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Subject: Persona 3: FES
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Author Topic: Innovation  (Read 1210 times)
Summoner Yuna
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« on: July 25, 2011, 09:44:59 PM »

A lot of gamers cry for innovation in games, saying that entire genres and franchises have stagnated. I feel there are two attitudes toward innovation that should be avoided at all costs if we want gaming to remain an enjoyable experience. The first one is taking the simplistic approach of "if it ain't broke don't fix it". This just doesn't cut it because then any endeavor truly stagnates, not just gaming. But the second one is just as bad and it's the people that want the wheel reinvented every single time, just for the sake of it.

Many times I hear people clamoring: "It's the same mechanic from twenty year ago" or "there are just two types of settings: medieval fantasy and futuristic science fiction." 

While I agree that it's nice to have things that push gaming forward such as an ingenious mechanic or a very original setting, we shouldn't be expecting them every time a new RPG or game from any other genre comes out.

Sure, it's nice to have something different than orcs and elves and more variety than a space opera, but if there are games that use any common ground but do it very well, why should we criticize them for it?

Likewise if a game comes up with a meaningful gameplay mechanic that is new or an original setting, why not embrace that?

This is just my thoughts on a forum trend that I've been noticing in forums since this generation started. There doesn't need to be an "end of the world as we know it" for gaming to be rejuvenated again. There are and must be a way of keeping core elements of tried and true gameplay and setting while bringing something new to the table.

Ideally, developers should be preoccupied with filling their games with well-written dialogue, cohesive setting and narrative and just plain fun and rock-solid gameplay, not worrying about introducing gimmicks for people who get bored of everything quickly.

I want to hera the opinions of people on this subject because it touches on something that impacts how the industry evolves and therefore how much we enjoy our games. Veteran RPg gamers may have a different take on this, because they've been gaming for so long. I must admit that, even though with 29 titles under my belt, I still consider myself a neophyte when it comes to RPGs.
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darcthelad
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« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2011, 12:50:59 AM »

I agree, and it reminds me of advice I've heard elsewhere: familiar things will comfort the audience, which is good, and new things will excite the audience, which is also good, yet the most satisfying work will be the one that provides both comfort and excitement to the audience.

I will admit that when I was a young doofus, I held the opinion that something must be unique to be good. After being humiliated numerous times by realizing that things I thought were unique were actually as old as dirt, I had to abandon that line of thinking.

And when I was even younger but not any more doofy, I let my feelings for one work spill over to others like with bad sequels to good movies and stuff.

So I see both extremes as a sign of immaturity.
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cj_iwakura
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« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2011, 12:56:40 AM »

Yet when you have a genuinely innovative, original RPG like Sakura Wars: So Long My Love, it bombs.

Funny about that.


I love innovative games, but too often, the risky ones are the ones that get neglected.
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Farron
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« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2011, 12:57:50 AM »

I agree. They should simply strive to make it good regardless of it being the most original stuff or just a simply new entry in a series.
I don't understand how those "professional" reviewers say that, for example, Dragon Quest is good because it's the same thing and some other game is bad because it's the same.

If it has something new, great. If it doesn't, that's okay too, as long as it's still good.
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Lard
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« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2011, 01:15:54 AM »

Yet when you have a genuinely innovative, original RPG like Sakura Wars: So Long My Love, it bombs.

Funny about that

Hey I bought it new, I did my part.
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Furymasterzero
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« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2011, 03:31:35 AM »

It's a shame that a lot of unique, amazing, innovating games get shunned and almost discarded by the mainstream community.  Especially in the West, where for the most part games like Madden, Call of Duty, and the like sell like hotcakes.  It's a shame that the more unique titles like Mirror's Edge get cast aside and not even a fair chance is given.

While I do enjoy classic gameplay, I enjoy innovation too. I don't downright expect it though.  It all comes down to if the game is being a great experience, I will enjoy it.  Unfortunately a lot of JRPGs have suffered from a certain stagnation that a lot of western gamers don't resonate with, and they just go play shooter of the moment.

Here is hoping this changes in the near future though.
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Prime Mover
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« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2011, 04:37:41 AM »

It's a shame that the more unique titles like Mirror's Edge get cast aside and not even a fair chance is given.

Wait... what? Before that game's release, I heard nothing but how it was going to revolutionize gaming and it was going to be the greatest game of all time! But at it's release, I heard nothing but how completely broken the control system was and how boring the gameplay was, and mostly by the same people. I've never played it, so I can't seriously comment, but it sounds like it bombed because it had serious problems. Funny though, it got remade for iPhone/iPad, and it's one of the most popular/well-liked games on the system.

So I really don't follow you: it's a game that got lots of recognition, was deemed flawed, then re-released with a different control scheme, and became a hit. How the HELL does that translate to "not even a fair chance is given"?
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A.I.
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« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2011, 06:10:52 AM »

hmm well the keyword might be gambling...

you can of course always play safe...and then you already know what to expect....and if every developer will follow the same principle of a slight innovation than smaller businesses might have a lesser chance to compete with other developers unless they try something new.

and then there are some developers who tend to try something new things with every game they release...and of course that is a dangerous kind of gambling...the audience might accept the new idea...but they just as well might curse it.

nevertheless without a gamble there would be less competition in the gaming industry...and as we all know without competition.. the different developers won't put as much effort into development ..since it all comes down to human laziness ... we always seek the easiest/ shortest way to success ...thus we gamble every now and then... and there will always be strange/weird game mechanics...  or so I think.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2011, 02:02:58 PM by A.I. » Logged
Furymasterzero
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« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2011, 08:39:28 AM »

It's a shame that the more unique titles like Mirror's Edge get cast aside and not even a fair chance is given.

Wait... what? Before that game's release, I heard nothing but how it was going to revolutionize gaming and it was going to be the greatest game of all time! But at it's release, I heard nothing but how completely broken the control system was and how boring the gameplay was, and mostly by the same people. I've never played it, so I can't seriously comment, but it sounds like it bombed because it had serious problems. Funny though, it got remade for iPhone/iPad, and it's one of the most popular/well-liked games on the system.

So I really don't follow you: it's a game that got lots of recognition, was deemed flawed, then re-released with a different control scheme, and became a hit. How the HELL does that translate to "not even a fair chance is given"?

Broken Control system?  Everything about the game was great.  Some people got motion sickness from it, but that's about it.  It's one of the more original and entertaining games this gen.

I meant original games in general, but Mirror's Edge was considered a flop when it came out, and it fell below their predictions and the series was pretty much cast aside in which we lost hope of a sequel.  Only recently it's been shown that they are interested in a sequel, this doesn't happen for a lot of the more unique games out there.  Games like Demon Soul's lucked out because it exceeded expectations.  It will be curious to see how a game like Catherine will fair.

But to your question, you answered your own question within your post. You haven't played the game, why is that? Why did you not give it a fair chance? Is it because the controls are apparently broken(which they weren't, I owned it day 1 on the PS3)?

Also the iOS version is nowhere near the normal version, and of course people will buy it for that seeing as the investment is only like $5 compared to $60  I just checked and it's only $.99 now.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2011, 08:42:15 AM by Furymasterzero » Logged
Tomara
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« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2011, 08:49:50 AM »

Yet when you have a genuinely innovative, original RPG like Sakura Wars: So Long My Love, it bombs.

Funny about that

Hey I bought it new, I did my part.

Yep, me too. I can't say no to quirky games like that.

I'm all for innovation, but sadly, that usually means one or two good ideas have to carry the whole game. Fragile Dreams, Okage: Shadow King... I loved the unusual setting and characters, but both games were a chore to play. Rondo of Swords? Most fun I've had in ages with a SRPG, because the game forced me to throw aside 90% of the strategies I usually used and cook up new tactics. The rest of the game wasn't nearly as fresh and exciting what with the story being the usual mediocre Japanese SRPG plot about war and (self)sacrifice.

The saddest part is, these good ideas in not-so-good games are rarely given a second chance. It's a waste to use a good idea only once. You need to tweak it, perfect it and then spice the game up with some other new ideas. That's how series like MegaTen get so good.
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Annubis
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« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2011, 10:07:55 AM »

I find that innovative games usually skip some of the basics and instead emphasize their unique feature too much. Which is why most of them bomb.
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Dincrest
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« Reply #11 on: July 26, 2011, 01:31:08 PM »

A conversation like this eventually begs the question: What if, back in 1997, Panzer Dragoon Saga became the watershed RPG megahit that Final Fantasy VII was?  After all, PDS was far more original, right?  So how would that have influenced the current RPG landscape? 

And I still think that while progress is being made in production values, I'm not seeing much progress regarding writing, characterization, and storytelling in JRPGs.  What if you had more novelists or even playwrights working on RPG storylines?  After all, the best parts of Lost Odyssey were the "Power Point" sequences written by the novelist. 

I'm with a lot of you regarding gimmicks that feel arbitrary.  I HATED the arbitrary License Board in FF12 and would have preferred the Zodiac system.
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Bytor
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« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2011, 04:33:36 PM »

Unfortunately, at least and especially here in America we have to certain extent become commercial sheep. We buy what we are told, like what we are told and dislike pretty much everything else. Of course there are the exceptions (the rebels), but for example my office has @60 employees. I know ten or so who consider themselves (relatively) avid gamers. And without fail they all bought COD and Madden the day they came out, mention Catherine and while they may have heard about it's not on mass market advertising so they don't care/notice. Actually they all say I play all "those weird Japanese games". Now, I wonder what would have happened if something with more innovative gameplay was blitzed across the media like COD was...would we (the rebels) declare it mainstream and uninnovative suddenly because all the sheep liked it lol...or would it quickly be copied by every other developer and become as commonplace as the seemingly constant stream of FPS/TPS battle clones are now.
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