The Big Picture: Off the Charts

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bahumat42:

its probably based on him having watched them. Now say what you will about huckabees, but both the fighter and three kings are brilliant movies. And huckabees is only ever called bad due to its spaced out subject matter (which i can understand as putting people off).

And stop being defensive , the western worlds gaming companies have only recently started telling good stories, (And even then only good by gaming standards). Cut him a little slack, he's a film reviewer he won't have played every game under the sun.

Two things.

1. Yeah, Three Kings is awesome. More people need to see that film.

2. Origin (RIP), BioWare, Black Isle (now Obsidian.. sort of), Troika (RIP), even Lucas Arts have been telling great stories for a long time in the West. It would be worth cutting him slack if he wasn't completely dismissing them for no clear reason.

Being a game critic without having played any games by any of the companies above would be as weird as being a film critic without ever having seen anything by Coppola or Scorsese.

I'm not saying he has to be a game critic, but he should at least know what he's talking about before making a video about it.

I'll never understand how Bob can be so insightful and intelligent about some things, and so willfully obtuse about others.

An example of the former: when he said that games are games and films are films, and it's unreasonable to expect one to be the other. Another: when he pointed out why the live action Transformers movies sucked, and that it isn't because the story's different.

An example of the latter: stating Uncharted has a pretty good story for a Western game. I get the guy likes Japanese games more, and as someone whose favorite games tend to be Japanese, I can appreciate that, but to so abrasively write off Western game storylines is to imply a) they're all shallow (which is untrue) and b) most Japanese game storytelling is stellar (which is, at best, laughable).

The REAL conflict between Bob's film reviewer and Bob's game commentator is that, eventually, one or the other is going to win the tug of war over his ability to reason. I really hope it's FilmBob, because there are huge problems with Japanese game design and storytelling that GameBob will never acknowledge.

Moviebob, are you really downing a game's story you haven't even played? You're saying it comes off as a second rate national treasure and whatnot, but you haven't even played either all the way to completion? You don't own a ps3? You just (implying here) youtube'd the cutscenes? Yet you know enough to put down the story in your video? I'm not saying it is or is not worth downing, all I'm pointing out is that you're REALLY not giving yourself any credibility here. Not very professional there Moviebob...

LoneGunmanO23:
But Metal Gear's basically a movie already.

It is, I watched the whole thing on YT.

For Legend of Zelda for some reason I see Peter Jackson filming it. Because it seems Peter Jackson is the only person who gets medieval era based films or "Fantasy" films not in general just the medieval aspect. Lord of the Rings was well done the extended is even better because he pulls Alfred Hitchcock which is kinda fun watching the movie because you can have fun looking for him in all three without really missing anything in the movie.

Now I know his King Kong wasn't all that amazing I mean Jack Black as the kinda Antagonist did seem kinda strange and all. But that was King Kong...CG Giant Ape and Dinosaurs. Jackson seems to get Swords, Shields, Bows, Arrows, Wizards, Elves, and Dark Creatures of the Abyss. Now all Jackson needs to find is the right cast. And he himself can be in it as a cameo of the guy in Orcarina of Time who sells stuff at the Bizarre. Totally imo I'm sure many disagree with me upon reading this but...just throwing my 2 cents out there.

OT: It's Hollyweird. And every week you have MOVIES ARE WEIRD! section on Fridays.

Zhukov:
Whoo boy.

You just had to throw in that "for a western developed video game" line didn't you?

I'm not even gonna touch that. Because if I did it would just consist of me yelling, "Bioshock!" over and over.

And now I've started touching that.

...

I'm outa here.

I was going to yell that too. Then I thought about it a bit. The average western video game story isn't that great.

Bioshock is just one tremendous exception.

I couldn't agree more. the fact that they wanted Nathan Fillion in the role made me lose all faith in the nerds trying to bash this out of existence. shut up.

Father Time:

Zhukov:
Whoo boy.

You just had to throw in that "for a western developed video game" line didn't you?

I'm not even gonna touch that. Because if I did it would just consist of me yelling, "Bioshock!" over and over.

And now I've started touching that.

...

I'm outa here.

I was going to yell that too. Then I thought about it a bit. The average western video game story isn't that great.

Bioshock is just one tremendous exception.

It was written by a Hollywood writer though, that's something to keep in mind I think.

For a western developed game

Because emo longhairs easily trounce Niko Bellic in terms of complexity!

The more I watch Bob the more I realize he probably just doesn't know much about gaming and should stick to the movies. Like another certain movie critic that doesn't know jack about games which stirred a lot of controversy...
Anyway, I agree with Twilight_guy and I've always thought we had this mutual understanding that films and games are too different/the directors of each medium have methods too differently.

Games based on movies suck and movies based on games suck.

Even for an adaptation that almost always loses something of the original without creating something new and intriguing. In the majority of cases. In my opinion. *Puts on silly hat*
I also agree the bit about "Western developers" was completely stupid for reasons already stated.

mireko:

bahumat42:

its probably based on him having watched them. Now say what you will about huckabees, but both the fighter and three kings are brilliant movies. And huckabees is only ever called bad due to its spaced out subject matter (which i can understand as putting people off).

And stop being defensive , the western worlds gaming companies have only recently started telling good stories, (And even then only good by gaming standards). Cut him a little slack, he's a film reviewer he won't have played every game under the sun.

Two things.

1. Yeah, Three Kings is awesome. More people need to see that film.

2. Origin (RIP), BioWare, Black Isle (now Obsidian.. sort of), Troika (RIP), even Lucas Arts have been telling great stories for a long time in the West. It would be worth cutting him slack if he wasn't completely dismissing them for no clear reason.

Being a game critic without having played any games by any of the companies above would be as weird as being a film critic without ever having seen anything by Coppola or Scorsese.

I'm not saying he has to be a game critic, but he should at least know what he's talking about before making a video about it.

Narrative wise outside of RPG's he is correct. Shooters, platformers, action games, racing games. The wide majority of stuff thats produced in the west is a bit weak plot wise. And he does make a generalisation but he is talking about a fairly wide genre so some generalisations are to be expected, he doesn't hate western developers, so just chillll ^^

Zhukov:
Funny thing is, Bioshock and Mass Effect are both games he's praised in the past.

He's said they should make a Mass Effect movie. And if memory serves he once declared, quote, "...and I fucking loved Bioshock!"

So yeah. I dunno. Maybe he's just trolling for traffic. Given the previous topic, that wouldn't surprise me.

It's not trolling to point out that western-developed games, on the whole, have incredibly simplistic and generally shallow stories.

Bioshock has an interesting story, mainly laudable for the vast space it puts out there for the player to actually think about the story and the circumstances beyond the action taking place right in front of your face. I remember long after I'd finished the game having a discussion with someone about the existence on the Little Sisters and various details around them (why they decided to go with all girls instead of boys or a mix, why they all looked the same, where were the rest of their families, etc. - all unnecessary to gameplay but fascinating for story details). The existence of Bioshock does not make all the very-not-Bioshock games suddenly have improved stories. It, like Uncharted (presumably, given I haven't played Uncharted), is better than the majority.

Mass Effect - much more simplistic story than the above, but with more player interaction options than Bioshock's (not that this necessarily adds depth, only options, and those options are limited to "be a good guy," "be a dick," and "let me get back to shooting things"). Again, an example of a game above the average in terms of story, though in this case it's not exactly a remarkable story. It's good by comparison to most games, not so much on its own merits.

Red Dead Redemption - no idea, haven't played it. Same for Dragon Age.

Halo...wait, what? Who suggested Halo for an example of great storytelling in games and what was he smoking at the time? Halo's story was Marathon-light, at best, with self-satirizing lampoon moments thrown in pointing out how one-note and predictable it was. It's fun, but the story's fairly token.

Half-life is carried by its characters, which is okay since they're pretty nicely developed, especially by game standards, and the atmosphere throughout is right on key to keep things tight and rolling. The story is largely gameplay, which is how story works best in a game. This one I'd put up close to Bioshock.

I could go on, but it'd get even spammier. Point being, the games we remember for having better-than-expected stories? That's why we remember them: they're better than expected. The fact that we can cherry-pick a list like this is basically the point of the statement that's got everyone so up in arms.

I'm not going to try arguing non-Western games have better stories on average because, who'd have guessed it, I live out west. I'm not intimately familiar with the alternatives. That said, I do know there's a whole genre with the word "novel" in it that probably relies pretty heavily on story...

tl;dr - Most games have a pretty weak story. Western games in particular often focus on action over any story at all.

Edit: not that it matters, but given my position I'm sure someone's going to point it out/ask about it/whatever. The avatar is someone's fanart of Yoruichi; I use it because I like the picture, not because I think Bleach is an example of a great story (lololswords).

Eri:
When I go to watch the HQ version it just says stream not found.

That's because there is no quality, low or high, involved in anything Bob does.

Also, fuck Three Kings. Seriously, go watch the original when it was called Kelly's Heroes.

Flamma Man:

Casual Shinji:
Bob, people weren't complaining about the story being ruined, but about changing the whole nature of what made the game appealing.

Casting Mark Wahlberg to play a smarmy, playfull jerk is the best example of this.

That and people were mostly just incredibly shocked at how casually he said the story was going to be "about a family of theieves who protect artifacts" or something, which isn't anywhere near what "Uncharted" is about.

Actually, here's a quote from the man himself.

"This idea really turns me on that there's a family that's a force to be reckoned with in the world of international art and antiquities ... [a family] that deals with heads of state and heads of museums and metes out justice."

Seriously, does that even sound remotely like "Uncharted"?

Yeah, it's not so much that the story is being changed, but just the very nature of it being changed, I mean, seriously, a family of artifact theieves?

A family of artifact thieves isn't that much of a departure from uncharted (they're all ready a gang of artifact thieves, they just aren't family).

The problem is when they say 'oh yeah they protect artifacts and work with museums'. Yeah that's not uncharted.

And another thing is it sounds a lot like a defense game. If they made 'protecting the artifacts' mean 'they go traversing the world and have adventures' then it might work. But as it sounds now ... not good.

Father Time:

Zhukov:
I'm not even gonna touch that. Because if I did it would just consist of me yelling, "Bioshock!" over and over.

I was going to yell that too. Then I thought about it a bit. The average western video game story isn't that great.

Bioshock is just one tremendous exception.

But that's just it.

All good game stories are tremendous exceptions. In both east and west.

They have Resident Evil 5. We have Homefront.

They have Shadow of the Colossus. We have Bioshock.

hem dazon 90:

For a western developed game

Because emo longhairs easily trounce Niko Bellic in terms of complexity!

Burn.

Although I think a better comparison would be emo longhairs vs. generic space marines.

Srdjan Tanaskovic:
So Baz Luhrmann is making a movie based on The Great Gatsby

thats bad how?

in deliciously gimmicky 3D. sounds pretty bad to me.

I've been mildly skeptical on Russel's rendition of Uncharted, but Bob makes a point.

If a direct translation of Uncharted's story were to occur, it most likely wouldn't be as solid in film form. Uncharted's script is basically a modern day take on Indiana Jones.

My main complaint still holds that Mark Wahlberg stay away from the Nathan Drake character. He's a decent actor, but it's definitely not for him. So long as the characters from the game are preserved, I'll be fine. It's the chemistry and personalities that make a good chunk of the narrative experience and if that's ruined, the whole film will crumble.

RowdyRodimus:

Eri:
When I go to watch the HQ version it just says stream not found.

That's because there is no quality, low or high, involved in anything Bob does.

I hope you don't get a probation for this, because that was an awesome burn.

jrcillian:
I don't get this "Nate Drake is a douchebag" thing that Bob is talking about.

Yahtzee explains it best.

Drake is a career thief and at the beginning of Uncharted 2 he says he doesn't want to kill any guards but then pulls one off a roof anyway. Then he gets to the artifact and then deliberately destroys it because there was something inside.

Shjade:
Most games have a pretty weak story. Western games in particular often focus on action over any story at all.

Note that while I only quoted the last line of your post, I read the whole thing.

"Weak story" is not the same as "minimal story." Portal has minimal story, and that story, combined with its integration into gameplay, forms a far better whole than any game, Japanese or otherwise, I've ever played. And I've play a lot of games, of varying qualities from both sides of the pond.

Hell, even though I feel Braid is wildly overrated, its narrative does the whole "ambiguous and interpretive" thing better than 99% of Japanese games that try to do the same thing. Seriously, Japanese storytelling (including games) tends to rely on one of two things: ambiguity without a strong narrative basis from which thoughtful speculation can spring (e.g., Masato Kato storylines, Neon Genesis Evangelion) and fanservice (e.g., too many to count, and not every example involves sex).

There are exceptions (e.g., some of the Zeldas, Final Fantasy 6). But nobody tell MovieBob that, as he's busy praising Other M for making Samus three dimensional as though being three dimensional makes a character automatically compelling and well-crafted. Damn those Western games and their not having good storylines. My kingdom for a "rolling eyes" smiley.

kael013:
"For a western developer"...
BioShock, Red Dead Redemption, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Halo, Assassin's Creed, mother. fucking. HALF-LIFE!
I could go on, but really, what's the point? I knew this would fall on deaf ears when I saw the characters on the "potentially good movies" slide (Hint: 2 Nintendo franchises, 1 Konami, and I didn't recognize the other).

Why only the 6? There have been thousands of Western developed video games since the beginning of this medium, so the you can choose from a wide canyon. But your side keep going for the same 6? Are you guys really that lazy and cannot come up with more choices?

Off the top of my head, I can pad out that list to even bigger:

God of War, Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter, Sly Cooper, Grim Fandango, Day of the Tenatacle, Maniac Mansion, Tales of Monkey Island, Plants Vs Zombies, Amnesia: the Dark Descent, Limbo, Flower, A Boy and His Blob, Beyond Good and Evil, and Portal.

For the record, not all games made in the East with good story lines are RPGs:

Shadow of the Colossus, ICO, Silent Hill, Dino Crisis, Clock Tower, Harvest Moon, Fatal Frame, Okami, Legacy of Kain, Devil May Cry, and Castlevania in general, but Lords of Shadow in particular.

If you want to include RPGs, then the list expands exponentially. I am not going to, but I will remind you that the better JRPG stories come from Atlus, Namco Bandai, Natsume and not Square Enix. Square Enix is not the direction the medium is developing into.

Ok if Uncharted 2 has a bad story than the Mario Brothers story should be compared to Twilight. No wait I take that back, a little worse than Twilight.

Honestly Bob how the hell is that game's story going to make a movie?

I like how the .Hack story transfers beetween book, anime, and game. and that is because they rarly try to transfer the story of one to another medium, instead they just continue the story.

EX: Book > anime > book > four part games (and an anime that game with the games) > books > manga (forget the anime adaptation of book) > book > anime > three part games (continuing strate from the story of the anime)> books > and the current anime!

.Hack dose a good job of going from one medium to the next by just doing the next story, insted of remaking the last story. They did try that one with their manga, but that ended up with fail. it's like if the first RE movie was consiter cannon for the RE games, as it didn't change the overall story of the the first three games, just added a prequel for the first game.

googleback:

Father Time:

Zhukov:
Whoo boy.

You just had to throw in that "for a western developed video game" line didn't you?

I'm not even gonna touch that. Because if I did it would just consist of me yelling, "Bioshock!" over and over.

And now I've started touching that.

...

I'm outa here.

I was going to yell that too. Then I thought about it a bit. The average western video game story isn't that great.

Bioshock is just one tremendous exception.

It was written by a Hollywood writer though, that's something to keep in mind I think.

Interesting.

Although I think Bioshock's story (or at least the twist) wouldn't work nearly as well in a non-interactive medium. So yeah...

The Transformers movies are everything you can ask for really. Yeah they focus on a human, but so what? The Transformers are involved all the time and there's tons of action. I do think it comes from people romanticizing the cartoon. Like Bay is the devil for having the twins, but they were LESS offensive than an Arab country named CARBOMBYA in the cartoon. (And I say this as someone who hated the 2nd.)

Bay > Russell.

And I'm out
image

Something good to remember is that Francis Ford Coppola didn't respect The Godfather the book at all. And look how that turned out.

Shjade:

Zhukov:
Funny thing is, Bioshock and Mass Effect are both games he's praised in the past.

He's said they should make a Mass Effect movie. And if memory serves he once declared, quote, "...and I fucking loved Bioshock!"

So yeah. I dunno. Maybe he's just trolling for traffic. Given the previous topic, that wouldn't surprise me.

It's not trolling to point out that western-developed games, on the whole, have incredibly simplistic and generally shallow stories.

[Epic snip]

tl;dr - Most games have a pretty weak story. Western games in particular often focus on action over any story at all.

(Don't worry, I read the whole thing.)

My point is that the majority of all games are horribly weak on story. It's not just a western thing.

Don't get me wrong, I would never say the Japs can't do a good game story. After all, they made Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. They made Silent Hill 2. Those were good stories. But they also made Resident Evil 5. And FFXIII.

Oh, and Street Fighter. If there is any game that has its "focus on action over any story at all" then that would be it.

And it cuts both way of course. Bioshock was made by a western company. So was System Shock 2. So was Portal. But on the other hand so was Killzone 3. And Halo. And Turok. And Just Cause 2. The list goes on.

I don't mind him pointing out that most games have shitty stories. I agree. They do.

It's the specific jibe as western games that gets under my skin.

EDIT: Wait a sec... did you mean to quote kael013 instead of me? Because your post seems more like a response to his then mine. Now I feel silly.

Anybody other than me read about Mark Wahlberg being potentially shelved for his role as Nathan Drake? Possibly in favor of this guy?

image

Wait, so what he is saying is that Western video games writing is bad, compared to...? Has he ever played Final Fantasy X? Thats go to be the worst written game I have ever played.

Casual Shinji:

RowdyRodimus:

Eri:
When I go to watch the HQ version it just says stream not found.

That's because there is no quality, low or high, involved in anything Bob does.

I hope you don't get a probation for this, because that was an awesome burn.

He trolls and gets paid for it. I should be able to display my thoughts on his work (as it is). I didn't say anything about the man himself, just that his output on the site is severely lacking in quality based solely on what he himself says. I shouldn't get in any trouble for it, and THAT is the big picture lol

Carlos Alexandre:
"Weak story" is not the same as "minimal story." Portal has minimal story, and that story, combined with its integration into gameplay, forms a far better whole than any game, Japanese or otherwise, I've ever played. And I've play a lot of games, of varying qualities from both sides of the pond.

I'm aware. That's why I noted I think Half-Life's story is great: there's barely any broadcast at you, most of it is given through the gameplay itself. Portal's the same way. Of course, that's assuming the gameplay is, itself, story, which is true for both games, which means neither is an example of "minimal story;" they're "minimal exposition." Though that's debatable in the later bits of the Half-life series where it starts turning into action-cinematics galore. I digress.

"Minimal story" does tend to lead to "weak story," partly because it's hard to do a minimalist story that grabs and holds attention, partly because it tends to mean the story got the least amount of focus during development. Not that that means the alternative assures high-quality story - Borderlands comes to mind as a game with an unexpected volume of story that accomplishes very little.

Aww, how cute. Look at all the people screaming about one line in the entire video. Then they trump up all the examples they can think of that "defy the statement" and they're all the same selection. Don't get me wrong, I love storyline in games and I love games that have a really strong storyline. But if you want to make an argument that good story in western games is not in the vast minority, then you need to come up with more than the same few developers and the same handful of games.

Then comes the people saying the "emo longhairs" bit. Congratulations, your only counterpoint for bad writing in Japanese games comes from one game that's been milked into oblivion because of the demand from western markets. How broad minded of you. Even if it's still a minority of the games from Japan that are well written, it's still a better percentage because there is less focus on marketable graphics over there and more into character development and storyline. Maybe if you went beyond the one series that as of late has become more western influenced as of late, you might realize this.

I honestly don't see how any of those 4 "Yet to be made great gaming movies" could ever possibly be a good movie.

Castelvania would just look like a Van Hellsing knock off
The legend of Zelda would look like "Legend" or "The never ending story". Maybe a good animated film but I don't think it would translate to actual film without looking like a hoaky 80s fantasy flick.

Mario Brothers? Again I don't buy it. Possibly an animated kids film but there really is hardly a strong story here and the personalities of all the characters are still 2 dimensional at best.

Metal Gear? Possibly but essentially this would be another navy seal movie or something along the lines of an 80s action hero movie... I'm not sure the mainstream audience is there for that anymore. It's possible a good script could come out of it but It's already been done better in other movies.

Metroid, and Halo have interesting stories but the big problem with those two properties is that the main protagonist is a complete Mute that the player projects themself onto. As soon as you cast that character and give them a face/personality etc. You've already lost one of the Main aspects those characters.

The real interesting movies are the ones with deep story lines and good writing. The entire Mass Effect trilogy could easily be translated into 3 amazing movies and it wouldn't take much to turn the video game story for each game into a script. The second game might take a bit more doctoring than the first but the Main Plot points are strong.

Another good one is the original Bioshock. That story is amazing as well. easily translated to a movie screen with very little alteration.

I could also potentially see Halflife being made into a game because we at least have the face of Gordon freeman and just based upon that we can almost piece together what his personality might be like... Although we'd have to find some time for Yahtzee to take some time off from Zero Punctuation for filming.

The unfortunate reality of any Game to Movie translation is you have to deal with the various "Artists" that make the movie. I was in the acting/film industry for a while and one thing I noticed is that every Director or Producer wants to leave their "mark" on the whatever they are working on. They can't just take a good script and bring it to life. They have to add their own artistic flair/interpretation to it in order to make themselves feel important or push some personal message/agenda. So unfortunately until an actual avid gamer becomes a mainstream movie director or producer we're still going to be stuck with crappy video game based movies.

We're only just now getting Hollywood directors that used to be avid comic readers making movies faithful to their source materials. Jon Favreau (The Iron Man movies), Sam Raimi(The Spiderman Movies), And arguably the most faithful being Quentin Tarantino for making sure that Sin City looked as close to the comics as humanly possible.

So unfortunately a truly great Video Game movie is still quite a ways away, I have high hopes for the Mass Effect movies if they get a good director... but who knows that might go the way of the bioshock & halo movies once budgets are discussed.

Dr Snakeman:

darthotaku:
I've seen alot of people bashing Moviebob about his "For a western developer" line, and I think it's funny that they bring up the same five games. Probably because those few games are the exception. Most games that I play for a good story aren't western made games because western games put more emphasisi on making a profit rather than making a touching story and gameplay.

Right, beacuse spiky-haired adolescents moping around for hours on end is totally good storytelling.

Sorry, pal, but even though Western games with good storylines are in the minority, there ain't much better in the other hemisphere.

because every Japanese game is not only a JRPG, but also has a cliche plot.

Also at least most JRPGs attempt to have a plot beyond GRR I AM BADASS GRR. Many non rpg western developed games can't seem to get past that.

also, a bit of topic, I'm willing to give the Green Lantern film a chance as the director is the guy who saved the bond series twice and directed 2 of the best films in the series, Casino Royale and Goldeneye

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