Escapist Podcast: 025: Are Modern RPGs Ruining the Genre?

 Pages PREV 1 2
 

Susan Arendt:

I'm sorry, I don't know what you're referencing with the "deceive you" comment.

Sober Thal:

I got to the 28 minute mark, and so far I have (after the intro) 72 misuses of the word like. The word was used properly a few times, I didn't count those.

I love this website.

Yeah, it's just the people you hate.

At around the 28 minute mark you talk about unrealistic hot chicks are fine as long as the game isn't deceiving you. I don't grasp the difference between DoA and any other game that has an unrealistic hot chick.

Also, I don't hate the people, just some things that they do. I'd wager everyone (who works) on the site is a decent person to say the least. I will say I hate the world like, and for some reason it just screamed at me every time it was used this podcast.

I should have edited my post (or just not rambled/bitched) much earlier, I was being an asshat.

I agree about the fast travel, I always turn it find mods that deactivate it in RPG games so I am not tempted.

No Simpsons references? I don't know if this was a real podcat.

Sober Thal:

At around the 28 minute mark you talk about unrealistic hot chicks are fine as long as the game isn't deceiving you. I don't grasp the difference between DoA and any other game that has an unrealistic hot chick.

No, I understood that (or at least I think I did!)

Games like DOA or fighting games often have highly objectified characters with absurd costumes and ridiculous cartoon breasts. Heck, they're used extensively in the promotional art and used as a selling point. (Anyone else remember all the fuss about jiggle physics in DOA: Extreme Beach Volleyball?) This is what it is - a lot of people think it's sexist, but at least it's overtly so and if you don't like that stuff it's easy to avoid.

What is more annoying is games that claim to have more substantial story and character elements, especially ones that make a pretence at well-rounded strong female characters, but which then cartoonify and objectify the female characters. Only the women, mind you. Examples would be RPGs like Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines or Star Ocean: The Last Hope.

The former is pandering and tacky but there you go some blokes seem to like that sort of thing, the latter is sometimes downright insulting and, I find. often quite jarring.

Sober Thal:

Susan Arendt:

I'm sorry, I don't know what you're referencing with the "deceive you" comment.

Sober Thal:

I got to the 28 minute mark, and so far I have (after the intro) 72 misuses of the word like. The word was used properly a few times, I didn't count those.

I love this website.

Yeah, it's just the people you hate.

At around the 28 minute mark you talk about unrealistic hot chicks are fine as long as the game isn't deceiving you. I don't grasp the difference between DoA and any other game that has an unrealistic hot chick.

Also, I don't hate the people, just some things that they do. I'd wager everyone (who works) on the site is a decent person to say the least. I will say I hate the world like, and for some reason it just screamed at me every time it was used this podcast.

I should have edited my post (or just not rambled/bitched) much earlier, I was being an asshat.

I didn't say a game was trying to "deceive" you. My point was simply that if a game is straightforward about why its female characters are hot and sexy, I'm not offended by them. It's like going into a strip club - everyone knows what's going on inside, and you have the decision to enter or not based on your personal morals. What I take issue with is when a game gives you a half-naked, impossible female, then presents that as "normal". My go to example of this is Rachel from Ninja Gaiden. Is there any reason for her to be dressed/shaped like that? No. She's meant to be a warrior, but she's parading around like a whore, wiggling her hips for male appreciation.

That's simply my take on it, however.

Also, I should clarify something - I said in the podcast that a game being honest about why it's putting in a bunch of hot chicks isn't sexist. What I should've said was, it's sexist, but doesn't bother me. I find some sexism offensive, and other sexism to be harmless. Again, your mileage may vary.

I apologize to everyone who thought I was saying that stuffing your game full of half-naked teenagers wasn't sexist. I wasn't nearly clear enough about that.

ms_sunlight:

Sober Thal:

At around the 28 minute mark you talk about unrealistic hot chicks are fine as long as the game isn't deceiving you. I don't grasp the difference between DoA and any other game that has an unrealistic hot chick.

No, I understood that (or at least I think I did!)

Games like DOA or fighting games often have highly objectified characters with absurd costumes and ridiculous cartoon breasts. Heck, they're used extensively in the promotional art and used as a selling point. (Anyone else remember all the fuss about jiggle physics in DOA: Extreme Beach Volleyball?) This is what it is - a lot of people think it's sexist, but at least it's overtly so and if you don't like that stuff it's easy to avoid.

What is more annoying is games that claim to have more substantial story and character elements, especially ones that make a pretence at well-rounded strong female characters, but which then cartoonify and objectify the female characters. Only the women, mind you. Examples would be RPGs like Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines or Star Ocean: The Last Hope.

The former is pandering and tacky but there you go some blokes seem to like that sort of thing, the latter is sometimes downright insulting and, I find. often quite jarring.

So it's: Go all the way fan service, or don't go at all? I can grasp that I guess, but I'm not sure if that's the point.

I have no idea what you mean about Vampire, and I haven't played Star Ocean. If a game goes and 'objectifies women' in your mind, why care how much? The fact that they did at all should be grounds for not liking it, eh? I don't get why DoA gets a pass, but other games don't. Maybe I just need more games I have actually played as an example.

I don't see 'games that claim to have more substantial story and character elements, especially ones that make a pretence at well-rounded strong female characters, but which then cartoonify and objectify the female characters.' Almost all JRPG games are over the top in most respects. Vampires not being over sexualized almost wouldn't be Vampires anymore! Okay, they would be Nosferatu...

Take a game like Folklore for the PS3. Because of the outfits (fanservice) should the game be on the bad list? I don't think there's a list going around, but you know what I mean?

EDIT: I just read Susan's above post. I get what you're saying. Not sure why I seem to be drawing a line in the sand about this, I guess I just don't look at games the same way perhaps?

I enjoy the fact that fast travel is an option in RPG's. Using Skyrim as an example, if I had to run halfway to a specific dungeon and then have to run back to town because a dragon spawned and I now have to dump off 75 lbs of dragon bone and scales, it would get old very quick. Sure, you lose some of the immersion, but you don't have to use it if you don't want to.

On the other hand, I definitely think that quest markers pointing directly to the object you need to loot is a little ridiculous. Then again, trying to find said item after I've just Fus-Ro-Dah'ed the crap out of the room would be an absolute nightmare. In the end, it's always going to depend on the individual player.

Side Note: Fus-Ro-Dah'ing bandits off mountains or companions out of doorways doesn't get old. Ever.

On the note of not wanting to run over pedestrians in GTA:

I actually find that some of the most entertaining aspects about the way people play games is when someone chooses not to play like that. Yahtzee talked in one of his columns about role-playing a Sunday driver in GTA who stops at the red lights, doesn't speed, and gets offended when pedestrians assume they're going to get run over, and leap out of the way.

When I played through San Andreas, I roleplayed using the in-game radio; when CJ was in Las Venturas, San Fierro, or the countryside, he would listen to The Dust, because he's a big fan of Tom Petty. However, when he was in the gang-controlled areas of Los Santos, he would listen to Radio Los Santos, to make sure none of the gangs (including his own) would think he'd gone soft.

Also on the subject of Yahtzee's columns, I'd like to post this excerpt from Extra Consideration:

For some reason what springs to mind is an incident while playing Half-Life: Opposing Force. I'd enlisted one of the fat comic relief security guards to tag along, and after I reached a point he couldn't follow, I idly decided to shoot him. Whereupon he said "Hey! I thought we were becoming friends..." in an incredibly hurt voice, and I felt so bad I had to reload my last save. Meanwhile, when asked to choose between sacrificing my girlfriend or a bunch of innocent civilians at the start of Fable 3, I condemned the snooty cow with a dismissive "Hurry up and get to the monster killing part, game."

One of the things they missed (or didn't say explicitly enough) in their discussion about traveling around Skyrim is the role of geography in establishing immersion through lore.

In Morrowind, you had to really invest yourself in the geography of the island of Vvardenfell, just as the NPCs (i.e. people who lived in the world) have to. Having to find a location based on geographical descriptions means the player has to pay attention to their surrounding actively, and you have to care about what the NPCs who describe the location to you care about. That's a well-hidden, meaningful way to create immersion.

It could have been so simple in Skyrim. For example, "You need to go to visit the Greybeards who live at the top of the highest mountain in the province."

Do you really need a map marker to find the highest peak in the world? Nope. Look around, and you'll see it.

Spectrum_Prez:
One of the things they missed (or didn't say explicitly enough) in their discussion about traveling around Skyrim is the role of geography in establishing immersion through lore.

In Morrowind, you had to really invest yourself in the geography of the island of Vvardenfell, just as the NPCs (i.e. people who lived in the world) have to. Having to find a location based on geographical descriptions means the player has to pay attention to their surrounding actively, and you have to care about what the NPCs who describe the location to you care about. That's a well-hidden, meaningful way to create immersion.

It could have been so simple in Skyrim. For example, "You need to go to visit the Greybeards who live at the top of the highest mountain in the province."

Do you really need a map marker to find the highest peak in the world? Nope. Look around, and you'll see it.

True, thats an effective way to get into the world.

Another example is the first releases of GTA. Before GPS was added players needed to be familiar with the layout of the cities to be able to navigate them effectively. This is great for sandboxes because it creates several purposes for exploration.

Lack of fast travel can also add some linear structure to an otherwise open-ended game. When travel options are limited players are encouraged to explore immediate surroundings first. Game designers can use this effect to create some chronology in the story without forcing it.

 Pages PREV 1 2

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