Can A Games Story Alone Make It Bad.

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Posted by elax92 (9 posts) 1 month, 12 days ago

Poll: Can A Games Story Alone Make It Bad. (42 votes)

Yes 45%
No 55%

So here's an item for discussion, can a games story alone make it a bad game? I was watching the indie game documentary when the guys from super meat boy said the call of duty game was crappy. I found myself disagreeing with him. I'm not saying the COD games are ground breaking, or that their are not real complaints about the game to be made but I've always though of them as competent. I've never ran across any bugs or anything that stopped me from having fun. The COD game are to video games what eating a taco and not getting diarrhea or food poisoning is to taco bell.The games are bare bones competency. And it got me thinking about wither a bad story alone can ruin a otherwise good game. On one hand the plot of a game is central to how we experience it. Take away the story and all Mario is is a fat plumber on shrooms(is that grammatical right? using two is's?) a big reason the last of us was so good was because of the story that took us along as Joel and Ellie tried to survive a harsh world full of not-zombies. But on the flip side there are many games with little or no story at all that are basically all gameplay like minecraft, Team Fortress 2, League of Legends, and tetris to name a few.

So can a bad story make a otherwise good game bad?

#1 Posted by udUbdaWgz1 (631 posts) -

no.

i play video games for their gameplay. story is merely an additional part of my overall judgment of a game. if a game had the worst story and character development ever in the history of story and character development, but, had 10/10 marks for every single other aspect i'd simply rate it a 10 or perhaps a 9.5 and note it in my description and why.

however, i'd also add a section for those who place a higher emphasis on story/character and go in-depth.

but, my final judgment would barely care about its horrid story.

#2 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (9943 posts) -

Let me answer that question with a rhetorical one.

Are Devil May Cry, Bayonetta, Vanquish or President Evil 5 bad ?

#3 Edited by GreySeal9 (24010 posts) -

It depends on how integral the story is to the game.

A bad story will affect an RPG more than it will a platformer (probably won't effect a platformer at all), but an RPG with good gameplay can probably get away with a mediocre story. Star Ocean 3 is an example of this. Story was kind of cringeworthy but it had very good gameplay, so I gave it a 7. I thought Super Mario RPG had a really thin forgettable story, but the rest of the game was so charming.

Now if the story and the gameplay go completely hand in hand, ala an adventure game like Phoenix Wright, the story absolutely has to be good. A Phoenix Wright game with a bad story would be a bad game. Luckily, the stories in the PW games are excellent.

#4 Posted by mastermetal777 (822 posts) -

It depends. Story-driven games can suffer for having a bad story, no matter how good the gameplay is. At least for me. But I look at every aspect of a game and not just the story or gameplay alone. Bad gameplay, on the other hand, will absolutely destroy a game for me no matter how good the story (looking at you, Balder's Gate).

#5 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (9943 posts) -

@GreySeal9

Thats actually very insightfull and its something games like LA Noire and Murdered Soul Suspect struggle with alil bit.

#6 Posted by SovietsUnited (1839 posts) -

Not really, no

With the exception of some games which excel due to the sheer quality of the writing, story is a bonus as far as I'm concerned; even in RPGs, I tend to ignore it and focus on the gameplay, because that is what I value the most. So yeah, a bad story isn't game-breaking for me, but it is important nonetheless. Let me put it this way: gameplay makes a game good or exceptional, but a well realized story and audiovisual presentation make it truly great, if not timeless

#7 Edited by Jeager_Titan (945 posts) -

No. But if a games story is insanely good but has bad gameplay i overlook the gameplay.(Spec ops the line.)

#8 Posted by Archangel3371 (15266 posts) -

I would say that it could. I believe that any aspect has the possibity of ruining a game if it is bad enough and the other aspects of the game aren't enough to make up for the bad one.

#9 Posted by Ish_basic (3978 posts) -

A lacking story can make me disinterested in a game. I won't play a game for good gameplay alone any more than I will read a book for good grammar. And story is not always something that is stated directly or reliant on cutscenes, dialogue, etc. The beautiful thing about games is that narrative can exist without any structure, simply by creating a cohesive game world that begs to be explored. Images tell stories and a well directed game in the more artistic elements can leave an impact that lasts longer than any spoken word. I think the Ico and Souls games are good examples of this.

Basically, before cutscenes and plot there is a world in front of you whose construction has been dictated by some narrative in the mind of the creator. If I don't want to explore that world, I don't want to play that game. It's why games like GTA, Mario, and a number of other high profile games just do nothing for me. Now, these games aren't bad games, and I'd never say they were. Nevertheless, I have zero interest in playing them so it amounts to the same thing. In the case of GTA, it's more that I don't like crime stories, but in the case of games like Mario, it's just the pointlessness of everything...butt-stomping for the sake of butt-stomping.

#10 Edited by udUbdaWgz1 (631 posts) -

all sports games are weak games. pong sucks. nes and snes games suck. contra sucks, lol. original doom sucks. dukenuke sucks. sunshine sucks; windwaker sucks. re4 sucks.

#11 Posted by Jacanuk (3925 posts) -

Yes, of course a story can make a game bad.

But it all really depends on whether you are a gameplay-gamer or a story-gamer.

#12 Posted by mastermetal777 (822 posts) -

I think for me, it becomes an issue when the game is clearly focusing on trying to tell a story. If that's the case, then yes, a bad story will ruin the experience for me, regardless of gameplay quality. On the flip side, a game can be entirely focused on gameplay, but have a weak story, and I'll be okay with that because the story was never the focus to begin with.

#13 Posted by Pffrbt (6473 posts) -

Yes, if the main focus of the game is the story. Just look at every David Cage game.

#14 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (9943 posts) -

Time is a precious thing and RPGs can be very long, very repititive and heavily padded, its imperative that the gameplay be very exceptional regardless of the story since thats where 90% of your hundred hours is going ! Which calls into question why people put over a hundred hours into the 1st Mass Effect, and that includes me, but even I'm not entirely sure why I did it. all I remember thinking was that my Shepard was just not good enough.

#15 Posted by mastermetal777 (822 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu: Some people just enjoy the gameplay? When you look back at a lot of RPG games using today's standards, yeah they have major problems. However, when they first came out, it was something fresh and exciting, and you have to take that into account any time you're baffled by people's interest. Nostalgia (and people's own experience) plays a lot into the games people like/love.

#16 Posted by pyro1245 (443 posts) -

I recently bought Fable on steam. The beginning was so terrible and cheesy that I stopped. Still really want to play it but I don't know if I can.

#17 Posted by udUbdaWgz1 (631 posts) -

@pyro1245: you just brought up an excellent point: bad story, lol. i have just recently brought up fable with my young daughter and we could barely get past the intro stuff, lol. when i try and play kotor 1 i can't get off taris. the gameplay and story and "choices" are weak. i'd rather play kotor2, lol.

#18 Posted by turtlethetaffer (16609 posts) -

No. A great story can definitely elevate a game, especially if it's implemented well, but unless the game is literally all about the story (as in there's a huge focus placed on it, sometimes at the expense of gameplay) then the story alone can't make a game bad. A game with fun gameplay and a bad story is still a solid game. A game with good gameplay and a good story is a great game.

#19 Edited by pyro1245 (443 posts) -

@pyro1245: you just brought up an excellent point: bad story, lol. i have just recently brought up fable with my young daughter and we could barely get past the intro stuff, lol. when i try and play kotor 1 i can't get off taris. the gameplay and story and "choices" are weak. i'd rather play kotor2, lol.

Heh. Yeah there's a 'Skip Taris' mod for kotor.

#20 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (9943 posts) -

@Ish_basic

I don't think comparing games to other mediums is really fair though. Though your comparison to about books and grammar got me thinking. In books and film, Things like Grammar and Cinematogrophy arent as powerfull as the actuall content of the narrative that takes place with in them, they target the mind. Games on the other hand are the exact opposite, the gameplay can reign supreme over the narrative and it would still be an enjoyable experience, gameplay doesn't appeal to the mind.... It targets your brain more. Therefore I compare games to something more appropriate..... DRUGS ! No really, I'm not yanking your chain, gameplay does have almost the same power as cocain, theres nothing deep or profound about it, it just bathes your brain in happy chemicals. Infact it I got the idea from Tom Bissel in the book Extra Lives, he would play GTA IV high on cocain.

I've never considered games to be like other mediums, perhaps games aren't meant to be emotionally evocative, they're suppose to be phisically stimulating. Again, this is just a theory. It might explain why this medium is at the bottom of of the entertainment food chain.

#21 Edited by udUbdaWgz1 (631 posts) -

@pyro1245: key word being, "mod." lol. gotcha. i better remember that when i get my gaming pc and start re-buying all the games, lol.

it's actually quite comforting to know that the initial game on the ship is cool, but, the taris stuff is recognized by other players as being horse dookie. then again, i've been putting off my return to the pc for years and so, really, i deserve ridicule.

ps: quite a few others have told me, point blank, that my reasoning would change if i just switched to pc gaming. lol.

#22 Posted by Renegade_Fury (17026 posts) -

Nope, only bad gameplay and level design can do that.

#23 Edited by udUbdaWgz1 (631 posts) -

i guess pacman sucks. and, geometry wars. and, portal minus words.

anybody and everybody who puts words above gameplay is a fool and worthy of scorn. well, at least, we know they think all sports and multiplayer and mmo's suck.

tank, descent, doom, popersia, dukenuke, pitfall;), mario sunshine, resident eeevil. lol, gotta throw in the "wind waker" juggernaut, lol. some actually think thats a great game, lol.

#24 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (9943 posts) -

@mastermetal777

Well yeah, except I played Mass Effect 2 1st and then played Mass Effect a while later, this was in 2011.

I put more time into Mass Effect despite Mass Effect 2 having better gameplay. and Mass Effect 3 I only played once even though it is by far my favourite in the series.

#25 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (9943 posts) -

@udUbdaWgz1

Sarcasm doesn't work well with text alone... I actually took you seriously at 1st.

#26 Edited by udUbdaWgz1 (631 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu: lol, seems like your subconscious knows the best game without any of your input, lolol.

btw, me2 isn't a rpg. just thought i clear your sinuses for ya.

#27 Posted by PyratRum (561 posts) -

Not usually no, I'm pretty sure we've all played fun games with some stupid ass stories.

That being said, I did happen to me once. Valkyria Chronicles 2. I absolutely adored Valkyria Chronicles and jumped into VC2 as soon as I got my hands on the game but ddaaaammnnn..... I couldn't stand the characters and their insanely anime cliches along with the ridiculous "high school" setting. I just couldn't. The gameplay was there and in some ways refined from the first but after 3 hours I just wanted to murder every character in the game.

#28 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (9943 posts) -

@udUbdaWgz1

It is... It says so on the box.....

#29 Posted by mastermetal777 (822 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu: video games...at the bottom of the entertainment food chain. LMAO! Thanks. I needed a good laugh

#30 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (9943 posts) -

@mastermetal777

All Gamers think gaming is awesome, in reality its the least respected of all the mediums and considering that its community is the worst.

#31 Posted by mastermetal777 (822 posts) -

@Lulu_Lulu: only because people do nothing about it. But devs are at least attempting to make things better by banning bad players and fighting for meaningful games. I blame gamers who are too stuck in the "all games must only be fun" mentality, and the arts snobs of other mediums who speak without knowledge of our medium. That might be weird to you since you only care about gameplay, but I can't just keep saying video games are only for fun. Not when so many games have shown me how great of a storytelling medium they can truly be using gameplay and traditional storytelling in tandem. I've laughed, cried, and emphasized with more video games than film or books, and I've watched plenty of movies and read many books.

#32 Posted by turtlethetaffer (16609 posts) -

@udubdawgz1: Wind Waker is better than your favorite games in terms of everything.

#33 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (9943 posts) -

@turtlethetaffer

No its not..... Okay it might be but you have know way of knowing that hence your statement is just flatout rude and wrong.

#34 Posted by Pffrbt (6473 posts) -

@udubdawgz1: Wind Waker is better than your favorite games in terms of everything.

Wind Waker is a tedious, mindless slog though.

#35 Edited by Black_Knight_00 (18199 posts) -

No, a game is not a purely narrative medium, so the story is only 20% of the whole package. A bad story can hurt a game (MGS Peace Walker, FarCry 2), but can't make it bad all by itself if the gameplay is solid.

As opposed to a movie, where the story is 60%, or a book, where the story is 100%.

#36 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (9943 posts) -

@Black_Knight_00

I tip my hat to you, sir.... :)

#37 Posted by Jag85 (4354 posts) -

40% actually voted yes? What the hell?

#38 Posted by geniobastardo (1295 posts) -

It depends on how integral the story is to the game.

A bad story will affect an RPG more than it will a platformer (probably won't effect a platformer at all), but an RPG with good gameplay can probably get away with a mediocre story. Star Ocean 3 is an example of this. Story was kind of cringeworthy but it had very good gameplay, so I gave it a 7. I thought Super Mario RPG had a really thin forgettable story, but the rest of the game was so charming.

Now if the story and the gameplay go completely hand in hand, ala an adventure game like Phoenix Wright, the story absolutely has to be good. A Phoenix Wright game with a bad story would be a bad game. Luckily, the stories in the PW games are excellent.

I'll stick with this ^ guy's opinion.

#39 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (9943 posts) -

@geniobastardo

Oppinion ? Looks like an Indisputable fact to me.....

#40 Posted by Jacanuk (3925 posts) -

@geniobastardo

Oppinion ? Looks like an Indisputable fact to me.....

Right because its not all subjective.

Could you also tell me if i like tomatoes or jelly.

#41 Posted by turtlethetaffer (16609 posts) -

@Pffrbt said:

@turtlethetaffer said:

@udubdawgz1: Wind Waker is better than your favorite games in terms of everything.

Wind Waker is a tedious, mindless slog though.

But you're wrong.

#42 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (9943 posts) -

@Jacanuk

Yes... I could. :)

#43 Edited by Pikminmaniac (8703 posts) -

I guess it depends, but most of the time story is almost entirely irrelevant to a game's quality. Gameplay and interaction is what this medium is about. It's what sets it apart from TV, Movies, photography, books and paintings.

I've always said the following

-Good gameplay and good story= good game

-Good gameplay and bad story= good game

-Bad gameplay and good story= bad game

-Bad gameplay and bad story= bad game

What you're actually engaged with most of the time in any medium is what I feel is most important.

#44 Posted by UltATK (6 posts) -

multiplayer games dont need stories

#45 Posted by geniobastardo (1295 posts) -

@Jacanuk said:

@Lulu_Lulu said:

@geniobastardo

Oppinion ? Looks like an Indisputable fact to me.....

Right because its not all subjective.

Could you also tell me if i like tomatoes or jelly.

you jelly, Jack?

#46 Posted by Jacanuk (3925 posts) -

@Jacanuk said:

@Lulu_Lulu said:

@geniobastardo

Oppinion ? Looks like an Indisputable fact to me.....

Right because its not all subjective.

Could you also tell me if i like tomatoes or jelly.

you jelly, Jack?

Yep, all strawberry.

#47 Posted by geniobastardo (1295 posts) -

@Jacanuk said:

@geniobastardo said:

@Jacanuk said:

@Lulu_Lulu said:

@geniobastardo

Oppinion ? Looks like an Indisputable fact to me.....

Right because its not all subjective.

Could you also tell me if i like tomatoes or jelly.

you jelly, Jack?

Yep, all strawberry.

yuck!

#48 Edited by mgools (881 posts) -

Great game play a bad story can be forgiven. Also, with a great story average game play can be forgiven. Bad game play with great story...no way.

#49 Posted by Pffrbt (6473 posts) -

But you're wrong.

I'm not. I can barely tolerate to play the game.

#50 Edited by turtlethetaffer (16609 posts) -

@Pffrbt said:

@turtlethetaffer said:

But you're wrong.

I'm not. I can barely tolerate to play the game.

That's your personal issue not the game's.