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April 23rd, 2007, 15:35
Hi Mike,

I have to disagree with you on a minor point -- I think Zelda IS an RPG, at least to the same extent that Final Fantasy is an RPG. Maybe it's more of a blend of genres -- action adventure, RPG, and puzzle game. I'm not sure. You don't earn experience, per se, but your power does increase as you gather items and defeat boss monsters. You complete quests for people. It feels a little like an old Sierra game (Kings Quest, Police Quest, etc), with more action, but the RPG elements are there.

Anyway, I remember a few years back playing U7 Serpent Isle and thinking, "Wow, if games are this great now, they should be amazing in 10 years!" Based on my Ultima experiences, I assumed that worlds would get bigger, more complicated, and have deeper storylines. I saw that progression in U4-U7. I was wrong, to an extent. The way I saw the genre heading didn't happen. I was impressed by some games -- my favorites from the past few years comprise the usual suspects (FO, Baldur's Gate, Planescape, Gothic, KoTR, etc). But Ultima 8 and 9 almost physically hurt me, and, since Serpent Isle, I've only seen a few games where a character's choices have a real impact on an open-ended world (Gothic being my favorite). And maybe no game will ever match what I experienced when I was younger - I'm becoming a bit crotchety in my 30s. Anyway, while I have to have breaks from RPGs every so often, I don't think I can ever quit cold turkey. I have my fingers crossed that Fallout 3 will be something amazing. If not, I still haven't beaten NWN2…..
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