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Default Five Features That Changed Gaming @ GamePlanet

April 23rd, 2009, 14:26
Five Features That Changed Gaming at GamePlanet lists cover systems, moral dilemnas, achievements, co-op and sandbox gameplay as changing the face of gaming. Someone needs to point out sandbox games existed long before GTA3 but in terms of our interest, KotOR, Fable and Fallout 3 all get mentioned:
2) The moral dilemma

Iíll admit I donít actually know the first game where good or bad choices had to be made by the player but I do remember the first game where it was a major feature and made other developers take notice.

Star Wars: Knights Of the Old Republic is to this day still not only one of the best Star Wars games ever made, but also one of the best role playing games, period. The combat, graphics, settlings, and story - all of this had such incredible polish that it practically made BioWare a household name.

One of the standout features of the title was being able to either follow the "light side" or the "dark side". This was done by having the player make moral decisions. While Knights Of the Old Republic was fairly straightforward with good and evil choices, future games to use this concept would elaborate further. Knights Of the Old Republic 2 had additional grey area in its choices, so the decisions were tougher to make. Mass Effect didnít even give you the choices between good or evil, as you were always going to be the guy saving the galaxy. Your choices were more confined to playing things by the books, or punching panicking scientists in the face.
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April 23rd, 2009, 14:26
Star Wars: Knights Of the Old Republic is to this day still not only one of the best Star Wars games ever made, but also one of the best role playing games, period.
Erm, this guy must really have missed out on some classic gaming to make that statement. Do you think we can pool together $40 or so to send him Dark Forces 2, Tie Fighter, X-Wing Alliance as examples of Star Wares games, and Torment, Fallout and Baldur's Gate 2 as examples of RPGs. Honestly, they'll blow his mind with gaming joy.
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April 23rd, 2009, 14:39
Maybe I'm just having a bad day at work, but these lists are starting to make me feel like destroying something.
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April 23rd, 2009, 16:08
I could do without the "moral dilemna" feature in most games. It's getting old and it usually has little effect upon the games that it is in. It also usually comes across as kind of contrived. There is usually a master enemy that you fight at the end, regardless of whether you take the good or evil path. I haven't played Fable II yet so maybe it is done better there. In Kotor it worked well because the choices were integrated into the gameplay through the use of light and dark force powers. Most other games ignore this.

GTAIII wasn't the first sandbox game, but it truly did change the landscape. The GTA games aren't just open-ended, but they are great simulations. I can't think of any games that I played like that before GTAIII.
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April 23rd, 2009, 17:11
You know, you would think these reviewers would do a little research. The first game where morals was a major part of the game was of course ULTIMA 4. It was what the whole game was based on.

I guess you could argue you didn't really have a choice with Ultima 4, you had to be good to pass the game so there was no real dillema.

Then the next choice IIRC is Arcanum: Released 2001 http://www.rpgwatch.com/show/reference?ref=0&id=170

KOTOR: Released 2003 http://www.rpgwatch.com/show/reference?ref=0&id=197

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April 23rd, 2009, 17:51
I do not consider the "good or bad" games to have moral choices. Moral choices are tough choices where there are no "best choice". Baldur's Gate and Planescape Torment were quite good in that area but KOTOR simplified the formula and Mass Effect oversimplified it so much that it made it pointless, you always had "pick up for paragon, down for renegade", neither fit well with your role.

I prefer games asking me "well, what's your opinion?" rather than "are you good or bad?".

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An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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April 23rd, 2009, 17:52
The earliest Sandbox game I can think of was Simcity in 1988 released on the Mac and then ported to other PC's and Game Systems.

Yes Will Wright's Maxis started as a Mac developer.
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April 23rd, 2009, 17:56
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
I do not consider the "good or bad" games to have moral choices. Moral choices are tough choices where there are no "best choice". Baldur's Gate and Planescape Torment were quite good in that area but KOTOR simplified the formula and Mass Effect oversimplified it so much that it made it pointless, you always had "pick up for paragon, down for renegade", neither fit well with your role.

I prefer games asking me "well, what's your opinion?" rather than "are you good or bad?".
I did like Mass Effect's renegade path, okay it was really simplistic but it was nice to play a Jack Bauer type rather than a simpering goody two shoes for a change.
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April 23rd, 2009, 18:14
Originally Posted by Benedict View Post
I did like Mass Effect's renegade path, okay it was really simplistic but it was nice to play a Jack Bauer type rather than a simpering goody two shoes for a change.
Mass Effect's "lower option" path allows you to be a borderline unstable psychotic who would never be put in the position Shepherd is put in in ME.
The "upper option" allows you to be a leader who are so naive he/she puts people in danger.

Neither path really fit the role Shepard is supposed to have.

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An eye for an eye, and soon the whole world is blind. - Mahatma Gandhi
The world is my country. To do good is my religion. My mind is my own church. This simple creed is all we need to enjoy peace on earth. - Thomas Paine
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April 23rd, 2009, 18:51
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
Mass Effect's "lower option" path allows you to be a borderline unstable psychotic who would never be put in the position Shepherd is put in in ME.
The "upper option" allows you to be a leader who are so naive he/she puts people in danger.

Neither path really fit the role Shepard is supposed to have.
So, quite realistic then?
Mass Effect did at least not use some kind of weird evil decisions which make no sense whatsoever (like Kotor did).
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April 23rd, 2009, 20:03
Reading his Blog, I can tell that he is talking about Consoles only. So his 5 features that changed gaming, he is only talking about 5 features that changed Console gaming.
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April 23rd, 2009, 20:11
i have to agree with those above that mentioned this reviewer has NO sense of the games before.

often implying or out right stating game X was the first to employ this groundbreaking concept. when in fact dozens up to 10 years before used it.

come on lists can be either bad or good. but lets weed out the really stupidly written ones or at least mention in the short blurb how terrible they are.
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April 23rd, 2009, 20:45
wasn't SimCity circa 1983 or 85ish one of the first sandbox games? GTA3 what a laugh.
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April 23rd, 2009, 23:34
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
Mass Effect's "lower option" path allows you to be a borderline unstable psychotic who would never be put in the position Shepherd is put in in ME.
The "upper option" allows you to be a leader who are so naive he/she puts people in danger.

Neither path really fit the role Shepard is supposed to have.
I couldn't resist to comment on this one…

Sorry, but you've just exactly described RL military leaders.
That's probably why that game was so popular. On one side you choose an idiot everyone will follow, on the other you have a typical sociopat. Both types are present in all world's armies. And they are making the real history. And no, they don't fit their role. At least not in a way we think they should.

This sounds rediculous? Maybe. But only if you think that the reality is different from those "stupid" choices in that game. Do join an army for a month or two and check it yourself.
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April 23rd, 2009, 23:52
Originally Posted by doctor_kaz View Post
I could do without the "moral dilemna" feature in most games. It's getting old and it usually has little effect upon the games that it is in. It also usually comes across as kind of contrived.
Agreed. If done right, it is awesome, but when it has little effect on the direction or outcome of the game, it's really just annoying.

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April 24th, 2009, 04:12
Originally Posted by mogwins View Post
Erm, this guy must really have missed out on some classic gaming to make that statement. Do you think we can pool together $40 or so to send him Dark Forces 2, Tie Fighter, X-Wing Alliance as examples of Star Wares games, and Torment, Fallout and Baldur's Gate 2 as examples of RPGs. Honestly, they'll blow his mind with gaming joy.
Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic were better than any of these except for Torment and BG2 which are about on par. SWKotOR is about the best game ever made and fortunately for me I'm not the only one who thinks that.
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April 24th, 2009, 04:41
Moral DELIMAS are fun. For lots of games, though, it's just a matter of good or evil, with each choice being obvious. The only difference in the long run is that you may get some different powers/weapons depending on which side you go for. Serious moral delimas where you aren't sure what's good and what's evil are rare, though. The Witcher really did those well. Fable 2 actually had one at the end but I'm not so sure the game designers even realized it.

As to the article, even if he's just talking consoles he should dump the cover system and replace it with "save anywhere." I think a few console games have had it (Oblivion?) and more desprately need it.
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April 24th, 2009, 05:34
Originally Posted by NFLed View Post
Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic were better than any of these except for Torment and BG2 which are about on par. SWKotOR is about the best game ever made and fortunately for me I'm not the only one who thinks that.
Seriously? I honestly can't fathom how it comes within a zillion miles of the best game ever made. Not trying to start a flame war - I just can't get my mind around your comment.

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April 24th, 2009, 06:06
I dislike moral dilemmas because I play the game to make the RIGHT or BEST choice. Having three choices that pretty much lead to the same thing is silly. I prefer dilemmas to be about a puzzle. So IMO dilemmas aren't much fun to play. Going back to U4 simple morality in the game was n amazing concept. Although D&D did push the Paladin and alignments it was never the main focus of any game done well until U4. That was much more of a paradigm shift obviously.

And, cmon, Gauntlet was the ultimate Co-Op game. Playing two player in the same game with virtually the same kind of character was revolution. In fact, most games were two player PvP for the longest time - that way you didn't suck memory coming up with complicated AI. Gauntlet opened it up for what it should be.

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April 24th, 2009, 10:51
Originally Posted by NFLed View Post
Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic were better than any of these except for Torment and BG2 which are about on par. SWKotOR is about the best game ever made and fortunately for me I'm not the only one who thinks that.

No, it wasn't. KotOR was a good game, but it was definitely not on par with BG2, not even close.
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