There are typically three major parts to any video game: story, game-play and music. A video game that lacks any one of those components nowadays probably wouldn’t do very well. That’s not saying those games wouldn’t be great in their own right, but they definitely have trouble gaining popularity among most gamers.
Undoubtedly, the story is perhaps the most important aspect of any game because it offers the player insight regarding the ultimate goal of the game. On the contrary, some games present a vague semblance of a story and make up for it with excellent game-play and soundtrack to boot.
There are many games out there that are critically acclaimed for having stories that immerse you in a world more fantastical than anything you could have ever imagined. These games pit the player against seemingly insurmountable obstacles and illicit feelings of desperation as the odds are stacked higher and higher.
Then, when all seems lost, it is up to the player to turn the tide and emerge victorious. But all of this would mean nothing if there wasn’t a story to bring all of those parts together and create those feelings of dread, desperation and desolation.
Often times, the story makes the game. “Final Fantasy VII” and “Chrono Trigger” are both acclaimed as being the “best games ever made” by a large majority of gamers, and that’s because of the storylines. The games had standard turn-based battle systems and amazing soundtracks, but their stories are what set them apart from other role-playing game.
Truthfully, there are games out there that can still be magnificent despite a weak storyline. Games like these rely heavily on atmosphere, game play and a soundtrack to tie it all together. Granted, these are few and far between because it is often an arduous task to blend the three elements listed above in a way that justifies the lack of a competent story.
The “Metroid” series is a prime example. For the longest time, all anyone knew was that the main character was a space bounty hunter named Samus who set out to defeat space pirates. What resulted were games that perfectly blended atmosphere, game-play and music.
When it comes down to it though, a game lacking even one of the essential parts won’t be successful. A game without music is just a life simulator. A game without a story is just a mindless interactive kill-fest. And a game without game-play is not a game at all.
But if there was going to be an emphasis on any one part, it should be story. After all, a gamer needs to know why he’s about to slay dragons in mass quantities and steal their souls.