By Rachel Muenz
Storytelling in video games seems to be getting bigger and more important year after year. There are now professional video game writers who craft game stories as carefully as any novelist or scriptwriter.
While the actions a player can perform are still the most important part of a video game, there are some stories out there that would still keep me playing even if the rest of the game was crap.
Out of all the games I’ve played – mostly for Nintendo systems – here are the five I think have the most moving stories.
1) Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean
I actually didn’t like this game when I first started playing it. It was the amazing story that kept me going. The main character, selfish and revenge-driven Kalas, is not the usual perfect hero, but he still has a good side too. The game puts you in the role of Kalas’ guardian spirit, sucking you right into the game’s beautiful fantasy world and forging a strong connection between you and its characters. There are also different possible endings based on decisions you make in the game.
2) Baten Kaitos Origins
This prequel to the first Baten Kaitos matches and at times outdoes the great storytelling in the first game. It’s darker, more violent and action-filled than the first game’s story and the voice-acting for the little movies between game action is miles better. The plot twists are even bigger in this story, though I somewhat expected them because of the shockers in the original game.
3) Golden Sun: The Lost Age
The sequel to another of my favourite games, The Lost Age concludes the story begun in the first Golden Sun. While I loved the story in the first game (it’s the only one I’ve played over and over just to experience the story again), The Lost Age adds even more layers and surprises to the plot. You find out characters that were just evil in the first game aren’t so bad after all and the ending brings both tears and joy.
4) The World Ends With You
This is the most recent game story that’s really pulled me into a game’s world. Though it’s a bit cheesy, it also has characters you end up loving and a darker side too. It is about a bunch of dead kids playing a game to get their lives back, after all. The story is told in awesome comic-book style panels and playing a game that gives you the chance to rise from the dead if you win, but permanently destroys you if you lose, makes you feel pretty bad-ass.
5) Chrono Trigger
Though first released in 1995, Chrono Trigger’s story still shines out among those of today’s games. Again, it’s the typical saving-the-world plot, but time travel adds more depth to the characters and setting. You have to save the game’s world in all its different eras to win, setting it apart from games of the same genre. Chrono Trigger also does a great job of making you feel for the characters and has a very sad twist that you have to work through to get to a happy ending. Like Baten Kaitos, the ending depends on your actions in the game.
For more information on role-playing games, the genre these games belong to, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Role-playing_video_game.
– with files from Wikipedia