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View Full Version : What do you consider to be the Five Worst Written RPGs?



Wolf Kanno
02-03-2016, 05:25 AM
Let's see the flip side and see which plots or worlds just left you cold. Bad characters? Too many plotholes, just a crummy lore and world? Which games make you wince just thinking about their stories. I bet this will actually be a little harder for many of you. ;)

Fynn
02-03-2016, 07:16 AM
Well, FFXIII barely makes any sense, even if you study the datalogs, plus the villains are the worst I've ever seen in a video game. And that stupid terminology gets thrown in your face since the beginning with no one explaining anything. So what IS a fal'Cie, as all of them look completely different? Why is it spelled so weird? What's the Cie mean? I mean, there's l'Cie, fal'Cie and Cie'th - the way it's spelt you'd think there's something to it, right? Hell if I know what it is, and I've read all the datalogs.

Dirge of Cerberus tries to be a dark, gothic game, by introducing color-coded villains with silly accents, and a single cameo by the other party members just to fill a Cloud quota. And God, is Lucrecia a fucking idiot or what? The data for my dissertation - which, FYI, is crucial to the world's survival - is basically just this one fairy tale or some shit.

Crisis Core has Mary Sues and dumb retcons galore, with the occasional wink to the fanbase. Crisis Core has no shame.

Okay, FFX is not as bad as the other ones, but the use of the "toxin", whatever the hell it is, is pretty egregious. Oh, we need to gat those characters from Macalania to Bikanel - let's have Sin fart on them. Yeah, that'll work.

Revenant Wings. The primary antagonist is a bunny girl in a suit of armor (OMG spoilers) who is pissed that her boyfriend was killed in a world so she decides to kill everyone. Oh, but wait. The real bad guy is actually her dad who enslaved an entire race and became a god-like being. We must band together to kill God and show him that we make our own fates! Oh wow, this is a Motomu Toriyama game? Who could've known!

It's kinda sad how all these are FF. Persona 1 almost made the list, though, so there's that at least.

Forsaken Lover
02-03-2016, 07:30 AM
How many ways can I say this...

1. Star Ocean: Till the End of Time
2. Star Ocean 3
3. That Star Ocean between 2 and 4


It is absolutely mind-boggling how bad the writing is. The infamous twist is not the problem,not even slightly. The problem is that it comes out of nowhere. Before it, you had spent several hours fighting a war on a cliche fantasy planet. You worked very hard, going through many awful dungeons and meeting many bad characters all in order to complete this magic superweapon. THEN ALIENS SHOW UP BECAUSE THIS IS GODDAM SPACE GAME. Only these aliens then vanish and now you're fighting space angels. Only they were actually Space Norton Antivirus. Now you go to another dimension because the universe is an MMO. And then you kill the CEO of Squaresoft but he deletes your game universe only your universe continues to exist because......................................

Oh and did I mention that along the way on the boring cliche fantasy planet you meet a random clone of your girlfriend who is dying for soap opera disease? Why? WHO smurfING KNOWS. This subplot doesn't do anything or go anywhere.

Ya know, the world you were stranded on is heavily religious. Could be interesting seeing how they deal with the fact their god and faith is all a lie.
.....NAHHHHH! Like I said, that be interesting. We can't have that.


Final Fantasy VIII has two, maybe three, characters in its cast of dozens that get any meaningful development. Every playable character is fundamentally the same so in essence Irvine, Zell, Selphie and Quistis bring absolutely nothing to the game in terms of either combat or story. Speaking of which, the plot is absolute nonsense full of badly thought out "military strategies", time travel for no reason, and absolute garbage worldbuilding.


Xenosaga II is terrible for any number of reasons, which is bound to happen when you hijack a series away from its main writers and try to make it "cool" The game gave more attention to Juli Mizrahi than Shion and KOS-MOS! It left so many things unexplained that they just had to yank god knows how many answers out of their asses for Episode III.

That's all I got for now. Wait, that is 5.

Slothy
02-03-2016, 01:39 PM
I'll name FFVIII for relying on one of the worst plot twists in history.

FFXIII for every reason Fynn mentioned.

Hell, Crisis Core same as the above.

KOTOR because all of really had going for it was the plot twist and I saw that coming from the very beginning of the game.

Fallout 3 I'll give a mention as well. The entire game is fairly poorly written. But things like Broken Steel are so badly written and filed with massive potholes that it's hard not to smash my head against the keyboard.

Midgar Mist
02-03-2016, 01:40 PM
If youre including bad Japanese to English translations I cite Final Fantasy 4, barely understood the plot thanks to it.

Grandia 2 has its low points ("Lollipop Lane kid, lollipop lane" and the ending where Elena says her Ryudo and Milenna are joined by the earth or some crap)

Odin Sphere over complicated its dialogue by splitting it into 6 separate scripts (plus alternate ending scripts). The makers kind of lost track of the story at times and it didn't mesh well.
As much as I love the first Grandia for other reasons, they had Justin randomly saying "Bogus" alot which kind of smacked of too much effort

The first Shadow Hearts game had a continuity issue saying Koudelka (aka Halley's mother) was dead when she wasn't. Also the whole pervy acupuncture guy was a bit erm.....pushing it.......a lot

On the whole I dont hate the writing in the RPGs ive played. Most i cite as having low points is all.

FFNut
02-04-2016, 11:59 PM
Here is my list.

5: Final Fantasy Mystic Quest. It was just very basic and really wasn't deep or made you think at all

4: Mass Effect. I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I really struggled to finish this game and it put a distaste in my mouth for the series as a whole.

3: Secret of Mana. Here I really don't know what it is about this game, I've tried to play it numourus times and I just can't. It stinks Like Mass Effect It just doesn't do it for me.

4: Tecmo Secret of the Stars: I may try to replay it at some point, but I remember not being very impressed with it when I was younger. It was a one and done.

5: FF XIII. It was just an awful game from the beginning to the end. If I was SE I would have never released it and fired everyone who was on the team that put the SE name on it.

Rin Heartilly
02-05-2016, 07:25 PM
In defense of VIII, yes the plot twist was cliche as hell but I feel like most people judge it too harshly, I mean...it was the 90's, watch most TV shows and anime from the 90's and most of the time you're going to be able to guess what happens next but back then while it may still be cliche back then, it would not have been as big of a cliche compared to now, I mean the orphanage thing was cheesy but I'm pretty sure no one who played VIII for the first time was gonna guess that the GF's caused amnesia and they all knew each other (minus Rinoa). I also liked the dream sequences and playing as Laguna, I don't think many guessed that he was gonna be Squall's future dad. Okay I'm getting off track.

1. Star ocean: until the end of time: So many anime tropes, and that little girl "kaaaay" "kaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay" *bangs head against wall* At least the battle system was pretty good.

2. FFXIII: I like the premise of the L'cies having a focus in which they have to carry out and selflessly turning into crystals but I felt like the game told you more what was happening rather than showing you what was happening. To actually get some kind of grasp an understanding of this game, you have to read all those info files in-game and that feels lazy to me.

3. FFX-2/Will audio drama: They butchered Yuna's character, she became Rikku 2.0 and the audio drama *spoilers* split Tidus and Yuna up! Please tell me the audio drama isn't canon...

4. All the KH spin-offs: Too many things are going on in this spin-offs. KH2 was already kind of convoluted but honestly there is many things happening in this game I'm not even looking forward to KH3 because of all the back-story I'll need to look up to make sense of it all.

5. FFXII: Why wasn't Balthier and Fran the main couple? Why was Vaan the main protagonist?(okay I know why, but if you're going to switch around the main character can you make sure he's not a dingus?). While XIII had too many cut-scenes, I felt like XII didn't have enough. Gameplay was still awesome though.

6. Omega quintet: I'm about 20hrs in and I dislike every character in this game, world-building has no depth at all, and the main heroine is so annoying I mute the volume whenever she talks...and she talks...a lot.

Sephiroth
02-05-2016, 07:31 PM
That depends on if I want to talk about just logic or any facette of writing being so bad that I cannot enjoy it at all. The ultimate winner is Kingdom Hearts but I still love it for what I win from it.

Slothy
02-05-2016, 07:47 PM
I mean the orphanage thing was cheesy but I'm pretty sure no one who played VIII for the first time was gonna guess that the GF's caused amnesia and they all knew each other (minus Rinoa).

I actually hate it more because the GF amnesia thing could have been used so much better than it was. It could have been a brilliant mind fuck and instead we got "everyone lived in an orphanage together and forgot and this information is largely irrelevant aside from making you sympathize with Edia in the laziest way possible."

Rin Heartilly
02-05-2016, 08:04 PM
I mean the orphanage thing was cheesy but I'm pretty sure no one who played VIII for the first time was gonna guess that the GF's caused amnesia and they all knew each other (minus Rinoa).

I actually hate it more because the GF amnesia thing could have been used so much better than it was. It could have been a brilliant mind smurf and instead we got "everyone lived in an orphanage together and forgot and this information is largely irrelevant aside from making you sympathize with Edia in the laziest way possible."

I also think it could have been implemented better, wasn't VIII being created along with IX and X around the same time but released at different times? I have a feeling that could be the reason for some of the lazy cliches present, because VIII wasn't the sole/primary focus of the writers time during development.

However, I am truly thankful they left Rinoa out of the childhood gang. If it had the cliche of Rinoa remembering "omg I just realized the Squall and I played together as kids, we're destined to be together" thing I see in so many jrpgs (I'm looking at you Tails), I would not be defending the orphanage cliche at all. But yeah it was a lazy way for Edea to get sympathy points.

Fynn
02-05-2016, 08:09 PM
Go play Persona 2: Innocent Sin if you want to see the FFVIII plot twist done well

Slothy
02-05-2016, 09:19 PM
I also think it could have been implemented better, wasn't VIII being created along with IX and X around the same time but released at different times? I have a feeling that could be the reason for some of the lazy cliches present, because VIII wasn't the sole/primary focus of the writers time during development.

I don't specifically remember anything about that but there are many development teams at Square and different people wrote FFVIII and IX at least. It's unlikely it had anything to do with it. I'd guess it probably has more to do with Yoshinori Kitase writing it. The man just isn't good to be honest. Sadly he's had prominent roles on enough classics (though I suspect he was carried to some extent by co-directors which let those games be classics) that he's basically in charge these days and will likely never disappear.

Vyk
02-07-2016, 05:49 AM
Final Fantasy X still offends me with the ridiculous turns it takes in its plot, and Titus's personality in general

Star Ocean 4 still offends me with how badly Edge emotes, and when I bring this up people seem to think I'm arguing that he should have been more emotionless. On the contrary, I believe the intention of the writing was fine, showing emotion is fine. How he did it was terrible though, and I'll always believe any amateur character writer could have done a million times better

I kinda want to say Infinite Undiscovery, but I barely played any of that game, the beginning was so atrocious I took it back, knowing I wouldn't be able to enjoy it. And amusingly enough, years later, my girlfriend gave it a try, and I told her what happened to me in a vague manner so as to prepare her but not sully her first impressions and invariably she ended up having the same impression, and also took it back lol And god I hope that game got better, but we'll never know. It's probably unfair for me to put it on my list like this, but the writers chose to have a terrible intro the game, its their own fault

I'm having trouble thinking of other games that I gave up on just because of the writing. Two Worlds and Gothic (4? I forget which one I played. It was on 360) spring to mind, but half their problem wasn't just the writing, it was also terribly delivered by incompetent voice actors, and jank as hell controls and UI systems among other things. But I guess those will do

Rocket Edge
02-07-2016, 03:44 PM
I mean the orphanage thing was cheesy but I'm pretty sure no one who played VIII for the first time was gonna guess that the GF's caused amnesia and they all knew each other (minus Rinoa).

I actually hate it more because the GF amnesia thing could have been used so much better than it was. It could have been a brilliant mind fuck and instead we got "everyone lived in an orphanage together and forgot and this information is largely irrelevant aside from making you sympathize with Edia in the laziest way possible."
...In your opinion. I thought it worked fine and It's still the best video game I've played in my lifetime. FFVIII is such a love/hate game with many people.

1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th - Final Fantasy XIII

Forsaken Lover
02-07-2016, 05:18 PM
You need to play more JRPGs if you think FFXIII was that bad.

Fynn
02-07-2016, 05:20 PM
Well I've played lots and I can confirm that it is indeed that bad

Slothy
02-07-2016, 05:40 PM
...In your opinion.

That's kind of implied by the fact that I was making a statement and never claimed it was universal truth.

And I've played plenty of JRPG's in my life and FFXIII is still one of the absolute worst I've ever seen. No matter how much it may have been polished it's still a turd.

FFNut
02-07-2016, 05:48 PM
...In your opinion.

That's kind of implied by the fact that I was making a statement and never claimed it was universal truth.

And I've played plenty of JRPG's in my life and FFXIII is still one of the absolute worst I've ever seen. No matter how much it may have been polished it's still a turd.

This. XIII had sub par writing. Like what was this all th look back scenes. Not to mention it was very weak on the mapping. It looks ok, but it was very linear. Gave the player no freedom of choice, and no freedom to explore. XIII was worse than Mysric Quest in my opinion.

Forsaken Lover
02-07-2016, 06:45 PM
Linear dungeons have nothing to do with writing.

As for the flashbacks...probably because the story is about these fugitives on the run and the game starts off with a big event ie. the Purge. Flashbacks explain who these people were and why they were involved with the Purge.

And I've already said my piece in the past about why FFXIII is a much better written game than, say, FFVIII. It's certainly better than Star Ocean 3.

Incidentally, Fynn, I've talked to several people who say your coparison of Snow and Hope with those characters from Persona 3 is flat-out nonsense.

Rocket Edge
02-07-2016, 07:10 PM
And I've already said my piece in the past about why FFXIII is a much better written game than, say, FFVIII.
We can agree to disagree, but I'd really like to know your reasoning's about why you think XIII is better written than VIII.

Forsaken Lover
02-07-2016, 10:29 PM
And I've already said my piece in the past about why FFXIII is a much better written game than, say, FFVIII.
We can agree to disagree, but I'd really like to know your reasoning's about why you think XIII is better written than VIII.

Everyone in XIII's cast has development and a reason to be there, for starters. In VIII, the only characters with development are Squall and Rinoa and maybe Quistis if you bring her along at key moments. Otherwise Zell, Selphie and especially Irvine all just take up space and contribute nothing to the plot. I single out Irvine because he was brought into the party for one purpose...and he promptly fails at that purpose and then immediately tries to abandon your party in prison. What a lovable goofball! This isn't even getting into the fact the "team sharpshooter' suffers perpetually from jitters and anxiety attacks.

Which is a more central problem of VIII's writing, it insists on craftingthese big military-esque scenarios that fall apart any time anyone with a brain thinks about them. The Deling abduction mission? Stupid. The Sorceress Assassination mission? Even stupider. I'll never get over how a lynchpin of this plan was to seal the woman WHO THEY ALL KNOW CAN WALK THROUGH SOLID OBJECTS in a gate.

Mostly FFVIII feels like a lot of things just happen and they're strung together with little rhyme or reason. Monsters falling from the goddam moon? Sure, why not. I mean, it's not like people aren't talking about Christmas two months in advance. Meanwhile, no one around ever mentions MONSTERS ARE GONNA FALL FROM THE MOON TOMORROW.

Also a time-traveling sorceress from the future? Sure why not. We needed time travel in this game, right?

The worldbuilding is just bizarre, too. Centra was apparently a super advanced civilization that existed for thousands of years but no one remembers them at all. I mean, they were destroyed 80 years ago. Who remembers that far back, am I right?

And of course Ellone's power is never explained. It's justsomething she can do because the Plot demands she can do it. Oh and Odine can mechanize this completely unexplained power so that our time traveling sorceress can get to it. So...shoot Odine in the head? Destroy the plans for Junction Machine Ellone? I guess that's not how time travel works in this game.

I can keep going, if you want.

Listen, there's plenty of things I hate about XIII. The nature of the fal'Cie is poorly explained, for one. But I still like the concept. They're presented as the gods who can manipulate humanity to their whim. But in reality, the fal'Cie are the real slaves and they're just trying to escape their eternal fates as, I dunno, waste management or whatever. I'm sure there's a fal'Cie in charge of Cocoon's sewage. That poor thing can do nothing else from now until the end of time. No wonder it wants to die.

Our heroes also have no real plan at any point. Well, they kinda did, with "we can get rid of our brands on Pulse!" Why do they think this? Who knows. It fails spectacularly at any rate. Mostly though they just bumble about and say "things will work out." Which is stupid as I said but I still prefer it to them coming up with some elaborate, convoluted, moronic scheme like "how about we LET the villain achieve her goal and destroy time?"

They do bombard you with a lot of Terms at the start, too. My firstrun I was very confused about Pulse and Cocoon and PSICOM and Guardian Corps and etc.. But all of this is fairly well spelled out in cutscenes. If you want extra detail or clarification, the Datalog exists for a reason. Speaking of which, the Datalog is infinitely more helpful than FFVIII's Encyclopedia.

Slothy
02-07-2016, 11:07 PM
Everyone in XIII's cast has development and a reason to be there, for starters.

Gah! Almost choked on my burger. Some warning next time please. :p

FFNut
02-07-2016, 11:48 PM
Everyone in XIII's cast has development and a reason to be there, for starters.

Gah! Almost choked on my burger. Some warning next time please. :p

you just about choked? I fell down the stairs laughing so hard. The only reason XIII gets any talk is it has Final Fantasy in its title. It is the weakest of the numbered FF and is up there with Mystic Quest for worst JRPG of all time. I choked through it to say I played it but it wasn't a true Final Fantasy, and it wasn't a great game.

Formalhaut
02-08-2016, 01:40 AM
This never normally happens, but I'm going to have to agree with Forsaken Lover. Maybe it is just me (it probably is), but I never found FFXIII's story terribly hard to follow. Sure, it jumps right into the deep end, but by the end of the first chapter I got a good grasp of what was going on. And the terminology isn't that hard to follow at all. Fal'Cie produce l'Cie, who when they fail their focus become Cie'th. I don't understand the confusion. The linearity is a fault, but one which produces a clear enough thread to follow.

Now, FFXIII has several problems, a good chunk of them game-play related, but some story as well. Chapters 4 - 6 is basically your characters fleeing, with little in the way of actual story development (though a fair few character threads are planted). I can understand some of the flashbacks to be rather confusing, even dull. Snow's flashbacks are the worst offenders, but for the most part they do give an insight into the character's lives before the Purge.

Chapter 10 is another weak point. Pretty much all that happens of note is Fang's sudden crisis (with hardly any hints dropped about it, either), which does come across as rather forced. The villains are mediocre, at best. PSICOM were always meant to be a background threat to the characters, and while their significant introduction is compelling (chapter 7, the capture of Sazh and Vanille in chapter 8) they don't really follow through, Nabaat being limply thrown aside at the end of chapter 9 as the 'true' villains emerge.

It has many flaws, but I wouldn't say it is the worst written RPG ever. Every game has weakness. FFXII produces a stunning world, a vibrant history of city of kingdom, and an array of colourful side characters, but struggles to truly flesh out many of the main cast, especially the party members. Persona 3 and 4 are otherwise incredibly well written games, but suffer from occasional pacing issues, especially towards the summer months (Persona 3 has it worse off).

Of all the RPGs I have played, I honestly cannot pin one down as the worst offender, because every game has something in the writing that catches, that feels off and doesn't work.

Forsaken Lover
02-08-2016, 02:20 AM
I made simple statements of facts. Saying FFXIII's party has development is just a fact. If you don't like it, fine. But there's no denying they're more fleshed out than everyone in VIII except Squall. Even Rinoa's arc gets sidelined so she can hump Squall. Resolve her issues with her father? Pft! She only needs her sexy broody boyfriend! That fixes everything!

I'm not gonna sit here and tell you XIII was a masterpiece. It most assuredly was not. But it has mostly consistent plot and characterization and that's more than I can say for FFVIII or SO3.

Galuf
02-08-2016, 02:29 AM
i thought XIII had better story and characters too, though i enjoy VIII more. I think all the characters are easy to remember and actually do something. i think Sazh had better development than Selphie. only thing she got was "oh no my trabia are been boomed". Quistis done nothing either after the first 10 mins. While.... and i hate to say this... even hope had quite a bit of development.


i dont mean to start fights im just saying sorry...

Pumpkin
02-08-2016, 05:59 AM
I can't think of any either. I'm generally easy to please and even stories where I spend the whole time laughing at the cheesy, cliche fest... well, I still enjoy it in its own way. It's fun having cheesy cliche fests sometimes! If I really don't like a game or a game story I just stop playing it, so I couldn't really comment on the entirety of the story, nor do I remember any cases that stand out

Ayen
02-08-2016, 06:14 AM
Whatever the polar opposite of Fynn's choices are, probably.

Fynn
02-08-2016, 07:04 AM
Whatever the polar opposite of Fynn's choices are, probably.

Oh, honey ;)

Anyway, about the XIII vs VIII debate - I've said this before, and I stand by it, but sometimes less is more. So what if we get more time spent developing characters if they are sad caricatures of what some clueless hack thinks human beings are, with sappy, melodramatic bulltrout as their back stories that they bring up in casual conversation because no one on the FFXIII writing team apparently has any idea about how human interactions work

Yes, we don't spend as much time developing VIII's cast. And? They are not, by some insane twist of fate, all tormented by their Dark and Troubled PastTM. The story is almost entirely about Squall and Rinoa and there is no need to add some bulltrout character development with Zell suddenly not being racist anymore because he just didn't think friendship was real and Selphie trying to run away from her past where she used to be romantically involved with an international drug cartel owner. These characters are support characters and they don't need to be anything else because THE STORY ISN'T ABOUT THEM. Stating all characters in a story need to undergo the ridiculously overhyped process of character development is just baffling to me. It's like saying Harry Potter sucks because the Weasley twins and the teachers didn't have some tacked on development. Please, read more, people, I beg you.

And my issue with the terminology isn't that it's confusing, it's just pulled out of the creator's ass. If you're going to pull all this lore out of nowhere, at least make the terminology something meaningful. Cie doesn't mean anything. The l'Cie, fal'Cie and Cie'th are explained well enough, but since all this could be just called stuff like Crystal, Crystal's Chosen and Crystal Fiend, and there's no foreign language present in the game to warrant foreign terminology, this is just a blatant case of making up nonsense to make it sound cool.

This is a general problem of FFXIII - style over substance. Everything in this game is skin deep, trying to get a reaction from you immediately so that you forget to look deeper and see that there's literally nothing there. The terminology is just the tip of the iceberg. There's scenes that just don't make sense and they're just there to look cool. Take the scene where they come back from Pulse for example - there is no reason for them to be on a racetrack, riding their Eidolons. Sure, the thing looks really cool, but the more you think about it, the more it falls apart.

Fynn
02-08-2016, 12:30 PM
The characters of VIII are not devoid of personality, just character development.

And really, go enjoy FFXIII for all I care. I just really think it's unfair to judge the game this way and pit it up against VIII when they use different styles of narrative.

And yes, Pheesh, this is exactly what this thread is - it's an opinion thread. I can say I think the writing in XIII is terrible however many times I want, and it's none of your business how much time I spend on it. And if you don't like that - that's your problem. I never said you're stupid for enjoying XIII, but you jumping at my throat for every opinion you don't understand or disagree with is, well, unfair, to say the least.

Slothy
02-08-2016, 12:47 PM
For a game you all claim to hate so much you've probably spent an entire play-throughs worth of hours talking about it.

Yeah, not even close.

Fynn
02-08-2016, 12:54 PM
I once did a whole article on why XIII is bad and I started it with a disclaimer saying that I know there are good things about the game and everyone can enjoy it if it's their thing. It's just not for me.

Seriously, none of my rants on XIII ever contained any personal attacks on anyone and I don't think you have to be stupid to enjoy it. It's obviously your problem if you feel that way about that and I'd appreciate it if you read my posts more carefully before you decide to make an off-topic attack on my opinion and how I express it just because you can't deal with it.

Slothy
02-08-2016, 01:19 PM
Exactly when did it become necessary to state in my opinion whenever providing an opinion so people aren't confused? If people expressing their dislike for a game in threads asking for opinions on games bothers anyone that's on them.

Night Fury
02-08-2016, 01:46 PM
The one that I'm thinking off the top of my head right now is probably Type-0. I really couldn't make any sense of what I played of it, the writing was so bad that I couldn't pick it back up.

Galuf
02-08-2016, 01:50 PM
The one that I'm thinking off the top of my head right now is probably Type-0. I really couldn't make any sense of what I played of it, the writing was so bad that I couldn't pick it back up.

Well now i know someone agrees im gonna say it too. confusing as hell


no way im playing it twice thats just stuuuuupid to force that

Night Fury
02-08-2016, 01:53 PM
I'm a bit of a simpleton though and I don't always like things like spelled out for me, but I think it was just a lot of overly complex stuff happening off the bat and I got a headache.

maybee
02-08-2016, 03:03 PM
Final Fantasy XIII- one of the main reasons why I hate this game so much is that everything is in the manual basically. Like, how lazy can you get Square- Enix ? It felt visuals over story and adasjajah !

Galuf
02-08-2016, 03:12 PM
i dont even care its not an RPG, its an mmo so... whatever.

Destiny. for a game as big as this was hyped to be it was expected to fall short of expectations. But im gonna tell you the story now. Oh no you have been dead but brought back to life. now go kill stuff and... oh wow a new character... never does anything. beat boss done. yep. and all the story is on a datalog like ffxiii. THAT ISNT ON THE GAME! its on their website. i guess the DLC improved the story a bit.
but yeah. not an rpg but horrible writing none the less. coming from the people who made halo youd think they could make a story.

also charactrr development? pffft even ff8 had more.

Formalhaut
02-08-2016, 03:20 PM
Yes, we don't spend as much time developing VIII's cast. And? They are not, by some insane twist of fate, all tormented by their Dark and Troubled PastTM. The story is almost entirely about Squall and Rinoa and there is no need to add some bulltrout character development with Zell suddenly not being racist anymore because he just didn't think friendship was real and Selphie trying to run away from her past where she used to be romantically involved with an international drug cartel owner. These characters are support characters and they don't need to be anything else because THE STORY ISN'T ABOUT THEM. Stating all characters in a story need to undergo the ridiculously overhyped process of character development is just baffling to me. It's like saying Harry Potter sucks because the Weasley twins and the teachers didn't have some tacked on development. Please, read more, people, I beg you.


I don't think anyone is saying every character needs an character arc; those take time to set up and implement. But some character development shows that people change during the story. The focus needn't be on them, but mostly static characters don't help. The greater they are in focus, the more jarring it becomes to me. Penelo in FFXII barely changes from the start to the end of the story. Some characters don't need explicit development; Fran is the 'wise' character of the group, and so doesn't really need much. I see your point; too many characters getting development makes things muddled. I would say too little strips the focus a little.


it's just pulled out of the creator's ass. If you're going to pull all this lore out of nowhere, at least make the terminology something meaningful. Cie doesn't mean anything. The l'Cie, fal'Cie and Cie'th are explained well enough, but since all this could be just called stuff like Crystal, Crystal's Chosen and Crystal Fiend, and there's no foreign language present in the game to warrant foreign terminology, this is just a blatant case of making up nonsense to make it sound cool.

I still don't really see the issue. What's wrong with borrowing a few words? Did you know, fal'cie is an anagram of 'sky', and the 'fa' part is derived from the Latin famulus, meaning 'servant'. They didn't just pluck the names from thin air, Fynn. :p

Fynn
02-08-2016, 03:22 PM
Yes, we don't spend as much time developing VIII's cast. And? They are not, by some insane twist of fate, all tormented by their Dark and Troubled PastTM. The story is almost entirely about Squall and Rinoa and there is no need to add some bulltrout character development with Zell suddenly not being racist anymore because he just didn't think friendship was real and Selphie trying to run away from her past where she used to be romantically involved with an international drug cartel owner. These characters are support characters and they don't need to be anything else because THE STORY ISN'T ABOUT THEM. Stating all characters in a story need to undergo the ridiculously overhyped process of character development is just baffling to me. It's like saying Harry Potter sucks because the Weasley twins and the teachers didn't have some tacked on development. Please, read more, people, I beg you.


I don't think anyone is saying every character needs an character arc; those take time to set up and implement. But some character development shows that people change during the story. The focus needn't be on them, but mostly static characters don't help. The greater they are in focus, the more jarring it becomes to me. Penelo in FFXII barely changes from the start to the end of the story. Some characters don't need explicit development; Fran is the 'wise' character of the group, and so doesn't really need much. I see your point; too many characters getting development makes things muddled. I would say too little strips the focus a little.


it's just pulled out of the creator's ass. If you're going to pull all this lore out of nowhere, at least make the terminology something meaningful. Cie doesn't mean anything. The l'Cie, fal'Cie and Cie'th are explained well enough, but since all this could be just called stuff like Crystal, Crystal's Chosen and Crystal Fiend, and there's no foreign language present in the game to warrant foreign terminology, this is just a blatant case of making up nonsense to make it sound cool.

I still don't really see the issue. What's wrong with borrowing a few words? Did you know, fal'cie is an anagram of 'sky', and the 'fa' part is derived from the Latin famulus, meaning 'servant'. They didn't just pluck the names from thin air, Fynn. :p

That's kind of the the thing - they didn't give that explanation, even in the datalogs. Style over substance, I tell you! :p

Formalhaut
02-08-2016, 03:23 PM
They don't have to give you an explanation of every little bit of etymology in the game, Fynn!

Fynn
02-08-2016, 03:26 PM
It could come in handy if it's this obscure, really.

Galuf
02-08-2016, 03:27 PM
i pluck my names from Fynn air:cool:

Vyk
02-08-2016, 03:40 PM
As an amateur writer I can totally stand behind Fynn's opinion. And while I haven't played the game, I know the exact same things would bother me. Just like watching The Spoony Experiment rip the plot apart. I agreed with everything Spoony hated in VIII and X, I have no doubt I'd agree with all his complaints in XIII

I think it helps that Spoony plays table-top RPGs, he knows how to create, and certainly to a degree how to write. If I remember correctly, Fynn is a writer. We can look at Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings and while we may not explicitly be able to recreate masterpieces to their equal. We understand the formula. And knowing what to do is harder than knowing what not to do. And XIII did a lot of "do not do" type things

Akin to that is my big problem with Star Ocean 4. I was enjoying the game until the writing came around and bit the main character's personality off and puked up some whiny over-emotional badly acted 14 year old for a leader. It could have been written so much better. Final Fantasy X could have been written so much better. Final Fantasy XIII could have been written so much better

And I think for us writers and creators it stands out even more so because we see the matrix inside. The recipes that make it up, and we legitimately see the potential, and all the places it fell on its face, and its disheartening. So much lost potential. With their budget. Their art design. Their music. And even damn competent voice acting in most cases. They all deserve so much better in their writing. If you were to have Nobuo Uematsu compose a masterpiece for the score, why should the writer get off penning a 5th grader's fan-fiction for the plot?

Fynn
02-08-2016, 03:42 PM
Exactly. XIII hurts so much because the ideas behind it actually have a lot of potential, but the end result is a cheap rush job that is just shallow.

Formalhaut
02-08-2016, 03:46 PM
Exactly. XIII hurts so much because the ideas behind it actually have a lot of potential, but the end result is a cheap rush job that is just shallow.

I do agree on this point. The story has plenty of potential, but it doesn't live up fully to it. I suppose the plot does rush at a rather breakneck speed, so subtlety is lost. It has flaws, but it can never be described as 'complex'. The linearity is such that there's little in the way of diversion, and I've always found the plot easy enough to follow.

FFNut
02-08-2016, 04:33 PM
With me it wasn't just the writing. It was the lack of exploration, it was the lack of not being able to find things out on their own. It was all spoon fed to us. Go here fight flashback. Go here fight flashback. I guess I come from the JRPG era where you finished a quest then talked to everyone to find out what to do next. Not just go this way. Nope don't bother going back there we won't let you. Plus. What totally turned me off this game was the scene near the beginning where I think it was Hope's mother and Snow fighting. They both fall the same height and Snow is unscratched while she dies. Then you see them fall numourus times after unscratched too. What was it that made her die and no one else. If you say for Hope's story I say she would have to fall on her own and not with Snow then. This is just one small example from this games awful writing. It's a broken game and to me not an RPG despite having RPG formulas installed into it.

Pumpkin
02-08-2016, 04:39 PM
See this is what I mean about being too easy to please. VIII and XIII had plot elements that bugged me a bunch. But I like both games a lot. Heck, VIII is my third favourite game ever.

I think like others have said XIII has a ton of potential. I think the base story is incredibly interesting. It just feel short. I love VIII's story but there were some things like "WE WERE ALL ORPHANS TOGETHER OMGOMGOMG" that really bugged me, but the game had many things I just love about it so I more just chuckle or groan at those moments and then continue to enjoy the game!

Doesn't mean everyone is like that or should be, just how I work I guess

FFNut
02-08-2016, 04:43 PM
Agree XIII's story felt very rushed like they had a game but only a weekend to fill in the blanks. I'd probably enjoyed it more if it wasn't given the name Final Fantasy. That name brings with it certain expectations and this game fell short of those.

Galuf
02-08-2016, 04:44 PM
i think Nora was killed by the explosion as she dies before Snows grasp slips.


as for how he survived? well.... uh... um.... Gadots hair

Formalhaut
02-08-2016, 04:57 PM
See this is what I mean about being too easy to please. VIII and XIII had plot elements that bugged me a bunch. But I like both games a lot. Heck, VIII is my third favourite game ever.

I think like others have said XIII has a ton of potential. I think the base story is incredibly interesting. It just feel short. I love VIII's story but there were some things like "WE WERE ALL ORPHANS TOGETHER OMGOMGOMG" that really bugged me, but the game had many things I just love about it so I more just chuckle or groan at those moments and then continue to enjoy the game!

Doesn't mean everyone is like that or should be, just how I work I guess

I think this thread has told me that I'm rather easy to please as well. I can see big flaws in some of my favourite video games, yet still rank them rather high. :p

Vyk
02-08-2016, 05:37 PM
For me it's like... if a story is going to stuck, then it better be backed up by good gameplay. If the gameplay sucks, then it better be backed up by an interesting world with interesting lore and characters. If all of that is completely unpolished with make-believe words, shallow characters, plot-holes out the wazoo, and completely linear gameplay, then what? Graphics? At least they kinda had that I suppose. It was flashy...

Just some things writers and creators need to be wary of. Mary Sues, Chekhov's Gun, Show-Don't-Tell, Plot Convenience, Consistency, etc. One or two can be over-looked, and sometimes can be done in a charmingly ignorant, or tongue-in-cheek manner. But if you continually rely on this stuff, then it's like playing a game with a 4-year-old who just made up his own game, and keeps changing the rules as he goes along. It gets ... ridiculous

Like even if I enjoyed any of those examples, I'd have a hard time respecting them creatively. Like you can tell those writers were once directors or lead programmers or something and then were given a crack at making their own plot without ever having been taught the nuances and rules of writing coherent and believable plots and characters and it bugs the hell out of me lol

maybee
02-08-2016, 08:04 PM
In defense of VIII, yes the plot twist was cliche as hell but I feel like most people judge it too harshly

Same here as it was hinted in the game by Headmaster Cid that the summons cause danger to the brain; though everybody seems to ignore that part and treat the plot-twist as it just occurred out of sudden thin air. There is other hints like Irvine acting like everybody expect Rinoa are familiar friends and Irvine refusing to shoot Edea at the parade. But lol nope- keep on ignoring. Could the subtle hints be explained better ? Yes ! Though it wasn't some random cheesy plot-twist out of the blue like people say.

There's also the main song played at the start - translated into English from Latin- children of fate.

/willdefendFF8tilldeath

Slothy
02-08-2016, 11:20 PM
Exactly. XIII hurts so much because the ideas behind it actually have a lot of potential, but the end result is a cheap rush job that is just shallow.

Speaking of rush job, they didn't really buckle down and make the game until they had to put out a playable demo. That was about a year and a half before release. Prior to that they were spinning their wheels if I'm not mistaken.


Same here as it was hinted in the game by Headmaster Cid that the summons cause danger to the brain; though everybody seems to ignore that part and treat the plot-twist as it just occurred out of sudden thin air. There is other hints like Irvine acting like everybody expect Rinoa are familiar friends and Irvine refusing to shoot Edea at the parade. But lol nope- keep on ignoring. Could the subtle hints be explained better ? Yes ! Though it wasn't some random cheesy plot-twist out of the blue like people say.

There's also the main song played at the start - translated into English from Latin- children of fate.

/willdefendFF8tilldeath

The problem was that none of that really read as foreshadowing anything major. Mostly it was just weird. Hell, Irvine refusing to shoot Edea played out more like him not being able to actually pull the trigger on a real person to assassinate them when I originally played it if I'm remembering correctly. But for the most part there was really no reason for them all to have grown up at an orphanage together. The reason it seems so ridiculous is that the foreshadowing is bad and it doesn't add anything. I could see one of them having known Edea as a child, but all of them knowing each other served no purpose in the end. The story isn't fundamentally better for that twist.

Raistlin
02-10-2016, 12:41 AM
1. FFXIII
2. FFXIII, because no other game deserves to be that close.

FFXIII has the most appalling writing of any RPG I've played. The whole overplot was haphazardly stitched together and most of it was introduced by the villain simply explaining his plan Bond-style in chapter 9.

I would place both FFVIII and FFX on a poor-writing list, albeit maybe not worst ever. FFVIII has already been dissected in this thread, but I thought FFX was just as disappointing, though for different reasons. I liked a lot of the themes in FFX and saw it had a lot of potential, but it was the application and details that just constantly bugged me: the tone, the characters, the dialogue. Good ideas, but poor application and poor writing.

Speaking of potential, as much as I enjoy playing FFVII, it had terrible, dreadful writing after disc 1. And it had such an interesting early story with pretty strong characters, but then it just fell off with no real segues or explanations. Hojo should have been such a better villain, and the Sephiroth-Jenova dynamic needed a lot more development -- and the writing needed to make actual sense in disc 2 (the best example is the whole quest to save all the Huge Materia from Shinra -- the only people with an actual plan to try to stop Meteor -- just for trouts and giggles). To top it off, SE's after-the-fact explanations in the Compilation somehow was even worse. FFVII didn't have the worst writing ever, but if this was a list of "most disappointing writing," I'd probably put it first.

Mirage
02-10-2016, 01:13 AM
1. Star ocean: until the end of time: So many anime tropes, and that little girl "kaaaay" "kaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay" *bangs head against wall* At least the battle system was pretty good.


You're thinking of Star ocean 4, a much worse game than star ocean 3 (till the end of time).

For worst writing in an RPG, I nominate FF13, FF13-2, star ocean 4, tales of symphonia (it's cute, and the combat is fun, but the story isn't very good). idk what to pick as my 5th. xenogears maybe.

Mr. Carnelian
02-10-2016, 01:17 AM
Maybe I'm easy to please, but I can't think of a list of five. Don't get me wrong, I could go through some of the writing flaws in the KOTOR, Final Fantasy, Dragon Age, Persona and Mass Effect games I've played, but I wouldn't say they were badly written, just that they had a couple of flaws (e.g pacing in Persona 3 and 4). And although no Pokemon game has had a plot that's really grabbed me, I'm going to give them a free pass, because I've never played them for the plot. So, only one game springs to mind as being "badly written".

Skyrim. The world was great, and many of the side questlines were suitably absorbing (the assassin questline was one of my faves), but the main story SUCKED. There was no tension, no sense of urgency, very little of interest happened and the villain was exceedingly uninteresting. Poorly written.

Forsaken Lover
02-10-2016, 08:27 AM
Skyrim's Dark Brotherhood were amazing. I loved them.

Which is why I am so sad. One day...one day I will ge a decent PC and use that Save the Dark Brotherhood mod!

maybee
02-10-2016, 10:26 AM
The problem was that none of that really read as foreshadowing anything major. Mostly it was just weird. Hell, Irvine refusing to shoot Edea played out more like him not being able to actually pull the trigger on a real person to assassinate them when I originally played it if I'm remembering correctly. But for the most part there was really no reason for them all to have grown up at an orphanage together. The reason it seems so ridiculous is that the foreshadowing is bad and it doesn't add anything. I could see one of them having known Edea as a child, but all of them knowing each other served no purpose in the end. The story isn't fundamentally better for that twist.

Irvine was said to be the best shooter in the Garden though and said that he never misses his target. Galbadia Garden wanted Edea gone and done away with because they were frighted of her and for good reason. They wouldn't take a coward who refuses to shoot real life people. Irvine says that he can't handle the pressure as well; but they wouldn't take somebody who smurfs up under pressure either. They would take a professional and use the SeeDs whom almost took out the President in Timber.

Do agree with you that the foreshadowing is bad and could've been written better though. Because there's this whole thing of Irvine just taking Rinoa home back to Deling City and planning to just leave his supposed orphanage gang behind, to be tortured. Maybe Irvine didn't want to cause more trouble or thought that the SeeDs could handle it ? But it's dickish on his part.

Though disagree that's it's the worst Final Fantasy plot-twist ever created and deserves ridicule. Just could've been written better.

Ayen
02-10-2016, 05:08 PM
Well, Irvine is kind of a dick. It's the reason I take so much pleasure from leaving Galbadia Garden with Rinoa and Selphie.

Wolf Kanno
02-10-2016, 08:09 PM
VIII's overall story has problems but it has other elements of it that make up for it. I agree with maybee that the Orphanage twist is hardly the worst plot twist in the series. VIII's biggest problem is that most of it's twists never amount to anything meaningful or are deliberately poorly explained because it's obvious the writer himself doesn't really know what it is. Course I would argue that's a calling card for Nojima's style. If you want to see this twist done well, as has been mentioned already, play Persona 2: Innocent Sin. The foreshadowing is a bit better and unlike VIII, the revelation has ramifications for the story that reach into the second game Eternal Punishment.

I'm still thinking up my list, and actually finding it harder than I'm sure most of you would imagine.

Forsaken Lover
02-10-2016, 08:43 PM
VIII's overall story has problems but it has other elements of it that make up for it. I agree with maybee that the Orphanage twist is hardly the worst plot twist in the series. VIII's biggest problem is that most of it's twists never amount to anything meaningful or are deliberately poorly explained because it's obvious the writer himself doesn't really know what it is. Course I would argue that's a calling card for Nojima's style. If you want to see this twist done well, as has been mentioned already, play Persona 2: Innocent Sin. The foreshadowing is a bit better and unlike VIII, the revelation has ramifications for the story that reach into the second game Eternal Punishment.

I'm still thinking up my list, and actually finding it harder than I'm sure most of you would imagine.

It's not just going to be XIII, XIII-2, Lightning Returns, X and X-2?

Fynn
02-10-2016, 09:31 PM
Wolf has vowed not to play XIII's sequels :p

FFNut
02-10-2016, 09:55 PM
Wolf has vowed not to play XIII's sequels :p


Who can blame him with XIII as bad as it was. I have XIII-2 still in plastic as I bought it the same time as XIII. It hasn't moved from where I put it in a box of games I'll never play again.

Galuf
02-10-2016, 09:59 PM
honestly id say 13-2 is probably the best, less linear and less characters to develop. i think serah and noel were pretty good. LR though.... the story is uh.... worse than xiii however the gameplay is arguebly the best

Fynn
02-10-2016, 10:00 PM
I did start XIII-2 and was reasonably okay with what I got.

Galuf
02-10-2016, 10:03 PM
course, i liked all the games. but i may be a bit biased as FFXIII was my first main FF i played, and it had the best story id seen up to that point

Wolf Kanno
02-16-2016, 08:08 PM
I'm still thinking up my list, and actually finding it harder than I'm sure most of you would imagine.

It's not just going to be XIII, XIII-2, Lightning Returns, X and X-2?

Yeah, I'm not going to discount a game I never played, though what I've read of the XIII sequels plot makes me less inclined to check them out.

Part of my issue is that while some stories have elements I really hate and ruin the story for me, there are games I like that have similar flaws but because some other elements saves it for me, I don't count them. So I'm trying to appease this contradiction with myself.

maybee
02-17-2016, 01:05 PM
I did start XIII-2 and was reasonably okay with what I got.

I actually didn't mind XIII-2 either ? The Pokemon like battle system was fun and Serah and Noel made a good team ? Though the writing is terrible so a Lightning game can be made. Sigh.
:simon:


Well, Irvine is kind of a dick. It's the reason I take so much pleasure from leaving Galbadia Garden with Rinoa and Selphie.

I don't mind Irvine either ? Irvine is just lonely AF so he plays cool and flirts with women as a coping strategy, and guns. All the kids are lonely as smurf and they have odd ways of coping ? Squall pushes everybody away, Zell focus's on his dream to become like his grandfather, Selphie wears a happy/ hyper mask and Rinoa tries to make a place independent from a government. Irvine does have his dick moments though; but then so does Squall, Rinoa, Selphie, Seifer etc
These are child soldiers so they oughta be a little smurfed up/ have strange ways of coping; with Irvine is pretending to be the coolest most smoothest Casanova and being a professional sniper. I'm not excusing his actions though. Irvine can be downright creepy towards the girls.

rhophiehalul78
02-17-2016, 02:40 PM
All the newer Tales game as well as Final Fantasy 13 trilogy.

Mister Adequate
02-18-2016, 07:45 PM
Irvine, Zell, Selphie and Quistis

But you literally named the best characters and primary reasons to actually play the game?

FF XIII doesn't make any sense at all. Still enjoyed the game, story is bizarre and insane.

Oblivion is riddled with nonsense.

The last half hour of Mass Effect 3 is so bad it puts the entire game here.

Star Ocean IV. wtf the fuck?

But for me, I think Fallout 3 takes the cake. It is so, so thoroughly stupid in so, so many ways. It's kind of astonishing, it's almost a work of art in how artlessly bad everything relating to the main quest is.

Forsaken Lover
02-18-2016, 08:48 PM
Some people just don't respect Liam Neeson or our president being HAL.

Wolf Kanno
02-20-2016, 12:08 AM
My top Five

Fallout 3 - As has been mentioned already, Fallout 3's main plot is a bit of a disjointed mess with predictable payoffs for the obvious setups and hampered by scenarios that don't actually add to the world or story. I actually skipped several of the story missions because I found good old dad wandering the wastelands long before I found Three Dog. The game's original ending is also just a plot hole with my character valiantly sacrificing their life for the Wasteland by radiation poisoning despite having two party members who literally eat radiation standing right next to me. Even the writing of the story is pretty awful once you get past the Vault 101 stuff. What makes this really annoying is that there are some actual good characters and stories in this game, they just all happen to be optional.

Final Fantasy Tactics A2 - Like Fallout 3, TA2 actually has some great characters and scenarios, they're just all optional and have no connection to the main story. What constitutes as the main story is absolute garbage. The plot points are thinly connected and serve more to open up the world (and the better side stories) than actually being some intelligible narrative with a good arc. The main villain has no purpose in the story and little background to flesh her out, the final boss is such a Space Flea from Outer Space, he makes Necron look like a full fledged character with purpose and the plot is the flimsiest of excuse plots. What is most insulting is how FFTactics and Tactics Advance actually had gripping philosophical narratives that dealt with moral issues whereas Luso is just some vapid child having adventures in Ivalicland while putting off his need to get home. I almost feel like the writers took this approach because of backlash against the moral core of Tactics Advance, though it's an opinion I probably share alone. The Ivalice games before, always offered some mature theme and deeper thinking in their characters and narratives, but TA2's main story offers little to nothing, relying on the stronger side missions which themselves are still more straightforward and fluffy than previous Matsuno Ivalice titles. I feel like this shows my feelings pretty well...
67266



Final Fantasy X-2 - Dear X-2, please make a choice: You can either be a fun-loving tongue-in-cheek Charlie's Angel ripoff adventure starring Yuna; a somber story about politics in the aftermath of Spira's power vacuum and cultural revolution between different political factions vying to shape Spira; or it can be the tragic tale of Spira's past coming back to haunt because the dead just don't know how to stay dead in this world. No, you can't be all three. I don't mind mood whiplash but X-2 takes it to an illogical extreme with what I can only assume was three very different visions for this sequel that no one wanted to concede, and instead just had all three tales haphazardly thrown together. It might have worked if the dialogue and scenes weren't so utterly cringe-worthy that it becomes increasingly difficult to take anything remotely serious.

Final Fantasy XIII - What can I say that hasn't already been mentioned in this thread alone? Knowing me, a lot but I'll try to keep this "brief". This game has several problems. It's obvious Toriyama prefers telling gripping character stories over focusing on a plot, which wouldn't be a problem if the plot was often more interesting and worthy of exploration than his cookie-cutter characters. His character's wouldn't be so bad if A) he actually gave them the time and pacing needed to develop them properly, and B) If Toriyama wasn't a robot whose only understanding of human emotion comes from watching daytime TV soap operas.

The chapters are uneven with the first four easily being condensed down to two chapters, the Thirteen Days prologue should have been expanded into two chapters and told as a complete narrative instead of being broken up into bite size chunks that are shown hours apart from each other after they've lost their meaning, and the actual character drama parts could have been stretched out to feel more natural and build to a better climax for Hope and Sahz. Chapter 9 is when the writers suddenly remembered they needed a plot and introduce a one dimensional being who basically places the party in an unwinnable situation and then prods them with a stick for the next twenty hours before the party finally decides to take their Zoloft and fight him after he reveals he never really needed them in the first place, making the whole story pointless. The theme of the game is fighting fate, and it's obvious with the names of the music tracks but the party basically just goes along with fate and gets rewarded with a literal deus ex machina meaning the party didn't really learn anything, so what was the smurfing point? Making a deadline I suppose...

Kingdom Hearts 2 - Sorry KH fans but I still dislike this game. It starts off strong, say what you will about Roxas two hour tutorial but it had the most inventive and compelling writing in the game. Once Sora appears, the plot goes to hell. So Sora has to revisit worlds to find lightways because... reasons that are never touched on again for the rest of the series. Orgy XIII is introduced early with little setup and almost none of them get the type of characterization or screentime as their dead members did in Chain of Memories leaving most of them to feel like Mega Man bosses than actual villains. The Ansem/Xehanort plot twist is introduced with such grace that's it's taken most of the handheld side games to finally make it feel like a good idea and not a cop out plot twist to surprise fans, Goofy is supposedly killed to manipulate the players emotions but then gets retcon when we leanr less than five minutes later it didn't happen. Kairi's role in the story is so shallow she might as well had not bothered showing up. Maleficent is revived and proceeds to do jack trout for the rest of the series, let alone the game it happened in because she was just too cool to get rid of. Riku has this asinine story about turning into Ansem that has little to no logical explanation, gets resolved with no explanation and only serves as to retcon his character growth from CoM because no one bothered to buy the game since it was on the GBA. Also we can apparently just make a new Kingdom Hearts if you want instead of going through the trouble with all those Princesses and Heart of World crap, rendering everything in KH1 meaningless... Am I missing anything? Oh yeah, the cop out ending that could have segued into making Kairi into an actual character instead of a plot device if the writers hadn't decided to deus ex machina the whole deal so we can finally get a happy ending in this series.

If this was a Top Ten...

Final Fantasy X - See Raistlin's post.

FFXII: Revenant Wings - See Fynn's post

Children of Mana - Bland characters and hokey plot that serves more as an excuse plot for a pretty shallow game. Disappointed with this one.

Wild Arms 3 - Felt like the writer's were trying to top themselves from WA2's crazy plot twists. Half of the story is filled with stock characters doing their stock roles with nothing new to make them feel alive, and the other half is a bizarre story that just gets weirder and weirder as the game keeps going. While I'm always up for a new playthrough of the first two games, I really have no desire to come back to this one. It also kind of killed my interest in the franchise , though I did recently pick up WA4 to give it a chance.

Star Ocean 3: Until the End of Time - While I'm not bothered by the actual 4D Reality twist, it could have been handled better and it does create ramifications that I'm sure the writer's didn't think through until SO4 became a thing. Also the story is bit bland after it's revelation, which is odd cause you would think it's the opposite. Again, just bad execution but it's not like people play this series for the writing. What does bother me is that the characters are kind of forgettable. Cliff and Abel were interesting personalities but they didn't leave much of an impression beyond that and the rest of the characters never really interested me. One of those games where my party is mostly practical because I honestly didn't have any faves. Also killed my interest in the franchise, which is why SO4 is currently collecting dust on my shelf.

Vyk
02-20-2016, 12:46 AM
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/266103/No_more_narrative_paramedics_Tomb_Raider_writer_says_hire_writers_early.php?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter Just read an article about how lacking the industry is in their outlook on the need for professional writers. Or to an extension, professional editors. And they even wonder "do we need them". Like... I get you want to make a game and tell a story. But if you don't know how, then let someone else do it. Or at least hand off what you have and let someone who knows what they're doing flesh it out for you. If you can't write compelling dialog, then let a real writer do your dialog. If you can't figure out how to get characters from point A to point B, because you wrote yourself into a corner, let a real writer take over. Don't just have Sin fart on them and magically teleport them for no explained or justified reason. You have professional artists, professional programmers, directors, producers. Get a real writer. And for God's sake, let them in on what's going on early, get them involved early. You. Need. Them. (I thought people might enjoy this insight from a real professional writer in the industry and see a little of why things are the way they are with big budget fanfiction in the form of a video game)

Forsaken Lover
02-20-2016, 01:59 AM
Where were the professional writers in FFI-VI? I must have missed them.

You singled out FFX, and Nojima I suppose, but no one involved in any other FF game has been any kind of "real author."

Vyk
02-20-2016, 02:17 AM
Whatever the reasoning may be, it was less apparent. The biggest issues were translation issues. Perhaps it was due to the technology and style being primitive enough to match. Technology and artistry has grown, but writing really hasn't in most cases. And I'm not even going to pretend that those games couldn't have been better. Sure they were good, but with a real writer even back then they could have probably been amazing. Baldur's Gate and Planescape Torment had real writing chops at the helm. Not entirely sure if the writers in question were published or technically professional, but they were definitely of equal caliber. So yeah, I'll single out the glaring examples, and the best examples

Baldur's Gate and Planescape were not pretty. The combat was clunky. The inventory was annoying. It was a chore to trudge through most places. And they're going to be remembered fondly by most people due to the writing. It is important

Forsaken Lover
02-20-2016, 02:25 AM
I have heard nothing but endless praise from people about Planescape Torment and Baldur's Gate 2 but I am skeptical. These are the same people who spend all their time whining about how Bethesda and BioWare have lost their way. They think Knights of the Old Republic 1 was better than Mass Effect 2. Or that Bethesda made a spectacular failure in FO3...when it was a huge success and salvaged an obscure, dead franchise.

Old PC RPG fans are a strange, fanatical minority.
]

Wolf Kanno
02-20-2016, 02:30 AM
Where were the professional writers in FFI-VI? I must have missed them.

You singled out FFX, and Nojima I suppose, but no one involved in any other FF game has been any kind of "real author."

Well Kenji Terada (main scenario writer/consultant for FFI-III) is an actual professional script writer and author who started in the 80s anime scene before doing some work for Square. Sorya Saga worked on FFVI's scenario and went on to develop stories for Xenogears and Xenosaga and she's an actual professional freelance writer. Masato Kato (CT, CC, Xenogears and FFVII) started in the arcade scene with Tecmo but worked with Gainax as a writer before joining Square and he's attached to some of the most praised games/stories in Square's history. Honestly, Square has had professional writers helping them from the beginning despite the technology failing to do any justice for them.

I feel like it's the reason why Lost Odyssey is so lop-sided in it's writing because the main concept/premise and Thousand Year arcs were written by a professional novelist whereas the rest of the story was just the Mistwalker Team trying to do it justice so the writing is hit or miss on that one.

Forsaken Lover
02-20-2016, 02:34 AM
A lot of people wrote Chrono Trigger and the one game Kato is most known for, Chrono Cross, is often mocked as a giant pile of crap in terms of writing.

Soraya Saga wrote a few games so has Hideo Kojima. I thought we were talking about writers of books and other things.

Wolf Kanno
02-20-2016, 02:57 AM
A lot of people wrote Chrono Trigger and the one game Kato is most known for, Chrono Cross, is often mocked as a giant pile of crap in terms of writing.

Soraya Saga wrote a few games so has Hideo Kojima. I thought we were talking about writers of books and other things.

Well all three are actual professional writers (well Kojima has a lot of help if you pay attention to the credits) and frankly, looking at the writing credits of CT, Kato did most of the work seeing how Yuji Horii simply came up with the story concept with Toriyma and Sakaguchi's input; and Kitase and Tanaka were brought in later on in development to work on subplots as opposed to the main scenario, so Kato did most of the heavy lifting in terms of writing the game. The entire 12,000 B.C. section was created by him as well with no input from the others and it's considered the best part of the game.

Chrono Cross' story is only hated by jaded CT fans. Most sources/people I know tend to really enjoy CC's plot. Characters could have been more involved but CC's purpose was as philosophical look at the ramifications of time travel, not the story of Serge and his friends. Course you'll always find people who love/hate a story on the internet; but it is the internet which is a collective unconscious without filters, where everyone has an opinion, and we all pretend it can be a fact or some objective truth despite it being subjective nonsense.

My point was that there are professional writers in Japan's gaming scene that cut there teeth on the classics and so they actually have a professional game writers as opposed to the West which the article Vyk post shows is different on how they approach it. I would argue the real issue with some of Squenix's game is that they sometimes give too much autonomy to one writer and the other writers just kind of follow their lead for better or for worse, whereas in the companies Golden Age, they had several people with pretty equal standing working on the plot as an ensemble piece. Kato can claim the Chrono series but not one person can claim Xenogears or FFVI. Even VII often gets mis-credited with Nojima doing all the work when the game had several writers involved, which might explain why the Compilation mostly written by him isn't as strong as the original.

The Summoner of Leviathan
02-20-2016, 04:01 AM
FFVIII. One of the few FF that is simply quit and couldn't get into after getting into the second disc. I couldn't have cared less about characters.

Skyrim. I am not into the whole TES lore, but just the main story was weak and horrible. It is good for mods though.

Star Ocean: Til the End of Time. So campy the dialogue.

FF X-2. Fun mechanics, but really? Just really?

I can't think of another, but I am sure if I took out my PS2 library I could find something...

Vyk
02-20-2016, 06:52 AM
I have heard nothing but endless praise from people about Planescape Torment and Baldur's Gate 2 but I am skeptical. These are the same people who spend all their time whining about how Bethesda and BioWare have lost their way. They think Knights of the Old Republic 1 was better than Mass Effect 2. Or that Bethesda made a spectacular failure in FO3...when it was a huge success and salvaged an obscure, dead franchise.

Old PC RPG fans are a strange, fanatical minority.
]
Yeah, not going to deny that one. But that's like most nostalgia driven fans. The golden age was always years ago lol Guilty as charged. Just not for those games. I love BioWare and Bethesda's new stuff. Also love their old stuff. And also have plenty of critique for both

I don't know why I'm so jaded against JRPGs, and I'm okay with the quirks and plot holes of most prominent WRPGs. People hated Mass Effect 3's ending, even after its renovations. I had no trouble with it. My only problem was that there was no real good answer. Just 3 bad choices to finalize the trilogy. But I didn't think it was garbage

As to the conversation Wolf is covering, I'm honestly not sure what "professional" writer should mean, other than someone who either has been taught or just knows by nature how to write something cohesive and compelling in some manner or another. I used FFX as an example because of a huge well-known plot-hole that I can't imagine any respectable.. real, legitimate writer (of any definition) would allow into their story without some weird explanation somewhere. And their only explanation as far as I'm aware just some Mary Sue new ability Sin just randomly has and is never mentioned or used again

Though due to Wolf's input I can see that Japan suffers from a whole different issue. I shouldn't have assumed on that one. They do have their won writing issues, but that reminds me again of BioWare with the writing people have hated most is due to one writer taking control of the entire project and going solo with no input or critique until it was too late. Which is visibly a terrible idea on both sides of the pond

I don't honestly even care if some director or producer wants to write something that's passionately burning in their head. If they get the opportunity to go for it, more power to them. I just wish they'd acknowledge their shortcomings and accept the help of other writers to tighten things up, or a decent editor to fix mistakes and pull it all together. But that just doesn't seem to be the way things work for them, not anymore at least

Wolf Kanno
02-20-2016, 07:09 AM
To be fair, "professional writer" simply means you're adequate enough that people like your work. It doesn't necessarily mean their work is without flaw, and as I stated with the internet rant, mass communication tends to accentuate the extremes of good and bad. Japan has professional game writers compared to some Western studios but many of these professionals got their start as artist and programmers and probably have no background in writing.

Of anything the real issue is that the technology for gaming has advanced to a point where players are shifting standards. As good as something as Chrono Trigger is, I'm not sure it's story would do so well if it was presented without change in a game designed with modern specs. Old games kind of get a pass because no one expected anything from the plot, so the fact some effort was put into it was deeply appreciated, but now story is the norm and not the exception, so a half-ass written plot is going to get scrutinized more now than it has in the past.

Slothy
02-21-2016, 03:30 PM
I have heard nothing but endless praise from people about Planescape Torment and Baldur's Gate 2 but I am skeptical. These are the same people who spend all their time whining about how Bethesda and BioWare have lost their way. They think Knights of the Old Republic 1 was better than Mass Effect 2. Or that Bethesda made a spectacular failure in FO3...when it was a huge success and salvaged an obscure, dead franchise.

Old PC RPG fans are a strange, fanatical minority.
]

I'm not sure why you're equating commercial success with quality. The two are rarely directly connected.

Laddy
02-28-2016, 05:14 AM
Planescape: Torment is my favorite game of all time but it is not what'd I call fun. The combat is boring and entirely superfluous, there is a lot of backtracking, and some things are not conveyed well to the player. Dungeons are the weak point for sure.

I believe there is no game in existence close to the caliber of writing that game creates. Not one. If Torment scrapped combat altogether and just kept the D&D license and setting, it's arguably be better. The amount of nuance, emotional resonance in the themes, imagery, and dialogue borders on overwhelmingly potent. I am more than willing to tear through the clunky combat and cumbersome menus for the opportunity to have my life changed.

For my list it'd be...

Fallout 3: Fallout is an engaging, morally ambiguous, and darkly humorous setting and Fallout 3 stripped all that away for every Hollywood cliché ever. It has no respect for the series' canon or lore outside of borrowing it for its own useless plot.

Oblivion: Every lame Western Fantasy trope ever is here. Whenever the quests or characters take an interesting turn you discover the execution is sloppy and disappointing. Skyrim is better but not by much.

Star Ocean 4: It's Oblivion but with Japanese clichés instead. Edge Maverick.

Final Fantasy VIII: It's a promising concept that's executed awful. I love the idea of Gardens, Sorceresses, etc but the characters are one-note and that dumb Orphanage twist is yawn.

Grandia III: The mom is cool but everything else is just a paint-by-the-numbers borefest. Play it for the combat.

Games with writing that I find overrated: Undertale, Mass Effect, Final Fantasy IV, Dragon Age: Origins, and Kingdom Hearts.