With a couple weeks of work-free life, I decided that my first order of business was to complete this game. I knew I was close to the end and would be able to get the “best” ending, so I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
It’s hard to sum up my feelings on the ending. At times I was like “oh wow, didn’t see this coming”, but then at the end I just couldn’t help but have a feeling of “WTF?! This is it?!” Now, I think the majority of the outrage is very, very far overblown. That’s not to say I’m completed satisfied, but I don’t think my entire ME3 experience was ruined by the end.
With that being said, I’m going to go into a bit of detail of my thoughts on the end. This means that I’m about to spoil the shit out of the ending. Seriously, if you haven’t reached the end stop reading now.
For everyone else that’s finished, here we go.
The biggest issue that I had with the end came when I met the “Starchild” or whatever the fuck he was. To be honest, I was expecting something like this to appear before the end as ME3 was very, very heavy on making sure you understood that everything was cyclical and any time the Reapers talked, I got the sense that there may be something else at work. However, once this is finally revealed, Shepard, the hero that will talk anyone’s ear off and “Investigate” just about damn near everything is at the center of all the mysteries in the universe and he just accepts them at face value.
It’s such a stark contrast with the final showdown with The Illusive Man too, which I thought was brilliantly done for the most part—except for that whole, “well if you played your Shepard even slightly gray, you have to go Renegade or it’s game over”.
Not to mention the final decision is HUGE. The way I played my Shepard, I wanted to get as much info as I could in order to make my decision. I felt like I was completely blind doing this one. It made the final decision mean something to me (at first), but I felt like my Shepard stepped far too much out of character in his final moments.
Now because I was so torn in my decision (I went with synthesis first, torn between that and destroying the Reapers), I replayed the ending sequence again. I didn’t expect much different to happen, but hey, let’s see what a new choice gives me.
Well, save for a clip of what could be Shepard supposedly taking a breath on the battlefield that is Earth, it was the same fucking ending. Joker is still running away, all the Mass Effect relays go bye-bye, parts of my crew, minus EDI would I also offed in the “kill them all” decision. SERIOUSLY?!
I understand that for Mass Effect, a lot of the choices you make eventually get you to the same point. That’s fine, but the journey you create still ends up giving you a unique story. In ME1, Saren will die, but what shape did you leave the universe in after? In ME2, how many of your crew survived and how did you handle the Illusive Man? For both of these games, such drastic differences were crafted and telling the story of my Shepard different from even those that went down the Paragon path that I did.
It was great, the results shaped ME3 in a very unique way, but at the very end at the climax in which Bioware themselves promised that after all of us spent over 100 hours into creating our unique Shepard story and, more importantly, our own ME universe, we all ended up in the same spot more or less. Bioware boasted that there would be multiple endings to reflect our stories, but that isn’t what we got. Bioware seems to be confused on the issue, but when I think multiple endings, I think Chrono Trigger, not what they gave us.
Like I said, I’m not so much mad about the end, but more disappointed than anything. While some of the stories in the game were so beautifully wrapped up, like the Genophage, the end just felt lacking in comparison.
And then there is the whole Shepard is indoctrinated angle.
Honestly, the theory does make some sense, but if you are going to mind-fuck your audience, do it all the way. Probably the most hilarious promise Bioware gave us was not to worry, everything would be explained and they wouldn’t end it like LOST. To be fair, they didn’t end it like LOST as they actually explained what the hell happened there, people just didn’t like the explanation. If Shepard is truly indoctrinated, and, based on the quick clip of Shepard breathing should you destroy synthetic life you can actually break it, why not follow through with it?
I could only imagine the “wow” factor of two people talking about their playthroughs and having one person find out Shepard was indoctrinated, broke it, and emerged victorious and the other being floored that their Shepard seemingly had an act of self-sacrifice to better the galaxy—and only through that conversation realize his ending was utter bullshit.
Probably would cause some similar anger, but that would be fantastic if this is truly the angle Bioware wanted to end their epic with.
I have no problem with Bioware crafting the game to end they way they want it. After all, they are the artists. The player is definitely allowed to craft their own picture, but they still have to color within the Bioware lines, nothing wrong with that at all. Just commit to it.
Now we have to wait for DLC in order to get “closure” as Bioware put it. Not that I’m against ME DLC, but if they seriously charge more money to explain a poorly written ending that didn’t resolve shit, that’s a crime. Such DLC should be free, no questions asked. Charge for that shit and I will be pissed.
This may just be the pinnacle of my gambling degeneracy, but much like a hilarious prop bet in the Super Bowl, I just couldn’t turn down taking a shot at predicting the winners of tonight’s PPV and trying to make a bit of money off of it.
So below are my picks for tonight and the lines at via Bovada. It appears that they took them down for tonight, so I am going to give the lines that I took yesterday on my picks. I won’t have odds on both for every match, but it should give a good enough picture.
Anyways, the picks, feel free to play along in the comments if you wish:
Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos v Beth Phoneix & Eve
Pick: Kelly Kelly & Maria Menounos -400
Pretty easy pick here. Celebrities don’t get invited to Wrestlemania to job. Remember, Snookie won her tag match last year.
Randy Orton v Kane
Pick: Randy Orton -550
Orton isn’t too far removed from and injury so, to me, this match is just a way to keep him fresh in everyone’s minds. Orton is easily one of the top superstars in the WWE and will likely find his way back in a title story line soon. Kane winning and getting a push just doesn’t make sense.
Team Teddy v Team Johnny
Pick: Team Teddy +550
This match was harder for me to pick than the line showed. With Team Johnny well over the -1000 realm, it seemed like a no-brainer pick, but I’m not convinced. Ole Johnny boy would seemingly be the new Vince in the “no Vince on TV” era, but he sucks at it. He stumbles in his promos, watching him is unbelievably awkward, and he just flat out sucks. The anonymous Raw GM from last year was a better heel.
And no, this isn’t him getting genuine heat from me. This is coming from someone that thinks Vickie Guerrero does a fantastic job in her heel role.
Should the WWE want a GM or corporate heel, I think there are better directions in which they can go. Beyond that, team Teddy has some serious fan favorites that have seen some unlikely pushes in Santino and Zach Ryder. Santino had the crowd going nuts when he damn near took the World Heavyweight Title in the Elimination Chamber, resulting in a US Title win soon after. Ryder had his own US Title reign and after his love interest angle with Eve took a turn for the worst, he seems primed for redemption.
Perhaps I just love the team of underdogs, but I’m all #TeamTeddy for this one.
Cody Rhodes (Intercontinental Champion) v Big Show
Pick: Cody Rhodes -120
Rhodes started as a huge favorite in this match and then the Big Show came in at -120 right along with him by the time I bet on this. The angle here has been that the Big Show has done nothing but fail at Wrestlemania and Cody Rhodes has been rubbing it in his face for over a month.
I find it hard to believe Show will see redemption here. Rhodes is a fantastic heel and has managed to pull the Intercontinental Title out of obscurity. He seems to be the far better candidate for a push here.
Based on the angle, I think Rhodes will won, but not clean further pushing him as a top heel on the Smackdown brand which would also let Big Show save a little bit of “dignity” for an eventual rematch in next month’s PPV.
Daniel Bryan (World Heavyweight Champion) v Sheamus
Pick: Sheamus -350
Daniel Bryan has a great gimmick of being the luckiest man alive in finding a way to weasel his way out of every match to win, but that is going to stop short tonight. Sheamus is primed for a huge push with his Royal Rumble win and, from what I remember, hasn’t lost a singles match since. Easy pick for me.
CM Punk (WWE Heavyweight Champion) v Chris Jericho
Pick: CM Punk -250
Punk is only a slight favorite in this match and this one was really hard to pick as well. I took Punk because I believe the WWE has shown that they are more than willing to keep the flagship title on Punk. Every angle Punk has been in has been intriguing, and this one has been pushed over the top with Jericho bringing in Punk’s family into the equation.
I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if Jericho managed to win to be perfectly honest, but I just can’t help but feel Punk has the WWE Universe in the palm of his hand right now. No reason to end it here.
The Undertaker v HHH, Hell in a Cell, Shawn Michaels special guest refere
Pick: HHH +650
Yes, I am very well aware that the “smart bet” is Taker to go 20-0 at Wrestlemania; however, his odds were damn near -2000 at the time of this bet, meaning I’d have to place large money to win anything of worth and I’m not willing to do so.
Besides, there are too many wildcards. HHH damn near beat Taker last year, this match is in Hell in a Cell, and HBK is the special guest ref. The unthinkable may just happen.
I’ve seen JR comment on Twitter that this would be Taker’s last match and the match itself is billed as the “end of an era”. I know they mean the “Attitude” era of WWE, but I can’t help but feel this could also be the end of Taker’s reign as the undefeated king of Wrestlemania. Perhaps for Taker to feel like he can step away, he will have to finally lose at Wrestlemania. I don’t know. Perhaps even HHH and HBK go all DX and screw the Undertaker which would position HHH as the new corporate Vince type character that Johnny failed to fill.
In the end, it’s either win pennies on Taker or take a chance to win big on HHH. I’ll take the gamble here.
John Cena v The Rock
Pick: John Cena -230
For me, this result seems rather academic in the end. John Cena is still the biggest cash cow the WWE has on the roster and having him lose to The Rock, who will likely be rarely seen in the WWE after this event, makes no sense at all. Further, The Rock’s time to shine is done, Cena is part of the new stable of young talent that will continue to carry the torch.
This reminds me a lot of Hulk Hogan v The Rock not too long ago. Hogan was actually an active WWE star at the time, but The Rock, like Cena, was part of the new era. Having The Rock come out on top of that match was an easy decision.
I have no doubt the initial genesis of this angle was to push Cena over as far as they could, even on fans that didn’t like him. Build the angle for a year, and have Cena defeat the man that his detractors would prefer to see on top and get Cena the additional push in respect. Somewhere along the line though, this match got legitimately personal, and the heat between Cena and The Rock has been something else as of late.
Even more surprising Cena has gotten the better of The Rock in the past month. The Rock was called out for having notes on his wrist by Cena and after that happened, The Rock stuttered through the rest of his promo. Since that time, The Rock’s best work has been pre-recorded or with notes in front of him. Cena has flat-out outworked the Great One on the mic and reminded me of why I used to like him so long ago instead of the awful PG persona he has now (and I say this as a HUGE fan of Rocky).
The only way I see The Rock winning is if some kind of crazy “Attitude Alliance” happens. Say Jericho cheats his way over Punk, HHH and HBK screw the Undertaker and then those three create some form of outside interference to push their attitude era buddy to a victory over Cena. This way, The Rock gets the win and his rare appearances can have the slack picked up for by the other three. A new heel stable is born and the WWE doesn’t bury their current superstar in Cena. It’s a faction the older fans of the WWE would back and bring some of those that have tuned out back into the fold, creating an almost nWo like type atmosphere.
I seriously doubt the above would happen though. But it is Wrestlemania and on April Fool’s Day at that, anything could happen. I’m going to take the safe bet here though and take Cena to win. This match should be damned awesome though.
Hell, the whole card is going to be great, can’t wait.