Last week the guys debated which was the worst videogame ending ever. And now they bring you the further debate on this week's very special episode of No Right Explanation.
Chris: Boy oh boy, I was quiet excited to get to dive into this one as if there's anything I like to do, it's to tell Mass Effect 3 complainers to take a seat, shut up, and get some perspective. Worst Video Game Ending Ever. What a lofty claim! Why? Because an ending, like a game's value, is all subjective. You may very well have loved the ending to a game that someone else thought was a deal-breaker. For the sake of debate, Kyle went with Grand Theft Auto III, and I with Final Fantasy VII. I'll admit, this was a debate I was already putting Kyle into a corner with as Kyle is one of those people who have played a fair number of games, but rarely sees the ending.
That said, the only real arguments that he didn't bring up was that with GTA III and all of Rockstar's games, we laud the storytelling and point to it as a key example for why they can get away with glorified murder-simulators (politicians' words, not mine). I remember playing through GTA III and hating much of the time I spent in Liberty City, but the saving grace was that the characters around the voiceless protagonist (Claude) actually happened to be mildly interesting at the time and voiced pretty well. So imagine me, hating the final story mission of the game to a painful degree, only to discover that my character shoots the annoying girlfriend before the final credits. You know, completely doing away with the whole point of that final mission that I hated so much. What an insult.
As for arguments Kyle could have used against FFVII, that's tough for me to think about because I really can't think of anything that doesn't make the ending sound bad in comparison. The ending is unfairly ambiguous around a plot that already confuses the hell out of me thanks to wonky flashbacks, and to cap it all off I genuinely cared about the characters, only to have zero resolution. I don't give a crap whether the planet survived. I didn't just play an 80 hour game because I had a deep connection to the planet. I didn't spend hours level-grinding the planet's abilities. I didn't watch the planet get stabbed and then told I couldn't go kick some ass for another two discs. Getting rewarded with a time-skip that says "Well, at least the planet is alright" isn't anywhere near satisfying. And if you're under the theory that it was meant to be open for interpretation, then why make so many spin-off games that slowly answer all the questions I was left with?
Still, with this particular topic it's all based on personal choice, as I previously said. I didn't have to look hard to decide FFVII was the worst ending from my eyes, but I did have to stop myself from making Kyle pick some of the other games I felt were awful. At least one commenter noticed that I put Fable II in the background, a game that ensured I wouldn't be playing another Fable game since (and have not). That one was all based around building your own adventure via personal choices and nonsense, then just let you pick an ending that any Dragon Ball Z fan would have been furious with ("Why not just make the wish to bring back everyone affected by Lucian?! You fool!").
Worst still are two other stains but for entirely different reasons, and because I don't want to be considered a fanboy for anything other than Nintendo I have an example on the 360 and one on the PS3. Halo 3 and God of War 3 were games that had a lot to live up to, specifically because the previous games in their series demanded that you not only buy the third game to resolve the plot, but a new console as well. I loved the God of War games until the very end of God of War II, then I realized that the third came would have an impossible battle of justifying its $60 price tag (assuming you bought everything Day One). It did not. It insults the intelligence and patience of everyone playing, more specifically me, but it still didn't bug me as bad as Final Fantasy VII's ending. Why? Because Kratos never made me cry. I don't care that you're not real Sephiroth, I will find you and I will kill you someday!
Now if you'll excuse me, I have some calibrations I need to get back to.