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Congratulations to Andrew Barker! RPGfan Editor of the Year and now Chief News Editor!
341062 Posts in 13939 Topics by 2222 Members
Latest Member: XanTehMan
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406  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: E3 2011 on: June 06, 2011, 01:40:32 PM
I missed the Tomb Raider opening video, and that seems to be the only thing of any interest to me.  Microsoft may have switched places with Nintendo this E3.  Are these Kinect games even selling?  What is this on-rails shit?!
407  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: "Number Crunching" on: June 01, 2011, 01:16:29 PM
You end up working within in the confines of the rules set and structure provided by the designers and programmers when you play a video game.  Pac Man turning left or right at the fork in the road is certainly one example of player choice.  I was more speaking to the "freedom" developers talk about in current generation games.  The illusion of freedom comes from the restrictions put in place by the game makers.  Bethesda RPGs offer a great deal of choice in where to go and how to carry out missions.  But I'm never given an option like, say, challenging the leader of the super mutants to one-on-one combat, skinning him alive and wearing his head as a crown and testament to my unholy army of death raiders.  The developers lay out several options and choices for me to make, but I have to work within the confines of what they dictate.  Now, I'm not suggesting that this is problem in video games or something that needs to drastically change (not to mention the fact that it would be practically impossible to give total and complete freedom within the structure of a video game).  I'm merely pulling back the curtain a little bit so I can see The Wizard and understand how the game works and how these choices and decisions impact my own personal experience with the game.

*puffs cigar*
408  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: "Number Crunching" on: June 01, 2011, 12:41:36 PM
Quote
In the end internet forums are probably the most imperfect place possible to have a conversation like this. It would be better to discuss it with a bottle of cognac and some cigars.

Totally agree!

Video games are all about illusion.  You have the illusion of choice, but you can never work outside of what the designers program.
409  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: "Number Crunching" on: June 01, 2011, 10:55:15 AM
It's certainly true that numbers can be used to validate nearly any argument.  Pat's analysis of my math is 100% valid.  This is more of a minor annoyance in video games that causes me to roll my eyes.  I can live with it.  It may piss me off on occasion, but I understand that it can happen.  

My bigger issue is when the numbers present a completely insurmountable obstacle for me as a gamer.  There are points in Borderlands that I simply cannot get through until my character has reached a certain level.  It doesn't matter that I can beat Modern Warfare on veteran.  My skill as a gamer is not going to get me through some of the hardest battles.  I love how one fat, bald, overweight guard at the end of Witcher 1 can kill me in three hits simply because his numbers behind the scenes are designed to crush me.  At least Zeus looks intimidating in God of War.  This guy looked like a white Carl Winslow, and he was strong as a titan.

One of the things I pointed out on the editor's board is my love of character development.  This was an aspect almost exclusive to RPGs for years.  This type of gameplay has found its way to shooters, survival horror games, action titles, etc.  The best RPGs allow me to completely customize my character and style, while the worst force me to play a certain way to overcome the design of the game.  Dragon Age was brutal when I tried to play the game as a JRPG and focused on damage.  It wasn't until I played the game the way the designers intended that I was able to succeed.  Is that proper player choice and character development?  Am I supposed to follow what the designers intended or should I be able to succeed in other ways?  Why offer choice if there's only one correct way to play?  My favorite games offer choice and success, even if the choice is a simple one between a shotgun and a sniper rifle.    

I'm glad people enjoyed the article and it has created some awesome discussion.  That was purely the intent.  I love to talk and debate games from a scientific and analytical standpoint.  I think that's the only way the medium advances.  
410  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings on: May 28, 2011, 08:27:34 PM
We will be talking about Witcher 2 on the next podcast.  Hopefully we'll be recording sometime next weekend.  We wanted to make sure that people had a chance to play the game before we talked about it in great detail.  Look forward to it!
411  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings on: May 27, 2011, 12:28:44 PM
The ending I got was a lot of setup for the next game.  Lots of things happen, stuff is explained, and then the game ends.  I can't really speak to any of the other 15 endings, but the one I got was both satisfying and slightly disappointing. 
412  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings on: May 27, 2011, 09:56:51 AM
Beat the game last night.  I have problems with the core fighting mechanics and slightly disappointing ending, but overall it was a very fun roleplaying experience. 

Sorry to hear that some of you are having trouble installing the game.  Hopefully this is resolved soon.
413  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Podcast Thread on: May 24, 2011, 09:29:18 AM
Should be all fixed now.  Let us know what you guys think!
414  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Podcast Thread on: May 23, 2011, 10:52:33 PM
Episode 24 is live!
415  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings on: May 23, 2011, 07:43:33 PM
Speaking to the difficulty, the game starts out brutally difficult.  You have tons of combat options and abilities, but no indication of how things work.  After the first chapter, though, the game becomes almost trivial after gaining a few key skills. 
416  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: The NEW Game Journal on: May 18, 2011, 04:17:23 PM
Witcher 2 is beating me like a red-headed stepchild.  Anybody else finding the game way too difficult? 
417  Media / Single-Player RPGs / Re: Dark Souls on: May 10, 2011, 05:14:16 PM
So... happy... right.... now....
418  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Podcast Thread on: May 09, 2011, 07:18:27 PM
Glad you're loving the show, Wendriel.  We have some really cool stuff planned for the next month, including episodes devoted to female characters in games and The Witcher 2.  Stay tuned!
419  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Podcast Thread on: May 06, 2011, 09:26:18 AM
*sigh*  Didn't even realize how bad that sounded at the time.  At least people care enough to listen and call me on my bullshit. 
420  The Rest / General Discussions / Re: RPGFan Podcast Thread on: May 04, 2011, 08:48:16 AM
I would say The Tower of Latria (world 3) and the Valley of Defilement (world 5) were easily the most intense and scary environments.  They felt very dream like. Everything just felt cold, dark, and unnatural.  They were areas that I wanted to get through as quickly as possible because they made me uncomfortable.  I think that shows how effective the game was at getting into my head and scaring the living shit out of me.
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