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Again, I don't see it as a out of universe handwave, but an in-universe awknowledgement of how stuff is seen from asari perspective. Watsonian vs. Doylist me thinks.
And I do agree with you when it comes with how unnatural she sounded in ME1. The dialogue wasn't cute awkward, it was awkward at cute awkward.
I went for the 'She's a monogendered species, and I don't care whether it counts or not.' approach.
But Kaidan suddenly becoming bisexual in 3 was... strange. Did anyone play a Male Shep who romanced him?
Thank you! That was what I was trying to say.
edited 28th May '14 11:49:55 PM by arcanephoenix
Mass Effect wasn't alone in treating their romances this way, either. Bioware's been fascinated by lesbians for a while; The first Knights of the Old Republic had a lesbian option too.
Jade Empire gave us bisexual options for both men and women, but still felt the need to stack the deck for men, not only having an exclusive heterosexual male-only romance - which would be fine on its own - but also having a threesome option for men to romance both female characters. Men could have the male, one of the women, or both women, while women just had to pick between the male or the bi woman.
It really wasn't until Dragon Age that Bioware stopped treating its romance options like a hormonal teenage boy and realized that GLBT exists for more reasons than just to gawk at sexy lesbians, but at least they are progressing.
EDIT: And while, sure, the asari squadmate being bisexual works in-universe, I have trouble taking the asari as a whole seriously for the same reason. They're a mono-gendered race that happens to be a perfect replica of an attractive human female who have the perfect looks and agelessness of elves mixed with a decades-long stripper phase. An honest-to-god stripper phase.
Their entire species exists for titillation and nothing more.
edited 29th May '14 7:10:09 AM by TobiasDrake
Is Leviticus some kind of major deal-breaker or something?
And Bioware still hasn't lost their penchant for people having sex in their underwear, Liara aside. That is at least kinda prudish.
EDIT: That stripper phase thing kinda bothered me too. Some asari being strippers makes sense, almost all asari having a hundred-year phase of their lives as strippers is another thing. Plus, they're similar in looks to attractive human women - what do other species see in them, anyway?
(Damn, that came out wrong)
edited 29th May '14 7:31:02 AM by arcanephoenix
Underwear sex at least has an understandable rationale behind it: after the controversy that kicked up over Mass Effect 1's nude-but-no-more-risqué-than-you'll-find-in-Hollywood sex scenes, Bioware seems reluctant to risk pissing off the Moral Guardians again.
edited 29th May '14 7:12:22 AM by TobiasDrake
From The Book of Leviticus, a quote that goes like this. thou shalt not lie with mankind as thou does with womankind
When I did a more mass effect specific search, I found this:
And thou shalt not lay with the asari, for she will mislead you with the promise of eternity; neither shalt thou lay with the quarian, for thou art unclean; neither shall thou toucheth the fringe of the turian nor licketh the drell. Thou shalt not covet the prize.
edited 29th May '14 7:22:18 AM by VeryMelon
Hollywood shows full frontal nudity, man, the double standard makes no sense. Hell, even The Witcher and those David Cage games show FFN, so its not even as if it is a game thing.
Leviticus says man should not lie with man, nothing about woman lying with woman. Hence the whole 'no gay men' thing. Plus, lesbians are easier to fap to, I guess.
And honestly, if you're showing honest-to-goodness gay men and women, I'm pretty sure you've stopped caring about Moral Guardians.
edited 29th May '14 7:22:14 AM by arcanephoenix
Lesbians being included for fapping reasons rather than genuine GLBT reasons is the crux of my complaint.
I don't know how I got that backwards.
@Tobias: Wasn't first Knight of the old Republic's lesbian option unfinished/half assed since Lucas Art didn't want that? Or do I remember it wrong? I remember it being less finished than the one with Carth/Bastilla at least.
And yeah, Asari don't logically really make sense besides being attempt at the Sexy Blue/Green/whatever Alien Lady trope in "realistic" setting. But since trope by itself is ridiculous, you can't really make them non ridiculous. Well, except by making their appearance just be a facade due to mind powers or something :P
Anyway, yeah, I do believe that Bioware, at least initially, went with "lesbians are sexy, hehehe" before they started to attempt being more progressive. Also, yeah, underwear sex is ridiculous :P But then again, so is the whole "Sex is end goal of romance sidequest" thing, which is pretty offensive...
edited 29th May '14 7:35:44 AM by SpookyMask
The Juhani romance is there, but most of it was cut from the game, so it feels random. It doesn't actually happen until well into the Carth romance.
edited 29th May '14 7:35:18 AM by VeryMelon
Huh. Anyway, besides my pondering on offensiveness of sex as goal/end point of romance arcs... I honestly wouldn't be surprised if Liara's monogender lampshading was initially due to Bioware being afraid of similar reaction they got from Lucas Arts :P Whatever is the case, the Bioware kinda confuses me. I mean, on other hand they seem to be prone avoiding scandals, on other hand they seem to be willing to make really radical changes and sometimes even ones that don't make sense when you think about it even if they have positive effects.
I still don't get it.
Nudity offends Moral Guardians but gay people presented as normal people doesn't?
EDIT: And that sex at the end of romance thing probably has a justification, but it has nothing to do with romance. Almost every time you end up having sex is just before a mission of death or glory - Ilos in 1, Collector Base in 2 (can I mention 3?). That might be a contributing factor.
Aside, Mass Effect was a sort of tribute to space operas of old. That monogendered thing makes sense as a sort-of explanation for that. Still no idea why all species find them attractive.
edited 29th May '14 7:51:09 AM by arcanephoenix
Isn't it good thing if gay people being presented as normal doesn't offend them? :P I mean, they ARE normal people. If morality guards are offended by that, thats more fucked up than them being offended by nudity. Being offended by nudity is just stupid.
Anyway, speaking of weird choices by Bioware that I ultimately don't get.... Why did Shepard need to die and be forced to work for Cerberus in second game again?
I mean, only reason I can think of is that Bioware thought it'd be cool for Shepard to have alliance of convenient(correct term?) and be resurrected from dead(like Jesus :P Yes yes Bioware, "Lazarus project" how clever of you.*eyeroll*) and have (sort of) bad reputation due to it? Or did they think it provided drama/tragedy/personal stakes to take down Collectors?
Whatever it was, it seems Bioware really didn't think it through and just did random things they thought would be cool that they discarded in ME 3 <_< I wonder how trilogy would have been different if it was actually written as one from the start... But then again, how many trilogies are truly planned out from the start? I mean, yeah some writers do intend to write trilogy, but how many of them have main plot structure and events and important things planned out in advance?
^Edit: It does apply to Dragon Age as well you know. Well, besides second game, but thats because of timeskips. One of good things about that game if you ask me. Anyway, doesn't that talk about how repetitive ME is in regard to that if apparently all sex scenes are justified by "We are probably going to die"? :P
edited 29th May '14 7:53:22 AM by SpookyMask
They hired Martin Sheen before planning anything and had to shoehorn him in to an existing organization but make it totally not as evil as we know it is and make Shepard work for them just so they'd get to make the most use out of his voice.
edited 29th May '14 7:53:53 AM by AnSTH
I have zero problems with gay people presented as normal, but honestly, if you don't mind putting gay characters in your game, you cannot use the excuse of 'Its to appease the moral guardians' as to why you cannot show nudity.
That dying thing was kind of funny though.
And money well spent, though Armin Shimmerman channelling Ryan would've worked pretty well too.
edited 29th May '14 7:57:09 AM by arcanephoenix
Thats actually another thing, why bring back Cerberus? I mean, they could have just made up new evil organization. Hell, that would have made it possible for players(well besides gullible ones who hadn't payed attention in first game) to actually mistake organization for good. So why bring back sidequest organization from first game and make it more threatening while ignoring whole darn Akuze thing?
(Speaking of which, I'm annoyed by how meaningless personal histories are in latter games. Especially akuze one. I mean, devs' whole squad was killed by Cerberus and he NEVER personally mentions it? What)
And one more thing that I don't really understand: Why set up Harbinger as big bad of the series, yet have him only appear once in third game? Besides for wanting to avoid boss fights for silly reasons? Dang it Bioware, don't you know that gameplay goes over story when it comes to including boss fights? :P Its video game, its allowed to be "video gamey"!
All of those have possible explanations I can guess(Like Cerberus was chosen because it was notable sidequest due to organization being involved in multiple missions so it had more name recognition(Correct word?) to old fans), in case of Harbinger they wanted more "human" big bad hence why Illusive Man is main antagonist(face wise :P) in ME 3, in case of Akuze it would have contradicted whole "Shepard works with Cerberus" thing and they didn't want to get rid of personal histories since first game had them despite them not doing anything with them), but all of these things show that Bioware seems to lack foresight <_<
Dang it, I really wish someone in future would attempt to do same thing Bioware did, but do it better. Too few developers on this type of rpg market :P
edited 29th May '14 8:01:41 AM by SpookyMask
Cerberus as a whole suffered from inconsistent writing, which was obvious to anyone who played Mass Effect 1 before 2. 2 spent some time justifying why the player would want to side with these guys that they knew were bad news from the first game because it tried the be the "dark middle chapter' of a sci-fi trilogy.
Then in ME 3 they get dropped no matter what you do with Collector Base <_< It would at least make sense if they had had option of sticking with Cerberus and playing the game from their perspective, but that would have been too much work.
Again this is why I want to someone else than Bioware attempt to do same thing but better: I love ME games, but each game in series is inconsistent with each other(gameplay wise, story wise, design wise...) and all have some cons(first game has way too boring sidequests :P for example) that are rather annoying even though they don't kill the enjoyable parts.
Heck, I wouldn't mind if whoever did new project similar to ME would also fall to same "Every game has almost completely different gameplay" thing as long story and designs would be consistent <_< Since even though I do like gameplay(and I do think it has improved even though that improvement came through weird changes and focus shift), I do ultimately play these games for story. Or rather... Hmm, hard to say it. Whats the word? Not for writing, but for experience?
Like, for example, why do geth stop using hoppers after first game? Or armatures? Besides the gameplay reasons like how in third game all enemies in the game, besides harvester, also appear in multiplayer mode?
edited 29th May '14 8:18:46 AM by SpookyMask
The rationale for using Cerberus instead of some new organization is to justify the level of resistance Shepard gets. The What the Hell, Hero? responses that people like the Virmire Survivor throw at Shepard would fall flat if he was working for some nameless group nobody's ever heard of. With Cerberus, the player has adequate reason to be opposed to Cerberus right from the get go, so when Ashley or the Council or the like flip their shit and go, "Dude, it's goddamn CERBERUS!" the player can relate.
Sure, with some new group, the player can more easily buy the idea that they might actually be the good guys, but here's the thing: you're not, at any point, supposed to buy that. That's not what they were going for. Cerberus was pretty blatantly a Deal with the Devil from the get-go.
Kind of a weird move for them to claim the game lets you make important decisions that could affect the fate of the galaxy but doesn't let you choose to not work with the Obviously Evil terrorists.
Well, that's railroading for you.
EDIT: Not "bad" I guess, but "weird".
edited 29th May '14 8:25:45 AM by AnSTH
Yeah, but it makes less sense for Shepard to work with them even with all "Alliance and Council won't help" crap(and whole Akuze thing). Which didn't really make sense in first game. I mean, really, only real reason why Council didn't help Shepard in second game as excuse for Shepard to work with Cerberus. Thats why its rather easy to remove ME 2 from trilogy with only minor changes, the game doesn't introduce anything new ti plot except characters. And hell, if some mysterious supposedly beneficial organization brings Shepard back alive, that would probably make Council mad as well. And suspect whether Shepard really died or not. Especially if they have previous history with group(but can't prove it that they are actually evil).
Anyway... I have to admit something: The thing that bothers me most about ME Trilogy really is... SERIOUSLY why did Hoppers stop being used? Whyyyy?
<_< I'm actually serious about that. SERIOUSLY seriously. I mean, plot inconsistency are annoying, but that bothers me the most because I can't make up a reason for it. Where they hard to program for developers so they removed them? Was wallclimbing too much? Why did enemy with unique pattern get removed from series after first game? They had cool design... I can't see reason why they made Geth Prime design less cooler, but they design geth differently in all three games anyway, so thats at least consistent, but removing enemy type? Why?
edited 29th May '14 8:28:24 AM by SpookyMask
The more unique enemy variants were removed to facilitate the cover based shooting I imagine.
Damn, multiplayer in 3 with geth hoppers would've been something.
Still, you're right, sometimes it does feel 1 deserved a different 2 and 3 and 2 and 3 deserved a different 1.
edited 29th May '14 8:29:58 AM by arcanephoenix
It would make less sense for Shepard to go, "Well, the Alliance and Council aren't helping me, but I really don't like Cerberus, so I'm just going to let those people die. I mean, it sucks that colonies are disappearing, and whatever's causing it is doing far more damage than Cerberus could ever hope to, but...Cerberus, man. Not worth it."
The first Mass Effect didn't have an option where you quit the Alliance and become a space pirate, roaming the galaxy shooting up Alliance ships and just generally flipping the bird to the whole Saren/Reapers storyline. Bioware is not Bethesda, they don't have an option to quit the plot.
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