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About unangbangkay

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  1. Thanks for the info. Kudos to them for some great compositions. I can only hope Storm of Zehir will have pieces that are just as brilliant.
  2. Frankly speaking, Mask of the Betrayer's score is one of the best I've ever heard in a game. My particular favorite was the combat theme in the Wells of Lurue area. I paused a fight just to hear the piece loop over and over at one point. Who composed and performed the work?
  3. Working through The Experiment (most interesting game I've played in a long time), and trying to work up the energy to load up Devil May Cry 4 or Bioshock. Also picking up Persona 3: FES, downloading the Metal Gear Online Beta, buying a Ford Focus in GT5 Prologue, and despairing over the fact that I have more games than I can even imagine having the time to play, yet keep buying more. ATLUS games, yes I should get them because that damn publisher makes like what, 3 copies of every release, but the others?!
  4. I don't mind more FR-set games. By my book FR games (and books) have only seemed boring and generic because writers and devs "just can't quit" the goddamn Sword Coast. Even in 4E, according to recent articles at Wizards.com, the Sword Coast will largely be the same as it was in 3E. And AD&D. That's generic TO THE MAX. MotB's environs and setting proved that interesting things can be wrung out of this most Tolkien-esque of D&D settings. How about a game set in Kara-Tur? In Abeir (the sister-continent of Toril that replaces Maztica in 4E)? In the Empire of Shade? In Chult? There's much to explore in the Realms, it's just that we haven't gone far enough into them.
  5. MotB is by and large unrelated to the OC, but knowing the various references it makes during the campaign makes the experience sweeter. Besides, the OC has its own interesting quest arcs that make it worth playing. In my estimation, MotB features some of the best RPG writing since Torment, and that alone makes it worth playing. Plus, by now most of the game's technical blunders have been dealt with.
  6. Now, I haven't read the entire thread, but the article makes some good points. In my estimation Bioware's games don't really push the envelope, but innovation and creativity aren't the sole thing sthat makes an A-List title. Bioware is, and has always been, tip-top on the production side of the coin. Their games are very polished, hit all their marks, and as mentioned, perfectly leverage opportunities for success. Who says that taking advantage of context DOESN'T make an A-List title? Creatively, Bioware's games haven't quite been as interesting as their earlier outings with Black Isle. Take for example the plot differences between KotOR and KotOR 2. Where KotOR was a relatively straightforward jump into power fantasy (woo! you're a Sith Lord), KotOR 2 did more to expand on the deeper aspects of the Star Wars mythos. I can't pass judgment on Mass Effect quite yet (still waiting on the PC version). To pass a labored San Franciso Movie-Buff metaphor, Bioware's games are usually shown at the Metreon, while Obsidian's (which I'll use in place of Black Isle et al) are the type to be shown at Embarcadero Center Cinema. Neither is a bad thing.
  7. I think it's rather obvious that 4e's taking some influence from how video games operate, and I'm frankly all for it. Operating more intuitively and simply helps everybody. It expands options without being bogged down in math or minutiae for pen-and-paper players, and makes more actions possible for video game adaptation. The altered rules for combat seem to make it easier for game-adaptation of 4e to operate on the "under-the-hood" level, working convincingly in real time while hiding the math under the hood, enabling players to enjoy the inherently faster level of gameplay that video games seem to demand. In turn this simplifies (but not dumbs down) encounters, enabling DMs to concentrate on making the campaign fun and interesting. I can't make a judgment until the rules are in my hands, but as a novice pnp player I'm prepared to welcome 4th ed. (even if many of my sourcebooks are rendered useless). Agree? Disagree? Burn me in a car fire?
  8. I think what Levine meant is that games shouldn't try to hide their plots from players in the same way that some movies do. Movies often operate from a god's eye perspective in which the viewer is aware of things that the characters are not, enabling the viewer to see complex connections and symbolisms. This doesn't mean that game players are morons or that plots need to be complex, but that plots in games should be more self-contained, enabling the player to form a more personal connection with the game. "Simpler" plots are more conducive to stronger immersion. Look at how players love Planescape: Torment or Baldur's Gate 2 as wonders of game writing. Those plots were "simple" in that they didn't actively try to deny the player information, preferring to give the player hints and nudges along the path. He wasn't talking about not having multiple endings or whatnot, he was encouraging designers not to FORCE a player into multiple playthroughs in order just to get a satisfactory, even excellent experience. And that, in itself, puts good writing and accessibility at the forefront. Game plots can be deep and will in every sense benefit from being so, but like any well-written piece of fiction (especially fiction that must entertain as well as inspire/intrigue), game plots should allow players to be find ways to enjoy and connect with the game at each level. He put Half-Life up as an example of good storytelling. He's right. Half-life is enjoyable at the basic level, providing an interesting environment to explore and run through and engaging challenges and set pieces. But it's enjoyable at a deeper level, exploring characters like Alyx, the scientists, the G-Man, or the universe-level events like the 7-hour war, the border wars, or the Combine. And it's enjoyable at a still deeper level, examining Gordon's philosophical role as a messianic figure, on the "meta" level, to use the cliche'. Bioshock does this, Planescape and Mask of the Betrayer do this, Baldur's Gate 2 does it (though on a shallower level, I think). Levine's saying "simple" when perhaps the proper term is "accessible" or "coherent". To not be so is failure on the writer and the designers part. While I'm suggesting levels and terms, game plots should be enjoyable on the level of "playing", on the level of "immersing", and on the level of "interpreting". Of course, like a summer blockbuster or a "plot-light" title, a game doesn't DEMAND this kind of depth. But this kind of depth needs to be more common in order for games to advance as an art from.
  9. I was reading a Dev article on wizards.com and they mentioned that bards are in 4e, and will benefit from the rules changes. You'll need to login: http://wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drdd/20070831a
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