Video Game Talk The Place to talk about and trade Video & PC Games

Cutscenes, isn't it time for them to stop?

Old 11-05-07, 12:13 AM
  #1  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,861
Cutscenes, isn't it time for them to stop?

Okay I know the discussion is trite, but I think each generation they become a more and more dated method of conveying story.

Whether in magazines or on message boards, "cinematic" is the game critics' weasel word. Sometimes we say it when we aren't sure what we want to say. Usually, I understand it to mean specific moments when games aren't gamelike -- when they stop showing, so to speak, and start telling, and when actors turn into audience. Why the word isn't pejorative when used this way probably involves movie envy and mistaken goose-and-gander assumptions about standard practice in one medium suiting the next.
http://www.1up.com/do/reviewPage?cId...74&sec=REVIEWS

I took the quote from 1up's HL2: Episode 2 intro, it provides a pretty good summary of my opinons on cutscenes in games.

I'm still amazed how many games use cutscenes as the vehicle to deliver a games story. It really is the norm rather than the exception. I don't understand why the reward for playing the game, is not playing the game. For me they do exactly the opposite of their intendeded function, instead of immersing me into the experience, I immediately lose that sense of immersion.

What do you guys think?
msdmoney is offline  
Old 11-05-07, 12:17 AM
  #2  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
fumanstan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 55,343
I still enjoy cut scenes, but it depends on the game, how they're used, and whether i'm actually interested in the story. I still think the cut scenes in RPG's like Final Fantasy can be breathtaking and fun, albeit with the common complaints (skipping them, replaying them, pausing them) I also like small things like the in-game cut scenes used in something like Gears of War to give some background on the missions as well as give some of the characters a little more life.
fumanstan is offline  
Old 11-05-07, 12:45 AM
  #3  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,491
xenosaga is a good example of cinematic games. It was more like watching a long confusing movie than it was an actual game. I remember being able to eat my whole dinner and dessert during a cutscene!

Last edited by mhg83; 11-05-07 at 12:49 AM.
mhg83 is offline  
Old 11-05-07, 01:25 AM
  #4  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Bronx, NY
Posts: 1,958
I enjoy watching cut scenes when they are used in the right way, wether it be in-game or straight CG. Games like God of War use them beautifuly and make the game and experience that more engrossing. And theres nothing like finishing a lengthly game and being treated to a nice CG ending.
But all in all it depends on what game your playing i guess. I love them, thank you Ninja Gaiden (NES)!
thegame370 is offline  
Old 11-05-07, 01:47 AM
  #5  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
CKMorpheus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 8,023
To be fair, that quote isn't talking about cinematic cut scenes. It's talking about the idea that the game itself is cinematic in nature. A way of saying it feels like you're an action hero, or that it's epic.
CKMorpheus is offline  
Old 11-05-07, 02:10 AM
  #6  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,861
Originally Posted by CKMorpheus
To be fair, that quote isn't talking about cinematic cut scenes. It's talking about the idea that the game itself is cinematic in nature. A way of saying it feels like you're an action hero, or that it's epic.
I agree the quote isn't necessarily referencing cutscenes exclusively, it's referring to any time a game stops being interactive. But cutscenes are the worst culprit of this, they are really the definition of a game trying to be "cinematic" in the wrong way. In terms of the review I think he was contrasting the traditional "movie envy" method of a cinematic game with what makes HL2 Ep2 "cinematic."
msdmoney is offline  
Old 11-05-07, 02:25 AM
  #7  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,584
I don't mind cutscenes as long as they are kept to a minimum. I hate when games have either too many cutscenes or the cutscenes are too long. See Metal Gear Solid series. I am not even joking when I say the final scene of MGS2 is an hour long. You literally watch a cutscene for 20 minutes, then you get to fight the final boss for a whopping 5 minutes, then you watch another 20 minute cutscene. I will never understand why people think that is fun. It is a frakking movie, not a video game.

Last edited by taffer; 11-05-07 at 02:29 AM.
taffer is offline  
Old 11-05-07, 08:04 AM
  #8  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
dvdsteve2000's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Home of the 2009 Stanley Cup & Vince Lombardi trophy!!!
Posts: 6,117
I don't mind them as long as you have the option of skipping them. Sometimes I just want to play, not watch a movie. FF:VII was the worst because the scenes were forever long and you couldn't skip 'em, and if you died, you had to watch the same 4 minute scene again.
dvdsteve2000 is offline  
Old 11-05-07, 08:29 AM
  #9  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Lake Ridge, VA
Posts: 6,288
I think that what is worse are "cut scenes" that attempt to be interactive with basically mini-Dragon's Lair type scenarios. If you are going to make me watch, at least let me watch the action instead looking for what button to twitch next.
SunMonkey is offline  
Old 11-05-07, 09:00 AM
  #10  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 23,226
It's a well known fact that I hate cut scenes, it's why I'll never play a Metal Gear Solid game and it's why I can only count to six when it comes to Final Fantasy. A lot of video game "cinematics" have a strong pretentious, "trying to hard" vibe to them, which further irritates me.
PixyJunket is offline  
Old 11-05-07, 09:15 AM
  #11  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
The Bus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: New York
Posts: 54,866
I like the cutscenes in Ratchet & Clank Future and Sword of the Berserk: Gut's Rage.
The Bus is offline  
Old 11-05-07, 09:16 AM
  #12  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
Michael Corvin's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 57,737
As long as I can skip 'em, I don't care. If I'm not digging the story, all I want to do is get to the next level. I despise games that force me to watch them. Games that make you watch them multiple times(after dying, a second play through, etc), are even worse.

While there have been some good great games this gen, only one comes to mind for blending the action and cut-scenes brilliantly for me, Heavenly Sword. It truly felt like I was playing a movie, the exact opposite of every other game out there where you know you are watching a mini-movie in a game.

Worst offender this generation? Super Paper Mario. Good god it was like reading a game.
Michael Corvin is offline  
Old 11-05-07, 09:18 AM
  #13  
Moderator
 
Groucho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 70,839
If its short and uses the in-game engine, I don't really mind. But when all of a sudden the game switches to pre-rendered graphics and your character is wearing something completely different and wielding a different weapon -- it tends to take you out of the story.
Groucho is offline  
Old 11-05-07, 09:29 AM
  #14  
DVD Talk Special Edition
 
XavierMike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Posts: 1,465
I don't mind them as long as I can skip them after I've watched them once.
XavierMike is offline  
Old 11-05-07, 09:33 AM
  #15  
Moderator
 
nemein's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: 1bit away from total disaster
Posts: 34,141
As long as I can skip 'em, I don't care.
That's my biggest issue. I very rarely play a game for the "story" so I could care less about most cut scenes (although I will usually watch the intro and final ones under the assumption that most of the pizazz will be put into those). When they get to be the bulk of the game, or frequent enough that they interrupt the game it does pull you out of the game.
nemein is offline  
Old 11-05-07, 10:23 AM
  #16  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Rosemount, MN
Posts: 31,698
If I could play games and never see a cutscene or anything else that isn't actually me playing the game, I'd be ecstatic.

I never play games for the "story". I play games to play games. Period.
Draven is offline  
Old 11-05-07, 10:31 AM
  #17  
DVD Talk Hero
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 25,062
Whether in magazines or on message boards, "cinematic" is the game critics' weasel word. Sometimes we say it when we aren't sure what we want to say. Usually, I understand it to mean specific moments when games aren't gamelike -- when they stop showing, so to speak, and start telling, and when actors turn into audience. Why the word isn't pejorative when used this way probably involves movie envy and mistaken goose-and-gander assumptions about standard practice in one medium suiting the next.
THANK YOU. This has been a pet peeve of mine for years. PC Gamer is particularly bad about throwing the word "cinematic" around as though it's something to strive for. We don't usually have good things to say about a film that is described as "theatrical".
Tracer Bullet is offline  
Old 11-05-07, 07:03 PM
  #18  
DVD Talk Hero
 
PopcornTreeCt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 25,916
Depends on the game. Heavenly Sword's cutscenes were some of the best I've ever seen. Halo 3's are boring as hell.
PopcornTreeCt is offline  
Old 11-08-07, 11:46 PM
  #19  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,861
Originally Posted by Groucho
If its short and uses the in-game engine, I don't really mind. But when all of a sudden the game switches to pre-rendered graphics and your character is wearing something completely different and wielding a different weapon -- it tends to take you out of the story.
The thing that frustrates me is to watch my character pull off amazing moves in a cutscene, then go back to the normal game where I can't do anything close to that.

It seems like a lot of people have responded saying they don't necessarily mind cutscenes. Even if you don't mind them, do you guys think cutscenes are a good way to convey story for a video game? For those that have played games like Half Life 2 (I'm sure there are many other examples), with scripted events that you play to get the story across, which do you prefer?
msdmoney is offline  
Old 11-09-07, 12:11 AM
  #20  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
fumanstan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 55,343
Depends on the game. The cinematics in something like God of War were fantastic at telling the story and moving them forward. I haven't really cared for Half-Life's in game story though.
fumanstan is offline  
Old 11-09-07, 09:59 AM
  #21  
DVD Talk Limited Edition
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 5,731
I generally like cutscenes, especially when they're not very long. The only thing that really got on my nerves, that wasn't really a cutscene but did stop gameplay, were some of the codec "scenes" in MGS. Some of them would go on for 3-5 minutes, and in all that time you're seeing a static picture of a face and text. That wasn't awesome. But the over produced cut scenes in MGS are great fun to look at.

I can't stand those interactive cut scenes though. Quicktime events can die and I would be so pleased.

Last edited by boredsilly; 11-09-07 at 10:02 AM.
boredsilly is offline  
Old 11-09-07, 10:15 AM
  #22  
DVD Talk Godfather
 
Giantrobo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: South Bay
Posts: 57,422
I don't mind cutscenes especially if they can be skipped. And since I'm not a pro player and I'm often repeating areas after being killed, it really makes a difference if you have that option.

I've been enjoying Jericho's way of handling this stuff. Instead of a full on cutscenes, the computer takes over your character and you listen to another character giving you info. When they're done, you regain control and you keep moving.
Giantrobo is offline  
Old 11-09-07, 10:21 AM
  #23  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,584
Originally Posted by msdmoney
The thing that frustrates me is to watch my character pull off amazing moves in a cutscene, then go back to the normal game where I can't do anything close to that.
Yeah that always cracks me up.

One example of that is in the Metal Gear Solid games. Some cutscenes have Snake doing all kinds of badass things like somersaulting over missiles. The cutscene where he fights the cyborg ninja is like something out of the Matrix.

But then when you actually get to play the game, Snake controls so rigidly and can't do any of the stuff shown in the cutscenes.
taffer is offline  
Old 11-09-07, 10:33 AM
  #24  
DRG
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: ND
Posts: 13,417
I loved the way they were done in the early Resident Evil games, where the letterbox would recede from the screen when the scene was done to make it feel like a seamless transition back to the game.

I hated the cutscenes on Marvel Ultimate Alliance, because they seemed to jump in quality from scene to scene. Some were hi-def rendered, others used the in-game engine, and others looked like they were PS1 rejects.
DRG is offline  
Old 11-09-07, 10:35 AM
  #25  
DVD Talk Gold Edition
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 2,896
Originally Posted by dvdsteve2000
I don't mind them as long as you have the option of skipping them. Sometimes I just want to play, not watch a movie. FF:VII was the worst because the scenes were forever long and you couldn't skip 'em, and if you died, you had to watch the same 4 minute scene again.
sigh... hear hear... you know, i don't understand why the devs still doing that... i'm not a good gamer, i continue countless times, being able to bypass the scenes is a MUST.... My major complain in Heavenly Sword (not only that, the stinky loading time is getting on my nerves as well).
Ocelot is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.