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View Full Version : Lost Odyssey's Novel Idea


Texas Speed
10-02-2007, 04:15 PM
I remember when gameplay hours = actual gameplay. X3F (http://www.xbox360fanboy.com/2007/10/02/lost-odysseys-wordy-little-secret/) brings word that Lost Odyssey, in addition to some twenty hours of movies, will have plenty to read about as well.

Kaim, the game's protagonist, often has flashbacks to moments in his past. Considering he can't die, he's been alive for a very long time, which means he has a long history to look back upon. However, instead of letting the players journey back and actually experience these flashbacks through gameplay, they are played out entirely through text. The flashbacks are actually short stories penned by famed Japanese author Kiyoshi Shigematsu, and Lost Odyssey director Hironobu Sakaguchi decided to let players experience them in their "purest" form. All in all, there are 34 of these flashbacks, each taking 5-10 minutes to read.

That's around six hours of reading. If that falls into the same "gameplay" category as cutscenes, then a 40 hour game just got a whole lot shorter.

I'm still looking foward to this, but my excitement has waned a bit.

Kamalot
10-02-2007, 04:19 PM
Sounds interesting, and I'd like to try the title. I simply hope that the alternative storytelling methods are better than the mini-documentaries about Chopin in Eternal Sonata. Those are some of the worst documentaries I've seen, but the music is excellent. :D

Vanthar
10-02-2007, 04:37 PM
Sounds like a horrible mechanic. These games are already reading-heavy..

Kamalot
10-02-2007, 04:48 PM
Are the flashback (http://www.google.com/search?q=wiki+flashback&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a) elements required reading, or are they 'back-story' elements like the scan-logs in Metroid Prime?

Camel
10-02-2007, 04:56 PM
A little reading never hurt anyone. I hope they are all optional backstory things, because I love it when games do stuff like that and fleshes out the history for those who are interested. Sort of like all the books in Oblivion or WoW or stuff like that.

I've been excited about this game for a while, and this makes me a little bit more so.

EDIT: If you read the first post after that article, it talks about this stuff a bit more.

inmostlight
10-02-2007, 05:21 PM
Sounds kind of interesting, but probably something I'll skip...especially if the 20-hours of cutscenes (http://blog.wired.com/games/2007/10/lost-odyssey-fe.html) rumor is true. Really, anything more than 30 minutes of cut scenes total, or any individual one more than a few minutes, is too long for me.

The only post-Infocom game super heavy on text that I really enjoyed was Planescape Torment. And that one was mostly interactive text and conversations where I could guide the dialog; I've never seen a JRPG that allowed that.

Telefrog
10-02-2007, 05:35 PM
A little reading never hurt anyone. I hope they are all optional backstory things, because I love it when games do stuff like that and fleshes out the history for those who are interested. Sort of like all the books in Oblivion or WoW or stuff like that.

I've been excited about this game for a while, and this makes me a little bit more so.

EDIT: If you read the first post after that article, it talks about this stuff a bit more.

A little reading never hurt except when it's reams of text on a TV screen. Ugh.

As much as I liked reading the books in Morrowind, for some reason, I hated it in Oblivion. Again, I think it was because of the text on TV deal.

wezlypipz
10-02-2007, 05:37 PM
well, half the reason I play a game is for the story so if LO's story sucks, then the game will suck and there you have it.

TrackZero
10-02-2007, 06:36 PM
Like all games, I like to actually see more before I make any decisions. (Unless they take away Snakes pistol, then there will be hell to pay.)

Camel
10-02-2007, 06:37 PM
As much as I liked reading the books in Morrowind, for some reason, I hated it in Oblivion. Again, I think it was because of the text on TV deal.
That's a pretty interesting point actually. I played Oblivion on the PC so I didn't run into the same problem as you, but I've often found myself skipping text while playing games on a television screen. Then again, I have a pretty crappy TV so some game text can really be a chore to read (helloooo Dead Rising).

mkelehan
10-02-2007, 07:29 PM
How could anyone complain about optional backstory? It'll make replays go by quicker, since they'll be easily skipped once you read them for the first time. Maybe we'll get lucky and they'll also be on the official website, so we can read them at work.

You know, back in my day, we read ALL of the game's story... and we liked it. And when voice was added to FF10, people complained about that.

So the moral of the story is, no bitching until the game is released.

Crabby
10-02-2007, 07:39 PM
Frankly, I am absolutely in love with the plot of the game as I have a bias fondness for all plots involving time-weary travelers.

...More to the point: This smacks of "Radiacl Dreamers" to me so it probably works better in theory than practice.

Spigot
10-02-2007, 07:40 PM
Sign me up. I absolutely love supplementary reading materials in games. Part of the reason I love Xenosaga so much is because the games have that awesome in-game encyclopedia. Heck, I even got hooked on Star Ocean 3 for a while because I would keep unlocking new data to read about in the ingame encyclopedia.

Bring on the ingame books!

I agree with the comment about the Chopin documentaries in Eternal Sonata though. They're interesting, but they could have done something, ANYTHING, except have text over static images. Yeesh.

jpublic
10-02-2007, 08:05 PM
Am I the only one having Xenogears flashbacks? Remember how disc 2 was like 6 dungeons and a ton of text?

Furious Wang
10-02-2007, 08:29 PM
I just hope the text is displayed in blocks or pages all at once.

One thing I find terribly irritating, and Japanese games almost exclusively tend to do this, is the one-letter-at-a-time display of text that you can't skip through or speed up. Okami was a good recent example of this, with non skippable intro text which took about 17 minutes to sit through but in reality was probably only three pages long.

Tabasco
10-02-2007, 11:21 PM
This is awesome news to me. I am one of the few people who loved the reading heavy portion of Xenogears, so this should be great.

DarkDaY
10-02-2007, 11:42 PM
they are talking of releasing a book before the game goes, so read that and just skip it.

hell, ff is rife with spell effects, text, fmv,
thats the way they play out, and why I love me some true jpg

KingGorilla
10-03-2007, 12:40 AM
It will still be a better movie than any of those Final Fantasy pieces of shit.

But this makes me wonder. If A game with cut scenes rapes you, as Ken Levine so eloquently put it, then would this game be the equivalent of being abducted, put into a hole, and told "It puts the lotion on its skin, or else it gets the hose again?"

Kelegacy
10-03-2007, 03:55 AM
I'm not exactly looking forward to this game, but I'll be watching for reviews. If Mistwalker fucks this one up, I've completely written them off until they prove themselves otherwise. Blue Dragon was fine but wasn't the masterpiece we were led to believe (generic, derivative, awful characters--and we condemn Square so often on EvAv for their RPGs...go figure), and a lot of the info we have on Lost Odyssey has me a bit uneasy.

Oh well. At least we have Eternal Sonata. I'm content for the time being.

YoungAlCapone
10-03-2007, 05:56 AM
I am still looking foward to this, I love some involving story, but am kinda put off by too much cutscenes. FFX and Xenosaga come straight to mind as games that offended with too many cut scenes too often. I do not mind long cutscenes or lots of them, I do mind long ones that come up constantly between short bursts of gameplay. I think Tales of Symphonia was good about this, there were lots of long cutscenes, but you usually played for at least an hour between them.