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You wanted the galaxy crippled when all was said and done?
The galaxy wasn't crippled in the ending I saw. And regardless of what I saw in the ending, I thoroughly enjoyed every second leading up to it.
The relays destroyed. Pretty much the entire galaxy's military force trapped in a single, depleted system. Seems pretty crippled to me.
With the EC it definately wasn't crippled. The original ending, that was questionable, definately. I enjoyed Mass Effect 3 throughly, the SP and MP, despite my misgivings over the poorly written ending.
I just wish the original ending didn't sap any drive I had to play the first 2 away. I'll probably go back eventually and play them again though.
Considering all of the choice you had to make through 3 games, just to have it come down to 3 choices with the same outcome was a shame, then to have them be as poorly conceived as they were sucked. They could have had much more than what was there, but they took an easy way out and it showed. I haven't touched the add ons yet since I've had no desire to play which is a shame.
Take out that last ten minutes of the game, and it would have been one of my all time favorites. Now it is just a great game, that fell really short when it mattered the most.
The Mass Effect series was my favorite game series of all time even before the extended cut was released. I never had a problem with the ending. Sure I felt they needed to give a little more explanation and the extended cut did that. The only thing about Mass Effect 3 that "isn't that great" is the multiplayer. Thankfully I can completely ignore it though.
I think on its own, Mass Effect 3 is a decent/great game, not game of the year. SO much of the motivation and emotional ties were because of the past 2 games. As a whole the trilogy is probably the best main stream science fiction out there, but each individually has weaknesses and strengths. Its only when you combine all three do you get those amazing feelings (and regret at the ending of ME3). The trilogy is up for I think game of the decade, but individually, meh, they're all good... just not epic.