On Audio Logs

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 NEXT
 

As i said before, arcade AVP > all the other avps combined. Nothing like being a cyborg ninja blowing up aliens in half with a giant ki blast. (And how many times must I mention Arny with a machinegun arm that pile drives aliens to their deaths?)

Yahtzee Croshaw:

Also, why does everyone feel the need to record every slightest thought that crosses their minds

That's my question about blogers.

RandV80:
Yeah, not much point to audio logs if you have to open a menu to play them. Fallout 3 did that too. It didn't over or inapropriately use them, but you had to go into your pip boy to hear them.

In Batman Arkham Asylum audio logs could be listened to during gameplay or in a menu (in case you didn't want to risk a it being cut off, and that has happened before).

I don't know where I was going with that statement.

I just started playing through Doom 3 again two days ago, so this strikes home like hell. I can't even be bothered with the audio logs half the time, but then I die for not grabbing the surplus medkits. Damn that hard difficulty setting.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Extra Punctuation: On Audio Logs

What happened to all the paper?

Read Full Article

Can't stand audio logs personally. Not because I think it's lazy or whatever, but just because they don't seem to work for me... you find a lot of them thrown throughout the world and I usually don't listen to them right away and they stop making sense in the context they were supposed to be in... or I'm trying to listen to them while walking along and see something shiny or something trying to rip my head off and my concentration listening to the babble of a few crazy scientists suddenly takes a turn to the worse while I try staying alive long enough to save the day.

For me there's places and points that should all be about storytelling and dialogue and others about gameplay. Both Mass Effect and Dragon Age actually did this pretty well, there's no other outside influences when you're talking to someone and you can sit there and read everything that's being said and think about your response.

Also I usually tend to forget what the last audiolog said 10 minutes down the line, because they aren't exactly concise and usually are just bits and pieces of a conversation or someones thoughts without much of a link or much significance to the story.

I like the way Bioshock does the audiologs because it's non-intrusive. The issue I always saw with text (aka Yahtzee's pen & paper) was that the user never really wants to stop and read all of it. Example: I ended up skipping a huge majority of the codex stuff in Dragon Age, and even most of it in Mass Effect 2(as most of that is redundant from the first game as well). Audio is just more convenient for the gaming purpose, even if it does just serve as background noise while you blast away whatever is coming to get you. Sure, sometimes it makes sense to have it, and sometimes it doesn't but there's no gain without a little cost. Why did sir mcfuckface leave me an audio log about the monster in the next hallway? Answer: I don't really care - it's at least mostly entertaining & informative.

There are proper ways to go about it

I'm a bit confused by how BioShock was a risk. It seems like the typical shooter only with (heavy) aesthetic changes, which is about the only thing that seems to separate shooters anymore.

Ok Yahtzee, I understand you're a critic and all, but are you at the point where you just complain about EVERYthing for the sake of it?

I respect your opinion and all; you seem to have good taste, but sometimes you make me so depressed about gaming I wish I were born a pear.

ark123:

RJ Dalton:
You know, text logs never bothered me that much. In fact, I really loved them in Deus Ex. You didn't have to read them (except when they contained password information, which in that case you found the info quickly and even then didn't need because the game usually had other ways of completing the objectives), but if you did want to take the time to read them, you could find out so many interesting things about the world and what was going on in it.

Thats probably a good use for them, making them unimportant but having stuff about the world in them. Like most notes you get on RPG journals.

And you even found the logs in places that made sense. On computers, on or in desks, on dead bodies, in newspapers lying on desks, tables or next to toilets. Deus Ex was awesome.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
But what excuse do the citizens of Rapture have? Is everyone just taking notes for their future autobiographies?

Well, given that they'd have to be self-centered Objectivists to move there...yeah, probably.

one game i can think of that did logs well was fallout 3, it had audio logs too, but it made sense when you found a diary or whatever on a computer and maybe a recording on the desk too. Like in the dunwich building, it added a lot to the atmosphere *shudders* i soon as i went into that place i wanted to leave, but i couldnt bring myself to do so because i had to find out what happened.

The one game in recent memory that used Audio logs was for me, Batman AA, not a horror game for sure, but it did it well. Finding those little cans containing patient interviews around the place was a great way to fill in the back story, and instil some subtle menace into some otherwise comedic characters.

Hubilub:
Don't forget Yahtzee, in AVP you play a Latino-American!

So the guys who made the game aren't racist. They just think we're retarded.

... Damn them.

Damn you, I was going to oh-so0smugly point this out, as well.

Anyway, obviously not all of "the controllers" want mindless drivel and not all of them think we're stupid.
But quite a few apparently do.

Kilgorn:
one game i can think of that did logs well was fallout 3, it had audio logs too, but it made sense when you found a diary or whatever on a computer and maybe a recording on the desk too. Like in the dunwich building, it added a lot to the atmosphere *shudders* i soon as i went into that place i wanted to leave, but i couldnt bring myself to do so because i had to find out what happened.

True, but I didn't listen to half the logs because it makes you pause the game and go into the data menu just to listen to each one. By the time I did listen to them, I was already far beyond the point where it would have had the most impact (ie. when I was actually inside the Dunwich building).

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Extra Punctuation: On Audio Logs

What happened to all the paper?

Read Full Article

Hey!? Where is the mention of Fun Space Game: The Game !? I am actually extremely interested in playing it. Especially if it includes jetpacks and/or giant wolves that shoot lazers out of their mouths.

Like Valve did for Half Life 1 and 2 with setting the scene, 4A Games does the same thing in Metro 2033- and it is amazing.

Yahtzee got it exactly right....Huh.

This is something more game makers need to understand. The little tidbits, like audio logs, can help in making or breaking a game. In Bioshock, it was about getting a feeling for what happened to the city before I had the chance to stomp around, painting a picture of what was going on.

However, in some games, I am noticing that logs have become idiotic.

"I wonder why I haven't heard from that explorer team recently. I heard there were aliens around, but they were marines. They should have been fine."

OK then, what happened to them dumbass? Maybe everyone flicked off their radios, and decided to stay in the dark cave for a long time. Camp out, ya know, enjoy the sights and sounds....
I kinda like the audio logs, because sometimes you do find em in lulls in the action, and its something interesting to listen to. However, if you can quickly answer all the questions, or possibly mysteries that the log is telling you, its not a damn log, its damn stupid and annoying.

Next, Yahtzee raises another point. Has gaming become too full of itself? Sure, I understand a business environment demands you stick with success, but I can at least hope the masses will eventually tire of the same "success" and the industry will have to innovate...right?

In doom 3 and Bioshock you can continue to play while listening to the audio logs. And from what I've heard, many other games are allowing this too.
I find it fun to travel through a creepy area while hearing the backstory of the place in the background via an audio log.

THGhost:
Yahtzee does realise that you CAN play AVP whilst listening to it's audio logs, right? Obviously not...

Sometimes i wonder if yahtzee actually plays games, and doesnt just Troll forums for complaints for the latest game he's meant to be reviewing. Hehe xD

I feel the need to summarise this article in one phrase.

GAME DEVELOPERS NEED TO SHOW, NOT TELL THEIR STORIES!

Seriously, it just feels patronizing to get the story told like it's bedtime. And none shall patronize me!

Menu schmenu. Audio logs in bioshock were just the same as doom. Except I was less interested. I'm still playing through the game, on the 3rd arc now, but I don't see what all the hullabaloo was about. It looks pretty, but the enemies are all pretty bland and for all the uniqueness of the setting it's just a corridor crawl with a watery exterior. There's something to be said for arriving in a place after the shit has already hit the fan, and trying to figure out what went wrong, and something to be said for being in that place, both before, during and after the calamity. Rapture's a cool place, but I would rather be there in its heyday, in more of an RPG setting. Or at least, have some sense of what it was, so that there's actually some sense of loss.

Doom 3 has this. You arrive, things are status quo, then things go to hell and you're the only one left. Half Life 1 has the same sort of appeal, an appeal that Half Life 2 is lacking in my opinion. Being the only one left, not getting to talk to any NPCs, that's getting so old and predictable.

When a guy tells me "come and meet me, let's shake hands" and you know that it'll never happen, it's like what's the point?

RJ Dalton:

ark123:

RJ Dalton:
You know, text logs never bothered me that much. In fact, I really loved them in Deus Ex. You didn't have to read them (except when they contained password information, which in that case you found the info quickly and even then didn't need because the game usually had other ways of completing the objectives), but if you did want to take the time to read them, you could find out so many interesting things about the world and what was going on in it.

Thats probably a good use for them, making them unimportant but having stuff about the world in them. Like most notes you get on RPG journals.

And you even found the logs in places that made sense. On computers, on or in desks, on dead bodies, in newspapers lying on desks, tables or next to toilets. Deus Ex was awesome.

I agree buddy but we aint never gonna see another good one again. Give up on hope.

ark123:

I agree buddy but we aint never gonna see another good one again. Give up on hope.

ACK! MY HOPES!!!

I'm starting to get the same idea about the "them thinking we are stupid" thing. The other option I see is that developers want to explain everything... EVERYTHING. They don't want to leave anything to the gamer's imagination because it's the dev's game and they want things explained the way they want to explain them.

Metal Gear Solid 4 comes across as the perfect example of this. In a game made by a normal person, finding your first gun might go something like this: You see a dead soldier with a gun next to them and you pick it up. While not particularly imaginative or compelling it's just a gun you want and that should be enough. Hideo wants to put together a organization of underground weapon dealers and goes over how they get past the security features and how the weapons work with the nano robots and what the weapon dealer's favorite soda is and blah blah blah blah. Two things Hideo 1. We will just fill in the blanks ourselves and 2. We don't give a shit. The moment you make nano robots that improve a soldier's ability and then make a whale sounding thing that messes with them; we don't need to know how they interact.

However I do see where this mentality comes from. I've seen so many think tanks in forums where people with too much time on their hands talk about the most miniscual details from there favorite form of media and after going over several different theories they have to have the question answered. Whether to increase their e-penis by being proven right or just being a little too into whatever it is they care about they demand that the people behind the project fulfill the gap. In conclusion, I blame the internet.

no idea if this has been mentioned already because I haven't read the entire comment stream yet, but one game where I thought the audio logs had potential was Batman: Arkham Asylum. The tapes of inmate interviews could have given a greater insight into the villains of Gotham (especially to gamers not familiar with the DC universe)and I personally thought they would have added greatly to the atmosphere and experience whilst working your way around the island. This WOULD have been the case if it weren't for the obvious dross each inmate spouted in the tapes. They told you nothing other than a bunch of cliches related to each character, like Joker's random jokes and Croc's cannibalism innuendos. YES YOU LIKE EATING PEOPLE WE GET IT!
If the conversations in the tapes had more substance then maybe they could've improved the narrative of the whole game. Alas, an opportunity missed i feel...

I can take or leave either written or recorded logs. Frankly, if the game does such a bad job of telling a story through the visual spectrum or through gameplay, a few horribly recorded pieces of info are not going to be the saving grace. But this all calls back to where developers put their priorities in gaming. It has to look as pretty as possible, but not make a lot of sense. As long as everything is loosely tied together in a messy narrative spoken in the introduction, then everyone should be happy.
In Mass Effect, nearly every new thing you touched got its own entry in your log, describing what it is and/or the history behind it. In Prototype, you were required to learn as much as you could about the plot behind the game through ingesting people with information to finish your Web of Intrigue (which sounds like some lousy Spiderman game to me) just to earn an achievement.
I'm willing to accept that different people have different reasons to entertain themselves. If I wanted to listen to someone drone on about their lives and what is going on, then I could sit online and listen to podcasts. If I wanted to sit and read a shitload of text describing something or postulating about events, then I could... oh wait, that's why I come to these forums. Just because you stick a randomly generated nobody into a game does not equate with them getting ample opportunities to run their mouths off about how life in this virtual environment sucks while they are cleaning toilets on an abandoned space station full of demonic alien life forms. Give it time before both written and audio logs are done away with and replaced with video logs... you know, like cut-scenes. Oh well, already screwed up that prediction.

Jbird:

THGhost:
Yahtzee does realise that you CAN play AVP whilst listening to it's audio logs, right? Obviously not...

But, can you pay attention to them while doing so? Not everyone can multitask in that fashion.

Of course you can. Anyone that can't multi-task can't be a very good gamer.

Yahtzee, Actually the need to beat players over the head with story can be warranted. Half-life had subtle story, but your dipshit friend Matt didn't get it and won't shut up about it.

Best use of audio logs? The Malkavian Primogen, Doctor Grout, in Bloodlines. His slow and steady descent into rampant paranoia while you explore the Escher-esque house really doesn't prepare you for the point where

Honestly, Borderlands had one of the funniest sets of audio logs I've ever seen. Even though the game didn't have much story, listening to Tannis go crazy while completing grinding fetch quests did lighten things up a bit.

lupis42:
The best audio logs I've seen in a game were the voicemail messages from the original FEAR.

Yeah they were good but I always hated unintentionally missing some of them in my playthroughs.

Some of the answering machine messages found from dialing numbers from The Darkness were epic;

"If you have been stabbed press 1, If someone is stabbing you press 2, If you are stabbing someone press 3"

Audio Logs are like sugar cubes: a little goes a long way.

Take BioShock, which was very hit-and-miss. The biggest hit was Dr. Steinman. For one, he had only a handful of diaries: four or five, if I remember correctly. Secondly, they all made sense in terms of setting and character. Most of the logs are found in his office and his operating room. Being a doctor, Steinman would have reason to use hoity-toity audio logs, since one, he's a doctor who would need to keep notes; and two, he's a narcissistic artist-doctor who uses the logs as his own personal diary. They're all very personal, you can picture him sitting at his desk as he says them, instead of being in the middle of a shootout and going "oh snap I should probably record this." Finally, each log contributes something to his character or the story, managing to convey his fall from a promising starry-eyed doctor to a schizophrenic spliced-up madman.

On the other hand, Frank Fontaine had about a hundred audio logs going "Bwa ha ha I'm the dog's bollocks," in addition to him calling you up on the radio every five minutes to say "Did I mention I'm the dog's bollocks?"

Yahtzee:
I can't think of any other reason that the Alien and Predator campaign would both be first person, when their respective mechanics both emphasized awareness of one's surroundings that a third person viewpoint would have vastly improved

Because the campaigns were MADE for the multiplayer. And the multiplayer is all FPS style. They're nothing more than overextended controls tutorials, despite what any of the devs say. I know your schtick about single-player having to stand on it's own two legs, but you can't bold facedly ignore what the campaigns really are.

THGhost:

Jbird:

THGhost:
Yahtzee does realise that you CAN play AVP whilst listening to it's audio logs, right? Obviously not...

But, can you pay attention to them while doing so? Not everyone can multitask in that fashion.

Of course you can. Anyone that can't multi-task can't be a very good gamer.

Define "good gamer", because not everyone is the same. Every person has their own niche of games they're more comfortable playing with. Take me for example: I can't stand playing first-person shooters, but I do enjoy shmups. I can pay attention to all the bullet-hell on the screen while trying to navigate my ship. I don't claim to be great at it, but I can say I can multitask in that form, alone. And I wasn't referring to multitasking in general. I say again:

Jbird:
Not everyone can multitask in that fashion.

And, to quote Yahtzee, "You can, but why would you want to?" You can listen to audio logs while disposing waves of suicidal, gun-toting yuppies, but why would anyone want to? And if you bring in having to use a controller as being a gamer, then I would say, "No sh*t." Hand-eye coordination is standard of being able to play games; any game that require fast reactions, for that matter, whether it be video games or real games, like sports and stuff.

The Very Best thing about the first AvP for PC was exactly to take the role of the Predator and have all the necessary freedom to shred those marines to pieces!

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 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
Register for a free account here