Am I the only one who thinks this should become a standard in RPGs? Really the more I play games with branching stories the more I fall in love with them. I started off playing Bioware's games like Knights of the Old Republic, but there are so many other games that do them so much better. The Shin Megami Tensei games for one, are BRILLIANT. There is no good or evil, you choose a side and the side you choose is the 'right' side. If you side with the demons, then the demons were the ones who were right, if you side with God then God is the one who is right. If you take another option then that was the right way (minus Yuzu's ending, in Shin Megami Tensei Devil Survivor, where you ruin everything for everyone).

The best example of this though is Ogre Tactics Let Us Cling Together. It is THE best branching story game I have ever played, if you have a PSP it is really A MUST PLAY, I would even suggest getting a PSP to play this game with them being much cheaper now. (Of course pick up more games like Persona, Persona 3, and other great games for it). Even just go watch a let's play of it, it is a game that should never be forgotten, truely the best Tactical RPG ever (like Final Fantasy Tactics, and those types of games).



I also love making your own character, picking gender, appearance, class or how they play. And of course naming them. A lot of old rpgs but the big newer ones slowly seem to be weeding that out. Really I like having a character I can think of as 'me' it gets me so much more into a game's story. Really even just naming the character is enough, dictate the story to me, have my path charted, but let the hero be 'me'.

These are just two things that make me fall in love with games, what does everyone else think? I would love to hear what others think of things like this, and list off examples of games that really hit that sweet spot for them!

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You know I saw a science show the other day where they had created a program that could evolve - so that for example they had a number of robots generated, the best two were picked and they were 'mated'.  Once the original program was created with this mating and evolving nature, after 20 generations the robot started to be able to walk like a human and as it went on they would fight and fall like humans.  I wonder if this technology could be used in gaming - so that all games are unique, based on a self evolving program, where trees grow and other characters act independently.  Basically meaning that every game is unique - like the matrix though - there would need to be lots of controls so that the plot of the game was controlled somewhat - otherwise it might to be too close to real life - which isn't anything like a Hollywood movie plot.  But given the right characteristics - such as the hero (you) has brilliant strength, magnetism and whatever else he needs to get through.

That is a really interesting idea. It would be cool if they were to put it into practice. Although I think that would work better for a Sims like game, or a game like Spore. Where that is the point, or the world is supposed to be more open ended.

For a game like SMT I'm not sure how well that would work, other than in combat. Those games are heavily story driven.

For a game where you're trying to make an open, living world, to play in it sounds simply brilliant.

One of the problems is the majority of console gamers (and that is who games are made for now) don't want long game play, they want to get into the action as soon as possible and stay there.  

Even the games made in the so-called RPG category today are basically FPS with RP elements, Fallout 3 and New Vegas, though fairly open-ended, with the level cap, it causes me to stop playing before I complete it, but there is no more growth and I am just playing a FPS.

Yeah I can agree with that on some level. While those games are fun they clearly try to draw in other people by giving it strong FPS elements. Then again I play those games to explore and see what I can dig up. When the game pointed me in a certain direction I gave it the finger and wandered off. Of course in Fallout 3 it let me skip a majority of the plot, in New Vegas... That got me killed, but that game kind of pissed me off. While I enjoyed the game overall, it felt like the open world wasn't really open. In the middle of the map I was running into invisible walls, and if I tired to wander off the beaten path a swarm of those weird wasp monsters would murder me in a matter of seconds.

Still the games I tend to enjoy the most, which I mention above, are very good RPGs not heavily borrowing from any other kind of game.

Also the idea of a branching story, or defining your main character, aren't restricted to RPGs. RPGs just seem to be the only type of game that uses these 'plot devices' or whatever you'd like to call them.

Well I do like having a variety of games to choose from--long gameplay like Dragon Age: Origins or Bioshock has a story to tell--with video game elements--basically an interactive novel.

For less story, more shooty, there's L4D2---Which I really enjoy for the group interaction and short 'missions' where it's more about cooperation and working/making it together than being the best of your group.

Videogames--specifically RPG's, have had the bar raised for them in the past 5 years or so. Now it's not enough for there to be a story, and for you to sort of be an unwitting participant in it, but there's also backstory and side missions and character development--which I do like. It basically makes the Choose your own adventure books in virtual form.

I've actually met a lot of ladies who love Mass Effect 1 and 2 because you can play as lady Captain and choose butch or pretty, cruel or kind--even black or white. The ability to play as your own race, gender, etc, in a game is highly underrated--My lady gamer friends refused to even touch Brink because of that lack of choice in a game.

I also discussed the fact that all video games tailor to the white, male, hetero pov--it's odd to play a non-white, non-male, non-het character in the game--because, well, no story in hollywood would be treated the way the story unfolds in the game. It's quite liberating, actually, to have a story about a butch woman that's not about her being a woman.

Yeah, I can agree with that. Although I think some people are more aware of their part in the story. The choose your own adventure your own adventure thing is kind of funny. In Ogre Tactics: Let Us Cling Together, there is a 'Warren Report' which shows you the path you're taking, and after you beat the game you can go back to a great number of certain points, and 'flip back the pages' and go off in another direction in the story.

Yes I can agree with that, choosing just my character's appearance gets me and I'm sure other people deeper into a story and caring more about what is going on. As for the cruel or kind thing. It kind of depends on the story, there are some stories where that works, but at the same time a lot of stories have room for the moral grey which that bar usually doesn't seem to fill too well.

As for the last part, yeah nothing I would say against you. Let's people see a story from a less generic point of view.

My main complaint in Skyrim, is I don't care for most of the factions. Rebels & Empire are both really unappealing to my characters. Mostly because my first was a Dark Elf, so he hated both sides. The Empire for basically enslaving them a few hundred years ago, also they are pretty much in the decline, falling apart. Then the Rebels because they are all bloody bigots, EXCEPT TO YOU, cause you're dragonborn and all that. Even then, they'd probably be doomed to lose to the Dominion if they gained their independence. Still a great game, I fear they might be getting too simple, but still cool.


Heavy Rain was pretty awesome, my only problem is the killer doesn't change from story to story. As far as I know, that is. So after you beat the game once, the mystery is basically gone.

Not so much in the vein of multiple endings or creating your own character but I just finished Deus Ex: Human Revolution and the seamless ability to choose your play style, whether it be go in guns blazing, sneaking around obsticles, using tech to eliminate targets or being diplomatic in an attempt to gain access, as well as the fact that you can change to/from any play style at any time really impressed me.

In a way it does. Being sneaky and not killing anyone, in a way, defines your character. If you try to be diplomatic instead of go in and murder everyone, it defines your character. Not in the most clear way, obviously, but it does.


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