|
Your donations keep RPGWatch running!
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » 1Up - 2009: The Year of the Old-School RPG

Default 1Up - 2009: The Year of the Old-School RPG

January 1st, 2010, 04:24
Kat Bailey from 1UP's the grind takes a look at how the biggest RPGs of the year took a step back from innovation and tried to bring back that old school flavor to the games.
I don't agree with everything that was said, like Fallout 3 trying to advance the genre. If anything it devolved the genre, but it's an interesting read nonetheless:
Dragon Age: Origins is another RPG that is actually much harder than it looks. Unlike the more action-oriented Mass Effect, it's a point-and-click RPG in the best tradition of Baldur's Gate. In fact, it contains numerous references to those classic games, with phrases like "Gather your party and venture forth?" and exhortations to "go for the eyes" guaranteed to warm the hearts of old RPG fans. No surprise given that it's basically the spiritual successor to that series.
By comparison, the biggest RPGs of 2008 seemed more determined to advance the genre. Fallout 3 and Fable II were both designed to perfect the new ideas put forth by their predecessors (I consider Oblivion a spiritual predecessor to Fallout 3) in creating a massive world for players to explore. Meanwhile, two of the best Japanese RPGs of the year were highly experimental. Valkyria Chronicles brought a number of fascinating innovations to strategy RPGs, and The World Ends With You did the same for more traditional JRPGs with its unique brand of scaleable difficulty.
More information.
skavenhorde is offline

skavenhorde

skavenhorde's Avatar
Little BRO Rat

#1

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Taiwan
Posts: 5,403
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)

Default 

January 1st, 2010, 04:24
I'm not sure how Fallout 3 devolved the genre…thats a really silly comment.
--
If you don't stand behind your troops, feel free to stand in front.
rune_74 is offline

rune_74

SasqWatch
Original Sin 2 Donor

#2

Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,768
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)

Default 

January 1st, 2010, 05:18
Silly comment? So you want no story what so ever in an rpg? Hey, that's fine. I don't mind playing mindless games every now and then, but I strongly disagree with this:

By comparison, the biggest RPGs of 2008 seemed more determined to advance the genre. Fallout 3 and Fable II were both designed to perfect the new ideas put forth by their predecessors (I consider Oblivion a spiritual predecessor to Fallout 3) in creating a massive world for players to explore.

Advanced the genre? Like hell it did. You really want more graphics and less story and less skills?
--
Despite all my rage.
I'm still just a rat in a cage.
skavenhorde is offline

skavenhorde

skavenhorde's Avatar
Little BRO Rat

#3

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Taiwan
Posts: 5,403
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)

Default 

January 1st, 2010, 05:50
It had a decent storey, was it up to snuff of the previous ones? Maybe/maybe not…lets not go extreme here and say there was none. Did it make you feel like you were in a wasteland? Did for me…it had great atmosphere. I will give you that it did not advance in everything but I really think the atmosphere and feel was really well done to the point of advancing it.
rune_74 is offline

rune_74

SasqWatch
Original Sin 2 Donor

#4

Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,768
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)

Default 

January 1st, 2010, 06:01
Originally Posted by Kat Bailey View Post
By comparison, the biggest RPGs of 2008 seemed more determined to advance the genre.
V.A.T.S. & farts
DeepO is offline

DeepO

DeepO's Avatar
deep outside

#5

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Prague
Posts: 2,436
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)

Default 

January 1st, 2010, 10:15
Fallout 3 made me feel like I was in a post-appoc theme park. I enjoyed it, yes, but there's a lot I don't like about it. The story was pretty bad. I'm not sure it devolved the genre, but it was succesful, so if people try to emulate certain elements of it, it could be bad for the genre. I don't think we've seen much evidence of that happening of yet, however.
Badesumofu is offline

Badesumofu

Badesumofu's Avatar
Sentinel

#6

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 473
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)

Default 

January 1st, 2010, 11:08
I don't think it evolved nor devolved the genre. "Post-apoc theme park" is a pretty good description and, despite some misgivings, I enjoyed it enough. For everything that it did wrong and I'd hate to see taken up by everyone, it did something right that not enough do.

For example, it has some good instances of "environmental storytelling", even though the actual story plots are pretty bad.
--
-= RPGWatch =-
Dhruin is offline

Dhruin

Dhruin's Avatar
SasqWatch
Moderator
RPGWatch Team

#7

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 11,968
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)

Default 

January 1st, 2010, 15:15
Originally Posted by DeepO View Post
V.A.T.S. & farts
You mean … F.A.R.T.S ?
--
“ 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)
Alrik Fassbauer is offline

Alrik Fassbauer

Alrik Fassbauer's Avatar
TL;DR
Original Sin 1 & 2 Donor

#8

Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Old Europe
Posts: 17,838
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)

Default 

January 1st, 2010, 16:15
Some good RPG in last year 2009, but nothing redefining like NWN, Kotor, Morrowind or Gothic 2 in past years.
Ergonpandilus is offline

Ergonpandilus

Ergonpandilus's Avatar
The Guardian

#9

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oulu, Finland
Posts: 486
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)

Default 

January 1st, 2010, 16:19
Originally Posted by Dhruin View Post
I don't think it evolved nor devolved the genre. "Post-apoc theme park" is a pretty good description and, despite some misgivings, I enjoyed it enough. For everything that it did wrong and I'd hate to see taken up by everyone, it did something right that not enough do.

For example, it has some good instances of "environmental storytelling", even though the actual story plots are pretty bad.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it just like I enjoyed Borderlands, but if that is advancing the genre then they have a different definition of an RPG than I do. I am just glad that more RPGs didn't follow in Fallout 3 footsteps this year and instead of less story telling we seem to have had more. The biggest example would be Dragon Age.

I still stand by my claim that it was a step back. I can play and enjoy mindless RPGs and any other genre for that matter. But my idea of advancing this genre would be more complex C&C, more skills that actually matter and for god sakes at least make it a decent plot. Fallout 3 wouldn't even make a good B movie

With all that said I enjoyed and continue to enjoy Fallout 3, but I would like to see this genre head more in a Dragon Age direction than Fallout 3.
--
Despite all my rage.
I'm still just a rat in a cage.
skavenhorde is offline

skavenhorde

skavenhorde's Avatar
Little BRO Rat

#10

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Taiwan
Posts: 5,403
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)

Default 

January 1st, 2010, 16:25
Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
Silly comment? So you want no story what so ever in an rpg?
F3 had story that was on paper a real Fallout-story, both longer and in no way inferior to "get out, find waterchip" or "get out, find G.E.C.K" stories in the first two.

The main story in F1/F2 boiled down to it's necessary elements was incredibly short (just look at the speedruns).

The problem with Fallout 3 unlike 1 and 2 was the checkpoint A-B-C-D-E-F-G questdesign that removed the need for exploration to deal with the main quest. Fallout 1/2 was all about exploration to progress the main quest, that's why F1/F2 got away with almost non-existent main quest but with much more stuff to do on the side.

This issue is identical to the problems with Oblivion's main and faction quests compared to a game like Gothic 3 which main quest which only hold you back thanks to not knowing where to go and the fact that you need to beef up your character to make progress in some areas. These are two very different designs.

So I disagree. F3's problem wasn't the storywriting in itself, but it's design and execution. What F3 did accomplish though was an incredible atmosphere of being in a wasteland, a feeling that was even better executed in the later expansion Point Lookout.
--
Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
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
JemyM is offline

JemyM

JemyM's Avatar
Okay, now roll sanity.

#11

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 6,028
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Send a message via ICQ to JemyM Send a message via MSN to JemyM

Default 

January 1st, 2010, 16:37
So purify the water AGAIN is ok by you. Oh, let's not forget to get the GECK again shall we. Reminds me of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. They couldn't come up with anything better so they just made ANOTHER Death Star.

Did you go into the vaults? What was the story there? I could go on and on, so instead of rehashing, yet again, another fallout 3 debate I will just say I strongly disagree. There was absolutely no story what so ever that Fallout 1 and 2 didn't cover first. Couldn't they have at least tried to come up with something different or come up?

Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
What F3 did accomplish though was an incredible atmosphere of being in a wasteland, a feeling that was even better executed in the later expansion Point Lookout.
Agreed. That is why I don't hate Fallout 3. I play it for what it is and enjoy it immensely, but as far as advancing the genre is concerned, that is a definite hell no from me.
--
Despite all my rage.
I'm still just a rat in a cage.
skavenhorde is offline

skavenhorde

skavenhorde's Avatar
Little BRO Rat

#12

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Taiwan
Posts: 5,403
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)

Default 

January 1st, 2010, 16:53
Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
So purify the water AGAIN is ok by you. Oh, let's not forget to get the GECK again shall we. Reminds me of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. They couldn't come up with anything better so they just made ANOTHER Death Star.
That's not how I see SW6 and it's not how I see F3. It's easy to find similarities no matter what you are trying to compare if you wish hard enough, but once you begin to look for the differences you see them right away. For SW6 for example I have more memory of Jabba's Palace and AT-ST's on Endor than the death star. Even if I wasn't a huge fan of Ewoks, Jabba's Palace alone had the most new iconic content in any of the other 5 movies as far as I concern. And when it comes to the whole purify water angle, pure water is a very common story element in post-apocalypse games/movies, this time it had the whole angle of how to do it, with the whole emotional/moral bit about the projects importance, which was very different from F1 in which you only needed an item that that was that.

Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
Did you go into the vaults? What was the story there?
I did everything F3 had to offer. I explored every area, solved every quest, got every unique/special item etc. Some of the F3 vaults had a very unique/distinct story/feel to them, just like in the earlier games. The story about "what happened" could often be found in notes, on computers etc. I especially remember a spooky one which I think was poisoned with some kind of hallucination gas. There are plenty of more places/events/quests/characters in F3 I vividly remember for it's unique touch.

Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
There was absolutely no story what so ever that Fallout 1 and 2 didn't cover first. Couldn't they have at least tried to come up with something different or come up?
I think you are trying too hard.

Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
Agreed. That is why I don't hate Fallout 3. I play it for what it is and enjoy it immensely, but as far as advancing the genre is concerned, that is a definite hell no from me.
I do not think F3 advanced it's genré at all, but rather it was an attempt to resurrect what many modern games have removed. I still find Bethesda's questdesign inferior to that of games like Gothic, Fallout 2, Baldur's Gate and other free-roaming games. I was only disagreeing to the point that it had "no story".
--
Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
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
JemyM is offline

JemyM

JemyM's Avatar
Okay, now roll sanity.

#13

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 6,028
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Send a message via ICQ to JemyM Send a message via MSN to JemyM

Default 

January 1st, 2010, 17:16
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
I have more memory of Jabba's Palace and AT-ST's on Endor than the death star. Even if I wasn't a huge fan of Ewoks, Jabba's Palace alone had the most new iconic content in any of the other 5 movies as far as I concern.
Too true. Princess Lei's Bikini will always be in my mind . Maybe it's a bit of a stretch by comparing it to Star Wars, but just the whole story in Fallout 3 left a bad taste in my mouth. There are a few interesting parts like the 'find the violoin' quest, but then we are back to the vaults again which pissed me off to no end. What kind of sense does it make to conduct experiments on people when the human race has been brought to its knees. That made absolutely no sense to me and to tell you the truth, I hate the direction they went with Vault Tech. They went from the saviors of the old world to this idiotic corporations that wanted to conduct tests on people when the whole world was in flames.
I did everything F3 had to offer. I explored every area, solved every quest, got every unique/special item etc. Some of the F3 vaults had a very unique/distinct story/feel to them, just like in the earlier games. The story about "what happened" could often be found in notes, on computers etc. I especially remember a spooky one which I think was poisoned with some kind of hallucination gas. There are plenty of more places/events/quests/characters in F3 I vividly remember for it's unique touch.
Yes, the notes were unique. Reminiscent of System Shock, but the reasoning behind those notes is what I had a problem with. Like in my previous statement. What kind of sense does it make to do these things AFTER the world has gone to hell? What would of made more sense would be like a 'JERMIAH' plot line. If you have never seen the TV show let me tell you the gist. The gov waits and bides their time after a deadly disease has wiped out all the adults. They wait for awhile in their 'vaults' and then come out gun blazing to bring order to the chaos. That kind of evil makes sense. Just conducting experiments just for the hell of it made no sense to me at all.

I think you are trying too hard.
At what?

I do not think F3 advanced it's genré at all, but rather it was an attempt to resurrect what many modern games have removed. I still find Bethesda's quest design inferior to that of games like Gothic, Fallout 2, Baldur's Gate and other free-roaming games. I was only disagreeing to the point that it had "no story".
Well, I was just mostly agreeing with you anyways about the atmosphere. That truly was great. I got chills sometimes just walking around that destroyed city.

That last bit about advancing the genre is what started this mess. I should of known better to say anything about it because all it ever leads to is another discussion on Fallout 3 and truthfully I think that well is dry. Everything that can be said has been said before, many times, and with many cuss words

And since it's dry, let's continue this after New Vegas has been released. I have high hopes for that game. If they manage to combine a decent story with the other things that Fallout 3 did very well, then by god that will be one fine game.

It was just that tiny bit in the article about 2008 advancing our genre that got my flamefest fingers a flying Try saying that ten times fast

My point of view is that Fallout is a step back, sure it did some things very well, but I would love to see this genre head in more Witcher, Dragon Age, or even Mass Effect direction. And that is all I really have to say on the great Fallout 3 Debate.
--
Despite all my rage.
I'm still just a rat in a cage.
skavenhorde is offline

skavenhorde

skavenhorde's Avatar
Little BRO Rat

#14

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Taiwan
Posts: 5,403
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)

Default 

January 1st, 2010, 17:34
Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
What kind of sense does it make to conduct experiments on people when the human race has been brought to its knees. That made absolutely no sense to me and to tell you the truth, I hate the direction they went with Vault Tech. They went from the saviors of the old world to this idiotic corporations that wanted to conduct tests on people when the whole world was in flames.
Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
Yes, the notes were unique. Reminiscent of System Shock, but the reasoning behind those notes is what I had a problem with. Like in my previous statement. What kind of sense does it make to do these things AFTER the world has gone to hell? What would of made more sense would be like a 'JERMIAH' plot line. If you have never seen the TV show let me tell you the gist. The gov waits and bides their time after a deadly disease has wiped out all the adults. They wait for awhile in their 'vaults' and then come out gun blazing to bring order to the chaos. That kind of evil makes sense. Just conducting experiments just for the hell of it made no sense to me at all.
If you are of the kind who are willing to conduct experiments on people, chances are that you aren't a rational person in the first place.

Vault Tech corporation remind me a lot about the commercialism from the 60'ies during the cold war. I watched an episode of the "Cold War" documentaries that specifically dealt with American (and British) culture when facing the promise of nuclear war, the propaganda, the "how to survive a nuclear war" videos, the useless products that they tried to push on people exploiting their fear etc, so it felt just right to me. Not to mention all the victims of the American testings of nuclear weapons. There were quite a lot of shady crap going on in the US back in those days.

Originally Posted by skavenhorde View Post
My point of view is that Fallout is a step back, sure it did some things very well, but I would love to see this genre head in more Witcher, Dragon Age, or even Mass Effect direction. And that is all I really have to say on the great Fallout 3 Debate.
Well, here's another angle. It's a step back like Dragon Age was a step back. Back in time that is, which considering the latest 5 years of cRPG's is a good thing.

Fallout 3 is the first RPG I remember in ages that had the promise to create unique characters with an unique set of abilities followed by a unique set of perks/skills. Did it work? No, but compared to Oblivion, Mass Effect, Jade Empire and other recent over-simplified games it was a "step back" in time.

Fallout 3 also had a greater emphasis on subquests and moral angles, something that was completely oblivious in oblivion. This was also a "step back".

Fallout 3's V.A.T.S. system make sure that F3 isn't a first-person shooter, where as Bioware is moving in the direction of Gears of War, F3 takes a "step back" into the time where your character was more important than your trigger finger.

Was F3 a step forward from F1/F2? Hell no, but mechanically it was a step forward from Jade Empire/Mass Effect in a "stop cutting away all the RPG mechanics" kind of way. This might be why I am positive about F3, because I do not compare it with F1/F2, instead I compare it with Oblivion, Mass Effect and Jade Empire.
--
Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind. - John F Kennedy
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
JemyM is offline

JemyM

JemyM's Avatar
Okay, now roll sanity.

#15

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 6,028
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Send a message via ICQ to JemyM Send a message via MSN to JemyM

Default 

January 1st, 2010, 18:00
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
You mean … F.A.R.T.S ?
this RPG innovation
DeepO is offline

DeepO

DeepO's Avatar
deep outside

#16

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Prague
Posts: 2,436
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)

Default 

January 1st, 2010, 18:01
Advancing the genre to the mainstream seems to be wanting RPG's to turn into shooter or adventure games.
Ashbery76 is offline

Ashbery76

Ashbery76's Avatar
Watchdog

#17

Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 154
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)

Default 

January 1st, 2010, 19:37
Originally Posted by Ashbery76 View Post
Advancing the genre to the mainstream seems to be wanting RPG's to turn into shooter or adventure games.
Um….I don't see it that way. I think blending games with certain elements from other so called genres is just fine. It is silly to say that an rpg is not an rpg if it has first person shooting(systems shocks) or has more of an adventure style to it(fairy tale adventure was like this) It is the weird must define RPG like this mentality that limits the genre in some people minds.
rune_74 is offline

rune_74

SasqWatch
Original Sin 2 Donor

#18

Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 4,768
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)

Default 

January 2nd, 2010, 01:29
What I wonder is how well these writers consider what "advancing" a genre entails.

It reminds me of the way journos often use the term "innovation" without really having a full grasp of its place in economic theory, using it as a catch-all positive phrase were - in actuality - innovation always has been a process of falling and getting back up, and "failed" innovation (like, say, Oblivion's Radiant AI) can be as important as successful innovation by showing people how not to do it. It's a key concept in measuring the vitality of an industry or the success and longevity of an economic niche. But the way it's used instead, it becomes completely meaningless.

Same is true for this idea of certain games "regressing" or "progressing" a genre. Genres are a mutable concept anyway (though the shortly popular idea that they need to be done with is a somewhat misguided denial of their place in consumer culture), but even if they weren't, how could they work on a chronological, linear scale? This is as misguided as Fukuyama's End of History concept: you can not represent the development of a genre or school of design as starting at point 0 and going to point 100 and passing 1-99 in order with equal spacing in between. It's folly.

The game industry as a whole - and RPGs as a genre - jumps forwards with leaps and bounds in certain areas - like graphics - keeps meandering on other areas - like AI - and is at a dead standstill in remaining areas - like writing. Take that enormous complexity of progression and regression on the rare pieces that can be measured on a linear scale - and really only technical execution is available for this - and then add the fact that most elements can *not* be measured on a linear scale, and the whole mess becomes clear. Less story and more exploration-focused action-RPGs like the Gothics or the Elder Scrolls do not represent a "regression" or "progression" of the genre, they just represent a different interpretation.

To me, it seems that denying that this is so places unnecessary constraints on RPGs as a genre, either by denying the validity of "old-school" concepts - be it turn-based combat or story-heavy gaming - or by turning up your nose at "innovative" concepts - be it simplified, gamey dialogue or action-heavy gaming.
Brother None is offline

Brother None

Brother None's Avatar
SasqWatch

#19

Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,558
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)

Default 

January 2nd, 2010, 02:16
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
For SW6 for example I have more memory of Jabba's Palace and AT-ST's on Endor than the death star. Even if I wasn't a huge fan of Ewoks, Jabba's Palace alone had the most new iconic content in any of the other 5 movies as far as I concern.

The Battle of Hoth …..nuff said.
JDR13 is offline

JDR13

JDR13's Avatar
SasqWatch
Original Sin Donor

#20

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Florida, US
Posts: 24,921
Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
RPGWatch Forums » Comments » News Comments » 1Up - 2009: The Year of the Old-School RPG
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +2. The time now is 03:56.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.10
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright by RPGWatch