Right when I just spoke to you guys about writing more and making time for it, my boss at work quit so now we're severely understaffed. Woo!
Anyway, now we're talking about the ending of Mass Effect 3, which many of you know about but for those of you who don't, be aware that there are SPOILERS AHEAD.
So, what did the extended endings actually do? Well in almost every option we now have available at the end, we have choices that do make somewhat of a difference to the universe that is no longer in complete and utter shambles. The Mass Relays can be repaired, all the races can rebuild their worlds, and Shepard is considered a hero in every ending. There is still no concrete way to officially save Shepard, the Destroy Option merely hints at it, but we don't have to sacrifice a lot to get an ending where the legend lives on and Shepard did officially save the day. Also, you now have the Refuse option, which unfortunately dooms the current cycle but gives hopes for the next one.
What does it fix? You do get your cathartic moment. You can say "Yes! I did save the galaxy!" And you get to see how the rest of the galaxy is coping and rebuilding together. You don't have to assume the worst. You get to see the final big choice you made actually mean something as well. Each ending has a slightly different montage, noting what your choice meant.
What does it not fix? There are some counter arguments from the Space Child now, but the Space Child still seems out of place and unnecessary. If they had replaced it with almost anything else that would've been relevant, I would've been okay with that. The Synthesis ending, although appealing to my ideals of unity, does NOT make any sense, so you will have to be okay with the idea of Space Magic(tm) for that ending to work. Considering that mass effect fields essentially filled that purpose before, it's not the hugest leap I've ever been asked to make. Also your EMS score now means diddly squat, which is super annoying because many of us would've liked a Refuse ending where the EMS score mattered. You can't just ignore a mechanic in the game after it's released in my humble opinion, because the player will always remember it's there and remember the developer totally ignoring it.
In my opinion, this extended cut fixes the biggest problems with the original endings, and hence giving us a conclusion that in the long run makes the fans go "meh" rather than "what the hell?!". I think a good amount of us gamers expect horrible endings because we're not used to good writing. That's part of the reason why there was such an uproar about a well written series like Mass Effect ending on such a disastrous conclusion. It was above average in many different ways, and that's why it had such a strong fanbase that wanted to fight for a better ending. We now have something better, thankfully.
However, there is still a bitter taste in my mouth. I think that this new extended cut ending should've at lease been in the game originally. It's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but if I had received this ending instead of the bullshit slung at me months ago, I think I would've been okay. I don't think I would've spent weeks disappointed with the hours and money I invested in BioWare. Part of me will never understand why the fans had to practically pull teeth to get an ending like this. I'm not going to forget it. I'm going to remember what happened, and now for certain companies, I know for sure I'll NEVER preorder. It's not worth it. It's better to wait and see what happens.
Soon, I will replay the game and figure out which ending I want to give Desdemona Shepard. In the meantime, if anyone wants to meet me up on Mass Effect multiplayer, feel free to hit me up--d20Sapphire is my handle of course!