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Thread: Top Russian Gaming Site's Review of WOL

  1. #1

    Default Top Russian Gaming Site's Review of WOL

    Friends,

    Bellow, please find my imperfect translation of a top Russian reviewer - www.ag.ru 's - take on WOL. Here is how I came upon it:

    So as I was thinking about fellow member TychusFindlay's post on my thread of Critics to WOL Plot, I realized that he may be right and many of the sites are blogs and/or unpopular websites. Hence, I ventured into the realms of Wikipedia approved gaming sites that they use for verification of validity. The list is very extensive, noting a list of very trusted sites, genre specific, dubious, semi-trusted (with reasons listed for each) and so on. Lo and Behold, under the foreign list, a single fully approved Russian site stood out. Since I don't regularly venture into the realm of Motherland's gaming sites, I have never seen it before and I must attest that those guys must have detailed coverage of every game out there, a-la IGN-Gamespot style. Each review is written in a detailed, dedicated way and I could easily see why the site was approved as fully legit.

    So...I naturally read its SC2 review and decided to translate for you the parts discussing the story itself. It's not like there is anything here we haven't heard before, but I figured that since I can share my bilingual abilities with friends here, it would be interesting to translate the review.

    Feedback is welcome on both the review itself or my imperfect translation thereof. I sometimes had to deviate from the literal to produce context for the readers because much of the review is written with some slang, but I've tried my best to convey their message...enjoy

    Translated from http://www.ag.ru/reviews/starcraft_2_wings_of_liberty
    ================================

    [Starcraft 2] is like a vocal song, hitting the note correctly, but only with the help of Auto-Tune software. Think of it as a new cellphone model, with enough changes to fit into a standard commrcial roll...or think of it as a Summer blockbuster, with a script approved by corporate board. In other words, it's an RTS built on an old foundation in 3D. Forget about innovation or fresh ideas - cold, calculated decision-making dominates here.

    *BEGINNING* [actual title written with a play on words here probably best translated as..."beg-wussing"]

    Creators of Starcraft 2 aimed at two birds with one stone: preserve the existing multi-player for the sake of old fans and South Koreans, and crammed on a 20-hour campaign for those yearning to know the fate of Kerrigan, Jim Raynor and Zeratul.

    Result: They broke their back from all the hard work. The gist of the story is best presented by the logo "Teen" on the game's cover. Markings of the story that encase 26 missions will amaze noone but a teen who has been eternally deprived of science-fiction knowledge. Collection of an ancient artifact piece by piece, prophecy about mysterious "devourers" who noted our galaxy, terrible hybid-monsters, "chosen one" - couldn't they have come up with something cleverer in the last twelve years?

    Jim Raynor, formerly Sheriff of planet Mar-Sara, and now - mortal enemy of self-proclaimed Emeror Mengsk, embarked to become a mercenary-partisan revolutionary. For a freedom-fighter, Raynor has quite the peculiar style: at first he plays pranks by breaking statutes in a miner's camp, then turns half of Capital City into dust to gain access to central TV station. Infamous incriminating recording eventually goes on air and the mighty monarch tries to stupidly play it off, as if he's a public servant caught shaggin' his secretary who then shamefully remains in his palace. Oh my, What a touching, nice tale of how "nice guys" triumph!

    Kerrigan's side lurks with utter idiocy. Kerrigan, Queen of Blades, combining human insidiousness and insatiable appetite of a Zerg, abandoned Napoleon-like plans for cosmos domination and fell into "Emo-Fatalism" instead. I suspect the murky girl listens to "Tokio Hotel" at nights, while hugging a pet Hydralisk under the covers.

    Protoss are completely out of luck. Jim, as we know, is a devoted friend of the egg-heads, so pinning him head to head against allies wouldn't make much sense. So the writers decided to conjure up a group of kids for Raynor's target practice - they are, the ones and only: The Taldarim Guardians! In reality, they're bunch of more-or-less harmless dummies (when you're not trying to take relics away from them or pump out their gas). Reiterating the same balohoo for the nth time, poor bastards curse away, vow to do away with Raynor, and end up running back into their holes like cowardly rats. Sober representatives of the Protoss appear briefly in Zeratul's flash-backs devoted to Zeratul's adventures and one more mission [RS: guessing they mean Selendris mission].

    If you throw all secondary plot-lines away, such as like helping special forces renegades break out of prisons and colonists get rid of a dangerous virus, the juiciest part can fit into 6-7 missions. Cute scenes with new graphics engine cannot fill the void of plot-weakness and utter shallowness of literary thought. Characters are plain and primitive. You can describe each with a word or two: "double-dyed convict," "crammer," "loyal aide," "gloomy bandit," "gnome-repairman." The game's Dialogue, better nicknamed "Captain Obviousness" is filled with kiddie naivete and bizzare contradictions. "I'll follow you till the end," swears ex-convict Tachus Findly. An hour later he'll call Raynor a nutty alcoholic and, possibly out of deep devotion and friendship, throw a music box at him. Even the newscasts on TV become nothing more than silly clownish show.

    Well, no complaints about the "outer shell" of the product (presentation, graphics). Hey, we don't have the boring talking heads, right? [RS: sarcasm] We're hanging out with interactive pictures and advance the plot by sticking the mouse cursor into objects and characters. Let's add film and live actors into the mess and we get full-fledged Wing-Commander 3. Alas, there are only 4 expensive cinematics in WOL. The cheapness is easily understood - expensive CGI would have sky-rocketed the budget out of proportion.

    ***

    [RS: There is more to the review dealing with mission objectives, multiplayer, battle.net and geographic-area related points. I may finish translating the rest, but since that's the end of the story critique, I'll stop for now.]
    Last edited by RussianSpy27; 12-07-2010 at 01:49 PM.
    - So, Gerard, I suspect you have a good reason for pulling me away from my Duties.
    - Your Vodka can wait, my good Alexi.


    ================================
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8WRZcYVbVg -

    Iron man putting on armor

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAHAUJQ8qGQ -

    Tychus putting on armor
    ================================

    "Also, we've established that the [Wings of Liberty's] storyline was monkey hurlage months ago - so what's the point of all the QQ?," -Gradius

  2. #2

    Default Re: Top Russian Gaming Site's Review of WOL

    I would say it's a good review.

    There are some good moments in the story, but they are scarce.

  3. #3
    Sarov's Avatar The Enforcer
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    Default Re: Top Russian Gaming Site's Review of WOL

    This belongs in the StarCraft II Discussion forum. Moved as per request.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Top Russian Gaming Site's Review of WOL

    Spasibo Sarov!

    I should note to the readers, that upon reading more reviews of the site, the editors set very high standards for gaming storytelling, and are very rarely satisfied with a game's plot. They seem to believe that gaming story glory existed back in the days of Fallout and Planescape: Torment - the Black Isle era, with occasional good stories appearing later on, such as the KTOR. For example, reviewed ME1 and 2 (games which I love), calling them "OK and unoriginal 'B/B-' flick for a one time view," but interestingly highly praised Dragon Age: Origins for overall effort, depth of setting, lore's history and characters.

    If someone is curious and wants me to translate a review, post requests here, and if I have time, I'll try to do my best to translate the reviews. They have IGN-style vast game library, so any heard-of title should be there, I think...
    - So, Gerard, I suspect you have a good reason for pulling me away from my Duties.
    - Your Vodka can wait, my good Alexi.


    ================================
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8WRZcYVbVg -

    Iron man putting on armor

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAHAUJQ8qGQ -

    Tychus putting on armor
    ================================

    "Also, we've established that the [Wings of Liberty's] storyline was monkey hurlage months ago - so what's the point of all the QQ?," -Gradius

  5. #5

    Default Re: Top Russian Gaming Site's Review of WOL

    I seriously hope Blizzard is reading all of this. It hits every single point.

    I seriously cannot believe that the writers for Starcraft 2 knew what they were doing. I feel like the single player campaign was constructed by people who never played Starcraft and wanted to make their own impact on the gaming industry.

    The same thing happened with StarTrek Nemesis - the director never really liked Star Trek and wanted Nemesis to be his own "masterpiece of scifi" that had little to nothing to do with Star Trek.

    I get the same inkling that this happened with Starcraft 2 as well, they hired a bunch of guys for example Andy Chambers from Warhammer 40k who probably has a huge ego. They produced subpar work while the art team and the sound team made up for all the sloppy story telling with great visuals and sound.

    I'm quite sure that the vast majority of Blizzard's elite are hard at work at Titan and Starcraft 2 was born out of hiring pretty much a new team of writers / game designers (dustin browder etc, he just got hired to make SC2... like WTF?) Somewhat like the live team for MMOs.

    I mean how do you justify hiring a completely new guy to head one of your greatest franchises. Dustin Browder's designed Red Alert 2, and that's pretty much it. The rest of the game's he's in charge of are pretty poor in comparison. Why wasn't Rob Pardo lead game designer like he was in SC1, or wait he's probably lead game designer for Titan.

    I think what happened to Blizzard as a whole was that because of World of Warcraft, a lot of the great story writers and game designers left because all the company did for 8 years was a MMO. Now coming back to do an RTS, they're at a loss of talented RTS designers and story writers so they buff up their team with a bunch of big names. Just look at the voice actors, I've never seen a company actually show off voice acting other than shitty companies like EA. Who cares if Tim Curry is voicing so and so, if he's not good then all that name does for me is marketing.

    They're probably slowly getting back into the roots of story telling but I highly doubt HotS will be any consolation in that. It'll be another shallow, well presented epic about Kerrigan's personal conflicts and what it means to be Zerg.

    I think Starcraft 2 will culminate to one of the most cliche trilogy sequels ever, compared to Starwars prequels for all time.
    Last edited by Wankey; 12-07-2010 at 02:39 PM.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
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    Default Re: Top Russian Gaming Site's Review of WOL

    Quote Originally Posted by Wankey View Post
    I think Starcraft 2 will culminate to one of the most cliche trilogy sequels ever, compared to Starwars prequels for all time.
    This! I'm not a Starwars fan, but I appreciate how the SW hexology(?) has been ruined by the garbage prequels, to the point where its hard for fans to swallow the whole story (and be proud of it).

    I feel the same way about SC2.

    Also, the voice acting (or lack thereof) in SC2 is woeful.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Top Russian Gaming Site's Review of WOL

    well, pretty good review(the extended one from the source :P ) of the game with all pros and cons.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Top Russian Gaming Site's Review of WOL

    Quote Originally Posted by evillesh View Post
    well, pretty good review(the extended one from the source :P ) of the game with all pros and cons.
    I think I may need to take a translator's crash course to improve my skills
    - So, Gerard, I suspect you have a good reason for pulling me away from my Duties.
    - Your Vodka can wait, my good Alexi.


    ================================
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8WRZcYVbVg -

    Iron man putting on armor

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAHAUJQ8qGQ -

    Tychus putting on armor
    ================================

    "Also, we've established that the [Wings of Liberty's] storyline was monkey hurlage months ago - so what's the point of all the QQ?," -Gradius

  9. #9

    Default Re: Top Russian Gaming Site's Review of WOL

    Quote Originally Posted by RussianSpy27 View Post
    I think I may need to take a translator's crash course to improve my skills
    Well, if my English were more fluent and I hadn't forgot all the tenses then I could have helped you out with the translation

  10. #10

    Default Re: Top Russian Gaming Site's Review of WOL

    Quote Originally Posted by Iceman_jkh View Post
    Also, the voice acting (or lack thereof) in SC2 is woeful.
    Which just goes to show how little you know about voice acting. I can easily rattle off the top of my head any number of instances where the voice cast is single-handedly responsible for making a scene more memorable and multi-layered than it would have been on the page.
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