It's why one camera angle isn't utilized for more than ten consecutive seconds when filming television shows or movies. It's why everything from commercials to cartoons has to constantly be in the face of the viewer. The information age has resulted in many positive things, but one of the negative results has been a society of instant gratification-seeking, something-must-always-be-happening, sneaker-gazing people.

While it's certainly true that gaming once relied almost entirely on reflexes and many would argue that video games might be a root cause of attention problems, we're starting to see the "twitch" impact in most every angle of the gaming world. And the one genre that may suffer most – especially in the eyes of the long-time hardcore fans – is the role-playing genre. While we now have the technology to allow actions and commands to happen faster and more fluidly, we're also sacrificing any semblance of slow (or even moderate) pacing. Final Fantasy XIII has often been used as an example of flashy speed supplanting depth and overall micromanagement, and that's hardly the only instance. Last year's Call of Duty: Black Ops was so over-the-top, it was borderline absurd. It was fun and intense but one could easily note the increase in rapid-fire "impact" moments.

Many say turn-based gaming has died as a result of better technology, and it simply isn't desirable anymore. All real-time is superior, because developers can include all the depth and strategy without the need to pause combat. …but that may not be the only reason we're not seeing any slower-paced games, anymore. Is it also because game designers, like most entertainers, understand that the masses now have attentions spans of hamsters, and can't focus on any one thing for more than a few seconds at a time? One other intriguing thing about RPGs: they used to be the king of cut-scenes and CGI; Xenosaga boasted half-hour breaks in the action, and many other RPGs featured hours of non-interactive content. The argument that it was like "watching a movie" was always stupid, as the adventures were at least 40 hours in length and no game included more than a few hours of "movies."

But the longest cut-scenes we've seen this generation have probably belonged to MGS4, and that's about it. Most any other game doesn't feature a cut-scene longer than a few minutes; it's almost as if developers have a limit or formula now. In regards to RPGs, many of which thrive on storytelling, this may prove problematic. How much longer before even "RPGs" will include action that isn't much different than CoD? That's the question that keep role-playing fans up at night, somehow knowing they'll be forced to keep revisiting the classics, because the pacing and style of the "future" has forced the entire industry to congeal into one, giant, incessantly flashing piece of seizure-inducing entertainment.

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CHAOS THEORY X
CHAOS THEORY X
9 years ago

I have a short attention span, like this one time I was eating cookie crisp and reading the funnies and…Woah Jos. A Bank has a 50-70% off sale?!

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
9 years ago

Huh? What?

Sorry 'bout that, a bird flew just past my window.
So what were you saying again?

Wait a minute……there go's another bird.
Damn, now where did I leave my toast?
So yeah, you were saying?

Oh, wait a sec……

NoSmokingBandit
NoSmokingBandit
9 years ago

When a game like Black Ops sells more in 1 day than Valkyria Chronicles will in its whole life you know RPGs are dying. Its a shame. Kids these days care more about shooting the hell out of stuff than a great story, characters, environments, etc.
It makes me miss the RPG glory days of the SNES. So much awesome.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

It's a lack of demand – or at least a perceived lack of demand by Japanese developers – so no, I don't think it's all their fault.

And by the way, that lack of demand is fueled by faster-paced obsessions…like CoD.


Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 1/5/2011 10:29:29 AM

NoSmokingBandit
NoSmokingBandit
9 years ago

Japanese devs arent gong to make RPGs when fast-paced shooting games sell twice as much, twice as quickly, and require half the artistic talent.

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

The pacing argument is a great one, Ben.

Music is a perfect example to those that may not watch many good movies or theatre.

The best music ever written is full of tempo changes. In fact, the most well respected music by music professionals were songs from the Classical, Baroque, and Romantic eras where many songs were written with a number of movements.

Some of the best artistic experiences know how to change tempo appropriately. Modern gaming is seemingly one constant speed. CoD Black Ops is a great example of constant speed. It keeps you on the edge of your seat, and if action is all you want, then it's perfect. But it will never be a strong story or narrative in any artistic light if it can't slow down from time to time. As a result, we don't REALLY get to know much about Mason, nor do we really care about him. And in MW2, none of us really cared about Ghost or Pvt. Allen, either.

FFXIII does the same thing.

Here's an example MOST rpg fans can relate to…

Take FFVII. There are times of anxiety like the opening bombing mission. There are moderately paced times like exploring or finding a way through a sewer. And there are slow times like when Cloud and Tifa are in the lifestream investigating his past. That's a solid half hour+ of absolutely NO combat. But boy, is it ever important!! Imagine if that scene took no time to explore!

At any rate, I think pacing is definitely a huge issue. Uncharted has done this relatively well, for sure this generation. But the RPG genre seems to be waning a bit. Perhaps because there just aren't many of them, or maybe it's because I'm only focusing on a handful of titles, I dunno. But the instant gratification clause certainly contributes to a negative outcome.

EDIT: Actually, after second thoughts, I don't think the RPG genre is the culprit with the exception of 1 or 2 titles like FFXIII. I think it has more to do with what people are looking for. Perhaps constant action that allows the mind to disengage from full activity is currently the king of entertainment. And perhaps that's why we also see most critics following suit.


Last edited by Underdog15 on 1/4/2011 10:16:00 PM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

But RPGs definitely have taken a blow because of this frame of mind. Namely the death of turn based systems which require thought instead of reaction time.

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

I liked a lot of what you had to say Underdog with your edit. So thumbs up for you =)

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

These days, words like "tempo" and "subtlety" are completely lost on this society, which is why entertainers only need to worry about "faster" and "more." You're right that it's not necessarily linked directly to JRPGs; it's more of a sociological occurrence.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

It's a travesty for sure. I was playing Final Fantasy VIII today and it was just blatantly clear how much better Squaresoft was than SquareEnix because the Junction system is so involved and in depth and you can customize every little thing about your attacks and Guardian Forces. Fast forward to now and all you can do in the FFXIII Crystarium is pick which class you want to level up faster. It's BS.

The Twitter age is destroying games and series left and right, but more than that its destroying genres. All genres have to be action now. I love me some action, but not ALL the time. At least in the WRPG world we still have well paced titles like Dragon Age and slower exploration based RPGs like Fallout and Elder Scrolls.

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

I finished FF9 last week for the first time. I managed to play through about 4 FF's within about a year's span O.o
I never thought I'd do that. Like ever. I think the PSP is to blame. I manage to play through full FF's quietly in the background while I focus the bulk of my game playing time on console games.
But of the PSX FF's. I have to say I enjoyed the combat/leveling system most in FFVIII. Initially, I didn't. Coming right off the heels of FF7 it took me a little time to adjust to FF8's peculiar system. But after taking the time to learn it, I've came to value it the most. Also, I think I like Zidane the most as a protagonist. And I liked the atmosphere/setting of FF7 the most. And the music in all of them were great. And while I know FF8 has a really admired ending, I liked FF9's the most.

Anyway, hopefully Square can figure out their target audience for FF15

I still liked FF13's system. Granted, it was pretty straight forward in the Crystarium. I did like learning how to work the leveling of the items/weapons etc.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Best avatar yet Worlds… 😉

The current trends in society are for an ever faster pace, blogs not diaries, facebook micro-blogging (status updates) not blogs, twitter instead of micro-blogging, SMS text instead of real text, …whatever next?

The quality of the communication and amount of information conveyed is at an all time low. You simply can't communicate properly in 80 character strings. People often suggest I'm long winded or write too much in a reply. OK, but at least you know what I was thinking when I wrote my reply. People are conditioned to this frantic pace, and it affects their entertainment tastes.

Looking Glass
Looking Glass
9 years ago

I would like to respectfully disagree with you about one particular thing. Turn-based systems are not dead. They are just much more uncommon now. A case in point would be Atelier Rorona.

But alas, I too am quite appalled by the all the seemingly obsessive focus on instant gratification gaming.


Last edited by Looking Glass on 1/4/2011 10:52:19 PM

PasteNuggs
PasteNuggs
9 years ago

@TheHighlander
What I do instead of making super long replies to people is not texting and CALLING them. Then I can get out what I want to say while being able to hold the attention of the people I'm talking to.

Looking Glass
Looking Glass
9 years ago

Furthermore, even games such as Dragon Age, Fallout, and Elder Scrolls are still real time action based. Which is not a good sign at all.


Last edited by Looking Glass on 1/4/2011 11:04:56 PM

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

But Looking Glass, games like Fallout and Dragon Age/Never Winter Nights have been around well before this trend took off. I don't think this is so much about anti-action games as it is the influence of market trends affecting franchises that have historically been turn-based or more methodical into something more action intensive. SC: Conviction is an example I'm playing now of that.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

C'mon Looking Glass, only the really niche titles and PSP games still use turn based battle. You know as well as I that it's no longer relevant in today's popular games.

Regarding the WRPGs, those are typically real time so nothing has been stripped away from them. Futhermore, they still have more customization and micromanagement of stats, weapons, armor, and items than any JRPG available on next gen consoles.

That's what I liked about WKC, it still gives you a great deal of customization options compared to other attempts at a JRPG, however the battle system is again a hybrid.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

@Paste2TheNuggs

If you opt for voice or face to face instead of texting, you are 1000% or more ahead of those that stick to text.

I can't remember the exact % but if face to face is 100% effective communication (expressions, body language, timber and tone that a phone can't capture, etc…), telephone is something like 20% effective, and emails are something like 7%. SMS texts and other short forms of communications drop that even further.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Thanks Highlander, I rather like this pic 🙂

totozero18
totozero18
9 years ago

I'll quote myself here "Square's fall begun when it joined the tumor that used to be called Enix"

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

But even Enix used to be phenominal! They're responsible for the Dragon Quest/Warrior series. Granted, it was never too popular in the PAL region, but in Japan, there was a time when it was ven more popular than the FF franchise. Dragon Warrior 7 made it to PSX, and graphically, it sucked, but it was one of the most epic adventures out there.

I remember when they first merged, I was actually excited expecting bigger and better things. But I think something along the lines happened that caused the people that SHOULD have had control to not have control or decision making rights. I also think a lot of it has to do with poor leadership.

Quite frankly, I'm astonished the shareholders aren't demanding WADA's head on a silver platter yet. They have the tools to be amazing, but they can't seem to coordinate themselves appropriately.

Looking Glass
Looking Glass
9 years ago

@WorldEndsWithMe

Not relevant you say? I think that would depend on how you define relevant. As far as I can tell turn-based systems are still quite relevant in the Japanese gaming market. And even in the West they do have a perhaps relatively small but solid following. And of course even niche games have their audiences. Atelier Rorona for example has actually sold well in the states (using the own standards of success of it's developer and publisher).

BikerSaint
BikerSaint
9 years ago

World,
<<<Twitter age>>>>

Hey now, wait just a cotton-picking minute there, I'm 58 & I'm Twitter! "HA,HA"

(But Twitter, Raptr, & PSXE are about the only real damned online social networking that I'll do)

Alienange
Alienange
9 years ago

Oh lordy I hope Square Enix reads your articles.

I am currently in chapter 13 of FFXIII and I'll be damned if I'm not actually enjoying the battle system. It's taken me 40 hours to get here, but it's actually fun now. But I can't help but feel that turn based would have been better.

When I say turn based, I don't mean the jrpg mechanic of yesteryear. I mean something LIKE turn based. FFXIII's idea of turn based is laughable. There's so much flash, camera angles and what not going on that you can't even enjoy what is most definitely some of the most beautiful graphics to grace the PS3.

I can't help but mention Lost Odyssey's turn based gameplay. It wasn't as if it was boring. The game still had you flicking buttons during combat to get those rings to do their thing, but you had the time to sit and admire what was going on (and that low camera when running at your target? That was gaming gold).

I actually get the impression that devs might THINK that we want this kind of gameplay, and it does have a certain appeal, I just don't think it's all we should get. There are still a lot that can be done with turn based and I think they're missing a big opportunity.


Last edited by Alienange on 1/4/2011 10:24:59 PM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

Lost Odyssey was awesome. One of my favorites. If FFXIII had used that style, I would've loved it to pieces.

Or, if FFXIII had just used the combat mechanic in FFXII – which allowed us to PAUSE and made it feel like an RPG, along with a lot more micromanagement and depth – I also would've liked it more.

I do like FFXIII plenty, as I've said before. It's just a compare-and-contrast problem.

Riku994
Riku994
9 years ago

It is very sad… I miss good RPGs, I guess I should realize that if my dream of LoD being remade or given a new iteration, it wouldn't be close to the same unless someone with a brain was running it.

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
9 years ago

Sony Japan gave us EchoChrome, Siren: Blood Curse, and aided in the development of Demon's Souls this gen. I think they could do it, if the head honchos at Sony wanted it done.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

I think that this shift is partly a sociological change in our culture in general, and doesn't necessarily reflect shorter attention spans as it does an inability to think, consider, or follow a scene that lasts more than a minute or two. TV and movies have become dominated by the short scene and quick cuts, TV news is about the sound bite. Even our print media has started to decline into a collection of headlines with a paragraph or two covering only the most basic elements of the story.

People read tabloids, not broadsheets. It takes effort and thought to read the long, detailed and analytical story in a broadsheet, but only a few seconds to scan the headlines.

People are becoming ever more superficial. It's about that Now, now, now! They want to be told everything in short bursts, no analysis, only a conclusion. Sound bytes, not facts.

I feel like this is something that particularly affects the younger population, those under 40 for example appear more susceptible to it. I'd bet money this is something that every generation says when they hit 40 and realize that the younger generation has no patience for the things that they like.

But, this is where I have a problem with the entire concept that JRPGs are somehow no longer appropriate to today's gamers. They may not be as appropriate to the mass of 16-30 year old gamers, but as you climb the demographic profile to older gamers, games like JRPGs are far more popular. However the video game industry still hasn't grown up enough to recognize that gamers segment by genre, but also by age with older gamers preferring certain genre to others. The industry though appears to be fascinated with that 16-30 year old male gamer, and having found a formula that works very well for them, they are pandering to it to the extreme.

The thing is that this generation will mature also, and they to will change in their gaming tastes and the new gamers will want something different, and the cycle will continue.

The trick that the industry has so far failed to pull off is to recognize and utilize the demographic segmentation of the market in addition to the genre segmentation. JRPGs would sell – IMHO, if the right people knew they were available. How many gamers have drifted away or given up because games have drifted away from the things they like? OK the market continues to grow as 'mainstream' gamers are added, but there are also gamers leaving the market because nothing caters to them. That is a squandered opportunity in my opinion.

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

To create a slippery slope, I could only assume that as more and more broken homes, parentless children, illegal immigrants, and welfare families rise up in America the less educated as a whole we may become. With less reading, less education, and less critical thinking I could only assume we'd have less entertainment that appeals to audiences who want to think.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Excellent point. More than once I've walked away from gaming only to come back for a JRPG release that I had to play.

I bought my PS3 assuming it would be the RPG juggernaut that the PS2 was. And as a result I didn't buy much for the first couple years. Luckily I found this site and it turned my onto other genres, but your average gamer doesn't even belong to an online community let alone a productive one.

Qubex
Qubex
9 years ago

"People are becoming ever more superficial. It's about that Now, now, now! They want to be told everything in short bursts, no analysis, only a conclusion. Sound bytes, not facts."

Highlander, I understand what you are trying to say, but let us not forget that as this new technological world beckons with "always on news" and dynamic feeds delivered by your "best friend" in your pocket, the smart phone or tablet… there is plenty of "attention grabbing" things to help people lose their attention spans on things they may have traditionally spent more time on…

Generally speaking, I don't think it would be completely fair to categorize society as losing the ability (or even the want) to be analytical… a couple of general rules, I would assume anyway, that if someone has been "educated" to an adequate level, their minds should be developed enough to be able to do some sort of analysis on any subject they find interesting. Root cause to superficiality, to a fair degree anyway, is what is affecting a lot of us now… time, or the lack of it.

Again, its the ebb and flow of life… there are times in life, periods in your life, where things are calmer so you may have the energy and will to explore things in greater detail.

In fact, I believe many would love to have more time to do more of what they are interested in, whatever that is. Reading broadsheets in detail, to get your information, is one way of doing it; but as you well know, there are plenty of good detailed websites full of deep analytical information.

I like to catch the headlines initially, to see if something interests me or if a piece is being written on a subject I have a vested interest in… otherwise it is just news or information that may have no particular relevance to me.

Of course news on politics, finance, crime, issues of life that, in some cases, are critical to the well being of your life, are worth delving into… I think most people would have some interest in what is going on around them; but the time needed to fully understand a subject, its associated information and the consequences of acting or not acting on the information given, I believe, is the constraints in time many of us have to deal with that is the ultimate bottleneck…

Lets not forget, different media outlets handle news and information in different ways, whether it be print, television, radio or online… question is, whatever it is you are reading, and whatever it is you are trying to understand… how valid is it to you, is the information factually accurate and do you have the time to invest in reading, listening and watching it.

So even though, on the surface society may seem fast, furious and somewhat superficial, and not willing to delve deeply into certain subjects, i don't think its the complete picture. I have seen some amazing things come from people you would never have thought it possible… great things come in small packages 🙂

I would say "superficiality" is on the increase and I agree with that… but you have to ask yourself the question why?

Is it because people are becoming dumber?

Or is it because the pressures of life, time and other issues people are dealing with, just don't allow the average Joe to spend the analytical time needed to fully understand a subject, being it gaming (or a particular game), world affairs, health, science, nature etc etc.

How many people, therefore, can really think beyond the immediate scope of their lives and the problems they have to deal with on an everyday basis…

I feel it is difficult enough just keeping up with the basics…

Do you agree?

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"


Last edited by Qubex on 1/5/2011 12:40:37 AM

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

You bring up an interesting point as well Qubex, namely that the very things that are supposed to give us more time actually rob us of it.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

I suppose I could alter the system and somehow give you 10 thumbs up at once, but that might be a lot of work. 🙂

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Qubex,

Excellent post as always. I think that the technology and devices we use are shaped by our desires as a society. I think you give people more credit than I do, and I thought i was optimistic… LOL!

Ideally I would completely agree with you on this; 'I would assume anyway, that if someone has been "educated" to an adequate level, their minds should be developed enough to be able to do some sort of analysis on any subject they find interesting.'.

The trouble is that Even among my own circle of friends and associates who are almost without exception degree educated, there is perilously little thought and analysis, and it's not a lack of time that prevents it.

In the end, I don't think people are necessarily becoming dumber, simply lazier. Instead of making time for the things that matter, they adopt a 'good enough' approach to information gathering, relying on the media to feed them because it's easier.

robinhood2010
robinhood2010
9 years ago

As always Highlander, a great post.

However, I just want to add 2 cents here.

I am 22, and I have a brother who is 16.

We both love turn-based JRPGs, and lament the fact they are dying out.

My first one would have been FFVII at the age of 9, and shortly after this Vandal Hearts. I have now played every single FF, as well as countless other JRPGs and WRPGs.

I don't think it has any particular bearing on age, but, dare I say it, capacity for intelligence.

Less intelligent people read less, for example. So why would they be interested in reading in a videogame?

My 12 year old brother played SC:Conviction. Even in that, he skipped all the story. I was shocked! How can you play a game such as that and skip the little story progression it has, I asked. Admittedly, he is not as academically intelligent as myself.

And before anyone judges me, I am a secondary school teacher, so if anyone is qualified to judge people on intelligence, it is me.

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

^.^ No need to get defensive before anyone poses a threat! lol 🙂

@Qubec
Nice post, friend! I certainly lament times of life that get busy. Not only do I miss important news items I feel important to be educated on, but I occasionally find myself having to focus much of my time and effort on things that I don't consider a priority in terms of personal importance. That, too, takes away from my being able to indulge on some of the more informative things in life.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

Qubex: I get what you're saying but like Highlander, you give people more credit than I do.

For a time, I did believe humans hadn't really changed on a chemical/biological level since the days of literary masters, when the privileged spent their time expanding their minds via the arts, rather than wasting their precious time on flashy, instant gratification. And while I do believe that somewhere deep down, intelligent people still wish to be analytical, and still want to feed the brain (which always craves things), I believe the overwhelming pressure of this technology-driven world is literally killing the best parts of ourselves.

There's no doubt some people are still capable of amazing things, as you say. But look at it this way- where are our master artisans? Every period of humanity from the Renaissance on down had them…where's our Michelangelo? Where's our Beethoven? Where's our Eliot or Mann or Lawrence? Why does everything we produce now pale in comparison and why do I think we will never produce such artistic geniuses again?

We're breeding art out of humanity. And with the loss of art comes the loss of analytical thought and attention spans, because art of all kinds is the deepest form of human communication, most of which we wouldn't even be capable of understanding these days. From Tolstoy to Steele? From Mozart to P Diddy? …I'm just very, very concerned. The writing is on the wall.

P.S. One could make the argument that we don't know the masters until they're long gone, but for the most part, that hasn't been the case in history. If we had them, we'd know them.

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

Yeah, like poor Sam Fisher. It seems for every new maneuver he got in Conviction, he lost a couple from before. Like his sticky-cam can only detonate and play sound; there's no more silent death gas. But one of the biggest gripes I have is the loss of his speed momentum while crouching. From crouching, Sam can only move at one speed. No more slow creeping. Basically, the slow more methodical sim in stealth is gone, and in it's place is something that feels like it's mimicking the pacing of something that's pretending to be the Bourne Identity. SC has gone Hollywood.

It's still good to know that there's newer games like Demon's Souls and GT5 that haven't conceded to the trend.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

And the proof that there was no need to do that is in MGS4. That game sold well, added more options, and most importantly is recognized as a triumph in gaming.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

Please don't remind me. I had to stop playing. It was just infuriating.

Looking Glass
Looking Glass
9 years ago

I think another good example to bring up here would probably be Mass Effect 2. It's supposed to be an action RPG but it's really only about 20% RPG at most and 80% action at least.

How very sad.


Last edited by Looking Glass on 1/4/2011 11:06:57 PM

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

There's a good deal of dialogue, though. While the RPG (character building) elements are reduced from ME1. The game still isn't like a Gears or Uncharted. I'd say there's roughly a 2:1 ratio of dialogue and traveling to actual combat, even if there isn't a whole lot of actual character building and customization.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Wreckless, I think the issue with ME2 is that fans of the first with all it's RPG elements felt like it was a step backward.

If someone wants to make a new IP like that then fine, but when you set a standard with a game and then the sequel cheaps out on you to appeal to fans of a different genre then people get upset.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

I plan on getting ME2 at some point myself. I'm just saying from what I've heard even though it's still a good game, certain fans are upset that some RPG stuff was removed. To get back to the topic, perhaps it was removed to appeal to the shorter attention span peoples?

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Which is kind of my point, being accepted into a wider audience by default means it seeks the attention of those who would not normally play it. But the question becomes Should RPGs be doing this at the expense of their original fans?

Last I read ME3 was going to go back to the formula ME1 had.

PorkChopGamer
PorkChopGamer
9 years ago

Mass Effect's inventory system was terrible. There was a 150 item cap and you wold reach it fast because you were always auto picking up items with defeated enemies. Especially drones.So you were constantly dumping tons of items after each engagement. On top of that, the items were just mundane. Corrosion Protection Phase 2 armor only had a 3% difference from Corrosion Protection Phase 3 armor. That's unecessary. So they streamlined it for ME2, but you essentially get the same customization just not as much minutia. I thought it was a great idea. It allowed me to dive into what is probably the best story this gaming generation without alot of hassle.

SirLoin of Beef
SirLoin of Beef
9 years ago

I think the changes to ME2 where, overall, pretty good. As has been mentioned, the original title's inventory system was absolutely dreadful. I didn't think it was all that complicated but man of man was it cumbersome. The way ME2 handled it was better, I think. It promoted more exploration (i.e. gather materials to make weapons, armor and ship upgrades) and was way more manageable.

Another change was character progression. In the original, you had a lot of options when it came to a character's powers. In ME2, each character class had a more limited pool of abilities. Your PC can also learn to use a power a teammate has as well (and this can be changed if you have the materials needed to do it).

Story and interaction-wise, I didn't notice much difference between the two. They both use the dialog wheel, have fully-voiced characters and actually try to develop the story as it goes along. It definitely is more shooter than rpg but it does do a pretty good job of telling the story of the ME universe.

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

It's been mentioned a bit already. BUt I agree that ME1's inventory system was pretty cumbersome and overly clunky. I'm not convinced Bioware sat down and said lets make ME2 less RPG. Rather, I suspect they sat down and looked at what they thought was working well and what wasn't and streamlined what defined the ME experience. Even in it's more refined form, I still can't imagine a CoD online competitive "twitcher" being able to sit through the lengthy conversational bits.

It's easy to dwell on a lot of what a sequel hasn't done, but ME2 managed to improve upon it's predecessor in more than a handful of ways.

Alienange
Alienange
9 years ago

I think you touched on something about Black Ops that I've had in the back of my mind since I played through it. It's as if Treyarch is trying TOO hard. MW had the atomic bomb that everyone thought was a pretty darned cool gaming event. But coupled with that, you always had those moments of quiet sniping and nervous tension as guards walked right by you in the not-so-tall grass.

Treyarch did away with all that "slow gameplay" and simply gave what they thought were jaw dropping "impact" moments. In the end the game seemed hollow and pointless. But that's what devs think. They think they need non-stop "memorable moments" when in actual fact all they're doing is proving that they don't understand good gaming.

Good gaming has pace. Many complain that Red Dead got boring at the end. Why? Because you actually have to spend time with his family? It slowed the game to a near crawl, but anyone who's played the game knows why the pace changed at that point. It affected our emotions and the story was told spectacularly. I mean, I taught my son to HUNT dammit! It was ME. So when he was out there shooting and yelling "Don't you know who my father is!" it doesn't come across as tacked on. You actually DID train him. And you were proud.

The way I see it, Treyarch and Square Enix are two perfect examples of devs who have lost the ability to use good pacing, and therefore storytelling, in their games.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

I agree with everything you said there. Devs are so harried by the need for slam bang moments that the story is just this thing that takes place in the background via radio transmissions or some sh*t.

You can't tell an epic and memorable story without taking the time to reel the gamer in close to it and give them reasons to care about what happens.

If everybody is just a "redshirt" from an old episode of star trek then yeah I don't care what happens to them anyway.