Posts Tagged elder scrolls

Um dia, vou recomendar um jogo ao lado de Saramago.

Este tópico em particular já há muito tempo que me passou pela cabeça. No outro dia, estava a jogar Dragon Age 2 e aconteceu uma coisa que nunca tinha acontecido: uma cena do jogo fez-me deitar uma lágrima! Tal como um bom livro ou um bom filme, coisa rara de me acontecer.*

A verdade é que se eu contasse isto há maioria das pessoas que conheço ainda gozavam com a minha cara. Parece que ninguém acredita que os jogos podem conter histórias emocionantes, apaixonantes, de valor, tal como um bom livro ou filme. Isto, minha gente, não é verdade!

Tal como qualquer outro meio de storytelling, aceite no mundo em geral, os video-jogos são uma excelente plataforma para difundir histórias impressionantes. Histórias de aventura, de romance, paixão, medo, tudo o que se possa imaginar. E melhor, fazem-no de uma maneira que nenhum outro meio consegue: interactivamente.

Não há nada mais satisfatório do que saber que as nossas acções têm consequências sobre a história que está a ser contada. É por isso que jogos como Mass Effect e Dragon Age são tão populares. Dois play-throughs podem ser tão diferentes, ou tão iguais, quanto o jogador desejar!

É sempre bom ler uma boa história, mas é ainda melhor “fazê-la.”

O problema é que a indústria dos video-jogos sofre de uma grande falta de profissionais no que toca à escrita e criação do enredo. É que, pode não aprecer, mas escrever ficção, seja um livro ou o enredo de um filme, é muito diferente de escrever para um jogo.

O género que mais sofre deste problema é, claro, aquele que dá mais liberdade ao jogador, o RPG. Todos os outros géneros, normalmente, têm histórias lineares, em que o jogador, embora seja a força que faz avançar a história, está “on rails”, ou seja, não se consegue desviar da narrativa. Já nos RPG, não é bem assim.

Notáveis excepções à parte, (estou a pensar, por exemplo, na série Elder Scrolls, cujas narrativas são várias mas mais ou menos lineares, com duas ou três alternativas com pouca consequência), os jogadores de RPG querem ter escolha sobre o progresso da história. Assim, a mesma storyline deve ter N finais, caminhos e cenas diferentes para os contentar.

Já acima referi os jogos da Bioware, Mass Effect e Dragon Age. Ambos permitem criar histórias diferentes tomando decisões diferentes em momentos de jogo diferentes. A Bioware ficou conhecida por isto e os fãns já o esperam.

Ora, toda a gente sabe que criar uma história que seja envolvente e interessante é arte, difícil, e às pessoas que o conseguem chamamos escritores, autores, profissionais da criação de histórias.

Agora imaginem fazer a mesma história, com N cenas diferentes, que não estão interligadas, mas que ao serem juntas têm de fazer sentido e criar uma história coesa, interessante e empolgante independementemente de como as cenas são intercaladas. Pois.

Admira-me que não haja um curso de linguas dedicado a narrativa de video-jogos.

No fim, só tenho a dizer isto: os video-jogos só se vão tornar num meio de arte ao nível de um bom livro ou bom filme quando houver profissionais a especializar-se neste tipo peculiar de narrativa.

* SPOILER: Para os interessados, a cena em questão foi a morte da mãe de Hawke.

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My Favourite Video-Games

While I’m on a gaming roll, I decided to write in this week about my gaming history and which titles I think are of special consideration, which I hold dear and why I do so.

 

It all started in the 90s, mid-childhood. I was about 6, second grade of primary school. The school had just got their first batch of computers, really old ones, of the Pentium variety, which one though, I’m not sure. We also got access to a variety of educational games that ranged from History to Maths and everything in between. My poison of choice for when we got gaming time was A Aventura do Corpo Humano, a game about the human body which included a sims-like mini-game in which you had to guide the main character throughout the day with a good mix of food, exercise and rest. The main character in this was a bit disturbing though: a skeleton with internal organs. Still, he was amusing and I learned much about the body thanks to this little game.

 

Fast forward a few years, my mother bought a Tetris machine, a hand held, battery operated, 8 bit, monochrome brick that merely ran Tetris. But boy, did I play it. The Tetris theme is still one of my favourite game themes of all time. Tetris even got me through theory physics class here in college!

 

A bit later, the Pokemon mania hit Portugal full force and I was hooked. It was the anime, the card game, the gameboy games. My grandparents got me a gameboy color for Christmas with Pokemon Yellow. I loved playing it, I loved trading pokemon with guys at school, I loved pwning them in battles (which most said they weren’t trying or not watching, you know, boy egos, heh). I played Silver and Crystal officially, Ruby emulated and tried SoulSilver emulated but eh, I don’t like instability. I should check to see if I can somehow play it on the Wii.

 

Once I hit high school, though, the real fun began. That’s when I started to play titles such as The Sims original (all 8 expacs too), the Elder Scrolls III, Age of Empires/Mythology, Pharaoh, Zeus, Black and White. Never was much of an FPS gal, not only because my aiming sucks but also because the FPS community gives the vibe of immature guys who still measure their dicks online.

 

I got my first taste of the consoles with the Sega Mega Drive (16 bits ZOMG), Sonic mostly, and the PSone, at a friend’s place, where I played and fell in love with Spyro the Dragon, my first “flame” with dragons. I have been pretty much of a PC gamer though, despite owning a Wii and PS2 and thinking of an Xbox360.

 

The games that marked me, though, the really addicting ones, the ones that I spent hours upon hours on, the ones I truly remember were few. Besides the pokemon ones, which I still enjoy playing when I get the chance, the great names are Sims, TES III, WoW, Age of Mythology and Black and White 2.

 

These games I’ve ran from top to bottom (except TES III, more on that ahead), explored every nook and cranny, finished the storyline 100%. These are games I will recommend to anyone at any time.

 

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. I’ve discovered recently that not many people actually know about this game, yet it was one of the best RPGs released at its time (2002). I never would have found it if it weren’t for a friend and her habit of getting her hands on every new release to see if its good.

 

The thing is…I haven’t finished this game yet, despite having installed it about four times now. The most I did, was get to the middle of the main quest! Seriously, its a miracle this game even gave Bethesda any profit! Not only does it have excellent graphics for its time, it is also HUGE. DAO? Tiny compared to this monster! The main quest is an epic storyline about your character being the reincarnation of an old Dunmer general who has come to free the Ashlanders (native Dunmer) from the Outlanders (everyone else), driving them and their “false Gods” away. The kicker: YOU are an Outlander. They do NOT trust you.

 

It is a story that starts you off rather mysteriously, quietly, no rush, and builds up as all you do culminates finally in an epic battle. I won’t get into detail; I haven’t got there myself. Besides the main quest, you can join the Fighters guild, the Mages guild, the Thieves guild, the Morag Thong, house Hlallu, house Redoran, house Telvanii, the Imperial Cult and the Imperial Legion, each of these guilds with a storyline of its own that would nowadays warrant their own game, most probably. Yet despite all this, you STILL get loose side quests, varying from fetch quests to assassination, to escort quests. And did I mention the map is HUGE and you can go ANYWHERE on it? Yes, this game is not for the faint of heart. And if somehow you manage to exhaust all there is to do in it, it has an extensive modding community, ready to provide more quests, more features, more and more and more. And yes, despite the game’s age, it is STILL going strong.

 

By now you are probably thinking “Damn this girl is going on and on and on about an old ass game, I bet she never played Final Fantasy, Zelda, Mario, <insert big title here>”. Truth is, yes, I have played them to some extent. I did not like them anywhere near as much as other sort of “underground” games. I have a very extensive Western RPG culture that Asian RPGs just don’t appeal to. Platformers, meh. FPS, no way.

 

That’s why short games sadden me a little. There is so much room to create beautiful stories and gameplays, too bad companies don’t seem to appreciate it. Kudos to Ubisoft for making a game that is relatively short but very enjoyable though: Assassin’s Creed. I did not enjoy having to return AC2 to the store due to the DRM and the very high graphics requirements. Why can’t we disable shadows Ubi, why? :'<

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