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  • bowlisimo 6:03 pm on March 20, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: endings,   

    Full refunds? That’s insane.

    (no spoilers) I thought ME3 was excellent (seriously, it was awesome)… until the last 10 minutes, which I thought was mishandled and disappointing in several ways. The real travesty, in my mind, is the complete lack of closure. I don’t even care if it’s a total downer ending or super happy ending, but tell me where everyone ended up, what happened as a result of my actions? Just give me anything, like text with portraits. You spend so much time with these characters and in that universe, it doesn’t make any sense. God, Call of Pripyat had more closure than ME3 did. Hell, one of their own games with a similar premise, Dragon Age: Origins, had a better ending that worked.

    Note: I’m not going around and signing petitions, or joining “Take Back Mass Effect”, or asking for a refund. I can live with what they chose, it’s their story, but I agree with Jeff Gerstmann, Mass Effect deserved better.

    Curious to see what move Bioware makes next, since they say they’re listening. I’m not even sure how I feel about having the ending changed after the fact. What are they going to do, have a THE REAL ENDING DLC that I have to pay more money for? Closure DLC = $9.99. At that point, everything horrible about DLC and game narrative that @beige prophesied years ago will have come to pass. The 7th trumpet will sound, and lo, Pete will sit on his high horse handing out paper slips that say “I told you so!” as the world burns.

    Oh well.

  • bowlisimo 5:35 am on January 1, 2012 Permalink
    Tags: endings,   

    @feenwager It’s nice when games actually END. Here’s to more series wrapping up coherently in 2012.

  • zegolf 12:59 pm on November 5, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: endings   

    Great show gang (finally got around to listening to it. I’ve been busy!). I was a little disappointed that one of my favorite games featuring a “Spirit Bomb” didn’t get brought up, but I’m fairly certain I’m the only person in the entire world that has played Earthbound. Repeatedly. Still to this day.

    All in all, the show almost made me want to go buy a PS3 just to play the Uncharted games, because they sounded like the had some truly epic game endings.

  • ckim 5:14 am on October 28, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: endings   

    Hey Squad folks. I haven’t been terribly active here lately, largely because I have been dealing with personal issues and things of the sort. I have still been listening, however, and I figured it’s about time that I hopped back on the Squawkbox…

    Since we are discussing endings, I just want to throw the ending to Phantasy Star II out there, as it is not only one of the first lengthy games that I finished, but it is also one of the most bizarre (but gratifying/interesting) endings I have ever seen. There are spoilers here, obviously, but I don’t feel too bad about it for a game that came out 21 years ago. Here’s a youtube video of the ending for folks who haven’t seen it, but the really mindbending part comes in at 3:08 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e8PdQjPY9gA

    I also wanted to throw it out there that I am getting rid of a lot of games and other nerdy things, since I do this thing occasionally where I get depressed and buy games, even though I have a ton of stuff to play. At any rate, I’m not quite a hoarder, but I have a lot of stuff that needs to get out of my house. If anyone wants any of this, we can definitely work something out, and the prices are definitely negotiable, particularly for Squad folks. https://docs.google.com/document/edit?id=1s7eoPO8UScL3ZQWHGo9WaxZqyio4kCPILT0xwu8ZodE&hl=en&authkey=CMKzqI0F

  • RedSwirl 2:43 pm on October 27, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: endings,   

    Just started the podcast. Is it bad if I have to fast-forward to Super Street Fighter II to hit the first game I ever finished?

  • feenwager 2:32 pm on October 27, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: endings   

    I had meant to bring up BG&E on the show as well, just ran out of time.

    Ending a game with a cliffhanger is only ok if you have the means to complete the story eventually. We’ll see if that indeed happens when/if a sequel is ever released.

    My problem with that game was that the boss was super cheap.

  • Pete Davison 1:49 pm on October 27, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: endings,   

    @cptcarnage I feel as our resident The Sims expert I am best qualified to answer your question. 🙂

    The Sims ends whenever you want it to. This wasn’t necessarily the case in the first game, when it actually took a fair bit of effort to kill them. But since The Sims 2 the little guys and gals have grown up, aged and died naturally. So depending on how you’ve played, a game of The Sims 3 could be over after 90 days of in-game time if the character you were playing was a lifelong bachelor who chose not to extend their family. In fact, The Sims 3 has an interesting “Lifetime Wish” gameplay mechanic which makes for some interesting decision-making. Very often you have to decide between making your household/family a successful one or selfishly pursuing your lifetime wishes. You can say you’ve “beaten” The Sims 3 by fulfilling a character’s Lifetime Wish. Or with the expansion packs, you could “beat” it by exploring all the world locations fully, completing all the Achievement-like challenges, reaching the top of a career or whatever you like.

    Games like that are what you make of them. You can “win” at Civ. You can’t win at a typical sandbox strategy game like Sim City or The Sims because there is no “final goal” besides that which you set for yourself. That structure isn’t for everyone. But what it does do is potentially provide the game with limitless replayability.

  • cptcarnage 1:34 pm on October 27, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: endings   

    Excellent show as usual guys.

    Another game ending that is a bit of an oddity is Beyond Good & Evil, the game ends with a cliff hanger.

    What are your thoughts on games that do not have endings per say, The Sims for example.

  • unmanneddrone 11:40 am on October 27, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: Blacklight Tango Down, , endings   

    Great work on the podcast, gents! Nothing really to add, once again gloriously covering the topics like nobody’s business. I’ll only add that Homeworld remains the only game I’ve been truly satisfied with in terms of an ending only because the bond with my “people” was set early and incredibly well, with the journey against all odds coming to a dramatic close and an honest, endearing finale.

    Incredible that, of all the genres renowned for storytelling, an RTS has the competition beat in terms of saga evocation and a closing that is pristine, subtle, restrained and satisfying. Anyway, just one fool’s opinion! Onto other things.

    Care of the generous @poimandre I just played a number of rounds of the direct-download PSN multiplayer FPS Blacklight: Tango Down. It’s rough, but it’s ready. Incidentally, only a few days ago I played my first ever bit of Call of Duty, online at that…and it didn’t really gel with me at all. I do love the notion of the fierce, no-holds barred world of the competitive shooter – regardless of its stereotypical adolescent denizenry – but MW2 had a much more frenetic flow than I’m accustomed to. Anyway, having had an eye on Blacklight ever since it dropped on 360 and PC earlier in the year, it was great to see it tweaked and updated for the PSN release.

    It doesn’t really compare to what I’ve played of Modern Warfare, possibly more akin to a slightly arcade cyberpunk Counterstrike. Less spec-fiction than NeoTokyo, though. In any case, it’s a perfect example of what people either love or hate about the current bevy of shooters – not that the inundation theory REALLY stands up to scrutiny. Consistent positive feedback loop of unlocks going towards new weapons, equipment, custom parts and weapon tag buffs; you either like this kind of extraneous motivator or you think it creates a disconnect between motive, drive and outcome. Being fairly new to the idea, having cut teeth on Bad Company, it’s a nice touch – especially considering the mix and match nature of the gun customisation.

    The gameplay is frenetic, but controlled. I’ve only sunk time into team deathmatch, but there’s a roster of other game modes available and spread across, what, twelve maps? Fantastic addition to the Cheap Fu argument. Really enjoying it so far. Fifteen dollars on the NA PSN, I imagine the same goes for XBLA.

    I will say the techno-themed aesthetic is jovially dealt with here, dropping a minimap in favour of the “HRV” – a visor you activate that negates weapon usage but allows you to see through walls and structures to attain the location of team mates, points of interest and enemies. Despite sounding like a novelty, it really helps to channel players towards each other and eliminates camping to a large degree. Also, running with the cyberpunk/electronic warfare aspect, you can hurl electro-flashbang grenades that scramble your visuals, throw down the electronic interference version of a smoke grenade etc. which leaves a much cleaner taste in the mouth than some grunt splattering the walls with your brain. Thumbs up thus far.

    @angryjedi Neverwinter Nights, eh? Damn the timezones, but as a single player game…what’s the gist? You know my terrible flaws as a man in regards to fantasy…although, I’m easing back into the trope realm by way of Rise of the Argonauts. Last fantasy game I played was…Lord, Vampire: The Masquerade – Redemption.

    P.S. I miss our valiant leader @RocGaude 😦

  • Pete Davison 7:29 pm on October 26, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , endings,   

    SquadCast 2.6: Grand Finale Direct link … 

    SquadCast 2.6: Grand Finale

    Direct link

    Jeff, Mark and Pete get together to discuss the topic of game endings and finales. What makes a good ending? Can a bad ending ruin a good game? Plus the usual helpings of Hot and Horseshit.

    Music in this episode:

    Cardia II from Trauma Center New Blood
    Connected Hearts from Space Channel 5 Part 2
    Helicopter and Tank from Uncharted 2
    Genesis of Destruction from Final Fantasy IV, OCRemix version

    Subscribe via RSS
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    Wanna talk endings? Tag your posts “endings” and make sure to clearly mark any spoileriffic sections.

  • unmanneddrone 2:34 am on October 26, 2010 Permalink
    Tags: endings   

    @beige That’s such a tough one! Games by their very nature seem to be things engaged to win, to accumulate more than an opponent, or best a system or mechanic. Even on the flipside with something as simple as UNO (and we won’t mention the homegrown display of globally-streamed self-abuse the XBLA/PSN version has become!), the act of decreasing your currency count within the game is seen as an accumulation of sorts and remains rewarding.

    Of course, this is simply a question of mechanic. When it’s intertwined with narrative, it seems like a catch-22. You’ve a great justification to revel in failed quest, but then people feel cheated if it’s simply the end. Saving also seems to undermine truly negative or, at least in part, ambiguous endings within a greater branch of options. I guess nobody could say they play to fail, but if it’s the classic heroic fall, it surely is worth exploring more than Reach’s “this planet will fall” scenario – disclaimer: I’ve only read the book.

    The only games where I see failure being accepted are things involving horde modes, where it’s a Thermopylaean stand against an ever-increasing number of foes. Sadly, the failure to survive in the end isn’t as poignant as how long one held his or her ground – another reason it doesn’t seem applicable to a negative ending, despite the outcome.

    Joe Gamer doesn’t seem like he’s ready to accept failure just yet, and fair enough. If Uncharted 2 ended with Drake and his crew failing to stop Mr. War Criminal, we’d see that reflected in reviews – regardless of how well the downfall was told. My perennial favourites. Kane and Lynch, are immediately off on the wrong narrative and character foot with many people (disregarding mechanics and system shortfalls) because these fellows are already at the bottom, bulldozering their way towards a rather skewed objective that only gets innocent people killed. Reviewers always make note of how horribly unlikeable both protagonists are, and whether that stems a lot from their initial baulking at not playing “stereotype” heroes or easy-to-digest parodied criminality (Niko Bellic) remains to be seen, but I propose it plays a small part. Nothing ends well in Kane & Lynch or Dog Days, they never end up with more than they started with and it’s only by committing atrocious acts do they make out with their lives.

    The predicament of linearity ending in defeat is difficult, because Joe Gamer seems to have his gaming progression mirror accomplishment after accomplishment and to have it end in “defeat” – in whatever way – only makes Joe Gamer feel cheated of his experience, regardless of whatever he bested on the journey.

    The predicament of non-linearity ending in defeat undermines the idea that you are free to choose and control your progression and direction. If Joe Gamer spends an inordinate amount of time shaping his avatar and environment, having it come to naught is a massive blow.

    It’s the finesse and delicate touch of creating solace and satisfaction in negative endings that is the big issue. It shouldn’t be as imperceivable as it is, but hopefully more and more games experiment with things other than a flatline or an upward swing. I want horrific consequences and no escape clauses for my actions in non-linear experiences and irredeemable downfalls for my linear games.

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