Million Dollar Actor, Five Dollar Writer

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 NEXT
 

Million Dollar Actor, Five Dollar Writer

Why hire a master chef to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?

Read Full Article

A recent examples that earns my scorn: Why did Darksiders hire Mark "The Joker" Hamill for a completely forgettable story and as a tutorial guide?

Why did the Spiderman games hire Bruce Campbell as the tutorial guy? Answers itself, because he's fucking Bruce Campbell.

I wholeheartedly agree with this article. As my dad used to say, "If you won't do a job right, don't do it at all, boy." (He calls me "boy" when he gets angry)

I hope to become a game writer one day. If my hopes are fulfilled, maybe I could help put an end to games with horrible plots, and simultaneously put Mr. Young out of a job (just joking).

The Longest Journey you mentioned!

This makes you cool.

But yes, if you don't get good writers, don't fucking bother.
Extra money yes, and doesn't necessarily guarantee a bigger return, but would you like to be in the history books as the person who brought new life to videogame storytelling or be forgotten as another games industry automaton churning out more predictable trite?

Alone in the Dark. Worst writing ever.

Actually worst game ever.

I would say Gears of War, but it's painfully dumb dialogue suited it's painfully dumb universe just fine. No, the worst offender of Bad Writing in my opinion would be Killzone 2, what a piece of shit that was. Nothing but a bunch of whiny, overly serious, foul mouthed space marines without 2 damn brain cells to rub together, it lacks the hard edged grit of Call of Duty 4 and lacks the Tongue In Cheek over the topness that characterizes Gears of War.

Dead Rising had some pretty miserable half-assed junk, which was unfortunate because they did a great job of pacing the actual EVENTS of the story, like when certain things would happen, but when it came down to cutscenes or things that described what was going on, I felt like it was pretty miserable. I wish I could give some concrete examples but it's been so long since I played it.

Story line for Dungeon Siege always broke down as a horrible plot and story for me all i heard was...

1:Blah blah blah Save Us
2:Ok
1:Blah blah blah Go here to save us
2:Ok
1:Blah blah blah Oh you can't go the regular way you have to go the long way
2:Ok
1:Blah blah blah Oh you made it
1:Blah blah blah rinse/repeat

Final Fantasy games have writing that makes me want to rage. All of the ones I played anyway.

Irridium:
Final Fantasy games have writing that makes me want to rage. All of the ones I played anyway.

Are you High? Final Fantasy games are the Epitome of good writing. It's the only thing it has going for it, considering it's gameplay is a turn based system of copious level grinding (FF 11 and 12 not withstanding). Have you actually played the games or are you just going by what every one else said?

Back on topic, I don't agree with what you said about unskipable being a collection of bad game stories, because there are quite a number of them whose plots get better as you progress further into the game.

Hmm, you're all going to hate me now, but I think the writing in Zelda is pretty horrible (and the only one I've bothered with is Twilight Princess). "Oh no, Link! You must save the city from these... dark... and... undoubtedly evil... things that... oh fuck this, just go to a bunch of different places and walk around for a bit while we think about how you will defeat the bad guy. Yup. That'll be great."

And all the time everyone's like: "Ohh, Link! You're the chosen one, chosen by the goddesses who are totally bright and shiny, save us from the dark-something woo-woo-bluuuuurgh-cliché-licious."

Any time there's a cutscene in Twilight Princess I just want to roll over and die. Midna was cute though.

Lost Planet. I'm one of those guys who play many games for the story alone. I llove the convoluted RE plotlines and even DMC can be fun. I enjoyed Dead Rising for what it was. But Lost Planet was so terrible boring! I had zero interest in the characters or the world at all. It was fun blowing up stuff, but this was the only game I ever played where I thought to myself: "oh crap, another cutscene."

Ace combat 6 has the absolute worst story and writing of any game I've ever played. It's so atrocious that it's not even funny. The next time I hear my wingman say "dance with the angels" I'm going to shoot him down myself.

It's a good thing that the gameplay is fucking awesome.

I have always played games that I think will have an intersting story or at least an entertaining one. I find that a good story will make me care about the characters more and it makes me enjoy the game more.

Final Fantasy 7,8,9 are my best examples of games that made you care about the characters (even if the writing sometimes suffers due to translation)
Making me care about the characters greatly enhanced Lost Odyssey, Chrono Trigger, Mass Effect, KOTOR, Silent Hill, Metal Gear Solid and even Splinter Cell: Double Agent (I may be alone on that last one)

Megamet:

Irridium:
Final Fantasy games have writing that makes me want to rage. All of the ones I played anyway.

Are you High? Final Fantasy games are the Epitome of good writing. It's the only thing it has going for it, considering it's gameplay is a turn based system of copious level grinding (FF 11 and 12 not withstanding). Have you actually played the games or are you just going by what every one else said?

Back on topic, I don't agree with what you said about unskipable being a collection of bad game stories, because there are quite a number of them whose plots get better as you progress further into the game.

Am I weird if say that I like turn based battle systems? Especially if they have the ATB gauge system? Also, some of the earlier Final Fantasy games did have poor writing in certain places due to bad translations

Resident Evil 4 was at least fun, but RE5 was a mess. In fact, that game as a whole was a Trojan Horse. We all welcomed it into our homes after the excellence of RE4's game design and finally-abandoning-Umbrella storyline, but then the case opened up and the disc sawed our nuts off.

Still, nothing will ever beat Two Worlds (House of the Dead 2 is probably the worst I've ever experienced, but it's bad enough to provide humor, so it has a saving grace).

Onyx Oblivion:
A recent examples that earns my scorn: Why did Darksiders hire Mark "The Joker" Hamill for a completely forgettable story and as a tutorial guide?

Agreed. I loved the game, but thought the dialogue was very meh.

The worst dialogue on my mind lately is in the english trailer for Final Fantasy 13. I linked to it from a Destructoid article that was praising the voice acting in the trailer. The acting was fine, but MY GOD was the dialogue atrocious. I disagree with the argument that JRPG game play is responsible for their decline in popularity in the west. It's their storytelling techniques, IMHO.

ccesarano:

Still, nothing will ever beat Two Worlds

Okay, I gotta give you that one. That was truly awful.

(House of the Dead 2 is probably the worst I've ever experienced, but it's bad enough to provide humor, so it has a saving grace).

I love House of the Dead 2, the writing and the voice acting are so bad it is hilarious.

Of games that I've played/seen played, I think I have to go with Two Worlds being the all-time winner of the Most Ridiculously Bad Writing Award, but even GOOD games often have a couple of really boneheaded moments in them.

I'm probably going to get a lot of hate for this, but I absolutely hated the plot for Bad Company... and the incredibly broken gameplay didn't help it's case at all, just served to piss me off more.

Fallout 3.

Considering how much Fallouts 1 and 2 were rather wholly dependent on their plot and dialogue, it makes you wonder why Bethesda would completely fail on so many fronts in that game - from the "we really don't know how radioactivity works but we're gonna take it seriously" to the "every single friendly NPC is a total unrepentant moron but you're going to go to hell and back to save them from themselves" tomfoolery.

Also, Assassin's Creed. Fantastically detailed period-specific cities, marred by a Dan Brown plotline.

"I'm not suggesting that Lumines would have been a better game if developer Q Entertainment had added a plot about saving the world from space aliens by matching squares of colored blocks..."

This is hilarious, because Q Entertainment DID that, and called it Meteos. And actually, the story, however thin, made the game a little bit better. Probably even better then Lumines. Is this a hilarious coincidence, are was this a subtle joke?

Megamet:

Irridium:
Final Fantasy games have writing that makes me want to rage. All of the ones I played anyway.

Are you High? Final Fantasy games are the Epitome of good writing. It's the only thing it has going for it, considering it's gameplay is a turn based system of copious level grinding (FF 11 and 12 not withstanding). Have you actually played the games or are you just going by what every one else said?

Back on topic, I don't agree with what you said about unskipable being a collection of bad game stories, because there are quite a number of them whose plots get better as you progress further into the game.

Good writing by game standards, sure. But good writing overall? FFXII is the first game in the series that has a plot which could stand on its own and its one of the most reviled games in the series.

FFX had a bad protagonist. Really, I can forgive its other flaws because they were testing the waters on a new console, but if I don't like the character I'm playing the rest of the story can be pure gold and it's not going to engage me. With that said, I'd begrudgingly concede that it's a decent story if they hadn't followed it up with X-2 and pissed all over their characters. (Yuna is NOT slutty pop-star material, dammit.)

FFIX was the amalgamation of all the classic stories polished to a mirror shine. It still has flaws, but if taken as a homage to old school gaming they're forgivable.

FFVIII was an abomination; none of it made any damn sense. FFVII was good but highly overrated; the story is very simple, and the writers (maybe the localizers?) mistook swear words for personality with two of the characters.

FFVI was... excellent. The story was simplistic, it couldn't stand on its own without being fleshed out, but for the time the game was released it was as close to perfect as an RPG storyline could get.

FFV was utterly forgettable, and while FFIV was good for its time it's laughable now. FFIII has a bare-bones story, as do FFII and FFI.

As far as JRPGS go, the FF series tells the best stories out of any of them. Within the wider scope of gaming, other games have told far superior stories.

just saw reset button, you sound allot younger than you look (back-handed complimenting much?) but i agree that considering the amount of money and time that goes in to a cut-scene its mindbogglingly how bad/low prioritized the writing, which is the most important part of it, really is.

my best/worst example of this is Prototype, amazing game, i do love me some experimental overpowered superhero sandbox "zombie" murdering, but the story in that game was confusing, poorly written and forgettable and it still insisted on showing cutscene after cutscene.

snowman6251:
Alone in the Dark. Worst writing ever.

Actually worst game ever.

the movie of Alone in the Dark had worse writing.

OT: yes i can agree there

Assassins Creed 1

I mean anyone playing that game would have figured out the direction it was going after the second assassination mission.

And each time Al-mualim tried to justify it...at first you could see his point...but then...my goodness his backwards matrixy talking just went in one ear and out the other...

i'd like to put indigo prophecy/fahrenheit up for consideration. the worst part about it is that for the first 2/3rds, the plot builds and even has some really cool moments. then you hit this moment of WTF??? and a nice cool mystery story about ritual killings starts adding... oh damn, i can't say, spoilers. essentially they did the first 2/3rds of the game, then realized they actually still had 5/3rds worth of story left and exploded my brain. the part that really killed me was that none of what they did really would have killed the story if it had been introduced properly and the player had been given time to accept the mythos.
weird thing is i still recommend playing it, just stop as soon as you rescue the child (if you play it you'll understand) cause the story just decides to wet itself after that.

for FO3 i disagree, i'd say that, while far from the original 2's level of quality, it was pretty much as good a story as you could hope for in an open world game. the more freedom a player has, the less detailed story is possible, thats why games like kotor do story well.

i would also like to mention one of the gems of great story that was missed in the article, planescape: torment. if only game designers would take that as a guide... ahh i'd be in heaven.

Resident Evil is such an obvious choice, but I have to say it anyway. Even worse than Barry's lines in RE is the dialogue between Leon and the gun shop owner in REII. At one point, with a straight face, Leon utters the line, "Don't shoot! I'm a human!".

Alone in the Dark was horrid on many levels. Also Fallout 3 and Oblivion were poorly written.

Ugh. I have to say, the game that sticks out in my mind the most when I think "bad writing" was Damnation.

Although that was just a wretchedly bad game as a whole. So maybe I'm not being fair to the writers, it's fairly clear the whole company threw in the towel there.

Anyways:

Bad writing:
The old game Hostile Waters does a pretty good job of nailing every "bad writing" checkmark I can think of. Borderlands does a pretty bang-up job of confusing the hell out of me, so it gets an honorable mention. Although at least that one has personality, even if the writer did seem to check their "meaningful story" brain cells at the door.

Oh, yeah. Bionic Commando, the new one. *shiver*

As a whole, I've played a fair number of games where the writing was so atrocious I just started ignoring it. Bad writing is a really good way to break immersion, so I can't say any of the games have stuck in my head, unless the writing was just amazingly bad.

Good writing:
Pretty much anything from Bioware. Including, strangely, the Sonic DS game. Also, anything from Valve, mostly because of a demonstrated understanding on their part that it's a GAME, not an interactive novel. I just started Assassin's Creed 2, and it's already pissing me off to no end because of the massive amount of cutscenes I'm being forced to sit through before I get to the fun bit. I'm assuming from everything I've heard that there is a fun bit in there somewhere, but I can't play the game for more than about 20 minutes before the cutscenes piss me off too much.

I recently played COD 3's campaign, the American team is very annoying...

Saying that, MewTwo multiplayer "RANGERS LEAD THE WAY". Not only is line horrible in both meaning and unpleasant to the ears, it also subtley references the cheapest guns in the game!

coldfrog:
Dead Rising had some pretty miserable half-assed junk, which was unfortunate because they did a great job of pacing the actual EVENTS of the story, like when certain things would happen, but when it came down to cutscenes or things that described what was going on, I felt like it was pretty miserable. I wish I could give some concrete examples but it's been so long since I played it.

You missed the point of the game entirely...

Re1!!! Cant beat that.

Hmm, I can't remember having Fable 2 having particularly bad writing, sure the plot was a bit balls but I can't remember anything too bad with the writing.
Of course all the random NPCs of both the opposite and same gender shouting out for you to shag 'em did freak me out the first few thousand times (especially when they follow you into your family home and stand there watching when you try and do the nasty with your wife/husband).

I don't know if it's the writing so much as the storytelling, but Final Fantasy Tactics A2 is pretty awful. What's really upsetting is that the gameplay is great, it's one of those games I can put 120 hours into and think nothing of it. But the core story is so abysmal it kinda makes me sad.

Well, the answer to this dillema lies in the article itself. If players don't care that the story sucks, why bother? But this is an interesting idea - if you're not going to do a great story, then don't do one at all. Doom was awesome and it was pretty much THE MOON BASE HAS BEEN KIDNAPPED BY ALIENS, ARE YOU A BAD ENOUGH DUDE TO SAVE THE MOON BASE but it's one of the cornerstones of gaming. I still consider NetHack to be one of the best games ever and its storyline is a little box that shows up when it's done. So if the thrust of the game is just "oh, go to these places and kill these things" it might be better for everyone to just admit failure and skip the entire writing. Or at least use lame stationary talking heads for cutscenes, so we can figure out soon we shouldn't care.

That said, there will always be games like Alone in the Dark, which are certain their story is good when it isn't.

The Unskippable series is a catalog of agonizing scenes where developers squandered vast resources animating stories that weren't worth telling in the first place.

Eh, not every one of them. Take The Darkness, for instance. Despite the agonizing opening in which we learn the main character lives in the GTA world and treats shotguns like a ship in a bottle, it's actually a very interesting take on the gritty 90's comics, making every character more humane and making the conflict of being a vessel for utter darkness an actual conflict. I think it's got a pretty good story.

...for a videogame. YEAH I WENT THERE

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here