Unfolding a Video Game’s Story

Howdy, flakes. If there is one thing I have grown to love in video games, it’s the narrative or the amount of story that goes into a game. It’s not just the way the game plays for yours truly sometimes. If that one special game comes by, I can’t help but watch it unfold in front of me. However, very rarely will you get a game that actually has an extra mode to add to the general experience. That is the game’s cinematic mode, or the mode where you get to watch the scenes play out together. Sometimes, I like to just kick back and watch the movies in a game, you know, and appreciate what went into the game’s story. Now, I’ll admit I was going to make this about the best stories I’ve seen, in an attempt to include the adventure games I’ve played, but those games are in a class all their own. They are stories you are playing out yourself with various twists and turns. You can’t really kick back and enjoy when you are playing it out. But, that’s not to say that playing it out is a big negative. But again, I digress. These are the games I’ve played with cinema modes that I just adore watching, over and over again, if not for the fact that they have this mode, but also because they have captivating stories, to say the least. Now, enough of the chitter-chatter already! Let’s see what my personal favorites are.

Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem

When I first heard about this game, I was told it was an instant classic. Many reviewers and critics played up the game’s complex narrative, amazing new system, and different approach to the survival horror genre, as it mixed many adventure elements into them. What started off as a mystery behind a loved one’s death unfolded into a long journey through time involving 12 distinct characters and their connection to a mysterious book. This was a novel game approach to me as I have always been used to just one character playing the starring role. However, everyone in this game had a part to play and something to add to the plot. Not only did this wow me, but I realized that once I finished a chapter, the cinema scenes that connected to them were stored for repeated viewing. And, you could watch them all in order, with the different scenarios intact. Thanks to my brothers, I was able to see the whole game unfold in 3 different ways, including the true ending. Whenever I get the chance, I pop this game in, sit back and watch the story unfold, and boy, it’s an experience to behold.

Odin Sphere

My first encounter with Vanillaware, Inc. was with the game, Muramasa: The Demon Blade. I found it to be a fun adventure blending RPG elements with side-scrolling platform and hack-and-slash mechanics. It wasn’t until after I finished the game with the two characters that I wanted to see more from these developers. I wasn’t disappointed when I came across Odin Sphere. Not only was it similar to Muramasa, but it was actually a bit more involved as well. I remember being a lot less positive about this game in the past, but I gave it another chance as I realized that I had to really put the time in to finishing the game. It wasn’t going to be as easy as Muramasa as it relied even more on RPG elements. So, I spent the time needed, finished the game, and got everything needed for 100% completion. My reward: a chance to see a completed story archive with every scene stringing together for the characters involved, from start to finish. Just like Eternal Darkness, you have multiple characters playing protagonists with their lives intertwining a bit more directly this time. However, in this case, you can see the game unfold chronologically by the story archive and seeing where each part happened in conjunction with each character. It’s like being in a storybook and watching the events unfold right before your very eyes. you ever get a chance, look up Odin Sphere Chronological order (parts 1- 21) on Youtube and see each scene to see what I mean.

Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes

I never really got to experience MGS on the PS1 when it first came out, as I was stubborn and only into Nintendo games. I told myself that if it was ever ported to a Nintendo system, I’d play it. Well, they did, and with updated graphics (a la MGS2), I got to play MGS on the GameCube. As I played through the game and finished it, I got sucked into the game’s narrative and never wanted to let go. It was every bit as complex and rich as Hideo Kojima intended it to be. I wondered if there was ever a way to see this all unfold again after playing it. I saw that Silicon Knights, the developers of Eternal Darkness helped to develop this game and their involvement showed. There was a theater mode you can access where you can watch the entirety of the game unfold through cut-scenes, giving you an awesome cinematic experience. How awesome is that? Very awesome!  Now that I finished parts 2 and 3, I have more story to watch!

So, those are a few games I have that give one amazing cinematic experience as a reward for all your hard work in the game you played. I hope you get a chance to enjoy these games as I did. It’s well worth the price of admission…or in this case, game purchase. But, that’s not to say you can’t see this for free nowadays thanks to the internet. But, for what they are worth, it’s worth owning the game just to see their stories unfold.

 

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Written by: Ezenwa Anyanwu