Will Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot be the definitive way to experience Dragon Ball Z?

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Will Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot be the definitive way to experience Dragon Ball Z?

Post by PhoenixEX » Mon Nov 25, 2019 7:48 am

Seeing as how it's going to cover the entire series AND add new material and characters that are officially canon, will this game be the official definitive version and complete way to experience the story of Dragon Ball Z?

Do you think they'll release an updated Dragon Ball Z manga with the new stories and characters added in the future? Sort of like Persona 4 -> Persona 4 Golden but in manga form? Maybe an anime special?

What are your opinions?
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Re: Will Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot be the definitive way to experience Dragon Ball Z?

Post by Soppa Saia People » Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:12 am

no. maybe for video games, but it's definitely not gonna replace either the manga and anime for anyone, it won't have a lot of what people love about either media's. plus i really don't think the video games have that kinda sway too where they'll update the manga just because of one.
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Re: Will Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot be the definitive way to experience Dragon Ball Z?

Post by Jord » Mon Nov 25, 2019 9:14 am

I like your optimism friend but it really depends on which way you want to experience DBZ. Some people prefer reading the manga, some prefer the anime and even within the anime there are people who either like the original, the dub or Kai.

As for video games, there are also a ton of preferences with some more into the RPG's and some more into the fighting games.

The game itself does look nice though and I think this is the first time we get the Kukichi score outside of Japan which to me, certainly helps with it feeling authentic. I don't know if the score will fit the usually faster fights in the video game but we wil see. One thing I really do like is that it indeed covers the entire DBZ story. I hated it when games like Budokai and Burst Limit simply capped of the game after Cell's tournament.

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Re: Will Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot be the definitive way to experience Dragon Ball Z?

Post by KBABZ » Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:10 pm

Pfff, good lord no. I can tell just by looking at it that it won't tell the story nearly as effectively and immersively as the manga or anime did.

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Re: Will Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot be the definitive way to experience Dragon Ball Z?

Post by Dbzfan94 » Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:13 pm

No. No matter how good the game is, it'll never reach the original manga/anime as the definitive version.

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Re: Will Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot be the definitive way to experience Dragon Ball Z?

Post by Grimlock » Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:18 pm

It's already really hard for people to acknowledge a game as the sequel of the manga, imagine if people would ever take a game to "replace" a medium as the definitive version.

Then again, if it is the intention of Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot to be the definitive version, then it shall be regardless what people think or say.

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Re: Will Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot be the definitive way to experience Dragon Ball Z?

Post by Zephyr » Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:30 pm

The definitive way? What defined Dragon Ball Z was....Dragon Ball Z. And what defined Dragon Ball Z's story was not Dragon Ball Z, but, rather, the Weekly Shonen Jump serialization of Dragon Ball, the comic.

Using a game's recounting of a story as a substitute for the actual story is like using a series of "FULL FIGHT HD (part 8 or 12)" videos on YouTube as a substitute for the actual story. The theming, the text, the subtext, and so on are all going to be different. Even the anime adaptation alters the pacing and characterization more than it ought to.

And while I understand why such changes occur when changing medium, that the changes occur in the first place alters and obfuscates the actual organic structure of the actual story, thus leaving adaptations forever ontologically derivative and demoted.

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Re: Will Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot be the definitive way to experience Dragon Ball Z?

Post by ABED » Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:55 pm

Zephyr wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:30 pm
The definitive way? What defined Dragon Ball Z was....Dragon Ball Z. And what defined Dragon Ball Z's story was not Dragon Ball Z, but, rather, the Weekly Shonen Jump serialization of Dragon Ball, the comic.

Using a game's recounting of a story as a substitute for the actual story is like using a series of "FULL FIGHT HD (part 8 or 12)" videos on YouTube as a substitute for the actual story. The theming, the text, the subtext, and so on are all going to be different. Even the anime adaptation alters the pacing and characterization more than it ought to.

And while I understand why such changes occur when changing medium, that the changes occur in the first place alters and obfuscates the actual organic structure of the actual story, thus leaving adaptations forever ontologically derivative and demoted.
I don't think adaptations are inherently "demoted". A change is neither inherently good or bad. It's dependent on execution. There are too many times Toriyama blows past a moment and doesn't let it really land. Good pacing isn't all about quickness.
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Re: Will Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot be the definitive way to experience Dragon Ball Z?

Post by Robo4900 » Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:03 pm

The short answer: No.

The long answer: Hell no.

The longer answer: Helllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll no.

The non-shitpost answer:
It'll be a fun video game that follows the last three fifths of the story. But it won't be anything close to a "definitive" telling of the story. Ultimately, it'll be built to serve fun gameplay, not narrative depth. Video games can have a lot of narrative depth, but I don't think a Dragon Ball game will exactly take advantage of all the facilities games have to tell a story as deep as the medium can deliver. Most likely it'll essentially be like the Tenkaichi and Legacy Of Goku games' campaign modes: Fun fights and a world you can roam around, and it follows the story, but ultimately it's all an excuse for fighting stuff. And again, it skips the first two fifths of the story. I don't think any definitive telling of any story skips nearly half of the actual story itself. You don't see Peter Jackson's movies skipping Fellowship Of The Ring and half of The Two Towers, do you? You don't see the Harry Potter movies skipping over the first three or four books in adaptation. You don't see Scott Pilgrim skipping the first half of its story when it was adapted into a movie.

And of course, bringing up these adaptations of other works, there is also the problem that there's rarely ever one definitive way to experience something. So even if this was to be A definitive telling, it would not be THE definitive telling. There is no be-all end-all with a work like this.

So, no. Not even close.
Last edited by Robo4900 on Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Will Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot be the definitive way to experience Dragon Ball Z?

Post by ABED » Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:07 pm

Oh but otherwise I agree that no video game will ever be the definitive way to experience Dragon Ball. Games are about the gameplay, not the story. It's a fundamentally different experience.
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Re: Will Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot be the definitive way to experience Dragon Ball Z?

Post by Robo4900 » Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:20 pm

ABED wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:07 pm
Oh but otherwise I agree that no video game will ever be the definitive way to experience Dragon Ball. Games are about the gameplay, not the story. It's a fundamentally different experience.
Gameplay is the primary medium of video games, and is as capable of being a storytelling medium as the visuals of a movie, or the text of a book. (e.g. The Shining unsettles you with its long takes, uncomfortable pauses, impossible geometry of the hotel, etc. etc. That's a unique use of the language of cinema, that doesn't really apply to books or video games, at least not in precisely the same way)
But, like how movies generally have to take a book's comprehensive exploration of a story and adapt it to fit an audiovisual narrative, a game does have to make its stories a digestible experience, and there is often an emphasis on making them fun too, though this isn't strictly necessary; see Papers Please. That game is not fun, though it is engaging.

The point is: Gameplay can tell a story, games can tell a story. But a lot of games choose to not put much effort into storytelling through gameplay, relying on cutscenes and such. Presumably, DBZ Kakarot will also take this route, and as you say, it will be about the fun gameplay, not the story it's telling.

But there's no reason a video game fundamentally couldn't be a definitive Dragon Ball experience, or indeed couldn't be about the story it's telling in general. The problem is, doing this is hard, and isn't always as fun or successful as if the gameplay had just been designed to be fun and the story had just been an optional side-event to this all.
Yes, video games are a fundamentally different medium to TV and comics, but comics and TV are also fundamentally different media to each-other. That doesn't discount either from being a definitive telling of a story first told on the other, it just means the adaptation has to be handled very well.

So far, Dragon Ball video games haven't attempted to be definitive tellings of the story, they have simply aimed to be fun experiences that use the Dragon Ball stories and characters. They're like a blockbuster action movie; they're not exactly the deepest exploration of the story they're telling, and you're not really going for the story necessarily; you're going to have fun.

To bring this all home:
I essentially agree with what you're saying, but video games can be an incredible storytelling medium, and there's no reason why they fundamentally couldn't be the medium of a definitive telling of Dragon Ball. But in the current landscape of media and pop culture, it is unlikely. The only reason I took the time to write up this post and voice any disagreement is that there is a certain perception about video games not necessarily being high art in the way movies and TV are often seen; the reality of this is that there's tons of games that use all the tools at their disposal to tell a story (Oxenfree, Layers Of Fear), mostly just indie games sadly, but like movies and TV, generally the stuff that hits big is the blockbuster stuff that's more interested in just having fun.
So, it's not that games aren't about the story, it's that a lot of the big games at the moment simply don't really do much with the narrative possibilities of gameplay.

So I agree that we're unlikely to see a definitive telling of Dragon Ball in the form of a video game, but there's no reason it theoretically couldn't happen. You'd just probably need a real visionary game developer with a unique idea that possibly wouldn't really fit into the easy, safe boxes of "Fighting game" or "RPG" like the kind of stuff that the guys who own the IP rights would like to greenlight.

Apologies if this post is a bit overlong and comes off as overly pretentious. I take this stuff quite seriously, and could probably do a TedTalk on narrative in video games (though I think I'm pretty low on the list of people even remotely qualified to do this).
Last edited by Robo4900 on Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:28 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Debate the plot, characters, adaptations, dubs, etc., criticise the home video, but never lose sight of the fact that it's all just entertainment. You're supposed to enjoy it. If you're not enjoying it, just walk away.

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Re: Will Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot be the definitive way to experience Dragon Ball Z?

Post by funrush » Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:23 pm

Considering the game's not even out yet this is just conjecture, but I'm gonna go with no.

Even aside from my gut feeling that it's a no, it's hard to say it's the definitive way to experience DBZ when there's no OG Dragon Ball component to it. DBZ is made better by the buildup from DB.

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Re: Will Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot be the definitive way to experience Dragon Ball Z?

Post by ABED » Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:37 pm

You don't even have to be a hardcore gamer to understand that the point of videogames is to PLAY them. it's a fundamentally experience than reading/hearing/watching a story where it's in the hands of the storyteller. Games are about an interactive experience. Using story helps the immersion into the world of the game, but it's not its primary purpose.
comics and TV are also fundamentally different media to each-other.
Difference being those are media for telling stories. Video Games aren't a different medium as much as a completely different concept. Video games is NOT a storytelling medium. Stories are an aspect used by video games to engage the players. This isn't meant to belittle video games and say they are lesser than stories, just that they are fundamentally different things.
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Re: Will Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot be the definitive way to experience Dragon Ball Z?

Post by Robo4900 » Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:51 pm

ABED wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:37 pm
You don't even have to be a hardcore gamer to understand that the point of videogames is to PLAY them. it's a fundamentally experience than reading/hearing/watching a story where it's in the hands of the storyteller. Games are about an interactive experience. Using story helps the immersion into the world of the game, but it's not its primary purpose.
Yes, the point is to play them. To take part in the interactive experience of the game. But there's no reason that gameplay can't be telling a story, just as much as the way a shot is framed or the camera moves in a film can tell a story. Or someone's life is a story.

Ultimately, whether they intend it or not, any gameplay is ultimately conveying some sort of narrative. It's just that often that narrative is quite simple. Fighting games, the narrative is the ebb and flow of the battle, the struggle to win, the power your character has. Who wins, etc. Again, there's not exactly a deep story here, but augmented by the given character backstories, there is a story happening.

Think of this: If your character gets encumbered by some kind of attack, say someone does serious damage to your leg, and your character in the game has gimped movement as a result of that, you are experiencing the story of your leg being broken, through the medium of gameplay.

Again, think of how action movies seek to show you a series of fun explosions, while a more intellectually challenging movie seeks to use every facet of film language to engage you in the story, characters, and world it's putting you in. Nothing wrong with a work where the main point is just fun, but at the very least, there's a lot more storytelling opportunity in gameplay than the fighting games and RPGs of Dragon Ball have often made use of.
ABED wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:37 pm
Difference being those are media for telling stories. Video Games aren't a different medium as much as a completely different concept. Video games is NOT a storytelling medium. Stories are an aspect used by video games to engage the players. This isn't meant to belittle video games and say they are lesser than stories, just that they are fundamentally different things.
Everything is a story. Getting out of bed is a story. It's just not a particularly good story. Saying video games aren't a storytelling medium is like saying a forklift isn't a vehicle. It's definitely a vehicle, it's just not as efficient at getting you from A to B as a car, a plane, or a train. But it has its purposes, and in those purposes, it does still get you from A to B.

Similarly, video games do tell stories. Fundamentally, absolutely any kind of gameplay is telling you a story. It's just that usually this is a fairly thin story that isn't particularly being exploited to make a larger point other than to immerse you in a power fantasy or other such fun escapist stuff. And that story is augmented by the story being told by the cutscenes, the text messages, the world you're in, etc.
Footage of a car exploding is telling the story of that car exploding. A shot of someone looking at that car, followed by a shot of the car exploding, followed by a shot of the person from before looking disappointed is the story of someone being disappointed by a car exploding. Perhaps their car? Again, not a particularly deep story, but if augmented with dialogue, sound design, and put in the context of a lot of other content, you have a story.

Again, take a look at Oxenfree. The gameplay of that game is largely in the dialogue of the game. The other characters are talking, and at any time, you can select what you wish to say, but the conversation is happening with or without you, you may or may not interrupt people in going about your interaction, etc. It's telling a story of teenagers hanging out and talking, essentially. And that story is told through the gameplay, working in harmony with the dialogue, voice acting, visuals, etc.

"Video games are not a storytelling medium" = "Comic book movies are not cinema", is essentially what I'm getting at.
Last edited by Robo4900 on Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Will Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot be the definitive way to experience Dragon Ball Z?

Post by ABED » Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:06 pm

When I say a story, I mean drama. So while I guess you could say everything is a story, it's so meaningless in the scheme of things and not important to what we're discussing.

A fighting game isn't about the ebb and flow of the narrative. It's about trying to win against the other player or computer. It's the user solving a problem. A fight in the narrative is in fact about character, the tension, and the choreography. In the video game the injured leg is to increase the difficulty in accomplishing the viewer's goal - winning. It's also not an inevitable choice on the part of the creator of the game. It occurs because the other player or computer got enough shots in on the player.

Video Games USE story to engage viewers, they aren't the story.
"Video games are not a storytelling medium" = "Comic book movies are not cinema", is essentially what I'm getting at.
That's not a great analogy. I got your point, but the big difference is comics and cinema are two different mediums for telling stories. That's their purpose. A video game's purpose isn't to tell a story. It has way more in common with billiards or foosball.

I'm not knocking it, just saying they are different things with fundamentally different goals.
Last edited by ABED on Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Will Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot be the definitive way to experience Dragon Ball Z?

Post by KBABZ » Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:14 pm

To cut the Robo/ABED discussion down to the core bone, the fact that Kakarot doesn't use bespoke, accurate environments for key, iconic scenes automatically means it won't supplant the anime or manga as the best way to experience the story.

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Re: Will Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot be the definitive way to experience Dragon Ball Z?

Post by Robo4900 » Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:19 pm

KBABZ wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:14 pm
To cut the Robo/ABED discussion down to the core bone, the fact that Kakarot doesn't use bespoke, accurate environments for key, iconic scenes automatically means it won't supplant the anime or manga as the best way to experience the story.
I don't think that's what either ABED or I are arguing, but that's as fair a point to raise as any, I guess. :lol:
ABED wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:06 pm
When I say a story, I mean drama. So while I guess you could say everything is a story, it's so meaningless in the scheme of things and not important to what we're discussing.
No true scotsman.
ABED wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:06 pm
A fighting game isn't about the ebb and flow of the narrative. It's about trying to win against the other player or computer. It's the user solving a problem. A fight in the narrative is in fact about character, the tension, and the choreography.
You're missing the wood for the trees; you're looking at the ultimate goal of winning, and not the actual experience of playing the fighting game. The actual experience of playing has you struggling for victory, going through the ebb and flow of trying strategies and moves, or indeed just button mashing and getting lucky... The character is you, the choreography is the fight you're taking part in, and the tension is naturally generated by the combination of everything happening here.
ABED wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:06 pm
In the video game the injured leg is to increase the difficulty in accomplishing the viewer's goal - winning. It's also not an inevitable choice on the part of the creator of the game. It occurs because the other player or computer got enough shots in on the player.

Video Games USE story to engage viewers, they aren't the story.
Yes, speaking purely mechanically, you are technically correct. Similarly, the reason John McClane's family is interviewed and his wife (or ex-wife? It's been a while since I saw Die Hard) held hostage by the terrorists is to create a heightened sense of tension for the final act action sequence, and give our main character a reason to go do the final sequence, rather than continue crawling around in vents and such. That doesn't mean it's not telling the story of the morally reprihensible journalist who does it, the man who goes to the ends of the earth for his wife, etc.

A story beat ultimately serves a mechanical purpose in the construction of the work, but through that process a story is told.

I will further support this with an additional point:
Movies and books also use story to engage their audience, but aren't fundamentally the story. A movie is just a series of visuals and sounds, a book is just a series of words. How they use these things to tell the events they depict ultimately pulls together to form a story. While games have gameplay, movies have striking visuals, books have well-written passages. All of these tell a narrative, even if on their own all they are is a segment of gameplay, a striking visual, or a well-written passage. You experience these things in context, and thus experience a story.
You see a shot of a man, cut away to a car exploding, cut back to the man looking disappointed. You're not seeing these in isolation, these three things tell a story together (in film, we call the way shots tell a story together, even if they don't say much on their own, the Kuleshov effect), you're seeing a man disappointed at the car exploding. Add dialogue for further context "Damn, loved that car." and boom, you know this guy's sad his car blew up. Yes, ultimately the point here will have been to see the car blow up, and to get the character to not have a car so the filmmaker can take us to a scene where that character is car-less, but that doesn't mean the car blowing up, or the man being without his car isn't a story beat.
ABED wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:06 pm
That's a bad analogy. I got your point, but the big difference is comics and cinema are two different mediums for telling stories. That's their purpose. A video game's purpose isn't to tell a story. It has way more in common with billiards or foosball.
And, for the reasons I outline above and in my previous posts, I insist to you that this is not the case. Billiards or foosball are toys, they're not putting you in a human experience. Video games give you agency in a narrative, often augmented by dialogue, worldbuilding, character development, etc. to give you context for the experience to allow you to understand the story you are taking part in.
ABED wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 4:06 pm
I'm not knocking it, just saying they are different things with fundamentally different goals.
Your intent here doesn't matter, because ultimately I'm arguing that you have a fundamentally flawed, and ultimately fundamentally dismissive attitude towards video games as a medium, which is born from a societal assumption that video games are ultimately just meaningless toys and the story is an entirely separate thing from the game. Which is nonsense, for all the reasons I describe above.

Which is quite similar to certain attitudes I referenced earlier about a certain director declaring that comic book movies are "not cinema", simply because they aren't as prestigious as his more auteur work. And indeed, they're primarily seeking to entertain, which is fine. Doesn't mean they're not art, doesn't mean they're not telling a story, it just means they're probably not what some would call "high art" or some other snobby, pretentious term.

One recalls the musings of the late Roger Ebert; he didn't consider video games art, but ultimately admitted he'd never really tried any video games, and wasn't interested in exploring the artistic potential of video games. He never tried Papers Please, or any other such experiences.
Dragon Ball is a goofy kids cartoon from a long time ago. You take it too seriously at your own peril.
Debate the plot, characters, adaptations, dubs, etc., criticise the home video, but never lose sight of the fact that it's all just entertainment. You're supposed to enjoy it. If you're not enjoying it, just walk away.

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Re: Will Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot be the definitive way to experience Dragon Ball Z?

Post by Zephyr » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:00 pm

ABED wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:55 pm
Zephyr wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:30 pm
The definitive way? What defined Dragon Ball Z was....Dragon Ball Z. And what defined Dragon Ball Z's story was not Dragon Ball Z, but, rather, the Weekly Shonen Jump serialization of Dragon Ball, the comic.

Using a game's recounting of a story as a substitute for the actual story is like using a series of "FULL FIGHT HD (part 8 or 12)" videos on YouTube as a substitute for the actual story. The theming, the text, the subtext, and so on are all going to be different. Even the anime adaptation alters the pacing and characterization more than it ought to.

And while I understand why such changes occur when changing medium, that the changes occur in the first place alters and obfuscates the actual organic structure of the actual story, thus leaving adaptations forever ontologically derivative and demoted.
I don't think adaptations are inherently "demoted". A change is neither inherently good or bad. It's dependent on execution. There are too many times Toriyama blows past a moment and doesn't let it really land. Good pacing isn't all about quickness.
What I'm getting at is that what Dragon Ball is, is part "a comic" and part "a thing penned by Akira Toriyama" (and part plenty of other things as well). That it is both of these things is part of what makes it Dragon Ball. These are parts of its identity. What we call "Dragon Ball" would not be what it is if it was created for a different medium, or by a different person. Adaptations and changes in medium remove essential elements, and removing essential elements render it less Dragon Ball.

And that's fine. It can be "better" or "worse" in spite of these factors. But when we talk about "definitiveness" I tend to think of "essence" and "essential nature", in an Aristotelian sense. I'm looking at the question as a descriptive, rather than normative, matter.
ABED wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 3:07 pm
Oh but otherwise I agree that no video game will ever be the definitive way to experience Dragon Ball. Games are about the gameplay, not the story. It's a fundamentally different experience.
Largely agreeing with this.

People seem to tend to over-focus on video games when discussing the aesthetic qualities of games, and that largely serves to mask a misunderstanding that's occurring. Games, video and otherwise, are structured forms of play. That is what makes them what they are; it is part of their essential nature. The way that their mechanics interrelate is what most fundamentally gives them aesthetic value. What one does when they play a game is solve the puzzle of the game, or figure out how to most effectively navigate the play-structure.

Of course, storytelling can occur in the context of structured play, where engaging with the unfolding of the story has a mechanical element to it. Or like in contemporary AAA games, where the mechanical equivalent of, say, scoring a touchdown might allow me to see the narrative equivalent of, say, the next scene in this film (or, in other words, the tendency to break gameplay up with cutscenes, and vice versa).

Can you tell a story about someone trying to solve such a puzzle? Can you tell a story about a time you managed to figure out how to acclimate to the rules and mechanics of a game? Certainly. The back and forth my buddies and I had with a rival group of players in Rust, each night raiding the others' base while they were logged off, is a story I enjoy recounting. Or you could look at something like EVO, where stars in the fighting game community show up and live out rivalries, or professional football. You can craft a narrative out of two people (or teams) trying to be the best at a game.

Can "playing" act as a pen or a brush, through which the players are able to tell their own story? Certainly. Dungeons & Dragons, and countless RPGs in its wake have done exactly this.

Choose Your Own Adventure books also make for a weird blurring of lines.

But I think it would be a mistake to conceive of games as being intrinsically possessing a storytelling element, as something to absolutely be expected. Mass Effect might necessarily have a story, but Chess doesn't, nor do Tennis or Pinball. What's the "plot" of Poker? Video games aren't special in this regard, either. See: Pong, or Snakeybus, lest you believe that the addition of electricity, computers, and a visual display essentially require narrative.

The charge that games require narrative to be art, or subject to aesthetic appreciation, has always seemed strange to me. The structure of rules and mechanics alone that a game has can be especially elegant and beautiful, especially when contrasted with those of relatively clunky forebears. I would wager that games that are fun to play tend to have some degree of elegance to their structure.

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Regardless of all of that, the kind of storytelling that occurs in the context of a play-structure is distinct from the kind that occurs in a book, or an animated film, or a live action film, or a comic book. The kind of storytelling that occurs in the context of one kind of play-structure is distinct from the kind that occurs in the context of other kinds of play-structures. Different stories are told in different ways.

You can re-tell a story in a different way than the one which defined it was told (and that might be really cool, and definitely worthwhile; see: Devilman Crybaby), but the one that defined it is the one that defined it, and always will be, barring some extreme case, where the actual origin of the thing is lost to history, like how we don't know who or what actually is the "definitive" King Arthur; there's no historical consensus.

I suppose a good counter-example to my point here might be Pantera, who began life as a glam metal band in the 80's, before rebranding as a more gritty groove metal band in the 90's.

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All digressions to the side. I don't think any video game retelling of Dragon Ball's story is, as a matter of definition, capable of being the definitive account of that story. This is a separate question from "will this new game be the best account of the Dragon Ball story?" Though my own answer to that separate question is also "no".

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Re: Will Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot be the definitive way to experience Dragon Ball Z?

Post by ABED » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:18 pm

It's not dismissive, it's not whether Video Games are better or worse. It's a matter of classification. I'm not focusing on the goal of winning - I'm focusing on the distinction of interactivity vs. passive consumption. In video games, it's participatory whereas narratives are in the hands of the storyteller. Whether society has wrongly claimed it was just disposable kids stuff isn't relevant to my point.

Or what Zephyr said.
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Re: Will Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot be the definitive way to experience Dragon Ball Z?

Post by Robo4900 » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:34 pm

Zephyr wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:00 pm
What I'm getting at is that what Dragon Ball is, is part "a comic" and part "a thing penned by Akira Toriyama" (and part plenty of other things as well). That it is both of these things is part of what makes it Dragon Ball. These are parts of its identity. What we call "Dragon Ball" would not be what it is if it was created for a different medium, or by a different person. Adaptations and changes in medium remove essential elements, and removing essential elements render it less Dragon Ball.

And that's fine. It can be "better" or "worse" in spite of these factors. But when we talk about "definitiveness" I tend to think of "essence" and "essential nature", in an Aristotelian sense. I'm looking at the question as a descriptive, rather than normative, matter.
So, GT isn't Dragon Ball?
Battle Of Gods, before Toriyama got on board, wasn't going to be Dragon Ball?
The 2008-2011 OVAs aren't Dragon Ball?
The filler parts of the orignial anime aren't Dragon Ball?

You're very hasty to give rather narrow definitions of these things. Some would argue the best of Dragon Ball was when Toriyama wasn't writing it. Gohan and the robot, some of the movies... The author is not the work, and the medium is not the work. The author if often responsible for the existence of the work, and the medium is just that, the medium through which it exists. But a different author, and a different medium, doesn't mean the work dies.

Batman is still Batman in film and TV, even without Bob Kane and Bill Finger directly working on it.
Zephyr wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:00 pm
Of course, storytelling can occur in the context of structured play, where engaging with the unfolding of the story has a mechanical element to it. [...] But I think it would be a mistake to conceive of games as being intrinsically possessing a storytelling element, as something to absolutely be expected. Mass Effect might necessarily have a story, but Chess doesn't, nor do Tennis or Pinball. What's the "plot" of Poker? Video games aren't special in this regard, either. See: Pong, or Snakeybus, lest you believe that the addition of electricity, computers, and a visual display essentially require narrative.
Storytelling also can occur in the context of an audiovisual that people nowadays refer to as a film. But they don't necessarily have a story. The Shining has a story, but do many of the very earliest films have a story? Mostly they were just footage of some people standing around. People were satisfied by just the novelty of a moving image. Similarly, the very earliest examples of video games were essentially computerised poker or tennis or whathaveyou. These days, video gamers play stuff that's a lot more advanced than the simple tennis or pong we began with. Similarly, filmgoers are more interested in Arrival than "1897 film of a few minutes of the Queen's jubilee."
Does the existence, and the fact of the appeal, of things like that 1897 reel of the Queen's jubilee mean that film is inherently not a storytelling medium? No, it does not. In theory, it is possible to deliberately avoid any kind of deliberate storytelling in any medium.

Ultimately, video games are not the same as board games, or card games, etc. Just as comics books aren't paintings, they are a distinct medium. Just as you can make a film where it's just a reel of someone dancing, you can make a video game that's just computerised poker. But using that to discount the whole medium? To declare that the whole medium is inherently a medium not for storytelling?

I would say you have a pretty narrow view of the medium.
Zephyr wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:00 pm
Regardless of all of that, the kind of storytelling that occurs in the context of a play-structure is distinct from the kind that occurs in a book, or an animated film, or a live action film, or a comic book. The kind of storytelling that occurs in the context of one kind of play-structure is distinct from the kind that occurs in the context of other kinds of play-structures. Different stories are told in different ways.

You can re-tell a story in a different way than the one which defined it was told (and that might be really cool, and definitely worthwhile; see: Devilman Crybaby), but the one that defined it is the one that defined it, and always will be, barring some extreme case, where the actual origin of the thing is lost to history, like how we don't know who or what actually is the "definitive" King Arthur; there's no historical consensus.
Yes, every medium requires adaptation to move a work from one to another. That's not unique to video games. When adapting a novel to film, you have to make changes to put a work of 100% description and dialogue into an audiovisual medium.
ABED wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:18 pm
It's not dismissive, it's not whether Video Games are better or worse. It's a matter of classification. I'm not focusing on the goal of winning - I'm focusing on the distinction of interactivity vs. passive consumption. In video games, it's participatory whereas narratives are in the hands of the storyteller.
Interactivity does not inherently take away from storytelling; passive consumption is not a requirement for storytelling.
ABED wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:18 pm
Not remotely applicable here. Waking up in the morning isn't a story, at least not in the sense of it being drama. What you are talking about is a recounting of something occurring. I'm talking about drama with conflict. Drama needs conflict and a point.
I'm not talking about recounting anything. The very act of waking up in the morning is a story. You have the conflict of being sleepy, and resolve that conflict by standing up to go about your day.
ABED wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:18 pm
I have zero idea what you're talking about here and what that has to do with video games. I said video games use stories to aid immersion, but that's not the fundamental goal or the experience. Movies and books don't use story, they ARE the stories. You are passively taking them in. Video Games aren't that. It's always be about using those methods to immerse viewers in the GAME.
I laid it out quite clearly, man. Just because an element in a story is ultimately there for the mechanical reasons of assembling the work, that doesn't mean it isn't a story beat. Just because, for instance, a character is given a key to the TARDIS so it can create tension later when it could be stolen, that doesn't mean the act of the key being given isn't a story beat, and the other decisions the characters are written to make don't matter...

Movies and books aren't inherently story. If you've ever read a phone book or watched a movie clip of a relative's birthday, you'll know those aren't necessarily telling a story... But set out to tell a story with the medium, and you get a novel or a film. Similarly, while a video game can just be computerised poker, it can also be Undertale.
ABED wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:18 pm
You keep talking about "you", but stories are fundamentally not participatory.
Incorrect. This argument is a story we are both taking part in. It doesn't become a story in retrospect, it is a story in progress that we are experiencing.
ABED wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:18 pm
No, I didn't. It's not dismissive. I've not taken a stance on quality or anything. I'm purely talking about how they are classified.
Declaring that video games are inherently not a storytelling medium is dismissive. It's dismissive of the vast storytelling potential of gameplay.
ABED wrote:
Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:18 pm
Stop talking for me. If society has decided video games are just meaningless toys, that's on them. I have not even implied any agreement. By the way, comics are considered a lesser medium than cinema, and TV was (and to a point still is) considered lesser than cinema. But that has no bearing on the issue. If I argued those mediums were distinct, would you claim I was considering one better than the other for simply stating they are different? That's what you are doing here.

Video Games aren't art. They use art, but they aren't art. They are video GAMES.
They were considered lesser mediums because they were young, developing mediums, and people dismissed them, failing to see the great potential of them as art forms. These days, many people have awoken to the idea that video games are art. Meanwhile, some continue to insist that they are not art, even going as far as to point out the shallow technicality of their name. Comics countered this by at least some of them going by the term "Graphic novels", but it looks like games are unlikely to take on any such name.

You can insist that you're not being dimssive all you like, but saying video games are not art is precisely the same as people saying rock music isn't real music, or any other such dismissal of a modern medium that the given person hasn't awoken to the potential of.
Last edited by Robo4900 on Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Dragon Ball is a goofy kids cartoon from a long time ago. You take it too seriously at your own peril.
Debate the plot, characters, adaptations, dubs, etc., criticise the home video, but never lose sight of the fact that it's all just entertainment. You're supposed to enjoy it. If you're not enjoying it, just walk away.

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