Friday, December 18, 2009

Video Game Narratives: Cut-Scenes within Xenosaga

Perhaps I do not play enough video-games to really appreciate the situation, but I found it surprising to read that such a controversy exists in the gaming world when dealing with cut-scenes. Maybe it’s because when I play video games (when I have the time…) I lean more toward the ones with cut-scenes. All my favorites had tons of them and, while I wouldn’t say that I’m that well-versed in the gaming world, I will say that I’ve probably played enough to be able to form an informed opinion on the subject.

Probably one of my favorite games was Xenosaga: Episode I, and I played it because the story-line was so amazing. For me the game really was less about the actual game-play and more about the progression of the story. With each advancement it got crazier and crazier. I can still remember this one scene where this maniacal superhuman test-tube product guy with stark white hair basically molested this robot type thing who looked like she was thirteen and then ripped off his own head. I think it might be one of those things that you have to see and experience to really appreciate it…

But that’s just the point—watching the story was the best part of the game. Now, if the storyline hadn’t been as detailed I probably would have felt different, but there was always a feeling of accomplishment that went along with reaching one of the five-ten minute long mini-movies. I’d just beaten a boss and then I got to watch the characters beat him up some more, or receive some kind of shocking revelation about the whereabouts of the primary villain.

Maybe I feel this way because I like to read and write and generally just enjoy experiencing good plot-lines. And sometimes it is a nice to feeling to just sit back and bathe in the fruits of your labor after spending five hours lost in a maze because the maps were so poorly constructed.

While I can (sort of) understand where the nay-sayers are coming from, I must admit that I had never given cutscenes much thought until I read that article—and was surprised that others actually had. I suppose that, just as with fiction or poetry, there are going to be disputes within video-game players, it just surprises me that it’s about…that.

Also, just went on Youtube and found the scene I mentioned earlier. It’s pretty messed up, but worth watching I think.

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