Originally Posted by radon_22
I've played all but Arcanum. Planescape was a riot (Mort!), and I adored FO 1&2. But there's never the level of character development you see in Bioware games, with backstories and so on.
I don't think you have a solid understanding of character development since you only mentioned backstories (I assume of both protagonist + NPCs) which are only a single aspect of it. It is much broader than that but I will start with it for your benefit. :-)
Your statement that Planescape does not match the level of Bioware games is, frankly, laughable. Planescape, and there is not doubt about this, has the deepest protagonist ever conceived with an absolutely immense backstory that puts Bioware Bhaalspawn to total shame, even without mentioning their other pathetic efforts. More over the NPCs that can join your party have an a depth unequaled in any Bioware game.
I dare you to compare a NPC like Dak'kon or Grace to any Bioware NPC; none of those utter retards come close to that depth.
Arcanum is the same but since you have not played it, you of course know not. Honestly, since you have not played it, you're really unqualified to speak about these kind of CRPGs, which are the hardcore form that's closest to pen n paper.
But this is just backstories and, as I said, merely one aspect of character development. Much of it in Fallout, for example, does not come from backstories, but from what the player chooses or chooses not to do, based on what is perhaps the most complex stat system of any CRPG. There is a lot of cause and effect in these that penetrate the gameworld quite deeply, that no Bioware game comes close to matching.
Now I'm the one laughing here! No offense, but I'm starting to doubt you've played the game. Heck, ther are a *lot* of gray choices, and sometimes they are preferrable to light/dark choices, especially how they impact your standing with your team. And there are several choices you cannot make if, for example, your persuasion abilities are too low, greatly altering the course of several elements of the game.
OK... Cite ONE. Since you used the term "persuasion", I assume you're talking about a Bioware DnD 3.0 game like NWN? Even in Hordes of the Undredark, their least wretched effort, persuasion has nothing to do with altering the course of events at all, and is only about asking for a reward that is only marginally better than the one you would receive if CHA (and therefore persuasion skill) was a DUMPED.
Fallout and Arcanum have similar stats which allow FULL diplomatic approaches that solve not only sub quests but the whole game in entirety.
About these "heaps" of grey areas, there are none, man; you're simply deluded, I'm sorry to say. Only Planescape, Fallout and Arcanum have these and they're surprisingly complicated.
Bioware have always been light/dark, black/white, good/evil. They don't understand morality, which I guess is why they release trashy games and pass them off as "revolutionary". Most Bioware games are shackled by ADnD or DnD alignment, but don't enforce it. A chaotic neutral Bard can act like a lawful good Cleric in the role playing aspects of dialogue and choices and it WON'T MATTER ONE BIT.
And this is why I'm saying beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Bioware has made quite a few games since Baldur's Gate, and their combat systems have evolved dramatically since then. I personally like a "realtime with a pause button" combat system, but then I was never a hardcore non-pc RPGer.
I would agree that Jagged Alliance 2 combat was nice, though.
OK... so "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". A nice little cliche, that. Tell you what. You can have all objectively FAT RETARDED UGLY WOMEN and I'll have all the objectively THIN DUMB SUPER MODELS. That cool with you? ;-)
Real time with a pause != combat system of CRPG and turn based != combat system of JRPG.
Western turn based systems are the most complex of all (again, see TOEE + Jagged Alliance 2) and Japanese turn based is simplistic rubbish for children.