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Creation Date: March 1st, 2010 06:15 PM
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Musings of a Knight of the Imperium.
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In Moot Member Blogs Starcraft 2 thoughts Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #506 New February 25th, 2019 02:55 AM
StarCraft was a tongue-in-cheek game with a lot of cinematic references. The Terran battlecruiser captain was the SDF-1 skipper from Macross, the medic quoted Dr. McCoy, the Valkyrie pilot was Fran Bluher from Young Frankenstein, and there were a number of witticisms in the game if you clicked on the units enough times. It was a combat game, but not really to be taken too seriously. That, and it was more psychiatry in the end.

So, like Warcraft 3, StarCraft 2 rolls around, and suddenly there's this ultra-serious demeanor among the main characters. :huh: I've noticed this with a lot of game sequels, even stuff like Sonic the Hedgehog, ostensibly meant for younger boys and girls, gets a kind of serious makeover in the 3D accelerated games (Yes, your's truly bought a SEGA Saturn years back I've since lost track of it). I don't get it.

I don't get it because it's like with all sequels whoever writes this sh_t really puts the characters on their heads instead of making them fun and lighthearted like they used to be. So it is with StarCraft 2. The Jim Raynor character always had a serious edge to him, but it's like suddenly everything in the game is ultra serious and I don't know, very "self important" with no real levity. That, and the game kind of stinks.

I used to play online with some lab partners from college over battle.net, or the occasional LAN party, and it was fun for what it was, but it was all meant in fun. Sure, there was competition, and one of the gang got really PO'd one time because he lost several games in a row, but the game was supposed to be fun.

The original Warcraft was just a game. I bought it after a couple of tragedies in the family, and it was a decent time waster, and kind of fun, but its sequel, Warcraft 2, didn't get all serious. I mean there was a kind of seriousness to the games plot, but it was still kind of a light hearted combat game. But then Warcraft 3 comes out, and there's this ultra serious edge to the characters. :huh: And the tradition followed on with StarCraft 2.

I mean, I don't take these games seriously. Shakespeare tragedies I take seriously, but they're only entertainment in the end. But strategy games? I don't get it. Warcraft 2 was successful because even though it had that combat element it was also light in tone. After coming home from lab I would waste a lot of time with it, and felt compelled to grapple with the computer. But I never "got into" the story or anything. I mean, I liked playing the game and saving Azeroth from the orcish hordes, but it was just a fun game.

So, I'm really kind of baffled as to what all the seriousness is that's injected into the characters. As if somehow their imaginary lives depended on whether you won or last a game. Eh, I don't get that. I mean presumably you bought the thing to play it why would you get emotionally invested in the game's NPCs? It's not vexing, but it is perplexing.

Not all games do this. The old Myth series already had a serious edge to it, but didn't boost nor otherwise add "seriousness" to the in game characters. That was a cool series of games I'll have to track those down. Ditto with something like the Star Wars' Dark Forces' series. The first game was DOOM in the SW-verse, the second game had a kind of heavy-atmosphere at times, but was otherwise a genuine adventure game with no ultra-serious overtones aside from the drama in the cutscenes.

The standard Hollywood formula for movie sequels is to let everything that succeeded in the previous film go to hell in a handbasket, and then give all the characters a bunch of interpersonal problems. Me, I always ask "Why? Everything was going so well, so why screw with these people?" I mean, I don't like films anymore, but it's like movies could take a few lessons from the old daytime soaps and evening sitcoms, where the characters really haven't changed much and meet new challenges without having their circumstances dramatically altered to the point of absurdity.

And that's kind of what I see going on in so-called "AAA" games (why they call triple-A I have no idea I mean DOOM and all the other FPS Raycasters started off as simple FPS games why the heck making them 3D accelerated gives them anymore credence is beyond me sure, the game looks sexy, but if it's stupid to begin with, then it's a sh_t game no matter how good it looks). Too many examples to cite. As a life long media consumer, at one time, it was my intent to toss that BS formula aside and just make a simple series of stories. You don't need to f_ck with your characters just for the sake of it. If you're doing that, then I submit you don't have too much imagination to begin with.

Whether it's something like The Brady Bunch (a show I detested then and now), the Dukes of Hazzard, a sitcom like Taxi or The Odd Couple, the characters remain the same. Take a film series like Star Trek, and by that I mean the films with the original cast. How much better would they have been if the U.S.S. Enterprise didn't keep having to go in for refit? I mean, is this f_cking ship ever going to be ready for duty? And the characters all go off in a different direction, then reunite again? Eh, just let them be serving on the ship as if they never left from the last film. Stop giving them stupid problems.

Ditto with game characters. I mean I thought Warcraft 3 and StarCraft 2 were both junk games in terms of gameplay, but the super-serious BS given to the game's characters was just icing on the cake. They're not meant to be taken seriously, and yet the author of the story wants you to take both game and characters seriously. Why? The game sells itself, or it should. Whatever.

Personally, I take games seriously when I get screwed over by someone fk-ing with me in an online game. But the Single Player game? Ah, no.

An oldie is Space Ace by Don Bluth--the animated interactive laser disk game. If a sequel to that light hearted yet fun game were to be made today, then Ace would extremely angry and serious about something. Kimmy, the heroine from the previous game, would have divorced Ace, they would have had divorce issues, or she would have been written out of the game altogether to usher in some less expensive actress to voice a new female lead.

I guess in short, I really don't get the bastardization of the characters and situation in sequels.

Oh well. That's my daily rant for tonight.
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