Cannot press play on YouTube hosted videos, but when I open in incognito, I can. Weird.
TwoLines's forum posts
It's Planescape Torment, SOMA and Silent Hill 2. Those are the big three.
Planescape- it's incredibly text heavy, but man oh man, it's clear that Chris Avellone was going all out. The dialogue is memorable and elegant, the characters are fleshed out and colorful, and the world is incredibly well realized, unique, and just so darn interesting. It never veers into absurdity, which is quite a feat, considering the sheer amount of ideas on display here. It doesn't turn into a hodgepodge of half-finished concepts and ideas (cough, Numenera, cough). Every story they tell has an emotional core, is well-honed and carefully crafted. The text is never overly drawn out, or at least it doesn't feel overly drawn out. It strikes a good balance between weird and familiar. There are a bunch of one-off stories that sometimes give off a "philosophy 101" kinda vibe, but that's usually by design, as most that seem anecdotal and amateurish are presented as anecdotes told by... well, amateurs. The game's not really ever interested in utilizing the interactive aspect of the medium, except for some choices to be made here and there, but It's an older game, so that's fine.
SOMA- some of the voice acting is a little iffy. And the middle part of the game drags a bit. But it doesn't treat the player like a complete doofus. It's a really smart story, told and presented in a smart way. It frequently provided answers to some questions before I could come up with plausible theories, and does so without fanfare (which, in an era where everything has to have a twist, felt like a breath of fresh air). It's less about shock, and surprise, and more about building a realistic-feeling world around you. It builds that foundation in order to play around with more abstract ideas down the line. It's also very creepy, in an existential sense, and has an amazing ending. Oh, and the characters are well written, and the dialogue is snappy.
Silent Hill 2- honestly, I have not played through all of it, I just read about it a bunch. It seems very dream-like and fascinating. One of these days, I will play through it. If they ever port it to anything. Come on Konami.
Now, which games TELL the best stories, that's a whole different thing. Games like Bloodborne, NieR and Undertale do some really cool stuff with narrative and gameplay, but don't have an exceptionally riveting plot.
Been here from the beginning. Been supporting them for as long as they had premium content and I have seen 99% of videos on site. I ain't never gonna leave.
Favorite moment: Gonna go with P4 ER. It was my first let's play type series, and I was super excited when they fought Yukiko's shadow. It wasn't even live, but I was glued to the freaking screen. That was... almost 10 years ago? Holy crap.
Well, I played the game years ago, so take this with a grain of salt, but I do remember enjoying the combat during/after Gran Pulse. It never felt too overwhelming, had a good pace, and just felt snappy. And as hectic as it was sometimes, I almost always felt in control (yeah, "almost" sounds bad in this context, but there were some fights that felt cheap) and knew what I was doing. I will agree that there was a bunch of times where it was just looking at meters fill up, but I don't mind that in games. It was entertaining.
The world of Final Fantasy XIII is beautiful, there's no debating that. But when you stop and compare it to games that came before it, the world doesn't feel "whole." I can list a dozen named NPCs from Final Fantasy IX, but I can't do the same with Final Fantasy XIII. The game ignores every opportunity to use it's art to build a sense of a community or society. Instead, you have to read about how the world of Cocoon works using the codex. Heck, the game's shops are hidden in the save menus!
And I just never enjoyed playing Final Fantasy XIII. The bosses are cheap. the interface distracts you from the action on the screen. You never feel invested in watching the characters progress. The A.I. is dumb. And more than anything else, it's frustrating. I experienced so many "Game Over" screens because the game didn't provide me with enough control.
Everyone says "the game opens up at Gran Pulse," but it opens up in the worst way possible. Gran Pulse is a dead open world that repeats the same mission sixty times. The special abilities are broken and wildly inconsistent. Plus, when the game finally trusts you with the last levels of the Crystarium, you can only test it out against random monsters and Cieth. That's a gut punch. I'd also argue the game still feels like you're looking at meters and waiting for bars to fill up. There are long gaps between the action, and sometimes you can't take advantage of your windows of opportunity as much as you'd like.
I completely agree with the opening up to Gran Pulse is when the game turns for the worst. The cinematic is amazing, the first shot of monsters fighting each other is interesting, but the emptiness, while technically "lore friendly," was still a bit too much. They had a few choppy scenes with the characters which could have been something, but wasn't really utilize well. The two eidolon fights were poorly timed and seemingly out of no where. The time and focus spent on climbing that silly tower is weird considering the other modern buildings looking ruins were just pretty much ignored. All these make me question if the game was incomplete.
The combat spirals out of control when you have too many characters/roles than available paradigm decks. Re-equipping characters also become a chore. That equipment leveling system is way more complex and time consuming than it needs to be. All of these issues flare up when the game opens up in Gran Pulse. I am fine with the linear character progression method, but I also find locking level 10 behind end game is a bad idea and kills the momentum, the grinding also becomes completely ridiculous.
The game's quick retry battle function and the checkpoint before each fight are necessities. I am glad it is there, but I also question if it was the intent to rely on it. They get a lot of use when combined with the fact that you can only directly control one lead character, and if that one character gets knockout it is game over. 3 of the most annoying fights you pretty much have to control Vanille to have her do a specific thing and at that point of the game she is the most frail of all the characters, one of them is have her cast Doom over and over again until it instant KO or hit retry when the fight starts to go south. It is not that the combat system can't achieve good (and flashy) things, but it is so random. there were instances when I fought an identical fights multiple times and the results could vary from a landslide victory to a struggle for 10 minutes and everything in between. So many things are out of your control like movement, positioning, knock downs, timing of skills, hell even for the character you are controlling you have to trade speed (quick auto battle command) vs more time consuming manual skill selection. Basically I never felt like I am using everything at my disposal in a timely manner. If only there's a pause function, able to issue out commands for each party member, a way to individually switch characters and switch roles, hell go all the way with it and let you switch equipment also, similar to how FFX and FFXII have done before.
The weird thing is, the combat system works when there's less going on. The two members party with limited roles in the middle of the game was actually fine. The player has access to nearly all of the paradigm combinations and switching them around usually grant a counter to the situation at hands. Each fight being placed along a mostly linear path also means encounters can be use to teach the player about foes in a new area. There's usually a few fights against fodders enemies early on, then a fight with a tougher foe that needs staggering, or some enemies that could buff/debuff, and then deeper in they start mixing them up. I actually found it very clever, and it once again leans into its linear nature, it also works with how health is basically restore after each fight, so there's no attrition battle with the dungeon itself. The challenge is simply can the player overcome each fight with everything that's available as enemies get progressively mix up to create different scenarios. What they end up doing near the end however is pretty much stack enemies that are meant to exploit the things that you can't control, AoE, line type attacks, and knock downs interrupts.
I wouldn't say it felt like a chore, and it wasn't too overbearing, but I see what you're getting at. Too much maintenance.
The retry function was a very smart inclusion, but the fact that the game's over when your main character falls is a bummer, I will definitely agree there.
I thought that the 2 character battles were a nice tutorial thing (that lasted too long, holy crap) but I found the 3 player battles to be far more interesting. I don't remember much more, but that note about how the game throws stuff at you that you can't control sounds very familiar. Very late game/post game stuff was kind of a mess.
First game I played was River Raid, not really a thing that you can beat. I was 5 at the time I think? But the first game I think I finished might have been the original Prince of Persia? I think?
Anyway, I played games when I was a small kid, since my older brother played games.
@nutter: Whew. I came in to say Doom, glad someone else did. I mean, come on. It's so simple and fun, it's timeless.