Jun 18 2012
People tend to complain a lot about movies that have bad endings, but if you think about the upwards of forty hours you can put into some games, the let down is far more severe when a game has a sub-standard finale. A perfect example of this for most people has been Mass Effect 3, and I suppose that is understandable. That trilogy was up to one hundred hours long for some people, so to have an ending that people felt didn’t match the time or effort they put into the game is justified. It is not a passive industry, like movies.
The entirety of a movie happens without our input, but a game, we help form that as the story goes. For that reason, the let down can feel that much more genuine. Mass Effect 3 got me thinking about some other game experiences I played through where the endings just did not leave me feeling sated. And here they are, in their complete lack of glory.
To me, this one stood out more than Mass Effect 3 for the single reason that when it ended, I looked to see if there was another disc I missed. Seriously, that may be a testimony to my own stupidity, and I accept that, but outside of Halo 2, which I will talk about later, this is the one game that literally had me talking out loud to myself how this cannot be the actual ending. How any game developer in their right mind would end a game on such a note is incomprehensible to me. While Id is not known for the most rewarding endings, in this case, it felt like we got no ending at all.
Although visually, I personally feel the game is without par on consoles. And yes, I played Crysis 2.
The game ends so abruptly and so suddenly, it literally feels unfinished. This is not an example of a bad ending. This is an example of a complete lack of an ending.
No hint at all that the last mission you are on is really the last mission you are going to be on. I can understand deadlines suck, and I can understand delays can affect sales, but I also know the true frustration of a company delivering an unfinished product (*coughs* SKYRIM), and this is one example where the ending didn’t set up a sequel liked it hoped for. Atleast not for me. It simply made me not want to play the franchise again.
Well, I already talked about it, so I may as well get it out of the way….
When I tell people I am not a huge Halo fan, some of them slap me in the face. Right in the face. Open palmed. And you know what? I get it. The franchise is pretty remarkable for what it did for enemy A.I alone. But, as much as I loved it, when I reached the end of Halo 2, I dropped my controller in awe and disgust. Setting up a sequel is one thing, but kicking players in the balls with a half assed ending in an attempt to set up that sequel is inexcusable.
” Sir, finishing this fight! In another game. That won’t come out for years. And will cost people another sixty dollars.
If you take into consideration the wait for Halo 2, matched with the true respect the gamers had for the series, the ending does not go into the “bad endings” category. It starts its own new category called “unacceptable endings”.
A cliffhanger is great for a TV show. For the most part, TV shows don’t cost us a ton of money to enjoy. Even for the middle movie in a trilogy, a cliffhanger can be a great way to whet the appetite of the viewer to ensure they return to your franchise. But, much like Rage, if your game ends and people are still holding the controller, waiting for the next level to begin, you messed up somewhere.
Sorry, I know everyone has already bitched this ending to death, but I really had to get that out. It kind of felt like therapy, so thank you.
Ghosts n Goblins
Alright, this was the first time a game taught me, in my youth, that I was its bitch and nothing more. I am sorry to toss that word around so callously, but seriously. Have any of you guys played through the old N.E.S version of this game? It is so hard, it is actually cruel. This game is like a drunken uncle. It beats you mercilessly, yet you inexplicably want to hang around with it anyway. And it sure as hell wasn’t for its looks.
Though they were pretty mind blowing at the time.
The thing that made this ending such a kick to the dick was the fact that you had to play thorough the game TWICE to get to it. Yes, twice. You play through it the first time and the game basically stops and tells you that was a test run, and you need to do it all again to REALLY beat it. NOw, some games have done this before, but the brutal level of difficulty made this more like: We just cut you and now we are going to pour salt in it.
But as a kid, you have conviction. I sure as hell did. So I played through it all again. At times, wanting to weep from how sadistic the game was. Rarely did my Arthur ever wear armor, and only the truest of you will appreciate that statement.
And when I finally did play through it again and beat it, this is what I got:
Actually, now that I watch it again, I find the bad translation kind of awesome.
I understand this is from an era of dodgy translations and no spell checks, but seriously? You made you play through twice for THIS?! And it set the tone for me of a long line of disappointing game endings.
N.E.S had a slew of games that gave you crappy GAME OVER screens or misspelled congratulation screens, but Ghosts n Goblins really stood out for all the work it took me to get there. Oh, and speaking of crappy N.E.S endings…
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