Who am I? I'm a guy who plays video games, talks way too much about comics and movies, likes Godzilla and Robocop, and lives up in Wisconsin. And yes. We get that much snow. Why should you read my blog? Because when I write I have fun, make up bullshit lists, and when I do get a little serious with some blogs I try to be insightful and use resources and facts to try and back up my opinion as much as I can. And if you don't follow my blog, I'll send you a picture of a sad kitten who wants some love.
Also, I tend to debate a lot and get up on a soapbox a bit from time to time. I like to debate for the sake of debating and I tend to find it fun to get other peoples perspectives on things, and sometimes I like to play devil's advocate a bit just for the sake of it. Basically, don't take me so serious sometimes even if it seems like I am being serious.
The InSephtion is a semi-frequent (read: when I feel like it) series of opinion pieces were I attempt to implant, or otherwise remove, a thought or series of thoughts from your mind.
Did you click it? Are you here? Testing, testing. Okay good you're here. Sorry, I needed a flashy title to rope some of you guys in here. Why? Because if I used a title that was slightly more appropriate for this I know you guys wouldnít click here because youíre more than likely sick of this topic.
Yes - Iím going to talk about Mass Effect 3.
First let me get this out of the way Ė In my last episode of InSephtion I talked about how Mega Man fans had become the worst fans in video gaming, surpassing Sonic fans. I need to extend my deepest apologies to all fans of the Blue Bomber because I clearly underestimated just how utterly terrible groups of Mass Effect fans could be.
Just to clarify, I do not play Mass Effect. I have nothing against the series what so ever and I find its universe rather interesting, however the games themselves just donít pull me in the same way an Armored Core or Dark Souls title can. I canít explain why, it just happens. Because of this Iím not going to discuss why the ending of Mass Effect 3 is or is not a good ending to the trilogy as itís not my place to discuss plot details about something I have little knowledge of, that and I quite frankly donít care. What I am going to talk about is the fact that Mass Effect fans have taken this whole fiasco over the ending and blown it so far out of proportion that I canít even make up a fake word that properly conveys a sense of scale to this.
This is an opinion piece that will talk about how theyíre treating this whole ordeal, not why theyíre doing it.
Allow me to put a short disclaimer here before I go any further. This is just a little warning that I should have also put in my Mega Man blog I linked to earlier, because apparently people didnít have the common sense to just assume this. I am fully aware that there are a large amount of Mass Effect 3 fans that are perfectly fine with the ending as it is and are equally disappointed in how other sections of the fanbase are reacting. In this blog Iím going to refer to these vocal protesters of ME3ís as ďthe Mass Effect fanbaseĒ or in some similar fashion that will make it seem like Iím talking about the entire fanbase, please understand that Iím directing all of my comments at and about a specific subsection of the fanbase and not the fanbase as a whole.
Mass Effect 3ís ending isnít the greatest thing in the world, okay, we get it. We also understand that you, the ME fanbase, arenít exactly happy about it. What you guys donít seem to understand, however, is that not everybody agrees with you and there are people who *gasp* are perfectly fine with the ending of the game. Iíve seen people persistently complain about sites like Destructoid constantly harping on ME3 fans who are upset about the ending, but yet when someone does anything remotely in support of the games ending these same fans turn around and accuse these supporters of ďnot getting itĒ or being paid off by Bioware/EA. Iím surprised nobody has accused of Jim Sterling being in bed with Hitler for daring to say that writers arenít paid off by EA to support the ending. Talking about Mass Effect 3 in general has become such a divisive topic that itís gotten to the point where no productivity is ever accomplished through normal discussion, which is an alarmingly bad sign. Whatís ultimately not being understood here is that the damage fans are causing in their attempt for a better ending is just as great as, if not greater than, the damage the ending itself caused to the credibility of the franchise.
Itís okay to not like the ending of something. Itís perfectly okay to be upset that something ending on a sour note. Itís perfectly okay to talk about why something ended poorly. It isnít okay to start some pseudo-righteous campaign demanding that BioWare change their game while you stand outside their building with burning torches and pitchforks. Even if you have good reason to demand something like this itís just not the right thing to do. Not only are you slapping every single writer, many of which probably contributed to everything you did like about Mass Effect in the first place, in face youíre also undermining the credibility of the game in general as well as permanently staining the reputation of the game itself. Even if you manage to get the ending of the game changed/altered it will never be known as the Ďtrueí ending of the game but rather be known as ďthe other endingĒ, or something akin to a pacifier. If this whole fiasco had not happened Mass Effect 3 and the trilogy as a whole would be forever known as an amazing science fiction series and people would gloss over the fact that it ended on a slightly sour note. Remember how in Batman Begins Bruce spends the entire movie saying he wonít murder people only to pretty much murder Raís in the end? That fact is glossed over now and the movie is remembered fondly because nobody made a big stink of an obvious plot error. If the ending of ME3 does get changed, that new ending will exist as a constant reminder of a terrible moment in a fandomís existence while also making the original crappy ending even more prevalent and be an ever present unavoidable stain regardless if this ending is ďbetterĒ or ďworseĒ.
This isnít the first, and it wonít be the last, time something great has ended on a lackluster note or have noticeable plot holes. Batman: Arkham City has a heaping pile of plot holes in its ending, The Dark Knightís ending is unnecessarily stupid, Iíve heard from numerous people that the ending to The Dark Tower series by Stephen King is poor, The Matrix sequels happened, and a Tyrannosaurs Rex can magically use human sized doors and move ninja-silently just so he can save our heroes in Jurassic Park. You know what, Iím sure if I had enough time I could find some plot holes or issues with Metal Gear Solid if I wanted and that series has an ending so long it could be nominated for an Oscar in the short-film category. Yes the entire problem isnít entirely just plot issues and Iím aware of that, another issue is how the ending doesnít really include many of your characters decisions or actions throughout the trilogy. You know what, Deus Ex: Human Revolution similarly discarded most of your choices at the end for a few preset endings too.
You know whatís the same about all of these examples I listed above? Groups of people didnít demand to make these things better so that they could reach a higher level of personal satisfaction. They accepted it and moved on, because they understood that itís just a story and it isnít something thatís going to dramatically alter their life or the world as a whole.
My point is things like this happen. Nobody likes a dull ending or a plot hole but we generally have an understanding that things like this can happen. Stories are for humans, are written by humans, and as the saying goes ďnobody is perfectĒ. To paraphrase the Borg Queen in Star Trek: First Contact; ďStories are imperfect things created by imperfect peopleĒ. Oh by the way, First Contact is another thing with plot holes and continuity issues that people didnít report to the FTC.
And before you say ďMass Effect 3ís ending is worse than thoseĒ let me promptly tell you no, itís not. No ending to anything is so bad that it should reach the overblown level of frenzy itís reached at this point. You also have zero right to demand that the ending be changed & you have absolutely no claim to that what so ever. Just because your fans and consumers doesnít give you the empowerment to order people around and tell them how to do their jobs. The right to give your opinion is freely available, but the right to demand is not. You are not investors in BioWare or Electronic Arts so stop pretending you are. It is not your place to do that and all youíre doing is making you, all the people that agree with you, and all of the people who consider themselves fans of Mass Effect, look like a bunch of egocentric children who are angry because your parents wouldnít let you get a new toy on your trip to Wal-Mart.
Thereís another reason you shouldnít demand BioWare going back to change things.
This man is George Lucas, heís the man who gave the world Star Wars. Mr. Lucas gave the world one of the most well-known franchises in history, one that has spawned an indescribably large fanbase. Yet, despite being the creator, a large contingent of this massive fanbase generally despises George Lucas and everything he touches. You know what? I bet some of you reading this are some of those very same people. Why does a fanbase hate its own creator so much?
Because of going back to change things.
If thereís any one fanbase out there that has a legitimate reason to gripe and demand as much as Mass Effect fans have lately, itís Star Wars fans. Hell, Iíd say theyíre the only fanbase that has that much of a right. Theyíve had to sit through so much terrible crap that theyíd probably openly laugh at Mass Effect fans who whine about 10 minutes of a 200+ hour three-game experience. These fans have had to sit through three poorly written prequels that essentially crapped on tons of plot elements, including having to suffer through one of the most memorable villains ever being turned into an angst-ridden hormone raging teenager.
Iím not going to spend an hour ripping on the Star Wars prequels though, RedLetterMedia is the place to go for an educated analysis on why those movies failed and why George Lucas isnít the real reason Star Wars was successful. What I am going to talk about are the other things that these fans have to suffer through, which is everything else he does to the franchise.
Besides sitting through terrible prequel movies, and a creator who openly trolls his fans, fans of this series have to suffer because the original movies they enjoyed constantly get revised and butchered by a man who canít stop going back to change things while simultaneously refusing to release the original copies that people loved. Things that established the fundamental basis for how we knew Han Solo were changed thanks to the ďHan Shoots FirstĒ problem, not to mention it made Greedo look like the worst bounty hunter ever. Crap was thrown out there to try and wow us with computer graphics instead of just letting us see the main characters or leaving things the way they were. Darth Vaderís silent sacrifice was changed in order to make it blatantly obvious that he didnít want his son to die, thus ruining all of the dramatic impact the scene originally had (along with reminding us of a terrible black mark from the prequels). And an actor who never appeared in the original trilogy what so ever, and has likely never met any of the original cast, was placed into Return of the Jedi in Lucasís own stupid attempt to bring a full-circle sense of closure to all six movies.
Why am I bringing all of this up, you ask? To remind Mass Effect fans how terrible going back to change things can in fact be and why it shouldnít be done even if itís for good. And if you people manage to get Mass Effect 3ís ending altered, which itís more and more looking like a possibility, do you know what youíll do? Youíll be saying that itís okay to go back and change things. Youíll be validating that itís okay to do things like George Lucas does.
Donít validate George Lucas.
Itís okay to be upset if the ending isnít that good, but youíre all simply taking it too far. Take a deep breath and look at the floor below you, what you see is the world still revolving after Mass Effect 3ís ending. Like so many other fans in the world, this is something you really just need to take on the chin and move on. Mass Effect is too good of a series to drag through the mud like this over one thing, no matter how bad that one thing is.