#1 Posted by Pezen (1561 posts) -

I am getting a small sense of deja vu writing this as I feel like I have already made this thread before named something different. But let's ignore that idea and focus on a question that popped into my head listening to the Bombcast today; what's up with this generation and fucked up endings? I feel like I haven't seen a happy ending since I beat Suikoden that one summer in '97 (it's an exaggeration, deal with it). Is this all because J Allard wore a hoodie and blazer combination and everyone was all radical?

Some games I feel could end happy then during one meeting some dude at the end of the table was all "Hey man, like, every story ends happy.. let's get real gritty and, like, kill everyone you liked in the game. To say, like, hey guy, tough luck, life is unfair, deal with it. And then boom, credits. Feelin' me? It'll be rad" (actual quote from actual meeting, may or may not be a complete and utter lie). But really, as this generation comes to a close, I am starting to feel the need for next gen to re-introduce some fucking blow it out the ass with balloons and confetti ecstatic endings where shit just goes right and everyone wins. All these depressing everything is fucked or all your efforts were for naught endings.. man, come on.

Or maybe I'm just not playing enough upbeat games, did this generation have them at all?

#2 Posted by Video_Game_King (35992 posts) -

I remember Xenoblade ending on a positive note.

#3 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

I do feel like in recent years it has been assumed that Mature = Depressing. Spec Ops, Walking Dead, Mass Effect, Heavy Rain...They all have a tendency towards trying to make the player feel bad to varying degrees. I think it's just a phase.

#4 Posted by Little_Socrates (5675 posts) -

It definitely did. They're just a bit less popular than they used to be. Black Ops ends on an "America, FUCK YEAH!" moment, for starters. Things can go relatively smoothly in Dishonored and Fable II. Things go okay in Sleepy Dogs; about as well as they should in a Hong Kong crime film. Uncharted games all end on a positive note. Dust: An Elysian Tail ended so positively that I was furious.

#5 Posted by Anund (876 posts) -

Uncharted series, all Mass effects except the last one (depending on how you managed the last mission in 2, granted)... then again, the good guys do win in the third one so maybe the last one as well. XCOM ends with the salvation of the Earth. I don't think any game I have really played this year ended badly. I can't really even remember a game with a sad ending now that I think about it.

#6 Posted by Swoxx (2988 posts) -

@nintendoeats said:

I do feel like in recent years it has been assumed that Mature = Depressing. Spec Ops, Walking Dead, Mass Effect, Heavy Rain...They all have a tendency towards trying to make the player feel bad to varying degrees. I think it's just a phase.

Personally, I'm a fan of this phase. I get all the happy endings I need from the local massage parlor anyway.

#7 Posted by charlie_victor_bravo (943 posts) -

More like: This generation: everything has cliffhanger ending.

If game has just an actual ending, I am happy these days. I am praying for the day that developers realize that video games are not some weekly serial but hours long piece with years worth of production time.

#8 Posted by pyromagnestir (4241 posts) -

It's not just games. There seems to be a shift towards grittiness in all mediums. Games seem to be late to the party.

As for happy endings: Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2!

I remember that being a pretty happy ending.

Online
#9 Posted by Pezen (1561 posts) -

@Video_Game_King: Of course there's a happy ending to a game on a Nintendo console. One I incidentally never owned.

@nintendoeats: It's been a long phase, if that's the case. But I agree, I do think these endings are a symptom of trying to be more mature and perhaps they haven't really found a way to end a depressing game on a positive note without it coming off as corny.

@Little_Socrates: Ah, I never finished Black Ops, maybe I should sit down and try and do that. I'll give you those other ones as decent examples though.

@Anund: I think Mass Effect is a matter of perspective, the last one in particular. The first one is a small victory with a looming threat, the second one can get all sort of fucked and the third is a bummer for me personally but that's just because I really liked my journey with my guy.

@Swoxx: We don't all have access to fancy massage parlors, and even if we did our wives wouldn't approve. So I need gaming to pick up the slack there. Well, not give me that type of happy ending.

#10 Posted by MikkaQ (10268 posts) -

Perfect, extremely happy endings are a little boring and pretty cliché these days. I just see this as a maturation of the storytelling in games.

#11 Posted by Animasta (14648 posts) -

@pyromagnestir said:

It's not just games. There seems to be a shift towards grittiness in all mediums. Games seem to be late to the party.

As for happy endings: Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2!

I remember that being a pretty happy ending.

its not, she just says fuck you and let's you go find humanity with nothing but a stupid cube.

#12 Posted by Pezen (1561 posts) -

@MikkaQ: But if everyone does depressing endings, doesn't that in turn become cliché? Not every game needs a happy ending, I enjoy a good somber ending. But it feels like we're lacking quality good endings as a counter part. But as you say, this may be a part in a process and I'm crying foul too early.

@charlie_victor_bravo: Oh yeah, cliffhanger endings. Assassin's Creed bread and butter.

@pyromagnestir: Portal 2 did have a pretty great ending. Even though I was shitting my pants all the way up that elevator waiting for something to go awry. Which in itself is a sign of how much games end on a fuck you.

#13 Posted by Little_Socrates (5675 posts) -

@nintendoeats: @Pezen: Well, so long as most games are about violence, the "mature" approach to violence is that killing people is a bad thing that generally has some pretty dire consequences. If you branch out into the puzzle game/visual novel hybrids of games like Professor Layton, Ghost Trick, and Analogue: A Hate Story, you actually see a lot more variety in the approach to maturity, and a lot more variety in the end result. Ghost Trick, in particular, was especially affirming, and I'll adore that game for years to come. Absolutely one of the better DS games.

#14 Posted by Video_Game_King (35992 posts) -
#15 Posted by nintendoeats (5975 posts) -

@Little_Socrates:That's a fair point, games outside of the "games for gamers who game" category do tend to blend this stuff quite a bit better.

#16 Posted by spankingaddict (2659 posts) -

No

#17 Posted by Winternet (8005 posts) -

People tend to think a bleak/bad/fucked up ending somehow makes it good on its own. And Game Devs fall for it, because they have an obsession about satisfying the people.

#18 Posted by Pezen (1561 posts) -

@Little_Socrates: After all the 999 talk on the podcast, I am starting to think I should invest in some more DS games, seems to be harboring some story-driven gems.

@Video_Game_King: I think you read more into that than I indented. I'm not assuming that game was childish nor that there are no heavy stuff on a Nintendo consoles. Just that aside from my limited DS catalogue, I haven't been interested in a Nintendo console since SNES. So I found it amusingly ironic that something I seek from current gen consoles exist on the one platform I have more or less ignored.

#19 Posted by pyromagnestir (4241 posts) -

@Animasta said:

@pyromagnestir said:

It's not just games. There seems to be a shift towards grittiness in all mediums. Games seem to be late to the party.

As for happy endings: Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2!

I remember that being a pretty happy ending.

its not, she just says fuck you and let's you go find humanity with nothing but a stupid cube.

You don't think the Portal 2 ending is a happy ending? Que lastima!

Online
#20 Posted by Animasta (14648 posts) -

@pyromagnestir said:

@Animasta said:

@pyromagnestir said:

It's not just games. There seems to be a shift towards grittiness in all mediums. Games seem to be late to the party.

As for happy endings: Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2! Portal 2!

I remember that being a pretty happy ending.

its not, she just says fuck you and let's you go find humanity with nothing but a stupid cube.

You don't think the Portal 2 ending is a happy ending? Que lastima!

it's happy when you first get it but if you think about it chell now gets to go explore for humans, which she is not even sure there are anymore, with nothing but a cube.

DEPRESSING.

#21 Posted by MikkaQ (10268 posts) -

@Pezen: Sure that would be the case, but I play plenty of games with happy endings, so I don't feel like the sad ones are drowning it out at all. In either case, I still feel like no one has truly cracked great storytelling in games yet so maybe they'll get better down the road. It's not like I like the sad endings themselves, endings this year have been not great in general. I'm all for either kind of ending as long as it's satisfying and they rarely are. I liked Max Payne 3's ending. Sure it was basically riding off into the sunset but it wasn't overly tragic or happy about it and you felt Max's catharsis.

#22 Posted by themangalist (1717 posts) -

I'm sick of developers trying to be "mature", "dark" and what they think would be "memorable". I don't think being mature and dark necessarily translates to the game being memorable.

#23 Posted by Little_Socrates (5675 posts) -

@Pezen: There's really only a handful, as far as I'm aware. 999, Contact, and Ghost Trick are the standouts, and the Layton/Ace Attorney games have decent stories. Layton takes things a bit more seriously than Ace Attorney, but AA is generally just entertaining. I'm not sure TWEWY has a good story, but people care about it a lot. And Bowser's Inside Story isn't necessarily good for its story, but its writing is phenomenal. Trauma Center: Under the Knife was also pretty interesting, though I wouldn't go so far as to say it had a great or mature story.

#24 Posted by Video_Game_King (35992 posts) -

@Animasta said:

it's happy when you first get it but if you think about it chell now gets to go explore for humans, which she is not even sure there are anymore, with nothing but a cube.

DEPRESSING.

More like...

...a delayed happy ending, when you think about it even more.
#25 Edited by RenegadeDoppelganger (406 posts) -

This could be seen as a reaction to many games that up until this point have presented the player with a total control over the outcome of a story and clear good vs evil distinctions. In these games I think a lot of players opt to keep their conscience clear and try to be a shining beacon of morality. It's a power-fantasy, that you can save everyone, there is always a peaceful solution, all villains are 'evil' and eventually brought to justice. It's also kind of a storytelling cop out as it can gloss over character motivations and can open up some huge plot holes.

Now it seems writers are purposely obscuring the morality of many situations or forcing your character into situations where there is no 'good' solution. When it's done well it can really establish the character as vulnerable or human because that's how real life works sometimes 'bad things happen to good people'. It also allows a player to really connect with the characters which is a major weakness of the power-fantasy; they're hard for a player to relate to.

However when this stuff is executed badly, it feels the game setting up the illusion of player choice and then taking control away from you, punishing you seemingly for nothing.

Walking Dead is a great example of when this is executed well as it establishes that you really aren't 'controlling' lee as much as you are sort of joining him along for his ride.

#26 Posted by Pezen (1561 posts) -

@MikkaQ: As noted it may simply be a symptom of me not actually finding those games and thus I am drowned in bummerville. But I disagree with you on the writing, I think there's some fantastic writing in games today. Though it's certainly not as wide-spread as in other mediums yet, but I think we'll get there eventually when customers begin to demand more from their games.

@Little_Socrates: Well, a handfull is about as many DS games as I own overall so it would be double what I already own, so that's good. Thanks for the tips though, I'll look into them.

#27 Posted by Demoskinos (14562 posts) -

There are plenty of good endings just gotta play the right games.

#28 Posted by MetalBaofu (1348 posts) -

@Little_Socrates said:

@Pezen: There's really only a handful, as far as I'm aware. 999, Contact, and Ghost Trick are the standouts, and the Layton/Ace Attorney games have decent stories. Layton takes things a bit more seriously than Ace Attorney, but AA is generally just entertaining. I'm not sure TWEWY has a good story, but people care about it a lot. And Bowser's Inside Story isn't necessarily good for its story, but its writing is phenomenal. Trauma Center: Under the Knife was also pretty interesting, though I wouldn't go so far as to say it had a great or mature story.

And Hotel Dusk: Room 215. I've seen people talk about a game called Time Hollow, as well, but I've never played it

#29 Posted by AngelN7 (2970 posts) -

Happy endings are boring the good guys always win even if it was at the expense of some group or someone , I have yet to play a game with a truly "Bad ending" maybe Persona 4 but I didn't get that ending and 999 has a bunch of them but none of them are the "real" one ... F' that Axe ending is the best and final ending for that game.

#30 Posted by Pezen (1561 posts) -

@Demoskinos: That's like saying "Sure you can drive to your destination, you just have to follow the road" and walk away. Examples are much appreciated. What are some good endings you enjoyed?

#31 Posted by Demoskinos (14562 posts) -
@Pezen Final Fantasy XII ends on a very upbeat note. Sleeping dogs although having a few downers ended on a pretty positive vibe. At least my ending of Binary Domain was good. I also liked the ending to Dishonored I got im sure I can dig up more if I thought about it
#32 Posted by Ducksworth (659 posts) -

There was To The Moon (which I played and finished for the first time last weekend) and it had a balance of happiness and sadness. I agree with you though, there were a good number of games this gen trying to depress you or make you feel guilty...it's probably the biggest worry I have when it comes to The Last of Us.

#33 Posted by Cold_Wolven (2211 posts) -

There definitely seems to be a lack of imagination on the writer's side when it comes to ending a game particularly if it's a trilogy and it does kinda piss me off when writers feel killing off characters is the only way to achieve an emotional response from the player. Max Payne 3 which I beat a few days ago actually ended on a higher note and also Sleeping Dogs ended well too but writers do need to do a better job than a depressing ass ending.