A story is one thing, but how the story is told is often just as important. The following titles featured some of the best scripted dialogue in the genre. Be it for sarcastic wit, over-the-top zaniness, or good old British humor, these games featured lines that entertained even if the plots might not have been as grand as offered from other titles.
There are many RPGamer staff members who are tepid about trying out western RPGs, openly admitting that they haven't played enough of them. Thanks to BioWare, they are realizing lately just what they are missing out on in games that truly let you role-play in them. Mass Effect 2's script is quite possibly one of the tightest written we've ever seen in a video game. The game is all about considering various possibilities, and each scenario is given ample thought and consideration. Part of the joy that comes from playing Mass Effect 2 comes from seeing how the player is able to transform the plot based on his or her own personal decisions. The writing throughout the game is solid, strong, providing so much depth that it's easy to get completely absorbed into the plot. The game even provides a few moments that attempt to pull at one's heart strings and feel the panic of what it means to enter the realm of the unknown. Mass Effect 2 really gives power to the player within its writing, providing so much versatility, making it hard to deny its top spot in our awards for best script.
Resonance of Fate does not have the typical massively verbose story you'd expect from the same company that brought us the Star Ocean series. No, what Resonance of Fate does instead is use a futuristic sci-fi setting as a backdrop to tell the story of its main characters. There's a plot there, to be sure, and an interesting one, but it's not the focal point. The script truly brings these characters to life, and Sega needs to be given some major credit for doing an amazing job with the localization. It's not all your typical melodrama either, as there's plenty of humor in the game, in cut-scenes and more organically during story missions. It's just refreshing to not see the typical, spiky-haired angst-filled heroes you typically see in Japanese RPGs these days. These heroes aren't even out to try and save the world, or stop some kind of ultimate evil. They're just normal (somewhat), deeply flawed people, trying to survive in a futuristic world gone mad.
The Fable series has always injected a healthy dose of Monty Python into its otherwise-standard fantasy formula, and Fable III employed some excellent writers to assist in that task. We dare anybody to listen to the singing garden gnomes without cracking up, or fail to smile at the sardonic comments of Jasper the butler. Along with humour, the writers have injected quite a bit of personality into the game's main characters, especially the villains such as the brooding Logan and the rakishly diabolical Reaver. Say what you want about Fable III's plot; the script itself is well-written and often hilarious.
by Becky Cunningham, Michael Cunningham, Michael Apps, Sam Marchello