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Has a game ever moved you in the way that a great book or movie does?

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Planescape Torment (which probably has the same written content as the average book) and Nier - especially if you do all four endings.

Ah yes, this is still one that sticks in my mind years later. It's a strange one as I actively dislike the game's environment due to the way it makes me feel, combined with the soundtrack there's such a feeling of palpable sadness about it all. Plus the overarching question: "What can change the nature of a man?" My brain keeps coming back to it and worrying at it like a dog with a chew toy. It's like a zen koan.

Me too. Got to about the fifth of sixth one and couldn't continue. It just seemed wrong.

Also a curious one for me as it felt like the devs were taking a risk I'd never seen in a game before. They made me so uneasy with the actions of my character and the subsequent results that I never finished the game. That must've understood that when putting it together and it struck me as a very brave move. I never saw everything they'd spent all those months labouring over because they didn't shirk from showing the impact. The only game to ever have that kind of effect on me.

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I played one of the Boku No Natsuyasumi games on PSP and before I got stuck (mostly due to very limited Japanese language skills I think - I just couldn't work out where to go) I was really overawed by the game's atmposphere. I think most of it was down to the sound. Where most developers would have slapped a load of music over the wandery action, the developers of Boku have layered on the sounds of a Japanese summer to great effect. It's mostly just crickets, truth be told, but it adds so much to the game. Shame there's no western version. I really enjoyed wandering about, capturing insects, cycling, swimming etc until I became frustrated and gave up.

I'm sure you've heard of it, but if you've got a 3DS download Attack of the Friday Monsters from the eShop - it's a Boku no Natsuyasumi lite by the series creator, Kaz Ayabe. It'll only take you a few hours to complete, but the atmosphere is whimsical and nostalgic and - as you mention - it superbly renders the feeling and pace of a long summer holiday through it's use of ambient sounds and an unreliable child narrator. I completed it a few weeks ago and the story packs quite a punch.

Shenmue, The Walking Dead, Final Fantasy Tactics (the brilliant PSP translation) and of course Virtue's Last Reward are all games that have evoked feelings similar to watching a good film or TV series unfold, with well-developed characters you'll love and love to hate. Although VLR does this bizarre mind-bending thing where it takes the plot of the greatest sci-fi TV series never released and then uses it in such a way that it would only make sense in a videogame, smashing your head through the fourth wall and leaving you a bit dazed.

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The ending to SNES RPG Terranigma got me at the time of playing it. Such a great game as well, don't think it has ever been rereleased which is a massive shame.

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[Ghost Trick] Good call. It's such a great game.

I was expecting a much more throwaway, puzzle-lite experience; didn't expect to have my socks charmed off.

It reminds me a little of my reaction to one of my all time fave movies - 'A Matter of Life and Death' with David Niven. The film you're expecting morphs into something altogether more strange, romantic, metaphysical and surreal.

Without being at all heavy.

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I was ill at the time I played Metal Gear Solid 4 in 2008, with many if the symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

My doctor essentially told me it was all in my head, and the friend I looked to for support basically told me 'doctor knows best'. I was down, still grieving over a bereavement, and felt very much alone.

But upon completing this game and finishing the narrative of a series that had so inspired me as a kid, something twigged.

Perhaps it was the 'you enjoy to deserve life' vibe of the ending, I don't know. But it was the catalyst for me to book a private appointment with a specialist, get a diagnosis, and get the ball rolling on a treatment that gave me my life back.

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Oh bugger, I forgot to mention the Ace Attourney games. Especially in the first one where

your mentor is killed in the second case, and later on defending Edgeworth in that case.

The characterisation in the games is immense; the series is so much more than the sum of its parts (which tends to be snappy dialogue and about four frames of animation per character).

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Yakuza 3 was my least favourite Yakuza, but it had some of the most moving storyline bits that hit me out of the blue.

Valkyria Chronicles was the last game I expected to turn me into an emotional wreck, but then it went and did it anyway.

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Only one mention of To The Moon

I explained the plot of To The Moon to my wife once and she started crying in the restaurant we were in at the time.

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Lost Odessey and the stories. I cried at least once. Also the funeral ritual by the sea. Very evocative. The game mechanic were a bit slow after seeing so many similar enemies & fights. Too repetitive.

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Planescape Torment obviously, books that aren't anywhere near as well written get turned into successful shows all the time.

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Dragon Age Origins was pretty awesome, particularly the final build up and ending (depending on your choices, obviously). This was before the DLC that completely negated your final decisions, of course. I remember it finished and I just sat watching the credits, with that 30 seconds to mars song, in stunned silence for a bit. Really great game, despite edges so rough you might catch tetanus.

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with that 30 seconds to mars song, in stunned silence for a bit.

Yeah, hearing 30 Seconds to Mars does that to you.

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It's interesting that RE4 is as close to the ideal game I could ever wish for yet at no point did I really give a stuff about the plot. It was genuinely tense and ever scared at times, with some terrifying sound, but I don't think I eve felt really emotionally connected with it.

I was with Eternal Darkness though. That room with the crying babies - jesus that was hard work and there wasn't even anything to do!

I thought the whole characterisation throughout was great

I've never played a Silent Hill but really want to. Can I just play 2 in isolation?

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Halo CE. The game told the story, simple yet effective( fuck the turd that came after, but still great games).

After that probably the mass effect series or half life 2.

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To The Moon

BIT.TRIP series

OOT/Majora/Mario 64/Sonic 3&K/Usual NEG love-in list.

A game doesn't have to be trying to be emotional in of itself to have an affect on you. OOT being amazing as it was IS the emotional factor by the end. Sonic 3&K for me came after playing every Master System and Mega Drive Sonic game first, so it felt like an epic finale to end all finales.

Mario thanking you for playing his game, who wouldn't be slightly touched by that?

Portal 2, the whole backstory is pretty sad when you piece it together.

There's a fair few examples if I wanted to think about it forever. Tony Hawks 3 and 4 came at a time I was pretty bored with life (no more SEGA consoles, who wouldn't be?), like, I'm not saying that too sarcastically but it's not everyday a whole different kind of genre takes your breath away and makes you excited for tomorrow and all that jazz. So those games were emotional (joyous) experiences for me.

The first time you get a S ranking in the first stage of Ikaruga, only to realize you are hardly, hardly an expert at anything in the game yet and what's to come.

Sonic Adventure for bringing my childhood into rip roaring 3D with fantastic sound and visuals when you first see the introduction causes much fist pumping of the air:

You'd have to question why you are into the hobby at all if you can't state various events from life where gaming has emotionally affected events in some way. From birthday gifts and all sorts.

Games happen to you in real time. Why wouldn't video games move you exactly as much as books or movies? Why is the thread phrased as 'ever'? Who said something had to be scripted to be meaningful to you in some way? Tsk

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Shenmue I + II, Silent Hill 2, Max Payne 2 (ending), Alan Wake (ending) and more recently, The Last of Us.

Silent Hill 2 is so far ahead of everything else it isn't even funny though. That game is a stone cold classic, nothing can touch it. Genius.

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I'm a No as well. Some games have grabbed me like a good movie (or story) does, but none anywhere like as much as a 'great' novel, or 'great' film. TLOU is probably the closest thing to a good film I've had in gaming - and it is a good story, good characterisation, script, and so on - but nah, it doesn't do what a really great film does. I won't do direct comparisons as it'd get a bit boring, but emotionally and intellectually I don't think any game can rival - or at least, has rivalled - a truly great film (or book). Just on the simplest level, I've never cried at a game (except that bit in ME2 on Insanity+ where you're on that moving platform thing and die endlessly). But I've wailed like a fucking baby at a fair few films.

They do something different though, do games. So I'm not saying they're lesser things necessarily - again, with something like TLOU (that's if there is anything really like it) you can get more engaged in the story in many ways, through your agency as a player, through interaction and discovery within the game world. And films and books can't really do that in the same way. But ultimately, I don't think anything in a game has made me feel so deeply, or has had as long-lasting or profound an impact, as the greatest books and films have had. Like, there have been good stories, characters, plots, ideas, but not really great ones. TLOU is the best, most mature piece of storytelling, acting and characterisation I've experienced in a game. But it's still not up there with, I dunno, P T Anderson, Tarkovsky, whatever. It is getting a lot closer to that level of fiction than anything else, though, so I'm certainly not saying it's beyond the reach of games.

Anyway, I think games have other strengths that make up for that. I don't expect it of them really. ME-level storytelling/emotional engagement is fine by me. Like corny space opera stuff with some shlock set pieces and a few decent jokes or whatever. Decent blockbuster fare really.

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Thinking about it "has a game moved me in a way that a great book or movie could?" Well in my eyes all the great games that are dear to me move me in ways that book's or movies never can. Thats why I fucking love videogames, im just waiting for the world to catch up.

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But saying that....all the great movies also move me in ways games also never could, if you catch my drift

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Indeed, gaming is in addition, not an exception by any means.

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The end of Iggy's Reckin' Balls when all of Iggy's Reckin' Balls form up into this massive Iggy's Reckin' Ball and shoot up off into space on an adventure but they leave Iggy behind and Iggy's running up the beach going 'nooo, come back, I love you' but it's too late the reckin' balls have left Iggy behind and now he's got nothing so he just slumps down in the sand

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Clarky's posts nail it for me. Its comparing apples and oranges.

In any case, I don't play games to feel 'moved' - I want them to provoke different responses.

Has a book ever made you feel as exhilarated as (say) Daytona in the arcades, or Super Mario Galaxy in full flow?

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