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Default Game of the Year Awards @ Gamebanshee

January 11th, 2008, 21:34
Gamebanshee posts their selection of 2007's top games with the focus on RPGs, with Mass Effect scoring both Best Story of the Year and Disappointment of the Year, and The Witcher winning top honors as RPG of the Year, with NWN2: Mask of the Betrayer runner-up.
Here's the intro:
2007 was a strong year for gaming, no doubt about it. There was something for everyone this year, and for the first time in what seems like ages many of us actually found ourselves overwhelmed with the number of high quality titles requiring a play through. As far as the role-playing genre goes, this year will go down as one of the best we’ve ever seen for independent releases and AAA titles from both Europe and North America.

And so, this seems like the perfect year for GameBanshee to start a regular “Game of the Year” feature. That title is a little deceptive, though, because we’re not going to pick an all-encompassing winner but instead focus on the RPGs that stood out in the writing, setting, graphics, and sound departments, and then offer our picks for the top role-playing games in three separate categories…
More information.

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January 11th, 2008, 22:59
For some reason, this thread shows that a post was made by txa1265, but it isn't here??

Anyway, good excuse for me to post my appreciation of Gamebanshee here, first for actually recognizing the category of action-rpg, and second for awarding it to a greatly underhyped and excellent game: the Immortal Throne expansion for Titan Quest.

Their other picks were quite fair as well, I thought.

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January 11th, 2008, 23:56
Right… Bioshock is runner up for best Action RPG of the year… oh well, it's Gamebanshee - what the hell did I expect…

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January 12th, 2008, 00:01
You don't like Gamebanshee, ISS? Or they have a bad rep I haven't picked up on? I've used them and gamefaqs for walk-throughs for years.

I guess saying Bioshock's an action rpg could be questionable, but they did explain why they did so.

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January 12th, 2008, 00:57
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
You don't like Gamebanshee, ISS? Or they have a bad rep I haven't picked up on? I've used them and gamefaqs for walk-throughs for years.

I guess saying Bioshock's an action rpg could be questionable, but they did explain why they did so.
Nahh, it's really a personal thing, don't think they have a bad reputation and admittedly I've used them for walkthroughs and stuff like that myself. But in my opinion it's a highly commercialised website that addresses a mainstream audience. And somehow they have to come up with something that their audience can live with.

And let's be honest - they can say whatever they want, but Bioshock is a linear shooter and nothing else. There is not even a remote relation to the rpg genre.

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January 12th, 2008, 01:19
I see. I agree it definitely falls into the mainstream—and may very well be commercial. (I don't see the ads with my browser)

By the way, I'm the only hack-n-slash lover here so please don't anyone assume RPGWatch is going to the dogs on my opinions.

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January 12th, 2008, 01:30
I wouldn't say the only one, I've replayed D1, 2, Titan Quest, even Hellgate: London more times than I complete most games. I prefer regular RPGs, ranging from cRPGs like PS:T to action RPGs like Gothic, but I also enjoy the best hack'n slash games. Unfortunately, so many hack'n slash games are no more than mediocre (at best).

I agree with Ionstormsucks that Bioshock is relatively far away from being an RPG, but normally I find Gamebanshee a good site. I often use it myself, not only for walkthroughs, but also for various articles and news.
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January 12th, 2008, 07:00
Should have said "one of the select few." Thanks for the back up Maylander.

I totally agree that the number of depressingly mediocre to downright embarrassing action rpgs far exceeds the playworthy ones and gives the genre—if it can be called that—a bad smell. I also would prefer a good—or even competent—cRPG most times, but others there is something refreshingly basic about just killing things and collecting cool stuff. I think some people get the same thrill from shooters.

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Last edited by magerette; January 12th, 2008 at 07:01. Reason: smilie rationing
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January 12th, 2008, 10:55
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
For some reason, this thread shows that a post was made by txa1265, but it isn't here??
I dunno … imagine my surprise …. I got a 'database error' when I posted but then it seemed to show up, but later was gone. So it goes.

Originally Posted by magerette View Post
Should have said "one of the select few." Thanks for the back up Maylander.
Definitely 'one of the few' …

But count me as another one thinking Bioshock as action-RPG is nonsense … would have put STALKER there first. But no biggie …

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January 12th, 2008, 14:10
Originally Posted by Ionstormsucks View Post
And let's be honest - they can say whatever they want, but Bioshock is a linear shooter and nothing else. There is not even a remote relation to the rpg genre.
Oh, please. What about a rich back story, deeply written and well-acted characters, a moderately wide range of character development choices…? These are all characteristics typically associated with RPG's — and there's more than enough of them to give it much more than a "remote" relation to the RPG genre. Whether it's enough to qualify it for an action RPG is of course a matter of opinion, but that's different. (For the record, I think it's a bit of a stretch too, but to paraphrase Obi-Wan Kenobi, the truth is often a matter of point of view.)
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January 12th, 2008, 16:52
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Oh, please. What about a rich back story, deeply written and well-acted characters,
The same could be said for half-life 2. The presence of a story or compelling characters is not something that is, not should be, unique to RPGs.

a moderately wide range of character development choices…?
I presume by character development you mean the choice of which power-ups to use at any one time? If that's our definition of RPG then we truly are in a sad state of affairs. You could equally say that your preferred weapon of choice in HL2 is also indicative of role-play options.

Or are you talking of the one (and only one) true role-play choice in Bioshock - to harvest or not? Does one choice (with almost zero consequences apart from a different ending movie) make an RPG? Again if so, a sad state of affairs.

I would say that Bioshock's relation to RPGs is indeed remote. But then so was Diablo's and that never stopped them tacking on an RPG label to try and improve its sales. Don't get me wrong, both games I liked very much… but RPGs they ain't.
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January 12th, 2008, 16:54
The elements in BioShock that could be considered RPG related are much too vague to associate it with the genre. It has more in common with a traditional shooter than it has with a traditional (action) RPG.
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January 12th, 2008, 16:56
Originally Posted by Prime Junta View Post
Oh, please. What about a rich back story, deeply written and well-acted characters, a moderately wide range of character development choices…? These are all characteristics typically associated with RPG's
In Fallout 2 you can drive a car… let me guess - in your opinion it qualifies as a racing game?

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Last edited by Ionstormsucks; January 12th, 2008 at 17:27.
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January 12th, 2008, 17:51
So how do we have to define an RPG then? Do you have to have some type of experience points, and to be able to level up?

I find it incredibly annoying that Prima Junta makes a good point, and everyone jumps all over him for it.


It has more in common with a traditional shooter than it has with a traditional (action) RPG.

I definitely agree with you there, but it's still not too much of a stretch to recognize that much of the game's atmosphere, and many of it's locations feel very "rpgish".
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January 12th, 2008, 19:20
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
So how do we have to define an RPG then? Do you have to have some type of experience points, and to be able to level up?
In my opinion a game is a RPG if it has inventory management, a quest system, NPC dialogue interaction and character development. But this is strictly my own observation of what gameplay mechanics roleplaying games have in common. I find it difficult to define roleplaying games with other traits without making the divide fluid and open to interpretation.

I find it incredibly annoying that Prima Junta makes a good point, and everyone jumps all over him for it.
Well, Holly Avenger made some very good counter-points so I guess that is what discussion is about.
The RPG elements in BioShck are much too streamlined to identify it as an action RPG. Character development is present only indirectly. It would be the same to say that Doom had character development, because the player received better and better weapons along the way (I'm stretching this one too).
It was the deliberate choice of 2K Boston/Australia to minimize the RPG traits making it more a story-based shooter and they don't try to deny it, so I can't see the point in us trying to. But it's a good thing that we discuss it none the less.
Last edited by Asbjoern; January 12th, 2008 at 19:45. Reason: Forgot to add "to" between "try" and "deny"
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January 12th, 2008, 19:33
Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
So how do we have to define an RPG then? Do you have to have some type of experience points, and to be able to level up?
Right.. all behold the 20+ sites of discussion "what makes up a RPG?" that are to come…

Originally Posted by JDR13 View Post
I find it incredibly annoying that Prima Junta makes a good point, and everyone jumps all over him for it.
Good not everyone on these boards is that touchy… Seriously, mate - JP made a statement and two or three people said they don't agree with it. And you are annoyed about that? Grow up…

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January 12th, 2008, 19:40
Part of what made me snicker when I saw it under "action rpg" was the fact that it was all over the place in previous pages of awards. It's like they were saying "we like this game so much, we'll just toss it in here for the hell of it too!"

While I didnt play the full game, from my experience w/ the demo and from all that I have gleaned about the game otherwise, it indeed is a stretch to say that it belongs in the same category as games like Titan Quest. Forget the "does it have this" or "does it have that" minutia, common sense is the best guide when it comes to navigating such waters. The choice here to include Bioshock amongst Diablo's descendents is about as sensical as UGO picking a 4x1 line in Tetris as the best weapon ever.

I like Gamebanshee. Beside their reviews and all that, they put up some neato game guides and stuff, and they also revisit old games. I got a Gamebanshee shirt, and I have to say it's pretty freakin awesome.

@JDR- I dont think people jumped all over PJ, they merely expressed their opinions, just as he did, and just as I did. Youre getting a bit touchy lately, JDR, if I may say so. Everytime someone disagrees, it doesnt automatically sound the clarion call to battle, my friend. I think everyone is being civil here, there is no reason to be annoyed, much less "incredibly" so.
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January 12th, 2008, 20:15
Originally Posted by Ionstormsucks View Post
In Fallout 2 you can drive a car… let me guess - in your opinion it qualifies as a racing game?
I never said that IMO Bioshock qualifies as a role-playing game. I was objecting to your statement that there is "not even a remote relation" to the genre. It *does* have a relation to the genre — it borrows quite liberally from it.

As to your Fallout 2 red herring, it's not even worth responding to.
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January 12th, 2008, 20:17
Originally Posted by Asbjoern View Post
The elements in BioShock that could be considered RPG related are much too vague to associate it with the genre.
That is a matter of opinion. It is, however, a fact that it does have elements typically associated with RPG's (and is much the better game for it).

It has more in common with a traditional shooter than it has with a traditional (action) RPG.
I don't think anyone on this thread is disputing that.
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January 12th, 2008, 20:20
Originally Posted by Holly Avenger View Post
The same could be said for half-life 2. The presence of a story or compelling characters is not something that is, not should be, unique to RPGs.
Except that Half-Life 2 doesn't have the rich back story, complex and well-written characters, nor character development.

I presume by character development you mean the choice of which power-ups to use at any one time? If that's our definition of RPG then we truly are in a sad state of affairs. You could equally say that your preferred weapon of choice in HL2 is also indicative of role-play options.
That, plus the way you can upgrade your health and Eve. Replace health by hit points, Eve by spell slots, plasmids by memorized spells, and tonics by magic items with passive always-on properties, and you're in full D&D territory.

Or are you talking of the one (and only one) true role-play choice in Bioshock - to harvest or not? Does one choice (with almost zero consequences apart from a different ending movie) make an RPG? Again if so, a sad state of affairs.
No, it doesn't. And once again, I never said Bioshock is a RPG; I was just disputing ISS's silly statement that "it bears no relation" to them.

I would say that Bioshock's relation to RPGs is indeed remote. But then so was Diablo's and that never stopped them tacking on an RPG label to try and improve its sales. Don't get me wrong, both games I liked very much… but RPGs they ain't.
Try pouting and stamping your foot. It'll look more convincing.
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