Million Dollar Actor, Five Dollar Writer

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008Zulu:
Alone in the Dark was horrid on many levels. Also Fallout 3 and Oblivion were poorly written.

I agree on Oblivion. I think it's a terrible game overall. Also DragonQuest: COTHC had such a forgettable and clichéd storyline; the bad guy wants to destroy the world because humans made his girlfriend cry. Srsly, WTF?

Painkiller was also quite badly written, but the story in that otherwise great game had so little part that it didn't bother.

Otherwise, I can't think of many games I've played that woulda had terrible writing.

I remember the first time I played an FF game--it was FF7, in fact. I was completely entranced up until the whole lifestream thing, wherein Cloud's story was revealed, and then I put down the game in complete disgust at the cop-out. Of course, that was over 7 years ago now, I guess, so I no longer remember what point of the (not very original) story put me off. As for other games with terrible writing? The Bouncer is one. I'll not mention gameplay. The Last Remnant could have been muuuuch better--the story's intriguing, but never feels very fleshed out, and the dialogue (and the MC's... characterization) leave much to be desired.

Illustro Cado:

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.

Ok FF4 and 6 I will give you FF7 is a bit messy.... in script/dialog it gets the job done and I suppose if you compare it to the low standards of hollywood of gaming its good.

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.)

FFX to me is half a game it has a good plot some ok dialog/script but it wonders off and suffers from modern half a game syndrome. The only thing that was worth remembering was the shpere grid system and the ability to customize weapons(that came in to late in the game....) else but the Zombies ruling the world of the fish...

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.

FF9 was the last true FF even with the weak story its more like FF4 with the akward writing and what not but the game play(equipment,skills,ect) is the best the series has to offer.
And the characters are still rememberable, I think it and FF7 have the same issues crappy strung along plot with some good writing inbetween.

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.

I would not call it a abomination if you pay attention to the story and characters and forget everything else its a nice romance story but the gameplay was horrible. Once I got use to it I liked begin able to control who gets what at lvl up with the but otherwise they should leave the gamepaly experiments to the side games and leave the main game alone.

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.

6 has a simplistic story? out of all the FFs its the damn best story wise.

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.

Looking at how bad things are FF4(even bits of 2 and 3) has a better plot,script and dialog than most games....

But ya 1 has no story,2 and 3 try to do something more but really go no where, 5 is pretty much the same

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.

I dunno FF12 was weak story wise,so so character wise gameplay was crap....bland equipment and broken skill system do not make a FF... and I dread FF13 because its everything bad about FF design......
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Oh and let me rip on FF7 some more, I liked the metria system but didn't care for everyone learning everything it made it a bit...generic but since everyone had unique limit breaks it pretty much made up for it, I didn't care for the one weapon one armor setup.... FF6 is the pinnacle of equipment and unique skills minus the whole magic for everyone crap.

Anyway FF7 characters were ok I did not mind clouds issues, the story/dailog was B anime stuff all in all ok for me its a bit of a down step from FF4/6 FF9 was god send then things got worse with FFX FF12 fixed the level design issues but raped skills and equipment the live action combat is a not a issue to me, story was ok characters were good to bland...I kept having wet dreams of Balthier having Edgers tool skills.....*sigh* .
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back on topic

Its typical modern media design emphasis a story/dialog even plot is fodder the only thing that matters is the "pretty" that puts asses in seats. And pretty is either the pretty drug addicts of hollywood(or hot 3d people) or explosions....... the shiny makes them forget how bad it is....

Re: Final Fantasy games

I love me some Final Fantasy, I really do. Because I grew up on it, it'll always hold a special place in my gamer's heart. That being said, Square pulled some really crappy story-telling moves out of their bags.

Take Final Fantasy 2 (or 4 if you're a purist). You spend the entire game chasing the bad guy. You finally catch him and . . . wait, what's this? He was just being mind-controlled? By the real bad guy? Oh, well let's go get him!

And why does that sound so familiar? Oh yeah, because it was the same thing that they did in FF8! They even did a lesser version of this in FF9. "Yay, we beat the bad guy! Oh, wait, there's another bad guy? Who is this fellow? Oh well, I guess we have to destroy him, too."

I never played past FFX (and the writing in that one is up for debate as well), but as much as I loved the series, it had some serious writing problems.

I find it interesting that people aren't making any distinction between a bad plot and bad WRITING. While the two sometimes go hand-in-hand (and bad writing can make even a decent plot stink to high heaven), you can tell the difference. Bioware, for instance, generally has good writing--which they need, because even their good plots are un-original to the nth degree. Bethesda sometimes pulls out a good plot, but their writing is usually poor. Obsidian does some SPECTACULAR writing, but their games are generally buggy and unfinished.

Writing for games is a lot harder than just about any other type of writing because there are some very harsh limits on the delivery of the writing. It's not like a book where someone is predictably going to start at the beginning and finish at the end, so you can put in lots of well-placed and -timed foreshadowing, alternate scenes, etc. etc. etc. Even the most railroady games are going to have delivery issues due to the perceptual switching from action-sequence to cut-scene/dialog sequence.

One thing that may help is to come up with novel ways to avoid the whole "cut scene" and "locked-eye-contact" dialog that Yahtzee was complaining about with standard RPG's. Valve did this with Half-Life 2, after all.

Most games are still chasing the blockbuster model, though, so there's not a lot of innovation in the front-end stuff.

Your argument kind of went down the drain for me when you mentioned Max Payne in the games with good story bit.

Really? NY cop on a revenge trip is a good story that engages the player to care for the hero and look forward for twists? C'mon.

A guy named Max Payne, with 1 grim and 1 normal facial expression, that goes around killing people... Am I missing something? The dream level was awesome though.

Alpha Prime. Clear winner for stupid dialogues.
"The shot my leg dead. Bam! Leg dead."

Games with bad writing? Where to begin... Chrono Cross. It's a fantastic story, really, but the pacing and sudden dump of exposition at the end means it's difficult as all hell to follow or understand.

Games with good writing? Earthbound/Mother 3. I haven't played the first in the series, but if it's anything like the other two, I'd better get onto it. The stories are good enough, but the writing sells the games. In no other series of games have I gone out of my way to talk with every single NPC at least once simply because I was INTERESTED in what they had to say, regardless of plot-relevance.

you make a hard to refute argument, particularly that stories in games don't have to suck. some people blow off stories so much that they don't think it's important. and you're right, not all games need stories, but those that do should at least try to make something that isn't terrible

Answer: Nearly every Final Fantasy game. Ever.

I really don't have anything to add to this. I really don't think that many game developers are putting a lot of time into thinking what could be done with games as a storytelling medium. There's a lot of things you can do in games that you can't in a movie or a book. For example, as an interactive medium, games can involve the audience directly, where other forms of story will always be indirect.
Even a company that produces really fun games like Valve isn't really doing anything with their medium that can't be done just as well in a book or movie (and I say that being a huge lover of the Half Life series). Still, what can you do? As yet, the world has yet to recognize my genius (ego-laugh), so it's not like I can really change the way games are made at the moment. All you can really do is go on (at great length and in great detail) about complaints, which will be ignored.

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.

hahaha, you had me goin' there for a second, nice one

Gears of war 2 and actually I think it was the guy in that picture who during the whole game cries about his wife being taken or killed by the locust. The minute I heard him say that I paused the game looked at my friend and said "What the hell is wrong with this douche!?" The whole time I played he keeps going on about his wife when everyone in this damn game has lost most if not all of there family the same way and we are supposed to feel bad for this generic jackass?

Then there's the list of games who pass off their villain as evil because they use the tired old formula of this guy is bad because he wants to enslave or destroy the world. We need more games to be written like black company where it's actually good story and the bad guys aren't so clear and the people you follow work for the bad guys who are only kind of evil if you go against them. Then you end up liking some of the "Bad guys" because you realize they are actually pretty nice if you look past some things about them.

I know i might be shot for this, but a game where the storytelling and weak cinematics actually compelled me to turn off the game and uninstall it straight away, was none other than Silent Hill 2.

Maybe it's the translation from Japanese to English. Maybe it's the fact that the voice actors seem to have as much humanity and emotion as a block of ice. Maybe i just loathe hyped up japanese games with pretentions, and i subconciously put it in the same category of hate as the Final Fantasy and Metal Gear series in my head.

Maybe if i had no prior expectations and hopes, i would have recieved it more favourably, but as it stands, i can't stand it.

The writing in Oblivion earns my ire, and the fact that Patrick Stewart doesn't make it past the tutorial... bah.

Frogger: The Great quest was horrible in every sense, and the writing was no exception. As far as I had played it was just "I'm going to re-enact that princess and the frog fairy tale!" but this only comes to mind because not only was the cutscene writing terrible, so was... well... everything else. Controls sucked, difficulty was only challenging in the "what the hell am I supposed to do now?" kind of way, and you attacked by spitting at your enemies. Yes, you heard that right.

Killzone: 2 also didn't have a rather good storyline, though it was fairly good in my opinion. The overall storyline was kind of dull, but each individual cutscene was nearly brilliant.

It's hard to tell if you mean the overall storyline or the individual storyline (the storyline for the whole game or for each cutscene) after all, some games can have brilliant and original overall storylines, but if each cutscene is pathetic in substance it fits in perfectly with what you're talking about. At the same time, games can have simple overall storylines, but by having great individual cutscenes they can make you completely forget that you're just walking through another cliché. Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage, for example, had an overall storyline of "You're lost in some other place. Hey, this guy took these castles, take them back. You beat boss a, but that guy got away. You beat boss B, but that last guy still got away. You did it! You beat the guy! Now go on a vacation!" However, each individual cutscene brought about great material, much of which was fairly humorous and quite original.

It is all well and good, the writer suggesting that cutscenes should be improved, but he seems to be forgetting an important part of the process of making games: the ordering. One of the writers for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II explained the process in an interview: they make the levels, the character models, and the characters before they make the actual story. It is the job of the writer to come up with a story to explain why the main character is on an arctic region one level, and then in the Gobi Desert in another. If it was the other way around, (and occasionally, it is) you'd expect more intelligent, less generic stories, but the process is apparently more efficient if the story serves the level design. Unfortunately, this garentees that the story will have to resort to ludicrous plot devices and characterisation to deal with all this.

In short, unless there is better integration of writing and level design in the early production of a game, we are going to continue to see stupid-ass stories. What with COD:MW2 making a billion dollars however, I doubt they can be bothered to change a system which seems to be making them money fine.

JMeganSnow:
I find it interesting that people aren't making any distinction between a bad plot and bad WRITING. While the two sometimes go hand-in-hand (and bad writing can make even a decent plot stink to high heaven), you can tell the difference. Bioware, for instance, generally has good writing--which they need, because even their good plots are un-original to the nth degree. Bethesda sometimes pulls out a good plot, but their writing is usually poor. Obsidian does some SPECTACULAR writing, but their games are generally buggy and unfinished.

Writing for games is a lot harder than just about any other type of writing because there are some very harsh limits on the delivery of the writing. It's not like a book where someone is predictably going to start at the beginning and finish at the end, so you can put in lots of well-placed and -timed foreshadowing, alternate scenes, etc. etc. etc. Even the most railroady games are going to have delivery issues due to the perceptual switching from action-sequence to cut-scene/dialog sequence.

One thing that may help is to come up with novel ways to avoid the whole "cut scene" and "locked-eye-contact" dialog that Yahtzee was complaining about with standard RPG's. Valve did this with Half-Life 2, after all.

Most games are still chasing the blockbuster model, though, so there's not a lot of innovation in the front-end stuff.

I agree he Star trek reboot has decent to good writing but god the plot sucks so much it drains the film.

I think game writing is like a book or film only you are doing 2 or 3 similar parallel arches at the same time nd its all going at once, at least that's the best thought of it I can come up with..erll...its that or the monster book from harry potter....

maninahat:
It is all well and good, the writer suggesting that cutscenes should be improved, but he seems to be forgetting an important part of the process of making games: the ordering. One of the writers for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II explained the process in an interview: they make the levels, the character models, and the characters before they make the actual story. It is the job of the writer to come up with a story to explain why the main character is on an arctic region one level, and then in the Gobi Desert in another. If it was the other way around, (and occasionally, it is) you'd expect more intelligent, less generic stories, but the process is apparently more efficient if the story serves the level design. Unfortunately, this garentees that the story will have to resort to ludicrous plot devices and characterisation to deal with all this.

In short, unless there is better integration of writing and level design in the early production of a game, we are going to continue to see stupid-ass stories. What with COD:MW2 making a billion dollars however, I doubt they can be bothered to change a system which seems to be making them money fine.

No wonder game writing tends to suck...then again looking at modern film its hard to tell...

Georgeman:

Jandau:
I'd just like to stand in defense of Devil May Cry 4 and state that the point of the cutscenes wasn't to tell a story (it's fairly simple), but rather to show off cool stuff. And in that regard, the game does it quite well. Also, this is one case where a deep and complex story might actually be harmful to the game...

The problem with Devil May Cry 4 is: Why not let us (the goddamn players) do all this cool stuff? It's really annoying at times.

No, the problem with DMC 4 is that it threw away the winning formula of 3 to introduce a lame, gimmicky character and copies and pastes half the game. Facing each boss twice is a nice, nostalgic Capcom tradition, but that second round should come at the end, and a third is unacceptable.

Also, whoever had a problem with DMC 3, the "angst" in that is what angst SHOULD be. A suppressed emotion that comes through in the characters actions (Dante's anger at his father and subsequent denial of his demonic powers and dislike of his brother, who embraces said powers), rather than what we all dislike, wangst, where the characters talk at length about their problems (Lady sort of falls prey to this, but that's because they have to tell you all her backstory; that doesn't make it good, just forgivable).

Mr Thomsos:

SilverKyo:
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.

I agree ! I couldnt STAND that game!

I can't understand this. I don't know about gameplay (seemed competent enough, me and my friend consider single player to be a tutorial for multiplayer), but I loved the story. Hagard can be annoying sometimes, but the interaction between the characters is seemed enjoyable to me, and Marlowe is a great narrator.

Brotherofwill:
Your argument kind of went down the drain for me when you mentioned Max Payne in the games with good story bit.

Really? NY cop on a revenge trip is a good story that engages the player to care for the hero and look forward for twists? C'mon.

A guy named Max Payne, with 1 grim and 1 normal facial expression, that goes around killing people... Am I missing something? The dream level was awesome though.

Umm, yeah. Because, you know, that's how it starts out, but it becomes a lot more (haven't played the second, but I'm hoping it's as good as the first). I'll admit it embraces the cheese factor by having his name be Max Payne and he's a gritty cop etc. etc. But like others have said, we aren't talking about setting, we're talking about writing. I'll never forget standing in an elevator, and that damn music starts to play, lo and behold, I find the speaker, so I blast it. What should happen next, but Max says, "Thank you." That is clever fourth wall breaking, without devolving in to comedy. The dream level...ehh, excellent writing, but entirely too frustrating on the gameplay side.

Castle Shikigami 2 has the worst translation and voice acting I have ever heard in any commercially-released game ever.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rUPA_8fpd8&feature=PlayList&p=9C4AB5826EC3BC84&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=6

For the worst story in a video game, I'd say it would have been Modern Warfare 2 by miles.

Read a Tom Clancy novel, play a game like Flanker 2.0 or Lock-on: Modern Air Combat, check out Jane's aircraft and warship recognition guides, even watch the Military Channel on Time Warner extended cable for a few minutes and it occurs to you how perfunctory Infinity Ward's research into military hardware and tactics was.

As for the story itself, it has more plot-holes than an A-6 Intruder after getting hosed by a CIWS Phalanx. They say that Russia invades the US because they find a dead American at the scene of the crime, but what of the Mafioso Makarov and I left for dead on the airstrip and the two other guys I accidentally 'sploded with my grenade launcher? As for the aiport massacre, while the concept was alright, it ended horribly in that the player feels ultimately cheated that even though they've killed hundreds of innocent people, it was all for naught and it ultimately led to something that was just as bad if not worse, and we had the chance to put an end to it. And explain to me why Task Force 141 wasted their god-fucking-damn time in Brazil when it ostensibly had very little bearing on the rest of the story?

So their writers had to make up something that fit in with their game. But when you consider another form of media that combines story with art, comics, art and writing aren't things that are dissociated and developed seperately from each other, they are made to form something that is coesive. Considering how much money Activision dumped into the development of this game, I think its just fucking inexcusable how poorly written this game was.

Better yet, just skip the cutscene and deliver to plot to us while we're playing a la HL2 or Bioshock. RPGs still need some downtime, of course, but any cutscene that over ten minutes long is probably the result of lazy design.

My nomination for bad writing is the MGS series. Don't get me wrong. I love the games and ideas they touch upon, but the dialogue and plot presentation is just horrible.

JMeganSnow:
I find it interesting that people aren't making any distinction between a bad plot and bad WRITING. While the two sometimes go hand-in-hand (and bad writing can make even a decent plot stink to high heaven), you can tell the difference. Bioware, for instance, generally has good writing--which they need, because even their good plots are un-original to the nth degree. Bethesda sometimes pulls out a good plot, but their writing is usually poor. Obsidian does some SPECTACULAR writing, but their games are generally buggy and unfinished.

Writing for games is a lot harder than just about any other type of writing because there are some very harsh limits on the delivery of the writing. It's not like a book where someone is predictably going to start at the beginning and finish at the end, so you can put in lots of well-placed and -timed foreshadowing, alternate scenes, etc. etc. etc. Even the most railroady games are going to have delivery issues due to the perceptual switching from action-sequence to cut-scene/dialog sequence.

One thing that may help is to come up with novel ways to avoid the whole "cut scene" and "locked-eye-contact" dialog that Yahtzee was complaining about with standard RPG's. Valve did this with Half-Life 2, after all.

Most games are still chasing the blockbuster model, though, so there's not a lot of innovation in the front-end stuff.

Read this just as I was posting. You took the words right out of my mouth.

Sorry guys, Breed takes the cake. No other game can compare when it comes it voice acting/story.

I stand before you...and a tear falls into my handkerchief

Worst line ever. Worst voice acting ever. It was the last time I ever bought a game without researching it first. Definitely wasn't worth the $3 retail I paid for it.

Brotherofwill:
Your argument kind of went down the drain for me when you mentioned Max Payne in the games with good story bit.

Really? NY cop on a revenge trip is a good story that engages the player to care for the hero and look forward for twists? C'mon.

A guy named Max Payne, with 1 grim and 1 normal facial expression, that goes around killing people... Am I missing something? The dream level was awesome though.

Because it's about as jam-packed with as much self-effacing narm as Rocky Horror. While the whole "darker and edgier" noir-ness is dialed up to eleven and your protagonist runs around with a permanent constipated grimace on his face while internal-monologuing his way through a New York hellscape, the narrative elements tie in very nicely. The TV shows, radio programs, mook dialogue and general pacing of bad guy groups are very well done, and really bring out the B-movie thriller motif.

It's a Deus Ex that's rather more lovingly satirical of its originating genre. Indeed, I like Max Payne more than I do Bruce Willis in Die Hard (though most Bruce Willis action movies tend to take the piss as often as not of various action movie tropes).

That said, somebody pointed out earlier that it doesn't matter WHAT the writing is in any particular game, as people will buy it anyway, so unless the developers of that game happen to be a small company without any bottom-line marketing myopia and/or with actual vision in how they would like their game to be depicted, you're likely to get as little as they can get away with.

Modern Warfare 2 had the world's dumbest plot line, but such was totally forgettable and really only served as thinly-veiled bridges between disparate levels. Super Mario Bros didn't have to explain why World 3 was Water World, World 4 was Ice World and World 5 was Big World. Modern Warfare 2 tries to do just that and still take itself seriously. It's utter dross. It hasn't at all hurt their sales figures.

The people who made Max Payne, if I recall correctly, came outta some Scandinavian country and toured around New York City for a while, getting the idea of settings in their game. They did a pretty nice job for a foreign outfit in their depiction of a noirish New York - and I speak as a local - but they had absolutely no incentive to do so except as a lark.

I could make the rather dismal conclusion that the average gamer wouldn't know good literature if it slapped him in the face, but I suspect a closer answer would be that the average gamer simply doesn't care, and any storyline that doesn't actively -get in the way- of his enjoyment of the gameplay is acceptable. In that stead, Dragon Age: Origins was to me Bioware's most mediocre work, as it felt like a committee put it together in an expressed effort to make sure absolutely no aspect of the writing or plot got was ever offensive or jarring enough to get in the way of what the player wanted to do at that moment in time (which was most likely to run every side-mission possible so as to twink himself). And without any vision or direction, it was practically paint-by-numbers plot writing. Boilerplate.

To me, unfortunately, such a motivation for inoffensiveness makes Fallout 3, Oblivion, Modern Warfare 2, Fable 2 et al absolutely insufferable, but to somebody else it doesn't matter because they didn't - nor must they - pay attention to that aspect of the game at all. I suppose where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise.

Mysnomer:

Georgeman:

The problem with Devil May Cry 4 is: Why not let us (the goddamn players) do all this cool stuff? It's really annoying at times.

No, the problem with DMC 4 is that it threw away the winning formula of 3 to introduce a lame, gimmicky character and copies and pastes half the game. Facing each boss twice is a nice, nostalgic Capcom tradition, but that second round should come at the end, and a third is unacceptable.

Also, whoever had a problem with DMC 3, the "angst" in that is what angst SHOULD be. A suppressed emotion that comes through in the characters actions (Dante's anger at his father and subsequent denial of his demonic powers and dislike of his brother, who embraces said powers), rather than what we all dislike, wangst, where the characters talk at length about their problems (Lady sort of falls prey to this, but that's because they have to tell you all her backstory; that doesn't make it good, just forgivable).

Um, to be honest, I should redirect my complaint to the Devil May Cry series in general, not just the 4th one. What with Dante getting pierced by swords and acting like nothing happened. Oh, and the introduction to the third game is so ridiculous that I laughed and facepalmed. You see, the games spoils you from the very beginning and then, suddenly, the game proceeds to rape you. (What with the dumb decision to set the Hard difficulty as the Normal one in the original Playstation 2 version.) You are not such a badass then, aren't you, Dante-boy?

Georgeman:

Mysnomer:

Georgeman:

The problem with Devil May Cry 4 is: Why not let us (the goddamn players) do all this cool stuff? It's really annoying at times.

No, the problem with DMC 4 is that it threw away the winning formula of 3 to introduce a lame, gimmicky character and copies and pastes half the game. Facing each boss twice is a nice, nostalgic Capcom tradition, but that second round should come at the end, and a third is unacceptable.

Also, whoever had a problem with DMC 3, the "angst" in that is what angst SHOULD be. A suppressed emotion that comes through in the characters actions (Dante's anger at his father and subsequent denial of his demonic powers and dislike of his brother, who embraces said powers), rather than what we all dislike, wangst, where the characters talk at length about their problems (Lady sort of falls prey to this, but that's because they have to tell you all her backstory; that doesn't make it good, just forgivable).

Um, to be honest, I should redirect my complaint to the Devil May Cry series in general, not just the 4th one. What with Dante getting pierced by swords and acting like nothing happened. Oh, and the introduction to the third game is so ridiculous that I laughed and facepalmed. You see, the games spoils you from the very beginning and then, suddenly, the game proceeds to rape you. (What with the dumb decision to set the Hard difficulty as the Normal one in the original Playstation 2 version.) You are not such a badass then, aren't you, Dante-boy?

Devil May Cry's story is all about the ridiculousness of it all. Same with Bayonetta. Why take it seriously when the guys behind the games weren't?

Woe Is You:

Devil May Cry's story is all about the ridiculousness of it all. Same with Bayonetta. Why take it seriously when the guys behind the games weren't?

The thing is: Some of those cutscenes are long. I wouldn't mind if they weren't too long and not showing more awesome things that what you can do, but unfortunately that is exactly what Devil May Cry does. As for Bayonetta, yeah... I watched the Bayounotta (or whatever she is called) Boss Battle and I believe that no comment is necessary.

Eruanno:
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.

Pervert :)

Jonesy911:

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

No you're not.
Turn based battle system is the backbone of any good tactical game. Real time tends to make planning and strategic thinking nearly impossible, leaving success to the hands of luck.
Hence I don't play RTS'

In some real time RPG, though, pause has been added to acquire some control over your (dumb)AI combatants, but it too, in my hands, turns into a bloody mess and perpetual use of quicksave.

I really wish Joss Whedon would write and plot a game. The guy single handedly saved genre television.

well not all the Unskippable cutscenes were from games with bad stories

but yeah having a good story isn't THAT hard...but you also gotta work it in with the gameplay mechanics and the level design...that's probably where the story gets screwed a lot =/

Halo 3. Basically everything Master Chief and the Arbiter said were cheesy one-liners.

I know you asked for bad examples, but I'm going to name a good example of resources NOT wasted: Borderlands.

The speaking characters were written perfectly (oblivious rednecks, not much of an achievement in the department of character development) and everyone else: silent! As much as I hope the sequel features higher production value (more speaking roles and more than a handful of fully animated faces) I have to praise Borderlands for focusing on what counts: an immersive gameplay experience with excellent gun play, cemented by a spartan storyline and hardly anything else.

As far as bad writing is concerned, the games that most readily jump to mind are the Xbox Ninja Gaiden games, but they're not really the kind of games that you play for story to begin with. I remember being extremely unhappy with Advance Wars: Days of Ruin, but that's not so much because the writing was explicitly bad as it is because I felt like they'd sapped from it everything original and charming about the series so they could put it in a more serious setting in an attempt to appeal to the older kids. I mean, I had fun with it and everything, but that's only because the core gameplay remained unchanged. All of my favorite characters were nowhere to be found and the only colors in the game were orange, purple and pink.

I thought the Fire Emblem games were written pretty well. At the very least, most of the characters feel more like individual people than faceless units. I'm inclined to say that Beyond Good and Evil had good writing, but it's been so long since I've played it that all I really remember is absolutely loving it.

Tears of Blood:
...
Maybe I'm just more accepting of all the nonsenes I am fed when I play my games, but I really do not see bad writing in the same places you do.

I've actually got a theory on why you don't see bad writing in the same places some of us do. I'm guessing from your Darker Than Black avatar that you're an anime fan, like myself, and I think that (although DTB is probably one of the best shows I've ever seen) maybe all of the poor quality writing in anime today has desensitized you to the sheer retardation of some of the crap that the game industry tries to sell us. On top of that, I think that certain Japanese games (such as the Final Fantasy franchise, at times) end up falling victim to bad writing in some of the same ways that many anime do. I've got a few theories on why anime writing (most particularly, the shonen variety) tends to suck, but I think the one thing they have in common most of the time is what I call the "Unlikeable Douche Model."

What is the UDM? The Unlikeable Douche is that one guy (or sometimes, even that whole cast) who seems to react to every situation in the most inhuman way possible. I don't mean "evil" or anything, I just mean in a way that defies all logic. The Unlikeable Douche is that guy who ends up getting thrown into a portal to another dimension where he learns that everything he knew was a lie and that everyone he loved is dead, but can only manage to muster up enough emotion to respond to these discoveries with a resounding, "Oh..." The Unlikeable Douche is the guy with the inexplicable haircut, that is entirely too accepting of the bizarre circumstances that he's been thrust into and doesn't even seem to understand his own motivations. The Unlikeable Douche is the guy who only seems to follow the main plotline because it's the main plotline. The Unlikeable Douche is typically dull as oatmeal, has the depth of a cardboard standee and manages to be stronger than any other character in the story for no real reason.

Good examples include:
-Tidus from FFX
Nominated namely for

-Saito from Zero no Tsukaima
Nominated for only seeming to want to leave the love of his life to go back to his own boring world because it exists (he doesn't really seem to care much about his family or friends considering he never really mentions or even thinks about them) and because, like most harem protagonists, he has an almost pathological obliviousness to the feelings of everyone around him.

-Shiro from Fate/Stay Night
Nominated for...well, generally being dumb as a brick.

-Sora from Kingdom Hearts
Nominated for doing shit like this.

I'd say that Shinji Ikari qualified, too, except for the facts that he was actually meant to be a somewhat boring person and that he actually has emotions (even if they're unstable and most of them involve him wetting his pants in one way or another). The UDM comes in many flavors, such as Antagonist and Supporting Character, but they all end up tasting just like earwax anyway.

Edit:

Supraliminal:

Jonesy911:

Megamet:

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

No you're not.
Turn based battle system is the backbone of any good tactical game. Real time tends to make planning and strategic thinking nearly impossible, leaving success to the hands of luck.
Hence I don't play RTS'

In some real time RPG, though, pause has been added to acquire some control over your (dumb)AI combatants, but it too, in my hands, turns into a bloody mess and perpetual use of quicksave.

Second. I do like when RPGs manage some kind of workable real-time combat like in Kingdom Hearts, but turn-based gameplay is still a staple of the genre. Complaining that a game is turn-based is kind of like complaining that you can't use your hands in soccer. Some games just can't work in real-time and even if they could, it wouldn't necessarily make them better.

My two cents.

Oblivion needed many more voice actors. The studio had more than 12 people on hand. Heck, they could have used family members, a local school...anything really because when you are in a town and hear people talking to themselves it destroys the setting.

Also, telling me the guy down the street sells light armour is not a rumour! He has a large sign saying that. Did he pay you to say that to everyone? It really annoys me when competing merchants tell me how good their competition is.

Fallout 3, while the main quest had moments of bland, most of the game stands out for story in my mind. I love exploring and this just fed me to the brim. Moments for me that stood out
[Spoilers ahead]
Anadale. Period. I loved this place. It just made sense to exist and the residents acted realistically.
Upon rescuing my dad, and he comments on my actions. This was the moment I was sold on his character. I felt tied to him, and his death was a real motivation.
If you sellout the escaped slaves to the slavers, they still offer you a chance to help. No magic eyes to turn against you. Ignorance is rare in games, where factions seem to have mind links and know all.
Finally gob. For a character with so few lines, I liked him. I killed Moriarty because of him. I wanted him to be free. I have no idea why the empathy existed, but it was real.

Finally, strategy games. Any game where victory is just a rush away, individual characters are just another piece of cannon fodder. The faction should have a motivation, but why care for a grunt when ten more are just 30 seconds away. I think Dawn of War 2 did this well, since the characters improved as you played. The worst story, voice acting and writing I have experienced was in Command and Conquer-Renegade. The entire story I had but one thought.
Mammoth Tanks could have this done in no time. Plus a lot of the story seemed to cover the same ground as the first game, where you did just that. Oh, and it was horribly voiced.

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