Saturday, 24 November 2012

A writer's reaction to ME3: Absolute Hilarity Edition.

Apparently, this fellow is a writer, and I couldn't help but respond to his post.

I'm hoping this is all satire and I'm totally missing the joke.  (This is a fellow who seems to enjoy The Star Wars prequels and dislike Skyfall.)

There have been a number of odd reactions to the ending of ME3, because it's absolute rubbish.  But I've yet to hear even one, sensible, intelligible, positive one, without having the individual profess some self-interpreted subjective rambling about ...well, incomprehensible schtick, really.  Are people just dumb?

After reading "In Defense of Bioware" by OsirisLord Games, Art, and the Art of Game Design" that youtube poster EmperorOfLols made, I couldn't believe it could get worse; but to a writer?  A person who studies and makes fiction?

Will the wonders of ME3 never cease?

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

ME3: Extended Cut Analysis Part 3

Once again, I've trudged through the musings of insanity.  Special thanks to the various youtubers for raising legitimate questions I otherwise would've looked over.

It took longer than usual; not because it was an almost 40 minute video, but because of how depressing and painful it was to go through, as before with BoD.  I could've added more jokes, referenced the ME games with clips, taken more time, but I just wanted it to be over with.

Generally, I love analyzing things, critiquing them.  This started in college, where colleagues and myself would look at our own work, fiction, code, or otherwise.  There was a good sense of satisfaction and a feeling of helpfulness, when you can not only point out a problem, but recommend a solution.  Our stories would get published, our code would work more efficiently, hostilities would increase: things were fun.  We'd play Three Corridors -- a custom Reign of Chaos map on Warcraft III, a precursor to Defense of the Ancients fame -- late into the evening.  (I'm a bit of an elitist MOBA player, having played with Eul, and hosted about 2 years worth of RoC DOTA/Doomsday Stand games with custom banlist, back in the day.)

The ME series?  It's bad.  Illogical.  Incomprehensible.  Drawn out ramblings amidst a protagonist who shouldn't even be there, yet is.  And is no longer the character they were.

Writers, whatever you do: don't create "Question Explosions."  When every sentence uttered or behavior taken by a character, whose scope is the galaxy, whose timeline is billions of years, and is supposedly the most intelligent being to have ever existed, please have a way to subvert all that in a simple, intelligent way; else you're on a sinking ship to nonsensical rambling and lore destruction.

Despite my Bookends of Destruction series, I feel like I was looking at the ending yesterday.  It is still the worst thing my brain has touched.  So bad, had I forgotten most of the nonsense?  Luckily, my regiment of Baldur's Gate 2, and recently Icewind Dale, (and LoL for fun), has kept my otherwise painful month of critique in a high spirited gaming experience.

I suddenly remember I haven't touched Peace Walker in months...

Monday, 8 October 2012

ME3: Extended Cut Part 2

Here we look at the joys of apparently the most dramatic scene(s) in the Extended Cut, the goodbye to our most talked-up squadmate.  And the other one...who leaves with them, too, for some reason...?

It might've been somewhat dramatic if the entire scene wasn't completely contrived, impossible, and actually made some modicum of sense.  Like, some suspense, from the massive building shooting everything that moves?  Like large objects, like the Normandy?  It would help if Harbinger didn't turn into a massive statue, either.  But then, this scene wouldn't be possible.

Which makes the whole scene absolutely ridiculous. All for getting characters off the stage.

This is the equivalent of filling in one plot hole, by filling it in with the shit from several others.

In regards to my Project Eternity's Kickstarter contribution, all that money came from you, via Google Adsense.  My latest check from Google ended up being $243.69.  Hate or love my youtube vids, every view adds up, so thank you all for watching my ramblings.  One thing we can agree on is good storytelling in gaming, which has always come from the Interplay/Black Isle folk.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Project Eternity

A fellow youtube commenter suggested I check out Project Eternity, a Kickstarter project by Obsidian.

I finally had time out of my day to make a contribution: $250.

I'm not saying you all should contribute.  I'm still skeptical how this will pay off, 2 years later.

But looking at that image set my mind nuts:

-The Fallout series.  My most favorite PC RPG of all time, Fallout 2.  The ever so brilliant jump to 3D, and then New Vegas.
-KOTOR 2.  One of the greatest female lead roles and supporting roles in a video game ever.  To hell with lip synch and a rushed ending: these characters are real.
-Alpha Protocol.  A tense spy thriller with brilliant dialog and choices that actually mean something.

Planescape: Torment.
THE Planescape: Torment.

Infinity Engine or new technology be damned:

You give money to Obsidian.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

ME3: Extended Cut Part 1

Finally getting around to this thing.

There's not much new content to look at, but the new stuff they did put in barely answered a handful of questions, and did so by digging themselves deeper.

Writers Note: One does not fill in a plot hole by creating multiple plot holes.

No idea what these people are doing.  Or, why they're doing it.  If they're going to make any worthwhile single player DLC, it best be after the ending.  (Yes, I've seen Leviathan videos.  My goodness.  It's like everything they do in the Mass Effect series subverts everything else that's come before.  It's sounding like some tacky murder mystery having multiple plot reveals introducing new motives every 10 minutes, and by virtue of the last page having the last reveal, that's how it all works.)

I'm beginning to think having continuity in video games is just a bad, difficult idea.  At least in Bioware's hands.  Hopefully the next Mass Effect anything is a reboot, or a re-envisioning, where they don't try and have a codex, and just be as stupid and random as they like.  We won't have to try and take them seriously; they'll just be another generic company making a sequel.  They're just some hack writers making some action game with talking Dr. Ekman heads.  At least the lip-synch is non-glitchy.

'cause right now, the only fun I'm having is laughing at the giant mess it's become.  That's not right.

Friday, 24 August 2012

ME3: The Top 20 Questionable Things Part 3

I'm finally done with all the collective ramblings and questions that are ME3.

Yes, I will get around to doing an analysis of Bioware's Extended Cut, but it's really, really painful.  No, I will not do a plot analysis of all of ME3.

I had to spend a few weeks just playing Baldur's Gate 2: Shadow of Amn/Throne of Baal.  It reminded me of what made Bioware great.  Storytelling.  Characters.  Interaction.  Impromptu conversations.  Completely optional plot lines and levels to explore.  Branching paths and ideas that games like Witcher 2 have embraced and pushed forward.  If a game is to be interactive, and grant the player choice to explore one path and not another, so should the story follow.

Anyway, it seems there are some Indoctrination Theory people in the comments who just can't let go of their own delusions, clinging as hard as they can to an interpretive scenario because "complete nonsense must be an interactive mind control dream."

ANYTHING makes more sense than the ending of ME3.  Because the ending of ME3 is the worst piece of writing in the history of video games, because -- for one of many reasons -- it's ME'3'.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

ME3: The Top 20 Questionable Things Part 2

Things that just keep me going "gar?"

I had a lot more to say, as usual, but I have a habit of rambling on, and had to cut this into 3 parts.  Symptomatic of the creator's dilemma, or the "editor's itch", I always want to go back and redo parts.  I have too many questions: why would the people that looked after Falere allow her to leave anytime?  Why couldn't Shepard have the option of saving Samara, and killing Falere?  Does The Code deal specifically with Ardat Yakshi's?  (If so, isn't that the perfect fit for an Ardat Yakshi mom?  But then, why would they not have rules against love?)  Why "should" Justicars visit monasteries filled with Ardat Yakshi's?  How could Sylvia Feketekuty give us Lair of the Shadow Broker, and the most meaningful, sentimental scene of the series -- Liara's Vigil -- yet give us...everything ME3 Samara?  (And apparently, the Geth Con-Tron-census rubbish?)  And why the hell can't any human biotic, Kaidan and Shepard especially, not figure out how to decrease their own mass, to "feather fall" like Samara and Falere do, when they're launching other people at various velocities and angles?

My job (I'm Canadian) has a weekly routine of getting everyone blitzed at work, but we make sure it doesn't impact our performance.  What is going on at Bioware?  When is ME: Deception ever going to get fixed and re-published?

Oh well.  Another month, another broken dream in ME3.

In other news, Google Adsense paid off, literally.  $102.60 CAD.  Don't ask me how that works.  One day it was at $6.49, and the next Google wants to hand me a triple digit.  So, thank you guys for checking out my vids, and putting up with those annoying advertisements.

I think I'll go get my guys at work hammered tomorrow.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Yes, yes, ME3's Extended Cut.

Quite a few want me to do an analysis of the EC.  I'm sure I'll get to it.  But believe me, there are way more interesting things than having to sludge through more Bioware-anything these days.

Upon learning you can "reject" the Starchild's illogical, insane ramblings via casual gunshot to his hologram (?), I was suddenly reminded of this wonderful deviantart post about one fan's interpretation of how the conversation with the Starchild should have gone.

The fellow isn't some grand writer or master storyteller, but his Refusal ending is not only leagues ahead of what was given -- twice over I remind you -- it was simple.  It made sense.  Shepard is in character.  This is the problem no one understands about the writing team in the last 10 minutes; it's so painfully obvious on how to fix this thing without changing anything, and simply letting Shepard be Shepard (and not the static brick who goes wherever the plot takes him, or tells him to go.)

And that's all that the story demanded.  A Shepard to acknowledge the insanity.  To go "WTF?" to the complete insanity of the ending.  A Shepard that didn't betray himself, the audience or the galaxy.  Where he doesn't become a genocidal dictator, or become the enemy who will eventually succumb to absolute power, and most especially, doesn't jump into a giant glowing pile of nonsensical magical-flowing-shit to somehow infinite-energy-massless-explosion-nano-virus-gene-therapy every living cell in existence.  He's just a soldier doing the impossible, and these days, it seems that involves rejecting all the shit Bioware's now apparently peer-reviewed "fixed" ending gave.  (I can guarantee no one reviewed anything with so much as a care for logic or reason.)

Bioware had the opportunity to fix things.  Instead, they doubled down.  An expansion could have wiped the shit clean where it ended and then added with logic, reason, real drama, and resolution, through Shepard's rejection of it.  Like how he rejected Saren, TIM, Harbinger?

But boy, do I love the dichotomy this has brought to fans.  You can easily tell the brain dead, tasteless folk from the ones who are even more angry.  Little do the "emotionally satisfying" crowds not understand that in order to have emotion, you need thought.  Drama exists in several ways, but there has to be a number of things for it to work; cherry picking the narrative -- and turning off parts of your brain -- is obviously not effective storytelling.  Fans are looking for something to justify their attachment to this series, and now that the Indoctrination Theory is finally over with, they have to rationalize their passions without making themselves feel like idiots, by wearing their blinder-bias as a shield.  Instead, they really should be blaming the creators and their lies, lack of creativity, inane logic, and overall piss-poor work.

Face it: we're all idiots.  We've been had.  We've been lied to.  And we're still wasting our time on this bunk.  And it's not just the ending that's the problem.  It's the fans fueling this cacophony of rubbish; with this addition, you can't even call it mediocre anymore.

It was intentionally made by hacks.

Saturday, 30 June 2012

Since a lot of people were asking for a site to talk and post their comments beyond the youtube comment limit, I thought I'd open up a blog.  I'd like to think of "The Second Slice" as something to have while discussing art and science in a happy, social setting, similar in sentiment to ordering an piece of cake, pizza, or pie at a diner. (And most definitely not an additional razor blade cut in ones arm when trying to explain oneself to others.)

Hey, I'm Stefan Di Iorio, AKA smudboy from youtube.

I first started making youtube videos of the Mass Effect series primarily due to the uselessness of explaining things to people online.  Discovering that having forum arguments was equal to banging ones head against the wall, I sought other avenues.  In my videos, I try to be as impartial and objective as possible, and have very little tolerance for other peoples subjective inferences.

In my latest vid, I randomly look at the Top 20 (starting with the first 10) questionable things of ME3.

I enjoyed ME3 for what it was worth: it had a plot, it had characters and tried to do too much too quickly: but it was a fun, and memorable game.  The ending will go down in history as the largest illogical balderdash of ineptitude I've ever seen, and the most destructive.  The Extended Cut merely added to the kerfuffle: those who enjoyed it were only seeking drama, and those who saw it for what it was -- a continued waste of everyone's time, another series of lies, and ineptitude on behalf of the creators -- were even more disappointed; if that was even possible.

Will I do a vid on it?  If I have the time.  I think I'm recuperating from ME3 in general, and getting it out of my system.  Right now I'm enjoying iced tea, Häagen-Dazs ice cream bars, air conditioning, the conclusion to Euro 2012, and the long, Canadian weekend.

Sunday, 27 May 2012