I don't normally ever get to play WRPGs since my PC is useless for gaming, my only real experiences with the genre have been with Oblivion (fun if played the right way, but still pretty broken) and Fallout 3 (which I really enjoyed). I do really want to play DA though, might order that from Amazon soon.
Hit points, finding various quest items, upgrading characters and equipment, battling "monsters".. all of these characteristics bind the various games within the RPG genre through the years, but it's the "execution" that often bitterly divides it's fans.
Few other feuds in gaming are as heated or as drawn out as the various squabbles within the RPG realm.. a conflict that has been raging across gaming platforms since the 80's. I believe the debates on which game should be considered the best RPG of 2009 will once again tempt the varying fan bases into raising arms yet again.
Despite both of these games being quality additions to the genre as a whole the more action oriented console RPG Demon's Souls and the more traditional PC oriented Dragon Age: Origins are more often than not on complete opposite ends of the genre's spectrum. These differences may invoke varying degrees of rhetoric from opposite fanbases as to why "their" RPG is better.. melodrama that has been occuring for quite a while now.
Through the years the face of the RPG genre has taken many forms, but since the early 90's especially the console and PC sects have only continued to divide. This divide has often been nurtured by varying degrees of success for some of the genres iconic titles and the mentalities of the fan bases on either side of the fence.
The genre had its on modest beginnings in the mid-70's with text-based adventures on tremendously bulky mainframe computers.. and had various Dungeon's & Dragons influenced home PC titles during the early 80's like Ultima and Xanadu that began integrating rules of combat, graphics and stories (albeit on a very modest scale). Although small the genre's fan base was a dedicated bunch.
The small fan base then began to have it's loyalties tested as the increasingly Japanese dominated videogame industry of the mid to late 80's began spawning Ultima influenced RPG's of their own within the home console market with games like Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy.. which led to a wider mainstream appeal for the genre. With hardware being rather limited on both ends at that particular time.. the RPG's were not too radically different. Many popular PC RPGs were ported to consoles so fans on both sides pretty much had similar experiences and tastes.
It wasn't until console RPGs changes to the genre's status quo in the early part of the 90's that the genre's fan base began to fracture. Japanese games like the more action oriented dungeon crawler RPG, the original Legend of Zelda on the NES, and the first FF on the SNES Final Fantasy IV(II in North America), that introduced the ATB(active time battle) system as well as more involved storyline began shifting the console RPG fans preferences. On the other side of the fence the success of the more text and strategy focused PC RPGs such as the Gold Box engine games developed by SSI further solidified the course taken by PC developers.
Over the next decade after that the escalating differences in not only preferences, but also the hardware it was played on further branched out the genre's audience. But it's lingering niche status overall regardless of platform allowed the conflict to be rather civil because despite the golden age of RPGs in the 16-bit era of consoles which included titles like Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy IV & VI, Secret of Mana, Lufia II and Breath of Fire II(among many others).. it's mainstream success was not too far off from its PC brethren. That all changed at the dawn of the 32-bit era though.
The true splintering point was the massive mainstream success of Final Fantasy VII on the original Playstation in 1997. While it's success was welcomed by many fans.. the fact that a "Japanese console RPG" the likes of a Final Fantasy was the one that made the mainstream breakthrough infuriated a good amount of others.. especially among the PC sect. The proceeding years deepened the resentment as console RPGs further enjoyed success while many quality PC games such as Fallout, Planescape, Icewind and Baldur's Gate did not manage to reach the same heights of appeal.
Which leads us to the modern day where both sides have their fair share of quality "and" douche bag fans. The undesirables on both ends attempt to instigate against the other with pointless debates and shameless bias/hypocrisy. Both are so quick to dismiss the other.. blindly ignoring the fact that regardless of preference BOTH platforms have greatly contributed to the genre's legacy. Gamers that are actually familiar with the genre's history will realize that the PC iterations helped create the structure and intellectual elements that the genre needed and the console iterations added the artistic and progressive gameplay elements that uped the ante for the rest of the genre, which was neccessary for it's evolution through the years. But apparently recognizing those facts is simply not an option for the willfully ignorant on both ends.
Thanks in large part to the fact that they are both a PC gamer and a fan of a niche genre the antagonizers within the 'hardcore' PC crowd are the quickest to succumb to spewing out the cliché rhetoric that results from basically the videogame game equivalent of a Napoleon complex. They feel the need to make up for their smaller numbers and appeal by not only overly inflating the stature of a number of quality PC RPGs, but also their own personal ego. They resort to both minimizing the impact and looking down upon notable console RPG sacred cows and even insulting the intelligence of its fans.
It's rather sad and redundant at this point.. antagonistic gamers really need to stop using platform bashing as a means to makeup for some of their insecurities. Simply because a popular game does not meet ones preference is not enough reason to waste everyone's time amidst trying to constantly force beliefs revolving around why fans should just stop being a fan because any of the game's various critics all of a sudden deem it "unworthy".
So many of them are every bit as cliché as what they are actually 'accusing' of being cliché. They'll attack known favorites just to get a rise out of its fans and then proceed to cling onto various obscure PC games in an effort to go into forums and claim that those "simple console gamers" could never possibly have the intellectual/ emotional depth that only they and a select few have to properly comprehend these games .
Basically, they go out of their way to target anything that is successful in the genre.. even games within their own ranks like the traditionally PC focused developer Bethesda. As soon as the Elder Scrolls and Fallout series has some mainstream success and all of a sudden they are not "real" RPGs anymore either. Uh huh.. who could have possibly predicted that kind of nonsense from these people?
Anyways, the console fan base is guilty of PLENTY of their own problems.. the fact that its hardware is more accessible thus giving them a wider range of ignorant followers does not help their cause. So many of them are so painfully shortsighted that they refuse to keep proper perspective when it pertains to the legacy of great games that led up to what they are currently enjoying. They just need to accept the fact that all of those old games with ugly sprites are what paved the way for everything modern gamers enjoy.
The fact of the matter is that both sides need to get over themselves.. broader success does not make all console RPGs better just as being more obscure and unnecessarily sophisticated do not make all PC RPGs worth mentioning. One side suffers from having a number of watered down and cliché iterations while the other suffers from having many convoluted games that suffer from clumsy gameplay and constant glitches. What all RPG fans need to keep in mind is that when at their best.. each side has plenty to offer and should not be dismissed due to lack of preference. Great games on both ends of the spectrum have the same amount of quality and intelligence.. they are just displayed through a different scope.
That sentiment holds true with both Demon's Souls and Dragon Age.. two great RPGs that just happened to be done from a different take. There is no wrong choice when picking among them. Personally.. despite enjoying Dragon Age I would pick Demon's Souls. Not that its anything that Dragon Age did wrong, but moreso what Demon's Souls did right. Despite some shortcomings it was closer to what I have always wanted an RPG to be.. the perfect blend of skill and strategy.
Despite enjoying plenty of PC games from companies like Bioware or Blizzard I more often than not felt like I was just point and clicking something to death. When battling enemies or other players it seemed more a contest of who customized a character better than actual skill.. stat numbers battling other stat numbers via the same repeated battle animation. I dont know.. while the mouse and keyboard setup is ideal for aiming purposes it can can feel impersonal at times in a more action oriented title. Using a keyboard for character movement has always felt so unnatural to me.. which is exactly why using a Playstation gamepad instead is perfect for me in an action heavy RPG.
With an RPG like DS I'm starting to get that balanced gameplay. I'm not just pointing and clicking an enemy OR just choosing the fight or magic command against it like in a Final Fantasy.. I get a more visceral and natural feel. Battles have a high skill AND intelligence factor.. you need to be smart enough to properly strategize + customize your character, but you also still need the skill to put that characters abilities to good use. Then thanks to the gameplay system there is always that X factor.. whether its the environment or timing of the battle there is always something unforeseen that can have major implications. All in all its neither extreme.. its not slowed down to the point of being just an elaborate session of a D&D boardgame OR a mindless hack and slash.. it is moving the genre closer to that happy medium.
You pretty much nailed everything on DS for sure. You definitely need to actually be smart and every move really does need to be calculated.
Crazy, after I got the PS3 version of DA home I immediately realized I should have gotten it for the 360 but if the glitches are still there then I guess it doesn't matter. I will say this though, that DA is defiantly reminiscent of the greatness of KOTR, in that it just has that same weight, same feel. More so than that of Jade Empire or even Mass Effect (even though ME was pretty fleshed out imo) DA seems to get back to what Bioware wanted to create, to begin with; in terms of an rpg.
@Foolz3h - :shock: wow.. I guess I can see what you mean now, lol. As for the actual game.. it is no where near that over the top. Closer to the standard amount of violence in typical Baldur's Gate type of games. @jbot666 - Even though I bought the 360 version(simply for continuity's sake Bioware/xbox) I have tried the PC version that a friend bought. The only main differences was a less clunky menu system and slightly better environments/character models(although really only on a high end PC). The glitches were still there.. although not "as" prominent(sadly, the 360 version is worse :lol: ).
Dragon Age was designed for the PC foremost and was ported to the consoles later, and the console and PC versions are quite different in controls. The PC version uses a WOW-like bar at the bottom, and you can control the action with a top-down view ala Baldur's Gate. I don't think the option is in the console versions, and unfortunately the porting quality is quite poor.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1e46Z7iFljk This got a major LOL from me and drastically turned me off the game. I mean it looks fun from that, just incredibly stupid. The latter trailers are toned down a bit, but I'm still getting that over the top sort of vibe from them.
Personally I like DS more. I just started DA today and I like it a lot but its more of Bioware's button mashing and choosing a dialogue but always robust. For me Bioware's games are always awesome yet buggy, frame-rate wise. DS is solid in my book just an awesome experience and again feels more like a next gen rpg. EDIT: Oh but I guess I should mention I'm playing DA on a PS3 console not a PC; it may make a difference in the relative bugginess.
I cant say that I've played alot of PC RPGs. But I am a Final Fantasy fan. I honestly never even knew this was such a heated debate. I'd really like to play Demon Souls. If only I didn't have to import it. I have to agree with you on the fact that when things become successful alot of people suddenly act like they aren't worthy anymore. I have alot of friends with that attitude.
@Foolz3h - Which trailer would you be referring to(sorry, they released quite a few)? Because the trailers I saw rather exaggerated the gameplay..
I gotta say I truly didn't like Oblivion. :P It's not that it was a bad game; it was just inferior to Morrowind in every respect. Fallout 3 on the other hand (from what little I've played) I really loved. Anyway no one will bloody answer me. Is Dragon Age anything at all like the first trailer they released? That was extremely corny. :X