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Next Quiz Date: January 11, 2014
Subject: 999 (Nintendo DS)
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Author Topic: character development  (Read 7445 times)
Chronix112
Yasunori Mitsuda / Genso Suikoden fanboi
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« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2011, 03:29:21 PM »

There are plenty of JRPGs competently writtten. Competently translated is a different story.

But wait a minute. For an JRPG to be competently translated as you say it has to be competently writtten too, don't you think?

A lot of things in Japanese just does not translate well into English.
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PotRoast
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« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2011, 03:40:33 PM »

There's nothing wrong with flashbacks in video games or any other form of story telling medium. As others have said, it's about telling a story effectively. It doesn't matter how you do it so long as you do it well.

I pretty much made my point by now, but I ranted a bit for the rest of this post but felt like leaving it in anyway.

Also, here's how absurd the idea of no flashbacks is: Try to live the next week without telling somebody a story about your past. That is, a story about anything that happened prior to today. It's like you just began an RPG starring yourself and today is the starting point.

Pretty much the only time no flashbacks works is when you're playing a blank slate character or a character whose life has been so incredibly dull and average thus far that it needs no explaining. I suppose they could be completely one dimensional too.

You know, gamers complain so much how games need better stories, but they for the most part seem to have a middle school level (maybe high school level) of understanding of what makes good stories. Which is fine if that's your thing, but there are LOTS of kinds of stories. For example, characters don't have to grow. Simply observing them is sufficient provided their actions are remarkable.
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Vanguard
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I am America, and I hate JRPGs

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« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2011, 03:50:26 PM »

Most RPG stories are fucking terrible, even in games that we like. If I want a good story I pick up a book.
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Annubis
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« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2011, 04:21:59 PM »

Either a lot of recent RPG writers are master of figure and style and are forced to write terrible stories or they are just terrible.
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Lard
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« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2011, 04:48:53 PM »

There are plenty of JRPGs competently writtten. Competently translated is a different story.

But wait a minute. For an JRPG to be competently translated as you say it has to be competently writtten too, don't you think?

No. You can have an interesting story that's been butchered by a terrible translation. For example, the Battle Royale novel actually has interesting ideas, but it suffers from a really, really poor translation that makes it a chore to read.
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Commander Jubby Shepard
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« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2011, 06:24:08 PM »

What I've found to work best with flashbacks in all storytelling mediums is rather than use it to develop a character, use it to explain a motive or another facet of their character. I've yet to write a story where that was necessary though; I think the closest was a shirt story about a crazy guy who ran a shop when he was rambling to a customer.
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Aeolus
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« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2011, 08:23:34 PM »

Flashbacks are best used on characters who've done something in the past, preferably when they weren't in diapers at the time.
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Alisha
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« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2011, 12:54:13 AM »

heres my problem

rpg is progessing at a slow but steady pace.

rpg suddenly screeches to a halt due mad flashbacks

rpg proceeds at the speed of light to the end of the game...
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Darklight
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« Reply #23 on: April 14, 2011, 01:41:28 AM »

I don't think it's a bad thing. I'm more annoyed when the game goes on a super long character development session and you basically have to spend 20 minutes either watching a movie (if the game has budget for those) or 20 minutes pressing X for tons of text. Those really kill the pace.
I never finished Eternal Sonata because the game keeps doing that. Every single time between dungeons you get this really long ass character development session. On the opposite, when P3/4 does story development, it still feels like you are playing the game.

I've just started playing Eternal Sonata and the story is the main thing keeping me going, thumbs get pretty sore after leveling so the 5 min fillers are welcome. The Chopin back stories on the other hand repeat themselves, It's a constant drill to remind you he left warsaw etc.
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Bytor
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« Reply #24 on: April 14, 2011, 11:37:35 PM »

I believe there needs to be a balance, as stated earlier pretty much we all tell stories about our past and yet we're certainly living in the now and looking forward to our future. A good game character will come to life (for me) if that balance is achieved. They need a past, certainly a present and some kind of hope for the future. So I guess I'd say yes, if all the cut scenes are flashbacks I'd probably not enjoy the game as much, although I guess it hasn't happened yet as I can't think of any instances like this off the top of my head...
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Fadedsun
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« Reply #25 on: April 15, 2011, 02:31:14 PM »

Most RPG stories are fucking terrible, even in games that we like. If I want a good story I pick up a book.

Since books always have good stories? People churn out books with crap stories all the time.
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Eusis
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« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2011, 02:35:49 PM »

Most RPG stories are fucking terrible, even in games that we like. If I want a good story I pick up a book.

Since books always have good stories? People churn out books with crap stories all the time.

... Except books reach higher highs than games have. And you don't have to wad through a game you don't want to play just for the sake of a story. Besides, the assumption is you're going for a GOOD (or at least personally appealing) book, not simply grabbing one at random here.

At any rate he IS right, if you're just looking for a great story, gameplay and interactivity be damned, you should just be reading a book or at least watching a good movie/TV show.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2011, 02:44:38 PM by Eusis » Logged
Fadedsun
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« Reply #27 on: April 15, 2011, 03:14:31 PM »

Most RPG stories are fucking terrible, even in games that we like. If I want a good story I pick up a book.

Since books always have good stories? People churn out books with crap stories all the time.

... Except books reach higher highs than games have. And you don't have to wad through a game you don't want to play just for the sake of a story. Besides, the assumption is you're going for a GOOD (or at least personally appealing) book, not simply grabbing one at random here.

At any rate he IS right, if you're just looking for a great story, gameplay and interactivity be damned, you should just be reading a book or at least watching a good movie/TV show.

Yeah, I know. The wording made it seem like any book will have a better story than an RPG, which I feel is false. Books and RPGs alike have the daunting task of trying to keep the story on track the whole time without losing focus, which is very difficult to achieve, I think. Then again, this applies to any form of storytelling.
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Eusis
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« Reply #28 on: April 15, 2011, 03:29:58 PM »

That's true. Sorry if I came off as snippy, it's just kind of exasperating if people actively seek out story to the point they'll play otherwise wretched games for it. And stuff like visual novel-type games like Phoenix Wright and 999 are exempt from what I said anyway since... well, just look at the genre name.
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Fadedsun
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« Reply #29 on: April 15, 2011, 04:33:12 PM »

That's true. Sorry if I came off as snippy, it's just kind of exasperating if people actively seek out story to the point they'll play otherwise wretched games for it. And stuff like visual novel-type games like Phoenix Wright and 999 are exempt from what I said anyway since... well, just look at the genre name.

Don't sweat it.

Yeah, I agree. I would never sit through a game I'm not enjoying just to get the rest of the story. If there was a case that I was interested in the story, I could read the rest of it online and not suffer through bad gameplay.
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