Topic: Love Interests, Romance, and all that lovey-dovey stuff  (Read 632 times)

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Offline Ailanthus

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« on: September 02, 2015, 11:34:02 AM »
These are elements that are in very many games, and RPGs are hardly ever without at least a touch of them.

So, which games had success in these areas ?
Any love interests that you liked ?
Any romances that felt believable or especially enjoyable ?
What about times that you felt these were done... not so well ?

Share your thoughts on those you feel strongly about~

 :gsexclamatory: Warning: Spoilers are free game !
Kinda hard to explain what you really liked or not about a relationship if you're trying to leave important events out of the discussion.

While the thread is not for shipping discussion, some mentions are acceptable if you're trying to use it as an example of implied romance done well or something similar.
Also, the relationship need not be the main focus of the game or involve the main characters. Use whatever examples you want.

So, I'll start off by just saying it. I can't think of a single instance where I enjoyed these elements in any game I've played.
Not one case. I'm not without a favored ship or two here and there, but I just haven't enjoyed any attempts at romance.
I haven't fallen for a love interest, much less even liked them. Can't even think of one between side characters that I liked. (Though, hey maybe there was one. I just can't think of it.)
It's not that I don't think these can be done well, or that I'm vehemently against romance. (Though I started to believe that might be the case for a good while there.)
I just haven't.
So, guess I'll just be ranting about particular characters/tropes that get on my nerves.
Another thing about it all though. In RPGs, I don't think I'd dislike any of the characters I'll be going on about quite so much (if at all) if I didn't feel like I was being forced into a romance with them in many cases.
How sad it is that we give up on people who are just like us. ~ Fred Rogers

Offline Star Magician

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« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2015, 01:11:09 PM »
This topic always instantly reminds me of the Ar Tonelico series, and since I've played 3 of those games, I can say I have a more educated opinion about them than I did when I mentioned it on the other thread.

AT1 and AT3 are pretty much the same in that they are a missed opportunity due to how the game portrays its characters. You can choose to romance your playable hero with one of two heroines who are, for the most part, stereotypical trope characters. There is also a late third character who is a bit more unique, but I'll get to that in a minute.
Each heroine is an artificial lifeform whom you can enter the mind of and bond with in a dating sim-like mini game. In this "soulspace", you help each character overcome their fears, traumas, and other emotional obstacles, and in return, the heroines become stronger and get more abilities for battle. This is a fantastic idea, but is spoilt by the way the game was written. None of the characters can be taken seriously. When this soulspace is reserved for cringeworthy jokes, fanservice and blatantly obvious personality metaphors that attempt to make each heroine more interesting, the soulspace is, to me, a complete drag.
But then, you get a third heroine pretty close to the end of the game who is generally more interesting and important to the game's actual story. So, even if you do feel like you enjoyed one of the first two romances, you could suddenly switch gears close to the end of the game.
>"Hey, I know I spent the last 40 hours of this game with you, but I'm dumping you for this awesome robot girl now. Thought I'd mention it before I get rekt by this last boss. Just sayin'"

Ar Nosurge, however, does things a bit better. You control two heroes, each with their own love interest. In the soulspace, you spend more time learning each character's mind through their relationships with other characters in the game. I can't say I liked either romance all that much, due to the same issues the other games have (i.e. not taking anything seriously, making light of serious mental/emotional issues, etc.), but it's better and more believable than the ridiculous mini-harem that tags along with your main character.