Author Topic: How many of these do I want!?!?  (Read 10236 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline TrashMan

  • T-tower Avenger. srsly.
  • 213
  • God-Emperor of your kind!
    • Minecraft
    • FLAMES OF WAR
Re: How many of these do I want!?!?
Yeah but Chris Roberts has never managed to make a story that wasn't mediocre, so I can't say I'm expecting much out of it.

Care to post examples of great stories?

Wanna bet a lot of people will disagree they are great?
Nobody dies as a virgin - the life ****s us all!

You're a wrongularity from which no right can escape!

 

Offline Lorric

  • 212
Re: How many of these do I want!?!?
Yeah but Chris Roberts has never managed to make a story that wasn't mediocre, so I can't say I'm expecting much out of it.

Care to post examples of great stories?

Wanna bet a lot of people will disagree they are great?
Hey now. Let's not make this hostile. Like I said:

I suppose I'm curious why you think not even one of the games' stories gets above mediocre. I'm not going to try and make you change your opinion on subjective material, I'm just curious.

I did think it was a bit tactless to dismiss the widely acknowledged strongest part of the games as universally no better than mediocre, but I am curious as to why he thinks that and at the end of the day it's just one man's opinion and it's all subjective. We don't need to go attacking his tastes on subjective material to discuss this, do we?

 

Offline Dragon

  • Citation needed
  • 212
  • The sky is the limit.
Re: How many of these do I want!?!?
The gameplay doesn't SUCK, and has a rare few moments, but it's just so inferior to so many other games of the genre.
You probably have time to thank for that. :) Prophecy plays best because it's newest, and even this one is fairly primitive. WC3 can seem antiquated both in graphics and in gameplay (WC4 improved on it, but only slightly) and earlier games are even worse in that regard. They can be fun, but if you don't like old games, they're very hard to get used to.

As for stories, once can get a poor impression of Chris Roberts' writing from the most well known Wing Commander, which is the 3rd game. Taken at the face value, it's a rather generic WWII pacific theater movie story. His greats are WC2 and WC4 (and Freelancer, but it has a large part of the story missing). Anyone who calls WC4's story "medicore" did not pay enough attention to it (it's at least as deep as Freespace's, maybe more so, though political, not spiritual). :) But what Roberts does best is the characters. In WC3's case, the characters are, at times, more interesting than what happens to them. :) They're what makes the games unforgettable and very immersive, despite their age. It's especially great if one was following them from the first game (or at least from WC2). Another oft-overlooked quality of WC3 and 4 is great acting in FMVs, something that the modern games don't even aspire to have.

 

Offline Lorric

  • 212
Re: How many of these do I want!?!?
You probably have time to thank for that. :) Prophecy plays best because it's newest, and even this one is fairly primitive. WC3 can seem antiquated both in graphics and in gameplay (WC4 improved on it, but only slightly) and earlier games are even worse in that regard. They can be fun, but if you don't like old games, they're very hard to get used to.

Yeah, that's a good point. Especially for WC1, which from what I understand was the total package when it came out. And WC3 is older than I thought as well, I was comparing it to games from like 3 years later. I do like a lot of old games, but Wing Commander 3 and 4 despite being my favourite genre I just struggle to get enjoyment out of playing them. WC1+2, never played, but just looking at them I think I'd be tearing my hair out trying to play them. If anything could be good for being remade, I think WCs 1-4 would be a great place to go. Remaster the FMV for 3 and 4, and remake and rebalance the levels into much larger scale battles on a modern engine. 1+2 for the story is more tricky, redoing that could wreck it and make it feel "not right". Perhaps don't touch it, but get some strong voice actors in, with an option of no voices available if that doesn't feel right to people. They could also use the same balance from the games to create the same levels on the modern engine so you could play the classic levels upgraded and the new levels with big battles.

Quote
But what Roberts does best is the characters. In WC3's case, the characters are, at times, more interesting than what happens to them. :) They're what makes the games unforgettable and very immersive, despite their age. It's especially great if one was following them from the first game (or at least from WC2). Another oft-overlooked quality of WC3 and 4 is great acting in FMVs, something that the modern games don't even aspire to have.

This. For me the game World and characters are well built and suck you in.

 
Re: How many of these do I want!?!?
Yeah but Chris Roberts has never managed to make a story that wasn't mediocre, so I can't say I'm expecting much out of it.

Care to post examples of great stories?

Wanna bet a lot of people will disagree they are great?

freespace 2
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians, and all those who make empty prophecies. The danger already exists that the mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and to confine man in the bonds of Hell.

 

Offline Dragon

  • Citation needed
  • 212
  • The sky is the limit.
Re: How many of these do I want!?!?
Well, it's got a deep story, but not much else. FS2 is kind of an inverse of WC3. It has a fairly complex story, but almost no characters. Also, it uses a very "detached" theme, which further distances the player from the world (FS1 was better about it than 2). It's not a bad story, but I found it very non-immersive. It's an example of an "art-y" story that might be deep, but is difficult to enjoy and might very easily fall flat on people who don't specifically prefer that. There's hardly a "normal human" or any sort in the game, which is IMO its biggest weakness. With nobody to relate to, it's simply not convincing, especially when you're not on the lookout for deep metaphors. It's a good story, but poorly told (which is why I never really was a fan of FS, but love BP and derivatives). Wing Commander 3, on the other hand, tells a medicore story in such a way that you don't care that it's medicore.

Xenosaga is an example of a great story told well (at least, watching the cutscenes compilation gives that impression, I know nothing of the actual gameplay. :) Though seeing as it has a reputation of being a movie with gameplay breaks, it might not be that much of a problem). It's incredibly deep (more so than FS2, with even more mysticism), gets downright bizzare at times, but it also sports a memorable cast of characters that makes you really care for it. IMO, storytelling is at least as important as the story itself. There are things about which you can read an entire TVTropes page about, with supplements, know about every twist, but still enjoy reading/watching. Those are the real greats.

 

Offline Spoon

  • 212
  • ヾ(´︶`♡)ノ
Re: How many of these do I want!?!?
Xenosaga is an example of a great story told well (at least, watching the cutscenes compilation gives that impression, I know nothing of the actual gameplay. :) Though seeing as it has a reputation of being a movie with gameplay breaks, it might not be that much of a problem). It's incredibly deep (more so than FS2, with even more mysticism), gets downright bizzare at times, but it also sports a memorable cast of characters that makes you really care for it. IMO, storytelling is at least as important as the story itself. There are things about which you can read an entire TVTropes page about, with supplements, know about every twist, but still enjoy reading/watching. Those are the real greats.
It really isn't though. After I finally finished playing through part one of Xenosaga, I felt super indifferent about most of the characters and the cinematics have this wierd disconnect with the gameplay (kind of in the way of 'why didn't they use phoenix down on aerith?' sorta of deal). If they can teleport in these cool mechs at any point in a battle, why don't they use them to escape situation A? Or defeat the bad guy in situation B easily with it? Why are these mechs never adressed in any of the cinematic bits and feel so incredibly tagged on?
It spends a lot of time talking about politics and stuff that doesn't directly involve the characters and isn't terrible interesting or relevant for the player to know. Granted, playing the game with english dubs may have dragged the experience down a bit for me (the voices are... passable but not great) but I somehow doubt I would have been a lot more involved had I undubbed the thing.

It's not that the presentation is bad, it just that for me, Xenosaga really failed to get me involved. A lot of the time, the story felt like it lacked direction, the characters rarely have agency in any of the things that are happening, they just... sort of happen to do things just because they happen to be there. When I try to think back about it, a lot of it feels like a blur to me, I don't remember who the bad guys were, and I just remember the final boss being... just a random gnosis monster that just sort of came out of nowhere.
Needless to say, I haven't started playing part 2 yet...


Freespace 2 got the player immersed in a very different kind of way, by making you, Alpha 1. Freespace certainly didn't have much in the way of characters, it's definitely not a very character driven story, and I don't think the game would have been much better if it would have tried to go that route.

Either way I don't think any of these story telling methods are wrong in any way. Just different, and will appeal to different people in different ways.
I just don't feel Xenosaga is a very good example for 'deep character driven' game stories, cause to me it was mostly just a disjointed japanese story telling mess, but I agree with your points on wingcommander
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 

Offline Dragon

  • Citation needed
  • 212
  • The sky is the limit.
Re: How many of these do I want!?!?
I can tell you that VA plays a surprisingly large role. The first time I warmed up somewhat to FS2 main campaign was when, due to fiddling with various settings, it reset to the original English. Previously, I played the atrocious Polish dub, which messed up dialogue and generally sounded derpy. Good presentation is quite important to immersion, if the characters don't sound like people, it's harder to think of them as people. "Good speed" anyone? (that line, a very emotional part in the original version, was delivered in a flat voice and mangled into nonsense. The rest of the dub wasn't much better). For anything that wasn't originally in English, subtitles are the best option (Metro 2033 and Last Light are much better with Russian voices, as well. All parts of The Witcher are likewise best played in the original Polish).

Also, from what you're saying, Xenosaga actually gains when the "gameplay breaks" (and the gameplay itself) are removed and the whole thing watched as a series of cutscenes. Have you seen the anime made off the first episode, BTW? It changes things a bit, but also clears it up somewhat. It's still somewhat politics and worldbuilding heavy, but I suppose this comes down to personal preference (the setting is interesting IMO, so I didn't mind those parts). As far as cutscenes go, it's a great story and it's presented well, but from what I've heard of gameplay, they should've just made the whole thing an anime from the start.

 

Offline Spoon

  • 212
  • ヾ(´︶`♡)ノ
Re: How many of these do I want!?!?
I watched the anime way before playing the game, that was a lot of years ago so I don't remember too much of it.

You might be right about the gameplay breaking up the flow of the story, dragging it down. It's definitely harder to get involved in a story line when it is cut up by a few hours worth of 'grinding' through encounters. Especially since the story is 90% told through cinematics, and hardly through the gameplay parts.
I guess it's kind of akin to watching a show 3 episodes a day, or once every week.
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 
Re: How many of these do I want!?!?
Problem with story-based games is that they offer X number of hours of gameplay and then it's done. Whereas the open ended games potentially offer hours and hours of gameplay. More and more, developers want you to play their game and only their game for years and years. this is particularly true of games with microtransactions that keep you both playing and paying. Devs probably want one hit game that gives them a constantl cash flow over time.

But I'm in the crowd where I'd rather just play a game from start to finish and be done with it. Cross it off the list. I've started and finished two such games this week already (Tiny and Big, Grampa's Leftovers and Spec Ops the Line), currently playing through Halfway. Only open-ended game I've really stuck with is Minecraft.

 

Offline Klaustrophobia

  • 210
  • the REAL Nuke of HLP
    • North Carolina Tigers
Re: How many of these do I want!?!?
I end up putting more time into story games than sandboxes anyway.  I replay good story games a LOT.  Once I get bored of mucking about in a sandbox game, there's literally NO draw any more and I won't come back.  Exploration by itself is only fun once.
I like to stare at the sun.

 

Offline Aesaar

  • 210
Re: How many of these do I want!?!?
Yeah but Chris Roberts has never managed to make a story that wasn't mediocre, so I can't say I'm expecting much out of it.

Care to post examples of great stories?

Wanna bet a lot of people will disagree they are great?
Just for space sims, Freespace2, which has actual literary value, a claim no CR game can make.

As for others, Planescape: Torment and Mask of the Betrayer have what I think are some of if not the finest stories to ever come out of video gaming.

 
Re: How many of these do I want!?!?
No matter how huge your open world is, there's no way people will sink the same amount of hours they sink into competitive multiplayer games. Playing Skyrim for 120 hours is considered a lot and you've pretty much done everything you can in the game. Playing, say, CSGO for 120 hours means you're still a bit of a noob.
Open worlds are nice, but I'd rather have a structured game with a good story, pacing, and difficulty curve than a quicksand box where you can "GO ANYWHERE" but everywhere ends up feeling the same.
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded

 

Offline AdmiralRalwood

  • 211
  • The Cthulhu programmer himself!
    • Skype
    • Steam
    • Twitter
Re: How many of these do I want!?!?
Playing Skyrim for 120 hours is considered a lot and you've pretty much done everything you can in the game.
* AdmiralRalwood glances at Steam's recorded playtime for Skyrim: 657 hours

Yeah, 120 hours isn't really considered "a lot" for any BethSoft RPG.
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Codethulhu GitHub wgah'nagl fhtagn.

schrödinbug (noun) - a bug that manifests itself in running software after a programmer notices that the code should never have worked in the first place.

When you gaze long into BMPMAN, BMPMAN also gazes into you.

"I am one of the best FREDders on Earth" -General Battuta

<Aesaar> literary criticism is vladimir putin

<MageKing17> "There's probably a reason the code is the way it is" is a very dangerous line of thought. :P
<MageKing17> Because the "reason" often turns out to be "nobody noticed it was wrong".
(the very next day)
<MageKing17> this ****ing code did it to me again
<MageKing17> "That doesn't really make sense to me, but I'll assume it was being done for a reason."
<MageKing17> **** ME
<MageKing17> THE REASON IS PEOPLE ARE STUPID
<MageKing17> ESPECIALLY ME

<MageKing17> God damn, I do not understand how this is breaking.
<MageKing17> Everything points to "this should work fine", and yet it's clearly not working.
<MjnMixael> 2 hours later... "God damn, how did this ever work at all?!"
(...)
<MageKing17> so
<MageKing17> more than two hours
<MageKing17> but once again we have reached the inevitable conclusion
<MageKing17> How did this code ever work in the first place!?

<@The_E> Welcome to OpenGL, where standards compliance is optional, and error reporting inconsistent

<MageKing17> It was all working perfectly until I actually tried it on an actual mission.

<IronWorks> I am useful for FSO stuff again. This is a red-letter day!
* z64555 erases "Thursday" and rewrites it in red ink

<MageKing17> TIL the entire homing code is held up by shoestrings and duct tape, basically.

 
Re: How many of these do I want!?!?
Well, it's still less than what'd you need to reach the top rating in any competitive multiplayer game, which is when I'd consider that game "beat". Also, according to http://howlongtobeat.com/game.php?id=9859 it takes ~230 hours to 100% the game.
Sure you can muck about for hundreds more hours, especially when you add in mods but the same is true for any multiplayer game, they can be played forever.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2015, 04:10:50 am by FrikgFeek »
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded

 

Offline Dragon

  • Citation needed
  • 212
  • The sky is the limit.
Re: How many of these do I want!?!?
Just for space sims, Freespace2, which has actual literary value, a claim no CR game can make.
What do you mean by "literary value"? If you mean "fodder for bizzare religious interpretations by English majors", then you're right, FS2 has plenty of that, while Chris Roberts' games are more down to earth. However, WC4 is one of the best stories I've seen that deals with the aftermatch of a large-scale war, and not from the perspective of its victims, but from the perspective of commanders and leaders who fought it. You won't find many Jesuses in purgatory there, but it does make its point, and it makes it well. Even though its not as complex as FS2, complexity doesn't equal quality. Chris Roberts' stories are not much of an interpretation material (though I'm sure that a dedicated enough interpreter would find a way), but they're enjoyable and don't try to mess with your head too much, which is what I prefer. Also, very importantly, he's really great at telling his stories.

 

Offline TrashMan

  • T-tower Avenger. srsly.
  • 213
  • God-Emperor of your kind!
    • Minecraft
    • FLAMES OF WAR
Re: How many of these do I want!?!?
Yeah but Chris Roberts has never managed to make a story that wasn't mediocre, so I can't say I'm expecting much out of it.

Care to post examples of great stories?

Wanna bet a lot of people will disagree they are great?
Just for space sims, Freespace2, which has actual literary value, a claim no CR game can make.

As for others, Planescape: Torment and Mask of the Betrayer have what I think are some of if not the finest stories to ever come out of video gaming.

And I would disagree.
MoTB was so forgettable for me, that I can't even recall the details anymore.
Nobody dies as a virgin - the life ****s us all!

You're a wrongularity from which no right can escape!

 

Offline Lorric

  • 212
Re: How many of these do I want!?!?
Aesaar, I don't know if you just expect us to mentally add an "imo" on the end of all your posts. After all, this is subjective material and maybe you're expecting that of us and I don't suppose that's an unreasonable expectation. But it kind of looks like you're talking as if you're some sort of authority on the subject and there's right and wrong and absolutes when it's all subjective and it's all opinions.

Anyway, I too am curious what is meant by "literary value". Such an ambiguous term. If literary value is something that only the best things would merit, okay, I can roll with that. But if it's your way of saying they're all complete garbage, then no. Wing Commander is a well regarded set of games, with the story component generally the highest regarded aspect of those games, so it does have value. It means a lot to a lot of people. Me, I simply liked it, but there are plenty who love the Wing Commander universe and have made lasting fond memories with the game through that.

 

Offline Colonol Dekker

  • HLP is my mistress
  • 213
  • Aken Tigh Dekker
    • My old squad sub-domain
Re: How many of these do I want!?!?
Everything in life is down to personal taste. Remember that episode of the Twilight zone?

 

Offline Spoon

  • 212
  • ヾ(´︶`♡)ノ
Re: How many of these do I want!?!?
Playing Skyrim for 120 hours is considered a lot and you've pretty much done everything you can in the game.
* AdmiralRalwood glances at Steam's recorded playtime for Skyrim: 657 hours

Yeah, 120 hours isn't really considered "a lot" for any BethSoft RPG.
You are small time, sir.
I have a friend with over 2000 hours of skyrim playtime  :p

Just for space sims, Freespace2, which has actual literary value, a claim no CR game can make.

As for others, Planescape: Torment and Mask of the Betrayer have what I think are some of if not the finest stories to ever come out of video gaming.
'Literary value', what a delightfully pretentious thing to say, what does that even mean.

Planescape torment, I bought it on gog last year, after seeing so many people mention what a great game it's supposed to be and it being on the same engine as two of my favorite other games (BG&IWD). I could not get into it at all, probably didn't played more than 2 hours (left the morgue, spend some time in the town outside) before I left it be. The combat mechanics are ****awful and the whole atmosphere was nothing but grim despair and brown grey surroundings. I didn't liked it.
Subjective opinions, ho!
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them