Extra Punctuation: Why No Couples in Games?

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Come now. how about Sam & Max. Those fuzzy little guys made a great couple.

svenjl:
I also spent much of the game before that wondering if he'd end up with the ranch owner's daughter he hangs out with and helps a lot. It seemed like she had a real soft spot for him. Great game, brutal ending and you bet I had the son hunt down the old SOB fed who double-crossed Marsden.

Yeah, I kind of expected that his wife would die and that he would eventually get married to Bonnie, or something like that. The game also spends much more time in establishing the likable character of Bonnie and her relation with John than is the case with his wife (until the ending that is). There is also this scene near the ending where his wife (forgot her name) meets Bonnie, and I couldn't help to notice the difference between my attitude towards the two women and John's.

The fact that Bonnie remains alone and sad does help in making the story more grim/realistic and less fairytale-ish, though. Not that that wasn't clear yet, but still.

It would be nice to see a game with the protagonist already in an established relationship with someone, a relationship that serves to add depth to the character but is not immediately used either as a plot tool or as the functioning premise of the game. Catherine (anime trope-isms and all-around lack of understanding of the way humans work aside) is a step in the right direction, but it's not what I'm getting at based on what I just described. Why not have a game where player control shifts between the player and the significant other depending on the point in the game you are at? And I don't mean as something level-based. It could even be manual, where the characters have different strengths that can either be instructed (though less effective considering it's AI) when you're not playing them or controlled directly when you are, where you jump between them and therefore have more control not over their gameplay but their interactions and responses? Why not have a game where the missus (or the mister for the politically correct) even as an NPC is not always off-screen as a goal or something to be obtained and instead serves as a constant interaction for a protagonist who does not have to be a silent husk--you know, a 3-dimensional character? In that regard, their relationship isn't what gets the game going, but keeps the characters accessible and compelling. Of course, that requires good storytelling and an understanding of all the possible ways a player might choose to interact with that person. Sounds like hard work, right? But are we really fine with not asking games to work harder to keep us interested 30-something years after gaming really took off?

You know what would be an awesome game? Think of a family like that in the Incredibles (no, I don't mean a game adaptation of the movie, just a concept of an entire family united for a common goal), and set it up where they all have individual pros and cons but all can be controlled by the player; I don't even necessarily mean that you need to give them powers, just things they excel at and whatnot. Make some parts of the game where you only have access to one, but most of the game where you have access to all of them. And make it so that there's no one correct way to go through the obstacles presented in the game. And make some choices easier or harder based on who you interact with and how. You know, it'd be like the Incredibles meets Sam and Max meets (at least from what I've heard about the game) Deus Ex.

The depth and complexity it would require to make such a game come to fruition is immense, I'm sure. But I cannot honestly think of such a concept not being a damn great, timeless game. Or at least the stepping stone for whatever game truly achieves that status.

Having relationships in games would just be boring. How are they meant to be worked into the gameplay? Dragon Age does it best as all it takes are a few gifts and conversations and they're done. Once you're actually in the relationship it would be very boring: you would know just about everything there is worth knowing about that person, so conversations would be a chore.

Hosker:
Having relationships in games would just be boring. How are they meant to be worked into the gameplay? Dragon Age does it best as all it takes are a few gifts and conversations and they're done. Once you're actually in the relationship it would be very boring: you would know just about everything there is worth knowing about that person, so conversations would be a chore.

That's only true if 1) your only interest in a relationship with someone is that you (the player) want to bang said person (which means you're projecting yourself on the protagonist rather than treating them as a separate entity) or 2) the writers behind the games don't have any ability to make the relationship itself or the partner interesting.

How would they work it into gameplay? That's simple, really, based on the idea that a relationship implies (at least) two people going through the events of the game together in some form or other. The idea that two people have to deal with the events of the game together, and that their ability to do so could very well be influenced by how strong or how weak their relationship is, and that the things they collaborate on are based on how well they understand and trust one another, it could be very rich and fulfilling. This doesn't even have to be a co-op system; in fact, I really was only talking about singleplayer. The problem you're having is that you only see relationships as something to be tacked on as a game mechanic or a goal/side-goal to the game, as opposed to being integral to the character(s) and how they interact with the settings and circumstances around them.

In short, rather than deciding whether or not shooting the guy in the head prevents "her" from helping you later or locks you out of that shiny item you wanted, it'd be a lot more fun if the game immersed you enough to care whether shooting the guy in the head would scare "her," or even if you'd rather she shoot the guy in the head for you instead. And that's a very base example of how a relationship could be utilized in-game based on the current bland state of gaming.

Iron Mal:
2- Us as gamers: I rarely use blanket statements to refer to groups but the whole thing about gamers being single losers who can't get a girlfriend is probably not too far from the truth for a lot of us. When the presumed majority of gamers out there are probably single it's a little bit pretentious of those of us who are happy in a relationship to assume tha they are distraught by how they don't realistically show the quirky dynamics of a happy couple interacting and displaying affection for each other, in other words, no, I was not disheartened because I couldn't draw parralells between how me and my dearest beloved talk to each other and how Shepard and [insert your personal choice of love interest here] interacted in Mass Effect (at no point was I ever outraged because they didn't watch movies and play old Sega games together).

FYI around 40% of adults in the US play video games. A majority of people that play video games are normal people with normal relationships with the opposite sex (or even the same sex).

Furthermore, I didn't say that video games needed to have a 'happy couple', I said realistic. Lots of relationships aren't successful or are strained. How great would it be if the character was in a difficult relationship where their partner was slightly abusive? Think of all the interesting choices a game could have if 3/4 of the way through the game that partner was captured. Would you want to come to the rescue to save someone that doesn't seem very loving? Maybe that would save the relationship, maybe it would lead to further abuse.

Relationships are such a huge part of the human experience that neglecting their true complexity robs games of a lot of their potential as a storytelling medium.

KDR_11k:
Well, there's Love Plus, I hear that lets you marry the girl...

But seriously, yeah. I don't get why the girls always have to be virgins and stuff (when you have a young boy and an older female relative in a Japanese videogame, like Sharla and Juju from Xenoblade, they're ALWAYS brother and sister, why not have Sharla be Juju's mother?). I guess they think players want to see those women as THEIR love interest and that nerds somehow demand virgins but can't we move beyond "it's a she because that has sex appeal"?

Speaking of which, didn't Red Dead Redemption feature a married guy whose family is still alive? That's a rarity right there. Meanwhile Relic takes it a bit further with a gruff dude who killed his wife (as well as everybody else on the planet) for heresy and believes he did the right thing.

Because Cerna (I refuse to use the EU name for her) probably would've been considered a bad mother for leaving Juju behind to go on some adventure with a young boy. The current set up is a lot less awkward imo.

Dragon Age 2 had some pretty good relationships, but they develop way to fast. Choose the love dialog choice 2-3 times then you're already in bed with that character.

Actually, Xenoblade's relationship system is pretty good, you actually have to fight along side the characters (in your active party) to increase the relationship level with them. Of course being a CERO B (equivalent to ESRB E10) rated game, they can't go as far as Dragon Age 2. But it's still nice to see that system being implemented.

Back on topic, Catherine seems like a dating sim with some puzzles added, so the relationship will definitely play a bigger part than most other games where shooting and killing is the main focus.

SgtFoley:

hawk533:
I agree that this lack of true relationships in video games is silly and it stops video games from being taken seriously as a medium. Your examples remind me of Aeris and Tifa in Final Fantasy 7. I could never tell which of them was supposed to actually be Cloud's girlfriend/love interest so I didn't really care at all when Aeris died.

I think it as supposed to be Tifa since Cloud met Aeris for the first time during the game and she died about two hours of gameplay later.

Wow, really? Not to be a fanboy or anything, but people clearly shouldn't make references to 10+ year old games unless they've played them recently...

Tifa had a lifelong crush on Cloud, and he for her, be he forgot about the whole thing upon arriving in Midgar, but she didn't. So she loved him, but he didn't really know who she was and exactly how deep their relationship went. He then met Aeris and proceeded to fall for her, but she never really reciprocated fully as she was still caught on her 'first boyfriend' (Zack), the one that Cloud thought he was. So Tifa is gutted Cloud doesn't appear to like her anymore, and Cloud is trying to get Aeris on side.

And by after 2 hours of gameplay, I take it you mean nearer 30? She is introduced pretty early in disc 1 and cops it at the very end of that Disc, after a number of scenes between her and Cloud, including one where you and her can have a date at Gold Saucer if you've played your cards right, and he has dreams about her. And chases her across half the world.

Tin Man:

SgtFoley:

hawk533:
I agree that this lack of true relationships in video games is silly and it stops video games from being taken seriously as a medium. Your examples remind me of Aeris and Tifa in Final Fantasy 7. I could never tell which of them was supposed to actually be Cloud's girlfriend/love interest so I didn't really care at all when Aeris died.

I think it as supposed to be Tifa since Cloud met Aeris for the first time during the game and she died about two hours of gameplay later.

Wow, really? Not to be a fanboy or anything, but people clearly shouldn't make references to 10+ year old games unless they've played them recently...

To be honest I havnt played the game in probably 10 years and dont really care because I thought it sucked. Even still she was barely in the game and I never understood why people cared when she died. Also 30 hours? I mean really I doubt it even took me 30 hours to beat that entire game.

maninahat:

What we need is a Sam and Max style set up, in which the two are around each other consistently, with a secure and knowing familiarity with one another. They can exchange witticisms, alternate play styles, and an affection for each other from the start.

Someone mentioned Guybrush and Elaine in the games following Monkey Island 1, and I'm inclined to agree.

SgtFoley:

To be honest I havnt played the game in probably 10 years and dont really care because I thought it sucked. Even still she was barely in the game and I never understood why people cared when she died. Also 30 hours? I mean really I doubt it even took me 30 hours to beat that entire game.

You're entitled to not share the popular opinion of FF7, but you must know that making clearly wrong statements about things, liking them or not, isn't cool. Never in the game? You did the whole thing in less then 30 hours? Lol, course you did mate, it's not really worth my time to discuss the relationships in this game further with you, have a good one.

I think the reason relationships aren't depicted in video games is because they are BORING and video games are supposed to be FUN.

Let's face it, when you and everyone you know lives in constant danger of being messily torn to shreds, emotional attachment becomes... a weird thing. You crave it, but you know that when the inevitable comes (and it always comes sooner than you'd like), it will hurt you even more (this applies even to us regular peoples... but the chances of a death in our circle is considerably lover, so we just ignore it). How people handle this is up to fucking themselves. Or in the case of fiction, the writers.

Although that might be giving them too much credit.

Hosker:
Having relationships in games would just be boring. How are they meant to be worked into the gameplay? Dragon Age does it best as all it takes are a few gifts and conversations and they're done. Once you're actually in the relationship it would be very boring: you would know just about everything there is worth knowing about that person, so conversations would be a chore.

You know I dated a girl once who's ex-boyfriend was a big gamer. The problem with their relationship was that he viewed it as some sort of video game, which came from a lack of maturity. If he did something wrong, he'd have to produce that magic bouquet of flowers or item that would somehow fix things back to the status quo, or elevate it to the next level.

And it's true, some men view relationships in this way - that there's something you can do to fix it - and this is why game mechanics don't WORK for relationships. A partner isn't someone with morality bars and like/dislike bars. There is no +1 karma for a nice thing you do. Relationships are complex.

This isn't to say that Yahtzee isn't right that relationships should be part of games.

Look at Kane and Lynch (I've only played the first one partway through, but bear with me here). It's a co-op game and they go through it. They banter with one another like an old married couple. There is a relationship there formed by the gameplay, and it could be as simple (lets get through this level) or as complex (why did you shoot me! I'll shoot you right back!) as you want to. Another example of a great in-game relationship is Atlas and P-Body.

Leisure Suit Larry III also had an interesting system that turns the usual adventure concept on its head. For the first half of the game you play a typical Liesure Suit Larry game, and finally sleep with the one character he can sleep with, Passionate Patti. After this, Larry's kidnapped, and you spend the second part of the game playing Patti attempting to rescue Larry. It turns out these characters are made for eachother and two sides of the same coin.

rolandoftheeld:

Counterpoint: By this logic, why is Kane and Lynch so awful? Discussion for another time.

Well because Lynch is a terrible character and the writing is awful?

Kanatatsu:
I think the reason relationships aren't depicted in video games is because they are BORING and video games are supposed to be FUN.

Clearly stated by someone who hasn't been in many mature relationships.

Hey, Roman, Niko's cousin in GTA 4, has the same relationship at both the beginning and end of GTA 4... Well in one of the endings anyway. The two are just getting married as I play it now. Nice touch.

Mrs. Kratos can't feel ANYTHING! She's dead!

jmarquiso:

rolandoftheeld:

Counterpoint: By this logic, why is Kane and Lynch so awful? Discussion for another time.

Well because Lynch is a terrible character and the writing is awful?

^ The joke.

I have to admit I got quite into my gay dude romance with Zevran in Dragon Age 1. I had actually made a male character with the intention of romancing Morrigan (since you can't get her as a female, and I usually go for my own gender/morals/reactions/proclivities with my first character in a game like that.) I started out just amused by him, but he ended up being a deeper and more damaged character than you'd first think. The full romance with him brings another level to the character you otherwise wouldn't see.

I enjoyed my romance as a male Hawke with Fenris as well (first time around was female Hawke and Merril, and I chose Merril because I couldn't take Isabella seriously until I installed a mod that put pants on her) because it was interesting and felt real.

Of course my favorite in Bioware is probably my FemShep and Liara, who at first I only chose for the achievement and because she was the only female/female option but she became quite a bit more interesting in the 2nd game, and the Shadow Broker DLC is all the more awesome/hilarious if you're romancing her.

Maybe the moral here is player-driven character romances are the only ones you can be sure the player will care about.

hawk533:

FYI around 40% of adults in the US play video games. A majority of people that play video games are normal people with normal relationships with the opposite sex (or even the same sex).

While the actual statistics may indicate that most game players are just normal people (and they are, I am aware of that) the general image we have is that of the immature (usually male) teenager with little in the way of a social life who probably has trouble with the ladies. I'm not saying that stereotype is anywhere near being true (although there are tragic examples of it croping up more than most of us would like to admit) but it does taint both the media's and the industry's perception of us which has probably resulted in more than a few trends in games that we all like to complain about.

Furthermore, I didn't say that video games needed to have a 'happy couple', I said realistic. Lots of relationships aren't successful or are strained. How great would it be if the character was in a difficult relationship where their partner was slightly abusive? Think of all the interesting choices a game could have if 3/4 of the way through the game that partner was captured. Would you want to come to the rescue to save someone that doesn't seem very loving? Maybe that would save the relationship, maybe it would lead to further abuse.

Think about this from the perspective of most people, would we want to rescue someone who has been abusive, controling and manipulative towards us? Wouldn't we think of our characer as a spineless whelp who needs to snap out of it? Yes, in reality there are many tragic examples of people who are stuck in abusive relationships because for whatever reason they can't bring themselves to end it or (worse of all) they start viewing the abuse their partner gives them as a twisted form of 'love' or that they deserve it, but this is somewhat different when we see this in a fictional character who's fate we're in control of and who's psychological stresses we aren't feeling. We have no compulsion or delusion keeping us in that situation so when we can have control over every aspect of our character's life but that it detracts from our ability to care rather than adds to it (it's like why we don't mind having our friends complain to us about their day to day troubles but it gets boring and tedious when a fictional character does it).

Relationships are such a huge part of the human experience that neglecting their true complexity robs games of a lot of their potential as a storytelling medium.

Now it's perfectly easy to say that it does that but can you explain how it does that? Take any game that had an otherwise bland and uninspired relationship and tell me how giving extra detail to it would have enriched my gameplay experience and how you would do it without adding unnessercarily laborious expositionary scenes or breaking the flow of the game (for the reccord, I'm disqualifiying the usual answer of 'but it would make them more compelling/make you care more/make them more well developed/more interesting because that's a very blanket subjective statement, a lot of people thought Alyx from Half Life 2 was a very well written and relateable character while she personally annoyed the hell out of me).

there is a game for the DS called Lufia curse of the sinistrals or something like that. at about the half way point the main character marries one of his party members (you don't get to pick I just can't recall her name)and they even have a child over the course of the game who becomes a major plot point, mommy staying in the fight the whole time.

fieryshadowcard:

Hosker:
Having relationships in games would just be boring. How are they meant to be worked into the gameplay? Dragon Age does it best as all it takes are a few gifts and conversations and they're done. Once you're actually in the relationship it would be very boring: you would know just about everything there is worth knowing about that person, so conversations would be a chore.

That's only true if 1) your only interest in a relationship with someone is that you (the player) want to bang said person (which means you're projecting yourself on the protagonist rather than treating them as a separate entity) or 2) the writers behind the games don't have any ability to make the relationship itself or the partner interesting.

How would they work it into gameplay? That's simple, really, based on the idea that a relationship implies (at least) two people going through the events of the game together in some form or other. The idea that two people have to deal with the events of the game together, and that their ability to do so could very well be influenced by how strong or how weak their relationship is, and that the things they collaborate on are based on how well they understand and trust one another, it could be very rich and fulfilling. This doesn't even have to be a co-op system; in fact, I really was only talking about singleplayer. The problem you're having is that you only see relationships as something to be tacked on as a game mechanic or a goal/side-goal to the game, as opposed to being integral to the character(s) and how they interact with the settings and circumstances around them.

In short, rather than deciding whether or not shooting the guy in the head prevents "her" from helping you later or locks you out of that shiny item you wanted, it'd be a lot more fun if the game immersed you enough to care whether shooting the guy in the head would scare "her," or even if you'd rather she shoot the guy in the head for you instead. And that's a very base example of how a relationship could be utilized in-game based on the current bland state of gaming.

Good points. It COULD work, but only if it was really well written, I think. But if you have a companion throughout the story, I can't help but think somebody you have never met before would be more interesting, as you'd have the possibility to find out a lot more about them, and the relationship would have a lot more room to grow. If they are already in a relationship, a lot/ most of their development between each other has already occurred. The writers would have to make the player really care about the in-game partner, which is no easy feat, but, yes, if done well, it would be quite an interesting game.

Hosker:

Good points. It COULD work, but only if it was really well written, I think. But if you have a companion throughout the story, I can't help but think somebody you have never met before would be more interesting, as you'd have the possibility to find out a lot more about them, and the relationship would have a lot more room to grow. If they are already in a relationship, a lot/ most of their development between each other has already occurred. The writers would have to make the player really care about the in-game partner, which is no easy feat, but, yes, if done well, it would be quite an interesting game.

I know it seems to be asking a lot. But we're getting to the point in games where people are almost demanding better writing. The people throughout this thread who seem to be most against exploring an established relationship in games often use what has already come to pass as their basis for an objection to it, when the biggest problem with that is that very few games already in existence use the relationship of a character the way I think it needs to be used to push that kind of exploration. It feels more like automated lines that are based on what exact spot your standing on or if you accidentally nudge an NPC as you walk past them, rather than a fluid character that exists outside of yourself.

I think if we could swap out the word "character" for "relationship" for a second, you might see where I'm getting at. Relationship-driven. Relationship building. Relationship exploration. Instead of a blank slate character who serves as the player's lens into the game, the way to make a relationship an interesting dynamic is to treat the person and their partner as two lenses to a pair of dichromatic glasses.

It's also the case that many games use the relationship as a piece to drive the conflict. If the relationship isn't interrupted/sabotaged early on, then usually no endgame conflict arises from it. But doesn't that simply mean that the writer would then have to create conflict out of something less convenient/more challenging? Would that not mean the writer has to challenge themselves to do something new, both in keeping the relationship as integral as if you were controlling just one character, and in creating a conflict that affects both people and needs both for its resolution, not because one was kidnapped/killed, but because they're both working towards that end goal? It gives the player more options (and of course several limitations) for exploration of their surroundings and it establishes a constant system of consequence. It could keep even the most linear game feeling as non-linear as possible, when you realize you've got two perfectly capable people who have to tackle walking down a straight line in a multitude of ways left up to the player.

And the assumption seems to be that the relationship is good and perfect, which is what a lot of people are saying isn't interesting. They never once consider that the relationship doesn't exactly have to be on the best of terms for the gameplay/narrative to work. A relationship that is either strained or at a point where it could change because of something that may or may not be directly associated with the game's conflict would also be interesting. A less-than-perfect relationship also does not necessarily mean the worst relationship ever, either. It could be possible for your partner to be cruel, controlling, psychotic, and I understand that then the question arises "But why would I want to make anything work with them?" This ultimately falls on the strength and abilities of the writer, one who approaches both characters as people to learn things about and allows us to see cracks in the facade. It is completely possible to write a character as unlikeable but for the viewer to see that they are still an interesting and worthwhile character. And it is also possible to write a character in such a way where your mind not only changes about them, but where it was set up to change about them. Good characterization is key here, and it does not have to be just the love interest; it could be the assumed central character as well.

There's also the case that people are taking the word "relationship" at face value, which I admit isn't helped by Yahtzee's emphasis on the word "couple." Picture this: a game where Batman and the Joker have to drop their agendas to survive, and only after getting out of whatever hellhole they were forced into, can they go back to the usual state of affairs (the endgame cutscene goal, or even the precursor to the actual endgame). Their approaches to solving conflicts are as different as night and day, and it would be easy to see how letting one or the other get their way more would put a serious strain in their teamwork. Hell, if you really wanted to get creative, being forced to let Joker use some of Batman's gadgets could really shake things up.

All this is just playing around with the idea of a collaborative relationship on a more simplistic level. It would require a combination of excellent writing, particularly detailed worlds, non-linear problem-solving, and a mastery of micro-management, to say the least (I imagine there could be and are many, many other elements to making such a game work).

In other words, it's up to our current game writers to do something more than depict a relationship as "something I'd like to have with this hot NPC of mine" or "something I want revenge for losing" or "completely lovey-dovey and uninteresting once I have it," the latter of which pretty much treating a relationship as some quest that's already been completed, when the reality of the matter is that a relationship is a living, breathing thing, always being built on, always changing (for better or worse). You say there's nothing to write for an already established relationship. I say there's EVERYTHING to write. :p

Also, it'd reaaaaaaaaally help my case if writing wasn't such an afterthought for most game design and instead the game was already being made with the story/characters/relationship in mind. And that's not just true for relationships in games. That's true for storytelling all around. We'd have many better games if writing were regarded more highly instead of "Look how realistic our game is/is not" or "Our game is different because of [insert one random slightly unique gimmick" mixed with "Holy crap! Someone quickly write a paragraph of who these people are and why our consumers should care."

It'd also help my case if everytime a suggestion was made for improving gaming people's objections to it didn't stem from them thinking the argument is for every game to incorporate that feature.

Arren Kae:
Romance isn't explored much in videogames b/c it's for women exclusively. A guy's life isn't spent trying to look his best in the hopes he'll one day be chosen. Also, the natural course of a romance is starting a family. I could see a family-simulator selling well as players worked to please their wives, raise the kids, and go through the stages of life with everyone (how well your kids treat you when you're elderly depends on if you triggered various values in them like respect, love, duty, kindness, reverence, compassion, etc.). Other than that, someone with a family could be supporting characters but it's difficult to include them in the plot believably. You either end up going for drama (the kids have been kidnapped!), degrade into silly hijinks (Home Alone), or try to realistically explain why a guy fighting in this revolution brings his family along with him in the adventure or otherwise risks them. In real life kids aren't spared the hardships of living in a warzone but that's rather grim for entertainment which's meant for escapism and the ESRB makes any game containing child-killing an automatic AO rating (which no publisher wants b/c major retailers like Walmart, Target, Kmart, Best Buy, Gamestop, etc. won't carry it).

But that's just it. You're assuming that the relationship has to emphasize the romance, or ANY romance, as though it's always about saying sweet nothings and wining and dining. In other words, you're chalking up the potential for writing a compelling relationship to the same shlock as a summer romantic comedy. And that's probably the issue a lot of people are taking, because there's bad writing in all media for relationships, not just games. We need a game where the partner isn't set up to just be additional baggage being dragged around that you have to carry if you want to advance the story. You're also assuming that the only solution is a simulation, or "Playing house," which is entirely different from what I believe Yahtzee is suggesting. We don't need paper-thin characters that are simply meant to be up to the player to define. We need strongly established (and completely controllable) characters that show the player something he hasn't seen before. More points if such an approach wins them over to something they wouldn't do otherwise. This is going to be a pretty derivative example, but how cool would it be for the entire family of Malcolm in the Middle to fend for themselves in a zombie apocalypse? All playable characters the player can jump between (when not controlling one directly, a sophisticated AI--which ultimately depends on how good the game designers are--kicks in).

The characters don't get reduced to plot devices; they are instead essential to your progress to the game. You should at least have a working interest in their condition, regardless of how much so. That falls on the writers and the game designers to bring out. If it falls flat, it's because they didn't put enough thought into it.

We're constantly clamoring for stuff we haven't seen before in games. With that becoming harder to do as time goes on, we need to push more boundaries and showcase more experiences. It's not only integral to making gaming a medium taken more seriously; I honestly think gaming is the only medium capable of pushing that far. Why? Because it's the only medium that's interactive.

Also, Yahtzee definitely meant "making nerds wet", because he's implying premature ejaculation at the sight of boobs, not arousal. /run killjoke.exe

Double post ftl. >.>

Wasn't 2 of the party members in Baldurs gate a couple? the druid chick jaheira and khalid?

Truly-A-Lie:
Yeah that did annoy me too, I think the worst one for me was during the beauty contest and Teddie asks if they're seeing or liked anyone. I was in a relationship with Chie at the time, and she just got embarrassed and said nothing. I got angry, but I managed to stay in character. In my mind, she was ashamed to even publicly say we were going out and I took to thinking that it was over because she wouldn't even stop that bear's crazy advances.

I do really like the options that are there, and the build up to a relationship, but it does need to come together a bit tighter for Persona 5. Starting with consequences for dating 5 people at once. Besides that, other characters reacting to your status as "taken" would be nice and new dialogue options for when you are. Yukiko asked me out while I was going out with who was meant to be her best friend, and I couldn't even say "sorry but I'm taken."

I think Chie might have been the worst, since she was there from the beginning and being best friends with Yukiko there were a lot of opportunities for a relationship with her to clash with everything else. Of all people, Yukiko would know that Chie was dating me!

I'd also have liked there to be some "maintenance" requirements for the relationship or something. After you've maxed your social link it's like you never hang out with your girlfriend except one more time on Christmas Eve.

It's definitely a good starting point, though, and I imagine they'll pull it all together in Persona 5, considering it's a whole new generation. Not that Yahtzee will want to play it, regardless.

fieryshadowcard:

We need strongly established (and completely controllable) characters

These are contradictory premises. A strongly established character is one with a defined set of traits and personality. A character completely under the player's control is one which only has personality traits in so much as the player adheres to them.

fieryshadowcard:

The characters don't get reduced to plot devices; they are instead essential to your progress to the game.

Characters are essential to the player's progress b/c they act as plot devices. Alternatively, they may be needed to win combat or travel.

Arren Kae:
Yahtzee loves Dragon Age 2 like a faggot.

Who doesn't ? ;)

(ok, a lot of people :(... but I still think the dialogue and the gameplay mechanics were pretty good...)

teisjm:
Wasn't 2 of the party members in Baldurs gate a couple? the druid chick jaheira and khalid?

Yes. Khalid and Jaheira were a married couple.

It would be interesting to see a non-RPG* game were the main characters were a "normal" couple without the non-playable person getting kidnapped, killed etc. I just don't think we'll see that in the near future since it seems like the whole "death/kidnapped love interest" works too well as a plot device or something.

*I'm saying non-RPG since RPG's focus a lot on the story, characters and in-game relationships in general. These days I kind of expect RPG's to focus on relationships between either NPC-NPC or NPC-player character at least to some degree (not necessarily romantic).

I think some of games I've tried with the best written in-game-relationships are: The Baldur's Gate series, Mass Effect series and Dragon Age Origins/2. (Yes I'm a fan of Bioware's games).

dirtsa:

teisjm:
Wasn't 2 of the party members in Baldurs gate a couple? the druid chick jaheira and khalid?

Yes. Khalid and Jaheira were a married couple.

It would be interesting to see a non-RPG* game were the main characters were a "normal" couple without the non-playable person getting kidnapped, killed etc. I just don't think we'll see that in the near future since it seems like the whole "death/kidnapped love interest" works too well as a plot device or something.

*I'm saying non-RPG since RPG's focus a lot on the story, characters and in-game relationships in general. These days I kind of expect RPG's to focus on relationships between either NPC-NPC or NPC-player character at least to some degree (not necessarily romantic).

I think some of games I've tried with the best written in-game-relationships are: The Baldur's Gate series, Mass Effect series and Dragon Age Origins/2. (Yes I'm a fan of Bioware's games).

Well, considering that the normal playable character (PC) doesn't have a normal 9-5 job, but is rather out saving the world, unless the PC's NPC spouse is part of the world-saving/alien-killing crew, he/she would just end up like cousin roman from GTA4 who seemed to be more annoying to people that appreciated.

Not a lot of games ever try to break away from a generic action formula. Yeah it would be more interesting if characters had relationships and such and they actually tried to make you feel attached to the characters, but most game developers don't seem to have the balls (Or talent) to try it. I'd say try it yourself, but you're focused on making erotic gun homicide if i'm to take one of your earlier articles seriously, so i guess...
...i'd say i'll try it, but i've never tried drama. Be a bit of a challenge. Especially since i can't program. At all.

James Sunderland and Mary in Silent Hill 2
Although you only see her in a picture and the video tape James plays in Toluca Hotel, his drive to find her isn't from vengeance, its from loss of her.
As far as games go, I still reckon it's one of the best depictions of love in this media
Then when he meets Maria it drives him more since she resembles Mary

It's a bit of an odd example bearing in mind how little screen time she has but when you stop and think about it, since there's no vengeance sub-plot, it shows the love for his wife is what drives him

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