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Old 08-25-2013, 05:24 PM   #1
Taak Farst
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The Perfect Game Nail That Is So Hard To Hit On The Head

I've been playing games for a long time. Obviously, I haven't been playing games for nearly the same length of time that others my elder have been, but I have been playing video games virtually all my life. When you're a kid, you just find video games fun. It's natural, because it's a big novelty, especially up until recently (recently being around the start of current gen).

But eventually you grow up and you start becoming more of a critic of video games. It's rare that you actually genuinely enjoy those games like a kid again, because you're focused on the mechanics, the gameplay, the story, the soundtrack, does it have bugs, is it a bad console to PC port, is it this, is it that. But sometimes, a game comes through that shines for me, that I DO enjoy playing. So much so, that I even get what I like to call Post-Awesome-Game Depression. I feel horrible because it's over for a period of two-three days, sometimes longer depending on how long I have been a fan of it.

The most recent would be Saints Row IV. It, in my opinion, was awesome. I had low expectations as I didn't like Saints Row: The Third but it blew them away, and surprised me with a game that had fun gameplay, a brilliant storyline, hilarious humour, epic moments and an ending that actually made me want to clap.

I also had the feeling with the Mass Effect series. I also had the feeling with Dragon Age: Origins. I ALSO had the feeling with Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic duology. Let's compare shall we.

All of these games had an Against-All-Odds story, one consisting of a protagonist that firmly takes care of what he believes in (Shepard being Humanity, Revan being the Jedi, 'The Protagonist' being the Third Street Saints).

All of these games fight a seemingly impossible enemy (The Darkspawn, The Sith Empire, The Zin Empire, The Reapers).

All of these games make you feel a personal connection to your companions, and they make you care about the repercussions of what happens.

All of these games have epic moments (examples being the Mass Effect pre-ending speeches, the Saints Row IV pre-last mission speech and the King Alistair speech prior to the Battle For Denerim) that make you FEEL involved and FEEL like you're in that moment.

Throw in the nostalgia Mass Effect 3 had from the two previous games and the nostalgia Saints Row IV had from the three previous games and you have one hell of a mixture. That's all it is. It doesn't necessarily need fancy graphics, it doesn't need to have 101 different types of gun and it doesn't have to have a dead on serious atmosphere, (Which Saints Row proves, as it is a ridiculous game that manages to have an immersive, epic campaign) it just needs the things mentioned above. It's strange to me, just how rare these games are, that hit the nail exactly on the head and do it with utter perfection.

Feel free to disagree, feel free to agree. But either way, thank you for reading.


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Old 08-26-2013, 12:48 AM   #2
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I like to think I haven't gotten jaded over the years. I still play a whole variety of games and find a lot of games I absolutely love even in recent times and over the years to what people consider to be their "good old days"...

I've heard a lot of people from a lot of places say that gaming has somehow degenerated one way or the other, and I always find myself disagreeing with them totally. There are a lot of games out there and a lot of them are really good stuff.

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Old 08-27-2013, 11:55 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Lynk Former View Post
I've heard a lot of people from a lot of places say that gaming has somehow degenerated one way or the other, and I always find myself disagreeing with them totally. There are a lot of games out there and a lot of them are really good stuff.
The latter does not invalidate the former.
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Old 08-27-2013, 04:58 PM   #4
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Just finished Saints Row IV myself. I do agree that it's pretty fun and the ridiculousness is what drew me to the previous one and this one as well, so it's a big plus in my book.

It's true though, as I grew up I too became more and more critical of "modern" video game design. There are still good games out there, however I do dislike how vastly homogenized it has all become. I prefer variety even within one genre (for example, it used to be shooter and cover-shooter, now it's (cover) shooter and the occasional action shooter, whatever that is) and I especially expect variety between different genres, but I'll end it there to avoid going into a rant.

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Old 08-28-2013, 01:42 AM   #5
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@ DP: People tend forget about all of the terrible games made in past generations. It's as if they never existed at all... so, has gaming degenerated? No... there's a variety of stuff out there to choose from if you're able to take your eyes off of the few games that generate a large spotlight.

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Old 08-28-2013, 02:44 AM   #6
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I doubt anyone would be foolish enough to claim there we never any bad games in "the old days". Whether or not the ratio of good to bad between then and now has changed, for either better or worse, is entirely subjective, but I'm not even talking about that. Corporatisation has driven the industry in directions we scare could have imagined back in the "classic" era. There were dodgy practices even back then, but these days the industry is increasingly all about milking consumers dry of every last cent. I own my own business, so I have a passing familiarity with the concept of profitability. However, making a profit is one thing, ruthlessly exploiting your customers is something different. So yes, I would indeed argue that gaming has degenerated. Whether or not there are good games coming out is entirely beside the point.
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Old 08-28-2013, 02:50 AM   #7
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I usually jump between bouts of reviewer criticism and childhood glee. Recent games that matched the latter include:

Portal, Portal 2
Team Fortress 2
The Walking Dead
XCOM: Enemy Unknown
Dark Souls
Brütal Legend
Sleeping Dogs
Dishonored

If there's anything they all have in common, it is a strong, unwavering commitment to the world and story [XCOM being a possible exception, it's kind of eh in its world], with no concessions or asides. If a game can tell a story well in a creatively-developed world, I'm hooked to it. I imagine the reason I don't feel that for more games is because I'm already exposed to so many tropes and clichés that mire others. All of these game on the other hand, were either very original, or did things in a original way.


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Old 08-28-2013, 03:13 AM   #8
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I've always disliked how the top voices in gaming from magazines, websites, etc. judge and rate video games. It seems some games, like Call of Duty for example will always be at the top. I'm not saying it deserves that spot, but it will be there. Partly because it's a huge franchise and partly because it's a shooting game and that's what a lot of people want statistically. I wish other genres of games were given a bigger look and were treated as equal. For example, I could make the worlds best Tetris game, yet because it's a puzzle game, not a very popular genre compared to others, it would go unnoticed. Even if it deserved a 10, it would probably go unrated by the media because it's not in demand. The same thing happens with a lot of indie games too, but things are getting better now.


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Old 08-28-2013, 07:59 AM   #9
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Politics isn't the right term, more like economics. It seems pretty hard to me to talk about the state of the industry in general and specific game quality and not make at least some reference to it. Things like annualisation and content split out as DLC don't have an impact? It seems to me that there are a hell of a lot more things to dislike about games these days, beyond just a simple "it was bad".

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For example, I could make the worlds best Tetris game, yet because it's a puzzle game, not a very popular genre compared to others, it would go unnoticed.
If you are not paying for your reviews, you're not doing it right.
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:36 AM   #10
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When marketing is the entire forefront OF gaming, I can agree that gaming has degenerated due to it. I can think of countless of games with terrible marketing schemes but one example; The Sims 3.

If I wanted all the content possibly available for that game i'd have to spend £445+ (I did the math ;D) which is quite frankly ridiculous and you're not paying for much if you actually consider that a lot of that content is 'item packs' and the like. Many of the expansions are just rehashed expansions from the Sims 2 that in my opinion should have been in the Sims 3 on launch (one example being The Sims 3: Pets)

EDIT: And another, as much as I love Saints Row IV, it has to be said. There's like 20 different DLC packs that are literally just outfits for Saints Row: The Third. There's already two that have been released for SRIV.

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If you are not paying for your reviews, you're not doing it right.
And this.



Last edited by Taak Farst; 08-28-2013 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 08-28-2013, 10:49 AM   #11
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If I wanted all the content possibly available for that game i'd have to spend £445+ (I did the math ;D)
Along those lines, didn't Mass Effect 3 have some crazy high number in the thousands of dollars because they made certain DLC only available with $100 action figures?

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And another, as much as I love Saints Row IV, it has to be said. There's like 20 different DLC packs that are literally just outfits for Saints Row: The Third. There's already two that have been released for SRIV.
Even better, for a lot of that content it seems all you are paying for is an unlock code, as it is already included in the game files. Plus the fact that SR4 is already just re-purposed DLC for SR3 sold at full price makes it even more galling.
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:19 AM   #12
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Along those lines, didn't Mass Effect 3 have some crazy high number in the thousands of dollars because they made certain DLC only available with $100 action figures?

Even better, for a lot of that content it seems all you are paying for is an unlock code, as it is already included in the game files. Plus the fact that SR4 is already just re-purposed DLC for SR3 sold at full price makes it even more galling.
While I thoroughly enjoyed it, I can definitely agree about the re-purposed DLC thing. I do debate that, often. It definitely FEELS like a standalone expansion pack, given the re-used assets such as Steelport, guns, outfits etc. but it makes a lot of it work (with the whole thing being a simulation) and considering how much I enjoyed the game it's hard to put it down too much for it.

And yes I remember looking at the action figures with the exclusive DLC, totally ridiculous, sometimes.


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Old 08-28-2013, 06:08 AM   #13
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@ DP: Oh, I thought we were talking about the games themselves... not video game industry politics. I'm kind of getting sick of talking about that kind of thing to be honest... :\

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Old 08-28-2013, 10:07 AM   #14
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I can't seem to understand today's games and their preference for bringing out shooters. Take Call of Duty. They release the 10th CoD game this year and I don't know how they could achieve this kind of popularity.

But due to the technology advancing over the last decade, there are a lot more powerful computers than 10 years before. I know of one family, they have got 3 Computers and all of them are more powerful than mine (which I consider powerful). And they don't even use every Computer for gaming. That would be an explanation why there are more gamers than before.

And there are people that hang on to the 'good' games. Think about it. If people didn't go crazy about Portal 1, they wouldn't have brought Portal 2, which is just Portal 1 only with some attention brought to it. And Portal 1 wasn't that big of deal when it came out. Though everybody knew Portal 2.

That takes me back to playing Prince of Persia 1 on our old Dos machine...


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Old 08-28-2013, 05:03 PM   #15
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Oh, I totally agree that DLC and industry BS is... BS, but even with all of that going on, there are still great games out there. The established power bases can degenerate as much as they want, but video games as a whole isn't degenerating, th eonly thing that's happening is that some of the old guard is getting fat and bloated and will, one way or the other, end their own existence or become irrelevant, thus allowing others to take their place.

And just to put this out there, there was a lot to hate about games back in the "olden days" of gaming too. For example, Nintendo ruling with an iron fist, censoring the hell out of everything, treating developers like crap, a bunch of developers making really crappy licensed games (cause we all LOVE shaq fu, don't we, such a classic) and stuff we've all forgotten about because we can only remember the best of what happened in the past.

Stuff sucks, companies are greedy and are trying to find new ways to sucker people out of their money, etc, etc. What's new?

As for the games themselves, I still stand by what I said, it's coming from different places, but gaming is still pretty consistant in it's level of greatness even if it's not coming from the same people/companies that made it great in previous years/generations.

Meanwhile, Wonderful 101 and Pikmin 3 are both phenomenal games... though, none of the people here seem to play games on Nintendo systems so they may as well not exist and be 100% ignored to have ever existed.

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Old 08-28-2013, 10:38 PM   #16
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Meanwhile, Wonderful 101 and Pikmin 3 are both phenomenal games... though, none of the people here seem to play games on Nintendo systems so they may as well not exist and be 100% ignored to have ever existed.
That's a bitter way of putting it, and I do agree to an extent, but realise that family/child-orientated games like them (although they can be appreciated by adults) are pretty much (arguably) an entirely different market. It almost feels like Nintendo has a market, and the rest of gaming has a market. Triple AAA = Microsoft, Sony. Family = Nintendo. That's just how I see it. Unfortunately, and understandably, the bigger market is the Triple AAA one, and therefore the most exploited.

Apologies if this seems to be written incoherently. I just put my thoughts on the subject on text.


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Old 08-29-2013, 12:54 AM   #17
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It almost feels like Nintendo has a market, and the rest of gaming has a market. Triple AAA = Microsoft, Sony. Family = Nintendo. That's just how I see it. Unfortunately, and understandably, the bigger market is the Triple AAA one, and therefore the most exploited.
I think that's how most consumers see it. And I'll admit I do as well. Pokemon and a couple Kingdom Hearts games aside, there's nothing on Nintendo consoles that interests me.
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Old 08-29-2013, 05:03 AM   #18
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@ Taak: What is "AAA"? I've never understood this concept... because, what people claim to be "AAA" often ends up being everything everyone complains about and are the kinds of games that are apparently degenerating the entire video game industry.

And yeah, it really does come down to being a perception thing. You say Nintendo = Family, but while half of the games Nintendo produces are family orientated, the other half is challenge/core orientated and half from each group fit somewhere in the middle and provide a little from both. However, the fact that Nintendo is like this wasn't the point I was bringing up...

The point I was trying to get people to see is that there are a lot of games people just don't want to play for whatever reason. Nintendo is the best example of this, and while you may interpret it as a bitter tone, I see it as a completely realistic tone. All of these games, whether they're from Nintendo or someone else may as well not exist in your eyes and to a lot of people, they don't.

So if they don't exist, people tend to end up making blanket statements about how the industry is doomed, it's consuming itself, degenerating, detookajuubs! ...etc, because they end up narrowing their vision of what the video game industry is to very specific things and then saying "that's how it is across the entire thing, it's all bad now" ...when it's not.

Sure, lots of crappy games get released, lots of games disappoint, lots of companies do really terrible things, but none of this is new and 10-20 years from now, all we'll ever remember are the best things that happened during this time and even think more fondly of them than we do now.




Also, to put Nintendo into perspective, both Call of Duty: Black Ops on 360 and Super Mario Galaxy on Wii sold around 12 million copies. Just because they're not "AAA" doesn't mean they aren't relevant or are part of a lesser or different market. They're not in a different market, they're ALL video games. The only difference is that you don't give a **** about those particular games lol.





Also... holy ****, I'm back to the other side again. I've been spending a lot of time on Miiverse the last few months, the social network on Wii U if you haven't heard of it, and there's a whole bunch of Nintendo fans saying exactly what you guys say, but from the opposite extreme and I'm there defending games outside of Nintendo consoles the same way I'm defending Nintendo games here... why am I doing this to myself?

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Old 08-29-2013, 06:01 AM   #19
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why am I doing this to myself?
Schizophrenia?
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Old 08-29-2013, 08:42 AM   #20
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Probably

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Old 08-29-2013, 12:45 PM   #21
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Don't get me wrong, Nintendo are still very successful in my eyes. If I remember correctly, the top ten best selling games of all time are from Nintendo (citation needed).

I do agree that there are good games out there that people don't want to play for whatever reason. But there ARE reasons. Not only does Nintendo cater for a different audience, they're also an entirely different culture (Japanese, IIRC) and that style has never appealed to me. I find most JRPGs really boring, for example. Also, do realise that I am naive, and that everything I say on this subject is based purely on my young perception of the market, and not based off solid facts and statistics. And from what I can tell, AAA games are big budget, commercial games.

I just think Western gamers prefer different, more mature things. Again, correct me if I am totally wrong.


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Old 08-29-2013, 01:31 PM   #22
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Much of the industry as we know it was founded on and shaped by Japanese games and games companies. Chances are there are plenty of games you like that were either directly or indirectly Japanese in origin. Ever played an arcade game for example? There's a 99% chance that came from Japan.
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Old 08-29-2013, 03:09 PM   #23
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Quote:
I just think Western gamers prefer different, more mature things. Again, correct me if I am totally wrong.
You're totally wrong

At least in assuming the majority of western gamers prefer... "more mature things"... I don't even know what that means. Blood? Violence? Nudity? Or simply "not kiddy/cartoonish" things? Or is it storytelling? There are plenty of great examples of very mature and wellmade storytelling in Japanese games... and even with Nintendo games. Ever played Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn? Two of my favourite games of all time due to the story that spans both games. Tackles a lot of really hard issues such as racism, genocide, religious zealots, etc, etc.

There are some games that do fall into the extreme areas where "only Japanese people would like this" or "only western people would like this" but those are pretty niche kind of games for the most part.

Though, one truth to acknowledge is that western games tend not to be quite so popular in Japan. But Japanese games in the west? Extremely popular with many people for many different reasons, not just because it's a family game or a really weird animu thing or whatever.

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Old 09-06-2013, 08:48 PM   #24
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Which is why we should get Macross games in North America.

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Old 09-06-2013, 09:14 PM   #25
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Which reminds me... I need to get Macross 30.

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