links for 2007-02-14

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4 thoughts on “links for 2007-02-14

  1. Actually, relatively speaking, you do start out as an underpowered wolfling.

    His point is flawed, though. Sure, most RPGs – Okami included – involve hacking your way through minions, but he leaves out the important part of any good RPG: plot. He says himself that an RPG that lasted 10 hours would make no sense.

    He’s right that a badly designed RPG gets tedious. But in a well designed RPG, you don’t notice that you’re just power-levelling, because you always feel like you’re going forwards. How much less satisfying would it have been, using his example, to have the guide open the door for him?

    Cynicism is all well and good, but it needs to be applied correctly, and not just for the sake of it.

  2. Relative to what you’ll end up to at the end? Sure. But relative to what most RPG characters start off as, Okami kicks ass.

    And I don’t buy your ‘you don’t notice you’re just power-levelling’ – you know you’re power-levelling, you just don’t care all that much as long as you’re having fun. My favourite bit of FFVIII was conquering the Islands of Heaven & Hell – getting chewed to pieces the first time I went there, but persevering until I could kick everyone’s ass – no plot involved, power-levelling for the sake of it was my best bit. I think his point is – some of the time the machinations of the game design that force you to go collect EXP or cash or whatever are so transparently machinations that they deaden the thrill – “o great, another unnecessarily complicated quest.” And all RPG’s are guilty of it.

  3. Most games are guilty of it, let alone RPGs. Inane subplots that are in there to extend the plot to a ‘playable’ length. I’ve seen FPS’ that took you round the houses to reach a target, when really you could have just dropped a nuke on the final boss and just finished it.

    Fact is, he plays a lot of RPGs. I’d be bored if I played that many. Notice how, say, a lot of FPS players keep coming back to one game, such as Counterstrike or Quake or whatever? Less to do with game mechanics, and more to do with genre-boredom.

  4. I think he’s identified a pretty vaild flaw in RPG’s as they are now, and one that’s yet to be fixed. As someone who makes the damned things, he’s probably pissed he can’t see a way past it.

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