about Garrus, because he's been my boy throughout the whole series![/spoiler][/quote]QFT. [spoiler]Garrus, what happened to you on Earth?! How did they get into the Normandy that quickly, rushing off before a relay blast?[/spoiler]

[quote name='Shinmaru' timestamp='1333121544' post='711133'] [spoiler]The one complaint I don't really agree with is about the ending not reflecting your choices. It totally does in the way that [i]all[/i] [b]Mass Effect[/b] endings have reflected the player's choices. In the first game, your choices could cause Saren to kill himself. In the second game, your choices affect whether your squad lives or dies. In the third game, your choices could cause the Illusive Man to kill himself. The major story beats, though? Always the same, no matter what your choices are. There may be a few differences in how they play out, but they're largely the same. Complaining about how choice doesn't play enough of a part in the finale completely ignores how the plots of [b]Mass Effect[/b] have been built from the beginning.[/spoiler][/quote]Well, I have to disagree on you here anyway. [spoiler]ME3 was supposed to be the ultimate climax of the series. Not just an ME1-3 or ME2-3. It is supposed to be greater and everything you do leads up to this. In short, nothing you do leads up to anything. Your actions of ME1 and ME2 don't have any [i]visible[/i] effect on the ending, except that they earn you like War Assets that make the ultimate endings possible. And War Assets are like... emails. Who cares? They could have at least added some amazingly cool cinematics during the last few moments of combat that would show Turians and Krogans butchering Husks side by side, protected by Asari shields, while Salarians would infiltrate around burning people, calling in airstrikes for the Quarians to bomb the crap out of things, while armies of Rachni tear the hell out of Ravagers. Stuff like that, you know. Now you fell into a black hole, and the climax parts of the game were when you saw your fleet come through the relay (OMFG ROCK ON) and getting butchered by 5 Banshees at the end before you get blasted and have to take out Marauder Shields, the real final boss. I didn't feel like my previous actions changed the course of the ending enough. Why didn't we see Jack back you up with her team of biotics, just because she's Jack and decided to disobey orders? Where was Grunt, pulling another ( <33333 GRUNTTT!!!!) stunt soloing some ravagers? I saved the Geth, why didn't they return the favour by sending in some Primes for back up? Stuff like that, you know. The ending was epic-ish, but I felt Tuchanka and Ranoch were more epic. And then the last 5 minutes kind of ... you know... didn't have much to do with the first two. It didn't feel like an ending to a trilogy because there was so much new information. Everyone knows you should put little to no new information in a conclusion unless it's really "OMFG I NEVER EXPECTED THAT" shock stuff, which this wasn't either. It was just lukewarm.[/spoiler]

But altogether I loved the game. And the ending was fine-ish enough. Edited by Boo

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Shinmaru and Boo raise some good points, but I don't have the attention span to make a drawn out speech on what I agree and disagree with from both of them. I bid you all "good day".

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[font=tahoma,geneva,sans-serif]Regarding the ending, I really suggest everyone watch the following Youtube video (it's over 20 minutes long but really worth it) and then decide what you think of it.

[spoilerblock][/font]
[center][media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ythY_GkEBck[/media][/center]
[/spoilerblock]

Of course the major problem with that is that it means [spoiler]we never actually got an ending, as logically the proper ending would take place after Shepard having fought off the effects of indoctrination and then getting to the Citadel and activating the Crucible proper. On the other hand, it's a massive feather in BioWare's storytelling cap to have been able to do something like that so subtly that 99% of people missed it (not that BioWare helped us by making it seem like it was the ending).[/spoiler] Edited by Gavin

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[font=lucida sans unicode,lucida grande,sans-serif][size=3][color=#800080]Right now I've been playing Persona 4. I picked it up a few weeks ago. Aside from taking a while to get going... I've found it to be a rather enjoyable game. Now I just need to have time to actually finish it. I haven't been able to play the past week due to work, school and other obligations getting in the way.[/color][/size][/font]

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[font=palatino linotype]I finished Mass Effect 3 on the weekend. I was very eager to finish it, mostly because I really wanted to see what all the fuss is about in terms of the ending.

I have to marshal my thoughts a bit here. Actually, I really need to finish the game another time, I think. At the moment I am not sure I can really do it justice, except to put forward a few initial thoughts:

[spoilerblock]I think I largely agree with Shin in terms of the ending's true problems. My biggest disappointment, I think, was a general lack of closure (I hate that word) in terms of my squadmates. I don't particularly fault BioWare for this though, because you [i]do[/i] get the chance to have final words with most of the other characters prior to the ending anyway. And, depending on the ending you choose, finding out about your squadmates may be a somewhat redundant exercise.

I'm finding that what I dislike about the ending is actually fairly different than a lot of people who have complained. It seems to me that many of the complaints relate to the idea that the player's choices essentially don't matter in regard to the ending, or that the ending is boiled down to a very simple game of "choose the door".

Maybe my expectations were different, but as Shin said, this is very much in keeping with the rest of the series. In my view, the player's choices in Mass Effect only ever influenced the [i]journey[/i] - not the [i]destination[/i]. The fact that we had three choices for the ending (and multiple variations within those endings depending on the player's score) seems pretty reasonable to me. I can't really complain about lack of choice in that sense.

My biggest complaint is probably just that Mass Effect's ending is only slightly more poetic and interesting than the overall story which led up to it.

I've always felt that Mass Effect had great characters and a great universe, but with the caveat of a highly derivative plot. I mean, Saren is being controlled by the Reapers. The Collectors are being controlled by the Reapers. The Illusive Man is being controlled by the Reapers. The Reapers are being controlled by... well, [i]someone[/i]. If not the Catalyst, then a least the mysterious "we" to which the Catalyst himself belongs. This aspect of the plot (the Catalyst's "we" controlling the Reapers) appears to me to be over-reaching just a little.

In this sense, the ending was really no surprise to me. I already knew long ago that the Reapers were basically attempting to maintain order by continually eradicating advanced biological life.

Unfortunately, their motivation is somewhat...stupid. I was hoping for something a little more clever to be revealed, but it wasn't.

I mean, the Reapers apparently conduct this "cleansing" every 50,000 years because they are trying to avert a situation where there is a conflict between synthetic and organic life (i.e. the reference to masters always being challenged).

So, unless I'm missing something here... they commit mass genocide to avoid mass genocide. What?

Mass Effect continually hinted at there being something grander - something "unimaginable" or unfathomable - about the Reapers and their longterm intentions. But I suspect that "unimaginable" is a placeholder for "nothing" or at least "nothing we can explain because we needed villains and we can't think of a clever twist or motivation for them".

It was this aspect that disappointed me. All the way along, I strongly suspected that we'd either be hit by a totally predictable ending [i]or[/i] an attempt would be made to produce a clumsy sleight of hand. I think, in some respects, we got both - the ultimate motivation for the Reapers was nothing greater than had already been explained from the very beginning of the franchise. The only difference was that we discover that the Reapers are being controlled by the Catalyst (and/or his "kind") - but this is totally and utterly irrelevant, because the Catalyst adds absolutely nothing to the plot.

Having said all of that, the end result is that I can't be too disappointed with the ending. Given the paper-thin plot, I think the multiple endings actually do more justice to said plot than it actually deserves, haha.

I really have no issue with the way choices were handled in terms of the ending, as I said earlier. Maybe I would want to see a bit of tweaking in terms of a bit more exposition about what is happening, and it would have been good to know a lot more about the Catalyst - but there was simply no time for this, as a critical piece of the puzzle (which was ironically both critical and utterly redundant) appeared right before the credits rolled.[/spoilerblock]

Overall, I can't say I have many complaints about the ending itself. My biggest issues with Mass Effect are, on the whole, related to the overall plot.

I found that I enjoyed Mass Effect [i]despite[/i] the story and not because of it, to some extent. Or, to put it another way... the "main" plot about the Reapers was pretty boring. The Reapers themselves were awesome, but the actual story was sort of lame. I was far more interested in the Genophage, the Krogan Wars, the Quarians vs Geth, etc...

I'm just really hoping that we see more Mass Effect games in the future. Apparently we will, and I'm actually very keen to see what BioWare will do with that and how they will structure those new games.[/font]

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I've been playing through Disgaea 3 and Valkyria Chronicles II lately. I might haved overlevelled in Disgaea while I've stalled at October in VCII because of that bloody mines mission.

I am planning on playing some of the 1995 release of Blood Bowl because it looks like the likely choice that I'm reviewing next for my site (cheap plug!) and then moving onto Lord of the Rings Vol.1 on DOS and SNES. One of them is an awesome RPG while the other is almost the complete opposite.

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[quote name='Gavin' timestamp='1333151216' post='711145']
[font=tahoma,geneva,sans-serif]Regarding the ending, I really suggest everyone watch the following Youtube video (it's over 20 minutes long but really worth it) and then decide what you think of it.

[spoilerblock][/font]
[center][media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ythY_GkEBck[/media][/center]
[/spoilerblock]

Of course the major problem with that is that it means [spoiler]we never actually got an ending, as logically the proper ending would take place after Shepard having fought off the effects of indoctrination and then getting to the Citadel and activating the Crucible proper. On the other hand, it's a massive feather in BioWare's storytelling cap to have been able to do something like that so subtly that 99% of people missed it (not that BioWare helped us by making it seem like it was the ending).[/spoiler]
[/quote]

I've read up a bit more on that theory ... it's definitely interesting and would explain a lot about the ending, but not everything. (Is the whole point of showing the Illusive Man's behavior throughout the game just to feed into this [spoiler]Reaper-induced vision[/spoiler] at the end?) And as you write, a major flaw is that there is no real ending with this theory in mind ... it's not really the type of event that [i]should[/i] be the ending in that case. Of course, it hasn't been proved by any stretch that this theory is accurate (there are rumblings here and there that it isn't the ending BioWare had in mind, though of course they could change their minds along the way).

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ME3: [spoiler]I was expecting the story to continue on from ME2's ending, where they said "OMFG A HUMAN REAPER", which was kind of meh-inducing on it's own, and that in ME3 it turns out the reapers use the reaped civilizations to actually help create the newest batch (for whatever reason. I mean, what does any divine being really want from us?), instead of just preserving before you decide to kill all of us so we don't kill all of us.

Though, like James said before, the story has never been the strongest part of the game. I had most fun doing the missions that were unCerberus and unReaper related.[/spoiler]

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[quote name='Shinmaru' timestamp='1333383525' post='711232']
I've read up a bit more on that theory ... it's definitely interesting and would explain a lot about the ending, but not everything. (Is the whole point of showing the Illusive Man's behavior throughout the game just to feed into this [spoiler]Reaper-induced vision[/spoiler] at the end?) And as you write, a major flaw is that there is no real ending with this theory in mind ... it's not really the type of event that [i]should[/i] be the ending in that case. Of course, it hasn't been proved by any stretch that this theory is accurate (there are rumblings here and there that it isn't the ending BioWare had in mind, though of course they could change their minds along the way).
[/quote]

[font=tahoma,geneva,sans-serif]Possibly, I think it's as likely to be intentional of showing Shepard that [spoiler]there can be no alternative path to defeating the Reapers other than destroying them completely. Saren proposed Synthesis and in the name of fusing the organic and the synthetic was turned into a creature very much like a husk, while the Illusive Man advocated control but is continuously shown losing that control to the Reapers themselves due to his exposure to their technology. In the end he becomes so blinded by his desire to control that he essentially attempts to give the war to the Reapers (telling them the Citadel is the key) than lose his chance to control them.

If the indoctrination theory wasn't what BioWare had in mind then I'm honestly shocked because there's literally so much stuff subtly there that for it to be a coincidence would beggar belief.[/spoiler][/font]

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I FINALLY beat Portal 2 after always putting it off.

[SPOILER]I absolutely loved the part with the moon. So freaking epic. And when I saw the turrets... I was like "Oh ****. :'(. but then they started singing and I was like 8D~"[/SPOILER]

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Been playing a bit of the first [b]Uncharted[/b]. Was frustrating at first because the pirates are utter bastards and take [i]way[/i] too much ammo to kill (especially taking into account how limited your ammo is), but I've got a better hang of the combat now, so it isn't as tough. I like the platforming stuff, even though it's pretty easy and fairly handholdy. Story and presentation are quite good, too. Kind of crazy how good the game looks considering it's five years old and Naughty Dog was basically getting a handle on the PlayStation 3 with this game. I can only imagine how amazing the next two games will look.

Also got about three hours into [b]Tales of Vesperia[/b]. The battle system was sort of confusing at first, mostly because I haven't played any games like it before (it's my first [b]Tales[/b] game, and I haven't played games with similar systems like, say, [b]Kingdom Hearts[/b] or whatever). I was so terrible that I died like five times against [i]the first boss of the game[/i]. Good god. I think I have it down now, though ... the tricky part is getting blocking down and working into physical + arte combos. But, hey, practice makes perfect and all that. It wasn't so frustrating that it made me want to quit playing, at least.

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[font=times new roman, times, serif][size=2][size=3]I recently finished [b][i]Mass Effect III [/i][/b]and after finishing the game, I felt terribly confused... So I'm replaying it with the knowledge of [spoiler]that certain thing that happens on a very subliminal scale[/spoiler] also playing my renegade female playthrough concurrent to my second playthrough, which I find to be quite hilarious.[/size][/size][/font]

[font=times new roman, times, serif][size=2][size=3]I've also been spending time with[i][b] SSX [/b][/i]which feels like a modernised shot of nostalgia to the jugular, which is amazing. Here's to hoping that [b][i]Rock Band: Blitz [/i][/b]will do the same for [b][i]Amplitude [/i][/b]in the summer.[/size][/size][/font] Edited by Anakoni Stark

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All this talk about Mass Effect 3 and I haven't even completed ME2 yet. Hopefully I can get to it soon, but these 2D fighting games have been taking up majority of my time.

I haven't been playing anything lately, but I am getting ready to startup [b]Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3[/b]. While I don't participate in the tournaments, but I'd like to get a little bit more involved, or at the very least keep up with the FGC. My main team will be Dante, Vergil, and I'm on the fence about the 3rd character. I'm split between Magento, Doom, Wolverine, Trish, and C. Viper.

I will also have 2 more teams; One with Dante and one with Vergil. I'm thinking about Dante, Magneto and Spencer for the Dante team, and then Vergil, Doom, and Wesker/Strider/Nova for team Vergil.

Eventually, I will try out the majority of the cast of characters, but out of that cast there are a handful that I won't touch, but for the most part I think the cast is large enough for me to enjoy the game for quite some time.

Like I said, I will eventually get to playing other games but these fighters are taking up my team especially since I'm learning them.

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Xbox 360 - Mass Effect (ohh just the first one, I always wait a long time to buy a game because I don't like paying 60 big ones <w<;) Dragon Age Origins beat, but I go back often for achievements. Dragon Age II, Fable II, blahlahlahalaa...

DS - Pokemon White, Harvest Moon Ds Cute!, Dragon Quest IX..

PC - I bought DAO again. eheheh..Star Trek online, whatever my friends drag me into on steam..

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[font=trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif][color=#9900ff]For some reason I randomly dusted off [b]Super Street Fighter IV[/b] and have been going through arcade mode with each of the ladies so far; I've finished Chun Li, Juri, Cammy, and Rose's storylines. I'm not a competitive fighter so I'm pretty much just stuck doing single-player, but it's kinda fun to unwind with.[/color][/font]

[font=trebuchet ms,helvetica,sans-serif][color=#9900FF]I'm also considering restarting [b]Tales of Vesperia[/b] here soon since I apparently wasted a bunch of time doing a whole lot of nothing and I barely remember the plot anyway as it is [probably because said plot never really got kicked into gear when I played it last].[/color][/font]

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[font=palatino linotype]After finishing ME3 recently, I am now re-playing the triology from the beginning. This time I'm using a female Shepard and I'm pretty much going for the renegade approach. The game has already been quite different, in terms of the responses from other characters, so that's pretty cool.

One thing I'm noticing though - the original Mass Effect feels [i]so[/i] clumsy and sluggish compared to ME2 and ME3! It took a bit of getting used to, haha. But it's a great game, and it has some qualities that I'm really enjoying (especially the Mako!)[/font]

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Haven't played ME3 yet, but...cannot resist a discussion about science fiction...sf indoctrination too strong...why is the Reply window default size so tiny (fixed it, but damn, son hah)...

[quote name='Shinmaru' timestamp='1333121544' post='711133']
All right, so I finished [b]Mass Effect 3[/b] yesterday.

I'm down with the spirit of the ending, if not so much the execution. [spoiler]I thought the **** with the little kid was terrible throughout the game, and seeing the kid representing the Catalyst is a facepalm moment. I agree with others who have suggested that the squadmate who dies on Virmire would have been a much better choice for that stuff. I don't really like Kaidan or Ashley at all, but they would at least represent a more personal connection for Shepard. And wouldn't that person's death haunt Shepard much more than some kid? The BioWare writers do such a great job of hitting emotion hard throughout the game that the kid stuff sticks out as being not so great.[/spoiler][/quote]

[spoiler]I'm not entirely sure that Kaiden or Ashley acting as the Catalyst's avatar would work any better, though. The Virmire death in ME1 packed a punch, yeah, but neither game really focused on that decision. At best, ME2 devoted maybe three lines to it (basically when Jacob and Miranda talk with you about it, no more than 15 minutes into the game), and none of Shepard's responses sounded very haunted. BioWare didn't spend any time, really, punching up that emotional impact. Should Shepard have been affected? Yeah, definitely. Was he? Not from what I could tell in ME2.[/spoiler]

[quote name='James' timestamp='1333332919' post='711216']
[font=palatino linotype]I finished Mass Effect 3 on the weekend. I was very eager to finish it, mostly because I really wanted to see what all the fuss is about in terms of the ending.

I have to marshal my thoughts a bit here. Actually, I really need to finish the game another time, I think. At the moment I am not sure I can really do it justice, except to put forward a few initial thoughts:

[spoilerblock]I think I largely agree with Shin in terms of the ending's true problems. My biggest disappointment, I think, was a general lack of closure (I hate that word) in terms of my squadmates. I don't particularly fault BioWare for this though, because you [i]do[/i] get the chance to have final words with most of the other characters prior to the ending anyway. And, depending on the ending you choose, finding out about your squadmates may be a somewhat redundant exercise.

I'm finding that what I dislike about the ending is actually fairly different than a lot of people who have complained. It seems to me that many of the complaints relate to the idea that the player's choices essentially don't matter in regard to the ending, or that the ending is boiled down to a very simple game of "choose the door".

Maybe my expectations were different, but as Shin said, this is very much in keeping with the rest of the series. In my view, the player's choices in Mass Effect only ever influenced the [i]journey[/i] - not the [i]destination[/i]. The fact that we had three choices for the ending (and multiple variations within those endings depending on the player's score) seems pretty reasonable to me. I can't really complain about lack of choice in that sense.

My biggest complaint is probably just that Mass Effect's ending is only slightly more poetic and interesting than the overall story which led up to it.

I've always felt that Mass Effect had great characters and a great universe, but with the caveat of a highly derivative plot. I mean, Saren is being controlled by the Reapers. The Collectors are being controlled by the Reapers. The Illusive Man is being controlled by the Reapers. The Reapers are being controlled by... well, [i]someone[/i]. If not the Catalyst, then a least the mysterious "we" to which the Catalyst himself belongs. This aspect of the plot (the Catalyst's "we" controlling the Reapers) appears to me to be over-reaching just a little.

In this sense, the ending was really no surprise to me. I already knew long ago that the Reapers were basically attempting to maintain order by continually eradicating advanced biological life.

Unfortunately, their motivation is somewhat...stupid. I was hoping for something a little more clever to be revealed, but it wasn't.

I mean, the Reapers apparently conduct this "cleansing" every 50,000 years because they are trying to avert a situation where there is a conflict between synthetic and organic life (i.e. the reference to masters always being challenged).

So, unless I'm missing something here... they commit mass genocide to avoid mass genocide. What?

Mass Effect continually hinted at there being something grander - something "unimaginable" or unfathomable - about the Reapers and their longterm intentions. But I suspect that "unimaginable" is a placeholder for "nothing" or at least "nothing we can explain because we needed villains and we can't think of a clever twist or motivation for them".

It was this aspect that disappointed me. All the way along, I strongly suspected that we'd either be hit by a totally predictable ending [i]or[/i] an attempt would be made to produce a clumsy sleight of hand. I think, in some respects, we got both - the ultimate motivation for the Reapers was nothing greater than had already been explained from the very beginning of the franchise. The only difference was that we discover that the Reapers are being controlled by the Catalyst (and/or his "kind") - but this is totally and utterly irrelevant, because the Catalyst adds absolutely nothing to the plot.

Having said all of that, the end result is that I can't be too disappointed with the ending. Given the paper-thin plot, I think the multiple endings actually do more justice to said plot than it actually deserves, haha.

I really have no issue with the way choices were handled in terms of the ending, as I said earlier. Maybe I would want to see a bit of tweaking in terms of a bit more exposition about what is happening, and it would have been good to know a lot more about the Catalyst - but there was simply no time for this, as a critical piece of the puzzle (which was ironically both critical and utterly redundant) appeared right before the credits rolled.[/spoilerblock]

Overall, I can't say I have many complaints about the ending itself. My biggest issues with Mass Effect are, on the whole, related to the overall plot.

I found that I enjoyed Mass Effect [i]despite[/i] the story and not because of it, to some extent. Or, to put it another way... the "main" plot about the Reapers was pretty boring. The Reapers themselves were awesome, but the actual story was sort of lame. I was far more interested in the Genophage, the Krogan Wars, the Quarians vs Geth, etc...

I'm just really hoping that we see more Mass Effect games in the future. Apparently we will, and I'm actually very keen to see what BioWare will do with that and how they will structure those new games.[/font]
[/quote]

Pretty much. The worst part of ME1 was the confrontation with Sovereign on Virmire. All of this "our goals and reasons are so far beyond your comprehension blah blah blah" was amateurish and embarrassing. The big reveal in the game was a space squid who just wanted to taunt you on the cosmic scale. That's just prime.

The Reapers, by themselves, were dramatically uninteresting. What [i]was[/i] interesting, however, was the effect they had on others: Saren, the Collectors (rather, [spoiler]Protheans[/spoiler]), Martin Sheen, etc. I greatly appreciated the irony of a "human-focused" organization like Cerberus being led by someone who is clearly augmented with Reaper technology. Indoctrination is such a strong narrative tool in the series and I wish there would have been more an examination of it.

Now, as for the general series, I read an analysis a few weeks back that I found particularly fun:

[url="http://www.popbioethics.com/2012/02/why-mass-effect-is-the-most-important-science-fiction-universe-of-our-generation/"]http://www.popbioethics.com/2012/02/why-mass-effect-is-the-most-important-science-fiction-universe-of-our-generation/[/url]

The general premise is that the Mass Effect series is, at its core, a treatise on the futility of any race trying to achieve anything in the galaxy or universe.

And I gotta say...I like that slant. I like how the interpretation trivializes everything in the trilogy, because that trivialization makes sense:

You're a human, a race that has just barely climbed out of your primitive planet's primordial ooze, trying to fit into a galactic civilization that sees you as little more than an annoyance.

Those hyper-advanced alien species, however, are less than a galactic ****-stain compared to the grand-daddy civilization of 50,000 years ago.

The Protheans, despite their magnificence, were completely wiped out by a race of sentient alien lifeforms that are as old as time itself, whose origins are just as much as a mystery as their literal existence.

And the Reapers, well...everything in the series has been extremely grim and Fatalistic, and the first two endings were still pretty grim. Sure, you destroyed a single Reaper, but there are others. Sure, you destroyed a half-Reaper but it was only partially finished. Those victories were the exceptions, not the rule. The rule is still that there is a race of alien-things out there that [b]will[/b] destroy all life in the galaxy, and there's nothing you can do about it on your own.

So an ending that's basically a total downer...I dig it.

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[quote name='Brasil' timestamp='1334025889' post='711389']


So an ending that's basically a total downer...I dig it.
[/quote]

[font=palatino linotype]I agree that the somewhat nihilistic concept that over-arches the Mass Effect story is a good idea and worthwhile to explore - for example, the idea that for once, human beings are not necessarily going to "save the day" and that perhaps saving the day doesn't even matter in the grand scheme of things. I do think that's genuinely worth exploring.

But Mass Effect does it badly, and dare I say it... superficially. This has nothing to do with the ending, but with the entire plot that runs throughout the trilogy. And I think a lot of this problem is bound up with the incredibly lame explanation for the cyclical nature of the Reaper invasions.

The idea of a cyclical mass extinction is definitely interesting in principle, and it has enormous potential to be philosophically powerful and poignant. But in the end, it feels like the Reapers and their ridiculously flawed motivations act to cheapen and "dumb down" what could be a very beautiful and unique idea (at least, unique in the video game world).

Maybe I am expecting too much of video game writing, but even acknowledging that is kind of sad. Films have been able to tackle these subjects beautifully and with nuance for years, so why not games?

As I said before, I love the Mass Effect universe. I love the broad story, which involves countless civilizations and a very rich galactic history. I just can't help but feel that exploring that galactic history would be far more interesting and fertile ground than the BioWare team attempting to chase a concept that they have difficulty realizing in a meaningful, balanced way.[/font]

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[size=2][font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif][quote name='James' timestamp='1334199370' post='711436']I agree that the somewhat nihilistic concept that over-arches the Mass Effect story is a good idea and worthwhile to explore - for example, the idea that for once, human beings are not necessarily going to "save the day" and that perhaps saving the day doesn't even matter in the grand scheme of things. I do think that's genuinely worth exploring.

But Mass Effect does it badly, and dare I say it... superficially. This has nothing to do with the ending, but with the entire plot that runs throughout the trilogy. And I think a lot of this problem is bound up with the incredibly lame explanation for the cyclical nature of the Reaper invasions.

The idea of a cyclical mass extinction is definitely interesting in principle, and it has enormous potential to be philosophically powerful and poignant. But in the end, it feels like the Reapers and their ridiculously flawed motivations act to cheapen and "dumb down" what could be a very beautiful and unique idea (at least, unique in the video game world).[/quote][/font][/size]

[size=2][font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]Ayup. The finale of ME1 had me giggly with excitement over where the series was going to go. It was mildly upbeat, but undercut with this desperation that just depressed the hell out of you. The galactic fleet destroyed a Reaper, but there wasn't going to be a happy ending to the trilogy. It was ballsy to even hint at something like that. Then...I have a feeling they really weren't expecting ME1 to do as well as it did. BioWare may have had a general idea of where to take the ME world and all, but ME2 was such a disappointment, story-wise, that it completely derailed any decent theming in the first game. Would humanity gain a nice galactic politics foothold after contributing and sacrificing so much during the Citadel battle? Sure. Would they gain so much notoriety that the Reapers would want to make a Reaper out of them? And a Terminator-Reaper, at that? Uh, no. Not a chance in hell. Humans went from nothing to everything. They went from being labeled little more than primitive screwheads to suddenly being a bastion of hope across the galaxy...all within 25 hours.[/font][/size]

[size=2][font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that BioWare doomed themselves during the encounter with Sovereign on Virmire. When they hyped up the Reaper's motivations as beyond comprehension...there was no way they were ever going to come up with anything to have that make sense.[/font][/size]

[size=2][font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif]Hell, Sovereign really should have just said "You are food. We're going to eat you," and at least that would have fit within the cosmic Fatalism: the Reapers place all of this technology so species can advance, only to harvest them and gorge once every 50,000 years or so. Is it nuanced? No. Is it well-written? No. But at least it's consistent. Plus it'd be hilarious: we're literally at the bottom of the galactic foodchain. :-D[/font][/size]


[size=2][font=verdana,geneva,sans-serif][quote]Maybe I am expecting too much of video game writing, but even acknowledging that is kind of sad. Films have been able to tackle these subjects beautifully and with nuance for years, so why not games?[/quote][/font][/size]

[font=verdana, geneva, sans-serif][size=2]Easy answer.[/size][/font]

[font=verdana, geneva, sans-serif][size=2]Game vs film:[/size][/font]

[font=verdana, geneva, sans-serif][size=2][img]http://www.geekosystem.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/NathanFillionNathanDrake.jpg[/img][/size][/font]


[font=verdana, geneva, sans-serif][size=2][img]http://playstationlifestyle.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/hideo-kojima.jpg[/img][img]http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y65/radioman970/1979_alien_007.jpg[/img][/size][/font]

[img]http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_FvHWF1Ev6ag/TUxELwYRz8I/AAAAAAAAB0Q/ivWExDIXJlE/s1600/master+chief.jpg[/img][img]http://www.wired.com/images/article/magazine/1704/ff_terminator4_f.jpg[/img]

[img]http://30.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lwvybdwI6K1r7qui1o1_500.jpg[/img]

Yeah, I think it's reasonable to expect less from games. :-)

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Got started on a Let's Play of Sims 3 a couple of days and it has been ridiculous. Almost entirely autonomous except for my character and everyone is a collection of bizarre psychosis that it's just crazy. I've also recently picked up Valkyria Chronicles I, Catherine and Disgaea 4 so I think that I'm set for the next month when it comes to videogames.

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Working on [b]Pokemon White [/b]in an attempt to finish it before B2/W2 comes out. This is likely not going to happen, considering all the grinding I do and that I'm trying to get specific Pokemon before really doing anything in the game (only need a Rufflet at this point).

I'm still gonna try, though ._.

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I'm through Chapter 15 of [b]Uncharted[/b]. Holy cow, those jet ski levels are [i]terrible[/i]! They make zero sense both logically (even in an action movie you wouldn't see exploding barrels floating down a river) and practically (they kill the flow of the game because the optimal way to play them is to methodically advance through the levels, which is the opposite of how a jet ski would be used, you know, anywhere), and in the second jet ski level you have to fight your way upstream . . . and it's seriously irritating. I'm at least glad they're relatively short like the rest of [b]Uncharted[/b]'s chapters. That said, I've heard some bad things about the end of the game, so I'm kind of dreading that, but I will soldier on . . .

Also last night I finished [b]VVVVVV[/b]. Pretty fun game. I died 1,334 times! It was awesome.

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Still playing [b]Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3[/b]. I'm going through Arcade mode just to see who I want to have as my 3rd member on the team consisting of Dante and Vergil. Right now, I just finished playing as Zero and I like the way he plays, and he may be my 3rd character.

Brief update on UMvC3. Just finished playing as Trish, Felicia, and Morrigan, and much to my surprise I didn't expect them to be as fun as they are, especially Morrigan. I'm also considering using her on my main team now. I find her to be newbie friendly, and then she have some damaging combo's to boot. Trish is just full of mind games and I love it. Felicia is like an easier to use Wolverine (at least at the moment, since I'm teaching myself how to properly wave dash, air dash, triangle jump and what not). Edited by Magus

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