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Editorials - Ambush Attack

Joseph WithamJoseph Witham MemberFull Members
edited October 2003 in Latest Updates
Though it's only one article, there's still plenty to discuss about it.

Read it here.


  • PhatosePhatose Member Full Members
    edited October 2003
    A singular example where innovation did not lead to praise does not prove that people do not desire innovation - only that other concerns also weigh in. Execution is always important, and an innovative game that is executed poorly will not recieve praise. Poor execution prevents appreciation of new ideas. But that does not imply that people do not wish for those new ideas - only that they want them to be executed well.
  • pneuma08pneuma08 Member Full Members
    edited October 2003
    I've but one thing to say:

    I loved the innovation of Unlimited Saga. I thought it was overall a wonderful idea, the way the movement worked, I even found the skill system to be quite novel. What I did not like, however, was the way it worked; the fitting of the innovations into the gameplay was so awkward that it hurt the overall fun. The way the game forced me at one point to give up a better skill for a lesser one is simply inexcusable, and that's just one of my many grievances with the game.

    He is right, though, about the way innovation is treated. It seems that a wonderful innovation in a bad setting is treated especially bad because it takes a risk. It doesn't make Unlimited Saga a good game, per se, and it doesn't make a Final Fantasy bad not to have it.

    Although I get the feeling sometimes that the reviewers merely mean that the game could be even better if it had innovation, even though it is a good game. After all, you can't really judge a game by only looking at its positives (which means that sometimes a reviewer will be searching for the negatives of a game harder merely because there is less negative there).

    Alright, I guess I lied about that one point thing...
  • PhatosePhatose Member Full Members
    edited October 2003
    I've always figured the criticisms based on lack of innovation were due to the crowded nature of the genre nowadays. A perfectly cut diamond is a beautiful thing, yes, but if you're in a sea of perfectly cut diamonds, it loses a great deal of it's impact. So it is with RPGs - when you've got so many of them around, without something special to distinguish one from the other, even the best execution can feel stale and boring, simply because you've been exposed to it so much.
  • KarlinnKarlinn Member Full Members
    edited October 2003
    The thing about innovation is that it can only happen once and be considered new. After that, everything that comes afterward is compared to that first thing. Innovation becomes routine, generating news trends at the same time it defies others.

    To wit, the evolution of the first-person shooter. Id's big 3 were all trendsetters - Wolfenstein, Doom and Quake - and much of what followed merely stood in the shadows of these giants; new shooters were released practically daily, and the successful ones barely broke even. Other innovative titles included Half-Life, Deus Ex, System Shock and Thief, though true innovation in the genre is sparse, with most titles offering a natural evolution - upgrades, if you will (i.e. Unreal, Red Faction).

    The same is true for RPGs. Something can only be new once, and then everything is compared to that. With comparisons come the inevitable question: "We've seen this before. What do you have that's different from the rest?"

    The good news is, in my opinion, the process of innovation is cyclical, meaning things can, in essence, be re-invented when they are no longer the norm. Your typical medieval-themed swords-and-sorcery adventure might look like every other RPG out there right now, but a few years down the road, after about 30 or 40 different trips down the road less travelled (Planescape: Torment, Xenosaga), it just might be a breath of fresh air.
  • DracosDracos Member Full Members
    edited October 2003
    Premise: Because an innovative game is generally disliked, all inovative games are disliked.

    I'll use a different example and suggest the opposite.

    Super Mario 64
    It definitely was an innovative game for it's time.
    It was also generally fun. ?It was also appealing to the general population.


    Premise: Innovation is not enough.
    ?A game where you have pink squares hovering around and spitting coconuts would be innovative in the sense no one's ever done it before. ?But it would not sell well and no one would want to buy it.

    Premise: Fun is absolutely necessary.
    ?You can make the most innovative game you want, but if it's not fun, it won't ever have the chance to catch on. ?It has to generally be at least as good as other games if the innovation is to catch on because it'll be judged on how it turns out in the game.

    Premise: It has to end up appealing to the mainstream.
    ?Innovations happen all the time. ?Most of it doesn't catch on for one reason or another. ?Maybe the wrong person played it early and gave it a bad review in a major spot. ?Maybe the marketing failed. ?Maybe it lacked a quirky character that drew children and adults eyes to it. ?Maybe it was just bad luck or timing. ?Whatever it is, there's something distinctive that separates the Mario effect (Which did in it's day innovate a fair bit and prolly still does today) and the dozens of games that never catch on.

    If all three premises aren't fulfilled, then it won't do 'well'. ?It won't have a chance at 'catching on', and it might not have to do with the fun of the game either.

    *Hopes Araes finds time to continue last week's discussion on Macros*

  • vherubvherub Member Full Members
    edited October 2003
    the larger issue here is critics and gamers should be more consistent. not just when rating innovation, but judging all aspects of a game. The objective opinion in the world of video games is very rare. Too often people either line up for or against games long before they have even played them. Where innovation truly seems to exist is in the new and mindnumbing ways in which gamers hypocritically complain about certain games or flaws in a game. All games are flawed in some way, either innovation, the combat system, random battles, plot, character development, etc. Many people still consider ChronoTrigger to be the pinnacle of rpg's- and this title is approaching its 10 year mark.
    The only rpg series that has been consistently innovative has been zelda, and yet that game was blasted in its latest direction (and then later on its difficulty level). And yet many people will also say zelda is not a real rpg- which is further infuriating because writing in stone what a real rpg is does nothing but shakle innovation.
  • IsraelIsrael Member Full Members
    edited October 2003
    I think that an innovative game must be well made and have a good story in general.

    Probably that was why FF7 they say *revolutined* the RPGs as we know them.

    But still, I think an innovative game has to be disliked because it will have a system no one knows, for example, Chrono Cross has a stamina battle system which meant you could attack about 2-7 times the same turn, but it was disliked. So I conclude that, for an innovation, you need to make an exceptional game, practically one that even an animal likes...

    But who knows...
  • EvaNgeLioNEvaNgeLioN Member Full Members
    edited October 2003
    I think innovation is important, simply to make things stay interesting. However, I do not thing that every game should be innovating, I think that they should focus on something that works for a little while, and after people have started getting too used to it, than try and make something new. Personally I get annoyed when I play a game that has some awesome innovations in it, and yet it is never seen again even in sequels, and that was the main reason I loved the game.

    Also, innovation is, usually, looked on gameplay, and while the gameplay of course is extremely important. I would love to see a TRULY innovative story or music that just grabs you and never lets you go. While those aspects are attempted in almost every game (especially RPG's) very few have a story or musical score that is extremely memerable. I think they should, for now, stick with the gameplay style we all love, and start focusing on polishing those systems, while focusing on the storyline and character development, while giving us some amazing music to listen to on the side.
  • BloodcatBloodcat Member Full Members
    edited October 2003
    Innovation means playing something new and different.

    A lack of innovation means playing the same effing game over and over again, with maybe new graphics or in many console RPG's case, new characters to be put in rape dojinshi or slash fanfiction.

    That's fine if you are easily amused. I do not fit into that category.

    Then again, an editorial defending a lack of innovation calling Final Fantasy the best RPGs sort of explains it all right there.
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