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Author Topic: A game with memorable storyline and characters  (Read 5116 times)
Aeolus
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« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2010, 01:49:23 PM »

Oh, really!?

I haven't seen too many great examples, at least for JRPGs, and usually threads like these list all the great examples within a page or two with no real surprises. You'll exhaust your really good options within a page or two, and that'd probably be it. Also, many of the stories I remember most fondly I suspect wouldn't hold up as well if I were to replay the games, Final Fantasy IV's certainly didn't.

And then there are people who'd rather shit up the thread with joke examples because they consider all JRPGs to lack storylines and characters worth mentioning.

Anyways most memorable character in any JRPG must be Xenogears' Chu-chu. She didn't die on the cross for your sins of making almost the entirety of the second disk one massive narration in a room consisting entirely of a chair, a swinging pendant, the narrator, and the slideshow of all the awesome things you'll never get to play.
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« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2010, 01:52:28 PM »

And I also recommend the Gabriel Knight games.  Fantastic storylines and characters.

Wow, GREAT call there. I haven't played those in ages and it is sometimes too easy to forget them.
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Kos-mos
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« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2010, 03:12:34 PM »


Look, I loved the games as much as the next guy, but you're reaching if you honestly believe the characters and story in those games to be on a high quality level.

*Bunch of gibberish destroy statues gibberish rescue girl*

Thats the entire story.

The games have great atmosphere and gameplay and setting, but characters and story? No way.

While technically accurate in regards to how memorable the characters and story would probably be on their own merits since they have pretty much no dialogue and the overall tale is simple, taken as the game on a whole thanks to that atmosphere and isolation and the scale of the world and each colossi, the world as well as the main character and his horse become remarkably memorable characters as well as the events they've gone through after the experience.


since we're on that subject of generic stories being memorable, I'm gonna add tower of druaga and FF1 since people seem to like copying those *basic* formulas because they're so memorable and compelling.

There hasn't been much generic stuff mentioned, I also disqualified a number of the ones I listed due to that factor hurting one facet of those games, be it either the characters or the stories probably being too generic to qualify.  Never played Druaga, was it any good?  Speaking of FF1, there was something oddly addictive of going to each of the areas with their different elements instead of how a lot of times now they tend to blend together, lol.

My favorite western style graphic adventure is Broken Sword.

Loved that game, though I've never actually gotten to finish it.

What's Gabriel Knight like?
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Sagacious-T
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« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2010, 03:16:46 PM »


Look, I loved the games as much as the next guy, but you're reaching if you honestly believe the characters and story in those games to be on a high quality level.

*Bunch of gibberish destroy statues gibberish rescue girl*

Thats the entire story.

The games have great atmosphere and gameplay and setting, but characters and story? No way.

While technically accurate in regards to how memorable the characters and story would probably be on their own merits since they have pretty much no dialogue and the overall tale is simple, taken as the game on a whole thanks to that atmosphere and isolation and the scale of the world and each colossi, the world as well as the main character and his horse become remarkably memorable characters as well as the events they've gone through after the experience.


You're just making up your own characters and story then. Just because they've gone through a game together does not make them good characters. It's like saying Oblivion has a good main character.
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dyeager
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« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2010, 03:24:22 PM »

You're just making up your own characters and story then. Just because they've gone through a game together does not make them good characters. It's like saying Oblivion has a good main character.

I dunno, it's like asking if a photograph or a painting can convey narrative. I think both certainly can. SotC certainly conveys a very strong narrative, it just does it using unorthodox methods by video game standards.

I absolutely see the point you're making, but I don't think it is quite the same as saying the protagonist in Oblivion has a well detailed main character.
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Sagacious-T
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« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2010, 03:47:21 PM »

You're just making up your own characters and story then. Just because they've gone through a game together does not make them good characters. It's like saying Oblivion has a good main character.

I dunno, it's like asking if a photograph or a painting can convey narrative. I think both certainly can. SotC certainly conveys a very strong narrative, it just does it using unorthodox methods by video game standards.

I absolutely see the point you're making, but I don't think it is quite the same as saying the protagonist in Oblivion has a well detailed main character.

You're considering narrative by artistic standards, not by entertainment medium standards. You wouldn't get the same story from seeing a painting of Alexandre Dumas's three Musketeers as you would from actually reading the book. They are different mediums, applying that kind of interpretation to a video game does not justify or create any sort of complex character or plot development, ESPECIALLY within the realms of video gaming.

Let's take a look at some examples:

Mass Effect: Arguably has some of the most excellent characters and character development in gaming. Storyline wise it supports itself with a good science fiction plot. This is what I would consider "by the book" good storyline and characters.

Dreamfall Adventure game series: Excellent characters and excellent story. You really learn and care about the main characters and the story will engage you the whole way through. They develop well and the plot is well written.

Oblivion: A mute main character, completely controlled by the whim of the player. The storyline can be good and the characters around you can be considered well written (such as Lucien) but this does not mean the main character is a good character just because you made decisions with him.

Portal: An anonymous non-speaking main character. The game's storyline is simplistic, but it's supported by GladOS and a humorous yet engaging atmosphere. This game, I feel, would be a better argument for a more 'different' take on characters and story. The antagonist is the one who gives the player character a personality through direct interactions together.

Overall, I could see how someone would appreciate and enjoy the characters in ICO and SOTC, but to call their characters and storyline good is kind of an insult to games that really get it right.
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dyeager
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« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2010, 04:11:41 PM »

Let's take a look at some examples:

Mass Effect: Arguably has some of the most excellent characters and character development in gaming. Storyline wise it supports itself with a good science fiction plot. This is what I would consider "by the book" good storyline and characters.

Dreamfall Adventure game series: Excellent characters and excellent story. You really learn and care about the main characters and the story will engage you the whole way through. They develop well and the plot is well written.

Oblivion: A mute main character, completely controlled by the whim of the player. The storyline can be good and the characters around you can be considered well written (such as Lucien) but this does not mean the main character is a good character just because you made decisions with him.

Portal: An anonymous non-speaking main character. The game's storyline is simplistic, but it's supported by GladOS and a humorous yet engaging atmosphere. This game, I feel, would be a better argument for a more 'different' take on characters and story. The antagonist is the one who gives the player character a personality through direct interactions together.

Overall, I could see how someone would appreciate and enjoy the characters in ICO and SOTC, but to call their characters and storyline good is kind of an insult to games that really get it right.

All good games and great examples of telling a story in different ways, no argument here on those points. The only thing I disagree with is the notion that giving ICO and SOTC some kind of credit for conveying a different kind of narrative in yet another different way somehow devalues the examples you provided.
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« Reply #22 on: July 01, 2010, 04:21:18 PM »

What's Gabriel Knight like?

I think this explains what makes Gabriel Knight's story so good.  http://www.gamesradar.com/f/the-best-videogame-stories-ever/a-200804179337286093/p-5
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« Reply #23 on: July 01, 2010, 04:58:27 PM »

Let's take a look at some examples:

Mass Effect: Arguably has some of the most excellent characters and character development in gaming. Storyline wise it supports itself with a good science fiction plot. This is what I would consider "by the book" good storyline and characters.

Dreamfall Adventure game series: Excellent characters and excellent story. You really learn and care about the main characters and the story will engage you the whole way through. They develop well and the plot is well written.

Oblivion: A mute main character, completely controlled by the whim of the player. The storyline can be good and the characters around you can be considered well written (such as Lucien) but this does not mean the main character is a good character just because you made decisions with him.

Portal: An anonymous non-speaking main character. The game's storyline is simplistic, but it's supported by GladOS and a humorous yet engaging atmosphere. This game, I feel, would be a better argument for a more 'different' take on characters and story. The antagonist is the one who gives the player character a personality through direct interactions together.

Overall, I could see how someone would appreciate and enjoy the characters in ICO and SOTC, but to call their characters and storyline good is kind of an insult to games that really get it right.

All good games and great examples of telling a story in different ways, no argument here on those points. The only thing I disagree with is the notion that giving ICO and SOTC some kind of credit for conveying a different kind of narrative in yet another different way somehow devalues the examples you provided.

Storytelling can be done in many ways, I don't doubt that. But the reason that SOTC and Ico were so good to me, is that they don't need to have a good story to be good games. To say they had a good story, I just can't agree with that point, especially when they have an obviously shallow story in the game in the first place.
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MeshGearFox
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« Reply #24 on: July 01, 2010, 05:03:10 PM »

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Gabriel Knight

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Я тебе рекомендую Ultima 7, Planescape: Torment, Final Fantasy IX, and uh... the DDS games?

If we can expand this to include games I didn't find fun but still thought they had enjoyable stories and characters, I'd add in Legend of Mana, Albion, and some other damn thing I just forgot the name of.
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« Reply #25 on: July 01, 2010, 05:04:40 PM »

What's Gabriel Knight like?

I think this explains what makes Gabriel Knight's story so good.  http://www.gamesradar.com/f/the-best-videogame-stories-ever/a-200804179337286093/p-5

Thanks.
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dyeager
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« Reply #26 on: July 01, 2010, 05:08:33 PM »

Storytelling can be done in many ways, I don't doubt that. But the reason that SOTC and Ico were so good to me, is that they don't need to have a good story to be good games. To say they had a good story, I just can't agree with that point, especially when they have an obviously shallow story in the game in the first place.

Fair enough. I think this may be an issue regarding what we think of as "story" - I remember the old school debates about whether The Lady or the Tiger? (http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/LadyTige.shtml) really qualifies as a story, since what you the reader decide explicitly defines a lot about the characters. By your definition these characters would fairly lack development, but I don't think that means it doesn't qualify as a story.

SOTC is different insofar as the characters are defined even more by what you project onto them - the protagonist, the horse, these are largely blank canvases about whom we know very little except that we are on this journey with them, only to later discover that perhaps the journey doesn't go where we want. That in and of itself is a powerful story because we invest these blank canvases with meaning.

I totally see your point that the lack of character development by the creators makes that game a weaker "story" in the sense you are discussing "story". I just think the definition you are talking about is too narrow, but I do see your point.

Incidentally, while we're talking about abstract stuff like this, did everybody see that Ebert admitted he might be wrong about games?

http://blogs.suntimes.com/ebert/2010/07/okay_kids_play_on_my_lawn.html
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Scar
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« Reply #27 on: July 01, 2010, 05:14:11 PM »

Thank you all. And sorry but I dont know the diference between JRPG or RPG... shame on me...
I think I will stay with the serie of persona since many people say well of it and its from ps and ps2.
I wont adventure myself in xenosaga. it seems some people hates it. Actually this game was the reason for the old topic losing its objective lol
so...until  this moment persona is winning.
what about grandia and suidoken? I saw good opinions about them at gamespot...
but grandia seemed a little gay...
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« Reply #28 on: July 01, 2010, 07:05:18 PM »

 I'll throw a mixed bag out there. Wild Arms 4.

The main character and female lead are cliche. Story is cliche. Villains are cliche(Though I"ll grant, can be kind of cool). But you've got a solid character in Arnaud and a really good character in Raquel. Honestly, best female character you'll find in a rpg. She manages to be the badass swordfighter without falling into the trap of being emotionless or being written as male/butch. And she has to deal with a issue that rpgs don't generally deal with.
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« Reply #29 on: July 01, 2010, 07:46:05 PM »

JRPG simply means Japanese RPG or Japanese-style RPG.  It gets confusing when I refer to Anachronox as a JRPG because it's by an American developer, but it plays and feels like a typical Japanese RPG.  It's my personal favorite JRPG (I joke that my favorite JRPG isn't even Japanese.)  

As for Grandia, the best one in the series is Grandia II.  It was released on Dreamcast and ported to PS2 and PC (neither of which were good ports.)  The overall storyline is a typical romp characteristic of JRPGs, but the characters are cool (Ryudo is a much loved protagonist), the dialogue is very well written (Ryudo has some great lines), and I like that the series has dinnertime scenes.  See, when the party rents a room at an inn, they sit around the dinner table and have dinnertime conversations.  These flesh out the characters really well and give them a sense of humanity and "normalcy" for lack of a better term.  

Grandia is one of those series that relies on rich storytelling rather than nifty storylines.  That being said, Grandia III has a crummy storyline.  Okay, it had promise at first but then it completely fell off the wagon and eschewed its more interesting plot aspects in favor of a cliched annoying magical mystery girl plotline.  And Grandia Xtreme was a pure dungeon crawl without much story.  

EDIT: Lunar is another one of those series that relies more on charming characters and fun dialogue to tell a memorable, if fairly straightforward, tale.  There's nothing labyrinthine about the plot and it won't have you scratching your head and contemplating the meaning of life.  But, again, the dialogue and characters charmed their way into many an RPGfan's heart.  And since a new version was released on PSP this year, it's worth a look.  

With Suikoden, I've only played the first one but I really liked the music.  I also liked that unlike most other JRPGs, it actually showcased war from a more believable perspective.  Like it wasn't just a teenage boy and three companions saving the world from the apocalypse.  In Suikoden, you recruited yourself up to 108 people to form your own bigass army.  Suikoden II is the fan favorite of the series, mainly (I think) because Luca Blight is one of the most memorable RPG villains people have seen.  

Kos-Mos- You're welcome.  And, yes, Fox mentions one of the annoying puzzles but almost every graphic adventure has at least one of "those" kinds of puzzles, right?  Other graphic adventures I thought had great storylines and characters are Grim Fandango (Glottis rules!) and The Longest Journey (April Ryan is a fantastic protagonist).  Dreamfall (the sequel to The Longest Journey) had a stellar storyline as well, but some of the gameplay elements were clunky.  In terms of Japanese graphic adventures, EVE: Burst Error had a really twisted, character-driven storyline; I also really liked Phantom of Inferno.  I'm a love adventure fan, though not everyone's into that sort of thing (i.e. Memories Off).  My personal favorite love adventure was Hourglass of Summer.  The premise was a little hokey, but the tale itself was neat and I liked the characters. 
« Last Edit: July 01, 2010, 08:01:02 PM by Dincrest » Logged

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