Quantcast
Locked: XenoGears Vs. PlaneScape Torment?

Forums - Gaming Discussion - XenoGears Vs. PlaneScape Torment?

Xenogears utterly annhilates every facet of Planescape: Torment especially in terms of story. The fact that people are willing to spend exorbitant amounts on a complete Xenogears package is a testament to the games longetivity and quality. Hell, in terms of telling a story about the turmoil of an immortal being, I thought that Lost Odyssey did it better than PS:T. The "1000 years of dreams" short stories are some of the most brilliant and well written examples of storytelling the medium has to offer.



Around the Network
ApolloCloud said:
JRPGs tell the best stories you can find in any medium, and Xenogears specifically is the very best the genre (and storytelling of any medium) has to offer.

*giggles*

Oh damn, you just gave me a reason to wake up tomorrow morning.




Or check out my new webcomic: http://selfcentent.com/

rocketpig said:
ApolloCloud said:
JRPGs tell the best stories you can find in any medium, and Xenogears specifically is the very best the genre (and storytelling of any medium) has to offer.

*giggles*

Oh damn, you just gave me a reason to wake up tomorrow morning.

Oh God no DON'T



rocketpig said:
ApolloCloud said:
JRPGs tell the best stories you can find in any medium, and Xenogears specifically is the very best the genre (and storytelling of any medium) has to offer.

*giggles*

Oh damn, you just gave me a reason to wake up tomorrow morning.

Chill out man, its just an opinion.



Planescape: Torment. Though I'm probably not the best person to ask since JRPGs make me violently ill.

However, people looking for Western themes in Xenogears should probably look a little closer to Square's home:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_a_Grove

If it's depth you want, head for another medium:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGT24uYPb2Y
Antigone--a really great play, and the joy of this is having a "bad guy" who isn't a "bad guy", his arguments are as passionate and as strong as the protagonist's. Great depth because one side doesn't just roll over and say "I'm the bad guy!"

I would go so far as to say this is probably the best play/movie ever. (but skip the chorus, which is the group of old dudes talking, it was an ancient Greek theater thing that didn't survive)

http://classics.mit.edu/Epictetus/epicench.html
Super short read, but cool since 1) It's about 2,000 years old 2) It's basic stoic philosophy 101 3) it's an easy read that provokes a lot of thought



Around the Network

"JRPGs tell the best stories you can find in any medium"

Thats just laughable. Games are very poor at telling stories in comparison to novels and film. The advantage of games is interactivity not storytelling. The scripts in pretty much every game ever written are flawed and most intelligent games are pseudo intellectual at best. I cannot speak for Xenogears however. But I will say Planescape Torment is amazing.



Xenogears by far, really it is the deepest RPG out there.



ApolloCloud said:
JRPGs tell the best stories you can find in any medium, and Xenogears specifically is the very best the genre (and storytelling of any medium) has to offer.

It explores the philosophical ideas of Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and Jacques Lacan, it delves into the nature of God, The Universe and existence, the nature of human memory, the struggle between man and machine, the horrors of war, ethics, politics, economics... the list goes on, and it does so with such detail and scope.

But beyond that it's quite simply just far more complex (complicated subject matter, complicated narrative, so much shrouded in mystery and ambiguity, with plot twists that make you question everything you had been lead to believe about the game's story) and compelling (helped considerably by its phenomenal music, as well as the fact that it touches on just about every single emotion of the player) than Planescape: Torment, and the same's also the case with Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Radical Dreamers, and the Xenosaga series.

Where do I start? First off, when it comes to storytelling, games aren't even in the same realm as film or literature and I'd argue that JRPGs are pretty low on the totem pole compared to some of the better games out there. Why? It's because they try to be movies. Just as film initially tried to be theatre, people didn't know how to use the medium to its fullest extent right off the bat and therefore imitated its most similar predecessor. In games, this is even more true and makes for poorer storytelling elements because games, unlike cinema or theatre, are offering an entirely new element: interactivity. Some people consider this a plus but when it comes to conventional storytelling, it is absolutely a negative (and JRPGs play to the strictest storytelling conventions). If a game tries to tell a story like a movie, it falls to pieces. Pacing is destroyed by the added interactivity. Say you're coming fresh off a cutscene (ugh, cutscenes)... the next ten minutes may involve you not understanding your next objective and wandering around aimlessly. In doing so, you've destroyed the main story and its pacing. Say you do a minor side quest that does nothing other than gives you a new sword... same thing. Pacing destroyed. On top of that, different regions of the brain handle viewing versus interaction. Jolting the player out of one scenario and into another (and going back and forth repeatedly) ruins the emotional experience felt within the player after a story element has completed. In the end, it turns into a mess where story is packed into 2 hours out of a 30 hour experience, with the player/viewer spending the vast majority of their time doing completely non-story portions of the game. Under the static premise of linear storytelling, this combination of player passive time versus participation time will ALWAYS hinder games and make them an inferior method of storytelling to film, theatre, and literature.

As for Xeno touching on all those philosophical ideas, that's just rubbish. If anything, that HURTS the game's storytelling. Did Shakespeare throw 14 major themes into Hamlet? No, because it creates a giant mess where no theme is explored in detail (contrary to what you may believe) and leaves the audience wondering "what the fuck is going on here?" and not in a good way. How on Earth is it a plus that Xeno spent time touching on themes from five different philosophers who have very different world outlooks? What kind of consistency can be found in that mess? It's a major a problem I see with many anime and JRPGs and I call it "let's throw everything at the wall and see what sticks". Instead of attacking one major theme, the developers muddy the water by loosely touching on several themes and the piece comes out feeling like a contradictory, convoluted pile of shit. BioShock, while definitely a flawed story and game, did a far better job of directly going after Objectivism and working a lack of choice into its gameplay than most JRPGs I've seen. And don't take that as praise for BioShock because I think it's still a bloody mess for its own reasons.

Games will never rival other forms of media in linear storytelling because of their interactivity. The future of game storytelling lies in overarching emotional bonds to characters and the environment, not in trying to compete with film on a narrative basis. An example of where games may be going is Mass Effect 2. I've talked to about a dozen people who I consider to be reasonably intelligent about how they felt during Mass Effect 2. Invariably, they end up talking about the characters. Which ones they loved and took on missions, which ones they left out, and how they felt if that character died. Almost NO ONE mentioned the story elements of the game, which I found incredibly fascinating. If more developers start taking this kind of approach, we could see games rival other media on an emotional basis but the "storytelling" will use games' strengthes as an advantage instead of trying to be a movie and failing. One of the side effects of this form of storytelling is that conventional quest-based stories will lessen in importance in favor of broad-sweeping emotional involvement of the player as he or she makes choices that define their game world. Which takes them FARTHER from JRPGs and shows just how foolish it is that Japanese developers have continued to toil under this form of movie-inspired storytelling when the medium just doesn't work well under those limitations. (Disclaimer: Mass Effect 2 is still a flawed game and has weaknesses that bother me, such as the "white versus black" dialogue choices but the game shows real potential about where the medium can go in the future.)

With that said, there are still many JRPGs I play and enjoy, I just realize that they're quickly becoming a relic of gaming's juvenile past. Of course, there's always time for a developer to step in and do something completely different with the genre and modernize it.

You guys didn't really think I'd be able to leave this thread alone, did you?




Or check out my new webcomic: http://selfcentent.com/

The_vagabond7 said:

I agree with this man here. It's just a pet peeve of mine, like that guy that used to frequent these boards saying that Metal Gear Solid was the greatest work of art produced in the past century, and that Kojima was the greatest thinker and philosopher of the 20th century. Not to belittle videogames as a medium, but where are we as a culture if people can say with a straight face that Xenogears and Kojima are deeper and more important that Dostoevsky and Wittgestein.

@bolded: Put two and two together vagabond.



Tag: Became a freaking mod and a complete douche, coincidentally, at the same time.



hehe nice one^^

But still Xenogears has an intriguing story and the game 'reads' like a book
Touching these philosopher's theories makes one question things and that by itself is not done often enough...

All i want is Xeno on PSN, so i can throw out my old American psx...

Gonna look into Planescape though.