Game Front 1-on-1: Bob Case Of Tasteful, Understated Nerd Rage
Case didn’t stop at just one. In the following months, he produced an additional seven videos, two of which continued his examination of Mass Effect 3. That’s a baffling output, considering his other professional and personal obligations. Each video requires considerable research — “via Google, so kind of the same way everyone else does it” — most of which never ends up making it into the final release. Case also writes a extensive script for each episode (“usually the hardest part”), scours YouTube for relevant clips, and puts it all together in Windows Media Maker. That’s a lot of work, an estimated 10 hours or so by Case’s count, and all of it done for free.
Given the time he put into his analyses, we had to ask him for his take on BioWare’s Extended Cut for Mass Effect 3. Like Game Front, Case had cautious praise, but ultimately considers the new content to lack improvements necessary to fully save the series.
“The short version is that I do think it’s an improvement,” he said. “I’d say that the biggest problem with the original ending is the lack of narrative coherance on the suface level. There were things like characters that were on Earth showing up on the Normandy with no explanation, to things like the Normandy being in full flight to a mass relay ahead of the explosion when that should be impossible. These things were so unexpected and implausible that they take you out of the story entirely. So those two things have been addressed.
“In that sense if it were possible to separate the content from the ending as a whole then I’d say they did a pretty good job,” he added. “The downside is that what I’d consider to be the core problems are still there. The existence of this hologram kid, the fact that the existence of the Crucible makes no sense to me, I just feel like it was a big dump of implausible and strange things at the worst time. My fear all along was that they were going to listen to every complaint, and then kind of address them all piecemeal in the new ending, which is kind of what they did, unfortunately, but that may have been all they were able to do.”
Case has expanded on these points in a video he posted on July 2, which he expects will be his final word on the matter. “My strategic outrage reserves have been depleted,” he joked, adding that he will be continuing the series indefinitely thanks to the positive response he’s received so far.
“My plan now is to do a video every Monday. It probably won’t be as long, more in the 10-minute range,” Case said. “The reason I can keep this up is that I have a backlog of things to talk about. I don’t have scripts [for all of them] yet or anything, but I have the topics for the next five or six.”
The topics on the docket include “probably more than one video” discussing the Elder Scrolls series, and one about the Cyberpunk genre, inspired by the revival of the Shadowrun series. They can be found on his YouTube page. And as with his prior videos, he will continue to produce them at his own expense.
Not that Case wouldn’t prefer to make a living from TUN; he’s even started exploring ways to monetize it, he said. “I was in contact with a couple of people but haven’t heard back from them for a couple of weeks. (Laughs) It’s not like I hate accounting, but if I could do this for a living I would have a lot more fun. But it’s not something I can make happen overnight, not something I want to rely on and have it not work out.”