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Author Topic: Are Storylines Really So Important?  (Read 15344 times)
Rindu
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« Reply #60 on: March 27, 2006, 06:51:31 PM »

Quote from: "Robert Boyd"


Shin Megami Tensei is firmly in the gameplay first category.  For every minute of story you get in a Megaten game, you're guaranteed at least a couple hours worth of gameplay.  Admittedly, what story you do get is really good, but the story is mostly just a bonus added on to the gameplay experience.



See, I disagree with this.  This is only true if you consider "story" and "gameplay" to be inconsistent categories, or think that story is what happens when the player loses direct control of the game (i.e., cutscenes).  It is my belief that the two are not inconsistent.  Some games are better than others at meshing these elements.

Consider SMT:Nocturne.  In this game, there are relatively few cutscenes.  And yes, one is engaged in "gameplay" much more often than one is watching cutscenes.  But the story is always happening, in ways other than watching cutscenes.  For example, when the Protagonist reaches the Ginza Underpass fairly early in the game, he meets the Manikins.  He talks to each of them and learns that they are runaway slaves of the Mantra.  They have run away because, although they are not human, they still feel pain.  Now, just the activity of walking around and talking to the Manikins produces story.  Without using any cutscenes, the game designers introduce a new group of beings to the player and foreshadow the Protagonist's interactions with the Mantra.  We learn that they are a cruel, hard group of demons.  

Story.

Furthermore, Story is not merely a "bonus."  The player MUST engage the plot.  The player cannot advance in the game at this point unless he or she talks to the Manikin, for they guard the gate leading to Ikebukuro.

I intend my remarks to be generalisable to games other than SMT.  I was just using it as an example since it was mentioned.
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Hidoshi
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« Reply #61 on: March 27, 2006, 10:10:12 PM »

SMT brings up an interesting dilemma. At what point does the storyline BECOME gameplay, because that seems to be the case with SMT most of the time?
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Seiken_Densetsu
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« Reply #62 on: April 01, 2006, 05:53:55 PM »

I think that stories are very important.  Just as long as they are presented well enough to pull me in, and so that they aren't cliched enough to push me out.  Some examples of RPGs that have well-presented storylines are Star Ocean: Till the End of Time (while it doesn't have a fantastic story, it is still well presented), Wild Arms 3, Radiata Stories, and more.  Some RPGs that are way too cliched are Tales of Symphonia, which is perhaps my most hated RPG of the past decade.

A story doesn't necessarily have to be good for me to like.  If it is well presented, and not utterly unoriginal, then I will most likely enjoy it.
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sorrowfool
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« Reply #63 on: April 12, 2006, 09:02:36 PM »

The reason I play most games is for story. No matter how great the gameplay, if I can't get into the story I will not get too far. I could not stand RPGs until I finally played FF6. This was near the time PSX was coming out so I came into it pretty late, but after that RPGs were all I played for years. And it definitely wasn't because of the gameplay. Honestly with a few exceptions I find the gameplay of most RPGs to be boring and formulaic, and though, I have played RPGs where I enjoyed the combat (Star Ocean: TtEoT) I only played it as long as the story continued. I don't do optional dugeons and side-squests unless they contribute to the whole of the story. Games like Xenosaga are fine for me because the story is the main factor. However, if the gameplay is good as well... I'm more than happy to accept.
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Serene Prophet
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« Reply #64 on: April 12, 2006, 10:33:10 PM »

Well im late in coming, since I got my net back today, so ill just give my opinion on the title.

I believe that Storyline shares and equal degree of importance with all other aspects of a game.  I find that even if the game has fun gameplay, if the story isnt interesting, I find myself coming back to it rarely.  Same goes for gameplay.  I dont want to just play a book, I wanna have an interesting combat system, etc etc.

Same goes for all the other parts, without each one being decent, the game is going to suffer.

At least thats my opinion.
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Eusis
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« Reply #65 on: April 12, 2006, 10:34:51 PM »

Some of these replies make me wonder, though. Do some of you value story over gameplay in all genres, or only RPGs?
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Dincrest
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« Reply #66 on: April 12, 2006, 11:09:52 PM »

Eusis- As I said before, it really depends on the genre.  And I figure since this is RPGfan, the responses here are pretty much about RPGs.  

With genres like digital novel or love adventure, story is everything for me because those genres have next to no gameplay per se.
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« Reply #67 on: April 13, 2006, 05:24:07 AM »

Just as Dincrest says it Dincrest says, it depends a lot on the genre. When I'm playing a FPS, or sports game, or third person action game the storyline is totally unimportat, but genres like survival horror or adventure games (point'n'click style) need a good or interesting story to get me hooked.
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Andrmgic
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« Reply #68 on: April 13, 2006, 10:14:58 AM »

Quote from: "Robert Boyd"

I have a question.  Does any one really like both Xenosaga AND Grandia 3?  It seems if you like the one, you hate the other.  I personally couldn't stand Xenosaga 1 (and I hear the second is worse) - although the plot was intriguing, I disliked all of the characters, and the gameplay was awful.  On the other hand, I think Grandia 3 is one of the best RPGs of this generation (would have tied with DDS for best RPG of 2005 for me if it had come out a few months earlier); yeah, the plot is cliche (although nostalgic at times for me due to its similarities with past Grandia games), but the characters are mostly likeable and well developed (particularly if you read all the extra townfolk & meal dialogues), and the gameplay is the closest I've seen a turnbased RPG come to perfection.



Actually, yes.. I loved Xenosaga Episode I and Grandia III.

I played Grandia III totally in Japanese, so it was really more about the gameplay than the story for me. It was easier to enjoy not knowing exactly how bad the story was.

For me, it was easier to fill in the blanks based on the game's events without knowing the language, perhaps I enjoyed it more than someone who understands Japanese. (I found it fun to pick out phrases that I knew the meanings of during character conversations)

As for Xenosaga, I don't understand all the hate for the battle system. For me, it was a rather complex traditional, turn-based battle system and I found it infinitely more enjoyable than the typical battle system found in a Final Fantasy game or Dragon Quest 8 (another game that I really enjoy, but for entirely different reasons) and I thought the story and characters were extremely well done.

As for Xenosaga Episode II, the new battle system is somewhat of a stumbling block for my enjoyment of the game. At this point, I'll probably never play through it, and I'll hope they release a plot summary movie with episode III so I can spare myself the horror.

(The other thing that annoyed me about the series was the character change.. I preferred the style of the first game to the second, and some of the voices changed.. which was rather jarring considering my attachment to the characters from the first game)

As for the original question.. I'll take good gameplay and a weak story over weak gameplay and a good story. As has been said before, RPGs are generally not a good source for a quality narrative, so I would much rather them be fun. However, that isn't to say that I wouldn't like to have both if possible.

I keep hearing good things about Suikoden V from everyone.. I'm seriously thinking of picking that one up after I finish Oblivion..
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Robert Boyd
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« Reply #69 on: April 14, 2006, 01:39:35 AM »

Actually, although I'm firmly in the gameplay camp, I love Suikoden 5.  The story is excellent, the characters are superb, and the gameplay isn't bad.  Even with the loading times, it's still a faster paced game than say FF9.
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Dincrest
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« Reply #70 on: April 14, 2006, 07:58:25 PM »

You know...  as I was writing my review for Exodus Guilty vol. 1, this was the first thread that came to mind.  I don't want to give anything away since, well, I want people to actually read my review when it's posted, but it's one of those games where the story/gameplay balance is almost 100% skewed in one direction and despite that, I still loved the game immensely.
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CarpeNoctumXIII
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« Reply #71 on: April 16, 2006, 11:49:57 PM »

For me, in all genres, it's gameplay>story, but depending on the genre, both get closer in importance. Vagrant Story is the best game I have ever played, because to me, it managed to pretty much become perfect in both. I can honestly say, to this day, I have no solid complaints about that game. But that's VS. Suikoden V on the other hand, has pretty average/bad gameplay overall, but a good story, so I find myself dragging along, but barely. I bought Romancing SaGa along with Suikoden V, and I enjoy RS a lot more, simply because it's gameplay is so much more enjoyable in my opinion.

I do agree that both are important for RPGs though, and I refuse to play a game that has one of those as a complete failure. Star Ocean 3 is an example of a game that had solid gameplay, but I never finished because the story was so boring and slow. On the other hand, I never finished XenoSaga II because that had boring gameplay, but I wish I did finish it because the story was so nice. In modern day RPGs, the only series that I think has both in spades is the recent MegaTen games, and that's it.
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OblivionMaster
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« Reply #72 on: May 05, 2006, 05:18:45 PM »

i sort of understand what the author of this thread is getting at but i disagree is some ways.
The storyline is important because it determins:
-What type of game it is
-Will it keep me on the edge with new surprises or will it still keep me on the edge with riddle and mazes also if it doesnt have many surprises but adds a couple twists and gives you a look at the enimies point of view (lets say kingdom hearts you get to see what the enimy is planning wich makes you wonder whats gonna happen ?) Then its increadibly fun to play
-It determins what the characters are like, etc

buyt i also agree with you, a storyline is pointless unless it has fun action pact gameplay and an interesting veriety of characters to add to the overall joy of the game.
If all the game had was a storyline and rubbish gameply etc. then it turns into a confusing dull and overall boring game to play.

So i think a Good Gameplay is just as essential as is a good storyline/plot and  interesting characters
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« Reply #73 on: May 07, 2006, 02:04:12 PM »

I think Storylines are very important. Storylines, along with good graphics, good character design, good music, good battle system, and cutscenes are what compel me to buy a game.

The stoyline is the heart of the game and without it a game is basically just that, a game with no point and drive to keep the player interested and involved in the gameplay.
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