On Time Travel

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Jack and Calumon:
Chris E. is truly a great man. He sure put you in your place Yahtzee! Ha Ha Ha.... Bored now.

Calumon: Half Life 2 had a way of travelling forward in time.

Jack: You've never played it! How the bloody hell do you know?

Calumon: I'm made of data and copy your memories while you sleep.

Oh... Jack, be careful of what you dream of. There's no telling what Calumon will do 0_0

Timesplitters 3 was a really good FPS time travel based game. There weren't really many mechanics for the time travel, it's just that the game never took itself too seriously and as a result ended up being really fun. Lots of content in single player to unlock, tons of characters to play as in multiplayer, and memorable characters just made it a great experience overall. I miss FPS games like that.

TheGreenManalishi:
I'd argue that Majora's Mask is time travel done perfectly, in that it isn't a gameplay mechanic so much as part of the environment that can be controlled on a game-wide scale.

Gee, I never would have guessed you'd feel that way, judging from your avatar. That said, I agree wholeheartedly.

Le_Lisra:

SaintWaldo:

Yahtzee Croshaw:
You could even bring up Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask and no doubt gain the approval of Chris E.

I'd rather bring up Legend of Labia: Majora's Minora, because I'm quite sure Chris E. never played with that toy set.

You sir, win for silliest pun of the day. :)

That just might be the pun of the year, let alone today. But I agree, good show.

Damn I'm agreeable today. I don't know what's wrong with me...
take advantage while you can

ultimateownage:
Uh, Yahtzee? Where the fuck's Timesplitters? So, you, you didn't include it? Well you have obviously never played the game, because any one who has would praise it for the best time travel game, and one of the best games, that has ever existed.

It doesn't use Time Travel as a gameplay mechanic, merely a plot device....damn fine games though, the most fun I've had with multiplayer ever.

Premonition:

Edit: Also, Final Fantasy 8 deserves a mention for being so bat-shit insanely stupid.

Did you play through that game? or did you watch Spoony's review? Cause after watching his review I did some looking around and found out that it every bit as stupid as Noah made it sound.

OT:Chris is too cool to debate properly. That or he's a moron who just was begging to get ridiculed. Other than that, my favorite game involving time travel is the Prince Of Persia trilogy :-P I mean, did you see his plan in the second game?

One game that came to mind when you mention time as a "gameplay mechanic" is Cryostasis in which you can "penetrate another character's memory and change the actions taken by that character in the past" <---(wiki)to change history its self. Interesting premise to say the least however it is worth noting that the game got mixed reviews, but from my standpoint it was a fun, and relatively original game for me despite its flaws.

DannyboyO1:

m64:
Perhaps that's not THE best game about time travel and my judgment is skewed by nostalgia, since this was one of the first games I played on PC, but considering probably no one else remembers it, here it goes - "Time Commando" by Adeline Software.

It was a really cool beat'em up/shooter and it's coolness was largely based on the time travel thing used as a plot device allowing designers to present player with extremely varied settings. Every two levels the game moved to a new epoch, with completely different backgrounds, enemies and weapons. Kind of like what Daikatana did without the bullshit talk. The epochs/settings covered were:
- Prehistory;
- Roman Empire;
- Feudal Japan;
- Medieval Times;
- Conquistador (one level on a ship, second in a Mayan/Aztec temple);
- Wild West;
- Modern Wars (one level during the First WW, second during modern 90's conflict);
- Future;
- Cyber Space (as a short final level).

Anyone else remembers it?

That's the one I couldn't remember the title to! Thanks. :)

Another fan of Time Commando here.I used to play it a lot when I was a kid.It's really the first game that popped into my mind when yahtzee mentioned other time-traveling games.It didn't use time travel as a gameplay mechanic,but it was still great that in a single game you could use katanas,laser pistol,fight dragons,spaceman,lions (on the Coliseum).

This would be one of his lazier articles this week.

My favourite time travel game so far would be in one episode during the second season of Sam & Max. Hilarious, clever, and the logic is a lot more straight foward than that of traditional point and click adventure games.

Wow, Chris E. really blew you out of the water. Better watch out, he might start writing counter arguments to ALL of your reviews.

Anyone here play Zork III?

There was time machine in that game (it took me awhile to figure it out - time machines aren't labelled as such, and don't have instruction manuals) that let you travel back, steal some jewels, hide them and return to your time to claim them.

I really liked Shadow of Destiny...I think it was a awesome time travel game

Good time-travel games....well apart from the Prince of Persia and Timesplitters games I don't think i could say I've played any. Timesplitters was pretty damn awesome though. Especially the multiplayer.

Sinclose:

Premonition:

Edit: Also, Final Fantasy 8 deserves a mention for being so bat-shit insanely stupid.

Did you play through that game? or did you watch Spoony's review? Cause after watching his review I did some looking around and found out that it every bit as stupid as Noah made it sound.

OT:Chris is too cool to debate properly. That or he's a moron who just was begging to get ridiculed. Other than that, my favorite game involving time travel is the Prince Of Persia trilogy :-P I mean, did you see his plan in the second game?

I played through it until half an hour after the space thing ended. After that I just gave up, smashed my head on the controller and got drunk. (mind you, this was my second attempt at this game. First time I didn't get past the space part)

The point, if Yahtzee did mean this as a point, is that games should evolve/improve with each iteration/generation.

For various other products (iphone, processors, etc.) each generation is supposed to be an improvement over the 'old gen' and, for the most part, this tends to be true. People get better at making things, new tech, etc. etc. There are still the general hiccups like bad factory, mess up in manufacturing, etc. but 'ideally' there should be a 'bare-minimum' expected and delivered, plus maybe a little extra with each iteration.

His criticism of Super Mario Galaxy 2 is not that it is a 'bad game' per se, but that it doesn't change anything or bring anything new to the table. It is Super Mario Galaxy 1, re-released with some polish/make-up.

To continue on this point (of evolution of games), he arbitrarily decided to look at the history of "time traveling games". He could have easily picked "RTS", action, or anything else.

RTS might have been easier if it is just the 'game evolution' point, since there is Starcraft 2, and all the other RTS clones, etc. and what not and there is a 'clear' evolution (or lack thereof) in all the RTS games since Dune by Westwood.

However, the evolution of 'game genre' probably isn't what he wanted. He wanted the evolution of a "GAME MECHANIC". Time-travel not as a story or backstory, but as an actual game mechanic and how it has improved/changed over time.

I am not 100% sure why he picked 'Future wars'. It could have completely replaced "time travel device" to alternate dimension device/portal and it would work out just as well. He may have picked it as the 'beginning' and 'worst' iteration of time travel as just 'backstory' instead of a game-mechanic.

There are then two 'main' types of time-travel mechanics in terms of games.

1. 'long' global Time-Travel. Mainly in changing the setting. I.e. you are at the 'same' place spatially but different temporally and there is a relatively large gap of time in between (years).

Chrono Trigger, Day of the Tentacle, etc. would fall under this. You change the time but it is the same 'world'.

2. 'short' local Time-Travel. This is for all the action-oriented/instant time travel/forward/rewind of seconds or longer and can rewind 'localized' space. i.e. just you, or just some object.

Prince of Persia, and other action games with a 'rewind' mechanic would fall under this. I haven't played Braid yet (i own a copy) but it seems like it would fall under this category as well.

Either way, games should either

a. Improve upon the 'normal' time-travel mechanics
b. make up a different 'good' time-travel mechanic (a point 3).

If you are going to outright copy a previous game's time-travel mechanic without any improvement (or potentially making it worse), then there should be other improvements/polish that would make me want to play say, Singularity, over just going to go play a different game that delivers everything I want.

This could be the point Yahtzee is trying to make. Of course, assuming that everyone is logical and has a 'point' would self-destruct if we analyze Chris E.

Corv

Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is quite possibly my favourite Zelda game, oddly enough.

Also, Chris E. is obviousely a genius. He must be a member of The fucking Prometheus Society or something.

Stabby Joe:
I can now see Chris E becoming something of an in-joke at the Escapist.

I think you might be right.

Sinclose:

Premonition:

Edit: Also, Final Fantasy 8 deserves a mention for being so bat-shit insanely stupid.

Did you play through that game? or did you watch Spoony's review? Cause after watching his review I did some looking around and found out that it every bit as stupid as Noah made it sound.

OT:Chris is too cool to debate properly. That or he's a moron who just was begging to get ridiculed. Other than that, my favorite game involving time travel is the Prince Of Persia trilogy :-P I mean, did you see his plan in the second game?

I gained a love hate relationship with FF8 after seeing the spoony review. I mean as a kid playing FF8 I enjoyed it, but coming to term with its flaws kinda killed a small part of my childhood, but still. FF8 wasn't that good, and I'm still going through therapy trying to cope with that fact *sniff*

OT: Who is Chris!?

Premonition:

Sinclose:

Premonition:

Edit: Also, Final Fantasy 8 deserves a mention for being so bat-shit insanely stupid.

Did you play through that game? or did you watch Spoony's review? Cause after watching his review I did some looking around and found out that it every bit as stupid as Noah made it sound.

OT:Chris is too cool to debate properly. That or he's a moron who just was begging to get ridiculed. Other than that, my favorite game involving time travel is the Prince Of Persia trilogy :-P I mean, did you see his plan in the second game?

I played through it until half an hour after the space thing ended. After that I just gave up, smashed my head on the controller and got drunk. (mind you, this was my second attempt at this game. First time I didn't get past the space part)

Did you really get drunk? Yeah I understand you, must be awful going through that space part. I mean when I was watching the review I though 'what the hell were they thinking'? And what's more, the plot got a lot worse after that!

Do you know of Spoony? I'd advise you to go watch his very, very long episodic review in case you haven't seen it yet. It's epic and hilarious beyond words XD

Lovely. How's fun space game the game coming along?

Sinclose:

Premonition:

Sinclose:

Premonition:

Edit: Also, Final Fantasy 8 deserves a mention for being so bat-shit insanely stupid.

Did you play through that game? or did you watch Spoony's review? Cause after watching his review I did some looking around and found out that it every bit as stupid as Noah made it sound.

OT:Chris is too cool to debate properly. That or he's a moron who just was begging to get ridiculed. Other than that, my favorite game involving time travel is the Prince Of Persia trilogy :-P I mean, did you see his plan in the second game?

I played through it until half an hour after the space thing ended. After that I just gave up, smashed my head on the controller and got drunk. (mind you, this was my second attempt at this game. First time I didn't get past the space part)

Did you really get drunk? Yeah I understand you, must be awful going through that space part. I mean when I was watching the review I though 'what the hell were they thinking'? And what's more, the plot got a lot worse after that!

Do you know of Spoony? I'd advise you to go watch his very, very long episodic review in case you haven't seen it yet. It's epic and hilarious beyond words XD

ATTN MODS: last offtopic, I swear xD

I honestly don't get drunk. I can feel the booze's effects making me lightheaded and all. But ... beyond that, nothing xD I did try my very, very best though after I played it on my second attempt. (I was like 17 or something ...)

And yes, I have seen almost everything that the man has to offer. Besides his Wrestling stuff. The man is an internet god.

In pretty much every game you use time travel, in a non-canonical manner- you use do-overs. You die/fail and then try again. For you, the payer, this is time travel, ala Prince of Persia. But for the your character, they are actually doing this for the first time when you finally succeed. Looking at this from the perspective of canon/roleplaying this creates a wierd disconnect between gameplay and storyline, where you the player know everything that is about to happen and always happen to be in the right place at the right time, despite the fact there is no way your character could canonically know this.

You character *acts* like he is a time traveler from the near future, knowing everything before it happens, but canonically he didn't die and then reverse time 7 times in a row while you, the player, figured things out.

dennett316:

ultimateownage:
Uh, Yahtzee? Where the fuck's Timesplitters? So, you, you didn't include it? Well you have obviously never played the game, because any one who has would praise it for the best time travel game, and one of the best games, that has ever existed.

It doesn't use Time Travel as a gameplay mechanic, merely a plot device....damn fine games though, the most fun I've had with multiplayer ever.

What about Time Splitters 3? Where you would have to travel forward in time slightly to help your future self complete a task?

Why can't people simply acknowledge the opinions of others without using crass insults to berate them?

Good article though. I have an idea for a game I want to make, and this article convinced me not to use time-travel mechanics. I just don't think I could implement them properly.

Well, as far as time travel games it appears he was going for time travel as more of a central theme of the game rather then just a part of it (as for why chrono trigger was ignored, well its a JRPG). As not to copy the post of time shift, I'd say another game I found entertaining was the legacy of Kain series, whether or not this qualifies is up to each person to judge, since only really in soul reaver 2 and in legacy of kain defiance was time travel really a central theme.

Yeah I'd have to go with Timesplitters 3 too, the final couple levels and the way they all come together is beautiful.

My personal favourite would be Legacy of Kain series. It doesn't include time travelling as a gameplay mechanic but the story is chock full of time travelling mindfuckery.

Well, I liked Majora's Mask myself, though it could get a bit annoying. The Timesplitters series was one of the best shooter series I can remember (hurry playing as tiny monkey of doom in space!). Sam and Max episode 204 used time travel effectively for an adventure game, and was interesting to see. And then that's Braid, which had fun time mechanics for a puzzle game.

What about Okami when...

Personally, I loved the Time splitters series, specially 3. Was also funny to see the constant anomalies with Cortez.

Premonition:
Oh, well, Chrissy is my personal hero at this point. Such style and grace. I have not seen such great debating since, well, ever.
My personal favorite game involving time traveling has to be the very splendid TimeSplitter franchise. Most notably: TimeSplitters 3. There's time traveling in it so it's allowed xD

Edit: Also, Final Fantasy 8 deserves a mention for being so bat-shit insanely stupid.

Hee Hee. I loved the silly wittiness of TimeSplitter. IMO it was superbly done and other FPS should really take notes, especially on the gameplay feature where you and your buddy (or sibling) can do a FULL story Co-0p mode. It really annoys me when FPS these day only integrate on-line co-0p modes and completely forget about how much fun a split screen full co-0p mode can be. There really is no exscuse either, what with TVs being all huge, flat and high resolution. Does anyone remember what it was like playing 4 player death matches of Golden Eye on a 26" CRT TV? I do.

Anyway, my favorite Time Travel game. Race Driver: Grid. Yes, I know, Time Travel in a Racer! whoa man!
In each race you have the ability (5 chances) to travel back in time up to 10second so you can correct little mistakes like driving into walls, into the sand, launching yourself into the air and doing a barrel roll, or just to take the perfect apex as a means to pass your rival. Kind of like Sands of Time, but in a car.

The Escapist should give Chris E. his own feature.

He has such unique views and shares takes his time to write share to us all in his own eloquent way.

Mackheath:

Hubilub:
We need to send fan-mail to this Chris E!

Quickly, someone start a fanclub!

i think cris e is eh pretty cool guy. eh fights Yahtzee and doesn't afraid of anything.

Ah well, fail troll is fail, so I will simply hoist my 2 cents on top of this pile of loose change.

Time travel is always a confusing subject for me; the only game I really understood it with was TimeSPlitters and-after a year- Second Sight. Which, during the first playthrough, skull-fucked my sense of knowing.

I'm a big fan of Chrono Trigger, but I'm also definitely stepping up for Second Sight. Major brain-fuck and so worth it. The one thing that sucked was (spoiler) the hero's magical ability to stand around in cutscenes while imoportant people get killed (/spoiler).

Last good time travel game I played was Majora's Mask.

No mention of The Journeyman Project series at all? Shame, I rather liked The Legacy of Time.

*sigh* I just wish Darkest of Days (which has time travel, so it isn't off topic) didn't suck balls....

Pseudonym2:
One thing that bothered me in all of these games is how the characters stay on the same planet. If the planet,sun, and galaxy are in orbit, wouldn't traveling through time involve getting stuck in space?

That is an extremely good point. Steven Hawking asked "Where's all the time travelers?" The answer? Dead in space.

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