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.”

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11 Comments on Game Front 1-on-1: Bob Case Of Tasteful, Understated Nerd Rage

Tom

On July 19, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Heh, he should go work for RedLetterMedia so they’ll have someone more interesting than Rich Evans to talk about video games.

Ultenth

On July 24, 2012 at 11:33 am

Thanks for giving this man some press Gamefront. Been a huge fan of his work since the first video, and really like all his stuff, even though I may not always agree 100%.

His channel on Youtube is like an Oasis, where everyone is polite, intelligent, and patient for his next video. He’ll release videos about how he is behind schedule and apologizing, and 99.9999% of the comments on it are always “Take as much time as you need, just make it right”. It’s almost like it’s not even on Youtube, and just an illusion.

Mosaic

On July 24, 2012 at 7:40 pm

I understand the video Mass Effect 3 Ending: Tasteful, Understated Nerdrage (SPOILERS) is good, however you go on to say ” It also ended up becoming a minor hit, garnering more than 300,000 hits as of this writing.”. But couldn’t you have included more videos in this write up? Like perhaps angry joe’s video ” 10 Reasons We Hate Mass Effect 3′s Ending”. Which garnered a much higher number of hits (934,844) and was to my knowledge much more of a hit video for ME3 rage?

R.J.

On July 24, 2012 at 8:06 pm

@mosaic

Keep in mind that much of what Angry Joe brought up has been discussed on this site, and Angry Joe is another reviewer. This article is about somebody who isn’t looking to do reviews of lots of games and happens to focus on ME3. TUN was started because of ME3.

Anyway, I’m not surprised to find out that the man behind TUN has an accounting degree in addition to a literature degree. I also have an accounting degree, and much of his analysis was very much how I would have analyzed it. Not just in terms of what he says, but how he does it.

And I agree with him that while certain things were addressed by the EC, unfortunately the biggest problem is still there. The Catalyst still doesn’t fit and is still based on flawed logic.

Jaimz Braun

On July 25, 2012 at 3:17 am

Speaking of Angry Joe, what I really like is how this one ending has come to several different ways of analysing it. Angry Joe made a 20 minute video looking at ten specific reasons why he and many others disliked the ending. It gave enough focus on each of the problems and enough context as to why they were legitimate complaints, but it didn’t spend too long on anything. Bob Case, on the other hand, spent almost forty minutes discussing a much smaller palette of issues at the core of the problem, rather than just at skin-level, and going into a huge amount of detail on all of them. Both videos are absolutely required viewing for anyone looking for a balanced and varied view on why the ending was so poorly received. Interestingly, they both came to wildly different conclusions on the DLC – Angry Joe said it saved the series as it gave him enough data to understand the original vision and made the Catalyst seem interesting enough for possible future content and elaboration, while Case decided that the improvements were only cathartic on a superficial level because the two major tools for the ending – the Catalyst and the Crucible – both still seemed completely out of place and contrived.

Similarly, the way in which the Indoctrination Theory has been evaluated in videos has been hugely varied as well. ACAYVOS’s 21-and-a-half minute video seems to be the most popular, along with Angry Joe’s top ten list of around the same length. But then you have pro781623′s 42-minute video which doesn’t even mention the possibility of Shepard’s own indoctrination until the final wrap-up, instead focusing purely on previous precedent set by both Shepard and other characters, and it arguably ends up being even more involving for it. And then, of course, you have Julian Kluk’s two hour+ documentaries on the theory, which scrutinise almost every minute detail with very few inaccuracies, as well as introducing some interesting and occasionally downright genius new concepts. Again, if you have any interest in the theory, regardless of whether or not you think there’s a chance that this is what Bioware was going for (the EC appears to have deliberately left certain elements ambiguous, and even added a few extra details that seem to support the theory, supposedly just to keep their options open or to please as many people as possible), all of these videos are required viewing because they all hit on different points and have hugely contrasting styles of expressing them.

And that’s not even mentioning the memes – ‘His name was Marauder Shields’, ‘Shepard Face reacts to the endings’, ‘Red Explosion/Green Explosion/Blue Explosion’ dialogue options, ‘A, B or C’, ‘Yo Dawg I hear you don’t wanna be killed by synthetics…’, and so forth. Real, good-natured and collective humour has been found in the carcass of a broken promise and a pretentious premise.

While most of the mainstream elite were busy puckering up to the collective rear ends of Bioware and EA, while attacking anyone with the balls to question ‘art’ regardless of how genuine and valid the criticisms were, and attempting to undermine the massive backlash by focusing on the weakest arguments and trying to label them as lonely psychopathic nerds because of a few dozen trolls who wrote homophobic/racist bile on Metacritic (which has nothing to do with the ending) or sent death threats to Bioware, the overwhelming majority of those affected by this have channelled their understandable frustration and annoyance in a mature, objective and entertaining manner. And GameFront has been just about the only mainstream games site that has had the journalistic courage and the intellectual capacity to represent these people in a fair, non-condescending manner, for which we continue to be grateful.

wesker1984

On July 25, 2012 at 10:47 am

”That’s a lot of work, an estimated 10 hours or so by Case’s count, and all of it done for free.”
Bioware also did the Extended cut for free.

”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.”
This is why we call that Sci-Fi because this not suposed to be super-realistic. And we talk about a billions years advanced civilisation here.

”This has ranged from touching, like Retake Mass Effect’s charity drive, to artistic, like the excellent Marauder Shields comic series.”
This deviant art series sucks as hell.

”We highly recommend taking some time to watch.”
No! I’m satisfied with the extended cut content and will not waste my time on some new nerdrage!

Gamefront can you just let go all those post-extended cut article and let the good Mass Effect 3 rest in peace and start making again real news around new content coming? Because you all acting like a angry child.

wesker1984

On July 25, 2012 at 11:04 am

To wallydog and Zach:
English is not my native language and i learned it by myself. At least you two have understand what i have said thus proving you are also as inteligent as you pretend to be. And i do not care if no ones want me i’m here to stay and try to live with it.

And again wallydog i’m super-inteligent is just i a have some big difficulties to write proper english.

And Zach i will defend what i want to defend. Like you did.

If you two you can’t support someone who dont agree with you please feel free to leave.

R.J.

On July 25, 2012 at 10:26 pm

@wesker

If you hate seeing ME3 articles so much, why do you keep reading them? The easiest thing for you to do would be to stop looking at these articles and find something else to read.

Daretoask

On July 26, 2012 at 7:05 am

@RJ: Please don’t feed the troll, it only fuels his rage machine and makes him feel important. Kudos to you for trying to argue in a civilized manner though! *applauds*

E

On July 28, 2012 at 4:32 am

Sounds like Game Front should just hire him. He can put out great analytic articles AND do the office accounting.

Ebalosus

On October 15, 2012 at 4:08 am

Ah, Mr B Tongue, he’s been gone for over 2 months now; I wish he’d at least tell us what’s up, as a lot of us have gotten worried :’(