Follow TV Tropes
This review has spoilers.
It wasn't because of the gameplay. That was actually rather fun. It wasn't the art style or music. I rather liked those. It wasn't the characters. While archetypal, I liked most of them as well. The problem was the game's story.
After a certain point in the story, it turns into another, "God is Evil and we must save humanity from Him!" story that's so popular amongst JRPG's, complete with the requisite speech from the hero about how humanity has become too awesome and Gods would just hold us back. I've never liked this plot for a few reasons: I'm a religious person, so I feel personally insulted, the plot always feels rather simplistic, with the "God" usually being an uninteresting Flat Character, and a lot of Unfortunate Implications: The "God" and attendant religion are usually based heavily on Christianity, a minority religion in Japan that's historically been persecuted. But Stella Glow adds an extra problem to my list of complaints.
The "God" in this game is a giant, evil moon crystal made of humanity's negative aspects that wants to wipe humanity out. Why do all of the characters call it God? Why couldn't the hero have made his whole speech about how they're going to beat back the GEMC? Why is he talking about how great and awesome humanity is when the enemy they can barely hope to fight is made out of all of humanity's flaws? They're taking themes that I don't like and putting them over a narrative that they don't actually fit.
This is a good game in many ways, but it would be so much better if the writers had tried to deviate from the ISO standard JRPG plot just a little.
Welp, and here is a review I don\'t agree with at all.
First of all, your main reason for quitting the game is because they call their final boss a God. Am sorry, but if that isn\'t the most petty of reasons to leave the game. The game isn\'t trying to critic Christianity at all.
Second, you say that the God is a flat character, but that is wrong. God is fleshed out when you notice that God is both Eve and Mary. They have personalities and character arcs both of them go through. Maybe you were trying to reference Cartesia? And if that was the case then you didn\'t understood her character at all. She\'s all the hatred of humanity personified, of course she will be plain and one-note.
Third, there are parts of your review that makes me think that you didn\'t finish the game. Here are some examples:
-\"Why do all of the characters call it God?\": The reason is said in the game, is because nobody that is alive at this point in time knows Mother Qualia. All that they know is that there\'s a being in the moon that can create angels and, because only celestial beings should be able to do so, they reason that said being is a God.
-\"Why couldn\'t the hero have made his whole speech about how they\'re going to beat back the GEMC?\": Simple, because, besides his friends, nobody else in the kingdom knows about Mother Qualia, so his speech wouldn\'t have made sense for anybody else. Not only that, but this is part of a conduct that they were taught since they were kids and conducts are hard to change.
-\"Why is he talking about how great and awesome humanity is when the enemy they can barely hope to fight is made out of all of humanity\'s flaws?\": And this is the major reason why I think that you haven\'t even finished the game. You think that there was only 1 humanity but actually there were at least 3 different humanities: One brought itself to near extinction with wars, the second one was nearly exterminated thanks to the Mother Qualia and were are playing during the third one. Alto is making reference to the second and third ones when he says that.
And as my fourth and final point, this quote right here exemplifies perfectly my biggest gripe with your review:\"They\'re taking themes that I don\'t like and putting them over a narrative that they don\'t actually fit.\" You are biased. You are using that bias to critic this game, you really shouldn\'t do that. If you will review something then you have to be as unbiased as possible.
Since when? Reviews ultimately come down to whether that person enjoyed the work, or not, based on what they did and didn't like about it. Bias is always gonna be factor.
I personally don't care for first-person shooters (or first-person gaming, in general), which is why I won't touch any of 'em. If a game I reviewed ever forced a first-person segment, you'd better believe I'm gonna gripe about it and consider it a "Con".
If any aspect of a work rubs someone the wrong way, there's no reason they shouldn't be allowed to say so.
Not having played the game, I have to ask: how much are the worshippers to this deity coded as Catholic? And how common is this really in JRPGs? Final Fantasy X does it, but the Church of Yevon is not given specifically Christian trappings.
@Miin U: That's why I said "as unbiased as possible" not "unbiased period." I know that taking away your opinion from a review is nearly impossible, but he isn't even trying. I mean, there's a reason why you will never see me review GTA V, simply because I don't like the main basis of said game, but even then I can agree that is a very well made and polished game. But he couldn't do that, he let his hatred for the "against Catholicism" part of the game (that doesn't even exist, mind you) cloud his better judgement. And that cannot be a con, after all, for something to be a con it has to be something the developers could have fixed but they cannot fix something that has to do with personal preference, that's why reducing the score of a game thanks to that is unfair.
@Reymma: I could say the same about the religion of this game. God is barely mentioned during part 1 and God is mentioned in bad light during part 2 (understandably so, seeing how God is attacking humanity) so it shouldn't even be compared to Catholicism.
I don\'t know much about this game, but if there\'s isn\'t a clear alusion to a real life religion, then the reviewer does come off as oversensitive.
Aren\'t many of the deities from real religions and mythologies called that? you call him God because you\'re western and Judeo/cristian religion is the most popular belief system. The same could be said as to why do you call him God and not Yahweh.
@marcellX: The allusions to real-life religion in this game are non-existent. At best what they do is borrow the basics of how a rligion works to explain theirs.
The use of a singular \"God\", addressed as such, with servants referred to as \"Angels\" definitely draws more on Christianity than either of the major religions in Japan, since Shinto is a mixture of polytheism and animism and Buddhism places most of its focus on human spiritual leaders. And let\'s be frank: How often does any work of Japanese media mention Judaism, Islam, Sihkism, or Baha\'i? But you\'re also missing the whole thrust of that speech: that worship, or the idea that humanity isn\'t superior to anything, is a backwards, dated idea that modern people are just too good for, which is a sentiment some atheists do have.
@Mister Tambourine Man: Am sorry but that still doesn't cut it. You are nitpicking at best, seeing how all they did was create a very basic religion. They called their God, well, God (even when they should have called it Goddess because it is female but I digress) and its servants Angels but is something every fiction does, create a God that has servants. At best what you can say is that they got inspired by it, not that they were trying to insult it. The only reason why God is a popular villain in RP Gs is because with that writers can tell an story of overcoming your own limits, where the protagonists can grow, learn and become strong. They do this because they can equal levels to the power of the character.
Am gonna say that you overreacted over this non-issue.
Again, gotta say, as an outsider looking it, it really sounds like you\'re being oversensitive and reaching. It also seems like you somewhat know this as your reply was mostly about setting strange parameters so your argument \"could\" work.
That\'s rather fallacious don\'t you think? not to mention, that...they might even take from/are inspired/etc. more from judaism than christianity, with the kabbalah, merkabah, etc. (probably because judaism is more mystic).
Your argument is, they\'re referencing christianity because they use a monoteistic system and Japan\'s other main religions aren\'t, also I don\'t think they use other monoteistic very often. See how that sounds? it\'s like saying coming back from the dead in a Soulsborne has to be alluding to Jesus.
Angels are not a universal feature of religion. Neither is monotheism, nor referring to that singular god as simply \"God\". Those are features of a few specific religions that emerged from interrelated cultures. I gave specific examples of real-world religions that do not have those features. If the game was, for example, a sun goddess demanding everyone obey her son or some spiritualist deciding, after days of meditation, that existence is suffering so he should destroy the world, I would not feel that it were commenting on Christianity.
And that disregards some of the other issues I brought up; this is all used for the game\'s villains. It\'s stuff that\'s set up in a negative starting from the opening cutscene. And then the main character makes that speech I brought up, the typcial \"We\'re too good for gods\" spiel even when it\'s already been explained to him exactly what the enemy is. You can try citing ideas of habit or culture in-universe, but just because you can come up with a Watsonian reason doesn\'t mean that there\'s no Doylist reason.
@Mister Tambourine Man: \"Angels\" maybe not, but servants on lower ranks sure are, they are the same thing with a different name. As for the \"monotheism\" part? That depends on the writer. Remember that we are talking about video games here, not real life, so the religions highly depend on what the writer wants. For example: In Chrono Trigger the God of that game is trying to devour humanity but it is highly venerated by both the magician and lizardmen cultures (sorry, being so long since I played Chrono Trigger to remember how they are called) and they aren\'t trying to insult Christianity, now are they?. Again, simply because a villain is based on a religion doesn\'t meant that they were trying to bash or insult it. Otherwise, if we follow your logic, then you just did that, you insulted their religion by arguing that they could have made the villain based on their religion. Why is it fine when you do it but wrong when somebody else creates a villain basing themselves on your religion?.
No, this game doesn\'t set God as the villain from the very beginning. It sets the Harbingers as the villains, and it isn\'t until the second half were God is seen in a negative light. And I mean (and this goes for the speech part too), how couldn\'t they see God as a villain? Didn\'t God just attack humanity and exterminated a good portion of it? And we could see that happening!.
As for the spiel in itself and how Alto (or Elcrest at this point) worded it, he say it like he did because, apart from those in his party and 2 or 3 other people, nobody else knew the truth behind their God and he didn\'t want to confuse everybody. And no, they didn\'t have time to explain everything, they had to prepare for the fight ahead of them.
I feel like this is gonna turn int a big, long, drag out thing, going in circles, so I'll just say this: As an outsider looking in, your complaints seem overeacted, oversensitive and reaching and your defense of them come off more as a conspiracy theory.
I will say one thing. Seeing deities in a bad light is not even a new concept in real life. There are religions/mytholigies that see them as forces out of their control and/or understanding who don't necesarily have their best interest in mind and they just have to deal with it. Yaweh is a minority in their stated infalability and goodness.
The main character makes a big, heroic speech about how God is a backwards idea humans have \'grown beyond\', and I\'m being paranoid and overly-sensitive for claiming that the game has a negative stance towards religion? And I mean the idea of religion in general for this game. I brought up issues relating to real-world religions as part of my explanation as to why this is a Pet-Peeve Trope of mine. I never thought this game was going after Christianity in particular- that argument got put in my mouth by one of the commenters.
But the problem is that you are ignoring why he made that speech to begin with. God was killing all humans. How can you be surprised that they are against somebody that is being evil? What, were you expecting for them to discover that God wanted all of them dead and that they would just accept it? That would mean that they got brainwashed thanks to their religion.
As for why the developers made God evil, it has to do with power. It is usually accepted that nothing should be stronger than a God, and we as humans love to surpass limits and I would say, surpassing a God makes for a good story.
As a side-note: the only reason why I brought Christianity in my original reply was because you used it as an example and that's the religion I have the most contact with.
The issue here is that most people on this site don\'t seem to be super religious, and don\'t take offense to things that criticize the idea of a God or make a God that\'s evil and needs to be defeated. You have the right to be upset about things, but you should also take a deep breath and consider that a LOT of works are VERY...kind to religion, to put it lightly, and take the opposite side of \"every person who doesn\'t agree with the idea of God is evil or stupid\". Would you consider THIS sort of criticism offensive to the same extent?
Anyway, yeah, a game was made with an atheistic-slant. Why is that necessarily a bad thing?
Leave a Comment:
Community Showcase More
How well does it match the trope?