Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mass Effect 3: Thoughts

Finished the game. Not going to spoil, it's worth playing and I don't want to ruin it for you guys.

But I will give out some of my thoughts.

I liked it. The ending is a little weak but I didn't feel like I wasted my time at all and I'm going to play it again.

Yep. That's that.
You may have heard that Bioware's fanbase has been drinking a lot of the haterade for years. There's a large and rabid band of people who have been heaping the scorn and internet rage on all kinds of things Bioware for a long time, and not just on Mass Effect 3 but other games developed by the company, and even singling out specific writers for the company. It's gotten out of hand.

First off, there's a faction who hate on the games' options to take homosexual relationship paths.
One of them actually posted a complaint that Bioware was no longer catering to straight males.
Straight males have long been the core demographic for the gaming industry. 
For obvious reasons, this is changing. And that ain't a bad thing. Guess what? Tolerance is the way of the future. In fact, one thing I loved about ME3 is the amount of tolerance on display in the game. THERE'S ACTUALLY A REGULAR GAY CHARACTER! You know what I mean? I mean he's a homosexual male who isn't effeminate. Do you realize how rare that combination is in current pop culture? Respect to Bioware's developers for stuff like that. But this commenter, he seems to be repulsed by the thought that gays might actually play these things called 'video games' just like him. He expressed indignation that he needed to say the phrase, 'straight male gamer'.
"Its ridiculous that I even have to use a term like Straight Male Gamer, when in the past I would only have to say fans" -that guy
 Yeah, what the fuck, right? This is why you need to spend some time away from the computer and get out more, where you can meet other human beings.

And the reply from the lead writer on the game, Dragon Age II.
The romances in the game are not for “the straight male gamer”. They’re for everyone. We have a lot of fans, many of whom are neither straight nor male, and they deserve no less attention. -David Gaider
 Well said, sir. Well said.
One of Bioware's writers is Jennifer Hepler. Just google her name and you'll find all the hate that's being directed at her. You know how that started? Someone made some fake comments from her and sprinkled in out-of-context quotes from interviews she did a long time ago. The hatedom is pretty much a self-sustaining meltdown now, fueled by ignorance and anger. Don't forget the misogyny, too. 'Straight male gamers' and all that, remember?
There's actually a movement called 'Retake Mass Effect'. HAHAHAHAHA. Can you say, entitlement? Even I admit that the ending was weak but this mass (heh) of gamers who feel like the game cheated them? You remember the last time you saw a movie and the ending disappointed you? When you heard that someone demanded a refund because they weren't satisfied, didn't you think that guy was being a dick? That's kinda what's happening here. In fact, there is one guy who was so disappointed by the ending that he filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission claiming 'false advertisement' of Mass Effect 3. And here I thought that the McDonald's coffee spill incident was the greatest example of our frivolously litigious society.

This reminds me of the way some people harass professional sports players after they lose a game. "How the hell did you miss that shot?! You let me down when I needed you!"
If this doesn't provoke an automatic bullshit reflex, you have let me down. In what way is that sports team beholden to you to win or lose? It's almost as if you believe they exist for the sake of your happiness.

In this respect, these angry gamers actually have a more legitimate claim than those angry sport fans. A video game does, in point of fact, exist for the gamers' enjoyment. They're within their right to feel some disappointment over what they deem an unsatisfactory ending. But to demand, not ask or petition, but demand a different ending? I have to say it: Who the fuck do you think you are?
On the other hand, I have to admit that I, too, would like to get a bit more closure on what happened here. (No spoilers, don't worry.)
What I don't feel is rage at Bioware, rage at Hepler, rage at homos (Gays? In my vidja game? It's more likely than you think.). I don't feel like I was tricked into playing a great game. lol Even most of the people who are disgruntled over the ending admit that the first 98% of the game was great. You know what all this really shows me, though? That this really IS something great. When something ends and people feel enough to say something about it. That's when you know that you had something special here. When something ends and you feel something, you know? Of course, I'm sure most of us wish we felt something pleasant, but hey.
Actually, LOST is a perfect example. It, too, has a large fanbase and some of those guys really hate how the series ended, while some people, myself included, really liked it.

You can't please everyone. This is a truth so old that Aesop wrote a fable about it.

Now, if that ending actually, in fact, pleased noone, then by all means, go forth and make a better one. BUT in spite of my lukewarm opinion of the ending, I feel absolutely no camaraderie with the red-faced haters who, as always, are the loudest dissenters.