All I want is some fucking toast.

Fuck you, Previously Awesome Toaster Company.

That toaster killed my family.

Imagine, if you will, that you have this toaster.  You purchased it from a company that has built its reputation on making excellent toasters, and in fact you’ve bought two older ones in the same production line in the past, and you absolutely loved them, despite their limitations.

Now imagine that when you get this toaster home, set it up on your counter, plug it in, and then, as you eagerly await what people have been telling you on Toasters.com will be “an amazing toasted bread experience,” your new, much-anticipated toaster ejects your breakfast straight up so hard that it becomes embedded halfway through your kitchen ceiling?

Would you just simply extricate the two launched pieces of toast from your ceiling with a pair of pliers, dust the sheetrock off your breakfast, and pop it in your mouth, thinking, well, I’m not a mechanical engineer, I guess I don’t have much of a right to complain about a toaster with sub-orbital launch capabilities?  Probably not, right?

He looks funny because he's Canadian.

Dr. Ray Muzyka, prior to the recent announcement.

I think most people would shoot off an angry email to the manufacturer with a demand that they replace your toaster with a new one, a better one, one that doesn’t require you to run out to Home Depot and buy some spackle to patch the holes in your ceiling.  Well, to many, many distressed gamers, Mass Effect 3 has been that toaster, and guess what: sending enough angry emails pays off.

I was prepared to lay off on the Mass Effect blog posts during the week and simply write about The Adventures of Ellen Ripley Shepard on the weekends, but a new statement from Dr. Ray Muzyka is pretty much big god damned news.

I’ve been highly critical of the new direction that Bioware has taken since it was bought out by Electronic Arts, as I’ve felt the tonal shift in Bioware games has been towards mass-produced and dumbed-down garbage closer to Call of Duty than Knights of the Old Republic.  A big part of this is how absolutely different Dragon Age: Origins is from Dragon Age 2, and as I’ve discussed this in the past, I’m not going to get into it now.

Not pictured: EA's sidekick, Rape Boy.

Rage against the, uh, stock options?

However, this new announcement has given me hope that one of my favorite game studios hasn’t gone completely down the shitter, even though they’re now a subsidiary of a company that has become synonymous with pure, unmitigated evil.  Still, some people have been really, really vocal when it comes to the large amount of dissatisfaction fans of ME3 had with the ending – with the end result being that there has actually been quite a bit of backlash against people claiming that Bioware dropped the ball.

A significant number of people have said that angry, upset fans are simply feeling self-entitled and spoiled for not getting exactly what they want out of the ending of the ME trilogy, and that they should just be happy with what they’ve been given – basically saying that if they don’t like it, they just need to deal with it: it’s Bioware’s creation, not theirs, which is essentially the argument George Lucas used to ruin my childhood when it came to Greedo shooting first and Anakin Skywalker being a whiny little cunt.

He had it coming.

Sic semper shitheads.

The argument against this is, of course, the collaborative nature of the entire ME series.  The main theme of the three games put together has been the fact that the choices made by the player  over the course of the action contribute directly to the way the story develops.  This means that the players have been a significant influence on how the developers have created the entire series, which makes it completely fitting to have the players’ thoughts and reactions to the ending taken into account by Bioware – especially due to the depth and intensity of the reaction.

Not only that, but you can point to the way Steven Spielberg dealt with outcry to the re-release of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial.  When Spielberg released the special edition of E.T. in theaters in 2002, many people were shocked to see that he had made the decision to remove the guns from the film and replace them with walkie-talkies.  However, he announced last year that he was undoing these changes in time for the blu-ray release, publicly admitting that he’d made a mistake in doing so.

I feel that the new announcement from Bioware resides somewhere in the middle: not quite a complete “fuck you” that Lucas has given his loyal fans, but not really a roll-over-and-submit response that Spielberg had, either.  Furthermore, I think that this strikes an excellent balance between the perogative of the originator of an artistic creation and the right of its audience to not have a beloved franchise shat all over.

This toaster is happy because it doesn't make me want to hang myself.

What I’m really hoping for is that the end result doesn’t make matters worse, that either Bioware does too little or too much in fixing the ending of the series.  Truly, what I want – and what many people do as well – is the same toaster, just one without the ability to put a new skylight in my kitchen roof.  I don’t want to open up the box and pull out a George Foreman Grill that will burn down my fucking house.

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7 thoughts on “All I want is some fucking toast.

  1. Seriously, I read that recently when the wife showed it to me on facebook, and I had mixed feelings. I felt that it was probably the best possible response to expect from a typical game company. However this is Bioware! The undisputed KING of western RPG’s. Like Square, which was once the king of Eastern RPG’s, Bioware is joining the ranks of good companies that went wrong.

    Joining EA was the WORST mistake they could make IMHO, as EA is well known for being the most greedy and anti consumer game company out there. I remember EA when it was the old logo that made games like Skyfox:

    Now they are the company that is becoming famous for being the first to screw used game trading and sales. Aside from Mass Effect products I refuse to buy another EA game until or unless they change their business practices, and will only buy a new Mass Effect product if it’s worth it.

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