How to Talk About Games #2

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How to Talk About Games #2

Turn your weakness into strength.

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"Horrible 16 bit soundtracks"? You and I need to have a little chat outside Carter.

This is true. Just as, even though any protagonist of Baldur's Gate and Baldur's Gate 2 is interchangable with any other you can create, the fact that you can flesh your character out with the choices you make in the game allows you to have choices beyond "Paragon" or "Renegade".

DVS BSTrD:
"Horrible 16 bit soundtracks"? You and I need to have a little chat outside Carter.

He's right, though. The soundtracks are way better played on different instruments. See: Video Games Live, Smooth Mcgroove.

EDIT: Not only did I use an unexplained acronym, I used the wrong one. D:

Thank you. I'm so sick of saying "I'm tired of silent protagonists" only to be met with "What about Gordon Freeman, HOW CAN YOU NOT LIKE GORDON FREEMAN?"

Freeman was never what made Half-life good, it was everything happening around Freeman that was. It's just odd that Half-life 2 is so character driven despite the fact the protagonist never talks. Still not as bad as it gets in Dishonored (which again I like, but COME ON CORVO SAY SOMETHING). Also I guess I am REALLY FOND OF CAPS TODAY. So SUE ME.

Giving a protagonist a personality shouldn't be thought of as creating a barrier between player and character. Sure you could pick a personality that a given player doesn't like, but having them stay silent, especially when it makes no sense in the game's context, creates more problems.

Did you just insult Seiken Densetsu 3's soundtrack?
Them's fightin' words.

Outside. Now.
Pistols at 20.

Horrible 16-bit soundtracks?

While I do agree that the might be better played on other instruments, games like Final Fantasy VI and Chrono Trigger still have great soundtracks.

Thank god you said something about silent protagonists. I can't believe people become fans of those walking shells. And just what IS wrong with catchy chip tunes? Their simplicity is what makes them special and stick with you after you have played even if they are not as complex as the orchestral tracks of today, its like you remember them anyway you finish playing.

I'm actually of the mind that the Street Fighter narrative could be hammered into something that's not only functional but interesting if it focused on Ryu and his relationships with Ken and Akuma. I haven't read all of them, but the Alpha manga set up the "Evil Ryu" scenario nicely.

I loved sonic's soundtrack. I can still remember them now.

That was a very divisive comic strip, methinks. Something in there for everyone to take exception to! Bravo.

lacktheknack:

DVS BSTrD:
"Horrible 16 bit soundtracks"? You and I need to have a little chat outside Carter.

He's right, though. The soundtracks are way better played on different instruments. See: VGA, Smooth Mcgroove.

Very true, but the base of those songs are still good regardless of what instrument plays it. I think a few, like I did originally, thought Carter was dissing on the songs themselves not the instrument that played them.

Speak for yourself. I love some of the OSTs that came out of the 16-bit era. Different strokes for different folks.

Aside from the soundtrack bit (there's some really damn good SNES music), I completely agree with every point here. This needs to be required reading to discuss any game, anywhere.

DVS BSTrD:
"Horrible 16 bit soundtracks"? You and I need to have a little chat outside Carter.

And what should I bring if I tag along to help you ?

Good one. I've never understood how Gordon Freeman and the rest you mentioned can be popular characters, when they don't have a single charateristic. That might be why I don't care for the mario games, despite loving several other platform games. Alice, Ratchet, Spyro and others have clear personalities.

Ahh but acknowledging faults is a sign of weakness. Haven't you heard, Grey? If you give even a tiny bit of ground, its blood in the water! You'll be forced that much further from your point. Jeez Grey, you need to learn more from Fox News.

edit: but I will say Master Chief has the most character out of those three. Lul.

Speak for yourself about the chiptunes, man. They're memorable, I can access the SNES jukebox in my head of over like 100 games, of fantastically composed stuff. Nowadays, the memorable stuff is...the "ahhh" from Halo, the God of War intro, the Colossus battles in SotC, and now I'm having issues coming up with more, and those don't exactly cement in your mind.

But I just thought of something: OCRemix. Either that site is so hugely packed with 16-bit era songs because they were amazing and tons of musicians loves them, or they were good and could have really used being played with different instruments/electronics in order to truly unleash the melodies that were there. I'm not sure about that one.

Right on point about the Resident Evil, though.

/musicianjammingopinionsdownthroat

iniudan:

DVS BSTrD:
"Horrible 16 bit soundtracks"? You and I need to have a little chat outside Carter.

And what should I bring if I tag along to help you ?

banana peals, tortoise shells and an electric keyboard to provide the soundtrack.

Oh and mushrooms, lots of mushrooms.

I think this is my favourite Critical Miss yet, especially the part about silent protagonists.

Ishal:
Ahh but acknowledging faults is a sign of weakness. Haven't you heard, Grey? If you give even a tiny bit of ground, its blood in the water! You'll be forced that much further from your point. Jeez Grey, you need to learn more from Fox News.

edit: but I will say Master Chief has the most character out of those three. Lul.

Well, that's only because he isn't strictly silent (like Freeman) and what he does say aren't variations on his name and YAHOOOOO (like Mario). And, I'd argue that Halo 4 made him a much more interesting character. However, he still isn't anywhere near a list topper.

16 bit anything is bad. Period.

"Forsooth. A Jille Sandwich thou nearly becometh."
That's some high quality narrative right there.

Oh God, you said Gordon Freeman may not have been a good character.

image

Stevepinto3:
Thank you. I'm so sick of saying "I'm tired of silent protagonists" only to be met with "What about Gordon Freeman, HOW CAN YOU NOT LIKE GORDON FREEMAN?"

Freeman was never what made Half-life good, it was everything happening around Freeman that was. It's just odd that Half-life 2 is so character driven despite the fact the protagonist never talks. Still not as bad as it gets in Dishonored (which again I like, but COME ON CORVO SAY SOMETHING). Also I guess I am REALLY FOND OF CAPS TODAY. So SUE ME.

Giving a protagonist a personality shouldn't be thought of as creating a barrier between player and character. Sure you could pick a personality that a given player doesn't like, but having them stay silent, especially when it makes no sense in the game's context, creates more problems.

I totally agree. Every time a game is lauded for it's great story or character, typically either isn't actually fleshed out. Not saying they're bad, but what makes all those games so great is the detailed environments. It's everything BUT the protagonist or antagonist.

VoltySquirrel:

Ishal:
Ahh but acknowledging faults is a sign of weakness. Haven't you heard, Grey? If you give even a tiny bit of ground, its blood in the water! You'll be forced that much further from your point. Jeez Grey, you need to learn more from Fox News.

edit: but I will say Master Chief has the most character out of those three. Lul.

Well, that's only because he isn't strictly silent (like Freeman) and what he does say aren't variations on his name and YAHOOOOO (like Mario). And, I'd argue that Halo 4 made him a much more interesting character. However, he still isn't anywhere near a list topper.

After reading the books, it's actually rather hard to reconcile yourself to the idea that some people think that Master Chief doesn't have a character. Of course, until Halo 4 they never really tried to bring that across in the games, which was a mighty shame. Even in Halo 4, which starts to investigate a bit about the Master Chief's personality, doesn't really capture the best of the exploration of the character as found in the books. Most them revolve around his interactions with the other Spartans and how he copes without them, mind you. The closest the games ever get to the books on that level is the opening cutscene of Halo 4 bringing up the possibility that all Spartans are sociopaths/"at their core, broken".

Heh, good point, well made.

Phrozenflame500:
Oh God, you said Gordon Freeman may not have been a good character.

Oops, your image didn't quite work.

Azahul:

VoltySquirrel:

Ishal:
Ahh but acknowledging faults is a sign of weakness. Haven't you heard, Grey? If you give even a tiny bit of ground, its blood in the water! You'll be forced that much further from your point. Jeez Grey, you need to learn more from Fox News.

edit: but I will say Master Chief has the most character out of those three. Lul.

Well, that's only because he isn't strictly silent (like Freeman) and what he does say aren't variations on his name and YAHOOOOO (like Mario). And, I'd argue that Halo 4 made him a much more interesting character. However, he still isn't anywhere near a list topper.

After reading the books, it's actually rather hard to reconcile yourself to the idea that some people think that Master Chief doesn't have a character. Of course, until Halo 4 they never really tried to bring that across in the games, which was a mighty shame. Even in Halo 4, which starts to investigate a bit about the Master Chief's personality, doesn't really capture the best of the exploration of the character as found in the books. Most them revolve around his interactions with the other Spartans and how he copes without them, mind you. The closest the games ever get to the books on that level is the opening cutscene of Halo 4 bringing up the possibility that all Spartans are sociopaths/"at their core, broken".

Well 90% of people who you'll find saying the things Grey is talking about usually haven't read the books. Fall of Reach gave him the most character, and when compared to the other two he is leagues ahead of them in terms of "being a character."

But he is still no Nathan Drake or other more realized hero. Chief is a vehicle through which you experience the rest of the Halo universe, Bungie even stated as much. He just happens to have a bit of character in him in the games, and even more in the books.

Bit of a cheap shot to bit-era music there. Chiptune music isn't terrible at all. It had limitations, but sometimes limitations are what makes art so great. Bit-era composers couldn't focus on sound quality or variation so they were forced to come up with unique and creative chord progression and accompaniment. The minimalism is in fact what makes them great. I think many chiptune soundtracks still completely stand up today, and that's not gaming nostalgia talking; I often enjoy listening to bit-era songs from games I've never even played.

I think what's actually happening is that you're projecting: You think because a type of music is old, it's inherently bad, which just isn't true.

Also before anyone kills me, I get that it was an offhand comment probably not meant to be taken seriously, but it just irked me.

thanatos388:
Thank god you said something about silent protagonists. I can't believe people become fans of those walking shells.

Because they got to write their own character and the game never did anything to break that illusion. really the great thing about Gordon Freeman is how people react to him and fill in details on the setting without ever taking you out of the character you've been building in your head.

As for Mario he's full of characterization. it's not exactly deep, but he's way more developed then may early silent cartoons. No one would accuse Tom or Jerry of being non characters, but we know way more about Mario's personality then either of those one dimensional characters.

I can't really comment on Master Chief, he seems about as interesting at the Doom Marine to me.

Azahul:

After reading the books, it's actually rather hard to reconcile yourself to the idea that some people think that Master Chief doesn't have a character. Of course, until Halo 4 they never really tried to bring that across in the games, which was a mighty shame. Even in Halo 4, which starts to investigate a bit about the Master Chief's personality, doesn't really capture the best of the exploration of the character as found in the books. Most them revolve around his interactions with the other Spartans and how he copes without them, mind you. The closest the games ever get to the books on that level is the opening cutscene of Halo 4 bringing up the possibility that all Spartans are sociopaths/"at their core, broken".

If you have to read the books to understand how a character, then the game has poor characterization of that character.

I don't get the rip on 16 bit soundtracks. There are some 8 bit soundtracks that sound great considering the limitations.

Batman

Double Dragon

Castlevania, etc etc etc.

Versuvius:
16 bit anything is bad. Period.

Yea no. You are just wrong. You personally may care too much about graphics to enjoy 16 bit classics, but that doesn't make them bad.

OT: All good points except for the jab at 16 bit music that I can only assume was a joke (or, this being Grey, good old fashioned trolling). Also which Resident Evil game had you shooting lizardmen while riding on the back of a giant spider? Because I need to play that now.

I'll have the Jill Valentine Sandwich please, sans bread. I'm on a low carb diet.

Ishal:

Azahul:

VoltySquirrel:

Well, that's only because he isn't strictly silent (like Freeman) and what he does say aren't variations on his name and YAHOOOOO (like Mario). And, I'd argue that Halo 4 made him a much more interesting character. However, he still isn't anywhere near a list topper.

After reading the books, it's actually rather hard to reconcile yourself to the idea that some people think that Master Chief doesn't have a character. Of course, until Halo 4 they never really tried to bring that across in the games, which was a mighty shame. Even in Halo 4, which starts to investigate a bit about the Master Chief's personality, doesn't really capture the best of the exploration of the character as found in the books. Most them revolve around his interactions with the other Spartans and how he copes without them, mind you. The closest the games ever get to the books on that level is the opening cutscene of Halo 4 bringing up the possibility that all Spartans are sociopaths/"at their core, broken".

Well 90% of people who you'll find saying the things Grey is talking about usually haven't read the books. Fall of Reach gave him the most character, and when compared to the other two he is leagues ahead of them in terms of "being a character."

But he is still no Nathan Drake or other more realized hero. Chief is a vehicle through which you experience the rest of the Halo universe, Bungie even stated as much. He just happens to have a bit of character in him in the games, and even more in the books.

Characterization that occurred in another work doesn't count when you're talking about characterization within that work. Especially when you're talking about work that occurred in a completely different medium. We don't give movie adaptations a pass when characters fall flat in translation, and those are the same stories. Why would we give a video game a pass, and say, "Oh, I know his character is shitty in this work (which is the exposure 99.9% of consumers get), but he's actually an awesome character because of this completely separate work that is pretty much the definition of niche. You have to consume both of them in order to get it." The master chief that exists in the game is poorly characterized. The books don't make up for that.

I mean, we frequently overlook this:
image
when we're talking about the quality of the Zelda's character, and that's in the same medium. Because the works are to be consumed separately, independently. Why would the books have any bearing on the perception of Master Chief as a video game character?

rembrandtqeinstein:
I don't get the rip on 16 bit soundtracks. There are some 8 bit soundtracks that sound great considering the limitations.

Batman

Double Dragon

Castlevania, etc etc etc.

Everything you named is 8-bit, not 16.

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