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Author Topic: a quandry about rpg stories.  (Read 5640 times)
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« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2012, 03:08:43 AM »

I think it should be pointed, Mesh had a great post haha


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« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2012, 05:40:32 AM »

I think there is another argument to be had too.

Do the games' mechanics reinforce the storyline? A game can have a great story and be put on a high pedestal for that alone.
But in how many games does the story get told by the mechanics themselves?

Using Dark Souls as an example, I have read before that Dark Souls overall mantra is about purgatory. Everything in the game is built to be replayed should you die or want to rest. Everyone enemy stays in the one place, the whole world is in this stasis that the player is trying to break free of. The sense of foreboding is driven not only by the environments, but also by the swing of a sword. The labored approach of the characters animation, the heavy steps and the weighty dulled sound effects also add to the feel of the story the player is telling by playing it. From a visual aspect too, the highest point in the world is pretty and white, the lowest point is lava filled and broken down, all to give a sense that you are working through a reference of purgatory.

But the games overall story is told in snippets of items' flavor text, or the very rare NPC you find. So in contrast to traditional RPG storytelling through exposition, in which many of the greatest stories of the genre are told, we have a story that is great to play.

Compare that to what, in my opinion, is the best game story(Final Fantasy: Tactics) which is told through cut scenes and battle text.

All in all, yes i believe Final Fantasy: Tactics has a better story, but Dark Souls is more enthralling because its a story told by you by playing it.
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« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2012, 04:46:53 AM »

A good point but I would like to note one thing. FFT also uses gameplay elements to help tell the plot. Most notably in how your unique characters stack up compared to the generics you both work with and face throughout the game. Ramza starts off little better than a Squire and shares those few benefits with Delita and even by the end of chapter 3 he's still not all that special compared to the generics you have following him around (of course then chapter 4 comes around and he learns to scream at the heavens for MAXIMUM POWAR!!!. But beyond that there's also things like battles like the Execution Site and the first battle at Lionel Castle where your guys have traps sprung on them that immediately segue into battle as well as having convos during battle.

It could be a lot worse. Look at games like Ar Tonelico where most of the time you only have portraits standing around in the same pose constantly with only their facial expressions changing depending on what they're saying, and any sort of effect or action is only visualized through a visual effect that you will see recycled constantly, sound effects, and the context of what people are saying and nothing else. Compare that to FFT where a lot of cutscenes play out on fields that could just as easily be a battlefield with actual character sprites performing acts like running a second guy through with a sword, tossing a guy off a roof, throwing stones to other guys, riding around on Chocobo mounts, picking a grass reed out of a field, and so on. Compared to a number of games out today that's still pretty damn impressive given how many can't manage that without CGI or anime FMVs.

But no, I see what you're saying but in this case you're trying to compare a game that's telling you a story versus a game that's trying to imply one. The key difference with FFT is that it actually has a deep and involved story to tell compared to other games which often don't. Dark Souls doesn't have a 'deep' story but the story it tells is well implied through the constant oppressive nature of your environment giving way (in a sense) as you ascend through the game. Meanwhile the Ar Tonelico trilogy tries to do both with its story (when it isn't pandering to the lowest common denominator) and only really succeeds when they actually put some effort into it (usually when the singing starts as that's their most direct and effective way of implying their stories). And then you have games like FFXIII-1 which also tries to imply its story but forgot to actually have one thus leading to a bunch of meaningless messages scrawled across the metaphorical wall and FFXIII-2 which tries to imply its message of "Look at how awesome our villain is this time. :derp:" through that feeling that you've just wasted $60-80 bucks and the better part of 100 hours on this mindless tripe when you get to the ending, then the alternate ending, and then the DLC ending (all of which tell you to go buy XIII-3 and sink another 100+ hours on grinding to min/max again).

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« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2012, 03:23:33 AM »

as good as tactics is to me i lost respect for it after playing TO:LuCT.

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