Since the beginning of cinematic gaming, there has always been this struggle between balancing the experiences of both narrative and gameplay. For some games, there's too much traditional story-telling which detracts from this core gameplay fun factor (take PS3's Metal Gear Solid 4
for example) and other titles get a bad rap for having paper-thin plots. So how do these two seemingly opposed forces integrate smoothly? Christian Nutt has an interesting opinion piece about this on GameSetWatch
which takes a look at Crisis Core's
DMW system as an excellent solution to this "narrative-gameplay divide."
Nutt points out that the Digital Mind Wave (DMW) system revolves around the story-driven emotional state of Zack (protagonist), which in turn results in affecting his chances for bonuses and his overall performance in battle. Furthermore, the DMW's slots reflect important characters in Zack's life which, when aligned, often play cut scene memories in the heat of a fight. What this does, according to Nutt, creates a reminder of how important the story is to the actions Zack carries out. This style of integrating stories, focusing on memories and short bursts, while maximizing both emotional impact and interactivity is revolutionary in Nutt's eyes.
A lot of his points make a whole lot of sense and we agree, though perhaps not as fervently. But what about you? Do you agree, disagree? Perhaps before you make that decision, best read up on the entire Crisis Core redefines narrative/gameplay article