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Top 5 Stories in Games

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Top 5 Stories in Games

Post by volvocrusher on Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:22 pm

Now that I think about it, it's strange we haven't done this one yet. So here we go. You can put one where the gameplay doesn't gel well at all, the only thing that matters is how much you enjoyed the story.

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Re: Top 5 Stories in Games

Post by SanAndreasX on Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:45 pm

1. Final Fantasy VII - another reason why this is my favorite game ever.
2. Valkyria Chronicles - Probably the best "war" story I've seen in a video game, with a likeable cast of characters
3. Ni no Kuni - has all the hallmarks of a Studio Ghibli movie in a game.
4. Final Fantasy VI - Until its successor came out, it was my gold standard for video game stories.
5. Xenogears - as disjointed as the story was at times, it really touched some nerves.

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Re: Top 5 Stories in Games

Post by ajapam on Wed Mar 11, 2015 3:21 pm

So... should I consider how well they were executed or just how interesting the story itself is? It makes a huge difference

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Re: Top 5 Stories in Games

Post by volvocrusher on Thu Mar 12, 2015 11:14 pm

Do whatever you want. You can factor both in it, pick one of those two, or make a list for each one. My five:

1. Star Wars: Kotor 2- A great deconstruction of Star Wars and RPGs, I still think about how deep this was all the time.
2. Phoenix Wright: Trials and Tribulations- Love how it pokes fun at how messed up the courts are by staging them like it's a Street Fighter match. Tons of great humor and a fantastic villain also make it a real winner
3. Mass Effect 2- A lot of people go with the first for best story, but I like how 2 is set up more like a heist than an epic space battle, which puts it over the edge. I also think how it's broken up works well too, it's a little rinse and repeat, but feels as though it's broken into episodes of a TV show, allowing each character to get the spotlight.
4. The Last of Us- I love zombie stories and this is probably my favorite one ever. Loved how it wasn't about good versus evil, just how fucked up everything because of this mess. Also has my favorite ending in games.
5. Metal Gear Solid 3- Had that Kojima weirdness I love, but kept under control in a plot with fantastic characters and an amazing twist.

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Re: Top 5 Stories in Games

Post by Krubixcube on Fri Mar 13, 2015 8:13 am

Off the top of my head:

1. Silent Hill 2 - subtle as hell, but let's you figure out the story for yourself. It's a story that could only have worked as a video game and that's why I give it number 1

2. Chrono Trigger

3. Final Fantasy VII

4. Mass Effect 2

5. Shadow of the Colossus - another SUPER simple story but it gets props because it only works as a video game too.

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Re: Top 5 Stories in Games

Post by ajapam on Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:35 am

Can't pull together any ranked list but here goes

Mass Effect - I still lean towards this over 2. Two had particular moments that were better but I can barely remember the overarching story despite playing it more recently. Plus this had the extra weight of establishing a whole new sci-fi universe and it did a great job. I wish the series had stayed relatively low-key instead of the writers trapping themselves in a corner with the whole reapers scenario

Catherine - Final act antics aside, I loved how this was essentially just about a regular guy trying to figure out his life. I wish more games would do that without having to compromise on gameplay like a lot of indie games do. Plus the late-night made-for-tv movie presentation was really unique and the bar atmosphere really nailed the feeling of procrastinating when you just feel totally lost

The Last of Us - like greenman, this has my favorite ending in games. From the moment they revealed Ellie's immunity I thought I knew exactly what would happen at the end. Everything seemed in order until they pull that crazy twist on you. Even better is that part of you still wants to do it even though you know you shouldn't

Metal Gear Solid 3 - Kojima's best work. Really hammers home the themes he works into the series better than anything else, and tells a ridiculous but deep and affecting spy story.

Persona 4 - It can get pretty cheesy but I love that, beneath the bizarro scooby-doo murder mystery hook (which I also enjoy quite a bit,) it's just about seeing through all the bullshit out there to grow and find happiness, no matter how difficult. Again, a story about real people. Fans of 3 will complain about the tone but I'd say it's far more mature which is what really matters.

Shadow of the Colossus - what TWolf said. Plus I felt it was told rather effectively in general. I still hold on as long as possible at the end in the hope that maybe it'll work out

Half-Life 2 - Pretty simple story about fighting back against the oppressors, but I just find it really satisfying in it's execution. Basically, it's my Star Wars of videogames

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Re: Top 5 Stories in Games

Post by Krubixcube on Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:13 am

These are all really strong picks. I forgot Catherine but you're right it felt "mature" insomuch as if a 14 year old played that game they would have a completely different experience with that story than someone who's been in a relationship/gone through life a bit more which was really unique.

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Re: Top 5 Stories in Games

Post by TripOpt55 on Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:55 am

Here are mine.

Jak 3: This isn't the best, but it is my favorite. In fact I just want to lump in the first two games with it since it is a part of why this one works so well. I love how it tells this big epic story and is also hilarious. No game makes me laugh like these. I love how they introduce things in the first two games and pay them off in the third in such a huge way. Never played anything quite like it at the time.

The Last of Us: Probably the actual best story I've experienced in a game. All the emotional beats, the core characters' relationship and the way it grows over the course of the game, that perfect ending. It's all excellent.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time: The storytelling, narration and ending really make this stand out to me. I also love the banter between The Prince and Farah.

Those three stand out the most to me.
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Re: Top 5 Stories in Games

Post by BretBaber on Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:40 am

1. Final Fantasy VII - At the time I had never played a game like it. Starts off with a bang blowing up Reactors, and finishes with a bang as well. The cast of characters is great, the villain is great, and that just makes for a great story. I can't imagine how much better it would have seemed if the translation wasn't so bad. I still remember what it says on the back of the case which is the most fitting way to describe the story, "What starts as a rebellion against evil corporation becomes more, and what erupts goes beyond imagination." I might be off a little on that, but that's close.

2. Metal Gear Solid - Metal Gear Solid 3 has some great moments, and I especially love the relationship of Snake and Boss, but the weird villains ruined 3 for me as far as story goes. I loved the villains in this game, and no one can deny that Revolver Ocelot from this game is way cooler than the one in 3. I play this game almost every year, and I never skip the cut scenes. So many awesome twists, I still can't get enough of it.

3. The Last of Us - It's funny how much better the story/characters in this game are as opposed to the shit stories/characters we see on The Walking Dead every week (the same could be said for The Walking Dead games). Such a fantastic ending, if it would have ended any other way I would have been so pissed, which says a lot that I too got so invested in these characters.

4. Uncharted 2 - Surprised no one else put this one on here. Just typical great Naughty Dog storytelling. No chapter in that game is a bore.

5. Final Fantasy X - I'd like to say IX since it is my second favorite Final Fantasy game, but overall I think the story in X is superior. The only thing that might ruin this game's story is the voice actors, who at times can be annoying (Tidus, Wakka). The overall story about how the bad things we do and reliance on machines is what breeds Sin, which is a we are our worst enemies kind of villain is deep, as well as the whole religious aspect of the game makes for an interesting unique tale. It builds its own world, which good stories do.

Honorable mentions -

Ni no Kuni didn't have enough story to get into the top 5, but the opening scenes were powerful.
Final Fantasy IX - Unlike VII, each character had a great story to tell. Overall though it just didn't hit me as much as VII or X.
Ratchet and Clank Up Your Arsenal - Death to squishies. Like playing a Pixar movie.
Killzone series - I don't think I'd pick one game, but as a whole I really love the conflict between the Helghast and the ISA.

I'd probably be here a while so I"ll just stop now.

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Re: Top 5 Stories in Games

Post by Krubixcube on Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:52 pm

MGS was a bit more...subdued. But MGS3 inches out just because The Boss was such an interesting character. But you're right, the other villains in 3 and in 2 just kind of tried to capture the cool villains in 1 unsuccessfully.

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Re: Top 5 Stories in Games

Post by volvocrusher on Sun Mar 15, 2015 10:02 pm

I actually prefer 3's villains as their comic booky-ness. And 3's Ocelot, Josh Keaton voices and that badass juggling trick.

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Re: Top 5 Stories in Games

Post by BretBaber on Sun Mar 15, 2015 11:24 pm

Overall I like all of the characters from MGS more as well. Naomi, Colonel Campbell, Otacon, Nastasha Romanenko, Master Miller, are all a better supporting cast than the ones from MGS 3. AND MASTER MILLER WAS REALLY LIQUID SNAKE! HE JUST HAD HIS HAIR UP IN A PONY TAIL AND PUT SOME SUN GLASSES ON AND FUCKING NAILED MASTER MILLER'S VOICE! BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In all seriousness, it was a cool twist. He was giving you all of this advice because he needed you to put in the code, too cool. Also when Otacon tells you to call Meryl and to look on the back of the CD for her codec number and actually looking on the back of the game case.....that is just some cool shit. That Kojima, he's a cool dude.

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Re: Top 5 Stories in Games

Post by Krubixcube on Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:16 am

I actually liked the codec support cast in 3 a lot but Naomi and Mei Ling (the accented ones, not the weird...americanized ones of MGS4) and Nastasha were all pretty badass and I think fit the mood of the whole story really well. I don't know, I can't articulate it well but MGS1 felt like it straddled the line between batshit insanity and stupid stuff and a serious story really well and I feel it still feels the most...real? Huh, I'll think about this more and get back to it.

I love 3 for Snake and the Boss and because I have a big history boner for the cold war but everything else was kind of batshit (ELECTRO RAPIST, THE REALLY OLD GUY, FROG...MAN, BEEEEEEEEEEES, Ghost?)

MGS1 was crazy but it played it straight, Foxhound were all just mercenaries with specific talents and the most far out it went was Psycho Mantis. By the time 2 rolled around Kojima found he liked the word nanomachine and just went crazy.

Ok ok ok, how about this? I would argue that you could cut some of the auxiliary stuff out of 3 and keep the core relationship with Snake and The Boss intact and it would be largely the same game and people would still love it. If you cut the Foxhound villains out of MGS1 it wouldn't at all be the same game, they were kind of integral to the whole story and experience in a way boss villains in future MGS games haven't been. And yes, before you moan The End fight in MGS3 was amazing and cool and fun but did he have to be a comatose dying man for it to still be cool? Could he have just been...old? I think yes.

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Re: Top 5 Stories in Games

Post by BretBaber on Mon Mar 16, 2015 10:30 am

Yup, I agree with everything you said. This is a minor gripe, but it annoyed me how there was those flying hover things in MGS3, and nothing like that in MGS. It bothered me because even today we don't have anything like that and I'm just supposed to accept it being around in the 60's? In the end, the villains of MGS didn't seem like bumps in the road, they had character, they had story, and in the end you felt kind of bad for killing them. MGS is my favorite because it seems like it is the most real.

Take out all of the weird shit from every game though and they do all have fantastic stories. Peace Walker has a really good story too, but then anime loving Kojima decided he'd ruin it towards the end. He just needs to keep that really weird shit saved for things like Zone of Enders.

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Re: Top 5 Stories in Games

Post by volvocrusher on Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:07 pm

I loved that the idea that the guy was saving all his energy for one last fight with you. Made it feel really epic when I finally got there. I will give you that MGS1's villains fit their story better, but if you take out MGS3's weirdness it loses something to me. It's still a strong story, but I want a guy controlling an army of bees or
Spoiler:
a ghost haunting me with all the people I killed.
Without stuff like that, what's the point of even playing a Kojima game?

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Re: Top 5 Stories in Games

Post by ajapam on Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:27 pm

I thought raven or whatever his name was was more ridiculous that any boss in 3. Apart from that I'll agree they are better characters (but nothing beats The End as a boss battle)

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Re: Top 5 Stories in Games

Post by TheMatt on Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:26 pm

I'd have to agree that the bosses in MGS1 are worked into the story much better than any game in the series. Each boss in MGS was there for their own reason and you find out more about them during and after the fight. In MGS3 its like ok... this guy has bees, or is like Predator, or has a flamethrower. And you don't really get much more other than... they were with The Boss and they fight for her. The End is one of the best boss fights in the series... although I think I like the final fight with The Boss a little better... because its so epic. Man... I love Metal Gear. It's all awesome.

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