I remember reading about Ultima IV's morality system and finding it super fascinating, and your blog was a pretty good reminder that nothing since has ever tried to do something similar. I just wish I had the fortitude to play the game itself. Even as someone who has a higher-than-average tolerance for crusty old game mechanics, that era of early DOS CRPG is a little too much for me, so my handful of attempts never got very far.
The problem with most games' Good vs Evil morality systems is that people do not like to be evil. Evil play in games is a cathartic release, a way to unwind for a few hours rather than a story players want to tell. It is all a question of "do you want to be a dick?" And for most people, the answer is "no, I want to be good". But everyone's idea of good is different, and it is in the nuances of which Good behaviors you pick when they come into conflict with each other that make for a compelling story.
I'll speak for myself here, but I still really enjoy doing the evil asshole playthrough sometimes, for as cartoonish and dumb as the evil in most games with morality systems offers, especially when the alternative is to be a perfect boy scout. It's one of the reasons I'm super interested in Tyranny, and I hope that game manages to succeed on its pitch of letting players be more "Lawful Evil" than the usual murderous psycho or pragmatic asshole that dominates the genre.
@zombiepie: For the record, now that I have a functioning computer again, I'd be willing to do something with Grandia II... at some point. Of course, I'd much rather you play X-2 because it might melt your brain, and I'd be also be willing to do something with that.
As someone who isn't American, can someone explain how supporting being anti-Hilary automatically makes you a racist? From the info that makes it over here, she seems like she is quite the scum-bag herself. Even if she isn't as terrible as Trump, she certainly seems like the worst kind of politician and someone that probably doesn't deserve to be in office.
I think it probably has something to do with the particular brand of scummy internet folk he's associating with and funding, some of whom are adjacent to or sympathetic to a certain movement "concerned with the ethics of games journalism."
I really did appreciate that Austin could talk about the more RPGish/strategy stuff and Japanese stuff that the rest of the staff has always covered at arm's length, if at all. I think they could do well to hire someone who could do something similar in regards to this site's coverage blind-spots... which, to be frank, are many. That said, it's unfair to lump the rest of the staff into a big homogeneous pile of tastes, for as much as I'm tempted to do at times. Listen to any given GOTY discussion podcast for proof of that.
I've long since accepted that the draw of this website comes from the staff covering the games that they want to cover. If I really want someone to give me an informed opinion on a weird PC-only CRPG revival thing, there are places I can go to. Those places might be dark, depressing corners of the internet, but they exist. Giant Bomb doesn't have to be my one-stop for everything video games/vaping/anime related.
I finished the last case, and it was appropriately bonkers. I thought it probably lasted one "shocking revelation" too many, though that's something I could say about the final case for most of these games. It should've been split into two separate things though. I'm interested in seeing where the next game goes, and if they're actually shoving Apollo into the sidelines or not. I wouldn't mind that, not nearly enough Athena doing her ridiculous double hand-slam in this one. In regards to the game as a whole, I'm still going to err on the side of saying that I liked Dual Destinies better.
Does anyone know when the DLC case is supposed to come out? It apparently has Larry Butz, so... I guess they knew which cameo demanded the premium price.