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What do you think about the "romance" in RPG?


btsam

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However, books have the benefit of occurring in your head where believability will at least partially be supported/depend on your own imagination,

 

 

Quite so, quite so. I find romance works better when things happen in your head or in the background. For example: Two attractive individuals travel together, so you would assume that they bond and develop affection for each other. It mostly unfolds in your head, perhaps supported by a few good moments onscreen.

 

But when you try to force that whole relationship / process onscreen into a text-tree conversation? Cringe ensures.

And that's why think JRPGs are much better at presenting relationships/romances. Every player finds it's own way how to interpret the dialogues between protagonists. Look at Tales of Zestiria as a later example. Lot of people seen there gay relationship between two of the protagonists and lot people have seen the same two guys having romantic relationships with other two females in the party.

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1) God of War III - PS3 - 24+ hours

2) Final Fantasy XIII - PS3 - 130+ hours

3) White Knight Chronicles International Edition - PS3 - 525+ hours

4) Hyperdimension Neptunia - PS3 - 80+ hours

5) Final Fantasy XIII-2 - PS3 - 200+ hours

6) Tales of Xillia - PS3 - 135+ hours

7) Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2 - PS3 - 152+ hours

8.) Grand Turismo 6 - PS3 - 81+ hours (including Senna Master DLC)

9) Demon's Souls - PS3 - 197+ hours

10) Tales of Graces f - PS3 - 337+ hours

11) Star Ocean: The Last Hope International - PS3 - 750+ hours

12) Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII - PS3 - 127+ hours

13) Soulcalibur V - PS3 - 73+ hours

14) Gran Turismo 5 - PS3 - 600+ hours

15) Tales of Xillia 2 - PS3 - 302+ hours

16) Mortal Kombat XL - PS4 - 95+ hours

17) Project CARS Game of the Year Edition - PS4 - 120+ hours

18) Dark Souls - PS3 - 197+ hours

19) Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory - PS3 - 238+ hours

20) Final Fantasy Type-0 - PS4 - 58+ hours

21) Journey - PS4 - 9+ hours

22) Dark Souls II - PS3 - 210+ hours

23) Fairy Fencer F - PS3 - 215+ hours

24) Megadimension Neptunia VII - PS4 - 160 hours

25) Super Neptunia RPG - PS4 - 44+ hours

26) Journey - PS3 - 22+ hours

27) Final Fantasy XV - PS4 - 263+ hours (including all DLCs)

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Now, as Gfted1 so helpfully pointed out (as opposed to, I don't know, creating a straw-man in a troll-like manner like he could've done so easily), no-one ever said that character relationships had to be perfectly realistic.

Why I never! :p

 

What I'm trying to point out is that a lot of posters responses seem like they are just gazing deeply into their navels. Romance "requirements" always seems to be some made-up-on-the-spot that exists nowhere else in the game dialog. "Its totes unreal to fall in love like that" but theres no "verisimilitude" lost when you meet your new best bud Fighter at the tavern. What?

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The two things are for pretty different purposes is why they're held to different standards, I think. Characters being unrealistically and conveniently located at taverns is clearly to service the gameplay, allowing you the opportunity to bolster your party and perhaps move the game forward if you were struggling. The "realistic"-ness of this design varies according to the skill of the game writers. Take Korgan in Baldur's Gate 2, for example: a crazed and headstrong berserker warrior is betrayed by his comrades, losing out on his favorite thing - money - and his response is to...uh, sit in a tavern and do nothing until you, an adventuring party, pay him money to hear his story and give him the opportunity for revenge? That doesn't make any sense: he should be out there bashing skulls already, especially seeing as he was clearly the strongest of his former group. Never mind that there's no reason that you, potential mercenaries for him, should have to pay him money for the opportunity to help him (...unless you roll high enough on your NPC reaction, anyways). Khalid and Jaheria, in comparison, have a pretty sound explanation for being at the Friendly Arm Inn: that was the rendezvous point they and Gorion set at a prior date, which works well enough as it seems Gorion had a plan and wanted to leave Candlekeep on a very specific night.

 

What's the purpose behind writing character relationships and romances, then? In contrast to above, it very often isn't about servicing the gameplay at all, and instead presumably is meant to entertain the player in of itself, and sometimes to also move a part of a (sub-)plot forward depending on the specific game and relationship in question. Personally, I'm not being entertained if it all seems contrived, forced, and/or otherwise utterly farcical: its inclusion in the game has lost its purpose...or in cases like Mass Effect and Metro: Last Light where you have little to no input on the matter, it's actually made the experience worse than if it hadn't been there at all. Cringey nonsense in your game is a big net loss for me: it literally makes me not want to play anymore in some cases (particularly cases where the writing of the game is supposed to be a big draw like Mass Effect)...and so that's why I'd advocate for better writing and character/relationship development. I'm not going to read a book or watch a movie or TV series that I'm not enjoying - it doesn't even matter why, as long as I'm not - and it's the same for video games. And if some of your writing is so dreadful that it makes me not want to play your game anymore, I think that's a pretty serious problem worth consideration.

 

It also, of course, goes without saying that some people are more forgiving of things they don't care much for: I'm not one of those people. Things that annoy me have the tendency to annoy me a lot. That should be obvious to most people by now in regards to both video games and a few particular members here. :p

Edited by Bartimaeus
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How I have existed fills me with horror. For I have failed in everything - spelling, arithmetic, riding, tennis, golf; dancing, singing, acting; wife, mistress, whore, friend. Even cooking. And I do not excuse myself with the usual escape of 'not trying'. I tried with all my heart.

In my dreams, I am not crippled. In my dreams, I dance.

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Eh, I just find it disingenuous when posters do mental gymnastic on why only romances / relationships cant exist or will ruin the game. You seems to have never enjoyed that aspect of gaming so I doubt any romance is suddenly going to revolutionize your opinion. I guess we all have our cross to bear. :shrugz: Mine is resting and resting supplies. Why can I carry literally EVERY SINGLE ITEM ON THE PLANET, except bundles of sticks? If you'll excuse me, I'm going to shake my fist at the sky.

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Eh, I just find it disingenuous when posters do mental gymnastic on why only romances / relationships cant exist or will ruin the game. You seems to have never enjoyed that aspect of gaming so I doubt any romance is suddenly going to revolutionize your opinion. I guess we all have our cross to bear. :shrugz: Mine is resting and resting supplies. Why can I carry literally EVERY SINGLE ITEM ON THE PLANET, except bundles of sticks? If you'll excuse me, I'm going to shake my fist at the sky.

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Eh, I just find it disingenuous when posters do mental gymnastic on why only romances / relationships cant exist or will ruin the game. You seems to have never enjoyed that aspect of gaming so I doubt any romance is suddenly going to revolutionize your opinion. I guess we all have our cross to bear. :shrugz: Mine is resting and resting supplies. Why can I carry literally EVERY SINGLE ITEM ON THE PLANET, except bundles of sticks? If you'll excuse me, I'm going to shake my fist at the sky.

 

I don't feel that "[they] can't exist or will ruin the game" inherently, though: just that industry writing standards and constraints* are bad enough that there's a pretty darn good chance of making it worse. :p Characters usually make or break story-driven games for me: Undertale, for example, is highly character-driven, and the vast majority of the characters are well-written (although somewhat limited and not that fleshed out, Undertale being a pretty short RPG) and I like them (...there's one notable exception, but that's O.K.: just like in real life where you don't like every person, it's pretty normal to not like every character). Romances are a little different from normal character relationships, I think, though: simple friendships don't necessarily take that much to establish, but meaningful romances (i.e. not just a random hookup) do...or at least should, I reckon. I shouldn't be left confused by a game when I somehow entered not just one romance, but apparently two romances when all I did was just make some pretty normal small talk (Mass Effect). :p

 

*Character writing problems may very well not be due to the writer themselves, but resource allocation on the overall project making it difficult for the writers to do things properly.

Edited by Bartimaeus
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How I have existed fills me with horror. For I have failed in everything - spelling, arithmetic, riding, tennis, golf; dancing, singing, acting; wife, mistress, whore, friend. Even cooking. And I do not excuse myself with the usual escape of 'not trying'. I tried with all my heart.

In my dreams, I am not crippled. In my dreams, I dance.

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I'm okay with romances/relationships provided -

 

The romance/relationship is built with the idea of not sublimating the character in favor of the PC

The romance isn't necessary to have an interesting NPC relationship.

 

BioWare games are pretty horribly guilty of the second offense, going all the way back to Baldur's Gate 2. In Baldur's Gate 2, most characters of the opposite sex will literally not talk to you outside of a few pre-scripted one-liners (interjections) sprinkled throughout the game unless you commit to a romance with them...and if you try to demur, welp, that's the end of all of their conversations. :p

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How I have existed fills me with horror. For I have failed in everything - spelling, arithmetic, riding, tennis, golf; dancing, singing, acting; wife, mistress, whore, friend. Even cooking. And I do not excuse myself with the usual escape of 'not trying'. I tried with all my heart.

In my dreams, I am not crippled. In my dreams, I dance.

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I shouldn't be left confused by a game when I somehow entered not just one romance, but apparently two romances when all I did was just make some pretty normal small talk (Mass Effect).

 

Yeah ME2 did that for me, I thought I was having a chat with a squaddie pal and suddenly Jacob Taylor was all "hey baby" and I was like "wut? I was only trying to be funny, not flirt".  And then it was awkward whenever I went into that part of the ship for the rest of the game.

 

 

 

I'm okay with romances/relationships provided -

 

The romance/relationship is built with the idea of not sublimating the character in favor of the PC

The romance isn't necessary to have an interesting NPC relationship.

 

BioWare games are pretty horribly guilty of the second offense, going all the way back to Baldur's Gate 2. In Baldur's Gate 2, most characters of the opposite sex will literally not talk to you outside of a few pre-scripted one-liners (interjections) sprinkled throughout the game unless you commit to a romance with them...and if you try to demur, welp, that's the end of all of their conversations. :p

 

 

I actually think most of the games that have had romances have been guilty of one or the other excepting jRPGs where you're typically playing through a story and not really playing a character so its kind of hard to put to the same standard.

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I must have a very high tolerance for cheese since I do not recall ever cringing over the romance dialog. Nonsensical plot gymnastics and bizarre character actions in service of said plot gymnastics are what drive me crazy. Harmless cheese...well...I just sort of appreciate it for what it is but how can it hurt a game when it has very little to do with the core of the game?

 

Though I think one avoided being in a romance in Mass Effect 2 only by suicide. But that was a particularly bizarre animal.

 

But I guess like gfted1 said, we all have our cross to bear.

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I'm okay with romances/relationships provided -

 

The romance/relationship is built with the idea of not sublimating the character in favor of the PC

The romance isn't necessary to have an interesting NPC relationship.

 

BioWare games are pretty horribly guilty of the second offense, going all the way back to Baldur's Gate 2. In Baldur's Gate 2, most characters of the opposite sex will literally not talk to you outside of a few pre-scripted one-liners (interjections) sprinkled throughout the game unless you commit to a romance with them...and if you try to demur, welp, that's the end of all of their conversations. :p

 

 

Most of the characters period will not. The romance dialog series (which fired off randomly and created some really bizarrely timed conversations) were pretty much the only extended dialogs.

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Yeah the timing of some of the romance stuff led to some hilariously weird scenarios in BG2. 

 

Mind you there were some weird triggers for non-Romance stuff in BG2 as well, like Nalia's dungeon banter ("how are we helping the less fortunate tromping around here" IIRC) triggering when you were in D'Arnise hold...helping Nalia...)

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 Yeah ME2 did that for me, I thought I was having a chat with a squaddie pal and suddenly Jacob Taylor was all "hey baby" and I was like "wut? I was only trying to be funny, not flirt".  And then it was awkward whenever I went into that part of the ship for the rest of the game.

 

 

I actually think most of the games that have had romances have been guilty of one or the other excepting jRPGs where you're typically playing through a story and not really playing a character so its kind of hard to put to the same standard.

 

1. Developers really need to get a good handle on the player's intentions before locking them into something as important as a multiple game-long romance. :p BioWare, specifically, has shown no ability in being able to do this, and they're obviously not the only ones that have struggled with it (...even Obsidian have had their problems).

 

@Valmy and 2. Yeah, it was pretty darned limited. The Mass Effects improved in this regard, at least.

Edited by Bartimaeus
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How I have existed fills me with horror. For I have failed in everything - spelling, arithmetic, riding, tennis, golf; dancing, singing, acting; wife, mistress, whore, friend. Even cooking. And I do not excuse myself with the usual escape of 'not trying'. I tried with all my heart.

In my dreams, I am not crippled. In my dreams, I dance.

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Jacob's romance was good for the humour of Shepard being really creepy in it.

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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250px-Romance_of_the_Three_Kingdoms_IV_-

 

fixd

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How I have existed fills me with horror. For I have failed in everything - spelling, arithmetic, riding, tennis, golf; dancing, singing, acting; wife, mistress, whore, friend. Even cooking. And I do not excuse myself with the usual escape of 'not trying'. I tried with all my heart.

In my dreams, I am not crippled. In my dreams, I dance.

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The [.url] code is for making non-URL text link somewhere, like this. The [.img] code is what you were looking for, which just directly displays an image.

Edited by Bartimaeus
Quote

How I have existed fills me with horror. For I have failed in everything - spelling, arithmetic, riding, tennis, golf; dancing, singing, acting; wife, mistress, whore, friend. Even cooking. And I do not excuse myself with the usual escape of 'not trying'. I tried with all my heart.

In my dreams, I am not crippled. In my dreams, I dance.

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ldng

Me, I guess, because I can't figure out what this word is supposed to be...

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How I have existed fills me with horror. For I have failed in everything - spelling, arithmetic, riding, tennis, golf; dancing, singing, acting; wife, mistress, whore, friend. Even cooking. And I do not excuse myself with the usual escape of 'not trying'. I tried with all my heart.

In my dreams, I am not crippled. In my dreams, I dance.

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I dunno, I mean who among us hasn't found themselves in a relationship when you thought you were just making conversation or being polite?

True. I just asked that hooker for directions..

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Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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I honestly believe that it usually detracts from the game. Some games do it well, but often enough it's just tacked on as "more content" or it doesn't mean anything. There's always the way the Witcher series handles it, ie the "Let's do it" method, which is entertaining at least. Personally I liked the way it was handled in Divinity: Dragon Commander, where you pick the princess you marry, for whatever reason (love, political power, wealth), and you get to decide through your dialogue with your wife whether love blossoms forth.

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