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#1 Posted by Chocobodude3 (644 posts) -

Mine is Dragon Age 2. Everything bad that happens in that game is because of your selfish party members (Isabella, Anders) or the other stuped characters. I gave Isabella to the Quinari and killed Anders

#2 Edited by Marcsman (3286 posts) -

Final Fantasy XIII. Ruined the series for me.

Mass Effect 3 is a close second.

#3 Posted by Refresh (1 posts) -

Star Ocean: Till the End of Time for me. The plot was just stupid and horrible. Not to mention boring.

#4 Posted by Veektarius (5013 posts) -

Star Ocean 2.

#5 Posted by mosespippy (4439 posts) -

I probably wouldn't know because if it's that bad then I probably stopped playing at some point and don't know just how truly bad it gets. Games I've stopped playing because I didn't think they were any good include FFV, FF Tactics War of the Lions, Fire Emblem Awakening (I'm trying to give it a second chance) and Chrono Trigger.

#6 Posted by James_Hayward (478 posts) -

Dragon's Dogma stands out in recent memory as being really poorly written with bad characters and rubbish narrative to boot.

#7 Edited by Oldirtybearon (4881 posts) -

@james_hayward said:

Dragon's Dogma stands out in recent memory as being really poorly written with bad characters and rubbish narrative to boot.

Buuuuuuuuuuuullshiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit

Anyway, for my money, the worst written RPG is probably something really archaic with a barely there story. Like an Ultima knock off or something. If we're sticking to more recent fair, then probably Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning. It's not that it's terrible - it's perfectly serviceable as far as RPG plots go - it's just completely uninspired and a complete chore to get through.

One of the worst elements in that game - and in a lot of RPGs like Divinity: Original Sin - is that it throws a fuckton of weirdness at you without any context. Poorly written RPGs, I think, tend to have ill-defined laws and rules that fail to create a consistent internal logic. Like Amalur. Or Final Fantasy 13.

#8 Edited by James_Hayward (478 posts) -

Bullshit?

what did you like about the characters, story, and general writing quality of Dragon's Dogma?

It was a fun game but I thought the writing and characterization was threadbare.

I do agree with you completely about Amalur, and to a lesser extent about Divinity though.

#9 Posted by Veektarius (5013 posts) -

@james_hayward said:

Dragon's Dogma stands out in recent memory as being really poorly written with bad characters and rubbish narrative to boot.

Buuuuuuuuuuuullshiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit

I like Dragon's Dogma, and I'd actually say that its story was interesting, but it had about half as much dialogue/story development as it needed to tell it.

#10 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4881 posts) -

@james_hayward: See that's the distinction that's lacking, I think. You're referring to overall plot, but to me the writing encompasses more than that; it includes the lore, background, internal logic of the world, all of that stuff. To me, Dragon's Dogma was inventive and had interesting spins on classic tropes. The story part of it was, yeah, threadbare, but I think the second half of the game (and especially the climax) make up for it.

I like Dragon's Dogma, and I'd actually say that its story was interesting, but it had about half as much dialogue/story development as it needed to tell it.

True.

#11 Edited by ghostyTrickster (342 posts) -

Wow I was not expecting to see my answer in this thread twice already. Star Ocean 2 and 3 were awful, but I still love the hell out of them. Fun mechanics that can lead to some really interesting game breaking early on. Just don't pay attention to the plots, which I also remember being riddled with typos and mistranslations.

#12 Edited by James_Hayward (478 posts) -

@oldirtybearon said:

@james_hayward: See that's the distinction that's lacking, I think. You're referring to overall plot, but to me the writing encompasses more than that; it includes the lore, background, internal logic of the world, all of that stuff. To me, Dragon's Dogma was inventive and had interesting spins on classic tropes. The story part of it was, yeah, threadbare, but I think the second half of the game (and especially the climax) make up for it.

@veektarius said:

I like Dragon's Dogma, and I'd actually say that its story was interesting, but it had about half as much dialogue/story development as it needed to tell it.

True.

I'm not just referring to overall plot, although it was not a good one by my reckoning.

I share your view that the writing encompasses far more than plot. For instance, Divinity is filled with good writing but it does not have a great plot and the overall narrative is weakened by the absence of strong characterization in both the player characters and the party NPCs.

Dragon's Dogma faces similar problems in this area because the attempts it made at character development were very weak... (Mercedes, Aelinore, the Duke, Fournival etc. are all one-dimensional archetypes).

The plot of Dragon's Dogma felt functional but was also wrote and plodding. Without interesting characters to elevate it, the story delivery was weak. This is bad writing and a separate thing to seeding the world with carefully written lore and internally consistent world building. Dragon's Dogma did that part fine. It wasn't a bad game. The pawn system was interesting. The combat was strong. The exploration and crafting were decent.

but it did have a thoroughly unremarkable story with poorly written & boring characters,

#13 Edited by BisonHero (7034 posts) -

The Tales games I find really grating in general. Tales of Symphonia had kind of a dumb plot, and just about every major character was a tired anime cliche.

Also, Bravely Default's story isn't the greatest. I mean, I love seeing the characters in the (sometimes ridiculous) class outfits, and the combat and music is solid, but man, character writing also not that game's strong point. And the plot certainly goes some places.

#14 Posted by Excast (1039 posts) -

@refresh said:

Star Ocean: Till the End of Time for me. The plot was just stupid and horrible. Not to mention boring.

I dunno, the plot twist was unique at least. The game as a whole was a little insane though.

#15 Posted by coaxmetal (1657 posts) -

Does Diablo 3 count as an RPG? If so, that is the worst writing I can think of in one. Blizzard writing is generally awful.

#16 Edited by militantfreudian (136 posts) -

Now that I think about it, more than half the RPG's I played were either poorly written, uninspired, or both. If I had to pick one though, it'd be Diablo 3. The plot couldn't be more predictable, almost every character was one-dimensional, and the dialogue was cringeworthy. Whenever I think about going back to it, I remember that I have to slog through the story and the tedious quests again, and just end up playing something else. I'd take DA II over Diablo 3 any day.

#17 Posted by madman356647 (374 posts) -

Diablo 3. For my only foray into the series, and a vast amount of lore, I felt like the story was farted out to get people grinding.

#18 Posted by TheAcidSkull (738 posts) -

Not that I've played many( I only recently started liking RPG's), but Kingdoms of Amalur comes to mind. It's not horrible but it's fucking booooooooring.

#19 Posted by Corevi (4821 posts) -

Bravely Default, a game with writing so bad it actually makes the game part worse.

#20 Edited by James_Hayward (478 posts) -

@militantfreudian said:

Now that I think about it, more than half the RPG's I played were either poorly written, uninspired, or both. If I had to pick one though, it'd be Diablo 3. The plot couldn't be more predictable, almost every character was one-dimensional, and the dialogue was cringeworthy. Whenever I think about going back to it, I remember that I have to slog through the story and the tedious quests again, and just end up playing something else. I'd take DA II over Diablo 3 any day.

On the grounds of characters, story and general writing quality... me too... every time.

#21 Posted by BabyChooChoo (4805 posts) -

For a game that spent so much time touting it's story, GW2 was pretty incredibly shitty. It's like a really bad Saturday morning cartoon that feels like it almost tries to make you dislike the characters.

#22 Posted by Excast (1039 posts) -

Not that I've played many( I only recently started liking RPG's), but Kingdoms of Amalur comes to mind. It's not horrible but it's fucking booooooooring.

Yeah, as much as I like the combat in KoA, the story is just so blah. It's kind of a shame because the world they created is actually rather interesting, but it comes off like an MMO in terms of actual story telling. It doesn't help that 90% of the game is mindless fetch quests and "Kill X of Y missions.

#23 Posted by Oldirtybearon (4881 posts) -

@excast said:

@theacidskull said:

Not that I've played many( I only recently started liking RPG's), but Kingdoms of Amalur comes to mind. It's not horrible but it's fucking booooooooring.

Yeah, as much as I like the combat in KoA, the story is just so blah. It's kind of a shame because the world they created is actually rather interesting, but it comes off like an MMO in terms of actual story telling. It doesn't help that 90% of the game is mindless fetch quests and "Kill X of Y missions.

The worst thing? The House of Ballads was fascinating. Just in concept, some of the stuff they did lore-wise was interesting and rife with potential. I have no idea how they managed to capitalize on none of it but it is what it is.

#24 Posted by LawGamer (301 posts) -

When you get right down to it, the vast majority of RPG stories are either poorly written, overly melodramatic trash, or largely incomprehensible. That said, FFXIII is really the only answer here. That game has the distinction of being both poorly written, overly melodramatic trash and being largely incomprehensible. As I said in another forum, here is a sample conversation from FFXIII:

"L'cie focus focus. Fal'cie Pulse Cocoon focus. L'cie fal'cie? Focus Pulse fal'cie Cocoon Pulse!"

I mean, who writes like that?

#25 Posted by TheAcidSkull (738 posts) -

@excast said:

@theacidskull said:

Not that I've played many( I only recently started liking RPG's), but Kingdoms of Amalur comes to mind. It's not horrible but it's fucking booooooooring.

Yeah, as much as I like the combat in KoA, the story is just so blah. It's kind of a shame because the world they created is actually rather interesting, but it comes off like an MMO in terms of actual story telling. It doesn't help that 90% of the game is mindless fetch quests and "Kill X of Y missions.

The worst thing? The House of Ballads was fascinating. Just in concept, some of the stuff they did lore-wise was interesting and rife with potential. I have no idea how they managed to capitalize on none of it but it is what it is.

Well, like I said, I didn't hate the game, but it was boring as hell. They genuinely had some great stuff but they didn't really utilize these awesome concepts. It seemed....Inconsequential, you know? They could have put the faith aspect to use in many ways, like, you can choose to be a dick, a great guy, or whatever, because you are not bound by fate, you can change fate, not only your own, but everyone else's, yet all of your choices seem pretty much written down. That's the impression I got.

#26 Posted by Jensonb (1769 posts) -

@lawgamer: that's my answer too. That game's story, universe, characters...It's just all ungodly stupid. Everything has a stupid name, the plot is incomprehensible, there's no internal consistency, the dialogue is atrocious beyond what is reasonable even allowing for the translation process and the actors can do nothing to save the nigh indecipherable nonsense they have to spout, especially when they have to spew absolute garbage and express opinions and ideas which make nothing even remotely resembling sense whilst maintaining some kind of self-serious melodramatic tone.

#27 Posted by Dasacant2 (240 posts) -

Star Ocean: The last Hope, at least in so far as RPG's I've actually played.

#28 Posted by Irvandus (2879 posts) -

I get what most of you are saying but come on, Final Fantasy 13 is on a whole other level of awful. From expecting players to read tons and tons of text to understand any of the world to terribly written ubrelatbke characters. It just doesn't do a single thing right. At least 12 had glimmers of hope, pun not intended.

#29 Posted by CornBREDX (5987 posts) -

Final Fantasy XIII.

Such a horribly written game- even when I consider X which is odd. FF VIII has odd writing, too. I don't know, for some reason for me those ones don't bother me as much but XIII is so irritatingly bad. The characters are really poorly defined, the plot itself is nonsense, important moments play out the dumbest way possible, and the antagonist makes no sense why he's the antagonist.

Poor game is poorly written.

#30 Posted by BBAlpert (1583 posts) -

The following is just my opinion. I'm counting it because it was made with RPG Maker - To the Moon's writing was insufferable. Maybe the story eventually goes in some emotionally powerful directions, but I couldn't make it more than 2 hours or so before the awful bits of "humor" sprinkled between overbearingly maudlin bullshit drove me away completely.

#31 Posted by Clonedzero (4196 posts) -

Yeah, in recent memory i'm gonna have to go with Dragons Dogma.

The characters are so wooden and stiff you won't care about ANY of them. The story is paced in such a god awful way. Until the VERY end of the game where some dude just exposition dumps on your face you have NO idea whats going on. Thats a horrible horrible way to write a story. Oh and plot exposition ghost that lives in that cave who exists just to dump a crapload of plot at you because they don't know how to naturally pace their game.

Don't get me wrong, i loved dragons dogma, the gameplay was super fun, but the characters and plot were awful. Oh and that stupid god damn final dungeon place which you kept having to fall down the loopy hole and land on ledges to GRIND for a stupid arbitrary amount of stones. That dungeon was SO annoying to navigate. "ok explored this ledge, time to jump and hope i land on one i havent been to yet".

It's like the game was actively trying to make me hate it despite having super fun combat.

#32 Edited by alcor741 (91 posts) -

Bound by Flame. Aside from the wizard zombie man person, I wanted every other character in that fucking game to just stop talking, doing things, and just in general, being.

Also, although this is something a little different, the translation in Pathologic was so unbelievably abysmal, that damn nearly killed the game for me.

#33 Posted by charlie_victor_bravo (1041 posts) -

Final Fantasy 7. It just does not make sense at any level (bad translation did not help). But it is only rpg that I know that has snowboarding, making it the best rpg that exists.

Star Ocean 2 might be a good candidate but I can't remember anything from it other than it being a disappointing story wise.

#34 Posted by GERALTITUDE (3535 posts) -

Hm. I'm not sure I ever played an RPG where I detested the story front to back.

Get annoyed at Mass Effect / DA games and other Dialogue Drivens for being really binary/simple sometimes but that's about it.

#35 Posted by AdequatelyPrepared (674 posts) -

Final Fantasy X. I love the game, especially since it was my first JRPG on the PS2, but goddamn, the amount of redundant dialogue and characters is quite high. Characters like Rikku did not need to be party members. That write-up some other user did about parental issues in FFX was a pretty interesting read though.

#36 Edited by I_Stay_Puft (3808 posts) -

Infinite Undiscovery.

The title speaks for itself. Super super cliche in every single way imaginable for a jrpg back then. This game coming out and a few more stinkers from Japan kinda killed the popular Jrpg trend in the west for a time.

#37 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5818 posts) -

Final Fantasy XIII is a good answer.

It's not like most FF titles are masterpieces in terms of writing, but at least they had charm and never took themselves too seriously. FFXIII's story just felt like a slog.

#38 Posted by Sinusoidal (1802 posts) -

Out of recent RPGs, I would've said FFXIII, then I played XIII-2. Spoilers ahoy!

The whole plot centers around the main bad guy trying to destroy all of time to stop some chick from constantly being reborn and dying over and over, only by the time he tries to do anything about it, there are literally two people left in the entire world. Both male. Unless they're gonna pull a Jurassic Park and one of them spontaneously changes sex, she's never being reborn again. His motivation is completely nonsensical. To top it all off, they retcon the end of XIII to put Lightning in some far-flung future for no apparent reason other than as a lame excuse to send her sister through some of the most egregiously awful uses of time travel to try and find her. It's one huge steaming pile of illogical nonsense.

#39 Posted by Splodge (1945 posts) -

I really did not like bravely defualt. The combat had potential to be interesting (IMO they missed the mark), and it did aome impressive things with the 3DS, but Holy Mother of Barbeque was the writing bad. It was as boring as a square basketball. The story was just kind of meandering nonsense filled with theowayay people that you wll never see again anyway so who cares if they say anything even remotely interesting. I was very annoyed with it... even more annoyed I bought it digitally so I couldn't trade it in =(

#40 Edited by cannonballBAM (609 posts) -

Earthbound. (And here comes the hate.) I have played it from start to finish and feel that it is poor overall.

#41 Posted by Hailinel (25205 posts) -

This could be defined in so many ways. There are games good writing that becomes bad due to poor localization, and then there are games that are just poorly written from the start. I guess as an example of the former, Breath of Fire II on the SNES, as much as I love the game, is hard to go back to because oh man that localization is just painful. Not "All your base" bad by any means, but definitely simplistic. Not to mention the wonkiness that is the original localization of Final Fantasy Tactics (thank goodness for the PSP remake).

As an example of the latter, I tried to play Okage on the PS2. That game is just...simplistic and not good from a plot standpoint. Just, ugh. It mainly served as an RPG for a console that didn't have many RPGs at the time it came out.

#42 Posted by hollitz (1612 posts) -

Well, with JRPGs--particularly olderish ones--it's hard to tell what's a bad script and what's a bad translation. FF7 is atrocious. None of the characters have consistent dialogue. Legend of Dragoon I remember being particularly bad in the translation department as well.

FF13 is just fucking nonsense though. The texts recaps do a better job telling the story than the game does.

As far as story goes, I really don't think Bioware stories are any good or exciting in the least--save maybe Dragon Age Origins. But they write characters and dialogue very well.

#43 Posted by 71Ranchero (2829 posts) -

Although I like the game, I would say Enchanted Arms has some pretty rotten writing.

#44 Posted by ArbitraryWater (12106 posts) -

I feel like I've crawled my way through enough weird old RPGs that I can think of something worse than Final Fantasy XIII. Say what you will about some of that game's writing, or perhaps its overly self-serious tone, it is a generally coherent story with a definable beginning, middle and end, characters progress and have arcs and the voice actors perform their lines with an acceptable amount of pathos and enthusiasm. I'm not going to defend it as a particularly well-told story, but some of you don't give it enough credit. It's better than Bravely Default.

That Bioware Sonic RPG has some pretty turrible writing, but I guess it's hamstrung by the part where someone had to make an in-depth story in the world of Sonic the Hedgehog so I can't rag on it too much. If that is off the table, then the original campaign for the first Neverwinter Nights is pretty uninspired, generic fantasy dreck and clearly was not the priority in a game revolving around multiplayer and fan-made content.

Online
#45 Posted by ez123 (1994 posts) -

Diablo 3. For my only foray into the series, and a vast amount of lore, I felt like the story was farted out to get people grinding.

I don't remember ever watching most of the Diablo II cinematics and that's my favorite game. But yeah, I tried to pay attention to the story this time; it's pointless.

#46 Edited by Crembaw (514 posts) -

Bravely Default's halfway point actively made me set down my 3DS and go outside to pursue other endeavors.

#47 Posted by Damodar (1499 posts) -

I probably wouldn't know because if it's that bad then I probably stopped playing at some point and don't know just how truly bad it gets. Games I've stopped playing because I didn't think they were any good include FFV, FF Tactics War of the Lions, Fire Emblem Awakening (I'm trying to give it a second chance) and Chrono Trigger.

:(

Final Fantasy 7. It just does not make sense at any level (bad translation did not help). But it is only rpg that I know that has snowboarding, making it the best rpg that exists.

Star Ocean 2 might be a good candidate but I can't remember anything from it other than it being a disappointing story wise.

FFVII is kind of hard to judge, because the translation is really, REALLY awful. Even simple conversational dialogue far too often ends up basically being incomprehensible nonsense, so there's not much chance of any subtlety or nuance being communicated. You can get the super broad strokes of the whole thing and the intended allegories about fossil fuels etc do come across, but the translation definitely felt like it was preventing me from any real investment. I do wonder if the characters and story would be more interesting if the localisation was better. Maybe not! Oh well, the language of snowboarding is universal.

#48 Edited by Christoffer (1921 posts) -

I'm trying to force myself through Kingdoms of Amalur now. The writing isn't necessarily bad, but coming to it just weeks after finishing the Souls-games, it feels like the most plain and generic vanilla RPG I've seen in a long time. There's no personality and no mood. Just stacks of fantasy nonsense names and places to give the illusion of a rich world. And most dialogue trees feel like browsing a encyclopedia.

And there are monsters called Brownies. Yes, a zoologist in this universe named a species Brownies.

#49 Posted by fetchfox (1360 posts) -

Fallout 3 was rather poorly written at times, but overall fun. I guess I'm blessed to not have experienced any particularly crappy RPG.

#50 Posted by Giantstalker (1726 posts) -

I finished Resonance of Fate without having any idea whatsoever of the following:

  • The significance of the main villain, his plan, or even his background
  • The general state of the world or why it's in peril
  • The core motivations of any of the main characters
  • The point of anyone in the supporting cast, good or bad
  • The role of technology and other seemingly major themes in the game

So the ending was completely lost on me, I remember it being brief and (surprise) making no sense whatsoever. I'm not saying it's a bad story... I'm saying it probably could've explained itself better because I have no idea what the hell happened