Heroes Rise Is A True CS IF Game Series

It’s not expressing your opinion that’s a problem, and you should of course be allowed to have a negative opinion if that’s how you feel. I think that what’s being objected to is the tendency to repeat the same arguments over again even in unrelated topics, which is thr point where imo it just becomes unecessary vitriol.

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We find it good. Using the logic you used earlier we shouldnt need any other reasons but I want more details from you so I dont write you off as you just being an angry person who like bashing stuff they dont like. If you dont want to explain why you hate it so much and why we should hate it too then Why should I care about what you have to say. Literally all you do is claim its the worst game on here and then mock us and call us censors when we say the non stop unexplained hate is getting old. You’re not bringing anything to the discussion other than that you hate the game so much and that somehow we’re wrong but you’re not pointing out what could have been different, just that you hate it and we should too. Claiming we’re the ones who started the debate by saying its good make no sense.

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I can say that the bashing of HR has become uncomfortable and I am not even fond of the trilogi. Can we just agree that critism of HR goes into the HR thread and no place else?

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Is this necessary? It seems like a personal attack on me. You’ve included a few such inferences in every post you’ve made in this thread. Perhaps, you’d rather take this to PM or even flag my posts if you feel offense at them …

I’d very much like you to back your claim that this is not a CS game or an IF(CYOA) game. Under the industry-standard rules and conventions that apply in contests and with publishers (not only CoG but including them) the HR series qualifies as defined as interactive fiction:

The Hero Rise series meets these definitions and can factually be shown to be interactive fiction. I know we live in a world of alternative facts and in a world where true facts are often called lies, this community and this forum should not be one of those places.


I fear you misread my post. Since, as @Gower indicates, the words, “tamper down” seems to be triggering you, I will rewrite that sentence; I hope this will end your focus on me and perhaps allow you to contribute to the conversation as a whole.

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It’s cool that you don’t like it. It’s hard to argue someone into liking something, and I wouldn’t want to. I guess one thing I would note is that we can also talk about the difference between the game being aesthetically good and the game being important.

As for me, I was not crazy about the game, but it was important to my development as a writer and served as a jumping off point and an inspiration for how I might construct my story and code.

I teach my students tons of texts that they “don’t like” and indeed think are total crab. But then we get past that and talk about why they are important or useful as influences or whatever. I had never thought about the idea of a slow burn of a relationship across multiple games in interactive fiction, for example, just to pick one small thing.

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How am I not making sense. Literally how is asking you to explain your position not making any sense. All we do is ask for a reason why we should dislike this game more than others and your answer is alway that we’re wrong cause you dont like the game. This is not a logic answer and I wont let you pretend you’re right just cause you say so. You have not given any point to support what you say other than critisizing us. If you refuse to explain your position dont expect me to give your opinion any credibility. I said I like HR and that its not more railroaded than most other choice of games titles. You said you hate it and we’re wrong. You made it clear that all you want to do is bash the game without giving any reasons why. You cant just say you hate everything and expect it to be a reasonable answer. Its not my job to save HR but if you’re gonna tell me I’m wrong for liking it I at least expect a reason other than “I dont like it”. You called Eiwynn post asking to stop the useless bashing censorship and then went on a rant about how you hate this game and asked us to save the game in your eyes while literally all we want is someone to explain why the hell HR is supposed to be worst than other titles. How is it censorship if you dont even want to explain your opinion.

Getting back to the discussion at hand: The CS IF game has changed in both subtle and in non-subtle ways. I think this series was one of the first in the IF-genre to be focused on inclusion of gender and preference both. Most of the “classical” IF books/games of the 1990’s era did not do this.

Heroes Rise was only the second series and 5th overall game in the CoG library and the first “super-hero” game to my knowledge to do this.

What has changed over the years is what “inclusive” means and I feel it is much more nuanced then it once was, From enby inclusion to gender-preference I think the term inclusive is more encompassing now then ever before.

I think this is important to acknowledge because a game is a work of its time and as such, it has limitations tied to that time. This doesn’t disqualify Heroes Rise as an IF game just as the gender-locking books from the 1990’s does not disqualify those “games”.

There are many more such important evolutionary elements in HR - things that CoG as a publisher was focused on getting included in the Choice Script version of Interactive Fiction.

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What definition Choice of Games (as a company) uses to define those two terms?

This is what I see repeated in several places:

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My question would be, what is the agreed definition of multiple-choice interactions?

For me of the currently published superhero stories I like Unmasked far better, due to the fact of actually feeling like I had a choices there. Plus the twin is an awesome element too.
As for the worse games out there, don’t get me started on HR’s sequels. :unamused:

Cute male RO’s who are into a male mc are one of my favourite elements to almost any game too. Not absolutely vital, depending on the game, but very much appreciated nonetheless.

You know I think that has been the biggest sore spot for me personally, the same as it was with the Mass-Effect series by Bioware. By the third installment significant improvements had been made, but then along came Andromeda, which was so utterly disappointing to me, well that’s how the sequel to HR made me feel too. However the fact that I don’t like it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad game, it just means I don’t like it.

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Eh, that still forces you into a relationship, although at least one that is pretty necessary for the plot. Plus I ended up missing the chance to romance Firebrand, despite the fact that I easily had enough relationship points, simply because I failed to trip some switch somewhere along the way. :man_shrugging:t2: Meanwhile, in Hosted Games, Paradigm City suffers from Dead Boyfriend Syndrome (and that part was very railroady), feels incomplete, and has a very bad final battle; Best of Us doesn’t even feel like a complete part of a story, and felt pretty railroady even though I only played through it once; and CCH is definitely incomplete, suffers from stat-choicing to a degree, and is home to a character who actually makes me feel ill. So, yeah, none of them is perfect.

I have found myself being more forgiving of games with good male ROs, yes… :sweat_smile:

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That’s true, the same criticism can also be leveled at Psy High with its forced attraction to certain character.
I guess as an only child I can occasionally suffer from “sibling envy” and be more drawn to and forgiving of games with those elements too. Identical twins/doppelgangers also scratches one of my niche interests I guess.
Still Unmasked isn’t perfect but of the currently published superhero games it’s certainly the one I like best.

Elaboration time for the thing above: (all subjective, bare with me)

To say that HR is a ‘true’ CS game and a CYOA because it uses the engine and has ‘choices’…
Is a little not optimal.
Because going by how the story, the characters, the world is written, these choices seem there because the guidelines requires it, not because the author wanted to write a CYOA at all.
This does include the gender and sexuality options.
The way things are written the story was never meant for anything but a straight, male protagonist.
I’d even go as far as to say straight, white male protag.
All, and I mean, ALL female characters are in one way or the other misogynic clichés, not one is fleshed out.

Let’s look at the ROs. People say it’s a CYOA because there’s multiple ROs.
There aren’t.
There’s BlackMagic. The others are half-hearted and half-arsed caricatures written in because either the plot or the fans demanded it.:

The best example here might be Jury and BlackMagic.
They are, by behavior identical.
But Jury gets called a creep the player wants nothing to do with, while BlackMagic is forgiven literally everything she (not they, keep in mind, she’s written as the 'hot sultry woman who uses her body to get stuff and who needs a REAL man to show her she’s more than her boobs-cliché) does, which is far far far beyond the stuff Jury pulls. Or at least the plot is pushed that way.

And please, don’t try to correct me and say ‘but jury is the son of…’ here’s the problem:
Going by everything the author gives us, Victon was ACTUALLY only doing his job when he throw the MCs parents into jail. There’s no (at least I could not find one) mention that he’s responsible for the previous ‘excessive hero on villain violence’ as the author puts it. Which means, for all means and purposes, conspiracy or not, at the end of the day he did do his job.
So the justifications that we’re presented with for the MCs behavior are threadbare and bratty.

Jury was never intended as a RO, and it shows. Same with Prodigal, who doesn’t even get a NAME. Pick either, and the game will ridicule you.
And Lucky? Lucky is only there to be the ‘nice girl’ to BlackMagic’s ‘hot woman’ for the sheer purpose of the show. Again, not meant as a RO at all.

So, the argument that it is a CYOA because you have multilple ROs falls flat.

Now, the more important thing. The branching.
Where?
The game has none.
The ‘legend guide’ (which itself is a mockery of a good CYOA) tells the reader they’ll be rewarded for staying ‘true to their idea of what a hero is’.
Which is, objectively false.
Because if your idea of a hero is someone helping those in need, you’re screwed.
You want to save people?
First game alone the only way to do so is by NOT being out to help people and be kind, because only then can you use your powers to save them.
How is that even related?
You get punished for showing common sense and human decency and compassion.
Be a spotlight-hogging brat or you’ll kill hundreds.
Now, one might argue that one does not have to play the FAME path in order to get enough Legend points, but here’s the stinger: From game 2 on you practically need the warning system which you can only get if you saved the reporter in game one (unless you fork over real money).
Which means in order to get points there you must have always gone for fame.

The game is not designed as a CYOA by default.

Thus, it can’t be called one.

HR is a very typical first outing of an author like we see so many others out there.
There is potential in it for an awesome CYOA game, but up to this day the author does not appear to hold even the slightest interest in improving his craft.

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There’s a lot of judgment calls on Sergi’s character in here that are really not necessary. Especially given how branchy his second series, Versus, is, saying that he has no interest in writing a CoG game is just incorrect. Not all of your criticisms are completely wrong–I don’t think anyone has argued that the games are flawless–but your personal opinions don’t mean that the game doesn’t meet the criteria for being an IF work, which it is. Saying that it can’t be called a CYOA because you feel like the author was basing his story on something more static is like saying Harry Potter doesn’t count as a film series because it was originally novels. It’s in this medium for a reason, and while you clearly feel that it leaves something to be desired as an example of the usage of that medium (I can think of some comics I feel similarly about) that doesn’t mean it can be excluded. It’s about as branchy as any of the other early games–Dragon, Broadsides, etc–and I don’t see their statuses as CYOA being up for debate in the same way.

Personally, I disagree with most of your opinions. I thought most of the characterization was, for the most part, compelling and solid (exploration and embellishment on tropes that have already done are different from just flat examples of those tropes–whether that extension lands well or not, it is there); the warning system is undeniably helpful, but the narration and choice text make it pretty easy to tell what you’re supposed to do in any given situation, so it isn’t a necessity by any means; Sergi is himself a gay man and has spoken at length about the need for inclusive media, so while his implementation of that ideal may or may not be up to whatever value of snuff the reader has, saying that he writes only for straight men is pretty incorrect and not something I’ve ever felt while reading his work; and as someone who plays a kind character who helps people and spares lives at every opportunity and still managed to pass every Legend check, I have to say I’m pretty confused by your assertion that the game only rewards one playstyle.

And for what it’s worth, the reason Victon’s actions were still bad before the conspiracy was revealed was because, as the narration touches on, the MC’s parents were punished far more harshly than was the norm. Legal precedent would have had them not even serving a jail sentence, so him sending them into a life sentence in something akin to solitary confinement can be considered unjust and cruel punishment.

The game didn’t work for you, that’s fine. But to say that the author doesn’t care about his craft is a little over the line

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I think you are assuming many things. You assume the author never wanted to write a CYOA to begin with. You assume there is only one true RO because… you don’t like the others? You assume there is no gender and sexuality to choose from and that the protagonist doesn’t make sense if they are not a straight, white male. That is your opinion. But I can tell you that is definitely not the game I have played.

I’ve picked my character, and she was a woman. A straight woman, so Black Magic was not a “hot sultry woman who uses her body to get stuff”. Black Magic was a man and a character I was personally emotionally invested in and cared about.

Jury is my second favorite RO and yes, while his “romance” was more of a footnote, the relationship between him and the MC throughout the series and how it developed was, for me, an interesting and entertaining dynamic.

Jenny, our best friend, was one of my favorite characters as was our grandmother. So I also have to disagree with you that “no character was developed”. They felt developed enough to me. And I could even identify with the MC, even tho we were strongly “encouraged” to play a certain way. But like you said, a lot more games suffer from the same.

Is Heros Rise perfect? Of course not. There are problems with it and I think it is important for people to be able to express their opinion and discuss the games.

But like many others, it was HR that introduced me to COG and even interactive fiction in general and because of it, it will always have a soft spot in my heart. The feeling I got when I first started playing it, being able to choose my gender and watch my character grow from a rookie hero with shinning innocent eyes to a jaded strong veteran that has seen and lived through so much was indescribable.

So, by all means, criticize and judge the game at will, but to say it is not a “true” CYOA game is kinda like denying all the people that do love it, or have loved it, the enjoyment we got from it. Love it or hate it, it is a game. Whether it’s a good or a bad one is, of course, up to each one of us.

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My biggest problem with Heroes Rise, disregarding any talk of whether it’s a good CYOA game or not (I’d argue that it isn’t, even if it’s popular – something can be popular without being particularly good) but it’s extremely puerile handling of sex and sexuality. I also think the game is borderline fetishistic at certain points, which is really disturbing when the whole thing is presented as a story that’s pointed towards young teens.

The socio-politics of the game are flat out disturbing, from characters being (repeatedly) described by the size of their breasts, to characters being flamboyant stereotypes, to those with physical/mental disabilities are described as being less than human… I could go on.

The game world/lore is incredibly inconsistent.

It has Pay2Win DLC.

You are expected to make certain choices as they are the truly optimal ones.

The protagonist actually makes very few choices. Many of them are made for you by other characters. The number of times where a choice is dealt with by something like ‘then something explodes and you are knocked down’ or ‘then a NPC does it for you’ is staggering.

As an addendum to the above, the game does not respect some of the choices you can make. Take, for example, a choice early in the trilogy where you get the option to infilitrate a hideout. If you pick it, you don’t infiltrate in the slightest. You walk through the front door in full costume.

It also commits the cardinal sin of choices that alter the game retroactively.

It’s extremely good at making players feel like they have choices. I’m not sure how. It might be because it was, as people in this thread say, their first point of exposure to the genre. But I can overlook poor structuring if the content is fine. But I find the content of the HR trilogy incredibly gross.

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Everything else in your post I either touched upon already, or don’t disagree with (even if I feel like it’s something the author has improved upon), but I don’t think this ever happens?

Sergi definitely has a habit of describing a lot of his characters as being very attractive, but I feel like that’s more of a relic of the superhero genre generally being populated with characters that the audience is supposed to find especially stunning

I could be misremembering but when I play every character who can be female is, and I can only think of one character where breast size specifically might have come up

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I am not arguing whether the game is a good or bad IF-game. There are people (even in this thread) that are arguing that HR isnt an IF-game and that is what I think the community should reach a consensus on.

Whether it is good or bad or a little of both good and bad is opinion but the game itself is an IF game and I don’t think anyone in this community should take that very important fact away from Sergi.

If people claimed your games were not IF, I’d say the same thing: Yes they are… good, bad or indifferent, both your games and Sergi’s games are IF - both of you deserve the respect to have your games identified as such.

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Whenever Processor shows up, or is even mentioned, everyone goes on about her ‘legendary rack’ (one part computer pun but mostly sexual innuendo). There are other characters who are described in ways like ‘spilling out of her corset’, for example. Basically, there’s a difference between making it clear that a character is attractive and pointing out how much you, the player, find them physically appealing.

Sergi has definitely improved, yes. It’s the first HR game which is definitely the most… odd. He reins certain things in by the second game but there are still certain traits and proclivities that persist.

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