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Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut

Dee Yun Dee Yun: (contact-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2012-08-03 03:14:00

Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut

The "Extended Cut" DLC for Mass Effect 3 is completely superfluous. It's utterly pointless. If morbid curiosity is gnawing unbearably at your psyche, don't bother playing through it. Just YouTube the endings.

The original ending attempted a pseudo-philosphical sci-fi dismount (a la 2001: A Space Odyssey), and miserably munched the landing. They abandoned the character-driven narrative fans loved, in favor of poorly executed vagueness. I admire the attempt, but it was abrupt and built on an insufficiently laid foundation.

Fanboys cried.

And so we have the "Extended Cut": a bit of fluff intended to sate this whinging. The funny thing is that it doesn't meaningfully address any of the complaints. It mostly consists of additional dialogue with the Space Baby to (unnecessarily) provide more context for the ending choices.

Then we see some of the crew members sing Kumbaya (they're alive woooo) before the assumption of the broken Normandy into magical space heaven (yay more adventures!). Not only is this pointless, it betrays the game's theme of profound universal transformation, for the sake of delivering status quo to gamers who buckle at the notion of anything they can't control by minmaxing buttons and sliders. We've all become too drunk on video games as empowerment fantasies.

Now that I have THAT out of my system, I wanted to reply to an email. An excerpt follows:

"What I'm saying is, I felt attacked when you went on about 'our sense of entitlement.' I know you were specifically talking about the group Retake Mass Effect, but while I don't have the same opinion about the galaxy being destroyed or about how we earned it by paying for it, I do feel a certain...emptiness from not knowing what happened to the crew. Even if they died, I wanna know. I want to see when some of the people you know died, such as when you lost Aria, Chief Baily, and the councilors in the Citadel when it was lost. You don't even get a hint at their death, but you know they are, just like everyone else in the Citadel. It's small things like that. It's not that I want a different ending, I just want some closure, even if it is bad."

In my defense, I *am* an ass. I employ this forum to rail acerbically and condescendingly against what I perceive as idiocy or moral deficiency. I do endeavor to make it clear that I, like every other member of the human race, am also a morally deficient idiot. (There are layers to this; like when I hung my head in shame at being more morally deficient than these Retake Mass Effect idiots.) This soapbox also spirals away from me on occasion, as I indulge in satire and/or hyperbole for entertainment's sake. This all combines into a rather cathartic persona to blog.

However, I did not intend any of my rants to be a personal attack on you, Jeremy, and I thank you for your patient and heartfelt email. You have any number of valid points. I just want to clarify that I agree the original (and now this useless DLC) ending was terrible, and I feel much the same way you do. It's just that I abhor the idea that outraged fanboys felt entitled to a "proper ending" and successfully strong-armed BioWare into relinquishing authorship of their creation. For the entry fee of $60 (okay, $60 times three games and untold hours), any purchaser has the right to complain as vociferously as they please. But demanding a "fixed ending" along with a list of bullet-pointed criteria? That's significantly more disgusting to my sensibilities than BioWare's fumbled storytelling.

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