Infendo Radio: Story sucks, Super 8, Infendo console, Retro Studios, and Belgian Metroids

Infendo

It’s a good one, everybody. Not to be missed. Oh, and please excuse the incorrect dateline (forgot to update my notes template).

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Music: “Shining Star” by Earth Wind and Fire and “Vaccine” by Mew.

9 Comments

  1. I agree with your controller and simple designs inspired dev’s. I LOVE Paper Mario games, simple game play, yet great options.

  2. I was thinking while I was at work today that maybe instead of a whole console right off the bat you could create your own developing team and start producing games that stick to your philosophy. Then publish them on current consoles and get your name known for the classic 2d platformers that only your company will make well. Then eventually use that funding to create your own console, then you will already have the followers to buy your system when it comes out, knowing the product you will continue to provide.

  3. I completely disagree on the story issue. I like having my games to have story. To an extent. Some games, like a Mario, don’t particularly need story. But some games are supposed to be story driven. It’s called the LEGEND of Zelda, not “The Generic Game of Zelda.” When it comes to actual game play, Twilight Princess is probably the better game when compared to Wind Waker. But I think Wind Waker had the better story, and that’s the better game by far in my opinion. What’s the number one thing people say in favor of Majora’s Mask? It had a great story and atmosphere. But that’s just my personal two cents.

  4. Stop saying “less buttons” – it’s “fewer buttons”!

    Otherwise, great show! 😀

  5. @mlove99 – That darn less/fewer gets me again! (Thanks for the reminder)

  6. Yeah, I too, like my games to have story.

    In the podcast you claimed that books and movies are a hell of a lot better at telling stories than video games. I think that statement is overgeneralized. There are some movies and books that completely fail at properly telling a story, and some video games that excel at it- and vice versa. I think that, given how short a period of time video games have been around commercially (40 years) versus movies (over 100 years) and the written word (thousands), video games still have a lot further to develop with regards to storytelling tools. Half-Life, with its in-game storytelling and lack of cutscenes, might be the first good example of a specific-to-video-games storytelling device being implemented without relying on more or less the form and function of another medium. It’s been said that every art form imitates the art form most similar to it until it develops its own voice. For example, when film first hit the scene many directors simply set up the shot as if they were filming a stage, and the actors treated their performances like theater. It was years before anyone even thought “Hey, why not try a close-up!” When Television was popularized, many shows were simply “Radio” broadcasts in which you saw the person talking. It’s similar with modern video games and cinema, but also different in that video games had to evolve to a technical point in which they were then capable of emulating movies, having first started out with simple graphics and text. I think video games, although they may not employ it yet, are capable of greater storytelling potential than cinema, because of the interactive element. The thing is, though, that video games, unlike movies, are not ONLY about storytelling. They are about playing a game- the experience of a fun interactive activity. Tetris has no story and frankly, there’s no reason why it should. So not all videogames require story to be good and even those that do have story can’t rely on it to make up for poor gameplay. I see your point, though. There are a ton of games today with bad stories, or crappy acting and writing that make you wish the cutscene would just end. But there are plently of movies like that too. I agree, story, for some games should take the backseat. In others it should maybe take the front. But I certainly don’t think that story should be “purged from the industry”.

    But, then again, someone could always make a console which only plays games that have no stories. 😉 (jk, i love you guys)

  7. I feel the needing to get rid of story from gaming comment has to be an overreaction comment meant for shock. There are a few genres where story is not needed and possibly not wanted. Such as a game like World of Goo, you don’t need a story because you are just solving puzzles, you don’t need a purpose or at least much of one. In other games story and play go hand in hand such as star fox. You don’t want an overwhelming amount of story, you want it equal to the gameplay. And then there are story driven games where the more and better story there is the better the game will be such as most RPGs. Imagine an RPG with no story…. well Final Fantasy 1. You are just random people fighting random creatures in turn based combat. Why are you fighting them? How do you know that they are the bad guys? What are you working towards in the game? It doesn’t even make sense without story. Take Star Fox, without story or dialog why are you fighting? Why do you want to kill this ape monster at the end of the game? Do you just enjoy killing people and destroying aircraft? Why do you care if a teammate gets taken out, how do you tell that it’s a teammate? I don’t know why Zelda is mentioned as having a ton of story because it really doesn’t. In fact there are many fans that speculate about the story or assumed story between the games, or come up with their own stories involving the characters. Obviously fans like the story and want more in some cases.
    Story in games heightens involvement and purpose. The point of RPGs is that you are playing a role, you imagine you are the character in the game. With a weak story you don’t feel a part of that game, or care about the characters in the game. To an extreme with a weak story you don’t know what you are doing in a game. If you champion the Wii for being a more involving game system, one that puts you more realistically into the game because you aim the controller or perform actions with the controller, then you would enjoy story because it also puts you more realistically into the game. Many great games I have played have entertained me and drawn me in better than books or movies ever could because I am directly involved with the story at points. I am the characters and am involved with their growth. In some games you change how the story progresses based on your actions. These are things other media cannot do. How can you say story is a burden that needs to go away, and not have recognized it’s great importance?

  8. Story is the reason I play games. My first games were Infocom adventures, so maybe I just learned differently. (Yes, I’m old. Get off my lawn.) Story is the reason I finish games. I quickly lose interest if there is no story to push forward.

    About Metroid: Other M, I liked it. It didn’t seem to me that Samus was whiny or weak. I felt that she 1) regretted things she had done in the past and 2) suffered from post traumatic stress disorder. When Ridley showed up, she was not being wimpy, she was having a flashback.

  9. The SNES controller is the best designed hand held apparatus in the history of gaming. It has just the right number of buttons for use to manipulate.