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Roundtable

GoogleshngGoogleshng BannedBanned Users
edited October 2003 in Latest Updates

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  • AshgadAshgad Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Borrowing the ideas of your forbearers isn't always copycatism. Look at Symphony of the Night. It took the basic format of Super Metroid (just ignore that these aren't RPGs) and polished it to the extreme.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    While the gameplay of these titles is very similar, their "format" is hardly identical. Differences of setting aside, SotN features lots of characters with actual dialogue to break up the gameplay. Super Metroid pretty much just has Samus's opening monologue and then pure gaming straight through to the end. You will find that not everyone will agree that SotN is necessarily a more "polished" game.

    ... Oh right. The roundtable. Good job not picking on the obvious target (FFX2) in the first topic.
  • DracosDracos Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    Re: CopyCat

    I just have to say that this discussion was a touch blind to just where most of us draw our concept of what an RPG IS. Which is specifically from the 30-50 year old pen and paper games such as D&D and it's predecessors. So, wow, we see the same concepts played out time and time again? They didn't 'rob' them from DW or FF or PS, They existed long before those. If you strip all the subtle forms of improvement in the game industry, you might as well strip whatever blessed status you want to give them for being among the first to leap from pen and paper to console. In which case the entire discussion becomes meaningless as it's been reduced to an absurdity (RPGs copy the same concepts from what is the backbone of RPGs! Horrible!). There is only so many good ways to handle battle systems, and while it isn't played out by any means, it might as well be if one goes in with the belief that if something is 90 percent the same, it's 100 percent the same and therefore copycatting. When one talks of the aspects of story, that's separate from RPGing as a whole and should be taken as such. Uncreative writing isn't uncreative RPG design. It can be the death of it, but it doesn't belong in the same discussion as saying their game design doesn't evolve, I think.

    Dracos
  • EddEdd Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    Not to mention, I the same argument could be applied to most genres; fighting games havent really developed a lot further than street fighter, racing games just add graphics and maybe more cars every time, sports games obviously dont develop much other than superficially altering the controls/adding new players... I certainly wouldnt say RPG's are more stagnent than other genres, at least the good ones have original plots which can carry them if they're not innovative
  • LazeronLazeron New Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    Interesting roundtable. Just some comments:

    While it is certainly true that innovation as noted is very risky and not all the times profitable--innovation is not all dead (right now it seems this way) but it is hard to look for, but you need to realize that gamers themselves must demand it as well. Innovation in the industry can be set by precedence interestingly enough--despite what was said, the Ultima series did set a precedence in PC Rpgs by allowing players some latitude in how they played the game. Ask anyone who has played an Ultima game and they'll tell you it's all about "baking bread"--which emphasizes that the Ultima games had an interactivity which no other game series had. Fast forward--Planescape: Torment and the Fallout series has incredible non-linearity and both games effectively allowed you to play as you wanted to play without locking the player into some sort of electronic destiny that forces you into some path. On the console side--there is innovation (look at all the music games) but it's not in the RPGs however perhaps excepting FF-X2 and Deus Ex: IW at this moment (despite the character designs--FF-X2 will give you an airship right at the get-go of the game and allow you to go and fly virtually anywhere around the world map--the series hasn't done this before and it might be enough to overlook haphazard character designs to play it and enjoy it). Deus Ex: IW's predecessor was an interesting blend of an FPS, a stealth shooter, and an RPG. It plans to up the ante on all of these--multiple paths, better non-lethal weapon usage, a better augmentation system, smart enemies, real choices, etc. It was created by ex-Origin employees and ex-Looking Glass Studios employees and yes, affected by the precendences set in Ultima, System Shock, and Thief. The reason why people liked the first Deus Ex and happily waiting for the second was that the game allowed them to carry out missions in the way they saw fit and experiment a lot. To escape from an enemy infested building do you,

    a) run to the top of the building, turn on your jumping aug, and jump off the building breaking both your legs

    b) walk to the front door exit because earlier on you decided to snipe off all the guards right from the get go and have no trouble getting out

    There are many more examples that players can come up with than just these (note: Deus Ex wasn't perfect--you still ran into fights you couldn't avoid--callled "forced failures" by the game designer-Warren Spector). On a side note: in a Gamespy interview, Warren Spector noted that at this moment, the console is the platform for the most innovative games right now overall. He cites Ico as being one of them because of the interactivity between the player and the princess. He looked at Mr. Mosquito and Vib Ribbon as being excellent innovations as well. He cited Deus Ex and said GTA3 blew it out of the water in terms of what the game allows you to do.

    To end off, take a moment between now and Christmas and look at all the games you plan to get now or in the future. Say to yourself that you'll make an effort to buy only those who are deserving of your $50+ in terms of what you deem innovation is. If you find that you want 3 traditional console rpgs--choose 1. If you find you want 3 hack and slash rpgs on either PC or console--choose 1. If you find you added in a remake of a game you've already played on the SNES, SMS, Saturn, Sega CD, NES, Intellivision, Atari, or the PSX, knock it off the list. If you find you added in a remake of a game you didn't play on any of the old systems, decide if the gameplay is right for you--don't buy it if the main reason is that it says Square-Enix, Nintendo, or any other favourite company on it and be very careful buying a console for just one game. Also it might help the morale if you play things other than pure rpgs--hybrid games can be very fun. If you don't like the content of a game like GTA3, there will be other games in the same vein with much more tolerable content since right now the GTA3 style of gameplay is very hot right now. Another suggestion is hold off on gaming if no rpgs are really innovative to you. Save your money and when that rpg you've always wanted suddenly appears--go get it. Make smart purchases and you can ride out the wave of rpg remakes happier.

    Lazeron
  • DaisDais New Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    That was quite simply the stupidest goddamn thing I've seen in quite a while. And believe me, between glancing over SA "weekend web" excerpts and people screaming "THIS IS THE GAME I'VE BEEN WAITING MY WHOLE LIFE FOR" for random Japanese GBA ROM releases on a GBA board, I've seen a whole bunch of stupid stuff as of late.

    No wonder I stick to other sites for news. With all these 'wonderful features', RPGamer is like a lobotomized peacock. That I haven't noticed this "Roundtable" feature up until now is a great blessing, since if any of the previous ones are of the intellectual quality of the most recent, that's a lot of people that need euthanizing.

    The third selection is quite possibly the largest crime against humanity since Squaresoft announced Advent Children (which is amazing, since you weren't given all that much time to top them), mixing all the insistent idiocy of "THESE GENERALLY UNPOPULAR GAMES REALLY SUCK" with the stunning 'insight' of saying "Every game is the exact same when you remove the things that make them different!"

    Jesus.

    At least do something to make the discussions interesting, if not intelligent. For example, for this roundtable, you feebs could've gone and dug up some of the games that SHOULD have been copied - like Secret of the Stars excellent party system, which helped save the game from being totally without virtues; or Legend of Maten's unusual EXP system, where the 'energy' gained from defeating monsters could be used to not only raise stats, but create and modify weapons!

    Bushi Seiryuuden! Any of you bastards ever heard of that? For some six years since it's release, the brilliance of it's unique battle system has gone unmatched - a cunning mix of turn-based combat, action, strategy, and puzzles. Can any of you say something besides "games sure are a lot alike except some that aren't"? For God's sake, educate if you can't entertain!
  • DracosDracos Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    Re: Villians being Silly

    Uh...huh.

    "You people sound like chapters from a self-help book!"- Kefka

    You can read that and tell me Kefka didn't have the same quirky and amusing sense of humor at the end of the game that he had at the beginning? I always found him both hillarious and cool. It's what made him so damn charismatic as a villian. Anyhow...Given he's the Main Villian and you indicated Main Villians should not be funny... then...
    Kefka is a bad villian?

    I'm certain none of you on the round table would agree with that.

    Ergo, Having a villian that is silly is not contrary to a villian being frightening, effective, or being 'real'. Nor does being funny suddenly render you incapable of dealing very real damage. In fact, the swift transition from the guy you are laughing at to the guy who is slaughtering innocents can be used to create a far greater range of emotional shock then the guy who goes: "LOOK AT ME! I'M EEEEEVIL! I FROWN, I MARCH AROUND IN BLACK ARMOR, I LOOK MENACING!"

    I ponder the round table premise for this. And turn the question around to... is their really such a LACK of silly and amusing games? Sure they are the minority, but that's a far cry from being ground under and non-existant. If the complaint is that there are more angst-stories than comedies well... that has to do with the fact that it's a hell of a lot easier to write something that's moderately tragic than to write something that is genuinely funny conveyed through such a medium. Alongside that, we buy more of those. I've no doubt that FF7 far outsold Paper Mario. Whether it's simply because FF7 is a better 'game' or, more likely, that more people are attracted to the serious and dramatic than to the childish appearing and silly, is up to you, but I'll posit that it's largely the fact that fewer people BUY these types of games. Anyone got figures comparing perhaps a few closely typed light hearted RPGs to similar Dark and Dreary ones?

    Dracos
  • WildDracWildDrac Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    I read through two of those (clothing and villains/comedy), and now I think I'll add my part.

    First, I can see where Dais came from a bit, not everyone in the discussion about clothing seemed to stay in a mode of intelligence. The villain/comedy thing had a lot of me too stuff in it.

    Anyway, moving on. With the clothing, I don't really mind the design of a lot of the characters. So some of the characters may have a lack of clothing or wear less realistic outfits. It kind of adds to the character in some ways. Besides, I attend WMU, and I've seen other students walking around in things that not even Nomura and some of those other wierd designers have though up yet. If they can beat the guys and girls on the third floor of my res hall, then I'll start complaining about costume design.

    As for the silliness, it depends on the game and the situation. Kefka I think remained pretty funny for the whole game. And there is nothing wrong with a silly main villain. Like Dracos said, it can add to the horror when the guy you thought was a silly secondary enemy turns around and starts slaughtering innocents *cough*KEFKA*cough*. Also, silly RPG's definitely have their place. Rhapsody is a good example. I simply love that game, and you can't tell me that that thing is really serious at any point. Also, the main villain of Rhapsody was both hilarious AND scantily-clad (the *boing* sound effect they use with Naga in Slayers comes to mind). Really it comes down to a matter of taste. I personally like a good, emotionally charged story, but when I need a break from that I pop in something like Rhapsody or Dance Dance Revolution (not an RPG, I know, but silly and fun) and have some light-hearted fun. Like someone else has already said, give some non-RPG games a try, there are quite a few that can be played for just a few minutes or an hour or two just to take a break from your heavy RPG's that won't really mess with your concentration on the RPG-o-the-month.
  • BloodcatBloodcat Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    For some insane reason I am agreeing with most of Dracos' comments here this week.

    Check the skies folks, the meteors are on their way.. tounge.gif

    Anyhow, on to my roundup of the roundup.

    1: Skimpy outfits. I hate em. They are embarassing and unrealistic. I am 29 years old, and I have digital cable and broadband internet. If I want my porn, I can get my porn. Keep the titillation out of my gaming. I am less embarrassed to buy Transformers toys and Star Wars Legos than I am to buy some videogames, anime, or comics. And yeah, Fallout and KOTOR had clothing swaps in game. As did Diablo. And it was cool. Hell, in Fallout 2 you go from a skins clad tribal member to a badass in a giant suit of power armor that could kick Robocop's ass! And KOTOR had the entire party generally wearing realistic, functional clothing or armor. And even their undergarments were reasonable. No thongs or any of that silliness. So even for the goofballs who wanted to run around in their skivvies, it wasn't gonna do much.

    2: Humor. If it fits the game, go for it. But don't use it to lighten situations that should not be lightened up. (Something that is quite common in animeish stuff. Blame Tekuza. He did it first, and everyone copies the man endlessly.) A smart blend works best though. KOTOR and Fallout 2 again come to mind. Keep the teenaged angst crap out of my gaming. Teenagers suck. Their problems suck. Their whining and brooding sucks. If you are gonna do a serious game, pay attention to something like Ultima 5 or Phantasy Star 2, which did dark smart, and not as a way to pandering to the teenage gamer, who is a minority these days anyhow. Hell, adult WOMEN outnumber male kids and teens playing games these days.... Call me silly, but gamers have grown up, and we might like games that are grown up too...
    (And Disagea is a riot. But people who aren't into anime or manga are not gonna get most of the humor in the game. Its an acquired taste for funny..)

    3: Innovative games. D&D was first. Ultima and Wizardry copied D&D to various levels. Dragon Quest and Phantasy Star copied Ultima and Wizardry. RPGs did not start with consoles, nor are most of the innovations heralded in RPGs from the console games. (The Sphere Grid in FFX is basically a complicated and hard to read version of a skill tree... Put that thing in a vertical or horizontal line and its gonna look a lot like Diablo 2's skill system. Because it is. ) Anyhow. Innovation and creativity are good. Doing the same thing because it sells is a SHORT TERM solution. Why? People will and DO get bored of the same old same old. Innovation and creativity ARE risky, but when they succeed you get monster hits like the Sims. (Which isn't all THAT innovative actually. But it's something in a barely existant gameplay style few people have ever messed with...)

    Hell, FF7 is so well loved because for many people it was something totally new. (For us long suffering RPGers its merely ok to good.) It was totally unlike games most people had ever played, and it made BIG money off of it.

    Innovation is a good thing. People like new. Though it seems on the console end these days its less about being new as it is to repackage obscure PC games with anime characters and get the game magazines to pimp it out....

    (Not that PC games are very innovative as of late either. Between the piles of EA Sports games infesting the console shelves, and the gobs of WW2-Modern Era "realistic" millitary games on the PC, I am hard pressed to find games I might like to play. Without having to order from Ebworld anyhow...)
  • DevilMayCareDevilMayCare Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    Ah copycating..I'm quite glad I made that topic; for better or for worse..

    Although I purposely made my idea somewhat less..broad than Google's; for the specific reason that I thought some people would b***h about what they are about that subject. Although some people have at least some constructive critisicim about it..most don't.

    ..And there really aren't that many games with well timed humor. Disgaea fomes to mind, but how many more than that can you pull out of your hat for the PS2? Maybe two or three at the most..

    And even if I include all systems, I can really think only think of Earthbound, FF6 in some places, and very few others..Lunar also goes in there..



  • DaisDais New Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    *looks at title*

    HE'P HE'P I'VE BEEN VICTIMIZED
  • DracosDracos Member Full Members
    edited September 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (DevilMayCare @ Sep. 29 2003,16:22)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Ah copycating..I'm quite glad I made that topic; for better or for worse..

    Although I purposely made my idea somewhat less..broad than Google's; for the specific reason that I thought some people would b***h about what they are about that subject. Although some people have at least some constructive critisicim about it..most don't.

    ..And there really aren't that many games with well timed humor. Disgaea fomes to mind, but how many more than that can you pull out of your hat for the PS2? Maybe two or three at the most..

    And even if I include all systems, I can really think only think of Earthbound, FF6 in some places, and very few others..Lunar also goes in there..[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    I can think of far more than you can, DMC. But it doesn't change the facts that I posited above. I think angstfests outsell comedy and lighthearted RPGs by a huge margin. I think most people aren't even aware of the comedy or light-hearted RPGs that come out. I think most developers have a far easier time doing mediocre angst which they can get away with than good comedy (because they rarely get away with bad comedy).

    Comedy games are a minority of ALL games. Light hearted ones are ALSO a minority of all games. And heck, let's not even go into the fact a lot of people miss the light-heartedness in games. I wouldn't do PS2 as I don't know enough games well to argue on that (only maybe a half dozen-dozen). Even so, I can point to KH which was attempting to be funny, but just failed because the guys writing it weren't funny themselves. I can point to Disgaea which was genuinely funny. Just in the games that are scattered in my view range. Well skippy, FF7, DW7 both had their laugh riot points and scattered humor throughout (DW7 far more than FF7 but regardless), There's Lunar(Whole series produced there, ne?), Legend of mana off the top of my head. PAPER MARIO! The Tales series! Every Nippon Ichi game! A bunch in the snes era, Earthbound, FF4-6 all had pretty darn good humor. DW5-6 had as well, for those of us who could get them. There was that vamp rpg game that went right under most people's radars for being childish that was a hoot. Super Mario RPG anyone?

    I could go on, but I think I make enough of a case just off the top of my head that there is not a 'lack' of games with good humor in it. It is, and will always be, the minority of games produced. It's that way in everything. Look around you, how many genuinely funny people can you point to compared to how many genuinely not funny people can you point to? I'd bet you find a hell of a lot more unfunny folks then guys who could do stand up comedy. And last I heard, stand up comedy was not among the desired job skills at a game development company. Either way, the presence or lack of good funny games isn't indictive of copycatting at all. As I said above, if you want to say that a game that is 90 percent the same is 100 percent the same, you'll soon enough be able to prove that every GAME ever made is the same. In fact, My Name Is DEVIL MAY CARE!

    Dracos
  • Q. MulativeQ. Mulative Banned Banned Users
    edited October 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote </td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Drethelin: I can't think of any at all off the top of my head, and only a few females involved at all in the industry.

    Googleshng: Well, E3 has plenty of booth babes, but that's doubtfully what you meant.

    Brian: I can name a couple of female game developers. There's a lot more than that, they just don't get much publicity.[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>

    Hello? Roberta Williams' enormous fame knocking at the door? King's Quest? Come on, people! At least name some famous females if you're going to be talking about them!
  • DevilMayCareDevilMayCare Member Full Members
    edited October 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Dracos @ Sep. 30 2003,06:03)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"

    Comedy games are a minority of ALL games. ?Light hearted ones are ALSO a minority of all games.

    I could go on, but I think I make enough of a case just off the top of my head that there is not a 'lack' of games with good humor in it. ?It is, and will always be, the minority of games produced. ?

    Dracos
    <span id='postcolor'>
    ..Er, huh? Which one is it then..?
  • DracosDracos Member Full Members
    edited October 2003
    Minority!=Lack.

    It means there is a small amount. Enough, most likely, to satisify most if not all who want for them. It simply means that there are far more games of other types. Or, to put a clear analogy, blacks are a minority of americans. Do we lack blacks? Certainly not.

    Dracos
  • DevilMayCareDevilMayCare Member Full Members
    edited October 2003
    </span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Dracos @ Sep. 30 2003,18:53)</td></tr><tr><td class="QUOTE"Minority!=Lack.

    It means there is a small amount. ?Enough, most likely, to satisify most if not all who want for them. ?It simply means that there are far more games of other types. ?Or, to put a clear analogy, blacks are a minority of americans. ?Do we lack blacks? ?Certainly not.

    Dracos[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
    Ah! Understood, quite sorry then.

    I just mean now a days anyway, I still haven't played Disgaea..gosh, I didn't think it would be this hard to find in Texas or any state for that matter; I haven't even found a store that called them in!

    Ah well..guess I can be glad I got Tactic's Orge: The Knight Of Lodis for almost nothing..
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