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Author Topic: Great Story Driven Games?  (Read 3190 times)
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ATB
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« on: May 15, 2008, 01:20:32 PM »

Emphasis on story.

I'm going to be missing the boat on GTA IV as the content is just not for me- though I hear the story is outstandingly well done.

To fill the gap, can you list some great story driven games?  I've heard Yakuza is good (not sure it's for me either and I've heard some of the mechanics are odd) and I'm still working through MGS3 (yes I love the story- whatever the heck it is...), but what are some others?  Bioshock would be a pretty good example and I loved that game.

I'm currently playing through Mass Effect which I'm enjoying because of its depth (and because I nerded out on the prequel...) but whether it's a great story or not is still TBD.

Any genre is fine.  I have a 360, a PS2, a DS and PC that can run most non-uber games (though I'd prefer it to be console based)...
« Last Edit: May 15, 2008, 01:22:40 PM by ATB » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2008, 01:34:10 PM »

Man, you're going to have to narrow the criteria a bit I think, so many to list!

Adventure
King/Police/Space Quest for Glory
Gabriel Knight
Grim Fandango
Full Throttle
Monkey Island
Day of the Tentacle
Indigo Prophecy

RPG
Fallout
KOTOR
Final Fantasy
Suikoden
Baldur's Gate
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« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2008, 01:35:52 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on May 15, 2008, 01:34:10 PM

Man, you're going to have to narrow the criteria a bit I think, so many to list!

Adventure
King/Police/Space Quest for Glory
Gabriel Knight
Grim Fandango
Full Throttle
Monkey Island
Day of the Tentacle
Indigo Prophecy

RPG
Fallout
KOTOR
Final Fantasy
Suikoden
Baldur's Gate

How about something not from 15 years ago slywink?
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« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2008, 01:38:39 PM »

Final Fantasy Tactics.  I don't know if the emphasis is on story because you do a lot of leveling up but it does have the best story in all of video games (IMHO).
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« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2008, 01:41:51 PM »

Quote from: ATB on May 15, 2008, 01:35:52 PM

How about something not from 15 years ago slywink?

It wasn't part of the criteria!

DS
The World Ends With You THIS ONE.  BUY THIS
Final Fantasy remakes
upcoming Dragon Quest remakes
Phoenix Wright series
Pokemon games
Shiren: The Wanderer
Professor Layton (sorta)
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« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2008, 01:42:11 PM »

Have you played Beyond Good and Evil?
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« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2008, 02:02:07 PM »

Second Sight is a very underrated game with a very well done story (and one of the reasons I remain cautiously optimistic about Haze). 

The Legacy of Kain series is *incredibly* story focused and the story and script is arguably the best part of the series.  The first game, Blood Omen, is basically a mature and dark version of Zelda and then the series moves off into a different style of gameplay with Soul Reaver where it's more of a 3D action/adventure game.  Blood Omen is skippable IMO if need be but I would wouldn't start past Soul Reaver 1.  The series started on the Playstation 1 and then spanned into the "last" generation:

Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain (PS1)
Soul Reaver (PS1)
Soul Reaver 2 (PS2)
Blood Omen 2 (PS2, Xbox, Cube)
Defiance (PS2, Xbox)

Wiki article on Legacy of Kain series. 

Yakuza is good but the loading times are pretty annoying so it's a much better experience with HD Loader.  I'd have a harder time recommending it to people running just a vanilla PS2.  I don't know about "odd mechanics".  It's a pretty straight forward beat 'em up.  Just don't expect a GTA type sandbox game. 

I've heard good things about the story in the Xbox title Breakdown and evidently it has some other innovations, especially in the body awareness stuff that's getting so much attention in the upcoming Mirror's Edge.  However opinions on the game itself are pretty damn mixed.  I just picked it up cheap last week so I look forward to checking it out some day.

Advent Rising maybe?  Most people don't seem to like the gameplay but supposedly the story stuff is quite good. 

I wish my collection was in front of me at the moment because I know there are others I'm forgetting.  I'm sure I'll think of some more stuff later. 
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« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2008, 02:03:24 PM »

Quote from: Canuck on May 15, 2008, 01:38:39 PM

Final Fantasy Tactics.  I don't know if the emphasis is on story because you do a lot of leveling up but it does have the best story in all of video games (IMHO).

Yes, this.  However I'd add the caveat that I can only recommend the PSP version now and ATB is currently not a member of the PSP owner's club. 
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« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2008, 02:41:35 PM »

Any Mario game... ok, maybe not! smile

Of recent games, Mass Effect is what I first thought of, but you've got that covered.

Certainly the PC RPG Planescape Torment set the bar pretty high for storytelling - even if I never quite finished it myself. Be warned it's a lot, not make that a *LOT* of reading in that game.

If you ever get a Wii or a cube, definitely get Eternal Darkness which has a great Lovecraftian story to go along with one of the best games I have played this decade.
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« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2008, 02:49:46 PM »

Since you have a DS, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass is  a must play game with a very good story.

And because you have a PS2...did you by chance play any of the Resident Evil Games? RE: Code Veronica and RE4 are both available for it and both have excellent stories.
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« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2008, 02:53:06 PM »

I wouldn't classify the RE series as having "excellent" stories but I do think it has a very fun mythology.  However I think you really need to play through the whole series to get it and it's hard for me to recommend playing the original RE these days (REmake, on the other hand is fantastic but he doesn't have access to it).  I think Code Veronica really depends on having played through RE 1-3.  As, for RE4, it's pretty story-lite IMO, especially compared to other games in the series. 
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« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2008, 02:57:00 PM »

Kingdom Hearts for the PS2 might be worth a rental.
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« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2008, 03:08:20 PM »

You want great story driven games? Buy this.

It contains Neverwinter Nights, along with both expansions, and Baldur's Gate I and II, along with both expansions. Those games alone (with expansions) will give you AT LEAST 200 hours of gameplay.

Yes, they're old. Yes, they (along with Planescape Torment) are some of the best story driven games you'll EVER play. Period.
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« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2008, 03:15:51 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on May 15, 2008, 02:02:07 PM


Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain (PS1)
Soul Reaver (PS1)
Soul Reaver 2 (PS2)
Blood Omen 2 (PS2, Xbox, Cube)
Defiance (PS2, Xbox)


Agreed.   thumbsup

Thought the story gets really convoluted in the latter games, and combat and gameplay seem to take a backseat after SR1.
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« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2008, 03:19:42 PM »

Also, Vagrant Story for the PS1. 
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« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2008, 03:25:29 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on May 15, 2008, 02:57:00 PM

Kingdom Hearts for the PS2 might be worth a rental.

Sure, if you're 12.  slywink  The kiddie story in KH really turned me off, but it'd certainly be worth checking out if you're a big Disney fan.

-  I'll second (third?) FF Tactics with the PSP only caveat.  It's easily the best story I've ever seen in a video game.
-  I absolutely loved The Longest Journey and Dreamfall games.   The story in those is really damn close to FF tactics, although the gameplay isn't quite as good.
-  Beyond Good and Evil is awesome
-  Some of the old PC RPG's have incredible stories.  Baldur's Gate II & Planescape:  Torment come immediately to mind.  Played both recently and they hold up very well.
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« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2008, 03:26:51 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on May 15, 2008, 03:08:20 PM

You want great story driven games? Buy this.

Damn.   eek  I've got most of those already, but that is a completely ridiculous amount of gaming for $50.
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« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2008, 03:33:34 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on May 15, 2008, 03:08:20 PM

You want great story driven games? Buy this.

It contains Neverwinter Nights, along with both expansions, and Baldur's Gate I and II, along with both expansions. Those games alone (with expansions) will give you AT LEAST 200 hours of gameplay.

Yes, they're old. Yes, they (along with Planescape Torment) are some of the best story driven games you'll EVER play. Period.

I had planescape but never played it. I got bored at the first location.

As for the other games they're not really my style I don't think. Never got into baldur's gate.  Also, I'm currently working through Fallout again and I can only take so many top down isometric Tongue

As for FFT- Is it the war of the Lions game? What if I'm not a fan of FF (as in I tried 7 for about 30 minutes and quit- i know i know it's the best game evar...)
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« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2008, 03:39:59 PM »

FFT is a very different game from your regular FF game.  I would also urge to get the PSP version and since you dont have a PSP I guess you're out!!  It may or not be a system seller for some people but I doubt it would be for someone who is wishy washy on the whole FF universe.
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« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2008, 03:40:50 PM »

Quote from: Gratch on May 15, 2008, 03:26:51 PM

Quote from: Destructor on May 15, 2008, 03:08:20 PM

You want great story driven games? Buy this.
Damn.   eek  I've got most of those already, but that is a completely ridiculous amount of gaming for $50.

I have the Forgotten Realms Deluxe pack, and it includes NWN 1 plus expansions, BG I and II plus expansions, and both Icewind Dale games. I couldn't find it on GoGamer's site unfortunately. But yes, both packages are an insane amount of gaming time.
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« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2008, 03:41:37 PM »

Buy a PS3 and get Uncharted. 
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« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2008, 03:42:00 PM »

Quote from: ATB on May 15, 2008, 03:33:34 PM

As for FFT- Is it the war of the Lions game? What if I'm not a fan of FF (as in I tried 7 for about 30 minutes and quit- i know i know it's the best game evar...)

Yes, it is the War of the Lions game.  While I think it would be tough to get a feel for any game in only 30 minutes, there are very few similarities between FFVII and FF Tactics.   Tactics is a strategic turn-based RPG that is more in the vein of Advance Wars, Fire Emblem, Disgaea, etc., while FFVII was a straight up RPG.
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« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2008, 03:42:30 PM »

Is there a reason people are recommending the PSP version of FFT or nothing instead of also recommending the PS1 version?  I know it's been upgraded a lot (and I wants it) but it didn't sound like the upgrades made the original obsolete.
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« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2008, 03:47:25 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on May 15, 2008, 03:42:30 PM

Is there a reason people are recommending the PSP version of FFT or nothing instead of also recommending the PS1 version?  I know it's been upgraded a lot (and I wants it) but it didn't sound like the upgrades made the original obsolete.

The original is still an good game, but the PSP port makes so many improvements that it almost makes it a different experience.  The translation in the original was shaky at best, and made it incredibly hard to understand what was going on in an already complex story.  They completely redid the translation for the PSP version, and the difference is night and day.  They also added a number of hand-drawn cutscenes that are some of my favorites in any game.

So the core gameplay is the same, but the improved story translation and cutscenes in the PSP version really make it tough to recommend the original.
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« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2008, 03:55:10 PM »

I have re-re-re-preorderd the Kratos bundle...

Speaking of: I would even consider GOW a great story driven game. I thought the story was incredible...not to mention the awesomeness of the setting...
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« Reply #25 on: May 15, 2008, 03:56:23 PM »

Quote from: leo8877 on May 15, 2008, 03:41:37 PM

Buy a PS3 and get Uncharted. 

I might do that too.  retard crybaby icon_eek eek icon_evil saywhat
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« Reply #26 on: May 15, 2008, 04:10:12 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on May 15, 2008, 03:08:20 PM

You want great story driven games? Buy this.

It contains Neverwinter Nights, along with both expansions, and Baldur's Gate I and II, along with both expansions. Those games alone (with expansions) will give you AT LEAST 200 hours of gameplay.

Yes, they're old. Yes, they (along with Planescape Torment) are some of the best story driven games you'll EVER play. Period.

didn't they have a black isle collection that had all those games but also included planescape at one point on gogamer?
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« Reply #27 on: May 15, 2008, 04:10:50 PM »

Planescape:  Torment still has the best story of any game I've played to date.  It does start a little slow, and the gameplay mechanics and graphics are somewhat dated, but if you're looking for story, you can't go wrong with Torment.
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« Reply #28 on: May 15, 2008, 04:15:21 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on May 15, 2008, 03:42:30 PM

Is there a reason people are recommending the PSP version of FFT or nothing instead of also recommending the PS1 version?  I know it's been upgraded a lot (and I wants it) but it didn't sound like the upgrades made the original obsolete.

For someone who is primarily interested in story then the PSP version tears the original to pieces.  War of the Lions has one of the finest localizations in a game ever and, along with the fantastic new cutscenes, makes an enormous impact on the quality of the story.

For someone who just wants to play an excellent SRPG with story considered secondary then the original FFT is absolutely recommended. 

Quote from: ATB on May 15, 2008, 03:56:23 PM

Quote from: leo8877 on May 15, 2008, 03:41:37 PM

Buy a PS3 and get Uncharted. 

I might do that too.  retard crybaby icon_eek eek icon_evil saywhat

FWIW, the person primarily responsible for Uncharted's script and story is Amy Hennig who was the chief writer on the Legacy of Kain series. 
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« Reply #29 on: May 15, 2008, 04:36:23 PM »

I will throw out this one caveat about FF Tactics.  It can be brutally difficult at times, and the learning curve is extremely steep.  However, once it all 'clicked', there are very few games that I have enjoyed more.

Besides, some of us around here have spent anywhere from 50-100 hours with it, so we can probably answer any questions. smile
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« Reply #30 on: May 15, 2008, 05:30:09 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on May 15, 2008, 02:53:06 PM

I wouldn't classify the RE series as having "excellent" stories but I do think it has a very fun mythology.  However I think you really need to play through the whole series to get it and it's hard for me to recommend playing the original RE these days (REmake, on the other hand is fantastic but he doesn't have access to it).  I think Code Veronica really depends on having played through RE 1-3.  As, for RE4, it's pretty story-lite IMO, especially compared to other games in the series. 

Although I'd agree RE4's story isn't perhaps as good as 0, 1 and 2's, IMO it's still good and every bit as good if not better than 3's. I have to disagree about RE Code Veronica requiring prior knowledge of 1-3 stories to be enjoyed. I played it last year for the 1st time and it had been quite some time since I played 0, 1 or 2. I found the story to be self contained enough that I really didn't have to rely on memory to enjoy it. The biggest surprise for me of CV was how good the story was; definitely one of the better RE tales. Of course to enjoy it you've got to be willing to contend with the tank-like controls of the RE earlier series and I'm not sure if that would fit ATB's tastes.
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« Reply #31 on: May 15, 2008, 05:30:12 PM »

Oh the Fire Emblem games are more SRPGs with good stories.
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« Reply #32 on: May 15, 2008, 05:32:38 PM »

Quote from: JCC on May 15, 2008, 05:30:12 PM

Oh the Fire Emblem games are more SRPGs with good stories.

I'm playing through one of them right now- well sorta - and the story isn't seeming so great thus far...
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« Reply #33 on: May 15, 2008, 05:39:06 PM »

Quote from: JCC on May 15, 2008, 05:30:12 PM

Oh the Fire Emblem games are more SRPGs with good stories.

I liked the FE gameplay, but thought the stories were horrid.
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« Reply #34 on: May 15, 2008, 05:52:19 PM »

Quote from: hepcat on May 15, 2008, 04:10:12 PM

didn't they have a black isle collection that had all those games but also included planescape at one point on gogamer?

I wouldn't be surprised if they did. But I checked through GoGamer entirely and came up with nothing.

On the flip side, I double-dipped with my Planescape - I own the big box somewhere, and I got a DVD only version for $5 one day. biggrin
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« Reply #35 on: May 15, 2008, 06:31:28 PM »

Quote from: kronovan on May 15, 2008, 05:30:09 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on May 15, 2008, 02:53:06 PM

I wouldn't classify the RE series as having "excellent" stories but I do think it has a very fun mythology.  However I think you really need to play through the whole series to get it and it's hard for me to recommend playing the original RE these days (REmake, on the other hand is fantastic but he doesn't have access to it).  I think Code Veronica really depends on having played through RE 1-3.  As, for RE4, it's pretty story-lite IMO, especially compared to other games in the series. 

Although I'd agree RE4's story isn't perhaps as good as 0, 1 and 2's, IMO it's still good and every bit as good if not better than 3's. I have to disagree about RE Code Veronica requiring prior knowledge of 1-3 stories to be enjoyed. I played it last year for the 1st time and it had been quite some time since I played 0, 1 or 2. I found the story to be self contained enough that I really didn't have to rely on memory to enjoy it. The biggest surprise for me of CV was how good the story was; definitely one of the better RE tales. Of course to enjoy it you've got to be willing to contend with the tank-like controls of the RE earlier series and I'm not sure if that would fit ATB's tastes.

What's important about Code Veronica IMO is knowing who Claire and Chris Redfield are, as well as knowing about Wesker.  I don't think the knowledge is intricate but it's still the type of stuff that you remember even if it's been a few years since you played the other RE games. 

RE4, on the other hand, I think can be played very independently.  The references to earlier games are there but much less important. 
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« Reply #36 on: May 15, 2008, 06:35:28 PM »

While not nearly as epic as any of the black isle games, I still though Gothic I and Gothic 2 had great stories behind them.
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« Reply #37 on: May 15, 2008, 06:48:04 PM »

Re: Baldur's Gate series.  BG1's story isn't any great shakes, even when it came out.  It's fine and it serves the game well but hardly notable.

BG2 is significantly improved- not so much the main story (though it is quite a bit better) but the sidequests are just flat out some of the most inspired and best written sidequests the genre has ever seen and offer such variety than IMO the genre has actually suffered since because you just can't beat BG2's sidequests. 

Also, concerning Neverwinter Nights, I couldn't more highly recommend Adam Miller's Shadowlords, Dreamcatcher, and Demon campaigns which form a series that IMO tops the vast majority of professional CRPGs we've seen in the last decade. 
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« Reply #38 on: May 15, 2008, 06:51:46 PM »

I would pick up some of the older point-and-click adventure games, Syberia 1 and 2 had excellent stories. What you could also do, and its what I've done, is read the Myst books and play the Myst games all in chronological order. It sucked me in like no other game franchise with the help of the novels which are quite good.
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« Reply #39 on: May 15, 2008, 07:24:35 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on May 15, 2008, 05:52:19 PM

Quote from: hepcat on May 15, 2008, 04:10:12 PM

didn't they have a black isle collection that had all those games but also included planescape at one point on gogamer?

I wouldn't be surprised if they did. But I checked through GoGamer entirely and came up with nothing.

On the flip side, I double-dipped with my Planescape - I own the big box somewhere, and I got a DVD only version for $5 one day. biggrin

I have a set that has Baldur's Gate, Planescape Torment and Fallout 2, all with full color maps and printed manuals.  I don't think it was meant for distribution in the US, but Gogamer was selling it for a while.  Sadly, the best I have done is get past disc 1 of BG a couple of times and about 30 minutes of Planescape.  I have a huge backlog of top-flight older PC games that I just have never managed to get going on - BG2, all the Mysts, Fallout, Ghost Recon, NOLF 1&2, Monkey Island 3&4...
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"Is there any chance your jolly Garchomp is female?" - Wonderpug
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