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(PC Magazine)   The Gamers' Bill of Rights, to be adopted shortly after Half-Life 3 is released   (pcmag.com) divider line 267
    More: Interesting, bill of rights, SimCity, copy protection, game publisher, fundamental structure, Square Enix  
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5592 clicks; posted to Geek » on 12 Mar 2013 at 10:24 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-12 10:26:13 AM
You have the right not to buy it.
 
2013-03-12 10:27:28 AM
We'll get there eventually. Companies will learn. Hopefully not before the death of too many (more) well loved franchises and studios.
 
2013-03-12 10:30:21 AM
Wait, so does that officially mean HL2 Ep 3 is dead and the next entry will be a full fledged game?
 
2013-03-12 10:31:14 AM

JonZoidberg: You have the right not to buy it.


Sure, but it's nice to give companies and enumerable list of  why they are losing money on a product, and give gamers a guide for where to spend their money. Hopefully we can fight the cycle of "My DRM-laden game is losing money and no ones buying the DLC. It must be the pirates! Next time better add more DRM and move the important parts of the game to DLC just to be sure!"
 
2013-03-12 10:34:20 AM

jonny_q: JonZoidberg: You have the right not to buy it.

Sure, but it's nice to give companies and enumerable list of  why they are losing money on a product, and give gamers a guide for where to spend their money. Hopefully we can fight the cycle of "My DRM-laden game is losing money and no ones buying the DLC. It must be the pirates! Next time better add more DRM and move the important parts of the game to DLC just to be sure!"


I totally agree with you. The people that frustrate me the most are the ones who rage against the DRM but buy it anyway because "it's SimCity. I gotta play it."

After the epic farkup of Mass Effect 3, EA and I are done.  I just hope they don't buy up all my favorite franchises.
 
2013-03-12 10:34:24 AM

JonZoidberg: You have the right not to buy it.


Software can have 57 pages of text stipulating limitations of its use, completely unreadable to anyone who isn't a lawyer. Why can't consumer have ten bullet points that ensure their protection?
 
2013-03-12 10:37:07 AM
Wait until after it comes out. Read some reviews. If you're going to play it for a few weeks, you can wait a few weeks to find out if it is work playing.
 
2013-03-12 10:40:19 AM
The term bill of rights here is so mind bogglingly stupid that it almost buries the actual point:

These are an attempt at contract terms.

As such, i would say, sure let gamers as a group figure out the contract terms they would like applied as a baseline and go forward from there.  Given that contracting in EULA's is very one sided, i see no problem with voicing the terms that the second party would like to see included.

Of course, as this is dickering over terms, one should expect that if this proposed language is adopted, the cost of games will skyrocket.  Think of it this way, at present games cost ~60 and the contracting power of the consumer is approximately 0.  When the contracting power of a party goes up, you can generally expect the cost of the goods being argued over to go up.  In effect you are buying the game AND the terms you have requested.  It is Contracts 101.

Specifically (FTA):

II. Gamers shall retain the ability to use any software they purchase in perpetuity unless the license specifically and explicitly determines a finite length of time for use.


V. No company shall limit the number of instances a customer may install and use software on any compatible hardware they own.

VIII. All gamers have the right to a full refund if the software they purchased is unsatisfactory due to hardware requirements, connectivity requirements, feature set, or general quality.


would end up being very, very expensive.


as a side note,

   IX. No paid downloadable content shall be required to experience a game's story to completion of the narrative presented by the game itself.
    X. No paid downloadable content shall affect multiplayer balance unless equivalent options are available to gamers who purchased only the game.


are so mindblowingly subjective as to be totally unenforceable and would be laughed out by any experienced negotiator.
 
2013-03-12 10:41:17 AM

JonZoidberg: You have the right not to buy it.


And as discussed in many threads and many ways: This.
 
2013-03-12 10:43:03 AM
I'm usually the first to make fun of dramatic gamers, but I think at this point the gaming industry is a genuine American cultural component. We should make games better the same as everything else produced in the United States, and protect the industry's contribution to our national productivity. One way to do this is to enforce quality standards on the industry. We should also take a look at offshoring and worker's rights in the game business. I have the feeling that it needs some sunlight shined on the internal goings-on.

Poor performance at this level in an industry so important to our national identity should be looked at closely, to prevent it from happening again. I suspect corruption and poor manufacturing discipline.
 
2013-03-12 10:46:19 AM
Dont buy games from bad publishers == bad publishers go out of business == talent moves to good publishers == good publishers make good games.
 
2013-03-12 10:46:24 AM

JonZoidberg: You have the right not to buy it.


And marketing "experts" have the right to wildly misinterpret consumer intentions when they do vote with their wallets.

Not that I think a GBoR is an effective way to get the message out, but marketers can be so thick that they wouldn't be able to figure out what consumers want if you stenciled it to a sledgehammer before crushing their ribs with it.
 
2013-03-12 10:48:00 AM

fluffy2097: Dont buy games from bad publishers == bad publishers go out of business == talent moves to good publishers == good publishers make good games.


That plan sounds good on paper, but all I can think of is how it's probably only a matter of time before we see 50 Shades of Grey:  The Video Game
 
2013-03-12 10:51:10 AM

dragonchild: And marketing "experts" have the right to wildly misinterpret consumer intentions when they do vote with their wallets.

Not that I think a GBoR is an effective way to get the message out, but marketers can be so thick that they wouldn't be able to figure out what consumers want if you stenciled it to a sledgehammer before crushing their ribs with it.


dragonchild: That plan sounds good on paper, but all I can think of is how it's probably only a matter of time before we see 50 Shades of Grey: The Video Game


See this sounds like you are not mad at game companies, or their marketing departments, but idiotic and tasteless gamers who will buy crap.

What you want is the hipster bill of rights:

I have the right to kill people who like things i think are dumb

/note this is not invective nor insult - because man i really want this right sometimes.
 
2013-03-12 10:52:13 AM
...gamers can't forget that they are paying customers of publishers and retailers, and have the same rights any other customers do when they're dissatisfied with a game.

Rights? You have no rights. That software sucks? Tough shiat, you can exchange for the same exact title, but nothing else, and the only way to find out if a game sucks is to shell out $60 for it. It's the reason I've never felt qualms about pirating games. Maybe 5% of the games I've ever played were worth $60. Another 20% were worth  $20. The rest are barely worth my time.
 
2013-03-12 10:54:28 AM

JonZoidberg: You have the right not to buy it.


Just like you have the right not to bu a lemon from the car dealership, or a faulty microwave oven from Home Depot. The difference is that with the microwave and the car, you, as a consumer, are protected. With video games, there is no such thing as "protection".
 
2013-03-12 10:55:37 AM

Mikey1969: the only way to find out if a game sucks is to shell out $60 for it


It's true - its not as if there was this repository of information, wherein people can find out if a thing is crap before they buy it.

We should make one - some sort of electronic information network, between computers.  An "inter" net, if you would.
 
2013-03-12 10:56:42 AM

dragonchild: fluffy2097: Dont buy games from bad publishers == bad publishers go out of business == talent moves to good publishers == good publishers make good games.

That plan sounds good on paper, but all I can think of is how it's probably only a matter of time before we see 50 Shades of Grey:  The Video Game


Fifty Shades of Grey: the Video Game; is that multiplayer?
 
2013-03-12 10:57:24 AM

fluffy2097: Dont buy games from bad publishers == bad publishers go out of business == talent moves to good publishers == good publishers make good games.


Part of the problem - same as early adopters in all other kinds of tech - is that you largely don't know what you're buying until it's installed/running. Sure, you can read every review under the sun, and only buy games of the type you like (RPG, FPS, etc), but I was supposed to like DmC, and instead hated it.

You can return a book to a bookstore. You can sometimes return CDs (mostly you get store credit). You can do jack and shiat with a bad game you bought, unless you want to sell it to GameStop (for 25% of what you could get from a person) or try your luck with Craiglist/Half/Ebay. I like the idea of consumers banding together (even if it only really represents the core of "gamer-dom" and what it wants) to speak in a single voice to the publishers.

I also know several game designers. All of them are hardcore gamers, and I'm willing to bet large piles of money I don't yet have that many/most of these decisions are made early on and/or by non-techie types (marketers, money-grubbers and lawyers) - you get locked into a bad decision that was made by someone with little understanding of how things work.

A good rule of thumb is: the people designing your product should be regular users of it. If your marketing team and businessdouches aren't gamers, your product will likely break one or more of the very simple rules (like "Don't use always-on DRM." What, D3 wasn't enough of a warning tale?) and piss us off in very predictable ways.
 
2013-03-12 10:57:43 AM

Mikey1969: Just like you have the right not to bu a lemon from the car dealership, or a faulty microwave oven from Home Depot.


The laws of warranty and products liability apply here too.  In fact, in the case of Sim City, it is possible that a suit could be made under such laws, as the products was not operable as promised.   This would of course hinge on the actual license terms and each state's law on contracts and enforceability.
 
2013-03-12 10:58:06 AM
On a slightly related note, anyone know how to keep those farking popups from showing up, like on this site? Someone said AdBlock plus, and 'Block Element', but that only lets me block ndividual parts of the popup, not the whole thing...
 
2013-03-12 10:59:18 AM

narkor: Wait until after it comes out. Read some reviews. If you're going to play it for a few weeks, you can wait a few weeks to find out if it is work playing.


Exactly, only I waited on Diablo 3 b/c I planned on playing it for years. And at their current patch rate, it'll take years to fix Jay Wilson's idiocy.
 
2013-03-12 10:59:40 AM

Dr Dreidel: early adopters


I think I have spotted your problem.

Personally i tend to buy games a bit of a ways out, so i know if it is a stinker.  But occasionally i have bought something that was not to my taste.  But the benefit of waiting a bit is I rarely paid full price to find this out.
 
2013-03-12 10:59:52 AM

Bloody William: JonZoidberg: You have the right not to buy it.

Software can have 57 pages of text stipulating limitations of its use, completely unreadable to anyone who isn't a lawyer. Why can't consumer have ten bullet points that ensure their protection?


Because it's only so much hot air.  Making these lists of "gamer rights" does nothing productive other than get page clicks from morons who will shout "yeah, that's right!" at their monitors then run right out and buy the latest bit of big budget DRM laden crapware.  The ONLY power gamers have is their money, we aren't sitting around a table detailing to the company how their EULA will read and DRM will perform before we allow them to sell their game.  As long as games with always online requirements sell like hotcakes, companies are going to keep doing exactly what they've been doing.  Sure, they may need to occasionally throw out a few mea culpas on launch weeks when servers explode, but if you think the people making the calls at these companies give a fark about that when they are raking int he profits you are seriously mistaken.

The only way to stop this is to have games with draconian DRM and obtuse EULAs fail spectacularly to sell.  Unfortunately, that requires people to give a shiat and be willing to not mindlessly buy the next AAA titles that comes along, not something I hold out much hope for.
 
2013-03-12 11:00:13 AM

Teiritzamna: Mikey1969: the only way to find out if a game sucks is to shell out $60 for it

It's true - its not as if there was this repository of information, wherein people can find out if a thing is crap before they buy it.

We should make one - some sort of electronic information network, between computers.  An "inter" net, if you would.


I've never Meta Critic I didn't like.
 
2013-03-12 11:00:19 AM

Trocadero: Exactly, only I waited on Diablo 3 b/c I planned on playing it for years.


Too bad it was only worth playing for a few hours.
 
2013-03-12 11:00:55 AM

JonZoidberg: You have the right not to buy it.


I'd like the right to return it.

/I'm looking at you, Flatout 3.
 
2013-03-12 11:02:00 AM

JonZoidberg: After the epic farkup of Mass Effect 3


really?  the last 5 minutes of one ending altered an entire studio's effort over 3 great games.  come the fark on and get over yourself.
 
2013-03-12 11:02:12 AM

Teiritzamna: The laws of warranty and products liability apply here too.


Actually, they really don't. Consumer protections don't extend nearly as far to software purchases and the endless EULAs have, at least on paper and many times untested, explicitly cut out customers' abilities to seek recourse outside of a company's own phone system.
 
2013-03-12 11:03:43 AM

Mikey1969: JonZoidberg: You have the right not to buy it.

Just like you have the right not to bu a lemon from the car dealership, or a faulty microwave oven from Home Depot. The difference is that with the microwave and the car, you, as a consumer, are protected. With video games, there is no such thing as "protection".


You don't have to buy all your games in cash, you know. Buy with a credit card. If the game is faulty, return it. If the store refuses to give you a refund, then call your credit card company and tell them to stop payment.
Or heck, use cash, and then file a complaint with the consumer protection dept. of your state attorney general.
Point is, just because you refuse to avail yourself of protection doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
 
2013-03-12 11:04:26 AM

taliesinwi: Wait, so does that officially mean HL2 Ep 3 is dead and the next entry will be a full fledged game?


No one officially knows, but pretty much everyone assumes that the next entry into Half-life will be a full length game running on Valve's next engine.
 
2013-03-12 11:04:31 AM

Mikey1969: ...gamers can't forget that they are paying customers of publishers and retailers, and have the same rights any other customers do when they're dissatisfied with a game.

Rights? You have no rights. That software sucks? Tough shiat, you can exchange for the same exact title, but nothing else, and the only way to find out if a game sucks is to shell out $60 for it. It's the reason I've never felt qualms about pirating games. Maybe 5% of the games I've ever played were worth $60. Another 20% were worth  $20. The rest are barely worth my time.


Most games I buy are worth the sticker price or more. I figure if I get a hour's worth of entertainment per dollar spent out of a game it was worth the price.  For instance, the last two games I've bought, Saint's Row The Third (for $7.49) and Borderlands 2 ($30 + $30 for the DLC Season Pass) easily exceeded that figure.  Considering that a movie ticket is $7-10 and lasts two hours, anything above a dollar per hour is a great return.

It does suck if a game does not function on your system there's no pracical way of getting a refund.  However, expecting to get a refund merely because a game sucks I don't think is realisistic.  That's what review websites are for, in any case; don't buy games with low Metacritic scores.
 
2013-03-12 11:04:33 AM

Bloody William: Actually, they really don't. Consumer protections don't extend nearly as far to software purchases and the endless EULAs have, at least on paper and many times untested, explicitly cut out customers' abilities to seek recourse outside of a company's own phone system.


Well if you note, I go on to state that it would depend on the EULA and the jurisdiction's law on contracts of adhesion. The same law applies, its just that when people spend money on a car the costs are such that courts are much less likely to view one sided contracts with such a relaxed eye.
 
2013-03-12 11:04:38 AM
also, am i the first to say that HL3 woefully won't come out for another decade.

/hl2e2 saddest ending ever
 
2013-03-12 11:05:55 AM
I guess I'm just never buying another EA game. I look at my Origin library and see pretty much nothing but crap. Even the 'good' games they've produced lately haven't been all that good.
 
2013-03-12 11:05:56 AM

Teiritzamna: Dr Dreidel: early adopters

I think I have spotted your problem.

Personally i tend to buy games a bit of a ways out, so i know if it is a stinker.  But occasionally i have bought something that was not to my taste.  But the benefit of waiting a bit is I rarely paid full price to find this out.


^This^ is the winning strategy. Additionally, if you wait, most of the release day game crippling bugs will have been patched by then, saving hours of frustration.
 
2013-03-12 11:06:13 AM

Bloody William: Teiritzamna: The laws of warranty and products liability apply here too.

Actually, they really don't. Consumer protections don't extend nearly as far to software purchases...


That depends. If the issue is with the good - disc doesn't work, etc. - then they do. If it's with a service - servers are down - then that's a different set of laws.

... and the endless EULAs have, at least on paper and many times untested, explicitly cut out customers' abilities to seek recourse outside of a company's own phone system.

Important point. When they have been tested, they tend to fail.

Plus, there's still the credit card route. Let the game company spend hundreds of dollars chasing you after your bank cancels the payment, rather than you spending hundreds of dollars chasing them for a refund.
 
2013-03-12 11:08:50 AM

Theaetetus: Important point. When they have been tested, they tend to fail.


Except in the 7th and 8th circuit courts. This is untested legal stuff based on technical issues that generally are utterly misunderstood by the people who handle legal stuff. Combine that with the resources of major publishers and you have a very uphill battle to get any sort of satisfaction or protection.

Theaetetus: Plus, there's still the credit card route. Let the game company spend hundreds of dollars chasing you after your bank cancels the payment, rather than you spending hundreds of dollars chasing them for a refund.


Which has led to EA threatening people with banning their accounts, and thus all EA games they purchased.
 
2013-03-12 11:08:53 AM

Teiritzamna: II. Gamers shall retain the ability to use any software they purchase in perpetuity unless the license specifically and explicitly determines a finite length of time for use.


V. No company shall limit the number of instances a customer may install and use software on any compatible hardware they own.

VIII. All gamers have the right to a full refund if the software they purchased is unsatisfactory due to hardware requirements, connectivity requirements, feature set, or general quality.


I can see where a few of these I can see is a must. Example would be if my computer / console failed (example: red ring) and they wipe the hard drive. I should be able to get my games back and reinstall them. I almost lost all my iTunes music when my motherboard failed on me and Apple said I have to repurchase all the music I owned already. After a lengthy yelling match, I got all my music back.

Teiritzamna: IX. No paid downloadable content shall be required to experience a game's story to completion of the narrative presented by the game itself.
X. No paid downloadable content shall affect multiplayer balance unless equivalent options are available to gamers who purchased only the game.


Expansions I can see being a payed DLC and do not mind that. But if something is important to the story in the original game, like a better story or an important side mission that develops the character even more (looking at you Star Wars Force Unleashed Jedi Temple), it should be given to us for free.
 
2013-03-12 11:09:39 AM

Teiritzamna: Dr Dreidel: early adopters

I think I have spotted your problem.

Personally i tend to buy games a bit of a ways out, so i know if it is a stinker.  But occasionally i have bought something that was not to my taste.  But the benefit of waiting a bit is I rarely paid full price to find this out.


I bought AC3 and Madden 13 last month, and bought Borderlands 2 a few weeks before that. I avoid the early-adoption premium like the plague (the 8-month wait to buy Arkham City was torturous), but even after waiting, the only way to know if I like a game is to play it myself. I can borrow it from a friend (which wouldn't work for some games that are locked to your CPU - but I'm an Xbox guy anyway) if I happen to know someone who has it, but that's less common these days.

// apparently, kids are a higher priority for my friends than games
// stupid selfish douches
 
2013-03-12 11:11:00 AM

Theaetetus: Plus, there's still the credit card route. Let the game company spend hundreds of dollars chasing you after your bank cancels the payment, rather than you spending hundreds of dollars chasing them for a refund.


This has been said over and over and over and over and over and you still haven't head it.

IF YOU PROCESS A CHARGEBACK ON YOUR ORIGIN ACCOUNT. EA WILL LOCK YOU OUT OF ALL OF YOUR ORIGIN GAMES. THE SAME IS TRUE OF STEAM, AND ANY OTHER ONLINE GAME DELIVERY PLATFORM.
 
2013-03-12 11:12:06 AM
Geotpf:
It does suck if a game does not function on your system there's no pracical way of getting a refund.  However, expecting to get a refund merely because a game sucks I don't think is realisistic.  That's what review websites are for, in any case; don't buy games with low Metacritic scores.

This. I think you should be able to get a refund for an objective problem with the game without issue, but I think subjective goes too far.

If a game doesn't work right or is broken in some way, they should not be able to deny you a refund.
 
2013-03-12 11:12:53 AM

thecpt: also, am i the first to say that HL3 woefully won't come out for another decade.

/hl2e2 saddest ending ever


Yeah, it's kind of annoying they ended on such a downer/cliffhanger and then didn't finish the story quickly with another episode.
 
2013-03-12 11:14:54 AM

CPennypacker: This. I think you should be able to get a refund for an objective problem with the game without issue, but I think subjective goes too far.

If a game doesn't work right or is broken in some way, they should not be able to deny you a refund.


Good business practice would be to provide a refund within a reasonable time if the purchaser isn't satisfied with the product, under the presumption that you lose the current sale but leave the door open for future ones. If you are a hardass about the current sale, you're likely to lose the customer permanently.
 
2013-03-12 11:15:35 AM

Teiritzamna: Mikey1969: the only way to find out if a game sucks is to shell out $60 for it

It's true - its not as if there was this repository of information, wherein people can find out if a thing is crap before they buy it.

We should make one - some sort of electronic information network, between computers.  An "inter" net, if you would.


Yeah, we should try to make one where people have to enter valid reviews, they can't be shills for the company that puts out the game, they can't be shills for the competition, they can't troll websites to add fake reviews juast to fark up the numbers, they can't get on and give a bad review just because they have something personal against the company, they can't give it a 1-star review because they opted for a hardcopy and FeEx took too long to get it for them.

In short, they will HAVE to be honest.

Let me know how that works out for you, it sounds really cool.
 
2013-03-12 11:18:23 AM

Geotpf: Mikey1969: ...gamers can't forget that they are paying customers of publishers and retailers, and have the same rights any other customers do when they're dissatisfied with a game.

Rights? You have no rights. That software sucks? Tough shiat, you can exchange for the same exact title, but nothing else, and the only way to find out if a game sucks is to shell out $60 for it. It's the reason I've never felt qualms about pirating games. Maybe 5% of the games I've ever played were worth $60. Another 20% were worth  $20. The rest are barely worth my time.

Most games I buy are worth the sticker price or more. I figure if I get a hour's worth of entertainment per dollar spent out of a game it was worth the price.  For instance, the last two games I've bought, Saint's Row The Third (for $7.49) and Borderlands 2 ($30 + $30 for the DLC Season Pass) easily exceeded that figure.  Considering that a movie ticket is $7-10 and lasts two hours, anything above a dollar per hour is a great return.

It does suck if a game does not function on your system there's no pracical way of getting a refund.  However, expecting to get a refund merely because a game sucks I don't think is realisistic.  That's what review websites are for, in any case; don't buy games with low Metacritic scores.


Because everyone is 100% honest on the internet, especially in product reviews.

Oh, and you're talking sales, I was talking the cost when they're full price. I'd probably put a  lot of games as 'Worth my while' if they cost $7.49.
 
2013-03-12 11:18:28 AM

fluffy2097: Theaetetus: Plus, there's still the credit card route. Let the game company spend hundreds of dollars chasing you after your bank cancels the payment, rather than you spending hundreds of dollars chasing them for a refund.

This has been said over and over and over and over and over and you still haven't head it.

IF YOU PROCESS A CHARGEBACK ON YOUR ORIGIN ACCOUNT. EA WILL LOCK YOU OUT OF ALL OF YOUR ORIGIN GAMES. THE SAME IS TRUE OF STEAM, AND ANY OTHER ONLINE GAME DELIVERY PLATFORM.


Actually, it had been said once, within the time period that I previously posted and the hit refresh. Perhaps you need to cut down on the coffee, Fluffy.

Bloody William: Which has led to EA threatening people with banning their accounts, and thus all EA games they purchased.


What ever happened to purchasing a game at Gamestop or getting a disc delivered by Amazon?
Yes, if you purchase a download-only copy through their online store, you're at the mercy of their policies. But that goes back to my earlier point - if you refuse to avail yourself of protection, you can't really complain it doesn't exist.
 
2013-03-12 11:19:11 AM

CPennypacker: Geotpf:
It does suck if a game does not function on your system there's no pracical way of getting a refund.  However, expecting to get a refund merely because a game sucks I don't think is realisistic.  That's what review websites are for, in any case; don't buy games with low Metacritic scores.

This. I think you should be able to get a refund for an objective problem with the game without issue, but I think subjective goes too far.

If a game doesn't work right or is broken in some way, they should not be able to deny you a refund.


I had an issue with my PS3 recently with Dead Space 3. It would start the game and get to the title screen then my PS3 would crash. i went back and returned the game and got a new one only for it to do the same. Brought my entire system in and had the people at GameStop test my PS3 with different games. Turns out my PS3 (Generation 1 60 gigs) is failing. Got the game for my 360 thanks to my friends who work at GameStop.

Now when it comes to sucky games. Some people find what people rate as a crappy game to be enjoyable. Example, I enjoy playing Aliens: CM because I like shooting the Xenomorphs. That game has been universally panned as a horrible game. Same goes for the Force Unleashed series because light sabering a stormtrooper never gets old or tiresome for me.
 
2013-03-12 11:19:14 AM

Geotpf: Yeah, it's kind of annoying they ended on such a downer/cliffhanger and then didn't finish the story quickly with another episode.


Yeah, but at the same time I know that no other game has ever made me feel the way that ending did.  I'm not sure I consider that a good thing, but for the sake of art it delivered an experience.
 
2013-03-12 11:19:42 AM

thecpt: really? the last 5 minutes of one ending altered an entire studio's effort over 3 great games. come the fark on and get over yourself.


For me, I like to pretend only the first Mass Effect exists.  It was a great game (except for the planet hopping), had wonderful characters, and a great, playable engine.  Then 2 came along, and it devolved into mostly FPS, filled with characters I could care less about.  Most of the ones developed over the first game were written off or had only cameo appearances.  ME3 was more of what was wrong with 2; the ending was only the capper on a prolonged effort to grind a great game into grist for the marketing mill.

\same thing with Dead Space
 
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