Fair enough. I might give a nod in the direction of games like Fallout and Planescape: Torment. Not fabulous, but both had a lot of new ideas and took some chances. But in any case, Pixy is right: Americans can’t make good RPG’s. (BioWare is Canadian)
The problem with American RPG’s is that they aren’t. Diablo and Dungeon Siege are both successful games, but there are no roles to be played. No roleplaying, you see. They are threadbare stories with vague or nonexistant characters. They have their own appeal, but it has nothing to do with telling a story or meeting new characters.
In fact, Diablo is about killing lots and lots of monsters and searching for cool loot. The game itself has more in common with playing slot machines and bargain hunting at antique stores than it does with classic D&D.
Which brings me to Final Fantasy X.
I’ve ranted about this game before:
The game is a technical wonder as well. Even now, years after its release, it still looks great. The voice acting is superb. The pacing is excellent. The game is a fantastic experience, and is even fairly accessable to people new to the genre.
I should add that under no circumstances should Steven Den Beste be allowed to play this game. The plot is… highly unusual and would generate the mother of all “too many words” if he were to follow the story of Tidus. (I’ve actually been thinking of doing this myself. I’m revisiting the game now and I’m still noticing little scenes and details I missed the last five times through the game. I have some explanations for the end of the story that I’ve been meaning to inflict on others for some time now.)
These screenshots are from one of my favorite moments in the game, when Yuna performs the “sending”.
I seriously doubt we’ll ever see an American game company come out with anything as ambitious, as large, and as deep. American RPG’s are inept when it comes to telling a story, and too obsessed with Tolkienesqe folklore to go out and try something new. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Tolkein mythology, but for crying out loud: We’ve been there. Go do something else already.
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