Non-Flash Links At Bottom Of Page

Malik (3/27/12)

I am sick. I started to get sick on Sunday night, but it was only yesterday that I really felt the full brunt of something (probably a cold) trying to make my life miserable. I feel sad about this. Yes, I don't like to get sick ever, but I wish it would have hit one night later. Either that, or I wish I finished Mass Effect 3 on Sunday instead of last night.

Weird request, right? Maybe, you're thinking, Malik wishes he would have finished ME3 without a sick feeling so he could have enjoyed the end of the game better. Maybe, you could be thinking, playing an action packed ending while sick made the game harder than it should have been. If you think either of these, then you are wrong.

A lot has been said on the internet about how ME3 has a bad ending. I knew that going in. I have seen some bad endings. A lot of bad endings. I've seen games end with just one screen of text that starts with "CONGRATURATION!" I've seen endings that destroy the mood by having Fei and Elly dance through the sky, naked, while wishing a fond farewell to their nemesis (damn you, Xenogears ending!). I've seen the list of Animal House like one line summaries...for 108 characters (Suikoden 1-5). I've seen a nu chasing a frog through scrolling credits (true, that's only one of a dozen endings for Chrono Trigger). I've seen bad in so many forms. It doesn't phase me anymore to hear a game ends poorly. I mean as long as it is all wrapped up in some way, then it's all fine if the game offered me fun. I can write off a bad ending pretty easily if the game was solid.

That being said, the end of ME3 actually ruined how I feel about the game. I mean this was just a flat-out horrible ending. I would rather have seen "CONGRATURATION!" than this crap. I would rather have had the power fail in my house before the end began than have seen and played through this. I would rather...I would rather have never played ME2 and realized that I can enjoy this series...then I never would have played ME3. It would have ended with the first Mass Effect, which left me not wanting more. I definitely would have preferred beating the game on Sunday so, when I started to feel sick, I would honestly believe that the ending was so bad that it caused me physical harm and illness. I really think the ending had something to do with how I feel, because something this bad cannot be healthy for you.

By the way, if you are the type who thinks the ending to Neon Genesis Evangelion (the TV ending and not the movie ending) was bad, then the end of ME3 may make you think that was a pretty good ending in a vicarious way.

Without any real spoilers, I'll just cover a few of the most obvious problems in the ending in a nice brief format.

No closure is given for any of the plot elements you have come to know and be invested in. What happened to your crew? Did they survive? Is the galaxy ready to rebuild? Who knows.

Deus Ex Machina is not something that should be found in any game (unless it's a classic god game, since that's kind of the name of the game). The way ME3 ended, just felt like Bioware really didn't know how to end they just said, "let's have a magical space child and have the reapers fly away. The end!" Yes, a magical space child (who comes from the most tedious part of the normal game...if you've played, you know the damned kid all too well) who just explains everything that doesn't matter in the most annoying way possible. All that right before the reapers just fly away home.

The game basically says what the final outcome will be for the final 30 minutes as you listen to each NPC tell you a farewell.  Really?  Do I need the game to basically announce, repeatedly, breaking the fourth wall, how the series is ending and in what general way it will end?  Can you wait until the actual ending and just let it play out?  I guess not when the actually ending is this bad.

(Medium spoiler on this one...skip to the next if you need to) No room for closure is given. It's one thing to have no real closure, but Bioware didn't even leave room for it when they decided to destroy the relays. I mean the ending, considering relays are needed to travel the galaxy, is with a bunch of alien soldiers trapped on Earth and never able to get back home (unless they travel for hundreds or thousands of years). I guess maybe some Asari will be able to see home again since they live long lives.

The game offers some choices that are pretty much not even choices. It's like saying "pick a hand" while I hold two closed fists in front of you. You pick one, and instead of me opening my hand to show you what you got, I punch you with that hand. Then you decide to ask what's in the other hand...and I punch you again. Different choice, same exact choice in the end.

Lastly, you work hand building up a giant fleet of allies during the game. Why? In the end it felt like having a large force didn't prevent a bad ending. I mean ME2 goes through some major changes if you try for the good ending. ME3 just feels like the only ending offered is bad. Really bad.

Being sick, it's hard to form coherent thoughts. It's also hard to play anything with any action to it (drugs to battle being sick give me the reaction speed of mud). So, while I wait to recover, I'll be stuck with a final thought; the last game I played before feeling this bad was ME3. I'm now stuck with memories of ME3 for a couple of days, with no escape. Congraturations to me.


UPDATE: After dwelling on the ending of ME3, I spent some time just surfing the web for what other people thought in full (I can now stop worrying about spoilers).  I found one blog that seemed to strike most of the correct points as to why I felt so let down.  Well, I should say I found a blog that explains the problems on a literary scale...and that covers a good deal of what actually broke the ending.  At least what broke the ending initially.  The ending has some other continuity issues, but nothing can work well if the literary structure goes to crap.

For Those Who Don't Have Flash Plug-Ins...

Rested XP    News    Reviews    Videos    Features    Forums    Archives    Search This Site    Links    Contact Us    Disclaimer

Non-Flash Links At Bottom Of Page