Again, for good measure:
SPOILERS!I just beat the game. Man. Yes, I know there's another thread about the ending(s) that's all RAWRRAWR FUCK BIOWARE GRR, and to an extent I understand that. But I wanted to see how the people that actually liked the game felt about how it ended.
I'm not sure at this point (having literally JUST beat the game), but I think I liked the ending. For the record, I chose the "left ending", where Shepard controls the Reapers, because it seems like the only one that wasn't completely weird and/or evil. Having Youtube'd the other endings, I definitely feel like I made the right choice, regardless of the fact that the endings are almost literally palette swaps of each other. The story implications for each are obviously hugely different, but I'm kind of baffled to learn that they LITERALLY swapped the colors of one visual effect in the endings, and except for EDI showing up and the reapers either blowing up or not, everything is identical. That, I will say, is lazy and significantly diminishes the emotional impact of a choice that I actually took a minute or two to stop and think about. I even tried running (see: limping) back the way I came to find a secret fourth ending or something.
I'd like to hear if anyone else choice a different ending, because I can't even comprehend why someone would. The rightmost ending is closest to what I expected the ending would be, but killing off the geth that I spent 3 games freeing and making individuals is helluv stupid. Also, the fact that it is glowing red like "Hey assholes, this one's for you!" didn't help. And then the middle ending was way too hippy-dippy "We're one with the machines, man," plus no more mass effect gates means have fun colonizing Sol with the battered remains of a dozen different races for the 4-400,000 years it would take to get back home. Thoughts?
On a larger scale, I'm not sure what to make of the way the games, which for the 150+ hours up to this point took place in a fairly direct, futuristic universe where anything could be explained away with some level of "science" suddenly, in the last 30 minutes, becomes all spiritual and lacking any real context for what the fuuuuck is happening. Even though it would have been a little played out and generic to have the Halo-esque weapon that wipes out all Reapers in the galaxy, it (or something in that vein) would have fit into the universe far more easily than Force ghosts of dead kids who Shepard saw twice for a few seconds twice in his life (We get it, Shepard is now an incredibly caring and guilty guy. You don't need to project it onto the Reapers to show his inner turmoil). Having the Reapers gone in this way could have set up some really cool DLC, like keeping the Krogans and Salarians from immediately fighting each other, finding and re-establishing the Batarians, or figuring out what the hell to do with the Crucible-Citadel floating over Earth.
All that said, I understand that Mass Effect has become much bigger than the core stories in the last two games, and they needed to do something grand and epic to put a close to the Shepard saga. Thinking about it now, I feel the same way I did about the Lost finale: An incredibly effective, emotional conclusion to a long journey, but fuck magic.
Now that my inner turmoil over what I just played/watched is through, anyone else finish yet? Thoughts?
ALSO, as a side note, screw Bioware for putting Joker, Anderson, and Liara as the character flashback card things as Shepard "dies". Anderson, sure, he just died and worked with Shepard many times. Joker also knew Shep before ME1, but he's still alive and kicking.. But sure. Liara though? Really? Dear Bioware: I had Tali before I had Liara, I had Tali while Liara was off being emo with her Shadow Broker friends, I hung out with Tali when Liara was being all introverted in Miranda's cabin, and I made sweet, sweet love to Tali on at least three separate occasions. Liara's great at being all depressing in the corner, but would it have killed you to take a screenshot of any other characters in the party? Hell, I'd rather have Garrus over Liara, and I let that asshole beat me at target shooting just to make him feel good about himself.
EDIT: I should probably add that I really enjoyed the game as a whole and think it's better than ME2, both in gameplay and in overall story.