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  • Phokal 11:45 pm on January 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , torment   

    Six games that everyone should play, and can. 

    Here is an article I ran across awhile back.  It picks out 6 retro games that can run on nearly any PC (or even emulated on Linux or Mac).  Just about every title here is a classic.

    http://giantrealm.gameriot.com/gaming/six-titles-thatll-work-on-nearly-any-machine

    (More …)

     
    • Boramis 10:22 am on January 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Didn’t we just have a “You should really play Planescape” post? :P

    • phokal 12:13 pm on January 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      We did. This is someone else saying it, plus he includes some other games even I’m guilty of.

      I never managed to beat Deus Ex. Got stuck fighting a turret I couldn’t hack down a long hallway. And I refused to look up the guide.

    • Boramis 1:57 pm on January 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I never beat Deus Ex either, though I think I got pretty far. There’s someone in an airplane that it’s obvious you have to kill and they kicked the crap out of me. I was very disappointed I couldn’t stab them in the back to kill them, unlike every other character in the damn game…

    • detnap 11:52 pm on January 20, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Ah, the classics. It’s a good list, but I think everyone has their own list of classics that they think everyone should play (Star Control and Xcom (which Phokal was generous enough to get me new copies of) would be on my list).

      I never played Deus Ex, but I picked up Deus Ex 2, because, well, 2 is bigger than one and must be better.

      I never really got into it.

    • phokal 12:17 am on January 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Steam is pretty sweet. Disappointed with this week’s sale of R6V2 for $10. Not quite cheap enough, and the 360 is the primary platform for it.

  • Phokal 11:56 pm on January 5, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: best writing, intro cinematic, , post collection, torment   

    Torment's Intro 

    Planescape: Torment.  Made with the Forgotten Realms: Baldur’s Gate engine, but significantly more plot focused and less about combat.  It almost plays like an adventure game.

    It has a similar feel and presentation as the movie Momento.  However, it came out well before Momento.  Great writing overall, and great dialog.

    Here are some of my previous posts on it:

    (More …)

     
  • Phokal 8:52 pm on November 18, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: having barely escaped the wrath of some fiendish spell, , quote, torment   

    Planescape: Torment – Quote of the Day 

    “The entire hall was in ruins and still in the process of being destroyed, as dozens of combatants hurled weapons, deadly, arcane magics, and themselves at on another in a desperate struggle to be the last one standing. Plumes of acrid green smoke rose from the pile of limp bodies you dragged yourself out of, having barely escaped the wrath of some fiendish spell. There it was – across the way, through the battling throng, through the bloodthirsty battle ahead of you, sitting untouched on a miraculously upright table – your pint of mead! And you’d get it back, if you had to kill every last one of the brawling tavern patrons to do it!”

     
  • mattlindh 12:51 pm on February 4, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: annah, book, detnap, , , torment   

    Planescape: Torment: The Book 

    torment.jpg

    Planescape: Torment: The Book

    Inspired by detnap’s assertion that the story in Planescape: Torment “just isn’t dense enough” and that “if we put all the pages of a video game story together, at the end, it might be 100 pages, but it’ll take 60 hours to tell the story,” I would like to point out a novelization that takes much of the game’s text and dialogue and edits it together into a narrative. (More …)

     
    • phokal 1:50 pm on February 4, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      The game was more like a 30-40 (do everything) playtime, right? Bit quicker if you ran through it, but I think you’d be missing a lot of the plot if you tried to speed run.

    • mattlindh 5:51 pm on February 11, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Can’t remember how long it took. If you were like me, and constantly reloaded to see what other options would do, it took a lot longer. However, the universe was so detailed that it was a pleasure.

    • detnap 6:36 pm on February 11, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Well, maybe I’ll just pick up the book then.

      Again, I’m a believer that plots in video games help the gameplay. For instance, gears of war plot was dumb, but the game was still pretty good. Call of duty 4 plot was pretty cliche (we’ve seen soviets stealing nukes a million times) but the game was pretty good. Halo’s plot is just random mumbo jumbo, but the game is okay.

      Writing in a game could make the game good, but as a medium couldn’t you get a good story out of a book as well? I can not get the Call of Duty 4 experience of being frustrated out of my mind from a book, but I might be able to get the Planescape Torment Experience out of a book. The things that separate it out for me (since it is an rpg) is the ability to customize my guys to be badass.

      • Zirusianna 8:31 am on May 2, 2013 Permalink | Reply

        But there are things that books can’t capture.

        I also read the book, but that was after I played the video game. And though we are talking about a video game, after 10 years of being a gaming nerd, I still have trouble comparing Planescape Torment to any other game not made by the same man. They are insanely unique.

        Things like pictures of the landscape itself, that you chose your own dialog, that you can play through the game itself, conquer Sigil yourself, means a lot to me, because it’s the focus point of the games. Not violence or blood or mature sex scenes. Not any multiplayer function, or even the DnD ruleset it was build on. That’s not in focus; The story is. It’s all about the story.

        If you like the book, the game is worth a shot. Some people like books better – I love the Warhammer 40k universe more on book form than any game or movie, but Planescape Torment is such a unique experience, in any form, that it’s worth it to try both.

    • mattlindh 8:40 pm on February 11, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      But you can customize your eyes. You can swap out their teeth, even their eyeballs. And your class and your stats determine what you can do. The story is hugely dependent on how you configure your guy, which makes it an interactive experience. When you read a book, you don’t get the same sense that the stuff that is happening is happening to YOU. Plus, Torment brought in a lot of philosophy that really made you think. The ability to make choices makes it superior to a book. The examples you cite are all first person shooters. Sure, those are fun, but they aren’t very good if you’re looking for less action-oriented entertainment.

    • mattlindh 8:41 pm on February 11, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Oops, meant “guys” instead of “eyes” in the first line.

    • phokal 12:57 am on February 12, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      RPG has the customization, but games can portray moments in ways movies and books cannot. Each medium has advantages. Books allow for envisioning the events taking place in a certain way, but the events themselves are static. A common complain against books is ‘pacing.’ Tom Clancy books are too long/boring, or it felt rushed. Movies have the same issue, but often have to be tighter to fit budget constraints and director vision. Special effects show things audiences may not have been able to imagine, but the director was.

      Games combine some of these. Sure, there are negatives, such as any story portrayed has to fit into fun gameplay. Story elements have to be placed on scripted events that have triggers. This is a current technical limitation. However, they allow for observer controlled pacing, and a degree of control not found in the other two. Often you see a scene or read a passage where a character acts, how you believe, out of character.
      “Don’t be stupid. Don’t trust him!” or “That’s not what he’d do. He’s a soldier, why would he risk the mission to care about the child?”
      Just because the writer wrote a deep involved backstory about said soldier having a kid who shot himself, doesn’t mean it will flow if that never made it into the story to explain the character’s actions. In games, you are given control over this aspect. The characters reasonings and emotion are given by the observer. You do things because of reasons that you make up. Why your character would do it. In GTA, perhaps you accept a mission to beat up an old lady. You have to accept this mission, but the reasoning is yours. Perhaps you imagine you accepted it because you are a good soldier/gangster, and you do it because ordered. Perhaps you do it to gain the trust and further money/girls from the gang learder. Perhaps to gain trust in order to betray them. Or perhaps because you like to beat up old ladies. As long as you accept a reason like this, rather than “because there is a waypoint there,” then the medium is capable of story telling.
      Instead of losing the illusion because characters behave oddly or with reasons you don’t believe, you lose it when you break the script. Playing many of these story driven games is like playing a scavenger hunt. If you hunt between points and find clues, going to where you are supposed to, then the illusion of choice and progression will hold. If instead of following the clues, and you just turn around and go to the nearest Denny’s for a Breakfast grand slam, then of course the story will fall apart.
      The initial reason for this is because “well, I was bored.” The difference is, a book and movie force you to stay bored for 2 minutes before picking up again (or the viewer gives up). In a game, in the INSTANT a user becomes bored, they can immediately wander, immediately break the story. And it takes effort to get it back, effort a bored user doesn’t want to put in. And to get not bored they need to progress, but they can’t because they have wandered off the path.

      Developers fault for not making the path narrow enough? Not enough dangerous, horrible spikes to kill the player who wanders? Perhaps. I’m sure the person who solves this problem will make a ton of money.

      If you play Planescape Torment, point to point, there is no way you cannot appreciate the story. It is unique in its medium in that you explore an environment that you cannot know. Assumptions may help you some, but different players will not have the same assumptions about the same parts. Observing the environment and realizing you are standing in a giant archway, walking to the single point you now KNOW it is where you should go, making the discovery of the portal YOURS, is a much greater draw than reading about a character who saw the same thing. The presentation that holds it back is its interface. Dialog delivered in 100’s of pages of 10 line boxes is tedious.

    • detnap 7:04 pm on February 12, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      “When you read a book, you don’t get the same sense that the stuff that is happening is happening to YOU.”

      Yes, if that is if you relate to the character as yourself. I personally don’t relate to the character as “Me”. If you like Torment because of how it portrays “you” and the story behind it, okay. Again, going by balder’s gate, final fantasys, phantasy stars, fallout, I look at the main character as a hero doing what a hero would, not necessarily doing what “I” would do.

      “Plus, Torment brought in a lot of philosophy that really made you think.”

      To be sure, but we can but philosophy down on paper too.

      “The ability to make choices makes it superior to a book.”

      If that is all that the game needed, can you strip out all the gameplay elements? Do you believe that Torment can survive as just a text adventure game?

      The point is that sure, you might have loved the story so you liked the game, even given its weaker gameplay mechanics. You felt that the story was strong enough to carry its weaker gameplay mechanics. I did not.

      “Sure, those are fun, but they aren’t very good if you’re looking for less action-oriented entertainment.”

      That’s why I read a book.

    • mattlindh 7:18 pm on February 12, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      “Yes, if that is if you relate to the character as yourself. I personally don’t relate to the character as “Me”.”

      The whole point of an RPG is to identify yourself with the character – that’s why it’s called “role-playing.”

      “To be sure, but we can but philosophy down on paper too.”

      Yes, but having something at stake – real consequences – drives home the points in a way that mere descriptive text can not.

      “If that is all that the game needed, can you strip out all the gameplay elements? Do you believe that Torment can survive as just a text adventure game?”

      Wait a second, since when do text adventure games not have any gameplay elements? You can’t seriously mean that games like Zork have no gameplay. That would restrict the definition of gameplay to something very banal.

      “You felt that the story was strong enough to carry its weaker gameplay mechanics. I did not.”

      I was under the impression that you did not play very much of the game. How much of the mechanics did you experience?

      “That’s why I read a book.”

      So your basic point is that you don’t like Torment because you mainly play games for the action. I guess we look for different things. I view games as potential art – one reason why I generally don’t like to play sports games. Also, as I already said, reading a book doesn’t allow you to make choices. On the other hand, I do like those Choose Your Own Adventure books.

    • detnap 7:35 pm on February 12, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      ” A common complain against books is ‘pacing.’ Tom Clancy books are too long/boring, or it felt rushed. Movies have the same issue, but often have to be tighter to fit budget constraints and director vision. ”

      “However, they allow for observer controlled pacing, and a degree of control not found in the other two.”

      So, pacing isn’t a complaint against video games? If I have to do some mundane task, over and over, how exactly is the pacing being controlled by me? There can be slowly paced games, just like books and movies. (by the way, there are many more authors than Tom Clancy).

      “Often you see a scene or read a passage where a character acts, how you believe, out of character.
      “Don’t be stupid. Don’t trust him!” or “That’s not what he’d do. He’s a soldier, why would he risk the mission to care about the child?””

      And that often happens in a video game too. How many times have we went to save the princess in the wrong castles? We do have a limited amount of choice, but for a story to progress, we have rails.

      “You do things because of reasons that you make up. Why your character would do it. In GTA, perhaps you accept a mission to beat up an old lady. You have to accept this mission, but the reasoning is yours. Perhaps you imagine you accepted it because you are a good soldier/gangster, and you do it because ordered. Perhaps you do it to gain the trust and further money/girls from the gang learder. Perhaps to gain trust in order to betray them. Or perhaps because you like to beat up old ladies. As long as you accept a reason like this, rather than “because there is a waypoint there,” then the medium is capable of story telling.”

      So, if I make up a reason why my character is behaving the way it is, then that makes it storytelling? That doesn’t make a very good narrative. And I don’t believe that you personally make up a story for every action that you do. I’ve seen you repeated jump into a pit, for no other reason than to see what the game would do. I’ve seen you climb a ladder for 45 minutes and then jump off just to see if you’d get something.

      The motivations in video games are really weak. I’m sure that planescape doesn’t necessarily fall into this trap, but in general, when you’re playing a game. at some point you’ll do an action for gameplay sake and not for story’s sake. (for example, doing side quests for extra xp. Even though you know exactly where to go to save the world, you take a detour to deliver some sandle to get some xp)

      “If you hunt between points and find clues, going to where you are supposed to, then the illusion of choice and progression will hold. If instead of following the clues, and you just turn around and go to the nearest Denny’s for a Breakfast grand slam, then of course the story will fall apart.”

      This has been your theme since assassin’s creed has come out. (basically “If you don’t play the game the way that the developers intended, you may have a weakened game playing experience”). I would say that’s what the strength of a game is. To be able to do whatever I want for the reasons that I want, not for the reasons of some underpaid video game writer. If I have to hunt the exact same clues, why can’t the author just tell me where the clue was found? Do you really get that much enjoyment out of hovering your mouse over a picture of a room and see what highlights?

      If you take out choice from a game, then the game is no better than a book, just more tedious.

      “Observing the environment and realizing you are standing in a giant archway, walking to the single point you now KNOW it is where you should go, making the discovery of the portal YOURS, is a much greater draw than reading about a character who saw the same thing.”

      It’s not “MINE”. It’s the character that the writers of the game have written and have presented on the screen for me. There’s no challenge because everybody that plays the game can do it. It’s not me, it’s you, and Ray, and me, and anybody else that play Planscape.

      You don’t really get better at playing “Planescape torment” as much as you get “Further”. Compare that to other games, such as Halo and Starcraft, were the more you play the better you are.

    • detnap 7:37 pm on February 12, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      To sum up,

      Planescape, in its current form, I would rather read the book than Play the game. If they made the gameplay more compelling (in the manner that I enjoy (namely, more like lost planet in terms of action, more like Balder’s gate in terms of weapons) with the same story I would probably enjoy it.

      But as it stand… Pass.

    • detnap 8:01 pm on February 12, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      “The whole point of an RPG is to identify yourself with the character – that’s why it’s called “role-playing.”

      That’s not really true. They’re called “role-playing” because the first “role playing” games were based off of the pen and paper dungeons and dragons. A computer role playing game doesn’t necessarily make you take the role of the character any more than a baseball game.

      “Yes, but having something at stake – real consequences – drives home the points in a way that mere descriptive text can not.”

      What are the consequences? loading a save? death? becoming less powerful at the end?

      “Wait a second, since when do text adventure games not have any gameplay elements? You can’t seriously mean that games like Zork have no gameplay. That would restrict the definition of gameplay to something very banal.”

      Okay, fine. How about stripping out the baldur’s gate engine from Planescape. Will it survive? (I’m saying this because you said that planescape gives you choice and lets you associate with the main character, both of which can be done with a plain text game)

      “I was under the impression that you did not play very much of the game. How much of the mechanics did you experience?”

      Enough to know that I couldn’t equip Dakon with a +4 longsword dualwielded with a +3 shortsword.

      Enough to know that I could only have the same 6 or so party members as everybody else.

      Let me ask you, when you finished the game, did you finish with exactly the same party members as Aaron?

      I’ll tell you this, when Aaron and I compared endgame notes with Baldur’s gate, and we had completely different parties, much of the different gear. There wasn’t a single character that we both had. I bet you and Aaron had near identical parties at the end (or maybe only one of your characters were different).

      “So your basic point is that you don’t like Torment because you mainly play games for the action. I guess we look for different things. I view games as potential art – one reason why I generally don’t like to play sports games. Also, as I already said, reading a book doesn’t allow you to make choices. On the other hand, I do like those Choose Your Own Adventure books.”

      I think I play role playing games not for the story really, but to get my guys very powerful and to equip them with awesome stuff. Torment didn’t let me do that. In FF3, I had all 14 or so of my character learn the most power spell and equipped with the best items at level 99. I killed the final boss with one hit (not one round, one hit). In FF7, I had all my character learn knights of the round and get to 99. In baldur’s gate, I maxed out the xp and everybody had top line gear. That’s how I play role playing games. The story keeps the game together and gives me motivation, but that’s not really why I play.

    • phokal 8:01 pm on February 19, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      – Role playing the character is completely true. Not every RPG is Final Fantasy 6/7/8/9/10, where the main characters backstory, personality, and (for most part) ability are given rather than discovered or invented. Baldur’s Gate’s plot was shallow in delivery, but that was because you were meant to fill in the gaps with your imagination (much like a pen and paper). The story was just as much the way each unique battle unfolded (killing the captive with a fireball accidentally. or being surprised by the blur ability when you’d never seen it before), as it was the branching dialog (with standard good and evil choices).
      The games combat was just so strong that you could play it almost like x-com, where power leveling, party composition, and tactics were as much a game in and of itself as exploring the giant (mostly optional) world of Baldur’s Gate 1 (and extended a bit into 2). It’s harder for me to judge the optionalness of 2,…because I did EVERYTHING.
      Then there are the deeper choice based RPG’s like planescape, fallout, and deus ex. Your choices affect your character and how the plot unfolds. Which quests you get changes drastically, as do the endings. Yes, I know I haven’t beaten fallout, yet, but I know of the “this is what happens to this city” ending of each one (much like Chrono Cross did for all 80+ characters), which is different depending on how you did the quest/sidequests.

      As for consequence, planescapes is the easiest to defend. If you don’t investigate, you don’t ever learn your past. You can beat the final badguy, but never really know who he/she was, and why he/she attacked you. And you only ever learn the secrets of you past by REALLY investigating (having max stats, doing certain quests). As for Rey and I finishing the same, No. I completed many of the major side quests, and knew to take a lot of wisdom. Rey never learned the secrets/backstory of the main character his first time through. He got the ‘neutral’ ending, basically. Also, I had a hero weapon Rey never got. I think he’s still pissed I got it. No spoilers, rey, but feel free to bitch. As for the ‘same’ party, there are (from memory) 8 characters and 6 slots. 3 characters are optional, Vincent from ff7 like, characters that are hard to find and recruit. Seeing that we both carried the plot central chars around, that leaves 1 extra slot. Rey’s played the game multiple times with each extra char. I played through with Ignus, who I thought was the most interesting of the 3.

      Planescape would survive as a text adventure: someone made a BOOK an enjoyed it. It boardered lined on Adventure game with its realitively easy combat minus major encounters, and large amount of dialog.

      As for power,…the main char of Planescape can pretty much floor anybody in the rpgs you mentioned, and gets to by the end of the game.
      .
      Minor Spoilers:
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      As you know, in DnD games, you stats are permament. Sometimes you boost with Items. The Nameless One gets a stat point per level, gets stat points for completing major quests, and for recovering memories. By the end of the game, if you build your guy right, you can hit the max wall of 28(?) or 32(?) for 4 of your stats, and the rest be on their way. :)
      THAT’S power leveling.

    • hintzilla 3:04 pm on February 20, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      I just got done listening to the newest 1up Yours podcast where the editors from 1up.com and EGM invite the Createive Director from Naughty Dog (most recently known for Uncharted) and Lorne Lanning from Oddworld Inhabitants to discuss storytelling in games, and whether or not its even a viable medium to do so in. It gets very in depth, with both guests using examples from their studios’ games, as well as some great questions from the 1up/EGM guys, namely Shane Bettenhausen’s criticism on Uncharted’s ending. You can download it from the itunes store or 1up.com.

    • Phokal 3:43 pm on February 20, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      I think I need to beat uncharted before I hear the ending ;)

      it’s on my queue

    • hintzilla 3:54 pm on February 20, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      I guess it’s not all that spoiler heavy, and is towards the end of the podcast, so you might be safe listening for the first 45 minutes or so. When Bettenhausen starts freaking out about the female character from Uncharted is probably a good stopping point. There is a lot of good talk about Stranger’s Wrath, which is probably my favorite original Xbox game, so it’s definitely worth a listen if you’ve gotten into any of the Oddworld games.

    • detnap 5:59 pm on February 20, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      I’m sorry, so let me get this straight. You killed the final boss in Planescape in one hit? Not one round, one attack.

    • Phokal 1:34 pm on March 4, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      You can win the final fight in…. a variety of ways. Seeing as one of your party members can be the personification of Order living in a suit of armor and gains a massive boost when he sees the boss, it is possible for the fight to be over pretty quickly. If that’s how you go about it.

      As for a single attack, you’ve played DnD. If a resistance check fails, then yea, it’s all over. Also, most fighters gain extra attacks per round rather than increase in sheer damage (ala simplified FF system). That’s how it works in DnD. To make the damage delivered in a single hit rather than round is to compare two unlike systems far too harshly. It’s not like you’d consider the Monk a useless, low damage melee class because it takes him 12 hits in a single round to kill a Dragon in Baldur’s Gate 2.

  • Phokal 5:04 pm on February 2, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: *know*, DnD, Dungeons and Dragons, , greatest game ever made, memento, , the nameless one, torment   

    Planescape: Torment is the greatest game never made; *KNOW* that it was made too early 

    Planescape by Nick

    Planescape: Torment was way ahead of its time. It is a great game, with an excellent story. The characters, individually, are amongst the best; deep backstories, interesting personality quirks. The setting is the Planescape plane of the Dungeons and Dragons universe, the hub plane for the rest (Baldur’s Gate’s Forgotten Realms, the traditional/original DnD, etc). It is unlike any setting you have seen, in any media. (More …)

     
    • mattlindh 2:54 am on February 3, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      What can change the nature of a gaming industry?

    • detnap 1:12 pm on February 3, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      I played a bit of planescape and it was pretty good. I don’t have the same worship for it as Aaron and other internet legions, but it was interesting all the same.

      Some of the issues I had was I enjoy the weapon/armor harvesting where I could equipt my traveling companions with found loot. In Planescape, Torment, I found that I was limited in how I could distribute my wealth.

      The story was interesting, but as with most games, the story just isn’t dense enough. What I mean is that if we put all the pages of a video game story together, at the end, it might be 100 pages, but it’ll take 60 hours to tell the story. If it doesn’t have good gameplay, then trying to squeeze even a good story out of that would be difficult. This isn’t to say that Torment had poor gameplay, just very standard gameplay for rpgs of that time (ie, balder’s game engine)

    • phokal 7:27 pm on February 3, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Weapon harvesting works like any japanese rpg. Weapons are specific per person. Once you’ve got your full party, which you don’t get until the end of act 1 (last party member is partway in art 2). I don’t think most had much trouble with FF7’s inventory system.

      The story is very-memento based, or like Babylon 5. Very heavy foreshadowing, and hint based in the first act. The idea is that, by the time of the reveal, you’ve figured it out. You are meant to read between the lines and try to discover who you are without the game every directly telling you. Having the high int, char, and wisdom also greatly helps, as many reveals are given only if your character is smart enough to reveal it.

      Finding your journal is the first quest. Finding it is only the beginning.

    • phokal 9:03 pm on February 3, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Hah! Niiice comment, mattlindh.

    • detnap 8:53 am on February 4, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Well, weapon harvesting didn’t work that way in Final Fantasy 3, so I don’t think the comment “any Japanese rpg” is quite accurate. In FF3, you could equip most of the weapons on most characters, you could have a “hybrid” classes, etc.

      A couple of the things that computer rpgs brought (at least games in the same vein as Balder’s gate) was the additional freedom it brought over console rpgs. I think I tended to go for max power in my party over story elements, even if it didn’t make sense.

      For instance, at the end of Balder’s Gate, my party consisted of 3 evil characters and 3 good characters. I actually had to kill an innocent bystander because I had done too many good quests and my evil members were about to leave. But I did this because those evil characters were the best and the good characters were the best, equipped with the best. Some of their story’s weren’t necessarily very strong and some of them were downright annoying, but if I wanted to just hit a go button and have them crush everything, that was a trade off I was willing to make.

    • phokal 1:13 pm on February 4, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Weapon harvesting: If you are referring to the floating skull (no weapons, obviously), the theif (daggers…), or the neutral planes wanderer who uses the sword made out of that and uses only that because , or the mage who is eternally on fire because he has a portal to the realm of fire (anything near him will burn, even your regenerating immortal), then it all makes a lot of sense why they can’t use everything. Plus, you recruit more characters later who are more…versatile. You can use whatever you’d like. The fighter characters in your party can use any weapons. The non-fighters, not trained to do such, cannot.

    • OveRRuN 8:19 pm on October 16, 2008 Permalink | Reply

      Best game ever, I got immersed into it for 6 months forgetting everthing else. Until this day I still remember it with melancholy, actually looking for fan art is how I got here. I ended the game with a level 28 mage. Many years went by so I don’t know if this is accurated but anyways, my favorite secuence as I remember it:

      I wake up without knowing where or when I am and more important who I am. But there is someone else, an old lady with grey hair, she is smiling at me, and as if we were having a conversation already she asks me what is going to be my third wish… I hesitate but answer (inevitably) that I want to know who I am, and now she laughs. Before granting my last wish she says: how amusing… you asked for the very same thing with your first wish…

    • amir 10:56 pm on February 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I love playing RPG that allow weapon harvesting/weapon creation. But nothing beats a good story. For me, Torment is the best RPG created. You really get involved. Thats the gist of roleplay. Being immersed. Anyway, I have wished this for the past few years that someone would just make a remake of Torment, on better platform, showing full detail of the character and the environment.

    • phokal 10:14 am on February 4, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Agreed. The story in torment is very detail oriented. Lots of information is presented and it is up to the reader to figure out some of the meaning. This allows for some great puzzles where you actually figure out the clues, rather than just select obvious dialog choices.

      Torment’s biggest downside is it’s presentation. With so many pages of text, some of the large conversations can take half an hour to an hour just to get through, or more if you replay them to pick other options. But rarely has a conversation been as tense as a boss battle (or even used as some).

      Either way, Torment gives you a lot of player freedom while constraining you to a very strongly written story. The amnesiac character has never been so well thought out.

    • UK_John 6:45 pm on June 7, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Now re-released by Interplay on DVD – get it at Amazon – so maybe not released too early for today’s gamers, but re-released just at the right moment!

    • FIFO 5:28 pm on October 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Given the way modern games have developed (style being heavily favored over substance) and Torment’s decidedly old-school reliance on a text-heavy narrative I’d say that it was released too late rather than too early. It may employ the mechanics of a for-the-time contemporary cRPG, but the design is more reminiscent of old adventure games or even interactive fiction. Torment’s commercial reception would probably have been more favorable if audiences had come from a background of games like those, but 1998 was the year of Half-Life, not Zork.

    • Phokal 8:04 pm on October 9, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      @FIFO that is some great insight. I do believe it would have been well received (relatively, as niche as PC gaming was). I think now, with the latest developments in interactive storytelling (Mass Effect’s “emotional stance” and Heavy Rain’s “Interactive Movie”) we are approaching a new means of presenting the alien world of Planescape. There was just an unfortunate middle period where the technology had moved past “interactive novels” but not quite reached the point of “interactive movies.”

    • ray 10:28 am on September 19, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I see a lot of Mass effect in this game.
      All the markers are there ,plain to see .

      Amazing that Half Life came out the same time .
      A lot of todays gamers wouldn’t have the patience required for this classic .

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