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Default Planescape: Torment - Retrospective @ RPGFan

June 30th, 2010, 01:29
The author of this Planescape: Torment retrospective at RPGFan makes his feelings known right from the beginning, and it will strike a cord with a few readers:
They don't make games like this anymore. Bringing video games to a wider audience has its merits, namely making video games a more acceptable form of entertainment, but increased accessibility and multiplayer support has wreaked significantly more havoc than good in recent years. And it only looks to be getting worse. In an effort to make games that every Joe Simpleton can play and enjoy, developers have streamlined gameplay, simplified story, axed challenge, and watered down the single-player experience. Developers have thus spawned a landfill of shovelware and dreck so large it could contain every one of Peter Molyneux's unfulfilled promises and save room for those from his next game. Everyone from Nintendo to Bioware has gone to the dark side, giving us pitifully easy Zeldas and overly streamlined Mass Effects.
There will never be another Planescape: Torment. Released in 1999, it is better than almost every other game in the last decade, better than perhaps all but one game released in the last five years, and certainly better than any RPG released during that time. Torment is as complex in story and characters as it is in gameplay, and we'll never see anything like this again if the world continues to worship multiplayer experiences and developers continue to target an audience that includes everyone and their unborn children.
Thanks, Necrosis!
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June 30th, 2010, 01:29
It's chord.

And wow, hyperbolize much? I liked it too, but I honestly don't know if it's the best game EVARRR. The UI is pretty miserable (who thought radial menus were a good idea?), a large step down from the other infinity engine games. There's a lot of guide dang its.

There's a lot awesome with it, it's for sure innovative and fascinating, but claiming there's been nothing as enjoyable in the past 10 years is just absurd.
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June 30th, 2010, 01:56
Console games are going to the direction of multiplayer because the developerts want get more money offering services, see Live! from microsoft and now the Playstation Network, i know is cheap but still they get money selling games via the networks, this is why everyone want to be like Blizzard, all of the big enterprices want a offer a WOW service.
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June 30th, 2010, 03:51
Originally Posted by moonmonster View Post
It's chord.

And wow, hyperbolize much? I liked it too, but I honestly don't know if it's the best game EVARRR. The UI is pretty miserable (who thought radial menus were a good idea?), a large step down from the other infinity engine games. There's a lot of guide dang its.

There's a lot awesome with it, it's for sure innovative and fascinating, but claiming there's been nothing as enjoyable in the past 10 years is just absurd.
Your only complaint is that you don't like the UI, specifically the radial menu? I see. Perhaps you enjoy your games to have only four buttons each with a cute shape to indicate which is which?
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June 30th, 2010, 04:01
Hmm, I thought Planescape Torment was fine, if you wanted a book. There was so little game in it, that you could boil the action down into about 5 hours. It was a story book that you walked hours and hours to unravel. I'm not sure why it's a cult fave. The talking skull was cute though. We all have different tastes though, so no biggie.

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June 30th, 2010, 04:11
Although I enjoyed Planescape: Torment it has some of the longest fetch quests in the history of gaming.
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June 30th, 2010, 04:45
I'll admit, the article is a bit much, but PST still managed to tell a better tale then most books I've read and it is one of the few games I've played that did characters right. Just about every NPC is interesting in one way or another without making them ridiculous like most jRPGs were interesting means a woman has purple hair.

But is it a good RPG? That's debatable I suppose. I want to say yes, but in the end it probably isn't. The combat was pretty bland, but I never minded it. The stats actually effected dialogue which is something rarely seen today. Now we have specific skills that we know will do something in dialogue, what else is "diplomacy" or "intimidate" for? But who would have thought having a high agility would effect a dialogue option?
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June 30th, 2010, 07:20
Developers have thus spawned a landfill of shovelware and dreck so large it could contain every one of Peter Molyneux's unfulfilled promises and save room for those from his next game.

I thought that part was hilarious!
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June 30th, 2010, 07:49
Originally Posted by Thoth View Post
Your only complaint is that you don't like the UI, specifically the radial menu? I see. Perhaps you enjoy your games to have only four buttons each with a cute shape to indicate which is which?
No, I just remember the UI being maddeningly annoying, to the extent I never wanted to play a mage because it was so tedious picking spells. The basic BG interface was _far_ superior, and did not have any cute shapes.

I never said it was a bad game, but it had issues, and claiming no game since has been as fun would seem to mark the author as a crank.
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June 30th, 2010, 08:09
All I can say is I agree with the reviewer pretty much completely. PST is probably my most fondly remember game of all time or at least in the top 3. Few other games resonate with me like it did.

Its not perfect by any means but what it does well it does really well and that is a tell a strong interactive story. Its combat did suck and perhaps its more adventure-RPG than action-RPG but that is ok with me as it had atmosphere galore.
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June 30th, 2010, 09:24
Planescape is a book, like Mass Effect is a movie.

Both are great for what they are, but they're not very good as games - if you ask me.

I guess they're more like experiences, with gameplay being almost incidental.
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June 30th, 2010, 11:11
I agree with the "fiddle to pick spells", but the UI is in principle the same in NWN and - as I heard of it - there even is a "radial menu" in Mass Effect (?).

So - someone seems to believe this idea of a "radial menu" is good.

I don't know what to say about it, but chosing spells oth in NWN1 and in PS:T can be a chore.

The story and the freshness of characters and their concepts (brothel of intellectual lusts, anyone ?) is unique. I have never seen even an attempt in recent games in creating such unusual concepts and to actually incorporate them into a game.

The bottom line - as the reviewer might perhaps see it - is that such fresh, unique and "edgie" (in contrast to streamlined) concepts are usually axed because "they" believe the audience finds them "too diffficult" or just "too complicated".

And I fear that the short-term force of producing shareholder revenues is one of the reasons for streamlining.

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June 30th, 2010, 11:34
Strange, as I found the NWN interface to be very good. You had plenty of easily configurable hotbars - and the radial menu was never meant to be used as the primary form of interaction during heated sequences.

It was very simple and very flexible.

NWN2 was a lot worse - because it was slow and cumbersome, and the item icons were incredibly bad.
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June 30th, 2010, 11:54
I didn't like the radial menu from NWN too much either - but that was certainly not a problem… I rarely had to use it since I didn't want to. That game had one of the best interfaces I've seen in such a complicated game in my opinion (with my only gripe being the fact that I couldn't select a spell straight from the spellbook)

Anyway, I wouldn't want to "judge" PST as a book: It's a great game I think and a book that constantly repeats large parts of text, that gives away most of its major 'secrets' far before the end and that leaves the plot aside to simply repeatedly describe a succession of identical fights in its last 3rd, is not a book that I can imagine myself enjoy reading.

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June 30th, 2010, 11:56
Obviously, it's not literally a book - and Mass Effect is not literally a movie.

I just happen to think they draw their strengths from what traditionally belongs to those things, and not at all from what traditionally belongs to gaming.
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June 30th, 2010, 12:11
Originally Posted by Thoth View Post
But is it a good RPG? That's debatable I suppose. I want to say yes, but in the end it probably isn't.
But it's a good GAME, I'll tell you that. An awesome one really, that turns RPG conventions on their head.

I don't think we should judge it if it's as RPGy as BG2 or Arcanum or whatever, it was trying to do things those games didn't do and did it amazingly well.

..chasing a trail of smoke and reason..
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June 30th, 2010, 12:26
The story was great, and so was the ending, but the gameplay was just average. As good as PS:T was, I don't get the urge to replay it like Baldur's Gate, or even Icewind Dale.

I think he's exaggerating a bit to claim it's better than any RPG released in the last Decade though. It wasn't even the best game to use the Infinity Engine imo.
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June 30th, 2010, 12:31
I can't believe some of you guys are invalidating this as a legitimate game and just shoved it aside as a graphic novel. You all sound like Roger Ebert
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June 30th, 2010, 12:34
Originally Posted by Neverwinter27 View Post
I can't believe some of you guys are invalidating this as a legitimate game and just shoved it aside as a graphic novel. You all sound like Roger Ebert
You better believe it

Except, I'm not invalidating it as a legitimate game.
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June 30th, 2010, 13:10
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
and the radial menu was never meant to be used as the primary form of interaction during heated sequences.
Wasn't ? Where do you have this from ?

To me it had *always* appeared that it was meant to be the "main menu".

Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction. (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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