Wednesday, October 04, 2006

RPGs: Story vs. Gameplay

First of all, let us establish it is j00 not joo, those are zeroes (though it is admitedly hard to tell with this font).

Secondly, I think that Storyline and Gameplay are factors that can both affect the game equally. For example, Skies of Arcadia, that game has a sweet story, but probably one of the most boring battle systems known to man (though the ship-to-ship fighting is kinda of fun). That battle system is slow, clumsy, and ugly, but it didn't detract too much from what ended up being a pretty good game because the story was solid. Now, on the other hand look at the Grandia series. Those stories suck...all of them. However, that battle system is sweet, and can often carry the game to its usually anticlimactic conclusion because your characters and their enemies keep getting new abilities that make the battles fun and dynamic and usually pretty fun to watch.

I think this rule ends up being true for pretty much all genres and it's the rare game that gets them both right that is truly memorable: Star Control II, Chrono Trigger, Starcraft, etc. At the end of the day I think most RPGs are carried by their stories, but they don't have to be and there are plenty of examples to prove it.

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