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Author Topic: Bioware founder says JRPGs "lack evolution"  (Read 31645 times)
Parn
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« Reply #120 on: December 29, 2009, 07:32:35 AM »

nobody has any idea what innovation even is

I hear there's this book full of words.  It sorts these words in alphabetical order and contains definitions.  Perhaps you have heard of it.
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Hidoshi
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« Reply #121 on: December 29, 2009, 07:53:06 AM »

Quote
I have to read out each complete sentence.

OH GOD READING IN AN RPG NOOOOOOOOO.

Look, I don't think JRPGs or WRPGs are particularly innovative lately because nobody has any idea what innovation even is. I mean, what the hell, you guys are arguing about shit like flowiness of dialogue and conversation wheels. This is like, some interface/storytelling thing.

Innovation would involve a hell of a lot more than very top level presentation stuff. Innovation... would involve deconstructing the genre.

You... you need to stop talking. Forever.
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Parn
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« Reply #122 on: December 29, 2009, 08:28:42 AM »

He's my new target. :(
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« Reply #123 on: December 29, 2009, 08:35:53 AM »

AS HE SHOULD BE.
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Ashton
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« Reply #124 on: December 29, 2009, 10:04:06 AM »

Quote
I have to read out each complete sentence.

OH GOD READING IN AN RPG NOOOOOOOOO.

Look, I don't think JRPGs or WRPGs are particularly innovative lately because nobody has any idea what innovation even is. I mean, what the hell, you guys are arguing about shit like flowiness of dialogue and conversation wheels. This is like, some interface/storytelling thing.

Innovation would involve a hell of a lot more than very top level presentation stuff. Innovation... would involve deconstructing the genre.
You understand, anything that causes us to raise the bar in terms of gameplay or storytelling mechanics can qualify as innovation, right?
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Danakir
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« Reply #125 on: December 29, 2009, 10:25:10 AM »

Is innovation really always a good thing though? Just look at Retro Game Challenge or even Dragon Quest for that matter, lots of people seem to be pretty happy with all those old conventions. I'm sure that plenty of people would also love to see them gone, but this whole "evolve or die" sort of feeling that's been hanging over RPGs lately, I can't help but think it's a bit artificial.

Old ideas and conventions aren't always a bad thing, sometimes when you move things around, you end up breaking something. That's what being experimental is all about and I just want to ask about that, how forgiving are gamers with that kind of experimentation really?

We ask for it, but can we deal with the nasty growth pains?
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« Reply #126 on: December 29, 2009, 10:36:39 AM »

Not every title has to have an innovation, but there needs to be some titles that do. Every single JRPG I've played this generation has not tried innovating in any way. It was always just "It's the same as before, with better graphics!" or "It's the same as before with a slightly retooled battle system!" A lot of people seem to think this statement is being applied to all games (so people like Prime Mover are all "DA:O is boring, Q.E.D. I win!"), which it isn't.

Vesperia was basically just Symphonia/Abyss with better graphics. Lost Odyssey was a collection of every single JRPG cliché/trope of the last 20 years down to the battle system. Pretty much everything Tri Ace put out was some standard ARPG with some bells and whistles and an atricious story. Valkyria Chronicles didn't really have a fresh take on the medium either. Arc Rise Fantasia is your generic turn based RPG.

In contrast, WRPGs have tried newer and better things with the hardware (like Fallout 3, which let you directly impact the game world, or Mass Effect, which, if they're as successful in implementing the whole 'choices carry over' thing as much as they were in integrating the dialogue wheel, will be incredible, IMO). People's mileages may vary, but it's paid of greatly in terms of storytelling and gameplay mechanics.

Note that none of the JRPGs I've listed are 'bad' in any sense of the word (I enjoyed almost all of them ... even the Tri Ace ones, to a small degree). But WRPGs have something to offer everyone (if you want a more traditional game, DA:O, if you want something newer, Mass Effect) while JRPGs continue to try and tell us "Look, this is the best way of making games and we're not changing it, nyah!" Not every game needs to be innovative, but some form of originality once in a while can do a lot for the genre.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2009, 10:42:23 AM by Leyviur » Logged

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« Reply #127 on: December 29, 2009, 10:47:23 AM »

I believe it is just a case of people seeing what they wish to see... There is still plenty of innovation in JRPGs. With games like Half-Minute Hero, The Last Remnant, Demon Souls (arguable), Valkyria Chronicles, The World Ends with You, Opoona, Rune Factory etc. Last generation you had a whole slew of games that weren't 'the norm' like Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter, Baten Kaitos, Unlimited Saga, Metal Saga, Valkyrie Profile 2 etc. Sure, some are considered 'failed experiments' but even that is subjective, not everyone adheres to that mindset.

If you want to believe that JRPGs are stale... go ahead. There are games out there that do support that argument. In order to state that point without breaking the illusion for yourself... you'll have to ignore quite a few games.

« Last Edit: December 29, 2009, 11:15:45 AM by Streets of Rage » Logged
Danakir
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« Reply #128 on: December 29, 2009, 10:55:20 AM »

Note that none of the JRPGs I've listed are 'bad' in any sense of the word (I enjoyed almost all of them ... even the Tri Ace ones, to a small degree). But WRPGs have something to offer everyone (if you want a more traditional game, DA:O, if you want something newer, Mass Effect) while JRPGs continue to try and tell us "Look, this is the best way of making games and we're not changing it, nyah!" Not every game needs to be innovative, but some form of originality once in a while can do a lot for the genre.

That's right, it can't hurt per se, but couldn't you say that TWEWY, the recent Persona games and Steambot Chronicles *are* trying something new, in their own way? Or is that just me?
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« Reply #129 on: December 29, 2009, 11:20:10 AM »

Quote
like Fallout 3, which let you directly impact the game world

See, I wouldn't really call that innovation because it's not anything *new*. Yeah, I think it IS the first Bethesda game where you can really influence the world but it's not something you couldn't do in, say, Star Control 2, or a bunch of other older games.

Being able to change the course of how the game progresses through a set of relatively static, set choices isn't anything new. Even having some pretty drastic effects like having towns/planets/etc. blown up isn't unheard of.

Now, in terms of innovation, something you don't see a lot of is a genuinely dynamic world. One that doesn't just change in terms of what the player does but in terms of a lot of little calculations and events and interactions. Space Rangers 2, for instance, has a dynamic war occurring between the three races of Dominators and... everyone else. While there are some events/missions that can alter how it pans out, it's perfectly capable of running on its own. Dominators will take over planets, Rangers will fight them back, and the tech level of the universe will increase just fine without the player doing anything.

Slight changes in how you're presenting dialogue/choices isn't really THAT innovative because it's ultimately fairly cosmetic difference. Yes, it "flows better" and it's "more cinematic" but does that actually change how it *plays?* A lot of people are saying that Mass Effect still has pretty black and white dialogue choices, so I'm going to say that no, it doesn't.

Real innovation here would be getting away from wholly pre-set stories altogether and start moving into things like emergent storytelling, which Dwarf Fortress or Crusader Kings* are *really* good examples of, and incorporating the notion of play-as-storytelling. I think thta what's most memorable to the players is what they *do* during the course of a game, and not what the actual set in stone storyline is. Or maybe that's how I think it *should* be at least.

Also I am going to qualify this by saying that I don't think you should completely go for a... autonomous storyline. Maybe have a few "big" plot points that things start and re-converge into, and let the system take over in between.
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Danakir
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« Reply #130 on: December 29, 2009, 11:27:37 AM »

Emergent storytelling is great when it works.

When it works.
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« Reply #131 on: December 29, 2009, 11:33:41 AM »

I said it in another thread as well, http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=6938.msg121141 , but could the whole "staleness" argument apply to other genres as well?  I mean, some of the best games I played this year did not reinvent the wheel, but were rather finely crafted wheels.  inFAMOUS for example.  Fantastic game and one of my favorites of 2009, but didn't reinvent the wheel.

« Last Edit: December 29, 2009, 11:35:17 AM by Dincrest » Logged

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« Reply #132 on: December 29, 2009, 11:49:56 AM »

Certainly I don't see how anyone can call RPGs 'stale' and then play something like Generic First Person Shooter 2.  If ever there was a genre that has gotten stale for me...

I think RPGs in general, but especially JRPGs, are always experimenting with new ideas.  Sure they're never completely original, but most bring at least *something* new to the table.  Of course, sometimes the new ideas prove to not actually be an improvement...but that doesn't mean they're not trying.

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« Reply #133 on: December 29, 2009, 12:20:17 PM »

Valkyria Chronicles didn't really have a fresh take on the medium either.

The hell? I understand the rest of the games, and even unmentioned ones like The Last Remnant are basically just quirky in a way JRPGs traditionally has been, but Valkyria Chronicles successfully blended strategy RPG and third person shooter mechanics in a way that's refreshing and unique, and not exactly like either of the two. When you set too high of a bar for innovation then none of this conversation even matters (though, hell, it probably doesn't at this point anyway).
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« Reply #134 on: December 29, 2009, 12:52:09 PM »

I said it in another thread as well, http://www.rpgfan.com/boards/index.php?topic=6938.msg121141 , but could the whole "staleness" argument apply to other genres as well?  I mean, some of the best games I played this year did not reinvent the wheel, but were rather finely crafted wheels.  inFAMOUS for example.  Fantastic game and one of my favorites of 2009, but didn't reinvent the wheel.



Exactly. You don't need to innovate all the time and try new things to make a great game. Besides, if they did come up with something that was the next big thing for RPGs and they overused it, people would still complain overtime that it was getting stale and boring. You can't please all the people all the time.No matter what you do, there's always going to be people that don't like it.

Some of my favorite games recently have been throwbacks to an old genre(Etrian Odyssey, The Dark Spire).I've also enjoyed some different ones like Knights In The Nightmare. I just don't see what the big deal is about innovating and evolving.
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