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That fragile fourth wall

Discussion in 'Video Games' started by Halcyon Storm, Jun 29, 2017.

  1. Halcyon Storm

    Halcyon Storm Joking motive

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    Some games don't do it at all, and some make it a crucial plot element: you. Not "you", as in the character you're playing as, but you, the one controlling the character, holding the console.

    Most games, however, fall into the middle ground. They don't really make mention of the fourth wall, except for one or two lines for comedic relief, and at the beginning tutorial. Only then, it is somehow accepted to have an in-game character say "Press X to jump", and nobody bats an eye. Weird...

    Does breaking the fourth wall annoy you, because it breaks the immersion, or are you a fan of this kind of involvement? Give your opinion!
     
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  2. HeroofFire101

    HeroofFire101 Stirlingite

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    One game series that does it so well: MOTHER/EarthBound
    There.
     
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  3. Cadbberry

    Cadbberry Dad: 76.... Or Cad: 76

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    It really depends, I usually find a few touches funny, slight fourth wall breaks are humorous but if it becomes a central point then I no longer enjoy them. Such as if it becomes the whole point of it is just a game so whatever you do doesn't matter in the end (which I feel like has been done many times) really peeves me.
     
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  4. SnowboundBecca

    SnowboundBecca Scarf Enthusiast

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    It really depends for me. Sometimes they overdo it for comedic purposes, but when they actually make game mechanics and fourth-wall breaking a part of the overall canon, it may turn into either a mess or an interesting narrative. Especially for video games, where *you* are the one whose supposed to be in control.

    Such games I've recently played that do this narrative well are UnderTale and OneShot. They are both really great games, albeit pretty short games if played casually. OneShot in particular almost immediately throws the fourth wall out the window by sending you instant messages referencing *your* name, putting notes directly into your documents, and even changing your screen wallpaper, all on your freaking computer. Almost scared me with how smart they did it with most of the puzzles in that game.
     
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  5. Eclipse

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    To be fair, it is the quickest way to explain. In games where the controls aren't always intuitive, would you rather be asked to jump, or told how to jump?
    I've noticed tutorials in games tend to be at about a 50-50 split on this approach; the ones that simply tell you what to do (without calling out a button) have more intuitive controls, or are usually slower paced games that have you make and confirm selections.

    In other situations? I love a good laugh sometimes, and it's nice to see that the game knows how to joke around and not always take itself seriously. I don't expect mements moments like these to appear in every video game, but I like it when they appear now and again.
     
  6. Morgaine

    Morgaine Goddess of Shinies

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    Breaking the Fourth wall, sometimes is fun and actually a good part of the experience. But too often is bad. Also, it depends on how it is done. Some ways are better than others.
     
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  7. ConfettiCat

    ConfettiCat ( ☞ゝω・)☞

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    I can't agree with you more. EarthBound did a great job.

    Another example that I personally like is Contact for the DS, although I'll leave it to the people to decide whether it's good or bad.
     
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