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Thread: Fallout 3 Impressions

  1. #676
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2003
    Location: UK
    Quote Originally Posted by Aja View Post
    Um, hyperbole? The dialogue isn't perfect but it's certainly above average.
    It would be hyperbole. That is, if I'd actually said it.

    BR796164: Yeah, I was surprised how effective the facial expressions were in the talking head portraits. F1's actually seem to be better than F2's - is this just my memory tricking me (I'm playing F1 long after F2)?

  2. #677
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    Quote Originally Posted by Toxicfluff View Post
    It would be hyperbole. That is, if I'd actually said it.
    Sorry. I missed one word in your post and it changed the meaning.

    Quote Originally Posted by BR796164
    Ok, I've heard enough.

    Recommendation : Try to reacquaint yourself with classic Black Isle / Bioware / Troika RPGs to discover what a good dialogue writing and character depth is. Or the original Fallouts. And I can't believe you didn't play Deus Ex, that would put your standards high enough.
    Oh please. I've been studying literature for four years now. I can tell the difference between good and bad dialogue (Deus Ex's, by the way, is good, but I didn't find the gameplay as engaging). The problem with those Black Isle/Bioware/Troika games is that they set out to be an interactive novel. If I want that, I'll read a fucking novel with meaningful characterizations. I deliberately chose games whose writing works well within the context of their medium. Maybe you prefer reams of text to quick and effective dialogue, but don't try to claim from your pedestal that Bioshock or Half Life's writing is in any way inferior to the games you list.

    Fallout 3 falls well below all of these games in terms of quality of dialogue, but by virtue of the sheer amount of it, as well as the generally high quality of the voice acting, it still manages to engage.

  3. #678
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: New Zealand
    Quote Originally Posted by Aja View Post
    ..generally high quality of the voice acting..
    I know you've been having some fun lately tweaking the noses of some of the more "gamez = srs biznis" members, and while watching people argue over GoW's dialogue and the like does amuse no one is going to fall for that.

  4. #679
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    This time I actually wasn't trying to bait. Apart from a few standouts, I enjoy the voice acting in F3. It's cheesy, but I think it fits well (especially voices like Three-Dog's) with the inherently goofy aesthetic of the game. I dunno, I can understand why some people might be put off, but... let me give an example:

    in Rivet City I was attending a wedding that I deviously arranged, and all of the town came out to see it... except for the groom. The bride stood by herself in front of the preacher, and said "I do" at the appropriate moment. No matter, though, the wedding finished as planned, and when I eventually did find the groom he acted as though he had been there (I assume he got stuck or something). And yet, as ridiculous as it sounds, the whole incident wasn't especially immersion breaking. It's like, F3 sets itself up as having a certain type of atmosphere, one that isn't really dented by things like minor glitches or hammy acting. On the contrary, those things almost contribute to it. It's weird, I know, and I wouldn't be surprised if noone agrees with me on this, but that's the vibe I get from this game, and I think it's a major reason why I'm enjoying it so much.

    So while the voice acting is several cuts below something like Bioshock or Psychonauts, in this particular instance it's almost as though it's fooling me into thinking it's of a better quality than it actually is, simply because it meshes so well with the un-serious aesthetic.

    Do you all hate me now?

  5. #680
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2004
    Location: Mu
    My main complaint about the voice acting is different from the usual: There's too much of it. See, I can read much faster than the actors talk, which means that the full voice acting for every dialogue slows down the game for me. I find myself both wearing out my mouse button and accidentally clicking things that I don't want to from trying to get through the conversations faster. Other than that the voice acting is ok, even if the writing is a little cheesy. Not great, but fractionally better than Oblivion's.

  6. #681
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    I agree with that. I started F3 just after a few weeks of Mass Effect, and couldn't believe how slow the F3 actors speak in comparison. I found that I began to skip a lot of the dialogue because I could read it faster, so I eventually just turned off the subtitles. After a while you get used to it, and since most of the dialogue is relatively similar, it's still pretty obvious when you can safely skip a particular line.

  7. #682
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2003
    Location: UK
    Quote Originally Posted by Aja View Post
    After a while you get used to it, and since most of the dialogue is relatively similar, it's still pretty obvious when you can safely skip a particular line.
    Yeah, this was my experience. I turned off the subs too, and after that it was listening the first time, and intuitively skipping repeats and old news.

  8. #683
    BR796164
    Registered: Dec 2000
    Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
    Quote Originally Posted by Aja View Post
    Oh please. I've been studying literature for four years now. I can tell the difference between good and bad dialogue (Deus Ex's, by the way, is good, but I didn't find the gameplay as engaging).
    Then I don't know how you can evaluate F3 dialogue as above average, but perhaps for current standards in the industry it really is. But I have memory!

    The problem with those Black Isle/Bioware/Troika games is that they set out to be an interactive novel. If I want that, I'll read a fucking novel with meaningful characterizations. I deliberately chose games whose writing works well within the context of their medium. Maybe you prefer reams of text to quick and effective dialogue, but don't try to claim from your pedestal that Bioshock or Half Life's writing is in any way inferior to the games you list.
    I don't know who told you that those games are meant to be interactive novels, but most of the decent gaming world regard them as unforgettable peaks of CRPG genre. The closest thing to interactive novel is Planescape Torment, but that's only one title of several pearls. Would you call KOTOR and Bloodlines "interactive novels"? Black Isle/Bioware/Troika games are essential playing for everyone who has ambition to take the CRPG genre seriously. The strenght, depth and drive of the narrative was incomparably superior to RPGs of Bethesda school even back then in the days of Morrowind.

    Bioshock is RPG-wise, as I recall, just dumbed down System Shock. Admittingly it had decent audiologs but there is almost no actual dialogue. HalfLife is a straightforward FPS so I wouldn't compare it with other RPGs in any way but technical presentation. Mass Effect is an example of good dialogue in modern CRPGs - most likely because it was made by Bioware who unlike Bethesda always knew what a good dialogue is.

    Do you all hate me now?
    Speaking for myself, there is no real CRPGs among your "best dialogue" titles you have listed, that's why I'm questioning your history of experience with this genre and thus ability to evaluate it properly. Well maybe you do, but know that not everyone is spoiled by wave of convenient action-RPGs suffering from consolitis quite yet.

  9. #684
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: New Zealand
    Quote Originally Posted by Aja View Post
    Do you all hate me now?
    Can't say I see any reason to. Don't agree with you, but I expect I'll recover from the shock of someone having a different opinion to mine.

    I would say that I don't think, PST excluded, that any of the BIS/ Troika/ BioWare games were going for interactive novels- more like interactive TV series. Or interactive movies for BioWare's later games, which I tend to like a lot less than their predecessors. The approach of having a bit more "direction" balanced with a few more restrictions (something like the earlier Fallouts, BG2 etc) is one I far prefer to the scattergun approach of F3 or Oblivion, where I always end up wondering why I'm bothering around ten hours into the game. Something like Mass Effect on the other hand, goes too far the other direction, its story felt so directed, and so derivative, that most of the decisions devolved into "do I want to be default nice, or do I want the vague, possible amusement of being an arse- and much more likely appreciation of Jennifer Hale playing bitchy- because I just don't care about highly contrived moral quandry X"

  10. #685
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    Is everyone making a distinction between "dialogue", specifically, and general writing? Because I kinda wasn't. If you all are talking about the best written conversations, then my examples are mostly inapplicable. And are we limited to a particular genre? I see all game writing, regardless of whether it's a crpg or a shooter, as being comparable. So while Half Life 2 doesn't have brilliant conversation, the writing itself and its delivery are among the most natural and fluid in the medium.

    Not have played a handful of these supposedly great CRPGs (never played KOTOR, Baulder's Gate, Planescape, etc), I suppose I shouldn't be discussing them. But when the term "interactive tv series" gets thrown around it kinda confirms my presuppositions about these games. Interactive novels (ie, literature) is what people tend to treat them as, when in reality they're closer to television? aah I'm not making any sense... even the best written games are so far behind actual literature that to hold them and compare them to that standard is next to useless...

  11. #686
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: New Zealand
    I don't think it's particular necessary to make a distinction between 'dialogue' and 'writing' in most cases, as they overlap a great deal, especially where computer games are concerned.

    I also wouldn't make any particular quality judgment based on whether games are compared to books or TV, as it's perfectly possible to have a TV show which is better than a book- it's just that games, as with TV are much more a medium which relies on showing, rather than telling.

    FWIW I'd have no problem calling PST capital 'L' Literature- if it could technically make the definition. I'd outright call it capital 'A' Art, in the Ebert sense. But then I'd also be happy to award TV shows a definition as capital 'A' Art, when appropriate.

  12. #687
    BR796164
    Registered: Dec 2000
    Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
    If F3 wasn't called F3 which kinda, you know, has ambition to keep the legacy going, then by all means - fuck it. Stalker has tried to implement RPG elements and dialogue and it's writing style (not talking about basic grammar) wasn't too good either, but it was something new, so I can overlook it and enjoy the atmosphere of the environment and action. But Fallouts are dear to people who know what they meant for CRPG history, and the texts in Fallout games are important and quite well done.

    Th point is, Aja, that if you played some of these very well written games based on communication with the NPCs, there would be no difference for you between "DIALOGUE" and "GENERAL WRITING", the earlier would be absolutely essential part of the latter.
    Last edited by Rogue Keeper; 16th Jan 2009 at 05:09.

  13. #688
    is Best Pony
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: The magical land of Equestria
    Quote Originally Posted by Zygoptera View Post
    I know you've been having some fun lately tweaking the noses of some of the more "gamez = srs biznis" members, and while watching people argue over GoW's dialogue and the like does amuse no one is going to fall for that.
    Really? I've been very impressed with the quality of the voice acting so far, though admittedly I think my delight with Colin Moriarty's voice actor has made me biased.

  14. #689
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2007
    Location: Finger paintings of the insane
    What the world would be like if Halo 3 had VATS.

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