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Author Topic: interesting article on american vs japanese games.  (Read 4333 times)
Akanbe-
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« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2007, 10:44:27 PM »

I think she beat my ass anyway with physical attacks.

I had two problems really.  I never got any personae other than the originals.  Second was I didn't really understand the rumor system till it was too late.  I didn't realize the people who had a sentences in orange could be spread through the rumor system.  I guess that's how you get new armor.
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2007, 11:30:45 PM »

Quote
I actually heard people complain that recovering SP as you walk would make the game easy but I'll bet those people never even made it past the first boss battle.


Given that weapons were useless for everyone but Tatsuya, SP regen made the game POSSIBLE. Magic sort of functioned differently in that game in the sense that it was in every sense completely mandatory. For every fight. I think this is an example of people putting their genre expectations in front of what they're actually playing.

Quote
However, if I was just plopped in the capital and not given any clue on what to do/where to go, then I really would just be scared off.


Morrowind also gave you some direction. Actually, so did DF and Arena. A bit less, but still enough to get you going.

Baldur's Gate 2, on the other hand... it gave you direction, in a sense. It gave you a lot of directions, and I got confused.

Anyway, a lack of direction isn't necessary assuming that actually trigger events isn't particularly hard. In Legend of Mana, for instance, pretty much entering a new town or dungeon would trigger an event, and getting a follow up event didn't require much. Only about 1/3 of the game was out of the way, and that was optional stuff. Actually, the quest progression was mostly governed by what areas you had opened up, so maybe they were guiding you in a less obvious manner.

Compare this to... The Romancing SaGa games (Or, er, Minstrel Song and RS3)... Okay, I like them a bunch, but I'm not going to say I have any sort of clue WHAT or WHY I was doing anything in any of them. I just sort of played and stuff happened. Nothing ever really formed up to consistent story arcs or whatever, and as a result you wouldn't really know of any places to typically search for stuff to do. Elder scrolls game? You'd know where the quest givers hung around. Legend of Mana? The story characters had a few hangouts that became pretty apparent. Romancing SaGa? Not a bloody clue. It was NEAT in my opinion, but no, I never had any clue what to do. And in some regards I like and in some regards I rather DON'T like the event rank system.

Then again, on the flip side, if you take this approach to far, you're back at Baldur's Gate 2, and I generally have no trouble finding quests, but no clue which ones are okay for my level, or which I should take first, or what.

There's also another alternative -- nonlinear, no direction, and nothing actually will ever happen. This is called Alternate Reality: The City, and I will never stop bitching about it ^_____________^ Well, stuff happens, I guess. Stuff like scurvy and starvation and getting attacked. Never any quests are NPC interaction or story bits.

Anyway, I'm more interested in non-linear approaches to a single problem than to non-linear story progressions. Liiike Dragon Wars. Goal? Get out of the city. There were seven ways to do that though. I like THAT kind of non-linear the best. Or in Wizardry 8, how you could side with different factions.

Er, unrelated, but outside of the mainquest, some of the non-linearity in Daggerfall felt like a sham. Basically, guild progression was totally linear. You just got assigned random quests, really. Not getting to do quests in a non-linear fashion. And you either failed or didn't fail quests, and it only affected your quest rank. The linear quest progression from guilds in Morrowind bugged me too, but at least different halls offered different things. Apparently the main quest in daggerfall is generally non-linear in a pick yer faction sort of way, with some side missions and variable outcomes affecting performance. Apparently the main quest also has an incredible story, but I never actually found enough text in game for it to make any sense.
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GrimReality
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OK, options aren't SO bad

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« Reply #17 on: January 22, 2007, 11:03:09 AM »

Great article. I feel like I belong in japan now. I'm very much a purveyor of Japanese style gaming.
I need focus. I like being told what needs to be done. FFXII is great about this, as well as giving the freedom to do other things as well.
I DO view save points as part of the gameplay. I'd be mega pissed if they didn't show up right before bosses. Who wants to go through the whole dungeon again? I also use them as gameplay markers, ie, "I'll just play until the next save point"
I do NOT like hard or complicated games. A challenge is good, but I would prefer to play through a game without ever dying. Fun is more important than challenge.
I like flashy games. Realism doesn't nothing for me. I don't want my characters to look just like real people! I see real people everywhere. I much prefer the fantastical.
Music-wise, I rather have good music that goes with the game rather than dynamic, movie-like scores(or, even worse, licensed crap). This is one of the reasons there's so few good soundtracks anymore. Okamis score has given me a glimmer of hope in this regard.

I enjoyed that article. Thanks.
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Silverwolf X
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« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2007, 01:46:52 PM »

Hmm, article is pretty good.

Well I live in Asia and consider myself pretty much an otaku by now. I can't stand westernized RPGs, with the exception of Diablo... though I play them anyways.

They should do an article about Chinese games and korean games too. If you actually do play games from thsioe countries, you'll notice they all have their specific styles and presentation as well.

Its interesting how games 'evolve' depending of their region of origin eh?
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Takezo
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« Reply #19 on: January 22, 2007, 07:58:09 PM »

I think that some of these examples are ludicrous. Americans enjoy games with more options because were frontiermen bearhunters? That's called a generalization. Same thing with the Japanese mentality, although I guess its easier to agree with because then you get to pretend you're japanese or something. I agree that our gaming methods took drastically different paths, but I'm not going to equate it with some notion that the japanese mind is "superior artistry happy fun time penguin" compared to "utilitarian america joe".
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Silverwolf X
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« Reply #20 on: January 23, 2007, 02:31:06 AM »

Well, at the end of the day, Americans will never see an Arcade game where you poke someone's ass. -.-;;
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Takezo
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« Reply #21 on: January 23, 2007, 12:23:02 PM »

we can only pray.
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Dincrest
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« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2007, 11:07:27 PM »

With this and other topics probing the whole idea of RPG conventions in US games (i.e. Elder Scrolls) , now I've gotten to thinking about some of the US game developers who attempt a more Japanese style with RPGs.  

Who remembers the PC RPGs Septerra Core or Anachronox?  (I've played Septerra Core but not Anachronox.)  

And there's always games like Aveyond (http://www.amaranthia.com), developed by indie developer Amaranth.  That game strikes a balance between linear and nonlinear that most console gamers can dig.  You have your main objectives for the main quest, but the meat of the story and the coolest aspects of the game's world are all in the other quests, which require tons of exploration.  

And obviously we see Japanese developers adopting more western style gameplay conventions.  For example, a game like Touch Detective utilizes the western gameplay mechanic of graphic adventures (i.e. interactive environments, logic puzzles involving item manipulation) rather than the more Japanese gameplay mechanic (which is the choose-your-own-adventure visual novel.)  

Lines are obviously blurring.  

But still, as I mentioned elsewhere on the forums, even among "western" RPGs, play mechanics differ wildly.  I mean, Neverwinter Nights is a completely different animal from System Shock 2.  Even though I don't enjoy clicky-clicky-clickfest combat like in Diablo, I love the FPS-oriented gameplay in System Shock 2.  

By the same token, Final Fantasy 4 is a completely different animal from Shin Megami Tensei.  That first-person perspective in SMT can be really disorienting.
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