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Thread: The RPG Sanctum - #14: Romance

  1. #1
    Host of The Sectorcast Rosestorm's Avatar
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    The RPG Sanctum - #14: Romance

    The masters of The Sanctum discuss romance in RPGs as per Lord Burnet's royal decree. Listen as we discuss whether smacking action figures together in Dragon Age counts as "Love Making", and some other stuff as well.

    Listen: http://www.rpgamer.com/rpgsanctum/sanctum14.mp3
    Download: http://feeds.feedburner.com/rpgamer/DJog
    itunes: http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-...um/id416583261

    Be sure to leave your reviews for us on itunes. Be sure to stay tuned for Contest for the Sanctum to be announced in the near future.
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    A lie would be considered the truth if only more people believed it.

  2. #2
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    When reading about what type of gameplay and content fans like, I have often heard that English speaking video game fans weren't interested in relationships between fictional characters. I read that Thousand Arms wasn't exactly a best seller back in 1999, and that Persona 4 was not as successful as Persona 3. Worse yet, I have been told that barely anyone bought Brooktown High (PSP, 2007) or Sakura Wars: So Long My Love (PS2/Wii, 2010). The staff at JAST and Mangagamer have talked about difficulties in selling their relationship-centered visual novels. And Jack_Norton from the Winter Wolves / Tycoon Games indie game groups has talked about how only a few fans bought the group's guy x girls harem games, but a surprising number of fans have bought girl x guys reverse harem games. (Just this year, Winter Wolves has released two products aimed at women -- Love & Order, and Always Remember Me. The next game they have slated for release is The Flower Shop: Winter in Fairbrook, which fits in the same genre.)

    So yeah, these days, if you want a video game about relationships, there are some options other than adult visual novels. You can sometimes find interesting romance game content in casual games, such as a worksafe game called Hidden Objects of Desire. You can sometimes find it in iOS games, such as a worksafe game called Mini Gay Boyfriend. You can sometimes find it in niche content which has been translated by fans, such as a worksafe version of the visual novel/RPG hybrid Eien no Aselia, or two of the three Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side games. And I hear that romance subquests have existed in western RPGs since the late 90s, and continue to exist even in otherwise bleak games.

    Yeah, I haven't quite gotten into any western RPGs. So I'm not sure how relationships between fictional characters are presented -- are they just optional sidequests, or are they integral to success? And while I get the idea that some fans enjoy character relationships, I'm not entirely sure what they like and dislike.
    Last edited by caddyalan; 06-27-2011 at 08:07 PM. Reason: corrected another typo

  3. #3
    One Knight Stand Spartakus's Avatar
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    Relationships can add to a game's story but in my experience games that focus exclusively on relationships tend to be almost entirely passive affairs where you just choose dialogue options.

    Yes to relationships in games, no to relationship games, is my approach.
    Currently playing:
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  4. #4
    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff GaijinMonogatari's Avatar
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    So, when do we have an RPG Sanctum about Bromances?

  5. #5
    I only like romance if it's so strongly emotional that it make me cry in real life (some games actually did accomplish that). Subtle romance or fanservice romance is quite boring in my opinion (in games).

  6. #6
    is not declawed RPGamer Staff Ocelot's Avatar
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    Romances in WRPGs are a tricky thing when the main character is the player's creation and doesn't have a pre-set personality. Creating a love interest that appeals to every player is impossible, and you'll often hear fans complaining that a particular game didn't have any "good" romances for them. BioWare does the best job of this of all the WRPG companies, and they've had many years of experimentation to improve what they do. The romances are a particularly popular part of BioWare's RPGs though, so I don't buy that Westerners don't like romance in RPGs. I do think that the prevalent culture here keeps a lot of young men away from romance-focused games, however. It's not considered appropriate for young men here to read romance novels (I personally find most romance novels inappropriate for anybody who isn't looking for a good laugh, but YMMV ), and we don't have the Japanese history of manga and anime romance/sex fantisies aimed at young men. Thus, it's not surprising that romance-focused games sell better to women than men over here (though to be clear, I don't approve of that kind of gender socialization, it's just unfortunate that that's the way things are here at the moment).

    Twitter: BeckyCFreelance

  7. #7
    is not declawed RPGamer Staff Ocelot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaijinMonogatari View Post
    So, when do we have an RPG Sanctum about Bromances?
    We totally should.

    Prologuenovella2_thumb1.jpg

    Twitter: BeckyCFreelance

  8. #8
    A Fabulous Amnesiac Clix's Avatar
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    *eye twitch* ...Ultimecia wasn't a pop up villain. She was there from the start. All of Edea's dialogue prior to Disc 3 was Ultimecia.

    Anyway, fun podcast, though surprisingly short. Shocked Nyx wasn't on board.

  9. #9
    Staff Girly Girl RPGamer Staff Nyx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clix View Post
    *eye twitch* ...Ultimecia wasn't a pop up villain. She was there from the start. All of Edea's dialogue prior to Disc 3 was Ultimecia.

    Anyway, fun podcast, though surprisingly short. Shocked Nyx wasn't on board.
    I wanted to be on here so badly, at the same time my health hasn't been very good since I got back from the UK, so I had to decline due to personal reasons.

  10. #10
    Staff Healer RPGamer Staff TwinBahamut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyx View Post
    I wanted to be on here so badly, at the same time my health hasn't been very good since I got back from the UK, so I had to decline due to personal reasons.
    Maybe we should do a "Romances in RPGs 2: 100% More Nyx Edition" podcast.

  11. #11
    is not declawed RPGamer Staff Ocelot's Avatar
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    Or perhaps, "Romances in RPGs 2, Nyx and Oce argue about which boys are better in Dragon Age and Harvest Moon games"

    Twitter: BeckyCFreelance

  12. #12
    I'd look to Panzer Dragoon Saga for a good tragic love story.

  13. #13
    Staff Girly Girl RPGamer Staff Nyx's Avatar
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    All right, so now that I've had the chance to listen to this, I have a few comments.

    I have a huge beef with JRPG romances, simply because half the time many of the games make it like the main characters HAVE TO BE TOGETHER. They have zero chemistry, but they are destined to be star-crossed lovers, which I simply just don't buy. There's some great romances mentioned, especially Shadow Hearts' Yuri and Alice, Lunar's Alex and Luna and Hiro and Lucia, and I like what Berry had to say about Emil and Marta, as that sounds like a justified romance. When people defend romances like Squall and Rinoa, I want to scream because they are a perfect example of the game saying "Well they are the main characters and therefore need to be together!" I just don't see the chemistry between these two, and I find Squall's sudden realization that he loves Rinoa trite and unrealistic. It doesn't work, and it makes them look disingenuous as a couple.

    As for the technical issues in this episode, there's a lot. Roy, please do more editing. It's very distracting when you leave the bits where people drop off the call or go robo, and it kills the quality of the conversation, and considering how interesting this discussion is, and it just detracts to a point to make it unbearable sometimes. But that's just me and it's just a suggestion.

  14. #14
    A Fabulous Amnesiac Clix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyx View Post
    But that's just me and it's just a suggestion.
    No, the extended robo moment early on was pretty darn bad...

  15. #15
    crazyronin
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    In theory these are great but....god they are painful to listen to. So awkward. Why are these nerds so confrontational? They constantly try to undermine each other....pretty pathetic.

  16. #16
    crazyronin
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    The kid whining about how FF8 sucks is the worst one. Does he have a complex or something? Why the hell does he keep trying to correct everyone on things that DONT matter at all?

  17. #17
    複線ドリフト!! RPGamer Staff Quin's Avatar
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    There wasn't really a need to drag this one back up.

    To the above poster, if you'd like to remain here, I suggest you quit with the attitude. Now.

    befriend (v.): to use mecha-class beam weaponry to inflict grievous bodily harm on a target in the process of proving the validity of your belief system.

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