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Mass Effect 3

Fans Discovered Mass Effect Trilogy Same-Sex Romance Options Sadly Left on Cutting Room Floor

Apparently there were a bunch of even more romantic options in the original Mass Effect trilogy, some that never quite made the final cut.

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[VIDEO] Interview: Courtenay Taylor Talks Her Favorite Roles and Following Her Passions

Courtenay Taylor is one versatile actress. She's lent her voice acting talents to Halo 5, Fallout 4, Mad Max, Resident Evil, and, of course, Jack from Mass Effect 3—but voice acting wasn't her original plan. In this interview with The Mary Sue contributor Ashley Barry, Taylor explains how harsh criticism of her voice during a theater audition eventually lead to her discovering voice acting, a career she hadn't even known existed beforehand.

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Things We Saw Today: Samurai Darth Vader

The force is strong with this figure.

The world's most famous father gets Samurai'd in this rad new figure that just debuted at the Tokyo Toy Show. Chigau, omae no chichi wa washi da! (via Nerd Approved)

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Time Magazine Names The 100 Best Video Games

It Goes Ding When There's Stuff

Yeah, I chose Paperboy as the header image for this post and you're just going to have to deal with it. Best of lists are bound to attract controversy so prepare yourself to have some opinions on Time Magazine's list of the 100 best video games. 

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Things We Saw Today: Power Rangers Go Pop!

Things We Saw Today

Funko has unveiled their latest Pop! figures (we were previously excited about the Game of Thrones collection) and it's the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers! (via Comics Alliance)

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Mass Effect: Paragon Lost Trailer Looks Like Mass Effect, Feels Like Anime

The Mass Effect 3 single player DLC train is just starting to gain steam, which means we're probably going to be returning to the Normandy sporadically over next few months. If DLC isn't going to be enough to slake your thirst for stories from the Mass Effect universe, Mass Effect: Paragon Lost is a feature-length anime detailing the backstory of your favorite new crew member, James Vega. It doesn't take long to see that, while the world is populated by Asari and Krogans, the movie feel like a serious (and interesting) departure from the world we've come to know.

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Pondering What Gail Simone Said About Video Games, The Three Act Structure, & Storytelling

Essay

Last week, comic writer Gail Simone shared some musings on her Tumblr about how video games are bucking the long-held three act model of narrative structure. The whole thing is worth a read (even though she tells you not to), and it poses a lot of good food for thought about how this fledgling medium could be starting to really shake things up. Most of my brainpower this weekend was spent mulling over her closing question:
…are video games training us to look at stories differently, and if so, will they affect or alter the three act structure in other media?
I can address the first part of that question with a resounding yes.

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Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut DLC is Out Now, Watch The New Endings Here

And there you have it, the Shepard arc of the Mass Effect series has finally ground to a halt, that is unless fans can whine it back from the dead yet again. The free, somewhat revisionist DLC Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut dropped today, attempting to flesh out the endings of the game to appease a complaining fan-base. If you don't want to see the endings in-game where they belong (which requires replaying about an hour of the game's most difficult combat sections), the new endings are all up on YouTube, and you can check them out below. There be spoilers, obviously.

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Once More Unto the Breach, Dear Friends: The Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut Will Be Here On June 26

Assuming Direct Control

Imagine that you have an ex that you're still pretty smitten kitten over. They screwed up, and you know you've done the right thing by trying to move on, but you still go all weak in the knees when that song you shared comes on. A few months along, just as you're feeling like life can be okay without them, they call you, out of the blue. They want to meet. Right now. They're going to make it up to you, they say. Things are going to be different from here on out. Now you know how I felt twenty minutes ago when I saw the announcement that the Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut will be released on June 26 in North America, and July 4 in Europe.

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Fan-Demanded Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut DLC Coming June 26th

Whether you think it's a necessary re-contextualization of the awkward and much-protested Mass Effect 3 ending, or a dangerous assault on the authorial agency, Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut, the free DLC intended to flesh out the series' conclusion, is coming on June 26th. Unless you have a PlayStation 3 in Europe; then you have to wait until July 4th. We've known about this for a while, since BioWare caved and announced they'd release an addition -- not a revision, but an addition -- to the game's end, later clarifying that it would come out this summer and be free. Now it has a date, and it's very close. It's up to you whether or not you want to risk getting your hopes up.

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Initiatives To Get More Women Into Video Games, Good Or Bad?

Consider the Following

Back in March, we posted a really interesting recruitment video from video game developers Electronic Arts. They showed a video game marketer, developer, and publisher - all women - talking about how they got their start in the business. We thought it was a really great way to show young women some unique career opportunities. And then the video was removed. We have no idea why but apparently EA is still actively on the hunt for women to work at their company and for them to play their games. Why? They may finally be realizing the marketing potential, but the industry still has a long way to go and not everyone is sure actively seeking out women for programming jobs is the way to go.

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Stephen Fry Defends Electronic Arts Against Anti-Gay Controversy

And All Was Right With the World

Video game publisher Electronic Arts has been in the news a lot lately and the news hasn't been good. Their BioWare division has been receiving a lot of flack about the ending of Mass Effect 3 (causing them to create a whole new ending for the fans who complained) and the company as a whole has had to defend itself against thousands of letters complaining about same sex relationships in their games. Now, British actor Stephen Fry has taken it upon himself to not only give a huge vote of confidence to EA, but also promote All Out's campaign to help them combat the letters with a petition. Hit the jump for what he had to say. 

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EA Responds to Hatemail, Stands By The LGBT Characters In Its Games

While Bioware is off not standing by its ending to Mass Effect 3, EA is making it clear that it does stand by the presence of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) characters in its games, most notably Mass Effect 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic. This progressive, sticking-to-its-righteous-guns move comes just after EA was awarded the Consumerist's Worst Company in America award of 2012. For the past few weeks, EA has been receiving thousands of letters complaining about the games' same-sex options and now, perhaps at a calculated moment, EA's made a point of telling dissenters exactly where they can shove their complaints.

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It’s Official: BioWare Will Be Releasing Free Ending DLC for Mass Effect 3

Assuming Direct Control

It's been one hell of a month for Mass Effect fans. Since early March, the fanbase has been seething over the widely reviled ending to Mass Effect 3, with many actively calling for BioWare to change it via DLC. Two weeks later, BioWare announced that it was working on "game content initiatives" that would address issues of clarity and narrative. Today, fresh on the heels of The Consumerist naming EA as 2012's Worst Company in America, and just in time for BioWare to potentially avoid a bloodbath at PAX East tomorrow, we have an answer. Yes, there will be DLC that extends the ending. And yes, it will be free.

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Free Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut DLC Coming This Summer

Short of playing the new content itself, we've finally reached the end of the Mass Effect 3 ending debacle. Bioware already announced they will be releasing ending DLC for Mass Effect 3, but now we know some details. It's called Mass Effect 3: Extended Cut, it's coming this summer to the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC and it will be free. It will not change the much derided Mass Effect 3 ending, but it will fix the much derided lack of closure by including epilogues and additional cinematics designed to make your story's ending feel more personalized. Who knows if it'll work, but it's a start.

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BioWare Co-Founder Promises Fans “Clarity and Closure” for Mass Effect 3

Assuming Direct Control

When I wrote my breakdown of the Mass Effect 3 ending kerfuffle on Tuesday, I didn't think there'd be anything to add to the discussion for a while. It had only been two weeks since the game was released, and I figured that the very earliest we'd hear anything more concrete from BioWare would be at their upcoming panel at PAX East. Oh, silly me. Yesterday, BioWare co-founder and general manager Dr. Ray Muzyka directly addressed the controversy through an open letter to all players of the game. He humbly accepted criticism and acknowleged the "valid principles" behind some of the more prevalent complaints. He also promised that in April, we'd be hearing more about "game content initiatives" that would address some of the fans' concerns, notably those of narrative clarity and closure.

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Bioware Working on New Mass Effect 3 Ending Content in Response to Fan Criticism

After a massive fan backlash, Bioware cofounder Ray Muzyka has announced that the Mass Effect 3 team is now working on "a number of game content initiatives that will help answer the questions" so many fans complained about having. While Mass Effect 3 garnered mostly positive review scores, many fans were disappointed by the endings, specifically their lack of variety and lack of closure. Initially, Bioware stood behind the Mass Effect 3 endings 100% percent, and although this announcement doesn't suggest that Bioware has changed its opinion on the original endings' integrity, it makes clear their desire to please the fan base. In short, complaining Mass Effect 3 fans may have finally gotten what they wanted.

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Everything You Need to Know About the Mass Effect 3 Ending Controversy, As Spoiler-Free As Possible

Essay

By now, you’ve likely heard that the endings to Mass Effect 3 have made people a little bit…upset. Fan backlashes to endings are hardly a new phenomenon in the geek community, but this goes beyond angry letters and wistful fanart. A significant chunk of the fanbase is petitioning BioWare to change the ending entirely via DLC. If that sounds ridiculous to you, you’re not alone. Many gaming sites have scoffed at Mass Effect fans, throwing around words like “childish” or “entitled.” However, this fight is far more complicated than a few fans whining over the lack of a sunshine-and-rainbows ending. The way this thing plays out could have major ramifications not only for the gaming industry, but for how we define the concept of creative ownership. If you care about gaming, storytelling, or digital media, this is a story you should know about. EDITOR UPDATE: Bioware has, uh, actually responded, sort of. Read Becky's response here.

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Mass Effect Team Assault Is A Canned Mass Effect Shooter

While the Mass Effect games did get significantly more shooter-oriented from sequel to sequel, they never made any moves to abandon their traditional 3rd person viewpoint. That wasn't always the case, however, as evidenced by the canned project Mass Effect Team Assault which was intended to be just that, a Mass Effect shooter. The game was in development back in 2010, and was originally intended to be a standalone addition to the Mass Effect canon, probably as a downloadable game. It was later intended for inclusion as the multiplayer component of Mass Effect 3, where it ultimately was replaced by the Galaxy at War mode.

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Mass Effect 3’s Endings Were Stupid, But They Don’t Ruin The Franchise

Mass Effect 3 was the first Day 1 game purchase I've made in at least 5 years, possibly my only one ever. I can't remember. I desperately wanted to avoid all influence, spoilers, reviews, comments, and play the game in a vacuum to get my own take on the conclusion of a series I've come to love ravenously. That, of course, proved impossible and when I heard talk of a petition to change its ending, I started getting seriously worried. Now that I've finished it, I can confidently say that the endings were bad, they were stupid, they were avoidable, but they did not retroactively ruin the franchise or rob the previous games of their value, and if you feel like they did, it's probably as much your fault as it is Mass Effect 3's.

It should go without saying, but there be massive spoilers a'comin'. For all three games in the series, and possibly for ME2 DLC.

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