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Author Topic: Console games are for stories  (Read 1412 times)
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Mattc0m
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« on: March 30, 2007, 04:23:26 PM »

Off the top of my head, nearly ever game I've like are for their stories.

- Sure, Morrowind and Oblivion are more open ended, but I played them pretty much up until I beat the main quest.
- Heck, Halo and Gears of War are great games, and have some solid controls & gameplay. But a big key to enjoying these games were the stories. I mean, multiplayer and co-op are fun, but the campaigns were borderline epic.
- Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest make some good RPGs, too, but the sole reason I play them is for their stories.
- KOTOR 1 & 2, a ton of fun, but again it was all about some kick ass story telling.
- Kameo and Perfect Dark Zero were down right frustrating at time, but their good stories (well, at least Kameo's was good), kept me playing.
- Even in GTA games (and other GTA style games), the wide open areas only do so much. I really liked most of GTA's stories, which is why I liked the GTA series.
- Even lesser liked titles in general I had a good time with due to their story, such as Deus Ex Invisible War, Thief 3, Fable, and others

I mean, there is other good games out there that don't really include stories. For example, I really love Burnout Revenge on my 360. That said, I played Need for Speed a lot more, just due to a little story and meaning to what you were doing. Gameplay wise, I much prefer Burnout and pick it up if I'm just playing something quick. But if I want to really game, I'll get something that I'm contiuning a story on.

For me, it's the complete opposite on the PC, though. Stories are still good (I loved Dreamfall), but I much prefer the pure gameplay antics of Counter-Strike Source or Supreme Commander than I do any sort of story.

Is there something wrong with me? I pay for XBL Gold, but rarely use it. I've got Gears of War, but rarely play online. I'm excited for Halo 3, but just for the campaign. I'd much prefer getting Mass Effect or Fable 2 over a new FPS or more action gameplay offerings. For example, Crackdown seems really boring, as it's story blows. On the other hand, I really want to get my hand's on Dead Rising, but not for a story. Hmm...

Agree? Disagree? It's a bit of a weird area for me, but I just find myself not really getting into a console game unless it has a good story going along with it. Weird, huh?
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« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2007, 04:38:05 PM »

I think there is generally a different "flavor" to console or PC games.  Not necessarily better or worse, but different.

I personally can't stand shooters on a console.  Every GTA I have played has been on the PC.  Gears of War, however, was so well done it would have the potential to sway me to a console shooter.
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« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2007, 04:45:40 PM »

Quote from: unbreakable on March 30, 2007, 04:38:05 PM

I think there is generally a different "flavor" to console or PC games.  Not necessarily better or worse, but different.

I personally can't stand shooters on a console.  Every GTA I have played has been on the PC.  Gears of War, however, was so well done it would have the potential to sway me to a console shooter.

See, I can stand certain shooters to a degree. That degree being Gears of War, Halo, and Halo 2. No other FPS on a console has really "grabbed" me since Return to Castle Wolfenstein on the Xbox (which I played just for multiplayer).

Thing is, I just can't really play console games just for their gameplay inards. I'm at a point where the only time I feel like I can truely enjoy a console game is if it has a good story that pulls me along, and makes everything a bit more interesting.
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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2007, 04:48:12 PM »

I really like RPGs on a console, but I think it's more of the tail wagging the dog: the "console RPG" style of game is (for the most part) limitted to the console, while PC RPGs tend toward a different style.

There is some crossover (aside from simple ports), but for the most part they tend to be completely separate sub-genres.
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« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2007, 04:57:52 PM »

i think PC have just as many story games,half life,deus ex..all starting out on the PC

but yeah,i find that a lot of my console games are stories,which i love,its like the next way to tell a story(video games in general i mean),make you apart of it...our grandparents must envy us,they just had Gone with the wind,lol

i also have,'turn of your mind and play' games,like burnout revenge and call of duty 3...but i love a good story game(being the FF fan i am)
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« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2007, 05:58:32 PM »

You are exactly like me Matt!  I too game for the "story".  But, I will also add I game for "attachment to characters" as well.  This is very important to me.  I simply can't play a game if I don't like the characters and that includes the supporting characters.  That is why I'm currently enjoying Bullet Witch and Enchanted Arms (story & characters).  And like you it's more strategy (turn based or realtime) on the PC that I enjoy.  I like the story/character based games on consoles for the most part.  The epitome of story/character based gaming were the KOTOR games.  I did not play them.  I "lived" those games.  And that is why Mass Effect is going to be awesome.

It's this point I try to get across in my impressions of games.  I base it all on the story and the character.  Graphics, sound, physics, shadows, lighting, programming, what console/system the game is on etc. are all gravy to me.  Make me care about the story and character(s) and I will buy the game.   nod

I just noticed this that you posted:  Thing is, I just can't really play console games just for their gameplay inards. I'm at a point where the only time I feel like I can truely enjoy a console game is if it has a good story that pulls me along, and makes everything a bit more interesting.

That is SO true!
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« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2007, 06:39:18 PM »

I'll chime in and counter: The story is irrelevant to me.   icon_biggrin

I'm in it for the gameplay. In fact, I'd even say the story (and crap surrounding it like cut scenes) detract from most games for me.

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« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2007, 06:46:33 PM »

A great story is the number one thing that can pull me into any game, pc or console.

However, gameplay itself can overcome anything else. Take God of War, for instance. The story doesn't appeal to me at all. But the gameplay is awesome.

My favorite console games of all time, other than rpg's, have barely any story to speak of, though what little there was, was typically done well. It was the gameplay, though, that really made them stellar: Super Metroid, Zelda: A Link to the Past, Banjo-Kazooie, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 1 and 2 (crappy story, fun dungeon romp), Resident Evil 2 & 4, and many more. I'm not even including the obvious ones like sports games, racing games, and puzzle games. icon_biggrin
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Starshifter
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« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2007, 06:55:35 PM »

Quote from: Devil on March 30, 2007, 06:39:18 PM

I'll chime in and counter: The story is irrelevant to me.   icon_biggrin

I'm in it for the gameplay. In fact, I'd even say the story (and crap surrounding it like cut scenes) detract from most games for me.

What if a game was created where you get to control Martin Brodeur through a series of fun story-based adventures and where he has to battle evil sports players and announcers utilizing his Goal Stick +25 Blaster!  And the game starts off with a 10-minute cut scene to establish the setting/mood?  Well?  Boob*icon_razz icon_wink

*-All credit for this term goes to Lockdown
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« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2007, 06:58:42 PM »

So far I've felt let down by my 360 experience. Granted this is my first console, so it could have gone either way...

Shooters that are all about shooting bore me......maybe thats the problem........as soon as I see the word shooter in a game's description I should pass it by.

I love to ponder things in a game.......much more as I age........rapidly I might add... crybaby

Shooters don't give me time to ponder or really enjoy the "ambiance" of the setting.....

I'm an explorer-type player.......I love uncovering new and hidden areas just to see whats there...Instead shooters throw 4 aliens on my back before I can say, "wow, what a nice sunrise"............ icon_wink

My hope for the now dormant 360 sitting on my bedroom floor is that story driven, explorer type games will start showing up more and more.
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« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2007, 07:00:43 PM »

Quote
What if a game was created where you get to control Martin Brodeur through a series of fun story-based adventures and where he has to battle evil sports players and announcers utilizing his Goal Stick +25 Blaster!  And the game starts off with a 10-minute cut scene to establish the setting/mood?  Well?  Boob*!

IN!!

That game would be called God of Hockey and the story would end with him being fitted for another ring!
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« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2007, 07:12:40 PM »

Quote from: Devil on March 30, 2007, 06:39:18 PM

I'll chime in and counter: The story is irrelevant to me.   icon_biggrin

I'm in it for the gameplay. In fact, I'd even say the story (and crap surrounding it like cut scenes) detract from most games for me.



I'm going to agree with Devil on this one.  I want just enough story to keep me going.  But I do not want to sit through numerous long cheesy cutscenes (Metal Gear, Final Fantasy, etc).  I would say Gears of War had just the right amount of story for me.  Also the ability to skip through cutscenes is a must. 
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« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2007, 07:12:48 PM »

Quote from: Arclight on March 30, 2007, 06:58:42 PM

I'm an explorer-type player.......I love uncovering new and hidden areas just to see whats there...Instead shooters throw 4 aliens on my back before I can say, "wow, what a nice sunrise"............ icon_wink

Sounds like if you haven't tried them, the following might (no guarantees!) appeal to you:

Oblivion - yeah, obvious, but just saying...
Dead Rising
Test Drive Unlimited - the whole island of Oahu is available for you to explore at will, goof around with other players via Live who are free-roaming like yourself, or do more traditional race-type challenges; it really appeals to the explorer in me)
Viva Pinata - Not exploring in the sense of looking around for hidden places, but in the sense of trying various things to see what works in your garden. Maybe you want to try for high garden value, or aesthetic pleasure, or the biggest pinata variety, whatever you want to do, give it a shot

Off the top of my head, these are the games I own that sound like they might appeal to you for the same reasons they do to me: the explorer mentality. icon_smile
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« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2007, 07:16:26 PM »

Quote from: Farscry on March 30, 2007, 07:12:48 PM

Quote from: Arclight on March 30, 2007, 06:58:42 PM

I'm an explorer-type player.......I love uncovering new and hidden areas just to see whats there...Instead shooters throw 4 aliens on my back before I can say, "wow, what a nice sunrise"............ icon_wink

Sounds like if you haven't tried them, the following might (no guarantees!) appeal to you:

Oblivion - yeah, obvious, but just saying...
Dead Rising
Test Drive Unlimited - the whole island of Oahu is available for you to explore at will, goof around with other players via Live who are free-roaming like yourself, or do more traditional race-type challenges; it really appeals to the explorer in me)
Viva Pinata - Not exploring in the sense of looking around for hidden places, but in the sense of trying various things to see what works in your garden. Maybe you want to try for high garden value, or aesthetic pleasure, or the biggest pinata variety, whatever you want to do, give it a shot

Off the top of my head, these are the games I own that sound like they might appeal to you for the same reasons they do to me: the explorer mentality. icon_smile

Thanks. Test Drive sounds cool...not sure why I haven't even heard of this. icon_eek
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« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2007, 07:20:49 PM »

The chief downside on Test Drive is that the driving is a little too loose. You can lower the steering sensitivity in the options menu though; I had to just to keep the freaking cars under control. icon_wink

Anyway, those four I vouch for being at least worth a rental!
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« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2007, 07:49:53 PM »

Quote from: Farscry on March 30, 2007, 06:46:33 PM

A great story is the number one thing that can pull me into any game, pc or console.

However, gameplay itself can overcome anything else. Take God of War, for instance. The story doesn't appeal to me at all. But the gameplay is awesome.

My favorite console games of all time, other than rpg's, have barely any story to speak of, though what little there was, was typically done well. It was the gameplay, though, that really made them stellar: Super Metroid, Zelda: A Link to the Past, Banjo-Kazooie, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 1 and 2 (crappy story, fun dungeon romp), Resident Evil 2 & 4, and many more. I'm not even including the obvious ones like sports games, racing games, and puzzle games. icon_biggrin

See, now, almost every one of the games you listed at the end, I would say had compelling stories as well as great gameplay.  Sands of Time is one in particular that I remember more for the story (especially the ending) than the great gameplay (though it had both).  I can enjoy most games on any level, but it's almost always the ones with great stories that I remember long after the fact (KOTOR 1 being the finest example, I think).  Most games don't deliver astounding stories like that, but I'm not asking them to.  Just give me a good enough story to take me through to the end.  If you go above and beyond, that's the one that'll stay with me.

I hear people who gripe about not being able to skip cutscenes, but unless it's right before a section that you have to keep replaying, I've never understood that.  Maybe we're wired differently, I don't know, but I usually do prefer some attempt at a story in my games.
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« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2007, 08:17:38 PM »

Quote from: Bullwinkle on March 30, 2007, 07:49:53 PM

I hear people who gripe about not being able to skip cutscenes, but unless it's right before a section that you have to keep replaying, I've never understood that

I'm pretty sure people who say that are referring to reloads or additional replays of the game.  I doubt anyone would actually want to skip through a cutscene the first time they see it
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« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2007, 08:25:01 PM »

Quote from: Arclight on March 30, 2007, 06:58:42 PM

My hope for the now dormant 360 sitting on my bedroom floor is that story driven, explorer type games will start showing up more and more.

M - A - S - S     E - F - F - E - C - T
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« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2007, 08:28:49 PM »

Quote from: KePoW on March 30, 2007, 08:17:38 PM

Quote from: Bullwinkle on March 30, 2007, 07:49:53 PM

I hear people who gripe about not being able to skip cutscenes, but unless it's right before a section that you have to keep replaying, I've never understood that

I'm pretty sure people who say that are referring to reloads or additional replays of the game.  I doubt anyone would actually want to skip through a cutscene the first time they see it

If the cutscene is bad enough that I want to skip it then I should be able to do so.  Don't compound the problem of creating a boring cut scene by making me watch it to continue in the game.

Just my 2 pennies.
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« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2007, 09:00:31 PM »

There's a few times where stories aren't important. For example, I'm loving both NBA 2k6 and Burnout Revenge. I just seem to have a better time playing and spend more time gaming when a game offers up a solid, story with good pacing and some neat twists in it. Those really got the extra mile, and what really keep me interested in console gaming.
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« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2007, 01:18:49 AM »

Quote
Thing is, I just can't really play console games just for their gameplay inards. I'm at a point where the only time I feel like I can truely enjoy a console game is if it has a good story that pulls me along, and makes everything a bit more interesting.

Well said, and I'm all about good story and good characters as well.  I simply can't play a game if there's not some sort of attachment to what's going on.  I love developing characters and unfolding a story throughout the game.  Many of my favorite games have been just as much cut-scene as gameplay, and IMO that's what makes them so good (i.e. Dreamfall, Xenosaga, the Final Fantasys, Shadow Hearts, etc.). 

No matter how cool it looks, killing things just for the sake of killing things gets really boring for me.  Which would explain why I don't enjoy many shooters.
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« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2007, 03:10:48 AM »

For me gameplay absolutely takes precedence over story.  It's hard for me to come up with a single game I have where the story was what made me want to play it.  I don't play something like GTA because of it's storyline, I play it because of the driving, exploring, action and stuff. 

On the other hand, I would say that good characters can certainly be an appealing factor for me and give me reason to play a game.  Take a game like Sam & Max: I don't honestly give much of a care about the over-arching storyline, but the main characters and their interactions are reason enough for me to play (and love) the game. 

Of course having good missions and voice-overs and stuff helps me get into a game, but the big picture story rarely matters to me.  Especially since 80% of the time I don't end up finishing a game anyway. 
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« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2007, 07:43:12 PM »

Okay, you named Grand Theft Auto as an example. I kind of like that one, because it combines gameplay and story very well. However, I honestly think that the story was very important. More important than gameplay? No, that's not what I'm trying to say. I'm saying that story has become such an important component to me, that I find it a lot harder to enjoy gameplay without a decent story that brings me through the game.

So, on to Grand Theft Auto. Again, good example, I like it. Let's say Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas to be specific.

Story was good, not exactly the best and not a lot of rememorable moments, but still good. It did, however, integrate the game together very well. It introduced gang wars, property ownership, flying an airplane, robbing a house, you name it. The story here isn't so much great due to the plot, but due to its intergration into the game.

So, take a step back for a moment. How long did you play GTA after you finish the story? I played San Andreas for another 2 or 3 hours, doing miscellous things here and there. But despite it's open-ended nature and great gameplay, Grand Theft Auto isn't really that great of a game without a solid story. Am I really that crazy?

So let's just think of a situation without a story involved. There's a few moments in GTA where the story is removed, and they're fairly fun diversions throughout the game. And they've got good gameplay, too. I mean, San Andreas has plenty of racing missions, "kill X people in X time" missions, you name it. Not integrated into the story, just there as missions. But could you honestly sit down for a couple hours and just drive around, explore, and do these random missions? How many sessions could you get out of that before you were bored?

While I totally agree that GTA has great gameplay, and it's a blast to just cruise around and do these random missions. But could you really play the game for 20 hours, being constantly drawn to it? A story can do that to me, makes a good game a GREAT game I just can't put down. Great gameplay just doesn't do that for me.

Of course, there's also other instances, "for fun" games I call them. I mentioned them before, 2 games I'm guilty of playing w/o storylines are Burnout Revenge and NBA 2k6. Good gameplay, but no story. But like above, while I do enjoy them, I'm not that excited to contiune the game nor am I enjoying it as much as a game that brings a really strong story.


So, in the end, I'm just saying a story is a part. But for me, especially on console games, the story is often up with the most important part, right in there with good gameplay.
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« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2007, 07:57:03 PM »

Quote from: Mattc0m on April 02, 2007, 07:43:12 PM

So, take a step back for a moment. How long did you play GTA after you finish the story? I played San Andreas for another 2 or 3 hours, doing miscellous things here and there. But despite it's open-ended nature and great gameplay, Grand Theft Auto isn't really that great of a game without a solid story. Am I really that crazy?

You're really that crazy.  Or maybe I'm crazy, one or the other. smile   But for every Grand Theft Auto from the original to III to San Andreas I've always gone through the same progression.  Mess around and have fun with my new sandbox, do enough missions to unlock the rest of the world, go back to sandbox fun.  I've put countless hours into the series as a whole, but I don't think I've ever beaten one of them.
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« Reply #24 on: April 02, 2007, 08:34:46 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on April 02, 2007, 07:57:03 PM

Quote from: Mattc0m on April 02, 2007, 07:43:12 PM

So, take a step back for a moment. How long did you play GTA after you finish the story? I played San Andreas for another 2 or 3 hours, doing miscellous things here and there. But despite it's open-ended nature and great gameplay, Grand Theft Auto isn't really that great of a game without a solid story. Am I really that crazy?

You're really that crazy.  Or maybe I'm crazy, one or the other. smile   But for every Grand Theft Auto from the original to III to San Andreas I've always gone through the same progression.  Mess around and have fun with my new sandbox, do enough missions to unlock the rest of the world, go back to sandbox fun.  I've put countless hours into the series as a whole, but I don't think I've ever beaten one of them.

I beat GTA3 and VC to 100% completion, and almost 100% on SA (I got bored doing the dating crap).  There is quite a bit to do after the story is over, like getting all the jumps, all the rampages, etc, so if you find that fun, it's easy to keep playing.

Personally, I also had fun stealing tanks.  It's kind of hard, but pretty rewarding to pull it off (especially if you get good at it).

I had a great method of stealing the Hunter in VC: fly from the north home (the one with the helicopter on top), head south over the water to the military base.  You can drift back and forth to play with the respawn, then just make sure there are no soldiers next to the Hunter.  And you just land one helicopter and take off in a new one.

Once I got to 100% completion I didn't play too much more unless I just felt like going on a crime spree.  But if I was still feeling like playing, I'd just start over.
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