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Author Topic: What are you playing? [SPOILER TAGS PLEASE]  (Read 258705 times)

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Offline Hemingway

Re: What are you playing? [SPOILER TAGS PLEASE]
« Reply #6025 on: July 05, 2012, 05:53:15 AM »
I think you're just a little too sensitive to this kind of thing.

I'm fed up with mediocrity, that's true. I'm not sure I'd call that being "too sensitive", though.

Offline Ryan

Re: What are you playing? [SPOILER TAGS PLEASE]
« Reply #6026 on: July 05, 2012, 08:02:16 AM »
I'm currently playing The Club on 360.
It's a little different to my usual shooter games I prefer but I'm quite enjoying it.
Good graphics and well programmed.

Offline Brandon

Re: What are you playing? [SPOILER TAGS PLEASE]
« Reply #6027 on: July 05, 2012, 08:30:15 AM »
I'm fed up with mediocrity, that's true. I'm not sure I'd call that being "too sensitive", though.

To be fair, good is a subjective term. For example I think Dragon Age 2 was ok but most of the internet feels it was a train wreck with little to no redeeming value.

I think there are good and bad ways to tell a story and this is what KoA suffered from IMO. A lot of the story didnt make sense when you started learning about the world despite having lived in that world. Maybe that changes later on, I cant say since I never finished it

On the other hand a game like Skyrim is really good at telling a story without words. Early on you learn about the civil war due to Nords desire for independance and freedom of religion (both things I feel very strongly for). Now let me tell you about a spot I found in Skyrim, specifically in the Rift (a stormcloak controlled territory at first). I found an unassuming and small cabin on the side of a mountain, nothing out of the ordinary inside or outside but as I looked around I noticed some snowberries so I went up to grab them, saw another patch, grabbed them, then behind the rocks I saw a path. My natural curiousity drove me to follow that path and at the end of it was a shrine of Talos with a full set of legion armor and weapon scattered about. It drove the civil war home for me, when I saw a patriot of the empire forsake the uniform he/she had worn for his/her religious freedom and right to worship. A uniform he/she had fought and bleed in all for the defence of his/her homeland but with the white gold concordant coming to pass he/she found the Skyrim of the present was no longer home. For me it was a haunting moment of realization that made me question America and the ever increasing hostility toward peoples freedom of religion and right to worship. This was an excellent moment of telling a story without words but while it made me seriously stop and think about its implications Im sure many others found it and just thought "hey a full legion suit, this'll be worth some money!"

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Re: What are you playing? [SPOILER TAGS PLEASE]
« Reply #6028 on: July 05, 2012, 11:12:16 AM »
I agree with Brandon... has that ever happened before?

Skyrim is very good at environmental storytelling which is the term he was getting at. I've never thought the narrative storytelling of any Elder Scrolls game to be its strong point. They're good, they drive themselves along, they're big in scope and scale. Al good things, but the environment is what drives it home.

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: What are you playing? [SPOILER TAGS PLEASE]
« Reply #6029 on: July 05, 2012, 11:25:32 AM »
Just picked up the demo of Resident Evil 6. Oh, I know it's not out until September... U Jelly Bro? :3

Edit: Ooohh, pussifying Leon... this will go down well!

Further edit: Well, I can see this not going over well with the hardcore fans, but overall, very impressive demo. 3 levels, each 20 minutes long, two characters each, forking paths, so 6 playthroughs there. Pretty friggen generous for 500 megabytes.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2012, 12:35:28 PM by Sabby »

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Re: What are you playing? [SPOILER TAGS PLEASE]
« Reply #6030 on: July 05, 2012, 04:59:41 PM »
I should be playing Tera and Guild Wars 2 (when they have those limited plays) or I should be playing the new DLC for ME3 with the six different endings which I no longer care about or I should be playing Skyrim because I have the worlds best modder for sexah men's clothes for Morrowind, Oblivion, FNV, Skyrim with me but Noooooooo, I'm playing The Sims3--Lucky Palms hood.  ::)

Offline Brandon

Re: What are you playing? [SPOILER TAGS PLEASE]
« Reply #6031 on: July 05, 2012, 05:06:33 PM »
Just picked up the demo of Resident Evil 6. Oh, I know it's not out until September... U Jelly Bro? :3

Edit: Ooohh, pussifying Leon... this will go down well!

Further edit: Well, I can see this not going over well with the hardcore fans, but overall, very impressive demo. 3 levels, each 20 minutes long, two characters each, forking paths, so 6 playthroughs there. Pretty friggen generous for 500 megabytes.

Resident evil has been moving away from fans since the 4th one so I dont see how this is any big surprise. Eventually its going to turn into a 3PS with nothing substanstial about it besides "it has zombies or zombie like things. Oh and monsters!". If you ever wanted a textbook case of franchises slowly dying with change look no further then RE


Offline Hemingway

Re: What are you playing? [SPOILER TAGS PLEASE]
« Reply #6032 on: July 05, 2012, 05:24:56 PM »
I agree with Brandon... has that ever happened before?

Skyrim is very good at environmental storytelling which is the term he was getting at. I've never thought the narrative storytelling of any Elder Scrolls game to be its strong point. They're good, they drive themselves along, they're big in scope and scale. Al good things, but the environment is what drives it home.

But that's not "storytelling". I agree that Skyrim is a fun game, for a time, and it can be exciting to wander around and explore and roleplay. But the main plot of the game? Sleep-inducing.

And I disagree with this notion that storytelling can't be graded in any way. I feel very confident in saying that the story of The Witcher 2 is objectively better than the story of a game like Skyrim, or Diablo 3, or Kingdoms of Amalur. Now, this can be excused by the fact that they're different games and different games lend themselves to different modes of storytelling. But that only partly justifies it, and I don't really see any reason why they should be as bad as they are. Diablo and KoA are hard to compare, but if you compare Skyrim and I guess to be fair Oblivion to Morrowind, the latter was just ... infinitely better. It's a far more creative storyline, with some genuine twists, and with a sort of poetic fatalism to it.

What they're doing, if you ask me, is not creating a story that's sparse because it suits the game, but because it's all that's demanded of them. Otherwise they'd go the way of Dark Souls, and create a story that's very ... lean not out of laziness but as an artistic choice, more or less.

Offline SabbyTopic starter

Re: What are you playing? [SPOILER TAGS PLEASE]
« Reply #6033 on: July 05, 2012, 05:27:58 PM »
If you want a textbook example of insane fanbases, too. I just don't get it!

RESIDENT EVIL IS ABOUT HORROR! But I loved RE4 :3
WAH! WHY IS RE5 SO SILLY?! It's completely against RE4's completely serious tone D=
WHY DID THE GAMECUBE REMAKE OF RE1 ADD COUNTERS?! THATS TOO ACTIONY! WAH!!!

Offline Brandon

Re: What are you playing? [SPOILER TAGS PLEASE]
« Reply #6034 on: July 05, 2012, 06:15:12 PM »
But that's not "storytelling". I agree that Skyrim is a fun game, for a time, and it can be exciting to wander around and explore and roleplay. But the main plot of the game? Sleep-inducing.

And I disagree with this notion that storytelling can't be graded in any way. I feel very confident in saying that the story of The Witcher 2 is objectively better than the story of a game like Skyrim, or Diablo 3, or Kingdoms of Amalur. Now, this can be excused by the fact that they're different games and different games lend themselves to different modes of storytelling. But that only partly justifies it, and I don't really see any reason why they should be as bad as they are. Diablo and KoA are hard to compare, but if you compare Skyrim and I guess to be fair Oblivion to Morrowind, the latter was just ... infinitely better. It's a far more creative storyline, with some genuine twists, and with a sort of poetic fatalism to it.

What they're doing, if you ask me, is not creating a story that's sparse because it suits the game, but because it's all that's demanded of them. Otherwise they'd go the way of Dark Souls, and create a story that's very ... lean not out of laziness but as an artistic choice, more or less.

Storytelling can be graded but at the end of the day one persons grade is going to be different from anothers. Again Subjectivity. I can stand here and say Objectivly Skyrim has better graphics then Morrowind (without mods). I can not stand here and say Objectivly Morrowind has a better story then Skyrim because its based off of what I personally enjoy (read: my subjectivity). On that note I thought Morrowinds story was better then Oblivion

I havnt played Diablo 3 (boycotting it) or Witcher 2 (didnt look all that interesting and its mysogonistic predecessor didnt endear me to the franchise) so I cant comment on those. With KoA I didnt finish it so I dont think I can speak fully on it either but in KoA's case I dont think it had a bad story, I think the problem was putting a best selling author in charge of the writting which didnt translate as well into telling the story. To put that simpler it didnt have a bad story it just had a bad way of telling it

Now if you want tight stories then I think Bioware is more your thing. Bethesda seems intent on making vast worlds with a lot to do. Totalbiscuit made an obersvation about Skyrim that I agree with that goes something like this "Skyrim has the vastness of an ocean, with the depth of a puddle." That isnt necessarily a bad thing but Bioware (the other RPG developer I love) makes games that have the exact opposite situation (vastness of a puddle and depth of an ocean).

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Re: What are you playing? [SPOILER TAGS PLEASE]
« Reply #6035 on: July 05, 2012, 06:20:49 PM »
But that's not "storytelling". I agree that Skyrim is a fun game, for a time, and it can be exciting to wander around and explore and roleplay. But the main plot of the game? Sleep-inducing.

And I disagree with this notion that storytelling can't be graded in any way. I feel very confident in saying that the story of The Witcher 2 is objectively better than the story of a game like Skyrim, or Diablo 3, or Kingdoms of Amalur. Now, this can be excused by the fact that they're different games and different games lend themselves to different modes of storytelling. But that only partly justifies it, and I don't really see any reason why they should be as bad as they are. Diablo and KoA are hard to compare, but if you compare Skyrim and I guess to be fair Oblivion to Morrowind, the latter was just ... infinitely better. It's a far more creative storyline, with some genuine twists, and with a sort of poetic fatalism to it.

What they're doing, if you ask me, is not creating a story that's sparse because it suits the game, but because it's all that's demanded of them. Otherwise they'd go the way of Dark Souls, and create a story that's very ... lean not out of laziness but as an artistic choice, more or less.
The closest you'll get to story objectivity is if were to do a critical paper on it, and still it's more about how well your subjective opinion is researched and not at all objective. Environmental storytelling is storytelling, I don't care what you really say on it, the way you set up a scene can tell a story as much as add to one. It exists. :\ That's objective.

Offline Tonalberry

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Re: What are you playing? [SPOILER TAGS PLEASE]
« Reply #6036 on: July 05, 2012, 07:09:13 PM »
I've been playing a bit of Blacklight: Retribution, DDO and LoTRO, since they're free to play and on Steam now.  Other than that, I got Legendary for less than $2 when it was on sale for a day, and WH40k: Space Marine for like, $8.  Blacklight's okay, think of a F2P CoD clone, with no single player.  It's all multiplayer.  Playing through games earns you exp and money, which raises your level and lets you buy new weapons, gear, and armor choices.  There's a second money type, Zen, which is bought with real money.  Some of the higher up stuff can only be bought with Zen it looks like.  One of the biggest draws of the game it looks like, is if you earn enough points in a match you can buy a Hard Suit, an armored walker equipped with a minigun and railgun.

Legendary is okay I suppose, haven't played much.  Quit after I glitched and fell through the bottom of an elevator as it was moving up, after you run into the first werewolf.

Offline Hemingway

Re: What are you playing? [SPOILER TAGS PLEASE]
« Reply #6037 on: July 05, 2012, 07:16:52 PM »
Bioware are the goddamn anti-christ of storytelling.

Fine, they're not really. But they too have fallen into telling stories that follow a very recognizeable formula. Their games are solid, and they have good stories for the most part, but not exceptional. I think their greatest weakness is that their timing sucks. While their games tend to have interesting twists, these are often revealed far too early in the game. And in ME3, the plot basically centers around a deus ex machina. Lack of foreshadowing and telling the players about something rather than letting them discovers it really hurts the story, as it did in Skyrim's story.

Now, I'm going to go out on a limb here. I would suggest that it's actually rather easy to prove that it's not true that story is all a matter of taste and subjective opinion. If that were the case, it could be seriously argued that the story of ... Super Mario 3 is superior to the story or Heavy Rain. Would anyone seriously suggest that such a claim can be made?

It's definitely true that people care about story to varying degrees, and that not all games try to tell a story. But that's quite different from saying that the quality is entirely subjective.

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Re: What are you playing? [SPOILER TAGS PLEASE]
« Reply #6038 on: July 05, 2012, 08:39:34 PM »
Bioware are the goddamn anti-christ of storytelling.

Fine, they're not really. But they too have fallen into telling stories that follow a very recognizeable formula. Their games are solid, and they have good stories for the most part, but not exceptional. I think their greatest weakness is that their timing sucks. While their games tend to have interesting twists, these are often revealed far too early in the game. And in ME3, the plot basically centers around a deus ex machina. Lack of foreshadowing and telling the players about something rather than letting them discovers it really hurts the story, as it did in Skyrim's story.

Now, I'm going to go out on a limb here. I would suggest that it's actually rather easy to prove that it's not true that story is all a matter of taste and subjective opinion. If that were the case, it could be seriously argued that the story of ... Super Mario 3 is superior to the story or Heavy Rain. Would anyone seriously suggest that such a claim can be made?

It's definitely true that people care about story to varying degrees, and that not all games try to tell a story. But that's quite different from saying that the quality is entirely subjective.
Actually, I think it's funny that you complain about ME3 using deus ex machina. The ending for me was about creating god from a machine.

Think about it. :)

Offline Brandon

Re: What are you playing? [SPOILER TAGS PLEASE]
« Reply #6039 on: July 05, 2012, 08:56:31 PM »
To grade the quality of a story there are a few things that have to happen. 1. The story is trying to be something specific. 2. The story follows the formula set out by 1.

Lets take greek tragedy for example just because I find using it and god of war easy. So God of war was basicly trying to be a greek tragedy but what does such a formula encompass. The formula for greek tagedy has 3 key points. 1. A person of high status if brought down through their actions. 2. Those actions dont have to be evil. The character is judged for their actions, not intentions. 3. Once the character realizes what their actions have done they enter violent remorse.

Now think about that in the context of the first god of war. Kratos is a Spartan commander (high status check) who is tricked by Aeris to murder his family (brought down by his own actions) then tricked by Athena to murder Aeris. When everything settles in and he has to live with what he's done Kratos chooses to jump off a mountain and into the sea (finds remorse for his irreversable actions)

In this context you can clearly see that God of war meets true quality for trying to be a greek tragedy. You could also grade the Legend of Zelda games by the quality of "the hero's journey". However for games that arent trying to be a specific style of story how can you judge quality except by subjective means?

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Re: What are you playing? [SPOILER TAGS PLEASE]
« Reply #6040 on: July 05, 2012, 09:03:36 PM »
Brandon's right on the nose. Bioware has always had character-driven stories. Usually the follow the heroes journey in various styles. They've played with it and subverted it, but just because you follow formula doesn't mean it's a masterpiece. Bioware is probably the better out there, but come on if you're expecting all of them to be awesome you're just going to be disappointed.

Offline Wolfy

Re: What are you playing? [SPOILER TAGS PLEASE]
« Reply #6041 on: July 05, 2012, 09:04:05 PM »
So yeah...I got a Beta Code for the Mist's of Pandaria Beta.


Guess what I'm going to be beta testing....<3

Offline Wolfy

Re: What are you playing? [SPOILER TAGS PLEASE]
« Reply #6042 on: July 05, 2012, 10:08:19 PM »

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Re: What are you playing? [SPOILER TAGS PLEASE]
« Reply #6043 on: July 05, 2012, 10:10:37 PM »
So yeah...I got a Beta Code for the Mist's of Pandaria Beta.


Guess what I'm going to be beta testing....<3
I got one, too. I'll take bids for it, otherwise I'm going to delete it. :\

Offline Hemingway

Re: What are you playing? [SPOILER TAGS PLEASE]
« Reply #6044 on: July 06, 2012, 03:43:18 AM »
Brandon's right on the nose. Bioware has always had character-driven stories. Usually the follow the heroes journey in various styles. They've played with it and subverted it, but just because you follow formula doesn't mean it's a masterpiece. Bioware is probably the better out there, but come on if you're expecting all of them to be awesome you're just going to be disappointed.

Let's say I agree with you. Bioware tried to tell a character-driven story in Mass Effect. I don't think that excuses the lazy copout of a story, driven by a deus ex machina ( yes, I'm aware it takes it to a literal level - I find it sad ), and having an ending so nonsensical that in ten minutes it took me from being a ME fanboy to having no interest in the series ( I haven't even tried the extended edition, which I think came out a little while ago ). Simply put, I don't think it's too much to ask for both good characters and a solid, coherent plot. It's hard to pull off, no doubt about that. But things that are worthwhile usually are. And the result is games like Heavy Rain, Metal Gear Solid, The Witcher 2, and ... not a whole lot more that I can think of.

As to why I don't necessarily agree with you about Bioware and character-driven stories, I just don't think their characters or their exploration of those characters is really that deep. Deep compared to standard action games, yes. But compared to deeply psychological games like Heavy Rain? Not at all. That may seem like an unfair comparison, but ... basically, tough shit. I don't buy that an action RPG couldn't tell a story with characters of the caliber found in Heavy Rain. It's just very difficult.

EDIT: AHHHHHH Metal Gear Solid 5 basically confirmed two weeks ago! Cancel Christmas!

EDIT2: I'm reading a lot of good things about the story in Spec Ops: The Line. I'm going to see what the hype is about.

Edit 3: Spec Ops: The Line seems like fun so far, and the story looks to be more interesting than the standard action game. It has some flaws, though. Weapons, in particular, are ... weird. Ammo is scarce, so I end up having to swap weapons quite often. It wouldn't be so bad if you could fire semi-auto, but weapons are full auto by default. While all weapons have alternative fire modes, for the M4 that's a silencer, which seems more or less useless. For the SCAR-H it's a grenade launcher. For the AK-47 it's burst fire - which is really weird, considering, to my knowledge, the AK47 doesn't have that option without being modified. It's a completely random choice, which is a tendency a lot of devs have.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2012, 01:01:50 PM by Hemingway »

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Re: What are you playing? [SPOILER TAGS PLEASE]
« Reply #6045 on: July 06, 2012, 01:44:47 PM »
The new-model AKs have the selector switch (basically any model made after Cold War). However the sexy matte-black AK is not as popular as the wood-stock stereotype. :\

Offline Hemingway

Re: What are you playing? [SPOILER TAGS PLEASE]
« Reply #6046 on: July 06, 2012, 02:54:25 PM »
What, the AK-74? Well, either way, this is very definitely an old school AK-47. But it doesn't really matter what it is, because it makes no damn sense regardless. Burst fire but no semi-auto? And only on a weapon that isn't exactly renowned for its pinpoint accuracy? It makes no sense no matter how you twist it!

It's the same thing they have in games like CoD, where the FAMAS often fires exclusively in bursts. As did the M16 in one of the games, though I can't recall which one. And I get that gameplay takes presedence over staying true to reality, but this is just weird.

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Re: What are you playing? [SPOILER TAGS PLEASE]
« Reply #6047 on: July 06, 2012, 03:44:22 PM »
What, the AK-74? Well, either way, this is very definitely an old school AK-47. But it doesn't really matter what it is, because it makes no damn sense regardless. Burst fire but no semi-auto? And only on a weapon that isn't exactly renowned for its pinpoint accuracy? It makes no sense no matter how you twist it!

It's the same thing they have in games like CoD, where the FAMAS often fires exclusively in bursts. As did the M16 in one of the games, though I can't recall which one. And I get that gameplay takes presedence over staying true to reality, but this is just weird.
No... it's newer than the 74. They've refined the AK-47 since the sixties. :) It's more accurate, lightweight, just as easy to clean, and all that. It's got like an S designation. It's been a few years since I saw the episode, but since the standout model is the old Cold War model that's the one everyone uses.


Offline Hemingway

Re: What are you playing? [SPOILER TAGS PLEASE]
« Reply #6048 on: July 06, 2012, 04:04:17 PM »
Anyway. Spec Ops is a decent game, like I said a better story than most action games. It's easy to see where it gets its inspiration, but it doesn't quite live up to that Apocalypse Now level of madness and horror. Metal Gear Solid ( specifically MGS4 ) is still probably the game that captures that feeling the best, certainly of any game I've ever played. Spec Ops just doesn't manage to be quite human enough. It doesn't glorify war the way Modern Warfare does, so it gets points for that, for the effort.

Now, the other game I've been playing, Endless Space, is just fantastic. I wish there'd been more emphasis on exploring space and discovering things. More opportunities to discover lost artifacts and temples, alien research and things like that would've been awesome. Instead, it treats the presumably once-glorious Endless civilization basically like the Protheans in Mass Effect ( at least toward the end of the series ). Which is too say that records of them just seem ... too common, and there's not that much mystery surrounding them.

But still a great game. It's every bit as addictive as Civilization, only in SPACE. SPACE!

Offline Brandon

Re: What are you playing? [SPOILER TAGS PLEASE]
« Reply #6049 on: July 06, 2012, 05:50:09 PM »
Let's say I agree with you. Bioware tried to tell a character-driven story in Mass Effect. I don't think that excuses the lazy copout of a story, driven by a deus ex machina ( yes, I'm aware it takes it to a literal level - I find it sad ), and having an ending so nonsensical that in ten minutes it took me from being a ME fanboy to having no interest in the series ( I haven't even tried the extended edition, which I think came out a little while ago ). Simply put, I don't think it's too much to ask for both good characters and a solid, coherent plot. It's hard to pull off, no doubt about that. But things that are worthwhile usually are. And the result is games like Heavy Rain, Metal Gear Solid, The Witcher 2, and ... not a whole lot more that I can think of.

As to why I don't necessarily agree with you about Bioware and character-driven stories, I just don't think their characters or their exploration of those characters is really that deep. Deep compared to standard action games, yes. But compared to deeply psychological games like Heavy Rain? Not at all. That may seem like an unfair comparison, but ... basically, tough shit. I don't buy that an action RPG couldn't tell a story with characters of the caliber found in Heavy Rain. It's just very difficult.

If youre entire argument is going to be based around the ending of mass effect then Im afraid I cant continue the conversation due to my lack of knowledge. I boycotted that game because there was no PC release that wasnt on origin and I will continue to boycott it till I can legally buy a non-origin ME3.

Although to be fair there are some things I dont think youre taking into account. Im sure every dev out there would love to work on a game till its as bug free as a mid era NES game but the reality is at some point the company runs out of money and at some point you have to ship it. These time constraints may not allow for the deep characters your thinking of (I can not say how deep they were since again I havnt played heavy rain). You can say theyre being lazy but I think its more likely that theyre trying to stay working