Piece of history

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Martin III
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Piece of history

Post by Martin III » Sat Aug 23, 2014 5:41 am

Maybe it's just me, but I found this letter in an issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly an interesting little look into the public's view of the 3DO at the time.

The ironic thing is that this issue is coverdated June 1994, so just a few months before both Guardian War and Slayer came out. Probably if the letter had been printed just one issue later, the editor could have told him about those games. (The "RPGs always have long and complex plots" comment adds even more to the irony.)

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Re: Piece of history

Post by T2KFreeker » Sat Aug 23, 2014 6:17 pm

You know, after reading that letter and the response, I have a stupid question; What would one consider "The Horde"? I know it isn't a traditional RPG and all, but it always had undertones of being one. Example, but different at the same time is that many people consider Castlevania Symphony of the Night and "Action RPG". I don't personally, but I have heard it called that. I would have considered that game a Platformer with RPG elements. If we can say that about SoTN, couldn't we call "The Horde" a distant RPG cousin as a strategy game with RPG Elements as well? I so think it'[s an overlooked game as it is, sadly. Excellent and well worth picking up.

It really is cool that the 3DO did get the RPG's that it got, but the system could have had a much richer experience under it's belt. At least it's not in the same boat as the Jaguar though which, technically, only had ONE RPG, and that was Towers II. I wish the 3DO had had more of a traditional, hand drawn game on par with Lunar or even a shining force game. While the 3D graphics of Guardian War are neat and all and Lucienne's Quest surely has it's own style as well, I would have loved to see someone get the sprite power working on the 3DO and really show off what it could have done, especially with some nicely animated cutscenes and the like. It is a look into history too, because that was right on the cusp of when RPG's went from being nerd fodder to becoming mainstream amongst gamers. Meh, I personally miss RPG's of that era as the ones they make now are usually nowhere near as good anyway.
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Re: Piece of history

Post by Martin III » Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:58 pm

T2KFreeker wrote:You know, after reading that letter and the response, I have a stupid question; What would one consider "The Horde"? I know it isn't a traditional RPG and all, but it always had undertones of being one. Example, but different at the same time is that many people consider Castlevania Symphony of the Night and "Action RPG". I don't personally, but I have heard it called that. I would have considered that game a Platformer with RPG elements. If we can say that about SoTN, couldn't we call "The Horde" a distant RPG cousin as a strategy game with RPG Elements as well? I so think it's an overlooked game as it is, sadly. Excellent and well worth picking up.
GamePro called it a "Strategy / Action game". Electronic Gaming Monthly listed it as "Action / Adventure". Sega Saturn Magazine listed it as a "Strategy / Hack Fest". Here's my own opinion, from the opening of my recent review of the Saturn version:

"The Horde is not an easy game to categorize. It's mainly built on the same principles as city-building simulations like Sim City, but it also has more than enough elements of overhead action adventure and real time strategy to be tossed into either of those categories as well."

But no, I don't consider The Horde an RPG. It doesn't even really have RPG elements; you get new equipment, but it never represents a clear-cut upgrade from your previous equipment. I think Star Control II is the one with the greatest claim to being an RPG. When I saw footage of the game online, I actually thought it was an RPG. It wasn't until I actually played it that I realized it's basically an action adventure game with RPG elements.
T2KFreeker wrote:It really is cool that the 3DO did get the RPG's that it got, but the system could have had a much richer experience under it's belt. At least it's not in the same boat as the Jaguar though which, technically, only had ONE RPG, and that was Towers II. I wish the 3DO had had more of a traditional, hand drawn game on par with Lunar or even a shining force game. While the 3D graphics of Guardian War are neat and all and Lucienne's Quest surely has it's own style as well, I would have loved to see someone get the sprite power working on the 3DO and really show off what it could have done, especially with some nicely animated cutscenes and the like. It is a look into history too, because that was right on the cusp of when RPG's went from being nerd fodder to becoming mainstream amongst gamers.
I dunno, I've always been quite pleased with the 3DO's library of RPGs, both in terms of quantity and variety. Compared to its contemporaries, it got far more RPGs than the Jaguar, 32X, PC-FX, CD-i, LaserActive, and Amiga CD32, and as many as the N64 despite being a far more short-lived console. The Turbo CD got more RPGs, but most of them are side-scrolling Action RPGs - not nearly the same variety as the 3DO. A sprite-based 3DO RPG would have been nice, but I just don't see how it could have ever happened. The 3DO's first party developers needed to push the hardware, and third party developers working on a sprite-based RPG would have had no reason to put it on the 3DO when consoles like the Sega CD could handle it just as well.
T2KFreeker wrote:Meh, I personally miss RPG's of that era as the ones they make now are usually nowhere near as good anyway.
Indeed... the ones they make now are much better! It amazes me how far RPGs have come since the days of "Attack, Attack, Attack, Attack, Attack, Heal, repeat until enemy is dead".

By the way, why do you always spell "RPGs" with an apostrophe? Just curious.

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Re: Piece of history

Post by T2KFreeker » Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:40 pm

Martin III wrote: By the way, why do you always spell "RPGs" with an apostrophe? Just curious.
I don't know, to be honest. Just something I have always done.

As for RPG's being "Better" these days. I don't know that I really agree with all of that either. The game changer was obviously Final Fantasy VII. At the time, it was beautiful to look at, but was still extremely deep. It also proved that an RPG could be a main stream success. The thing I hate though is that it also started the trend of FMV cutscenes being more important than the game content. It's not the game that really made it fashionable, but made people look at the fact that many people bought the game to show off what the Playstation could do with the FMV side of the game. The "Graphics" were amazing. I remember that being what I heard from the main majority of the people that bought the game. Hardly anybody talked about the quality of the gameplay or the very well crafted story. It was all about how amazing the CG cinematics are. Of course, Square proved it with Final Fantasy VIII, which I personally thought was just horrid. Too much movie and not enough gameplay. I remember back in the day, some dude broke down FF VIII and basically determined that the gamplay parts of the discs basically would fill three quarters of a Playstation disc, so that means three and a quarter discs were all just CG. Yeah, fun. At least with Spirits within, it wasn't a movie disguised as a game. :lol: This is what gets me with many new RPG's. Lot's of Cinematics with little meat and potatoes. Yes, the gameplay mechanics of new RPG's have improved immensely, that's when the developers allow you to use them. Obviously all of them aren't like this, but I just prefer the older RPG's to many of the newer ones. Just preference, to each their own.

On a side note, this has to do with ALL GAMES, not just RPG's. With CG Cinematics being the standard now, it is infuriating when they are a part of a game and they force you to watch the crap. You can't skip it no matter what, and it's even more dickish if you happen to die and they force you to watch them again. The company that really burns me on this for the longest time is SEGA. I remember wanting to like Nights for the Wii and Sonic Unleashed so much, but the damn Cinematics that you HAVE to watch, no skipping, and indeed, if you die, you have to rewatch them. This is just not cool. There have been other games of late that do that too, but I can't recall them anymore because it generally turns me off to a game. Maybe there are still gamers that just want to jump right in and get right to it, you know?

Oh, and the last one; another thing that kills a game are the endless updates. Example, I got God of War Ascension last week. Popped it into my PS3 and expected an update. I wasn't expecting almost 3gb of updates before I could play though. Needless to say, by the time the crap was done downloading, one part being so big it actually crashed twice and I had to start all over again from that section, I wasn't in the mood to play anymore. As a matter of fact, I haven't even popped it back into the PS3. I guess it would be one thing to let you know that an update is available and would I like to install it, but several of my PS3 games give me an update and if I refuse to install, I just get kicked back to the dashboard and can't play the game. Now that's serious BS right there. How about these jerks actually finish a game for a change before shipping and perhaps all the updates to "Fix" the games won't be necessary. I feel sorry for anyone with an XBOX One right now that wants to play CoD. From what I understand, every time they "Update" the game, it's actually getting worse.
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Re: Piece of history

Post by Martin III » Wed Aug 27, 2014 2:28 pm

T2KFreeker wrote:I remember back in the day, some dude broke down FF VIII and basically determined that the gamplay parts of the discs basically would fill three quarters of a Playstation disc, so that means three and a quarter discs were all just CG.
This is the case with all multi-disc games, including pre-FFVII games like D, Wing Commander III, Snow Job, The Deadalus Encounter, Psychic Detective, Night Trap, and Creature Shock. In fact, it's true of many single disc games too. I'll bet you any amount of money that 90% of disc space in Demolition Man and Iron Angel of the Apocalypse is taken up by FMVs, and that most of Star Control II is voice acting and FMV. Game engines and real time graphics simply don't take up a significant amount of space. Check how much of the actual play time of FFVIII is taken up by FMV, and you'll find that it's nowhere near a majority of the game.

The cutscenes in Nights for the Wii are skippable. I'm starting to wonder where this rumor that they aren't skippable came from - maybe everyone read the IGN review and just took their word for it, not realizing that factual errors are a matter of course for IGN? In general, I've found that skippable cutscenes is much more the norm nowadays. It's actually a shock these days when you find that you can't skip a cutscene; back in the 90s you hardly batted an eye when that happened.

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Re: Piece of history

Post by T2KFreeker » Thu Aug 28, 2014 4:18 am

Martin III wrote:
T2KFreeker wrote:I remember back in the day, some dude broke down FF VIII and basically determined that the gamplay parts of the discs basically would fill three quarters of a Playstation disc, so that means three and a quarter discs were all just CG.
This is the case with all multi-disc games, including pre-FFVII games like D, Wing Commander III, Snow Job, The Deadalus Encounter, Psychic Detective, Night Trap, and Creature Shock. In fact, it's true of many single disc games too. I'll bet you any amount of money that 90% of disc space in Demolition Man and Iron Angel of the Apocalypse is taken up by FMVs, and that most of Star Control II is voice acting and FMV. Game engines and real time graphics simply don't take up a significant amount of space. Check how much of the actual play time of FFVIII is taken up by FMV, and you'll find that it's nowhere near a majority of the game.

The cutscenes in Nights for the Wii are skippable. I'm starting to wonder where this rumor that they aren't skippable came from - maybe everyone read the IGN review and just took their word for it, not realizing that factual errors are a matter of course for IGN? In general, I've found that skippable cutscenes is much more the norm nowadays. It's actually a shock these days when you find that you can't skip a cutscene; back in the 90s you hardly batted an eye when that happened.
Nights Forces you to watch the cutscenes through once. I didn't get the information from any IGN review, I got the information from my copy of the game. The problem being is that it's Nights. Some of us really don't want to have to sit through it as it's Nights and we have played it before. Not to mention, the damn Owl has just an annoying as Hell voice.

As for the above post on FMV stuff, you have a point, but you also posted most of the games as FMV games. The main meat of the games are the cinematics themselves and that was the point. Final Fantasy VIII was a piece of garbage when comparing it to many other games in the series, and the main reason is that so much effort was put into making a "Pretty" game instead of a well put together one. It's all a matter of opinion in the end anyway, mang. You like new RPG's, that's awesome! Enjoy the games. :wink:
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Re: Piece of history

Post by Martin III » Fri Aug 29, 2014 1:53 pm

T2KFreeker wrote:As for the above post on FMV stuff, you have a point, but you also posted most of the games as FMV games. The main meat of the games are the cinematics themselves and that was the point. Final Fantasy VIII was a piece of garbage when comparing it to many other games in the series, and the main reason is that so much effort was put into making a "Pretty" game instead of a well put together one. It's all a matter of opinion in the end anyway, mang. You like new RPG's, that's awesome! Enjoy the games. :wink:
My point wasn't that cinematics-heavy games were the norm before FFVII; my point was the fact that CG comprises most of the disc space in Final Fantasy VIII.

I'd say Final Fantasy VIII is garbage not just when compared to many other games in the series, but in absolute terms. It still ranks as one of my top five worst RPGs I've ever played due to its laughable lack of balance, unsympathetic characters, and lazy plotting. It also has one my top five worst plot twists in video games (in fact, it's in at #1 with a bullet), the "we all just coincidentally happened to grow up at the same orphanage, and we never mentioned this before because we just plumb forgot about it" scene.

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Re: Piece of history

Post by BryWI » Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:39 pm

To each their own... but i had fun playing FFVIII. :)

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Re: Piece of history

Post by T2KFreeker » Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:50 pm

Martin III wrote:
T2KFreeker wrote:As for the above post on FMV stuff, you have a point, but you also posted most of the games as FMV games. The main meat of the games are the cinematics themselves and that was the point. Final Fantasy VIII was a piece of garbage when comparing it to many other games in the series, and the main reason is that so much effort was put into making a "Pretty" game instead of a well put together one. It's all a matter of opinion in the end anyway, mang. You like new RPG's, that's awesome! Enjoy the games. :wink:
My point wasn't that cinematics-heavy games were the norm before FFVII; my point was the fact that CG comprises most of the disc space in Final Fantasy VIII.

I'd say Final Fantasy VIII is garbage not just when compared to many other games in the series, but in absolute terms. It still ranks as one of my top five worst RPGs I've ever played due to its laughable lack of balance, unsympathetic characters, and lazy plotting. It also has one my top five worst plot twists in video games (in fact, it's in at #1 with a bullet), the "we all just coincidentally happened to grow up at the same orphanage, and we never mentioned this before because we just plumb forgot about it" scene.
Awesome. I am so glad that I am not the only person to see this! Kudos, brother. Kudos.
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Re: Piece of history

Post by Martin III » Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:32 am

Martin III wrote:My point wasn't that cinematics-heavy games were the norm before FFVII; my point was the fact that CG comprises most of the disc space in Final Fantasy VIII.
Holy cow, I completely forgot to finish my own sentence. :oops: What I meant to say was "my point was the fact that CG comprises most of the disc space in Final Fantasy VIII doesn't mean anything."

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