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Thread: My Review of the Original Starcraft Campaign (no Brood War yet)

  1. #1
    TSCR's Avatar Junior Member
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    Default My Review of the Original Starcraft Campaign (no Brood War yet)

    EDIT: First two Brood War Campaign added.

    The original Starcraft campaign was one of the best campaigns ever made. Unfortunately it doesn't get enough attention for some reason. I beleive one of those reasons is because there aren't enough reviews of it.

    Here's a link to my new blog where I analyse the entire Starcraft campaign from a literary perspective:

    http://videogamestoryplotnarrativean...l?view=sidebar

    Since this is a literary analysis it can be quite over analytical so it might not be for you unless you're a big lore nerd like me. When I analyse I tend to go as in-depth as I can so I can discover all the messages in the story. I admit that sometimes I overthink myself but I still find the overall experience enjoyable. Not everything I say may have been what Blizzard's writers intended but from my experience, I've noticed that sometimes writers subconciously put messages in their story that they originally didn't intend to put in.

    As for me, well I'm a literary student who has always been interested in the concept of story telling in video games because I beleive it has a lot of potential. Unfortunately story telling in video games has always been one of the most overshadowed concepts of video game because you don't need a good story to make a good game although it can help. I plan on dedicating my blog to analysing stories in video games and give my thoughts on what went well and not so well. Any feedback is appreciated.
    Last edited by TSCR; 05-24-2013 at 12:27 PM.

  2. #2
    Gradius's Avatar Administrator
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    Default Re: My Review of the Original Starcraft Campaign (no Brood War yet)

    This is awesome. I love how you explain the etymology and historical background behind all the names/events. I don't follow Star Wars so I had no clue the Ion Cannon was taken from that universe. Overall the article could use more editing, but I look forward to reading Overmind & The Fall.

    Quote Originally Posted by TSCR View Post
    As for me, well I'm a literary student who has always been interested in the concept of story telling in video games because I beleive it has a lot of potential. Unfortunately story telling in video games has always been one of the most overshadowed concepts of video game because you don't need a good story to make a good game although it can help. I plan on dedicating my blog to analysing stories in video games and give my thoughts on what went well and not so well. Any feedback is appreciated.
    100% agreement. I hope more companies realize the value of an engaging narrative and good worldbuilding.

  3. #3
    TSCR's Avatar Junior Member
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    Default Re: My Review of the Original Starcraft Campaign (no Brood War yet)

    Yeah sorry about my bad editing. I'm not too much of a computer guy so I'm still getting used to editing and stuff like that. Perhaps you could help me here. What do you suggest could use some editing? Going over it I noticed I still had a few typos and corrected them. Anything else?
    Last edited by TSCR; 04-27-2013 at 02:54 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: My Review of the Original Starcraft Campaign (no Brood War yet)

    I started quoting every thing I disagreed with in the review (which was a lot) and every thing I felt deserved praise for its insight (which was also a lot), but I simply don't have the drive to go through it all. Especially if we get to WoL and then the whole argument that's been going on for the last three years will flare up again, and that when it comes to writing, my time is spent between writing fiction and wiki editing. Just don't have it in me for blogs as well.

    But like I said, good post. Don't agree with everything, but it's rationally presented and well thought out. On the subject of SC1, I'd say it comes as the 2nd strongest game storywise for me in the series, and of the three campaigns storywise, I'd also rank them as 3-1-2 in terms of story, while Enslavers (which I see you've left out) comes at the bottom.

  5. #5

    Default Re: My Review of the Original Starcraft Campaign (no Brood War yet)

    Wow, there's a lot of work there and you should be commended for that. You're right in your disclaimer that there's quite a bit of "overthinking" at times but the speculation about the naming origins of the character, places, and campaigns provided some interesting trivia even if they were not actually verifiable. I'm still going through all of it but it's pretty neat so far.

    If there was but one critique I can level at you is that there were times were you worked in some of the EU to explain some of the character motivations and plot happenings but then some others where you expressed some confusion that could've been easily rectified had you sourced the manual (in fact, I don't think you referenced the manual at all in the Rebel Yell section). For example, you weren't sure why the Sons of Korhal were called that when the manual pretty much spells it out as being symbolic of the rebellion being born (hence the "Sons" part) of the nuclear holocaust that was Korhal by the Confederacy. Either way, it is only a minor issue regarding the establishment of context.

    I think the analysis could go even further by exploring the "moral ambiguity" you touched on in greater detail. The reason why I think Sc1 is a great story is that it is really a very simple story told in a very simplistic way which opens it up to interpretation. Although it's clear that Raynor is the good and Mengsk is the bad, the game doesn't really weigh in on whether Raynor's goodness/Mengsk's badness is actually reasonable or unreasonable - it's up to you to decide how you want to spin it based on what you're given. Strong cases can be made for both either way and I've found that I appreciate the characters a lot more because of this balanced perspective.
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    TSCR's Avatar Junior Member
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    Default Re: My Review of the Original Starcraft Campaign (no Brood War yet)

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawki View Post
    I started quoting every thing I disagreed with in the review (which was a lot) and every thing I felt deserved praise for its insight (which was also a lot), but I simply don't have the drive to go through it all. Especially if we get to WoL and then the whole argument that's been going on for the last three years will flare up again, and that when it comes to writing, my time is spent between writing fiction and wiki editing. Just don't have it in me for blogs as well.

    But like I said, good post. Don't agree with everything, but it's rationally presented and well thought out. On the subject of SC1, I'd say it comes as the 2nd strongest game storywise for me in the series, and of the three campaigns storywise, I'd also rank them as 3-1-2 in terms of story, while Enslavers (which I see you've left out) comes at the bottom.
    Yeah sorry but I'm not a fan of WOL so a lot of my analysis is based on pre-WOL information. I just don't think WOL respects the previous game's storyline. WOL feels more like a reboot than a sequel imo.

    Yeah I can see why some people would disagree with a couple of inferences I made but there's always a degree of subjectiveness in every story so I guess that's expected.

    I decided not to include Enslavers because it was a Bonus Campaign IIRC and I wanted to stick with information people were familiar with at the start.

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    Default Re: My Review of the Original Starcraft Campaign (no Brood War yet)

    Quote Originally Posted by Turalyon View Post
    Wow, there's a lot of work there and you should be commended for that. You're right in your disclaimer that there's quite a bit of "overthinking" at times but the speculation about the naming origins of the character, places, and campaigns provided some interesting trivia even if they were not actually verifiable. I'm still going through all of it but it's pretty neat so far.

    If there was but one critique I can level at you is that there were times were you worked in some of the EU to explain some of the character motivations and plot happenings but then some others where you expressed some confusion that could've been easily rectified had you sourced the manual (in fact, I don't think you referenced the manual at all in the Rebel Yell section). For example, you weren't sure why the Sons of Korhal were called that when the manual pretty much spells it out as being symbolic of the rebellion being born (hence the "Sons" part) of the nuclear holocaust that was Korhal by the Confederacy. Either way, it is only a minor issue regarding the establishment of context.

    I think the analysis could go even further by exploring the "moral ambiguity" you touched on in greater detail. The reason why I think Sc1 is a great story is that it is really a very simple story told in a very simplistic way which opens it up to interpretation. Although it's clear that Raynor is the good and Mengsk is the bad, the game doesn't really weigh in on whether Raynor's goodness/Mengsk's badness is actually reasonable or unreasonable - it's up to you to decide how you want to spin it based on what you're given. Strong cases can be made for both either way and I've found that I appreciate the characters a lot more because of this balanced perspective.
    It has been a while since I've looked at the manual so sorry about that. What I meant was that the name sounds like it was dictated by power rather than justice. Suppose there are two intergalactic justice organisations:

    - Justice Force
    - Aiur Justice Force

    Both are meant to be names of organisations that seek justice. However the name of the second organisation seems to imply that Aiur is the just planet and possibly anyone who rebels against it is wrong. AJF can go into any planet and impose its rule because its justice itself. Something similar can be said about the name 'Sons of Korhal' which might imply they're only fighting in the best interests of Korhal (which to an extent is true) rather than for the good of everyone.

    Thanks for the kudos though.

  8. #8

    Default Re: My Review of the Original Starcraft Campaign (no Brood War yet)

    Agreeing with Turalyon (for once), I've deleted this post and stored it, as per thread hijacking.
    Last edited by Hawki; 04-28-2013 at 04:01 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: My Review of the Original Starcraft Campaign (no Brood War yet)

    Um Hawki, shouldn't you create your own thread instead of hijacking someone elses?

    Quote Originally Posted by TSCR View Post
    Something similar can be said about the name 'Sons of Korhal' which might imply they're only fighting in the best interests of Korhal (which to an extent is true) rather than for the good of everyone.
    Not quite. If we are looking purely at the name and nothing else, the name "Sons of Korhal" is pretty prosaic. The real power of the name is in the fictional symbolic weight of what Korhal represents not what Korhal specifically was. Yes, Korhal is a single place but it was also the first to rebel against the oppressive actions of the Confederacy and from which they unjustly paid the ultimate price being nuked into oblivion. The name "Korhal" is a symbol to evoke the unjustified and disproportionate retribution bringing an end to what was once an idyllic and upstanding representation of what it means to be a 'good' Terran nation. Being a "Son of Korhal" then is to be the successor of what Korhal use to represent and to continue to fight the good fight against oppression - a group for all oppressed can look to for representation and defence of their ideals.

    On the other hand, one would definitely have a case for the etymology of a name like "Raynor's Raiders". Not only are they raiding (and all the negative connotations that brings) but they're doing it all for someone called Raynor. And this is supposed to represent the good guys - the ones who have a (supposed?) genuine cause for justice! There's either some interesting irony going on there or that Raynor is crap at PR.
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  10. #10
    TSCR's Avatar Junior Member
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    Default Re: My Review of the Original Starcraft Campaign (no Brood War yet)

    ^Well that was pretty critical.

    I tend to analyse based on merits and what the composer tries to accomplish. Back then story telling in video games wasn't that big and technology was limited so I wasn't as harsh about concepts like 'show don't tell' etc. I basically analysed it as a game which came out in the 90s by which standards it was pretty good. However we all have our opinions so that's fine with me.

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