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Let's talk story in games... And worlds [roundtable]
Which games in your opinion had the mist intricate, grabbing, heartfelt, revolutionary stories?

And what about universes? Which games had a world that mesmerized and spoke to you?

Beyond good & evil had a wonderful world and likable characters. I was sucked in as soon as the opening started

Chronology trigger had (multiple) worlds that are so dear to me now and a very grabbing story

Okami had a gorgeous realm of nature and ancient. Perhaps one of the greatest feelings of freedom I felt in a game

While some disliked the ship travel, wind waked was a game with a great feel of adventure and discovery. A touching story and a colossal surprise (when the tower emerged from the ocean leading to hyrule)

I also loved TP (big evangelion moment when midna transforms) plus, as I said in other threads, a game where going out of bonds gave me the best feeling in the world)

I liked Little king's story's universe and, while the story seemed superficial it was FULL of mature
"innuendos" (and yes, some xxx too)

Then there's Fragile... One piece of gem that got me captivated
in front of the tv for hours and hours.

Believe it or not, as far as story, while it was not complex super Mario galaxy (in my opinion the better game vs smg2) made me quite emotional and I am very attached to the game and worlds presented... I just wish there were "bigger/non linear" levels like SMS

Maybe not a world but rather
a state of mind, animal crossing was touching when your favorite animals left your town (miss u Antonio)

Omg I'm being a sap

Maybe not for the story, but the metroid prime series had gorgeous universes
that I'd love to visit

My brain is damaged so I can't think of anything else now...

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Posted: 01/18/11, 03:27:13  - Edited by 
 on: 01/18/11, 09:18:26
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This is a very good post and I agree... in theory. I've never played Majora's Mask or Pheonix Wright however gaming has been one of my biggest hobbies for roughly 25 years. I've played thousands of games like pretty much everyone here and more than a few involve exactly what you are talking about. Deus Ex, one of my favorite games ever, does it better than most anything I've played.

And even with the added dynamic of immersion and gamer influenced choice the story, dynamic characters and character driven exploration of backstory, the telling of it absolutely pales when put next to my favorite books. I'm strictly speaking for me however like I said no sci-fi game (and Mass Effect and Deus Ex do a great job of incorporating what you are talking about) comes ballpark to Hyperion or Ender's Game or Dune. As great as Dragon Age is for a fantasy rpg (my favorite rpg of this generation) and as much as the player can influence event's, help or hinder characters, learn backstory and lore and explore (in effect all the things you cite about MM) a great game world would I ever say the storytelling is on par with A Song of Ice and Fire? Lord of the Rings? Hell no, even though I can't influence the event's in those books the maturity, depth and quality of the story is literally in a completely different league.

Gaming and reading have historically been my favorite pastimes that don't involve athletics. I've never played a game that impacted me like reading The Road the first time. I've never been as engrossed in a story and characters and world as I was reading Shogun. I've never felt a game transport me to another time and place like A Song of Ice and Fire. I've never sympathized and cared about a videogame character like I did with Kavalier and Clay. I've never seen a game take a moral stance that changes the way I look at things like Cold Mountain or A Farewell to Arms. In short while you definitely have a point regarding the potential of the medium, it's never been realized (imo) to the point it can compete with a book. Some games... Half Life 2, Deus Ex, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Majora's Mask, etc may give it a go however for me it's still not remotely close. And in truth it never will be until the medium matures to the level of great literature, ie we get past the 14-20 demographic being what developers aim for storytelling wise.
Posted: 01/18/11, 16:42:03  - Edited by 
 on: 01/18/11, 16:51:50
Here is a list of some of the games with the best story as far as the medium is concerned:

-Silent Hill 1-4 - The amount of FAQs that SH games' plots have generated compared to your average survival horror game speak volumes about the quality of SH games stories and their lasting appeal. The best mysteries are those that are left unexplained. SH games have that in droves.

-Prince of Persia: Sands of Time - not so much an example of a great story, but more of an example of great story telling in the interactive medium. The game made me care about its characters and antagonists and it had the magic of the "1001 Nights" books in videogame form.

-Bioshock - a prime example that the game IS the story instead of CGI, FMV, or any other parasitic element that videogames have inherited from movies, a completely different medium for storytelling.

-God of War - another example of the art of storytelling exceeding the essence of the story itself.

-Shadow of the Colossus - if Shakespeare was a game developer instead of a drama writer, he would have made Shadow of the Colossus.
Posted: 01/18/11, 20:31:28  - Edited by 
 on: 01/18/11, 20:52:48
Oldmanwinter said:
I've never played Majora's Mask or Pheonix Wright
Download that shit ASAP from the VC and WiiWare. Best 20 bucks you ever spend.
Posted: 01/18/11, 20:41:40
How have you guys not played Majora's Mask? The hell?
Posted: 01/18/11, 23:31:13
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