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not all FMV games suck!

Posted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 1:08 pm
by mattyg
FMV Games do not suck (completely) – there I said it!
One of the most annoying things I have seen in this age of the internet is the same old view or Wikipedia entry being rehashed over and over again by people who are just not equipped with the knowledge or indeed the insight to satisfactorily state their point of view. It seems that someone born post or mid eighties, rather than ask an old timer (like myself) , prefers instead to perpetuate unfounded and unsubstantiated truths about gaming. One of those perpetuated untruths is that concerning FMV games. How often do we hear “oh, they sucked” or “there were no good FMV games” – well I tend to differ.
One needs to look at it in historical context – there was a time where FMV was considered a “buzz” term and many believed it may have been the future of gaming. As frustrating as the Don Bluth games (Dragon’s Lair, Space Ace) were to play there is no denying their visual appeal and their ability to draw you into an arcade. Remember, DVD had not been invented yet and the fact that any kind of lifelike moving image could be interacted with in a gaming environment was pretty cool!
A number of consoles at the time fell into the trap of concentrating on FMV capability , spurred on by the success on PC – It cannot be denied that very early on games such as Myst and 7th Guest were major reasons for an increase in PC purchases and helped establish it as a multimedia device – 200mmx anyone? Two of those consoles were the CD-i and the 3DO – it’s easy to say that they lacked in 3d capabilities and therefore were doomed but both machines were originally developed at a time when 3d was only capable on very high end business and arcade machines. Dissing these machines because of their lack of 3d is like dissing someone in a horse and buggy for not having a v12 engine fitted – it’s simply ludicrous and smacks of ignorance. The pictures were grainy because that was the resolution of the time , not because the hardware or software was inferior.
Saying there were no decent FMV games or applications also smacks of ignorance. One of the amazing features of the 3DO was its ability to stream video during game play - an effect that was put to great use in Shockwave and in Wing Commander 3 when your commanding officers are giving you constant updates on the vid screens. In Killing Time it was used to create atmospheric ghosts that you conversed with and in the game show titles Zhadnost and Twisted it gave us hosts and contestants with personality’s years before Buzz hit PS2. Whilst titles such as Nova storm, Microcosm and Sewer Shark gave us an on rails visual experience thought impossible only a short time before – sure they sucked but damn they looked good! As for pure FMV games it is hard to go past Cd-i’s Burn Cycle and the 3DO’s Snow Job and Psychic Detective – well acted , well scripted and most importantly replayable.

So when someone says “FMV sucked” remind them that it didn’t - the world was just different then.

Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:28 am
by Interite
Agree with you at least partly, there were indeed some quite good FMV games but sadly the majority just were crap basically.

Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:12 pm
by Trev
Or it could be (in part) that the crap fmv games got the majority of the press/coverage.

Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 8:56 pm
by Austin
Trev wrote:Or it could be (in part) that the crap fmv games got the majority of the press/coverage.
Without a doubt (Night Trap, anyone?). And actually, the gameplay concept of that one (likewise with Double Switch) wasn't bad at all.. The execution on the other hand is a different story altogether..

Posted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:00 pm
by Trev
Agreed. :)