PAX Prime 2012: Days 2 & 3

Posted by Hailinel (25179 posts) -
Always be hydrated.

PAX is over once again, but it was a lot of fun, as were the friends that accompanied me this year. This was their first PAX, and with the exception of one of them falling ill from dehydration in the evening of the second day, it all went smoothly. And everyone made it through day three with no ill health!

Games, Games, Games!

NintendoLand

I could see this getting a lot of play in a party setting.

I know that everyone gave this game shit when it was unveiled at E3, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't have fun with the games I tried out. The first was the Legend of Zelda game, in which one player, using the Wii U gamepad, is an archer and the other players, using Wii Remotes, are swordsmen. The swoirdsmen move along a guided path, hacking and slashing their way through guys, while the archer shoots dudes from afar. There are also light puzzle elements; at one point in the demo, we were each stopped by an orb. To progress, the swordsmen had to strike their orbs, and before a timer counted down, the archer had to strike theirs as well. The game is purely cooperative and ends if any of the swordsmen go down.

The second was the Luigi's Mansion game, which, despite its Pac-Man Vs. similarities, was pretty hilarious in its own right. When I played, I had the Wii U controller, and so I was playing the ghost tried to kill the other players, who were trying to find me and shine a flashlight in my direction to damage me. I didn't quite win; there was a point where I had killed two players, but they can be revived if the remaining survivors are quick enough, and I eventually just got corralled and finished off.

Minigame collection? Yes. Fun? Also, yes. I'm honestly interested to see what the rest of the games are like.

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

No. Just...no.

I have been heavily critical of this game for some time now. The time I spent with PlayStation All-Stars at PAX did nothing to change my mind. In fact, I'd say it just confirmed what I felt when watching things like the Giant Bomb Quick Look. The game desperately wants to be Smash Bros., but it's too slow, the UI does nothing to inform the players as to who's winning and losing until the match is over, and divvying points based purely on hitting with supers is a terrible, terrible idea. I was playing a fairly decent game, not particularly good or bad, when the player using Kratos busted out his Level 3 super near the very end, which basically lets him run around the arena with an instant kill weapon. It's less a trump card or comeback mechanic and more an "I Win" button.

I should note that, even though I was standing in the middle of the Sony booth at the show surrounded by other people playing this game, I didn't hear that much praise for it from anyone. Maybe the Sony fans just weren't out in force at that moment, but the reception to the game, as far as I could measure, was lukewarm at the very best.

The Vita

Yes. Just yes.

During my time at the various Vita stations, I tried my hand at Zen Pinball, Little Big Planet, and Retro City Rampage. While my time with LBP did little more than remind me that I can't stand LBP platforming, Zen Pinball and Retro City Rampage were a lot of fun. The only problem is that neither is a Vita exclusive and I could get versions of both elsewhere.

But they did have Persona 4: Golden on display as well, and while the demo wasn't anything elaborate (the game was just started and left to run, so it was still in the opening, exposition-heavy hours), I did get to hear a fair amount of Chie's new voice, and she does a good job. I'm fairly certain that Golden is and will remain my sole reason to own a Vita for some time to come.

Tomb Raider

A more human Lara makes for a more captivating game.

The demo of Tomb Raider on display was an old build; probably the same one shown off at E3. It's early game exploration and bow-hunting elements, and despite the occasional bug (at one point, Lara would just float across the ground with her left arm outstretched to the side whenever I ran forward), it's looking very, very sharp. I've never really been a fan of Tomb Raider, but the presentation and the feel of the gameplay make this very likely the first Lara Croft adventure I actually spend money on.

Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion

This is my friends Game of the Show, right here.

The 3DS Epic Mickey title that serves as an ode to the old Genesis game Castle of Illusion is another game that's looking sharp. This was an extra-fun stop especially for one of my friends, who is a huge Disney fan. She had the chance to talk with the rep handling the demo, who also happens to be a graphic artist on Epic Mickey 2. Really, that part of the show made her PAX, and this game is now at the top of her list of upcoming games she wants. And you know? The platforming and the use of the paint and thinner mechanic in the 2D setting really does work well. She'll have a blast when it comes out; I'm sure of that.

The Panels

I went to three panels this year; one on Friday, one on Saturday, and one today. The first panel, which I neglected to mention in my Day 1 blog, was on the depiction of religion and religious content in games.

It was terrible.

The primary problem stemmed from the fact that all three panelists had a very narrow view of religious content and context in games. All of their favorite examples came from either the Dragon Age series or the Mass Effect trilogy, and in general, it felt more like a Bioware love-fest than any sort of discussion on religion in general. This is possibly a predictable outcome, since one of the panelists is a QA Lead at EA Canada. Despite a fleeting reference to El Shaddai, they didn't have much of interest to say on the topic that didn't devolve into "Bioware is awesome!"

Saturday's panel was on sex in games, particularly in relation to tabletop RPGs, though some video game discussion came up during the Q&A. For me personally, as well as the friend I attended it with, it was very entertaining and informative, particularly since we both have experience dealing with a DM that could learn a few things (well, everything, really) on how to depict such in the game, but also on how to prevent "bleed." (i.e.: "Her character wants to shag my character, so that must mean she wants to shag me!")

Yeah, bleed is a bad thing when it escalates to that level.

The final panel we attended was another table-top/card game panel in which a number of creators of humorous tabletop games talked about how to insert humor into games. It was a very funny panel with a lot of self-depreciation (one of the panelists, a friend of a friend, was even dressed in a goofy cow costume he was using to promote his latest game, which he is putting together with Kickstarter help). It can be an odd thing, where some games succeed because they contain the right amount of inherent humor, whereas in other games, the humor is mostly there because of the way the players create it themselves.

As one particularly colorful anecdote, one of the panelists had also done writing work on a Marvel MMO title that happened to be on display at PAX, and mentioned how he'd be assigned particular characters, and for the most part, they're not difficult to write for. And then he was given Deadpool. He constantly missed his deadlines for Deadpool because it takes so much more effort to write him, particularly when all of the dialogue needs to be that Deadpool sort of funny.

Freeplay

Every year, I try to get in a little bit of the Console Freeplay area at PAX and play something I don't normally have the opportunity to try. This year was slightly different.

Yeah, I bought a 360 for this. I don't regret it one bit.

I used to own a 360, though I finally go sick of it after having repeated hardware issues that caused constant crashes and scratched game discs. On the list of freeplay games, I decided to spend a little bit of time with the game that I originally bought a 360 in order to play, when the console honeymoon was in full effect and before the rather nasty divorce. And that game was Ninety-Nine Nights.

Yep. What, did you expect me to say Oblivion or Halo or something?

OK, so N3 had its problems, but my time with it in Console Freeplay was enough to remind me that my fondness for that game isn't merely rose-tinted. I really do enjoy it.

The Swag and the Purchases

My wallet cries for mercy before the end of every PAX I attend, and this was no exception. The main reason being that I bought some furniture while I was there. Gaming furniture company Geek Chic was on display once again, and for the second PAX in three years, I ordered furniture from them. The first time, it was a coffee table. This time, it was their Alexandria Codex; a shelving/drawer unit that should be perfect for storing my games and DVDs. My collection has grown unwieldy, and if I'm going to get it under control, then I might as well do it in style.

On the faaaaaaaar less expensive end of the spectrum, I stopped in at the Pink Gorilla Games booth and bought a number of cool things. My favorite among them being the Final Fantasy Trading Arts Yuna figurines; the package comes with Yuna in her FFX outfit and her X-2 Gunner garb, and they are adorable. I also got some Samurai Warriors 3 trading figures.

I also picked up a few old PS2 games. A few I bought because I played them many years ago, and for one reason or another, carry fondness for them: Dead or Alive 2: Hardcore I played a lot in college. Dynasty Warriors 3 got me into the Dynasty Warriors series, and I logged more time in Romance of the Three Kingdoms VIII than should be considered healthy.

And then there are the other games I got. Namely, Chaos Legion, which I bought mainly because of an old Penny Arcade joke from eons ago, and Bujingai, which is just hilarious for the fact that it stars Gackt in the role of the protagonist. Really, it's just impossible to take seriously. And if you don't know what a Gackt is, Google is your friend.

The Conclusion

PAX Prime 2012 was a rousing success all around. Certain health issues aside, my friends and I all had fun, and we all came away with things we enjoyed and are looking forward to. It's difficult to really name a game of the show simply because there was so much on display that really grabbed me. Though Tomb Raider certainly gets a lot of props, as does what Nintendo had on display for the Wii U. I didn't even have a chance to demo games like Pikmin 3 or Project P-100, but that time I spent with the new controller was well worth it.

#1 Posted by Hailinel (25179 posts) -
Always be hydrated.

PAX is over once again, but it was a lot of fun, as were the friends that accompanied me this year. This was their first PAX, and with the exception of one of them falling ill from dehydration in the evening of the second day, it all went smoothly. And everyone made it through day three with no ill health!

Games, Games, Games!

NintendoLand

I could see this getting a lot of play in a party setting.

I know that everyone gave this game shit when it was unveiled at E3, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't have fun with the games I tried out. The first was the Legend of Zelda game, in which one player, using the Wii U gamepad, is an archer and the other players, using Wii Remotes, are swordsmen. The swoirdsmen move along a guided path, hacking and slashing their way through guys, while the archer shoots dudes from afar. There are also light puzzle elements; at one point in the demo, we were each stopped by an orb. To progress, the swordsmen had to strike their orbs, and before a timer counted down, the archer had to strike theirs as well. The game is purely cooperative and ends if any of the swordsmen go down.

The second was the Luigi's Mansion game, which, despite its Pac-Man Vs. similarities, was pretty hilarious in its own right. When I played, I had the Wii U controller, and so I was playing the ghost tried to kill the other players, who were trying to find me and shine a flashlight in my direction to damage me. I didn't quite win; there was a point where I had killed two players, but they can be revived if the remaining survivors are quick enough, and I eventually just got corralled and finished off.

Minigame collection? Yes. Fun? Also, yes. I'm honestly interested to see what the rest of the games are like.

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale

No. Just...no.

I have been heavily critical of this game for some time now. The time I spent with PlayStation All-Stars at PAX did nothing to change my mind. In fact, I'd say it just confirmed what I felt when watching things like the Giant Bomb Quick Look. The game desperately wants to be Smash Bros., but it's too slow, the UI does nothing to inform the players as to who's winning and losing until the match is over, and divvying points based purely on hitting with supers is a terrible, terrible idea. I was playing a fairly decent game, not particularly good or bad, when the player using Kratos busted out his Level 3 super near the very end, which basically lets him run around the arena with an instant kill weapon. It's less a trump card or comeback mechanic and more an "I Win" button.

I should note that, even though I was standing in the middle of the Sony booth at the show surrounded by other people playing this game, I didn't hear that much praise for it from anyone. Maybe the Sony fans just weren't out in force at that moment, but the reception to the game, as far as I could measure, was lukewarm at the very best.

The Vita

Yes. Just yes.

During my time at the various Vita stations, I tried my hand at Zen Pinball, Little Big Planet, and Retro City Rampage. While my time with LBP did little more than remind me that I can't stand LBP platforming, Zen Pinball and Retro City Rampage were a lot of fun. The only problem is that neither is a Vita exclusive and I could get versions of both elsewhere.

But they did have Persona 4: Golden on display as well, and while the demo wasn't anything elaborate (the game was just started and left to run, so it was still in the opening, exposition-heavy hours), I did get to hear a fair amount of Chie's new voice, and she does a good job. I'm fairly certain that Golden is and will remain my sole reason to own a Vita for some time to come.

Tomb Raider

A more human Lara makes for a more captivating game.

The demo of Tomb Raider on display was an old build; probably the same one shown off at E3. It's early game exploration and bow-hunting elements, and despite the occasional bug (at one point, Lara would just float across the ground with her left arm outstretched to the side whenever I ran forward), it's looking very, very sharp. I've never really been a fan of Tomb Raider, but the presentation and the feel of the gameplay make this very likely the first Lara Croft adventure I actually spend money on.

Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion

This is my friends Game of the Show, right here.

The 3DS Epic Mickey title that serves as an ode to the old Genesis game Castle of Illusion is another game that's looking sharp. This was an extra-fun stop especially for one of my friends, who is a huge Disney fan. She had the chance to talk with the rep handling the demo, who also happens to be a graphic artist on Epic Mickey 2. Really, that part of the show made her PAX, and this game is now at the top of her list of upcoming games she wants. And you know? The platforming and the use of the paint and thinner mechanic in the 2D setting really does work well. She'll have a blast when it comes out; I'm sure of that.

The Panels

I went to three panels this year; one on Friday, one on Saturday, and one today. The first panel, which I neglected to mention in my Day 1 blog, was on the depiction of religion and religious content in games.

It was terrible.

The primary problem stemmed from the fact that all three panelists had a very narrow view of religious content and context in games. All of their favorite examples came from either the Dragon Age series or the Mass Effect trilogy, and in general, it felt more like a Bioware love-fest than any sort of discussion on religion in general. This is possibly a predictable outcome, since one of the panelists is a QA Lead at EA Canada. Despite a fleeting reference to El Shaddai, they didn't have much of interest to say on the topic that didn't devolve into "Bioware is awesome!"

Saturday's panel was on sex in games, particularly in relation to tabletop RPGs, though some video game discussion came up during the Q&A. For me personally, as well as the friend I attended it with, it was very entertaining and informative, particularly since we both have experience dealing with a DM that could learn a few things (well, everything, really) on how to depict such in the game, but also on how to prevent "bleed." (i.e.: "Her character wants to shag my character, so that must mean she wants to shag me!")

Yeah, bleed is a bad thing when it escalates to that level.

The final panel we attended was another table-top/card game panel in which a number of creators of humorous tabletop games talked about how to insert humor into games. It was a very funny panel with a lot of self-depreciation (one of the panelists, a friend of a friend, was even dressed in a goofy cow costume he was using to promote his latest game, which he is putting together with Kickstarter help). It can be an odd thing, where some games succeed because they contain the right amount of inherent humor, whereas in other games, the humor is mostly there because of the way the players create it themselves.

As one particularly colorful anecdote, one of the panelists had also done writing work on a Marvel MMO title that happened to be on display at PAX, and mentioned how he'd be assigned particular characters, and for the most part, they're not difficult to write for. And then he was given Deadpool. He constantly missed his deadlines for Deadpool because it takes so much more effort to write him, particularly when all of the dialogue needs to be that Deadpool sort of funny.

Freeplay

Every year, I try to get in a little bit of the Console Freeplay area at PAX and play something I don't normally have the opportunity to try. This year was slightly different.

Yeah, I bought a 360 for this. I don't regret it one bit.

I used to own a 360, though I finally go sick of it after having repeated hardware issues that caused constant crashes and scratched game discs. On the list of freeplay games, I decided to spend a little bit of time with the game that I originally bought a 360 in order to play, when the console honeymoon was in full effect and before the rather nasty divorce. And that game was Ninety-Nine Nights.

Yep. What, did you expect me to say Oblivion or Halo or something?

OK, so N3 had its problems, but my time with it in Console Freeplay was enough to remind me that my fondness for that game isn't merely rose-tinted. I really do enjoy it.

The Swag and the Purchases

My wallet cries for mercy before the end of every PAX I attend, and this was no exception. The main reason being that I bought some furniture while I was there. Gaming furniture company Geek Chic was on display once again, and for the second PAX in three years, I ordered furniture from them. The first time, it was a coffee table. This time, it was their Alexandria Codex; a shelving/drawer unit that should be perfect for storing my games and DVDs. My collection has grown unwieldy, and if I'm going to get it under control, then I might as well do it in style.

On the faaaaaaaar less expensive end of the spectrum, I stopped in at the Pink Gorilla Games booth and bought a number of cool things. My favorite among them being the Final Fantasy Trading Arts Yuna figurines; the package comes with Yuna in her FFX outfit and her X-2 Gunner garb, and they are adorable. I also got some Samurai Warriors 3 trading figures.

I also picked up a few old PS2 games. A few I bought because I played them many years ago, and for one reason or another, carry fondness for them: Dead or Alive 2: Hardcore I played a lot in college. Dynasty Warriors 3 got me into the Dynasty Warriors series, and I logged more time in Romance of the Three Kingdoms VIII than should be considered healthy.

And then there are the other games I got. Namely, Chaos Legion, which I bought mainly because of an old Penny Arcade joke from eons ago, and Bujingai, which is just hilarious for the fact that it stars Gackt in the role of the protagonist. Really, it's just impossible to take seriously. And if you don't know what a Gackt is, Google is your friend.

The Conclusion

PAX Prime 2012 was a rousing success all around. Certain health issues aside, my friends and I all had fun, and we all came away with things we enjoyed and are looking forward to. It's difficult to really name a game of the show simply because there was so much on display that really grabbed me. Though Tomb Raider certainly gets a lot of props, as does what Nintendo had on display for the Wii U. I didn't even have a chance to demo games like Pikmin 3 or Project P-100, but that time I spent with the new controller was well worth it.

#2 Posted by Demoskinos (15013 posts) -

@Hailinel: Oh man. I loooooved the original N3! The sequel was a pretty big letdown.

#3 Posted by Hailinel (25179 posts) -

@Demoskinos said:

@Hailinel: Oh man. I loooooved the original N3! The sequel was a pretty big letdown.

Yeah, it unfortunately doesn't sound like I missed much in the sequel. The original game is a blast, though.

#4 Posted by FLStyle (4768 posts) -

Ahhh Chaos Legion, I loved battling along side and levelling up my little helpers.

#5 Posted by Hailinel (25179 posts) -

@FLStyle: I just tried it out for the first time. It's pretty fun, actually. I'm not sure why it got killed in the reviews back when it came out.

#6 Posted by FLStyle (4768 posts) -

@Hailinel: They took offence to Chaos Legion not hiding its linear nature as much as DMC or God of War does with presentation and storylines. Chaos Legion embraced it and instead focused on making the gameplay intuitive.

#7 Posted by Hailinel (25179 posts) -

@FLStyle said:

@Hailinel: They took offence to Chaos Legion not hiding its linear nature as much as DMC or God of War does with presentation and storylines. Chaos Legion embraced it and instead focused on making the gameplay intuitive.

Well, that's a dumb criticism.

#8 Posted by FLStyle (4768 posts) -

@Hailinel: A lot of people still had a bad taste in their mouths after Devil May Cry 2 and in their defence Chaos Legion isn't the longest game in the world.

#9 Posted by Hailinel (25179 posts) -

@FLStyle said:

@Hailinel: A lot of people still had a bad taste in their mouths after Devil May Cry 2 and in their defence Chaos Legion isn't the longest game in the world.

I suppose that's true. Getting lumped in with Devil May Cry 2 is never a good thing.

#10 Posted by wefwefasdf (6729 posts) -

Glad you had a great time at the show! Did you watch any of the Omegathon?

I had never heard of the term "bleed" before. It sounds like it would very, very awkward.

#11 Posted by Hailinel (25179 posts) -

@SpikeSpiegel said:

Glad you had a great time at the show! Did you watch any of the Omegathon?

I had never heard of the term "bleed" before. It sounds like it would very, very awkward.

Nope, I didn't have time to see any of the Omegathon rounds. I was kept pretty busy by the show floor.

And yeah, bleed in that sense can be very, very awkward. I've seen how it can go very wrong, and it's not pretty.

#12 Posted by Marino (4736 posts) -

Just promoted this to the front page community section.

Somehow I didn't get your Mii in StreetPass. I didn't think that could happen since you got mine.

Staff Online
#13 Posted by Hailinel (25179 posts) -

@Marino said:

Just promoted this to the front page community section.

Somehow I didn't get your Mii in StreetPass. I didn't think that could happen since you got mine.

Maybe your ten slots had filled, but mine hadn't? It's pretty clearly you, though. I can't think of anyone else that goes by Marino and would state they're a Giant Bomb Mod in their StreetPass greeting.

#14 Posted by Marino (4736 posts) -

@Hailinel: Yeah, that's definitely me. I should be wearing a blue hat and a Triforce on my head.

I just didn't think the system would send out your Mii if you were full. Maybe it was just due to the number of StreetPasses all going on at once.

Staff Online
#15 Posted by Hailinel (25179 posts) -

@Marino said:

@Hailinel: Yeah, that's definitely me. I should be wearing a blue hat and a Triforce on my head.

I just didn't think the system would send out your Mii if you were full. Maybe it was just due to the number of StreetPasses all going on at once.

That'd be you, all right. I imagine that PAX is more StreetPass traffic than Nintendo ever even though about load testing for.

#16 Posted by Sohkrates (7 posts) -

Thanks for the write up, it's great seeing other people's perspective on PAX. 
 
My name is Michael and I was one of the panelists in "On God and Gaming..." the terrible panel that discussed religious content in games.  Specifically I was the one who is a QA Lead at Electronic Arts. 
 
I acknowledge that we mostly talked about Bioware titles, and that we could have perhaps reached further for other examples of religion in games.  However, the reason we gravitated towards those titles was because they do it so well.  Lots of other games have religion to some extent, but few of them are actually part of it the plot, few of them dig into these mythologies in a meaningful way.   For example after the panel someone mentioned  the Dead Space series, games that did a marvelous job of creating a satirical religion based on the symbolism and tenants of Scientology.  I had thought about talking about it during the panel, but it slipped my mind, and we didn't have the time to backtrack.  I just wanted to say we didn't pick Bioware games because I work at EA, that's just where our thoughts naturally went when we were preparing for the panel.
 
If you could give me some more examples of good or even terrifically bad uses of religion in video games, and maybe some tips for presenting this topic for the future, I'd be grateful.  That was my first time presenting on the subject, and it's a topic that I'm passionate about. 
 
Thanks for the feedback!

Online
#17 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@Sohkrates said:

Lots of other games have religion to some extent, but few of them are actually part of it the plot, few of them dig into these mythologies in a meaningful way.
#18 Edited by Hailinel (25179 posts) -

@Sohkrates: Wow. This is very unexpected, but I appreciate you coming forward and looking for feedback.

For reference, I was actually that dope in the Q&A panel that rambled for probably too long about the Megami Tensei games (Persona, etc.). Largely, I stand by what I said (or at least tried to say) during that Q&A. The franchise as a whole contains a great deal of religious and mythological figures and ideologies adapted to the worlds and narratives of the games. Persona 4's story contains influences from the old Japanese creation myth of Izanagi and Izanami, for example. The world of Digital Devil Saga is rife with references to Hinduism in its otherwise post-apocalyptic world. They're not always the most overt references, but they're pretty common and are at times surprising in how much depth there is to them. , another forum user here, has much more knowledge on this subject than I do and could easily tell you a lot more. (And perhaps even correct me on any points I might flub on as I type this.)

But beyond that, at the very end of the panel, the last person in line asked a question regarding representation of western religion in Japanese games specifically (games like Xenogears), and the response came off as rather dismissive and thoughtless. A friend of mine that was in attendance with me is, in particular, a huge fan of Xenogears, as well as Tetsuya Takahashi's later Xeno-titles (Xenosaga, Xenoblade), and is also versed enough in Gnosticism to see how much of an influence its had in all of those games. That's another subject that I'm not versed enough in to go into detail here, but you might consider it food for thought and something to research.

I do think that the Dead Space series is a good reference, particularly in how it presents a religion that lampoons Scientology on some level. I'd agree that's definitely a good one to bring up. Similar to Dead Space, games like Silent Hill, Fatal Frame and so on, feature plots that reference some form of religious cult or exotic ritual. Silent Hill runs rampant with the demonic influence of the cult's god, whereas Fatal Frame is a haunted house story in which the horrors are brought about by an ancient ritual gone wrong.

It's been quite some time since I've played a number of these games, so details are foggy, but I feel that these are other good games to look at:

Final Fantasy X features characters going on a pilgrimage to do what they believed was right by the religious teachings of the followers of Yevon; Yuna, being a summoner, was charged with the task of stopping Sin when it returns. Over the course of the game, the characters come to realize that the Yevonite religion is severely corrupt, but they still have a task to do in putting down Sin.

Final Fantasy Tactics features a story that was influenced by the War of the Roses (the same conflict that inspired A Game of Thrones) and features a powerful church whose leaders desire to take over Ivalice. When the game's protagonist, Ramza, fights against them, they declare him a heretic, which just gives him even more enemies.

Kid Icarus: Uprising features an at-times more lighthearted take on religion through the relationship that gods and humans share. It also features some influence from Greek myth, with some gods taken directly from the source (Poseidon, Hades) and others are heavily adapted or made up. The antagonistic relationship between the goddesses Palutena and Medusa is not unlike the relationship between Athena (the inspiration behind Palutena) and the mythological Medusa (who wasn't a goddess in the original myth). The actual religious context is light, but it does provide for a different take. (EDIT: Actually, now that I think about it, it's actually a bit deeper than I gave it credit for, as the game delves into concepts like reincarnation.)

Another take form a god's point of view: Asura's Wrath takes place in a world that mixes Hinduism and Buddhism in a crazy blender with old-school martial arts and space opera anime, but even in all of the insanity, it takes the time to establish the relationship that humans have with the demi-gods that are above them. In particular, there is a portion of the game where humans have been cowed by the villainous demi-gods and are joyous when they're sacificed (read: mercilessly slaughtered) for their energy. However, there is one unnamed human girl in particular that doesn't share this belief. She instead prays to an otherwise abandoned shrine dedicated to Asura. And when he awakens and fights against the other demi-gods, she chooses to follow him. This relationship has a very profound effect, not only on her, but also on Asura as the game progresses.

As for some egregiously bad examples, I'd say that the absolute worst I can think of would be the old NES games like Bible Adventures or Sunday Funday. These so-called "Christian" games that do both a disservice to the religion they supposedly cater to in addition to being terrible games in general. Actually, most games I can think of where promoting or encouraging a specific religious view is the first and foremost concern are guilty of this. Super Noah's Ark 3-D is little more than a terrible reskinning of Wolfenstein that takes an utterly absurdist view of life on board the ark. It's one thing to make a game that promotes a specific religion. It's another that makes a mockery of that religion while also just being a terrible game to boot.

Those are all just some of the examples I could think of off the top of my head. I do hope this helps. Once again, thank you for taking the time to seek feedback!

#19 Posted by Eirikr (1009 posts) -

@Hailinel: Heh, thanks for the shoutout, dude! I can't really claim to have much more than a general knowledge of most things though, with a few particular areas of special interest.

That said, I think all your examples stack up pretty well. I'm pretty damn tired and don't have a lot more to offer at the moment, but another good example of religion in games for is in the Civilization series. While it's mostly just a complement to your burgeoning empire, Civ at least has the decency to pull from a number of real religions, with appropriate-albeit-necessarily-simplified methods to develop said religions in your state. For example, the first country to develop monotheism will create Judaism, and I believe the first for polytheism will create Hinduism. Again, not exactly historically accurate or anything, but at least there's some effort being made.

Ok, maybe tomorrow I'll have some more to add. :p

Online
#20 Posted by Hailinel (25179 posts) -

@Eirikr: No problem! I figured if anyone on these forums could advise on this, you'd be a great one to go to.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.