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Rii
18-06-2011, 12:50 AM
There's nothing wrong with being in the majority. Indeed, those who adopt contrarian positions merely for their own sake are some of the most irksome of commentators. Yet an individual whose views always align with the majority is less a man than a sheep. So what are your minority views on games and/or gaming? Maybe you parade them about like a badge of honour, maybe you hide them away in a mental closet; regardless: what are they?

Here's me:

The Witcher is a better game than The Witcher 2
Ok, you can take this one with mountainous piles of salt and indeed I reserve the right to alter my assessment at any time. I haven't yet finished The Witcher 2 (I'm partway through Act 2) and the version of The Witcher I played was the heavily patched Enhanced Edition of the game. The upshot of the latter is that I played it only recently, and so the comparison is particularly clear in my mind.

Enough with the preliminaries, though: The Witcher has the more interesting plot, with more personal connections, less reliance on labyrinthine politics, and clear motivations for our hero, Geralt. Whereas with The Witcher 2 I'm forever finding myself asking "why do I care about this, again?" And sure, the answers are there, but they're not particularly satisfying on an emotional level. Of course all this could change as I get further into it: The Witcher was only elevated in my esteem in this respect from 'pretty good' to 'fucking awesome' in its final moments. Less likely to change is my preference for the UI and combat system of The Witcher over those of its sequel. The one-sentence summary is that The Witcher 2 is stylish, but clumsy, emphasising presentation over functionality and responsiveness. And damnit I liked the timing system of TW1. The sad thing is that most of what I don't like about TW2 can be traced back to the developer's intention to port it to Xbox 360, in a bizarre case of port syndrome propagating backwards through time like in that episode of Star Trek.

EDIT: Finished the game. All of the above still holds. Pity.

Bioshock 2 is a better game than Bioshock
For starters, Sophia Lamb is a more interesting character than Andrew Ryan, not least of all on account of her uniquely compelling voice. As an Anarcho-Socialist I have a great deal of sympathy for both, although it was clear from the outset where I diverged from Andrew Ryan's libertarianism whereas in the case of Sophia Lamb it was more a process of discovering where exactly it was that she ran off the rails. In any case, Ryan, his philosophy and his Rapture are further explored in Bioshock 2. Also on the thematic level, Bioshock 2 offers a compelling - if not particularly nuanced - tale of fatherhood and binds the player to Eleanor as firmly as the compulsion to which Subject Delta has been subjected. 'How She Sees The World' is fucking brilliant. Bioshock set a very high bar insofar as plot, themes and characterisation go, and Bioshock 2 only falls short in its inability to match 'Would You Kindly'. In its own way, though, it's every bit the achievement that Bioshock was. Oh I'll give you that Bioshock 2 only has one memorable secondary character in Grace Holloway to match the two in Bioshock: Dr. Suchong and Sander Cohen.

In most other respects Bioshock 2 is flatly superior to its predecessor. The gun/plasmid mechanics are better, the hacking minigame is better, there's less annoying backtracking, Big Sisters remain a frightening opponent throughout the game whereas Big Daddies did not. What else? No jarring boss battle at the end, the Little Sister escort missions actually work well in that they allow you to set traps and otherwise encourage you to make full use of your arsenal of abilities, the moral choice system is improved, Rapture - specifically its nature as a freaking underwater city - is more effectively realised. Oh, and the ending (at least the goody two-shoes ending that I got) made me cry. Bioshock's didn't.

Wind Waker was awesome
The aesthetic was glorious, screw all you haters. Nintendo evidently agrees as they returned to it with Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks on the DS, and the upcoming Skyward Sword is some kind of bizarre impressionistic hybrid, symbolic of Nintendo's determination not to abandon the aesthetic merely on account of a bunch of twats complaining about it. Furthermore, on account of its cel-shaded aesthetic Wind Waker still looks good today whereas grimdark Twilight Princess looks as dated as it is. The sailing was glorious too. Sure, having to change the direction of the wind could get to be a pain, but the actual experience of sailing was wonderfully relaxing.

Might add a few more later but I think I've done enough typing for the moment. Your turn!

Heliocentric
18-06-2011, 01:12 AM
Oblivions main quest was good
Oblivion was the first open world game many of its players had played. Saying go anywhere was as good as pushing them out of a flying plane and telling them to aim for a pool of water and swan dive.

The main quest dragged you to 90% of the maps hubs, and if you forgot about fast travel gave you many opportunities to bump into interesting areas. But the greatest trick the main quest served, it allowed you to disobey. Pawn off the holy jewels, buy some kick ass (for 5 minutes) armour, punch a guard, enter the arena, rob a house and/or eat a farms worth of carrots.

Non of these things would have felt free but instead pointless were a weight not hanging from your neck telling you to finish the main quest.

For me the main quest was the most important part of oblivion, not completing it, but defying it. Once i finished the quest and noticed the world was the same i drifted from the game, the magic was gone. This is how I intend to treat all future Bethesda RPG's like the main quest is the framework the whole world hangs from, taking it away doesn't make the world better.

References: See Kill Strelok, save princess peach, find/defeat Saren and all of your mandatory objectives in bioshock.

ColOfNature
18-06-2011, 01:30 AM
... an individual whose views are always in concert with the majority is less a man than a sheep, and in any case promises to bring nothing of interest or value to a conversation...

A little harsh perhaps? :)

Wizardry
18-06-2011, 01:50 AM
I'm a pretty controversial guy.

LittleLizard
18-06-2011, 01:57 AM
Mass Effect 2 CANNOT be considered a RPG

It's more of a third person shooter with a hell of a story, and the particularity that decisions affect the game a bit. But is not an rpg, not even a hybrid. It's too focused on killing & dialogue. There is no inventory, no crafting, few secrets.

Anthile
18-06-2011, 02:06 AM
Mass Effect 2 CANNOT be considered a RPG

It's more of a third person shooter with a hell of a story, and the particularity that decisions affect the game a bit. But is not an rpg, not even a hybrid. It's too focused on killing & dialogue. There is no inventory, no crafting, few secrets.

Nope.
"A role-playing game (RPG) is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting, or through a process of structured decision-making or character development.[1] Actions taken within the game succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RPG_(Game))

TillEulenspiegel
18-06-2011, 02:16 AM
Two can play the Wikipedia game.


Computer-Rollenspiel, oft kurz RPG (von engl. computer role-playing game), bezeichnet ein Genre der Computerspiele, dessen Wurzeln hauptsächlich in den Pen-&-Paper-Rollenspielen liegen, von denen grundlegende Abläufe und Spielmechaniken übernommen werden. Der Hauptunterschied zwischen Pen-&-Paper-Rollenspiel und Computer-Rollenspiel ist, dass die Aufgaben des Spielleiters vom Computer übernommen werden. Dadurch bewegt sich die Handlung von Computer-Rollenspielen in deutlich engeren Bahnen, die durch die Spielentwickler vorgegeben sind.
In brief, a CRPG is essentially a computer adaptation of a pen & paper RPG, with a computer in place of the DM. So say ze Germans.

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer-Rollenspiel

Thants
18-06-2011, 02:16 AM
It seems like almost every game would be an RPG based on that definition.

ColOfNature
18-06-2011, 02:19 AM
Nope.
"A role-playing game (RPG) is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Players take responsibility for acting out these roles within a narrative, either through literal acting, or through a process of structured decision-making or character development.[1] Actions taken within the game succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RPG_%28Game%29)

By this definition every game is a role-playing game.

Edit: dammit.

Wizardry
18-06-2011, 02:29 AM
Hey! An argument about the definition of an RPG that I didn't actually start! Awesome! By the way, CRPGs are indeed based on pen and paper RPGs. The first CRPGs were written by D&D fanatics on mainframes at universities. Ultima was born from many attempts by Garriott to create D&D-likes. The Wizardry guys created Wizardry to emulate D&D for home computers.

So yeah. You can't dispute its origins at least.

mashakos
18-06-2011, 02:33 AM
It seems like almost every game would be an RPG based on that definition.


By this definition every game is a role-playing game.

Edit: dammit.not really. While I agree that a lot of games require you to play as a character, the gameplay in most of them entails skill based or tactical challenges. According to the definition an RPG allows you to make decisions that affect the path a character leads through a game's plot. This differs from other games where the plot developments relating to your character play out the same way no matter how well or badly you played as long as you continue to progress. This applies to linear or sandbox games, haven't played a COD game where you can suddenly become a terrorist (edit: war protester makes more sense actually) or a GTA game where you can gain a conscience and become an undercover agent for the police (unless it's scripted by the developers).


"There is no inventory, no crafting, few secrets. "
That sounds like hoarding to me. An Action Hoarding Game - AHG.

deano2099
18-06-2011, 04:29 AM
There is no inventory, no crafting, few secrets.

There's a selection of weapons and armor that you can expand and choose load outs (inventory) and I seem to remember scanning planets for resources which I then used to make ship improvements (crafting).

Trying to define an RPG is pointless, as I've said before, best definition to go with is that an RPG is anything a developer chooses to call an RPG. Because shooters sure as hell sell better, so if Mass Effect is a shooter, then someone really screwed up the marketing on it.

Anthile
18-06-2011, 04:47 AM
I didn't intend to start a discussion on defining genres because, as already pointed out, it's a futile debate. I was fully aware that posting the wikipedia quote would do this but at the same time I could not help myself, because LittleLizard's posting sounded too much like "My daughter will not marry one of these nouveau riche" to go uncommented.

The need to define genres is about as pointless as it gets. The implication is that RPGs are somehow better games simply by the virtue of being, well, RPGs and I feel that most of these discussions are fuelled by like or dislike, instead of scientific curiosity.
According to the definition I posted, a roleplaying game is a game where one plays a role. By this definition, virtually every video game is a RPG. According to TillEulenspiegel's definition, a RPG is defined by either being explicitly based on a P&P system (like D&D, Shadowrun, The Dark Eye, etc.) or having its roots in them, with similar mechanics. The backbone of a P&P system is the character and this character is usually defined via ability scores of sorts. There are freeform P&P systems like The Window which can have extremely arbitrary abilities and on the other hand there are systems like GURPS or Rifts, which basically require you to hire a book keeper to keep track of what's going on. These ability scores (or whatever they are called in-game) are usually modified by a random value and compared to another value, that must be overcome, in order to make the game more exciting because going into a battle knowing for sure that you will win (or lose) for certain is not very entertaining. I don't know if there is a P&P system that uses no random elements at all, but I doubt a system that primitive would ever see a commercial release.
So what does this mean? Is every strategy game where a unit deals a random amount of damage is also a RPG? I guess not because traditionally, the focal point of a P&P RPG is usually a single, sentient character and controlling more than a couple of characters drift the game into wargame/strategy game territory, which is closely related but not quite the same and they even may overlap at times. Another aspect are action RPGs. Excluding LARPing and similar activities, you are mostly just a voice inside your character's head, that tells him what to do. You describe an action, look for a fitting ability score and then apply the random value, if possible. The point is, that your character has usually exceptional skills or at least ones that are different from your own and you are unable to apply them to your character. For example, you may have great reflexes and your character is very strong but those two skills exist independently from each other. Now a video game allows you to add your own skills to that of your character - to some degree at least. An action RPG is defined over that it gives you more direct control over a character while still having ability scores and allows you to perform actions for which conventional RPG system are just too bureaucratic. By that definition, Mass Effect is an action RPG.

And this is what happens when you ask people to define things. It will just make people unhappy.

JackShandy
18-06-2011, 04:53 AM
RPG's are pretty murky things, but I'd say it's about building a character. That's it. You could put it on a sliding scale from Action RPG to Pure RPG, based on Character skill VS player skill, how much aspects of your character you get to define, stuff like that. But defining your character is what it's about.

EDIT: Oh, we've decided this debate is silly. Never mind, then.

Wunce
18-06-2011, 05:05 AM
Conventional RPG experience mechanics are awful

Maybe I'm playing the wrong RPG's, but I don't like any form of leveling or experience. I don't want to grind just so I can beat a boss. I don't want a game where in certain areas I am near invincible because I can take 30 sword slashes as if they were a single bee sting.

I always believe (probably due to my background in adventure/platforming) that experience is in every game, but it's you developing skills not your character. This is why I can't play MMO's: its all about time spent not skill.

This trend of introducing the RPG elements of experience and leveling in FPS's is getting really annoying because it seems that people forget how repetitive a game is provided that a shiny new level awaits them ($10 says there would be less complaints about Far Cry 2 being repetitive if you leveled up after a few of those respawning checkpoints).

Disclaimer: all talk about something in general doesn't apply to everything, so don't say "this is the exception" as I may be aware of it.

LowKey
18-06-2011, 05:19 AM
sometimes... sometimes I like games that are not on the PC...

pl4t0
18-06-2011, 05:21 AM
Far Cry 2 was actually awesome

Because it was a world, not a sandbox. An open, free world with some of the best open-world mechanics I've ever seen.

Honestly, the respawning guards and number of bullets an enemy could take were the only visual problems I could see with the game. Even then, neither of them mattered to me - respawning guards just meant more action (they were easily dealt with, and there were enough alternate routes to avoid them, though I don't suppose I'll miss them in Far Cry 3), and durable enemies just meant longer, more intense firefights.

Safehouses, diamond-hunting, weapon degradation, and hang gliders (not to mention the Jackal's tapes) were all brilliant rewards for exploration. Using the diamonds to purchase weapons that you unlocked for the rest of the game, with a semi-RPG progression was similarly genius.

Flawed in many places - outweighed by the sheer heft of its size, freedom, exploration, diversity (yes, diversity), and generally-smart design (barring the few exceptions).

icupnimpn2
18-06-2011, 06:00 AM
I don't want gore in games, or foul language, or sex.

I want smartly written, good, clean fun. And I think that if the games industry weren't so busy trying to prove how "mature" it is we would all enjoy better games. Take Red Faction: Guerrilla. It's an awesome game to play, but nothing takes me out of the moment more than characters using the f-word every other second. Many games use swear words aggressively to fill holes in poor scripts. It's tiresome, unrealistic, and I won't pay for it.

I don't want gibs that spray everywhere in Team Fortress 2. I want to play a cartoony shooter. And 99% of the time I am. But when someone gets blown up, well, ok there's a bloody severed head rolling around. I do not like seeing the body mutilated.

I don't want sex in games. I'm married. I love my wife. In my belief system, adultery and unfaithfulness start in the mind. I do not want a game to provide incentives to hook up with different characters.

DarkNoghri
18-06-2011, 06:53 AM
Take Red Faction: Guerrilla. It's an awesome game to play, but nothing takes me out of the moment more than characters using the f-word every other second

Wait, what? I've beaten RF:G, and I have no recollection of this. I tend to notice, because it's something that annoys me.

BobsLawnService
18-06-2011, 06:58 AM
Alpha Protocol is far superior to Mass Effect 2 in every way except for polish.

1. Mass Effects combat was shallow compared to the combat in Alpha Protocol.
2. Alpha Protocol had choices throughout the game that meant you were creating your own story to a much greater extent.
3. The story in Mass Effect 2 completely deviated grom the lore of the universe as laid out in the first game.
4. The setting of Alpha Protocol was a breath of fresh air compared to ME 2's hackneyed boring space opera tropes.
5. The minigames of Mass Effect 2 were putrid while Alpha Protocol's were just a bit annoying.
6. The characters in Alpha Protocol were extremely well written compared to the cardbored cutouts of Mass Effect 2 and the dialogue was funnier and better written.

I teally don't get how gamers and especially critics can fawn all over Mass Effect 2 and write Alpha Protocol off. Everyone complains that the major studios never try anything new and unique and when they do they just slag them off and reach straight for the polished cover based shooter with glazed looks in their eyes.

vinraith
18-06-2011, 07:20 AM
@BobsLawnService

For my part, every attempt I've made to play Alpha Protocol has been derailed by the very first hacking minigame. It's impenetrable, both with mouse/keyboard and with controller, as far as I can tell. Mineral scanning may have been an RSI-inducing bore, but it didn't bring the entire game to a grinding halt.

ran93r
18-06-2011, 08:26 AM
Wind Waker was awesome

Honestly Wind Waker still stands as my favourite Zelda title, the art style is amazing and I still hear the sailing theme in my head years later.

As for my own: Thief: Deadly Shadows (T3) was a more immersive experience than the previous versions. A good chunk of that opinion is down to the graphical update but I also appreciated the third person view, not for full time use but it was great being able to look around more than was previously possible. For immersions sake I turned off item highlighting which I agree wasn't really required but the story, the levels and the overall atmosphere of the game put the first two to shame.

Rii
18-06-2011, 08:53 AM
A little harsh perhaps? :)

Maybe, but then such an individual is more an imaginary construct than anything else. I guess the underlying idea is that it doesn't so much matter what your opinion is regarding a particular game so long as you have non-retarded reasons for holding it. If your only reason (acknowledged or otherwise) is 'durr, because that's what everyone else sez' then you're not much use to anyone. Except Politicians.


I always believe (probably due to my background in adventure/platforming) that experience is in every game, but it's you developing skills not your character.

If the game is done well the two should go hand in hand, in that more complex skills, mechanics and interrelationships open up as you become more familiar with the game. Opening everything up to the player from the word 'go' would probably confuse and overwhelm them as well as, yes, denying them the satisfaction and anticipation of accomplishment which comes from measured progression.


Far Cry 2 was actually awesome

Because it was a world, not a sandbox. An open, free world with some of the best open-world mechanics I've ever seen.

Safehouses, diamond-hunting, weapon degradation, and hang gliders (not to mention the Jackal's tapes) were all brilliant rewards for exploration. Using the diamonds to purchase weapons that you unlocked for the rest of the game, with a semi-RPG progression was similarly genius.

Flawed in many places - outweighed by the sheer heft of its size, freedom, exploration, diversity (yes, diversity), and generally-smart design (barring the few exceptions).

I've not had the chance to play FC2 yet, but I am at least interested in doing so, which is more than I can say for FC3.


I don't want gore in games, or foul language, or sex.

I want smartly written, good, clean fun. And I think that if the games industry weren't so busy trying to prove how "mature" it is we would all enjoy better games.

For the most part the games industry's idea of maturity is decidedly adolescent. The 'Mature' tag from the ESRB is a cruel joke. And yeah, the way the guy says it at the end of all those trailers makes it sound like it's a boast: "Look at me, I'm so hardcore."

I look forward to the creation of games that one can actually describe as 'mature' with a straight face. That doesn't mean that they wouldn't include sex, gore or obscenities, as those things are all part of the human experience and have as much a place in games as in film or any other art form, but ... context, nuance, restraint, taste. Games could certainly use more of that.

hamster
18-06-2011, 09:02 AM
FEAR 1 is a masterpiece. Excellent action, cool enemies, intriguing (boilerplate mystery) plot, compelling atmosphere...heart pounding multi player action: it had it all. The office/warehouse complex was NOT a repetitive mess. I actually thought it was rather refreshing, and creepy (the ordeal juxtaposed with a banal everyday environment). Furthermore, the scarcity of major enemies (heavies, ninjas) made their appearances v. impactful and consequently gave them a sense of identity.

BobsLawnService
18-06-2011, 09:29 AM
@BobsLawnService

For my part, every attempt I've made to play Alpha Protocol has been derailed by the very first hacking minigame. It's impenetrable, both with mouse/keyboard and with controller, as far as I can tell. Mineral scanning may have been an RSI-inducing bore, but it didn't bring the entire game to a grinding halt.

The mineral mining minigame was utterly tedious to me and I'd really love to know what the hell the developers were thinking with that weird driving the Normandy around until you run out of space petrol gig. This coming from someone who loved finding ways to explore planets using the Mako of the original game.

I guess it just boils down to personal preference but except for a few late game hacks I had no problem with the hacking minigame with the mouse and keyboard. I found it to be an intense challenge requiring focus and concentration as opposed to ME2 in which the minigames were without either and just something to mindlessly click through to get to the end. Kind of like the game itself.

Flint
18-06-2011, 09:50 AM
1) I like cutscenes. This might be less conventional only on RPS but still. I think a cutscene can be a great reward after a tight, challenging part of the game. They can be excellent at setting the tone and mood of areas. They give more depth to plot and exposition. When beating the game, I don't think you'll ever really get a proper feel of a closure if there's no cutscene or animation of any kind giving you a closure for the plot and setting. Sure, when you go overkill with cutscenes it can be frustrating (hello MGS4) but I'll never find "taking control away from the player" a bad thing automatically.

2) The first Unreal is amazing. These days it's merely brushed off as graphics display after HL arrived some months after it was released but there's definitely more to it than just the looks. It's much more of an exploration game than a shooter: the main focus is on the atmosphere and navigating through the alien world, with the occasional enemies to deliver the needed action parts. Gorgeous music and wonderful level design. In my list of games I'd love to see remade, Unreal is on the top (to iron some of its niggles out and give it back its admittedly gorgeous graphical splendour). I'd generally love to see continuation to the first game but sadly I think Unreal has become synonymous with only Tournaments these days.

3) The L4D2 crew > the L4D crew. Don't get me wrong, I love Louis, Bill, Francis and Zoey massively but the four characters on the second game feel a bit more... real as opposed to the first game's more trope-a-licious crew. The second game feels more like four genuine people stuck in a terrible situation and trying to get out and it gives the game a wonderful atmosphere that lasts even through when you're co-oping with friends and being a bit silly.

5) I can't understand WASD. It's always felt clunky, cramped and downright illogical to me. I grew up on games where arrow keys were the de facto controlling standard, and for a long long time I thought this was the default for everyone for any game. I was quite puzzled and confused to find out that this bizarre WASD thing was not only commonplace but the general standard.

Also, some console-specific ones:

6) Wind Waker was awesome. One of my favourite games ever in fact. I agree with the OP here.

7) Starfox Adventures is the best of the series. Nothing to do with the space-shooter games? Don't care, I got so much more enjoyment out of this one than the others.

8) Sonic is a series that's still going strong, and in fact I prefer a lot of the modern 3D mainline series (ie the big spotlight games, not the Wii-exclusive spinoffs etc) to the old 2D games, which mainly act as nostalgia fodder only for me. Sonic 06 was terrible sure, but other than that it's still a fun, great series and Sonic Generations is going to be one of my Gaming Events of the year.

------------

Re: the Alpha Protocol hacking minigame. I was stuck on the first one for ages, but after I completed that the next ones took far less time and eventually you find the perfect flow for it. It's an awkward minigame but once you get the gist of how to approach them, it stops becoming a harassing chore. The skill points to improve hacking helps as well, obviously.

Heliocentric
18-06-2011, 10:03 AM
I need to object on the minigames, me2 never gave me any trouble once I learned them. Alpha protocol hacking had me doing a time limited word search, hate it.

Kadayi
18-06-2011, 10:05 AM
Nice idea for a thread Rii. Unfortunately I see we've already been derailed into the 'Not an RPG' discussion again. A 'discussion' that's been done to death about a million times already and derailed every thread it's been raised in. Let's not go there people.


Alpha Protocol is far superior to Mass Effect 2 in every way except for polish.

AP is a phenomenal game (up on my replay list later this year), but truth of the matter is it's mechanistically janky as hell and you can't ignore that in any form of assessment really Bob. Also ME2 lacks in certain areas (I really disliked the flat inventory Vs the first game), but I think it's also important to recognize that AP is a single player RPG where as ME1 & 2 are really party based RPGs. If you want to make fair comparisons between games you need to use similar games.


1. Mass Effects combat was shallow compared to the combat in Alpha Protocol.

ME might lack for individual complexity Vs AP, but you have to counterbalance it Vs the style of the game (it's not a stealther) and the fact that you are controlling a team Vs an individual, and employing their abilities together to overcome challenges.


2. Alpha Protocol had choices throughout the game that meant you were creating your own story to a much greater extent.

AP is a one on one game. As Michael Thorton you are interacting with NPCs in the world the majority of the time, where as in ME2 as Shepard you put in the command role and it's much more a case of securing your squad and managing them. It's operating on a different level as the payoffs are much more personalized in terms of your team mates.


3. The story in Mass Effect 2 completely deviated from the lore of the universe as laid out in the first game.

Certainly the designers changed things up in terms of inventory and weapons etc (in response to player feedback), but I'm not aware of any deviation from the lore with respect to the story line. Can you elaborate? However as an aside though given that ME2 is a sequel and AP is a new IP (there is always hope for a sequel) I'm failing to see how whether that's the case or not criticism on that level makes AP a better game.


4. The setting of Alpha Protocol was a breath of fresh air compared to ME 2's hackneyed boring space opera tropes.

Admittedly a Spy based RPG is not something we've seen before, but personally I must admit I can't think of that many Space Opera style RPGs either. This seems to come down to personal taste, and given no ones twisting your arm to buy a game set in a genre you despise seems a bit weak in terms of criticism. It would be like complaining about elves being in the Witcher. It's a fantasy RPG. That there aren't elves in AP doesn't make it a better game that The Witcher accordingly.


5. The minigames of Mass Effect 2 were putrid while Alpha Protocol's were just a bit annoying.

I'm with Vinraith on this. Scanning for minerals was a pain in the arse, but the hacking mini games in AP were truly dire, and that they even got through testing is a black mark against Obsidian's QA and playtesters approach.


6. The characters in Alpha Protocol were extremely well written compared to the cardboard cutouts of Mass Effect 2 and the dialogue was funnier and better written.

The cast of characters in both games is vastly different in terms of actual size. Yet both games weigh in about the same in terms of playtime. ME2 is attempting to paint a broader picture than AP (thus the cast of thousands) so one has to accept that as a title it's not going to match the nuance of a more intimate title such as AP.

Now you might think I'm a huge ME2 fan or having a go at you personally Bob, but you'd be mistaken though. Personally there are a lot of things I don't like about it and/or what Bioware do when it comes to their games. However it seems to me that as a company they tend to get the short end of the stick far more than they truly are deserving of through asynchronous comparisons against games that don't really match them in terms of actually being party based RPGs. Truth of the matter is, no one else out there (afaik) is really attempting to meet Bioware in terms of product type these days. If you are going to be critical of their games I think what you have to do is look at them in terms of how they operate within themselves (what works, what doesn't and the why), and between iterations (ME1 vs ME2, DAO Vs DA2 for example). Rii illustrates this by comparing TW1 vs TW2 in the first post.

By asynchronous I mean comparing games that on the surface share similarities, but in reality are really quite distinct beasts. For example, both Splinter Cell & Alpha Protocol are spy genre games, but mechanistically SC is clearly the superior stealther. However SC at the same time lacks for the RPG elements of AP. Games can be broad, or they can be focused. It's unreasonable to criticize a broad game for not being focused and a focused game for not being broad.

Drake Sigar
18-06-2011, 10:30 AM
Bioshock 2 is a better game than Bioshock
Even if Bioshock 2 did improve on story and characterization (and that’s a big if), there’s no way visiting the underwater utopia can have the same impact as the first game. The moments of awe achieved upon viewing the beautifully crafted environment are not ones which can be easily replicated, and so Bioshock 1 will always be better for me simply because I experienced it first.


Alpha Protocol is far superior to Mass Effect 2 in every way except for polish.
Alpha Protocol is the best RPG since Vampire Bloodlines, and the critics crucified it. Sure it was broken as hell (for some reason many of the best RPGs are), but behind the rough gameplay mechanics and useless skills was a very deep game with a strong emphasis on choice and consequences.

Am I the only one who had no trouble with AP’s hacking mini-games? It’s a cakewalk compared to Fallout 3’s hacking.

ntw
18-06-2011, 11:10 AM
Doom(s)/Quake(s) sucked.

Heliocentric
18-06-2011, 11:10 AM
I don't think "I played x first so its better than y" passes muster if you are asking which game to play first, tbh, I'd suggest Bioshock 1, but only because of narrative as annoying as the defense of sisters could be you only actually failed when you approached it with the same w+m1 which worked for most shooters, and much if Bioshock 1. Indeed I don't feel that the complexity of bio 1 ever peaked, in my mind they both sit as levels of the same game mechanically.

Wizlah
18-06-2011, 11:22 AM
Alpha Protocol is the best RPG since Vampire Bloodlines, and the critics crucified it. Sure it was broken as hell (for some reason many of the best RPGs are), but behind the rough gameplay mechanics and useless skills was a very deep game with a strong emphasis on choice and consequences.

I almost agree. AP had great ideas for RPGs. I liked the way they seemd to try and dissuade a player from 'getting everything' and genuinely follow a path with the collection of particular dossiers. I liked the way the whole story didn't reveal itself on first playthrough. The emphasis on conversation was welcome (nothing new, but still) and most conversations had a concrete impact on how the storyline unfolded. The business of traits reflecting your playstyle was nice, another consequence of your choices and making things a bit more personalised. Hell, even though I wasn't the biggest fan of the minigames (which weren't optimised to mouse, especially that goddam lockpick game) I liked the stress it put on you to get it right quickly, and they had the decency to give you a way around them if you didn't want to try and take them on.

BUT, and it's a big BUT, the writing sucked. Most of the characters were flat. the shadowy espionage world seemed generic - and I'm sorry, but just because the spy setting isn't used very much in computer games (apart from, you know,that massive franchise featuring the grey templed stealth ninja and his funny green goggles), it doesn't excuse the writers from writing it like a goddam dan brown novel. The wack job in taiwan was the exception, because he was kind of funny. Seriously, if that had been a book I was working on, I'd have been trying hard not to headbut my pens and pencils into the back of my skull with boredom.

I'm not going to lie, it's one of the reasons I'm not in a hurry to play FO: New Vegas - well, it, combined with quinns frustration with the writing as noted in his review. Someday I'm going to get around to playing NWN2 and Mask of the Betrayer (bought it ages ago), and I hope that the writing on that proves me wrong.

Wizlah
18-06-2011, 11:24 AM
In other controversial news, I liked the final fighty fighty fighty FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT I WILL SEND YOU MAD AND EXPLODE YOU IN BLOOD bit of VtM: Bloodlines. I think my bammer malkavian might be my favouritest computer game character I ever played. I'm very fond of that maddo.

Web Cole
18-06-2011, 11:31 AM
Portal 2s Level Design was Sub Par for Valve

The original Portal had probably the best level design I've ever seen in a game; it was clean, it was idiot proof, there was never any confusion about where the player was supposed to go. Even [and spoiler btw, if you happen to be one of the 3 people who hasn't played Portal] the part where you are about to be incinerated, its just so intuitive exactly what you have to do to escape.

Contrast that to Portal 2 which in its ambition to be epic in setting as well as story ends up with some quite convoluted levels, where the player will often find themselves confused or unsure where to proceed.

I don't think the level design in Portal 2 is bad as such, it was just average, which I think is disappointing considering Valves past achievements in this area with Portal and the Half Lifes.

thegooseking
18-06-2011, 11:47 AM
I'm not going to lie, it's one of the reasons I'm not in a hurry to play FO: New Vegas - well, it, combined with quinns frustration with the writing as noted in his review. Someday I'm going to get around to playing NWN2 and Mask of the Betrayer (bought it ages ago), and I hope that the writing on that proves me wrong.

It's not the writing. The problem I have with Obsidian in general is that they give you choice, but they're bad at it. NWN2, Fallout: New Vegas (and the original Fallout, for that matter, since Obsidian is basically Black Isle Mk. 2) and Alpha Protocol all made it very unclear what you were supposed to do next (though it was less obvious in Alpha Protocol since it wasn't an open world).

You could argue that being told what you were supposed to do next limits choice, but what Obsidian doesn't seem to understand is that even if you're not telling the player exactly what to do, as a game designer you're still responsible for giving the player motivation to actually make those decisions. An unmotivated choice is a meaningless choice, and a meaningless choice defeats the point of having a choice in the first place.

Rinox
18-06-2011, 11:54 AM
I don't want gore in games, or foul language, or sex.

I don't want gibs that spray everywhere in Team Fortress 2. I want to play a cartoony shooter. And 99% of the time I am. But when someone gets blown up, well, ok there's a bloody severed head rolling around. I do not like seeing the body mutilated.


There are a few solutions for this!

- There is a mod that does just that, remove blood and replacing gibbing with other (non-body parts) stuff or just removing it altogether

http://www.blaenkdenum.com/2007/12/tf2-noblood/

- Alternatively, you could manually turn blood and gibs off in the .ini file

- There is a 'party mode' in TF2 that replaces blood and gibs with balloons and confetti, like so http://tf2wiki.net/w/images/thumb/0/0a/Partygibs.jpg/800px-Partygibs.jpg It's used for special occasions, but some servers run it permanently. You could try and find some of those to play on.


Hope it helps! :-)

EndelNurk
18-06-2011, 12:06 PM
[B]The original Portal had probably the best level design I've ever seen in a game; it was clean, it was idiot proof, there was never any confusion about where the player was supposed to go.

Maybe I'm just a different sort of idiot but I had the exact opposite reaction. Portal 2 was blissfully streamlined, perhaps going too far as many here and elsewhere have argued. You mentioned the end of Portal 1 as an example of knowing exactly what to do intuitively. I think I recall messing that part up in Portal 1 but responding within seconds to the two events where that happens in Portal 2.


1) I like cutscenes.

So do I, if they're good. I think one of the big problems that people have with them is that they show your character doing something that you cannot (most likely some fantastic super-attack) that can feel annoying as you have had no way of doing it. Unfortunately the only way I know of to allow the player to do fantastic cinematic super-attacks is to use quick-time events which may not be better. I quite like them though. *Hides*


5) I can't understand WASD. It's always felt clunky, cramped and downright illogical to me. I grew up on games where arrow keys were the de facto controlling standard, and for a long long time I thought this was the default for everyone for any game. I was quite puzzled and confused to find out that this bizarre WASD thing was not only commonplace but the general standard.

I was the same at the start. In fact it took me an embarrassingly long time to move away from auto-aim and using page-up and page-down to look. I think the justification for WASD is purely a space thing. Having a left hand on the left end of the keyboard and the right hand on the mouse just to the right side of the keyboard is a more ergonomic position. Of course, if you have more space to spread out (and time to edit the default controls) then the arrow keys will work fine as well. I have to head to the controls config screen every time I open a game anyway as I hate using C for crouch (Left Ctrl suits me best) and I always seem to want the mouse sensitivity to be about three times higher than the default setting.


Take Red Faction: Guerrilla. It's an awesome game to play, but nothing takes me out of the moment more than characters using the f-word every other second.

I have not yet had the chance to play Red Faction. In broad strokes, I agree, these things can be excessive. However, it can add a lot if used well. My example is Hostile Waters wherein the swearing was turned off by default (which seems fair to me) but when turned on it added a huge amount to the game. The anger and despair of the expositional characters was given through a light curse here and there. Even more so, the crazy and antisocial characters would shout abuse at their opponents and then (brilliantly, I thought) other more polite colleagues would admonish them over the airwaves. It was that interaction between the characters that really drew me into the game.


3. The story in Mass Effect 2 completely deviated grom the lore of the universe as laid out in the first game.

I can't speak for the other points as I have not played Alpha Protocol. Clarification on this point would be helpful, however, as I do not understand how ME2 deviated from the Mass Effect lore.

Drake Sigar
18-06-2011, 12:12 PM
BUT, and it's a big BUT, the writing sucked. Most of the characters were flat. the shadowy espionage world seemed generic - and I'm sorry, but just because the spy setting isn't used very much in computer games (apart from, you know,that massive franchise featuring the grey templed stealth ninja and his funny green goggles), it doesn't excuse the writers from writing it like a goddam dan brown novel. The wack job in taiwan was the exception, because he was kind of funny. Seriously, if that had been a book I was working on, I'd have been trying hard not to headbut my pens and pencils into the back of my skull with boredom.

I'm not going to lie, it's one of the reasons I'm not in a hurry to play FO: New Vegas - well, it, combined with quinns frustration with the writing as noted in his review. Someday I'm going to get around to playing NWN2 and Mask of the Betrayer (bought it ages ago), and I hope that the writing on that proves me wrong.
Not sure what you mean by flat and generic, some of the villains were so colourful that they seemed to have escaped from a James Bond movie. Sure they were much more restrained than the franchise which involved a clone arm possessing a cowboy sextuple agent, but restrained doesn’t necessarily mean boring.

The writing of NW2 is genius and horrifying simultaneously, definitely worth it though.

Kadayi
18-06-2011, 12:25 PM
Portal 2s Level Design was Sub Par for Valve

The original Portal had probably the best level design I've ever seen in a game; it was clean, it was idiot proof, there was never any confusion about where the player was supposed to go. Even [and spoiler btw, if you happen to be one of the 3 people who hasn't played Portal] the part where you are about to be incinerated, its just so intuitive exactly what you have to do to escape.

Contrast that to Portal 2 which in its ambition to be epic in setting as well as story ends up with some quite convoluted levels, where the player will often find themselves confused or unsure where to proceed.

I don't think the level design in Portal 2 is bad as such, it was just average, which I think is disappointing considering Valves past achievements in this area with Portal and the Half Lifes.

I partly hear what you are saying. One of the clear criticisms in terms of the differential between the level styles is that the first game relied a lot upon you as the player dynamically deploying portals whilst in flight, where as by and large (save a couple of areas), this was less the case with Portal 2. Albeit those dynamic deployments were great, they were also often very easy to fudge and often it was a case of trial through death to get them right at times (I know what I want to do, but my fingers aren't fast enough).

My perspective is that Valve shifted the 'challenge' more towards the cerebral puzzle solving rather than the 'reflex'. Is that a bad thing? Not if you want to sell a game on it's own merits. No one was buying the Orange box for Portal; it was a very pleasant surprise addition to Halflife:2 Episode 2 that really captured peoples imaginations, so they could afford to run with it being potentially beyond some people, but as a game in it's own right that's a different matter. On the positive they introduced the gels, light bridges & tractor beams that all added to the game play. On the negative, I think that reduced the opportunity to deploy differing solutions to overcome a lot of the levels.

Lilliput King
18-06-2011, 12:30 PM
I also really enjoyed AP. I'm not sure how controversial that is any more. I'll agree that the characters were pretty dull. Often you'd complete the dossier/secret fact and think "well, so what?" The big bad was the worst offender there. Seems weird to make the primary antagonist so boring.

I don't think it's reasonable to assume boring means 'restrained,' either. I've played the game a couple of times, and the second ended with the corporate pen-pusher spewing rockets at me. The sneaky-sneaky spy organisation employs a teenage girl with akimbo revolvers. One of the bosses snorts coke to supercharge his melee attacks. I'm not sure the game knows the meaning of restraint.

Obviously it's subjective, but I found a lot of the writing pretty weak. The humour in particular.

Flint
18-06-2011, 12:51 PM
If enjoying AP is controversial or unconventional, count me in as well. One of the best games I've played in the past few years.

Rinox
18-06-2011, 01:03 PM
If enjoying AP is controversial or unconventional, count me in as well. One of the best games I've played in the past few years.

I wonder, did you guys use the gadgets and try to stealth stuff? Cause I found them way too fidgety/hard to do (the reaaaaally unresponsive mouse when looking around your 3rd person view killed stealth for me), so I ended up pouring points into shotguns, bought big armor, got a bushy beard, a tan and a bandana and played the game killing everyone and everything in sight by shooting them in the face, including CIA, NSA and US soldiers. I also made a point of it to kick in every door I saw and to never turn off alarms.

The game was actually pretty disappointingly easy that way, as a one-man army. But the other tactics seemed even less of an option so...I wonder if it was just me. Because I tried changing the mouse sensitivity for looking around, editing the .ini and looking for solutions online, but nothing helped.

thegooseking
18-06-2011, 01:07 PM
I think I had to ramp the mouse sensitivity up a bit, but I didn't have any problems with responsiveness.

Icarus
18-06-2011, 01:11 PM
Controversy, ho!

Bioware are still capable of producing good games.
Yup. I consider Dragon Age 2 to be a misstep- in fact, I'm about eight hours in and yet to go back to it because there are about six other games I'd rather play right now- but I genuinely, truly enjoyed the vast majority of Dragon Age: Origins. Awakening had a nice story going on, but it was buried under the seen-it-all-before Bioware staple 'upgrade your castle, preside over a trial, decide about taxes' stuff that I first encountered in Baldur's Gate 2. If I hadn't seen it before, I'd have enjoyed it more.
All that said, I love Mass Effect and ME2. I'll be buying ME3. Haters gonna hate, I'm still a fan of Bioware's writing and the sheer scope of the series, the combat in ME2 was great, and I'm genuinely excited to see how my decisions so far will affect the end of the trilogy.

Jade Empire was one of them.
I genuinely do not understand the hate for Jade Empire that some people seem to have. The writing was fine, the voice acting was good with a decent amount of humour, the characters were interesting and the combat flowed much more nicely than KOTOR's clunky D&D-inspires mess. I liked it a hell of a lot more than KOTOR 2. I'd love a sequel using the UE3 engine and Arkham Asylum's combat. The only bit that grated was the bullshit flying minigame.

The World of Warcraft community is not entirely awful.
I play on a roleplay realm and there are lots of perfectly decent folks on it. Sure, the idiots, griefers and PVP trolls exist, but there's still a core community there that are quite reasonable, nice human beings.

Final Fantasy is shit.
There has not been a good FF game since 7. 8 was tolerable, 9 was decent, but the series has just been in the toilet since X and the disgusting unflushable floater that was X-2. No wonder they milk 7 so hard, it was the last truly great game in the series.

Being 'indie' or 'art' is not an excuse for being a terrible game.
Yup. Yes, there are a lot of great indie games out there. Super Meat Boy, VVVVVV, Terraria, the list goes on. But god damn is there a lot of dross floating around.

Valve are indie.
They're just BIG indie. Remember, indie means you're self-financing and not tied to a publisher. Valve fits those criteria. They don't have shareholders, so there's nobody to sell out to. The inexplicable hate for them is frankly delicious.

Quake 3 Arena was bad.
Yup. Hated it. I played Q3A for about a fortnight not long after it came out, and failed to find anything good about it. Unreal Tournament '98 shits on it in every possible way.


Okay, done for now.

Kadayi
18-06-2011, 01:18 PM
If enjoying AP is controversial or unconventional, count me in as well. One of the best games I've played in the past few years.

I don't think it's controversial or unconventional at all to express a liking for it (it does some things really, really well). The fundamental problem with it is that large sections of the game play are jank and that's why it got panned by the critics. As gamer's we have the ability to overlook a games flaws, but games reviewers aren't so fortunate because they have to summarize all the elements for their audience.

I think a great example of that sort of conflict of reviewer Vs gamer is found in KGs review of Boiling point at Eurogamer: -

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/r_boilingpoint_pc


Jade Empire was one of them.
I genuinely do not understand the hate for Jade Empire that some people seem to have. The writing was fine, the voice acting was good with a decent amount of humour, the characters were interesting and the combat flowed much more nicely than KOTOR's clunky D&D-inspires mess. I liked it a hell of a lot more than KOTOR 2. I'd love a sequel using the UE3 engine and Arkham Asylum's combat. The only bit that grated was the bullshit flying minigame.

I enjoyed Jade empire as a game, but I don't really think it exactly knew what it wanted to be in terms of it's setting, and subsequently is came off as a bit trite with its kitchen sink and all approach to tackling an eastern themed game world.

Flint
18-06-2011, 01:25 PM
I wonder, did you guys use the gadgets and try to stealth stuff? Cause I found them way too fidgety/hard to do (the reaaaaally unresponsive mouse when looking around your 3rd person view killed stealth for me), so I ended up pouring points into shotguns, bought big armor, got a bushy beard, a tan and a bandana and played the game killing everyone and everything in sight by shooting them in the face, including CIA, NSA and US soldiers. I also made a point of it to kick in every door I saw and to never turn off alarms.
My first playthrough was stealthy, with lots of points towards stealth and pistols (with a silencer attached at all times). It wasn't hard or fidgety at all - quite the opposite, at later levels you can turn invisible at will and make series of superfast precision shots with the pistol that essentially turns you into a god among men, never seen and cleaning rooms out in seconds. For the first half of the game or so I relied on gadgets a fair bit and didn't really find them tricky to use, eventually though they became a bit pointless. My second playthrough was focused on assault rifles and melee, with stealth kills whenever it was convenient but being just as prepared for large-scale direct combat, and I didn't really find difficulties in that either. Didn't rely much on gadgets bar the occasional alarm killer.

It is definitely an easy game, focusing on any weapon type results in skills and stats that turn you really powerful in combat. I never particularly minded it, I've never been the sort of person who demands games should be hard. For me most combat situations during the second half of the game became moreso puzzles - what's the most efficient way to get through this, etc.

I had nearly zero problems with the mouse, sometimes my aiming would spaz out in a weird way but it was fairly rare.


The fundamental problem with it is that large sections of the game play are jank and that's why it got panned by the critics
It's weird though, because I never really encountered any sections of the gameplay that could be considered really flawed or problematic. It was a great, smooth experience for me through-and-through (after the first hacking encounter anyway). Maybe I'm just easier to please in some regards.

Rinox
18-06-2011, 01:28 PM
Mm strange that I seem to be the only one struggling with it. I quite literally would have to do 3 full cross-country mousemat movements to get Mike to turn around, on highest sensitivity. And anything I tried to do in the .ini file didn't work in-game. And I never have any mouse issues in other games. So, you can see why I ended up running straight ahead and blasting people in the face with a shotgun.

Weird.

thegooseking
18-06-2011, 01:32 PM
Valve are indie.
They're just BIG indie. Remember, indie means you're self-financing and not tied to a publisher. Valve fits those criteria. They don't have shareholders, so there's nobody to sell out to. The inexplicable hate for them is frankly delicious.

I'm not sure I'm comfortable with this one. As a developer and publisher, sure, but throw Steam into the mix and, well, how many indie devs/publishers with their own distribution channel use it to sell other people's games? But whether they're indie or not really has no bearing on whether or not I hate them (I don't).


Quake 3 Arena was bad.
Yup. Hated it. I played Q3A for about a fortnight not long after it came out, and failed to find anything good about it. Unreal Tournament '98 shits on it in every possible way.

I'll raise you in the controversy stakes by saying that even UT2k3 was better than Q3A.

icupnimpn2
18-06-2011, 01:56 PM
Wait, what? I've beaten RF:G, and I have no recollection of this. I tend to notice, because it's something that annoys me.

I've only played in the first map. It's not foreground dialogue, if I remember. Rather, when you're near colonists or other revolutionaries that are standing around the incidental dialogue spams it. Completely unnecessary.


There are a few solutions for this!

- There is a mod that does just that, remove blood and replacing gibbing with other (non-body parts) stuff or just removing it altogether

Hope it helps! :-)

Thanks, Rinox. I've messed in the console and .ini file in the past. Generally, it's annoying to have to do that. And many games don't have similar patches. There used to be an option in the menu for most games to turn off blood and etc. I like shooty games as a sort of abstract, futuristic representation of playing tag.

Why do so many games make a mist of red blood when you kill someone? Something tells me that doesn't happen in real life. If I ever go stabby I won't expect the blade recipient to die in a puff. It's all part of the "more is kewler" mentality that games have to be baaaaaaaad man. Oh man, did you see that guy? There was blood spraying everywhere and his eye popped out. Yeaaaaah!

Why does that appeal to people? I just don't know.


Controversy, ho!

Being 'indie' or 'art' is not an excuse for being a terrible game.
Yup. Yes, there are a lot of great indie games out there. Super Meat Boy, VVVVVV, Terraria, the list goes on. But god damn is there a lot of dross floating around.

Dissension, rake!

Sure there's good stuff and bad stuff, but it's not something that gets me mad. They say you can't go on looks, but it's quite often obvious at first glance which indie games are sort of incomplete or amateurish.

wcaypahwat
18-06-2011, 02:07 PM
1) Pokemon is brilliant. Simple enough for a child to enjoy, but full of enough numbers, stats and variables to keep the min/max'ers happy, too.

2)The 'JRPGs are bad' thing mostly comes from cultural differences.

3)I don't actually mind QTEs. As long as they don't come out of nowhere, and the button presses make sense to the gameplay.

Drake Sigar
18-06-2011, 02:13 PM
Mm strange that I seem to be the only one struggling with it. I quite literally would have to do 3 full cross-country mousemat movements to get Mike to turn around, on highest sensitivity. And anything I tried to do in the .ini file didn't work in-game. And I never have any mouse issues in other games. So, you can see why I ended up running straight ahead and blasting people in the face with a shotgun.

Weird.
Keyboard blows for this game. I ended up plugging in an Xbox 360 controller. It gave me the option to walk, and was very responsive.

Lilliput King
18-06-2011, 03:04 PM
I think Drake is right in that regard. Much like Obsidian's latest output, the control scheme is clearly designed with consoles in mind.

Extra controversy maybe perhaps: I was totally in agreement with icupnimpn2 until I played L4D2 and watched my shotgun tear flesh from bone. It's obviously great use of the source material (gore-fest horror movies) but it also works together with all the other artistic touches in the game to create a really consistent atmosphere. It feels part of the world that game works so hard to create, and it'd be a much lesser game without it.

SirKicksalot
18-06-2011, 03:16 PM
Raven makes some of the best shooters ever, and Wolfenstein 2009 is awesome.

(not a shooter, but Wolverine was better than the movie it's based on lol)

Flint
18-06-2011, 03:23 PM
Raven makes some of the best shooters ever
They've lost the plot slightly these days but back in the 90s they were one of the best FPS makers around. And Heretic 2 is a forgotten gem, and it's a great shame it's so forgotten it'll probably never arrive to GOG or other digital outlets.

Megagun
18-06-2011, 03:47 PM
Great thread. :)

Left 4 Dead 2 is Valve's best game
Sure, Half-Life 2 was quite neat, and I fully agree that both Portals were quite innovative. All their games up to L4D1 felt extremely polished, but just not that great. I happen to like multiplayer co-op, and L4D1 showed up at just the right moment. Although it was by far the most buggy and unpolished game Valve had made up until that point, it was a lot of fun. Hours were wasted trying to finish Blood Harvest on Expert difficulty. Even more hours were wasted playing No Mercy Versus. L4D1 started to get boring, and Valve announced L4D2. Although L4D2 seemed to be a bit like a cash-in at first, I was very surprised at how great it was. More infected types, more weapons. The things that made L4D1 great, but amplified. Sure, the maps weren't as atmospheric as the maps in L4D1, but they did have a lot of places that would turn out to be amazing fun in Versus matches when playing as Infected. Scavenge was even better than anything else, and when they released No Mercy's rooftop for Scavenge, I found myself enjoying that single map on Scavenge the most in the entire Left 4 Dead franchise. Now I just wish that they've put the same kind of polish in Left 4 Dead's co-op bits as they have in Portal 2's co-op bits. Left 4 Dead 1 and 2 have been a lot of fun, and I've made a lot of great friends whilst playing it.

It's not indie if it's "Pay for Early Beta access"
I used to think of indie games as games that average people made in order to sell when they were finished. The key aspect of this scheme was that the devs would have to make a great game in order to actually make a profit out of it. They had to be inventive, clever, and do some fun stuff. Then along come a few developers that think that making people pay for early beta access is a good idea. Sure, it seems like it is a good idea. Look at Minecraft! Personally, though, I think that pay for early beta access is degrading indie titles. After all, why be clever and innovative when you can lure people into buying your games by giving them an oppurtunity to buy it for cheap? Also, I think that the developers of these games may be too inclined to follow the ideas of people that have bought their games.

Liking a specific developer/company is silly. Expecting them to do stuff for their customers' benefits is almost as silly.
Well, what can I say. These are companies, they're in it for the money. That includes all those indie developers. Also, yes, if Steam/Valve are closing down due to financial troubles, they won't let anyone grab their games before really closing down. They've got to pay people's salaries instead of paying to keep their servers online. Besides, it's not like they can get any satisfaction from customers, because those won't be customers for long.. ;)

Games should be open-sourced after 8 years. Content from games should be released under a Free license after 12 years
Just because I want it, really.

Too many indie titles are games based off of a single quirk, or 'time wasters' instead of games
In my opinion, Minecraft is a 'time waster'. Terraria is a game. Time wasters are pieces of software designed to take your mind off of things. Usually, they'll be sandboxes and prey on people's creativity. I don't really like time wasters; I like to have good stories in my games. As far as quirk-based games go: I find them to be silly and boring. Beat Hazard, Audiosurf, that Solar game... I'm fine with having a few quirky ideas in a game, but basing the entire existence of your game on a quirky idea gets boring rather quickly.

Stijn
18-06-2011, 03:49 PM
Raven makes some of the best shooters ever, and Wolfenstein 2009 is awesome.
Wolfenstein was a really good shooter, yeah. It wasn't exactly revolutional but being the kind of no-nonsense shooter it was it fit in with the rest of the Wolfenstein series perfectly and was a lot of fun to play.

icupnimpn2
18-06-2011, 04:05 PM
Extra controversy maybe perhaps: I was totally in agreement with icupnimpn2 until I played L4D2 and watched my shotgun tear flesh from bone. It's obviously great use of the source material (gore-fest horror movies) but it also works together with all the other artistic touches in the game to create a really consistent atmosphere. It feels part of the world that game works so hard to create, and it'd be a much lesser game without it.

Well there's a game where the design fits the theme and the audience well. I don't play it, but I certainly understand why people do. It's gory & violent, but appropriately and necessarily so -- not tacked on just to amp up the content. I used to watch horror films but have moved away from them by personal preference. If I was still interested in that kind of content, L4D2 looks perfect.

I wouldn't erase all M rated games or tell people that they can't make the kind of game they want to make. I won't play them, but if they don't need my dollars that's fine. Other people will.

I'm just frustrated with the marketing myth that "hardcore" game players need to be pandered do with excessive violence, gore, and obscenity. As if that's what makes a game "hardcore." And then when such a game is made and it doesn't do well a different marketing myth is perpetuated -- the death of hardcore gaming and the rise of casual.


Great thread. :)
Too many indie titles are games based off of a single quirk, or 'time wasters' instead of games
In my opinion, Minecraft is a 'time waster'. Terraria is a game. Time wasters are pieces of software designed to take your mind off of things. Usually, they'll be sandboxes and prey on people's creativity. I don't really like time wasters; I like to have good stories in my games. As far as quirk-based games go: I find them to be silly and boring. Beat Hazard, Audiosurf, that Solar game... I'm fine with having a few quirky ideas in a game, but basing the entire existence of your game on a quirky idea gets boring rather quickly.

Good stories in games are a relatively new development. And, sometimes, a distraction. I tend to enjoy story and theme, but it sounds like you would have hated gaming in the 80's.

deano2099
18-06-2011, 04:37 PM
Am I the only one who had no trouble with AP’s hacking mini-games? It’s a cakewalk compared to Fallout 3’s hacking.

Took me a few tries to get the hang of but after that I had no problems. They were tough in places but they weren't unplayable. And I really suck at games in general.

As for Valve being indie? They're entirely reliant on publishers for putting their games out on console, so no, they're really not. A huge chunk of their income that they couldn't afford to lose is beholden to the whim of a publisher.

Right here's one:

There is no such thing as 'grind'
Most games have 'filler' content but it's by no means limited to RPGs. All FPSs offer fights which are easy, and just there to give you something to shoot while moving from A to B. Portal 2 had it's "look for a distant portalable surface and use it to reach the next chamber" bits. And so on.

In an RPG, grind is defined as easy battles offering little to no challenge that you do to get strong enough to take on the boss. In an FPS there is exactly the same mechanic except rather than the progression being in the strength of your character, it's in physically moving from the start point of the level to the boss.

It's just filler. All games have it.

Rinox
18-06-2011, 06:09 PM
As for Valve being indie? They're entirely reliant on publishers for putting their games out on console, so no, they're really not. A huge chunk of their income that they couldn't afford to lose is beholden to the whim of a publisher.
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True, but that goes for any indie game that appears on a console. So I wouldn't say that makes them any less "indie". It's just a fact that the consoles are owned by publishers, no way to get around it if you want your game to appear on one of them.

mashakos
18-06-2011, 06:21 PM
1) Pokemon is brilliant. Simple enough for a child to enjoy, but full of enough numbers, stats and variables to keep the min/max'ers happy, too.

2)The 'JRPGs are bad' thing mostly comes from cultural differences.
These views are pretty conventional for the generation of nerds who grew up with Pokemon and JRPGs.

P.S. I'm not from that generation.

mashakos
18-06-2011, 06:24 PM
There is no such thing as 'grind'


It's just filler. All games have it.

You're not making any sense. Filler in action games cannot last more than 30 minutes at a time without the game's review scores going down. Filler in MMO's lasts for several days. When it's in that range it stops being filler, it becomes the actual game.

mashakos
18-06-2011, 06:29 PM
They've lost the plot slightly these days but back in the 90s they were one of the best FPS makers around. And Heretic 2 is a forgotten gem, and it's a great shame it's so forgotten it'll probably never arrive to GOG or other digital outlets.
On that note:

Heretic 2 was one hundred times better than Hexen 2

It's obvious really. Hexen 2 was an alright FPS set in a fantasy universe. One problem with it though, it had no storyline whatsoever. There really was no motivation to continue the game.

Heretic 2 was a 3rd person adventure with an entertaining storyline and great gameplay mechanics as well as a brilliant re-imagining of the Quake 2 engine.

ran93r
18-06-2011, 06:43 PM
On that note:

Heretic 2 was one hundred times better than Hexen 2

I adore Heretic 2, I had the disc out not long ago, I just wish there were people playing. I might have to dust it off and fish up some grinbots.

deano2099
18-06-2011, 08:22 PM
You're not making any sense. Filler in action games cannot last more than 30 minutes at a time without the game's review scores going down. Filler in MMO's lasts for several days. When it's in that range it stops being filler, it becomes the actual game.

Exactly, it's all filler. In terms of % of game length between action game and RPG it's probably the same, hence why you'd say 30 minutes for an action game but more for an RPG.

And yes, WoW as an MMO is a perfect example. On release the content for getting you from level 1-60 was reviewed and got scores in the 90s. Over the years, players played through this content 6 or 7 times with different characters and so started calling it a 'grind' because they were bored of it. It was the same content. Pretty much everything you kill in WoW is part of a plot driven quest too. The only place I'm just about willing to entertain the word is in MMOs where you literally do the same dungeon time after time in the hope the right item will drop.

mpk
19-06-2011, 12:23 AM
Modern FPS are a waste of time and money - they're increasingly devoid of new or interesting content, they're increasingly scripted and they're increasingly geared towards yearly models and, now, microtransactions. I'll readily admit that the last modern FPS I played on release was Far Cry 2, and that my knowledge of CoD: MW and MoH now lies in demos, quick plays on other peoples' consoles and the massive amount of internet vitriol I've absorbed, but I've really got no desire to play a grey, urban shooter (or a brown, desert shooter, or a green, jungle shooter for that matter) where I'm yet again saving The World from bad guy du jour. I live in the real world and as much fun as it might be to blow shit up, I'd rather explore new worlds, meet new civilisations and shoot them in the face. Someone call me when the games industry rediscovers its collective imagination.

F2P is the future for all MMOs, and we should embrace it with open arms - I really believe that the F2P model is better than subscription. There will always be cases of imbalance, where Premium Player Y has bought an IncrediSword of ILLCUTYOUYOUFUCK +17 and F2P Player X has a Knife of Buttering -1, but as long as they stay in the PvP arena, I don't care. After EVE, trad MMO PvP just doesn't cut it. Ultimately, the F2P model gives us, as consumers, far more choice and far more freedom. The only thing we lose by trying a F2P MMO is time, and I think people end up more passionate about things they "discover" for free, than for things they're risking money for - especially if the initial purchase cost is higher than a standard months sub.

On the Wind Waker - the game looked gorgeous and played beautifully and I like the references to Link as some form of multidimensional hero forever tied to Zelda. The sailing and fishing minigames were really very tedious, though, and really detracted from the whole game.

On ME2 not being a RPG - I'd agree with this, and damn you all for turning it into a genre argument. It became obvious to me fairly early on in ME1 - pretty much from the first planet I visited after leaving The Citadel, I think - that this wanted to be an action game. Yes, it's from Bioware and it's got a lot of RPG tropes attached to it, and most of those were removed or streamlined for ME2, moving it closer to where it wants to be. In its heart, Mass Effect might be a RPG, but in its soul it's clearly an action game.

On the non-existence of grind - I have to completely disagree there. Any repetitive action can be considered a grind, and since there's such an emphasis on reaching the endgame in WoW as quickly as possible, I think it's right to describe it as a grind rather than filler. In EVE, the equivalent would be ratting all day for ISK to buy ships (if you could find a good system that wasn't already botted, mind).

Thants
19-06-2011, 01:28 AM
Some recent FPSs that I think are imaginative: Zeno Clash, STALKER, Metro 2033, Bioshock, Bulletstorm.

OctaneHugo
19-06-2011, 04:04 AM
Doom(s)/Quake(s) sucked.
Well, so do you. Nerd.

@fellow pee-er, I think the gore in TF2 is hilarious. It's these cartoonish chunks of person flying off in all directions making soggy sponge sounds as they hit the ground, bright red blood spurting off in every which way. When I first blew someone up and saw it I actually laughed. I'm all for ramping down the gratuitous gore effects in games, but I think TF2's is very much a part of the experience and that it fits in perfectly with the rest of the art direction.

Frankly I find it annoying to blow someone up in a game and see their body, perfectly unscathed, sitting on the ground, or just have nothing be there anymore. I want my explosions to pack a punch - just not sickeningly so.

Similarly in a game like Red Orchestra I enjoy nailing someone with a grenade and seeing their leg be blown off or seeing a tank round turn someone into bits. There it's more for realism.

soldant
19-06-2011, 07:05 AM
Being 'indie' or 'art' is not an excuse for being a terrible game.
Too many indie titles are games based off of a single quirk, or 'time wasters' instead of games
This times a thousand, until the stars grow cold! I absolutely hate it when people fawn all over "indie" games that are supposed to be "artistic" when all they really amount to is a crappy platformer with shadow puppets and some pretentious avant garde "message" which only the author really cares about. And people lap them up and think they're fantastic! Yes, gaming in the 80s was based on very simple concepts, but gaming was still pretty new back then. And there's still room for quick arcade games with basic gameplay mechanics. But the current trend seems to be to tack on some ridiculous story or flash up random quotes or blocks of text, like you're playing a very bad student film with frustrating jumping puzzles. Or you're playing a game that relies entirely on the fact that it's hard for the hell of it. Or because there's only one game in the world which lets you roll a giant ball across a landscape of melting clocks or something. I'm so happy that there are other people out there who feel the same way.

While I'm picking on the same group:

There's a lack of inspiration in indie games at large
Like the other posters I quoted above said, there are some great indie games out there. There's also a lot who simply look at what another indie dev has done, copied the same basic idea, and then gone and modified it slightly to make it seem entirely fresh and original. Audiosurf does something to add puzzler elements based on music. Incoming: new games that use music to modify gameplay. There's some that do a good job (like Terraria having the same basic concept as Minecraft but instead of being a peaceable building game it's an angry combat game) but there's an awful lot that don't and pretty much get sales simply because it's an indie game and people seem to go nuts about it.

Consoles aren't killing gaming anywhere near as much as the PC crowd says
Now now, hear me out. Yes, hardware is becoming an issue for gaming thanks to the older xbox 360 platform which is in need of replacement. But most of the time I hear people complaining about gameplay mechanics and something about level design. Although hardware does play a factor in what they can reasonably do with these things, it's still not an excuse for the push-button linear pop-up shooters that we're getting flooded with these days. When people blame consoles they're just making excuses for devs who lack vision. There's some argument about target audience but I'm willing to bet that except for the case of the Wii, that argument doesn't really hold water. People will play a game if it's engaging. Also I can't understand that "target audience are idiots on consoles so they give them dumb games" when we've got so many of the aforementioned avant-garde indie games running around with even "dumber" gameplay mechanics!

Everyone views the 90s FPS games with rose-tinted glasses
I love Doom, it's my favourite FPS. Doom made me. I loved Doom 2, Duke Nukem 3D, Heretic, Strife, Quake and all the rest of the 90s FPS games. But one thing that I can't believe is how people seem to remember those days differently. The arguments I've seen over Duke Nukem Forever paint DN3D as some sort of highly tactical, intelligent shooter with hundreds of individual ways to complete each level and approach each enemy. I don't know if we were all playing the same game, but that's definitely not the case for any of those games. People seem to embelish about the capabilities of those games back then, bending the truth to make them sound like epic shooters with boundless opportunities when they weren't anything like that at all. I love calling people out on it. I recall someone made a comparison between the Cycloid Emperor bossfight in DNF and DN3D, claiming that the DN3D one required much more than strafing and shooting. It didn't, because if you did anything else, you'd get killed. The only difference was you used a combination of hitscan and projectile weapons because you'd run out of RPG ammo.

90s FPS games still had linear design, and it wasn't always better
I hear this "linear vs non linear" argument popping up a lot. It seems that people like to equate "backtrack" with "non-linear". No matter what way you played the levels in Doom or Duke Nukem 3D for the most part you absolutely had to get the red key from the same spot to get through the red door to get to the exit and what-not. I'm sorry, but backtracking isn't non-linear design, you're still taking exactly the same path as everyone else to complete the level once you know what to do. There's a great joke PWAD for zDoom which more or less explains every map ever: go to one end of the level, hit a switch, go to the other, hit another switch, go back, hit a switch, repeat until the exit door opens. Is level design any better today than it was back then? Probably not, and I agree with many people who say that levels were on the whole a bit more imaginate in the 90s than they are today, but they're not really non-linear.

Finally, before you all execute me for heresy:
Modding for FPS games is becoming less important
For RPGs it's still massively important but it's fairly minor for many FPS games today. People always go "Oh there'd better be a map editor!" and things like that, but really the mapping scene is dead for most games as people demand more and more mods. Mods end up stuck in development hell as people try to come out with retail quality maps and models (otherwise the community complains that the mods look bad and aren't worth playing) hence they take far too much time and effort to develop. Look how long Black Mesa has been in development for! Look how many mods were developed and released for Half Life versus Half Life 2 (over a similar time period). Look how many MAPS were developed for that. The only real places that mapping thrives are in some MP games like TF2 or CSS, and even then they're usually silly orangemaps with no real lasting value. There are exceptions for TF2 but like I said, that's the exception, not the rule.

Okay I'm done. Longer than I intended but give me the opportunity to rant, and I'll rant.

Ravenger
19-06-2011, 09:53 AM
Gamers don't want original games
They want more of the same. This has been proved countless times when sequels or series like COD or Halo outsell everything, but a well revewed original IP fails, despite a lot of marketing.

ME1 was a far better game than ME2

ME1's plot was more epic than 2. The first is an epic search for the source and solution of a mystery across the universe. The second is a Blues Brothers style tale of 'getting the band back together.' The revelations in the first game had far more impact than in the second.
ME1 had more RPG elements than 2
The main levels in ME2 were smaller, and much more formulaic than the main levels in 2
Getting rid of the mako in 2 was a mistake - it gave a sense of scale to the game that's missing in 2.
The combat in 2 is spoiled by the fact that as soon as you see a big area with waist high boxes/rocks/walls you know you're going into combat.
The way levels are integrated in 2 is obviously designed for easy insertion of DLC.


OK there are ways the second is better - no cookie cutter bases using exactly the same geometry with a few crates to make it different. The combat is more polished, and it's obviously a much slicker game. But it's just been polished so much that it's lost the essential detail of the first - like polishing engraved silverware so much you lose the beauty and detail of the engravings, ending up with a shiny but smooth and bland item.

Icarus
19-06-2011, 10:13 AM
I'm gonna agree with everything Ravenger just wrote. The thing is, I enjoyed ME1 far more than I did ME2, but I can't really point to anything that 1 did definitively better. It just felt more.. together. ME2 was a series of disjointed missions and occasionally you'd get some plot thrown at you. ME1 was the movie, ME2 was the TV series.

mpk
19-06-2011, 10:37 AM
Mechanically, ME2 is the better game. The combat is smoother, although, now that I'm replaying ME1, it also appears to be much easier.

I think the RPG elements, or lack thereof, will only matter to you if you fall on the RPG side of the RPG:Action game fence. I'm on the Action side, so it really didn't bother me at all.

I get your point about the sense of scale being lost with the omission of the Mako and planetary exploration, but since it was such an incredible pain in the arse to steer and manouever over planets made entirely of 80 degree inclines, it's not a loss I mourn.

Icarus
19-06-2011, 10:40 AM
MPK, I agree with you, mechanically, ME2 is better. I like ME2 more as a game. But I enjoyed ME1 more.

coldvvvave
19-06-2011, 11:06 AM
ME1 was a far better game than ME2

ME1's plot was more epic than 2. The first is an epic search for the source and solution of a mystery across the universe. The second is a Blues Brothers style tale of 'getting the band back together.' The revelations in the first game had far more impact than in the second.
ME1 had more RPG elements than 2
The main levels in ME2 were smaller, and much more formulaic than the main levels in 2
Getting rid of the mako in 2 was a mistake - it gave a sense of scale to the game that's missing in 2.
The combat in 2 is spoiled by the fact that as soon as you see a big area with waist high boxes/rocks/walls you know you're going into combat.
The way levels are integrated in 2 is obviously designed for easy insertion of DLC.


I very much agree with that and I also believe that ME1 had better music.

Auspex
19-06-2011, 01:11 PM
ME1 was a far better game than ME2


I used to think this but then I tried to replay ME1 recently and found it slow and cumbersome. I'm still not sure if this is a problem with the game or a problem with me; ME2 may have broken me.

Miked
19-06-2011, 01:25 PM
I find myself mostly agreeing with Ravengers points but I still prefer Mass Effect 2 to number 1. The characters grip me (particularly The Illusive Man and Jack) and that's why I connect with it. I don't really care about the lack of RPG elements and don't want to spend my time bouncing around some alien planet in that the miserable little buggy the Mako (or scanning planets for that matter...) I just want characters that seem real. That's why Mass Effect 2 stands above number 1, I actually felt something when my team members died and that's something I've never felt from a game.

OctaneHugo
19-06-2011, 01:56 PM
Modding for FPS games is becoming less important
For RPGs it's still massively important but it's fairly minor for many FPS games today. People always go "Oh there'd better be a map editor!" and things like that, but really the mapping scene is dead for most games as people demand more and more mods. Mods end up stuck in development hell as people try to come out with retail quality maps and models (otherwise the community complains that the mods look bad and aren't worth playing) hence they take far too much time and effort to develop. Look how long Black Mesa has been in development for! Look how many mods were developed and released for Half Life versus Half Life 2 (over a similar time period). Look how many MAPS were developed for that. The only real places that mapping thrives are in some MP games like TF2 or CSS, and even then they're usually silly orangemaps with no real lasting value. There are exceptions for TF2 but like I said, that's the exception, not the rule.

There's always going to be more bad maps than good maps and more bad mods than good mods in any kind of game, because that's just how it works - it's harder to make something good than bad. Just because you have to sift through the dirt to find the gold doesn't mean you should stop trying entirely, eh? I know I get tired of playing on the same maps over and over and one of my favorite parts of Valve's TF2 updates are community maps promoted into official ones.

Unpleasant Scott
19-06-2011, 02:14 PM
I didn't hate Invisible War. I actually enjoyed it.

deano2099
19-06-2011, 03:18 PM
On the non-existence of grind - I have to completely disagree there. Any repetitive action can be considered a grind, and since there's such an emphasis on reaching the endgame in WoW as quickly as possible, I think it's right to describe it as a grind rather than filler.

That's something you've just made up though. When WoW launched, it was reviewed on the leveling content. Reviewers didn't get a chance to do endgame stuff (and there wasn't much of it anyway). It still scored in the mid 90s.

I enjoyed leveling in WoW, it's good fun, there's some good story vignettes, and it's even better now with Cataclysm. It's the vast majority of the game, it's where most of the 10 million or so subscribers spend most of their time (those in the endgame, of course, are the ones more vocal and likely to be posting on forums) - I imagine it becomes a bit dull if you're leveling your fifth character, but then most games get dull the fifth time through.

And if any repetitive action can be described as a grind, then every FPS ever made is a grind right, as all you ever do is click on heads and move forwards?

riadsala
19-06-2011, 04:03 PM
Games aren't getting any better.

Although, I'm not meaning to be negative here. Just, if you ignore the graphics, I don't think modern computer games are any better than ones from 10 years ago. They're not worse either mind you. But now we've pretty much figured out how to make good UIs, etc, things seem to have levelled off. I'm enjoying my current playthrough of Baldur's Gate as much as I'm enjoying playing Fallout 3. My fav FPSs are Halflife2, Unreal, Farcry2 and Deus Ex. My fav strategy game is CivIV (although Rome and M2 Total War get played a lot too).

Differences between old and new games seem to consist of:

New games are easier, with nicer graphics, and often include levelling up mechanics and unlockable items.

I don't like levelling up mechanics
Really, can't anybody thing up a better way to model character progressin? One of the reasons I like FaryCry2 so much was cause there weren't any classes and levelling up. Which meant i could experiment and mix things up between levels, taking different weapons each time. On the other hand, we have Borderlands, which rewards the player for always using the same class of weapon.

On a similar note, I'd love to see some sort of graph showing how long level ups take. In Baldur's Gate, every level up was a major milestone. In DoW2 and Mass Effect, I seem to be levelling up after every mission. You end up being just stupidly powerful. But then, to keep the game challenging, the monsters have to keep getting tougher (see Oblivion). Which can ruin immersion in the world, and destroy the sense of character progression that levelling up is meant to make in the first place.

riadsala
19-06-2011, 04:12 PM
Oh, and I'd like to add:

Board games are getting better.
in terms of gameplay, board games seem to be beating computer games right now. For example, nearly every game I read about on Cardboard Children, I want to buy straight away. Where as most PC games, i think "I'll add it to the list and get round to playing it when I've finished some other games." Which is because, chances are, the PC game will be covering the same ground as something I'm already playing.

Burchard
19-06-2011, 05:18 PM
Something I've always felt strongly about and was recently brought up in conversation...

The quality of players has decreased significantly since I started gaming.

For example, when I was a wee twelve year-old reveling in BBS RPGs, chat RPGs, and MUDs, part of the experience was exploration of the systems and trying to figure things out. I always sought a more mature experience and was always the youngest of any group engaging in such activities.

I'll target MMORPGs as a good example. When Everquest was released and people urged me to play it I remember thinking, "This is so shallow... it offers absolutely no gameplay improvements over <insert MUD here>." I still feel this way, and it has actually only been reinforced by subsequent MMORPG releases.

It is as though problem solving and critical thinking are shunned, and everyone looks for quick rewards and an instant sense of accomplishment. You have giant arrows and flashing beacons to tell you where you need to go. Speaking with the locals to find out information is all "click through and hope my journal updates." The romantic sense of mystery, exploration, and adventure are all gone. I've noticed that reading is actually looked at as an antiquated and tired feature. No voice acting? GTFO!

In my opinion, this stems from a combination of dumbing down of games so they could appeal to a much broader cross-section of society (read as 'stupid people') and emergent technology and it's limitations. This is all compounded by the fact that stupid people are now getting jobs in the game industry. So what they herald as amazing (Everquest/WoW) and what they list on their résumé (I raided a lot in EQ/WoW) are only harming future projects by trying to emulate something that very much sucks.


I would go on, but I feel as though I've lost everyone already.

deano2099
19-06-2011, 06:09 PM
It's an interesting one - the growth of wikis and such I think is another huge factor in that. It's not the players are necessarily more dumb, it's just they know that if they get stuck they can alt-tab out and bring up a map of exactly where they need to go. Which presents an interesting choice for developers: if most of your players are doing this, why not provide that map in game? It's not that most people couldn't figure it out, it's just there's now an easier option.

And I think that stretches out beyond just MMOs to any games and the preponderance of walkthroughs.

syllopsium
19-06-2011, 07:00 PM
Linear is not always bad

In fact, sometimes linear games are extremely good. Genuinely open world games tend to lack the emphasis to pursue a main plot. That's good for playing around, but not so good for emotionally involving the player in the scenario the designer has thought up. Throne of Bhaal is a much better game than Shadows of Amn, for instance.

Multiplayer can be a bad thing

Playing with friends is good. Relentlessly harping on about multiplayer inclusion in a game the designers didn't really want to be multiplayer can ruin the game. Please go find a different game instead of ruining it for the rest of us.

Bethesda should be praised for their efforts

Some people put down Oblivion et al as a hiking simulator, and perhaps sometimes they have a point. On the other hand, they're genuinely trying to advance/change the genre. Sometimes they hit the mark (fast travel, decent quest design) and sometimes they miss (scaling to your level)

Ravenger
19-06-2011, 07:23 PM
I very much agree with that and I also believe that ME1 had better music.

Definitely! I should have put that on the list. ME1's soundtrack is one of my favourites of all time. I love the raw electronic feel. They totally lost that in the second. I was very disappointed.

mpk
19-06-2011, 09:21 PM
That's something you've just made up though. When WoW launched, it was reviewed on the leveling content. Reviewers didn't get a chance to do endgame stuff (and there wasn't much of it anyway). It still scored in the mid 90s.

I enjoyed leveling in WoW, it's good fun, there's some good story vignettes, and it's even better now with Cataclysm. It's the vast majority of the game, it's where most of the 10 million or so subscribers spend most of their time (those in the endgame, of course, are the ones more vocal and likely to be posting on forums) - I imagine it becomes a bit dull if you're leveling your fifth character, but then most games get dull the fifth time through.

And if any repetitive action can be described as a grind, then every FPS ever made is a grind right, as all you ever do is click on heads and move forwards?

Dude, I'm not talking about day 1 reviews. I'm talking about the current WoW community which is a bit more relevant than a 7-year-old review score. It doesn't matter how much you enjoy levelling - and I enjoyed Cataclysm far more than I enjoyed WoW 1.0 - the fact is that the vast majority of q's are kill X or collect Y, the basic grind task that most MMOs use.

And yes, you're right about FPS games. It's just that the better games are able to mask the grind behind their game mechanics.

mpk
19-06-2011, 09:26 PM
Definitely! I should have put that on the list. ME1's soundtrack is one of my favourites of all time. I love the raw electronic feel. They totally lost that in the second. I was very disappointed.

I second this. The main ME1 theme is a fantastic piece of music.

Flint
19-06-2011, 09:38 PM
ME1 also had the immensely inspired decision to use Faunts' M4 Part II as the closing credits music, which was an amazing choice because 1) it's a fantastic song, 2) it fit the mood I was in perfectly after finishing the game and is one of the best implementations of licensed music in gaming and 3) it got me into a new band.

Wizardry
19-06-2011, 11:48 PM
Linear is not always bad

In fact, sometimes linear games are extremely good. Genuinely open world games tend to lack the emphasis to pursue a main plot. That's good for playing around, but not so good for emotionally involving the player in the scenario the designer has thought up. Throne of Bhaal is a much better game than Shadows of Amn, for instance.
Except Throne of Bhaal was acknowledged by the developers as being an incomplete game, hence the semi-official Ascension mod.


Bethesda should be praised for their efforts

Some people put down Oblivion et al as a hiking simulator, and perhaps sometimes they have a point. On the other hand, they're genuinely trying to advance/change the genre. Sometimes they hit the mark (fast travel, decent quest design) and sometimes they miss (scaling to your level)
Cool. Now tell me what Bethesda has done to advance the genre. Please do.

soldant
20-06-2011, 01:02 AM
There's always going to be more bad maps than good maps and more bad mods than good mods in any kind of game, because that's just how it works - it's harder to make something good than bad.It's not just that (and that argument works as far back as modding can go) but it's the amount of maps being released. Level editors are largely unused compared to what they were years ago because people expect (demand?) higher quality content at least matching what the developers have put in. The increased expectations make it hard for part-time mod developers with busy lives to deliver in any reasonable time frame. I didn't really intend to comment too much on quality, just that the bar is so much higher now that for the most part modding and mapping is dying out and nowhere near as big as it used to be. I mean everyone ranted and raved over Portal support for Hammer, and how many Portal maps are there which aren't just basic test rooms where someone has made an attempt to learn the editor?

Pretty much the only Source engine game outside of TF2 I can think of which has any major and significant mapping effort is Garry's Mod, followed somewhat by CS:S (but nowhere to the same standard). It's not just a question of "it's hard to make something decent", but rather "the bar is way too high, so let's go the other way instead." It's sort of like the anti-thesis indie dev thing going on where indie devs deliberately go out of their way to have pixellated graphics (or shadow puppets... I hate shadow puppet platformers!).


Cool. Now tell me what Bethesda has done to advance the genre. Please do.
I'd say Morrowind did a good job at being an FPS-RPG thing with quite a large world to explore, plenty of things to do, and fantastic modding support with a very well supported toolkit. Oblivion was a bit uninspired but at least Bethesda try to make large, open worlds even if they fall short of the mark in terms of cookie-cutter content.

Keep
20-06-2011, 01:25 AM
Portal 2s Level Design was Sub Par for Valve

The original Portal had probably the best level design I've ever seen in a game; it was clean, it was idiot proof, there was never any confusion about where the player was supposed to go. Even [and spoiler btw, if you happen to be one of the 3 people who hasn't played Portal] the part where you are about to be incinerated, its just so intuitive exactly what you have to do to escape.

Contrast that to Portal 2 which in its ambition to be epic in setting as well as story ends up with some quite convoluted levels, where the player will often find themselves confused or unsure where to proceed.

I don't think the level design in Portal 2 is bad as such, it was just average, which I think is disappointing considering Valves past achievements in this area with Portal and the Half Lifes.

YES.

Too many "Where do I go now?" moments. Not used to that in a Valve game.

Still a damn fun game, but...I felt I was throwing guesses at someone else's riddle as opposed to playing with the words they were sending my way. And sometimes - just sometimes - things got a bit unclear, ambiguous, muddy.

SirKicksalot
20-06-2011, 01:41 AM
Oblivion is a great game that only gets better with mods. Meanwhile, Fallout 3 is a giant pile of mediocrity that no mods can salvage.

I played well over 100 hours of Oblivion, with and without mods. I barely managed 50 hours of F3. It has its moments of brilliance, I'll give it that. But overall, I never really enjoyed it. I liked the gore and looting is kinda exciting.

New Vegas is so much better it's not even funny!

deano2099
20-06-2011, 02:34 AM
Dude, I'm not talking about day 1 reviews. I'm talking about the current WoW community which is a bit more relevant than a 7-year-old review score. It doesn't matter how much you enjoy levelling - and I enjoyed Cataclysm far more than I enjoyed WoW 1.0 - the fact is that the vast majority of q's are kill X or collect Y, the basic grind task that most MMOs use.


The game has only improved in that aspect though, the fact that at its worst, on day 1, it got great reviews and was in many places specifically commended for taking the so-called 'grind' out of MMOs is relevant. And yes I enjoyed leveling in WoW 1.0 and it didn't feel like a repetitive grind at all because it obfuscated with story, exploration and discovery. But then again I only did it once. As I mentioned, most games feel a lot more repetitive second time around.

Wizardry
20-06-2011, 02:43 AM
I'd say Morrowind did a good job at being an FPS-RPG thing with quite a large world to explore, plenty of things to do, and fantastic modding support with a very well supported toolkit. Oblivion was a bit uninspired but at least Bethesda try to make large, open worlds even if they fall short of the mark in terms of cookie-cutter content.
But he/she was talking about Oblivion. Morrowind I can accept as it was basically like a watered down Daggerfall but with a less boring world. Oblivion was a watered down Morrowind with a more boring world. Oblivion did nothing to advance the genre. NPCs walking around, going to work and going to bed at night was done better a decade and a half earlier.

soldant
20-06-2011, 04:23 AM
But he/she was talking about Oblivion.
I know, but your post said "Bethesda", so I assumed that you meant Bethesda as a whole. Sincere apologies!


Oblivion was a watered down Morrowind with a more boring world.
I'll agree with that one, at least giant mushrooms aren't in every game, unlike pine trees.

Kody94
20-06-2011, 04:28 AM
But he/she was talking about Oblivion. Morrowind I can accept as it was basically like a watered down Daggerfall but with a less boring world. Oblivion was a watered down Morrowind with a more boring world. Oblivion did nothing to advance the genre. NPCs walking around, going to work and going to bed at night was done better a decade and a half earlier.

I'm not arguing with the fact that Oblivion was severely watered down and generic, but could you remind me what games in 1981 had "alive" NPCs?

Wizardry
20-06-2011, 04:37 AM
I'm not arguing with the fact that Oblivion was severely watered down and generic, but could you remind me what games in 1981 had "alive" NPCs?
1981? That's a quarter of a century earlier, not a decade and a half earlier. I was thinking of the Ultima VI/VII era.

Kody94
20-06-2011, 03:33 PM
1981? That's a quarter of a century earlier, not a decade and a half earlier. I was thinking of the Ultima VI/VII era.
Wow, sorry my mistake. Horrible math on my part. I've never played Ultima. I just can't remember many RPGs in my 13+ years of gaming where the characters do must else than stand around stupidly.

Vexing Vision
20-06-2011, 04:59 PM
BioShock 1 had utterly boring mechanics and a poor atmosphere

I don't get the love people have for BioShock at all. It's boring, a blatant rip-off of the MUCH superious SystemShock 2. So they got rid of the inventory system and the interesting skills, and kept different colours of fireball in instead of versatile powers.

I found the inclusion of ghosts... sorry... "triggered memories" (*snicker*) as a "homage" to SystemShock absolutely ridiculous. At the point a third into the game where they were explained away as residue memories, I was close to just quit and stop.

The only memorable bits for me were the very first chamber where the glass is cracking, before you realize that you're really safe and nothing will happen with the opressive water around you. That realization came very, very fast and it's a shame. The other memorable bit was the theater in the entertainment district, which was really well done. The rest? Throw-away.


Hexen is superiour to Doom, Unreal and Quake

This also goes for vanilla multiplayer. Quake had an amazing amount of truly amazing mods (Grappling hooks! Wheeeee!), but the three character classes in Hexen made for a fantastic co-op game and a very nearly as much fun in deathmatch.

SirKicksalot
20-06-2011, 06:45 PM
Who owns the Hexen and Heretic IPs anyway? You'd think that with the recent resurgence of the quirky FPS style someone would think to revive them (or Undying). At least id thinks about going back to the fantasy Quake...

Flint
20-06-2011, 06:53 PM
Who owns the Hexen and Heretic IPs anyway?
I'd imagine they're still owned by Raven and/or iD.

Jake
20-06-2011, 07:35 PM
I don't get the love people have for BioShock at all

I agree. I didn't like the character models which just looked strangely cartoony, and I hated the puzzle mini-game to the extent that I refused to do it.

FPS games are more fun with a game pad

Definitely not more accurate but just more fun. I am fine with giving up accuracy and more responsiveness for a more natural grip - especially on the trigger button. Using a mouse to shoot a gun is horrible, it's like clicking an X to shut a window, except the X is someone's head. I do enough mouse clicking when working.

Checkpoints are great, quickload and quicksave suck.

When games have quicksave/quickload I become obsessive about them: use too much ammo or take too much damage? Quickload and try again. I think I ruined Stalker for myself by binding quicksave to a mouse button - I'd save constantly for fear of messing something up. And yeah maybe this is just me, but I get really obsessive about loading and saving, I would much rather not have the option. I would rather get frustrated having to play the same section several times due to a bad checkpoint than completely ruin the sense of risk you are meant to get in a game. Before I knew you could put stuff in a chest in Minecraft, exploring near lava and monsters was SO tense because the stakes felt high, quicksave would have removed that completely.

All games have rubbish stories

Except Silent Hill 2. OK so I am exaggerating a bit, and I haven't even played a lot of the classic story-centric games, but most game stories tend to be poor when compared to books or films. They can be good for a game and they can contain great dialogue and characterisation, but the stories are usually uninspired and are usually just 'Hero's Journey' narratives at a basic level. It's hard to even think of interesting protagonists in games and it's harder still to think of any whose story moved me, or who went through complex character development or emotions.

mpk
20-06-2011, 07:40 PM
All games have rubbish stories



I don't think that's a particularly unconventional view.

Jake
20-06-2011, 07:56 PM
I don't think that's a particularly unconventional view.

To be honest I don't know if it's conventional or not, but I didn't want to say games that I thought had weak stories in case it annoyed people who liked them. Most RPGs that I have played though.

8-bit
20-06-2011, 08:06 PM
Portal is not one of the best games ever made.
The environments were dull in the lab sections, or ugly in the (I guess) sewer type levels, the plot wasn't great because it didn't have one, the companion cube is just a lifeless box and GLaDOS isn't funny. Oh and Chell is just a faceless player avatar, not some shining light for women in games, if you want something like that go play half life 2. the portals and puzzles were lots of fun but everything surrounding them was dull, dull, dull.

Telltale's monkey island is better than secret of monkey island.
Yup I did just post that, I wont explain myself as I fully expect to be chased from the forum and/or be thrown down a large hole very soon.

I also think that kicking puppies and stealing candy from babies are great pastimes, and I play JRPGs (enjoy them too) for those who were wondering.

mashakos
20-06-2011, 08:10 PM
All games have rubbish stories

Except Silent Hill 2. OK so I am exaggerating a bit, and I haven't even played a lot of the classic story-centric games, but most game stories tend to be poor when compared to books or films. They can be good for a game and they can contain great dialogue and characterisation, but the stories are usually uninspired and are usually just 'Hero's Journey' narratives at a basic level. It's hard to even think of interesting protagonists in games and it's harder still to think of any whose story moved me, or who went through complex character development or emotions.
I know right? This topic deserves it's own thread. The best thing I can say about the plot in games where the story stood out is that the story was relevant to the gameplay

measurements
20-06-2011, 10:47 PM
Portal is not one of the best games ever made.
The environments were dull in the lab sections, or ugly in the (I guess) sewer type levels, the plot wasn't great because it didn't have one, the companion cube is just a lifeless box and GLaDOS isn't funny. Oh and Chell is just a faceless player avatar, not some shining light for women in games, if you want something like that go play half life 2. the portals and puzzles were lots of fun but everything surrounding them was dull, dull, dull.

I'm finding myself swayed towards agreeing with you. Don't get me wrong, I think it's better to have played Portal than not and it was a very enjoyable puzzle game wrapped in a smooth layer of techno rasmatazz but your points hold water. I've never really got any of the 'gags' about the companion cube or cake, I didn't think much of the puzzles because of how they hold your hand and ram tutorial levels down your throat (see Portal Prelude mod for puzzles done well) and hinting at a black mesa / aperture science link and tied in universe to Half Life just felt a little like trying to provide teasers for something that wasn't / isn't there.

Ending song was a fucking classy way to go out though.

Interestingly enough I don't think much of Half Life 2 having played it again in recent times. I don't like Alyx Vance. Fucking exposition bot and a chore. And she praises me for things I have no choice over.

Maybe my polemic should be 'The general attitude towards Valve is that they are unreasonably highly venerated'. Half Life is a fucking legendary game of which nothing bad can be said about because, frankly, it's perfect. But after that? They always make sound business decisions (depending on how you cut the DRM cake) but what about sound games? I haven't bought Portal 2 yet because I'm not looking forward to how quickly I'll finish it. That is a confused statement if I ever did make one. The way they monetized TF 2 has pissed off a lot of people and I genuinely can't play that game now because of the high degree of utter chaos. I remember playing it and having a good time when it was more 'bare bones' team combat. Now it's like a circus shitting in your eyes while whistling catchphrases in your ears. With hats.

Flint
20-06-2011, 10:51 PM
I enjoyed Portal but I never thought it was anything other than a 'light snack' kind of game to spend a few hours with and that's about it. Never really massively acknowledged the things that became massive memes either. I still find it a bit weird how it managed to become such an Event.

AdamK117
20-06-2011, 10:58 PM
Although outwardly a hardcore PC gamer, I contraversially enjoy playing games like GTA4 / Darksiders whenever I'm in the mood to just bash stuff apart >,< literally treason among any of my LAN gaming, ex Counter-Strike playing, comerades

8-bit
20-06-2011, 11:43 PM
I enjoyed Portal but I never thought it was anything other than a 'light snack' kind of game to spend a few hours with and that's about it. Never really massively acknowledged the things that became massive memes either. I still find it a bit weird how it managed to become such an Event.

Well I think there are two reasons it became the event it was.
1)People have been seeing things that just aren't there, so a not very funny 2-3 hour comedy routine became the intellectuals game of choice, to be analysed and discussed forever and ever.
2)the game produced dozens of memes which provided fuel for the internet for almost a year.

Rinox
21-06-2011, 12:40 AM
Wait what, there are intellectuals on the internet and playing games?

8-bit
21-06-2011, 01:23 AM
all over the place and a clever bunch they are, but, I think you can over-analyse anything and put whatever meaning you want to it and thats what I think people did with portal. I could point out the theory that in pokemon red/blue the reason you meet your rival at the pokemon tower is because you are responsible for the death of his Raticate. sure the pokemon theory is very silly and was intended as a joke but from where I am looking at it, its the same thing people did with portal. there isn't really any harm in doing that sort of thing I suppose, but sometimes I think that things really are exactly as they seem on the surface, and portal was a fun puzzle game with some (imo poor) comedy.

mashakos
21-06-2011, 05:57 AM
Portal is not one of the best games ever made.
I think people make the claim because Portal has such broad appeal. Quite a few people who do not like games at all would sit and watch me play Portal, even laughing at the humour. A few wanted to try it out. I think that makes it great in the way Youtube is great, not in the way "2001: A Space Odyssey" is.

Ravenger
21-06-2011, 08:39 AM
Personally I thought Portal 2 wasn't as good as Portal 1 too.
The thing that really irritated me was the frequent loading screens. OK, Portal 1 loaded frequently, but that just paused the screen while loading for a few seconds. This had immersion breaking loading screens right in the middle of chase sequences. The annoying thing is they could have made most of them seamless by having the loading taking place whilst you were in the elevator.

You can tell the game was memory limited by the source engine and console capabilities because all the really complex levels with lots of animation and voice acting were really small and short, whilst the larger more open levels had virtually no animation or voice acting and were much less complex.

I preferred the more computery GlaDOS of the original game than the almost human sounding version in Portal 2.

The Witcher 1 is a better game than Witcher 2
In many ways it's worse - graphics and voice acting aren't anywhere near as good as the sequel, but the second game's plot is nowhere near as good or coherent.

The combat mechanics in the first were simple, but satisfying and tailored for a PC control system. The sequel's were obviously designed for an xbox controller, with an eye on porting to consoles.

In fact that's my biggest disappointment about the Witcher 2 - there are obviously so many design decisions made with an eye to porting to the 360. Decisions that would have been made differently if it had been a PC only game. This is most noticable around the UI which is designed primarily for a gamepad, and suffers for it, and the combat system which is very awkward on a keyboard and mouse.

Lukasz
21-06-2011, 09:24 AM
FPS games are more fun with a game pad

Definitely not more accurate but just more fun. I am fine with giving up accuracy and more responsiveness for a more natural grip - especially on the trigger button. Using a mouse to shoot a gun is horrible, it's like clicking an X to shut a window, except the X is someone's head. I do enough mouse clicking when working.



hehe. played a lot of consoles in your youth?


FF7 is rubbish. Huge repetitiviness of the game involving boring endless random encounter fights. Walking on a goddamn bridge and you find yourself fighting huge monsters out of nowhere.
Plot. Terrible and made up garbage. Don't remember much of it but i do remember mocking the storyline decisions.
Characters. I knew that chick will die at some point. Apparently it is some great point in history of gaming. Found her dull and was awaiting her death. Hated that black dude too.

Grandia 2 was so much better.

Ian
21-06-2011, 09:30 AM
I can't think of any that I have that are obscure enough to be "unconventional".

I defend the Wii (as a console, not in terms of what has or hasn't actually been produced for it), didn't "get" the Companion Cube, don't see why I should be judged for playing WoW and don't see that a game can't be good simply for doing normal things really well.

But there's shitloads of people who'd say/think all those things too, and not in small enough minorities to be unconventional.

Also, there's a lot of "ONLY I DARE SPEAK THE TRUTH" vibes coming out of this thread. :-P

baboonanza
21-06-2011, 09:41 AM
Wait, what? I've beaten RF:G, and I have no recollection of this. I tend to notice, because it's something that annoys me.
That reminds me: Red Faction: Guerilla was pretty shit. A boring world filled with invisible walls, terrible TERRIBILE driving and padded-out missions that required you to traipse all over the map. The destruction tech was ok, but not as impressive as everyone led me to believe. It felt like a console game.

I've played worse, but this game seems to get a lot more respect than it deserves IMO.

Also OT: Battlestar Gallactica is the most tedious, banal, predictable soap-opera I've ever seen.

mashakos
21-06-2011, 09:43 AM
FF7 is rubbish.
That is correct.

Edawan
21-06-2011, 02:48 PM
Half Life is a fucking legendary game of which nothing bad can be said about because, frankly, it's perfect.
Even Xen ?
The giant crab thing was a bit annoying but nice.
The platforming: awful.

Flint
21-06-2011, 03:00 PM
Xen was enjoyable, except for the terrible final boss. Valve have never done a good final boss fight, if you ask me.

soldant
21-06-2011, 03:22 PM
Xen was enjoyable, except for the terrible final boss.
I liked the Xen visuals. And that was about it. Otherwise I'm with Edawan, the platform sections with that special brand of HL physics were ridiculous.

Skalpadda
21-06-2011, 05:35 PM
Braid was rather tiresome

It was just trying too hard to be clever and artistic and not nearly hard enough to be fun and engaging. It was beautiful and the soundtrack was awesome (when it wasn't being ruined by the time effects), but I don't see how precision jumping and backtracking are awesome game design concepts that deserve the level of praise that game got.

Rii
21-06-2011, 05:53 PM
The Witcher 1 is a better game than Witcher 2
In many ways it's worse - graphics and voice acting aren't anywhere near as good as the sequel, but the second game's plot is nowhere near as good or coherent.

The combat mechanics in the first were simple, but satisfying and tailored for a PC control system. The sequel's were obviously designed for an xbox controller, with an eye on porting to consoles.

In fact that's my biggest disappointment about the Witcher 2 - there are obviously so many design decisions made with an eye to porting to the 360. Decisions that would have been made differently if it had been a PC only game. This is most noticable around the UI which is designed primarily for a gamepad, and suffers for it, and the combat system which is very awkward on a keyboard and mouse.

I'm somewhat further into the game now (about to fight a dragon) and yeah, all the points I made in the OP still hold at this juncture. Totally agreed on the voice acting being improved, but I'm actually somewhat on the fence about the visuals. Clearly the technology has been improved, but I find myself preferring the relatively clean aesthetic of the original. And Witcher 2's MORE BLOOM, MORE thing is getting on my nerves.

Squiz
21-06-2011, 05:57 PM
hehe. played a lot of consoles in your youth?


FF7 is rubbish. Huge repetitiviness of the game involving boring endless random encounter fights. Walking on a goddamn bridge and you find yourself fighting huge monsters out of nowhere.
Plot. Terrible and made up garbage. Don't remember much of it but i do remember mocking the storyline decisions.
Characters. I knew that chick will die at some point. Apparently it is some great point in history of gaming. Found her dull and was awaiting her death. Hated that black dude too.

Grandia 2 was so much better.
When did you play FF7? Back at its release? From today's standards can understand that people call it boring and unimaginative, but back then it was the most successful and broadly known FF game (maybe due to its release on the PS1). Which wouldn't account for a bad plot, true. But that kind of plot isn't exactly an exclusive feature of FF7, nearly all that series' games have huge story arcs that involve saving of one or a couple of worlds at some point. So you probably would have to say that all FF games are rubbish concerning the plot.

Like many FF games, it had some weird (but for me somehow appealing) graphical design elements - and I am not talking about those hair styles. The Golden Saucer location, the leveling of your materia, the materia system as a whole and the optional side plots are all examples why I think that it in fact isn't a rubbish game, but maybe just one that hasn't aged too well.

Given the title of this thread, I shouldn't argue too much about personal preferences. I would agree that the game was overhyped (especially from people liking it and stating nebulous memories from its release). But neither shall I let you get away with half-assed criticism. ;)

Rii
21-06-2011, 06:47 PM
Let's throw out some more wild assertions!

Goldeneye 007 is a milestone in the history of the First-Person Shooter. And not just "on consoles".
Hmm, so let's see. Goldeneye offered stealth-based gameplay in an FPS before Thief, skeletal animation before Half-Life, location-based damage modelling that the rest of the genre didn't catch up to for years, objective-based gameplay with objectives that varied by difficulty level (something which would still be notable in a game released today), end-of-match title rewards in multiplayer, introduced the sniper rifle and featured dual analogue control on a system whose controller featured only one analogue stick! The lack of love this game receives from most in the PC world is criminal.

Half-Life ain't all that
The best bit about HL (excluding the admittedly brilliant introductory tram ride and other pre-chaos stuff) was Opposing Force, both in concept and execution. And that wasn't even by Valve!

As for HL2, that was a solid but fairly unmemorable FPS and I haven't even bothered playing the Episodes. I'd much rather see more original IP from Valve than HL3.

The Blue Shell is Fine
Seriously. And it's not so much that it punishes you for doing well, it's that sans-Blue Shell you're otherwise disproportionately rewarded for getting an early break and thereby avoiding the tit-for-tat and vehicle congestion which characterise one's experience in the middle of the pack. And if you're only first by a hair then the explosion should take out second-place too, unless, y'know, they're skilled enough to brake in the moments before impact and you're not skilled enough to stick with them. Sure, there are individual instances of the Blue Shell that are manifestly unfair, but its overall contribution to the game is a positive one.

[Most] games depreciate too much, too rapidly.
I'm not talking about titles from eras gone by (think GoG's catalogue) that are inaccessible to wider audiences, rather titles from 1-5 years back. Hearing about that $5 Far Cry 2 deal on Steam last week almost made me feel ill, and not just because I missed it. I think games are too expensive to begin with, and find most avenues the industry pursues in an attempt to secure greater revenues (DRM, most DLC, project $10, etc.) reprehensible. But the industry's willingness (outside of Blizzard, Nintendo, and a few others) to sell its back catalogue for peanuts surprises me. Of course that pricing is driven by the hit-focused nature of the industry, and that's a whole 'nother topic in itself...

Giaddon
21-06-2011, 07:34 PM
Mainstream games won't progress until developers come up with a better mechanic than killing.
Obviously there are games that don't focus so much on killing: adventure games, puzzle games, The Sims. But the defining mechanic of mainstream games is killing. In the past, the future, the present; in castles, spaceships, city streets; as a marine, as an alien, as an archer, as an engineer; killing soldiers, monsters, aliens, people; always killing. I don't have a moral problem with this: it's just boring. It's very small. And it's become damn frustrating. Seeing a world like Rapture (from Bioshock) turn into another pointless killing field was tragic (and Infinite looks set to do the same thing). Interesting characters and stories are impossible to create because the characters spend all their time killing. "Failing" becomes being killed yourself. At which point you reload, and kill more thoroughly.

Indie developers are starting to discover the satisfaction of exploration, discovery, and construction. Adventure games have quietly been trying (and often failing, but still) to deliver solid stories without killing. I hope that soon the resources of a major studio will go in these direction (and I am heartened by LA Noire and heavy Rain, problematic as they may be).

mashakos
21-06-2011, 08:19 PM
When did you play FF7? Back at its release?
I wold like to add regarding my previous comment: played it on release. Or rather tried to play it.

Lukasz
21-06-2011, 09:08 PM
I played it for the first time (excluding demo) in 2003 or maybe 2004. on pc.

Squiz
21-06-2011, 10:04 PM
@Lukasz & @mashakos: Thanks for the replies. 2004 was seven years after release (I think at that point FF10 was already released), so maybe it wasn't exactly cutting edge anymore. I just realised that FF7 was the first title of the series to be released on PC. Many mechanics (like the way encounters happen) were already long present at that point. Anyways, I understand that it isn't to everybody's liking.

soldant
22-06-2011, 02:31 AM
Indie developers are starting to discover the satisfaction of exploration, discovery, and construction.
Some of them have but I'd argue that it's still the exception rather than the rule. There's still an awful lot which focus on being "artistic" and doing absolutely nothing in terms of gameplay. I suppose what you're aruging for is a return to adventure gaming, and I think you'll get your wish; LA Noire and Heavy Rain (though more-so the former) did a pretty good job, but at the end of the day they still focus on a plot that focuses on killing. It still allows an opening for others to work on the concept since the public have shown they're fairly receptive to it.

That said I don't want to return to an age of ridiculous solutions like combining a burning stick with a ring to get a cookie or something.

mashakos
22-06-2011, 05:48 AM
Many mechanics (like the way encounters happen) were already long present at that point.
these mechanics made sense in the cartridge era where a game can't exceed a megabyte, but they make no sense at all on a CD based game and completely break immersion.

That's the thing, I enjoyed FF V immensely on the SNES because it packed so much and so creatively on those carts. It showed me what could be possible if all those little icons and random blips of battle were fully realised in future systems. Then FF7 came out and it was the same old thing repackaged in 3D. Completely wasted opportunity. Mass Effect to me appears to be the true successor to those old SNES rpg's than the (crap) crop of FF games that have been spewed out for the past 15 years.

The Innocent
22-06-2011, 07:42 AM
The combat in The Witcher 2 is awesome, and everyone who says otherwise lacks skill and should be ashamed of their weenie-man selves.

This. I love the combat. I love the flow of it, the rhythm, the potion and oil preparations, the bombs and knives and traps, the signs -- all of it. It's deeply rewarding on hard difficulty, and while I can understand some folks' complaints, I think it's a great combat system in which the leveling up actually matters, rather than just being minor buffs to damage and health.

mashakos
22-06-2011, 07:57 AM
The combat in The Witcher 2 is awesome, and everyone who says otherwise lacks skill and should be ashamed of their weenie-man selves.

This. I love the combat. I love the flow of it, the rhythm, the potion and oil preparations, the bombs and knives and traps, the signs -- all of it. It's deeply rewarding on hard difficulty, and while I can understand some folks' complaints, I think it's a great combat system in which the leveling up actually matters, rather than just being minor buffs to damage and health.
I wish i had the time to play Witcher 2 and agree with you. I grew up on skill based games and WoW style combat bores me to tears. I hope there is more to W2 combat than 3 timed clicks per serving of monster/enemy/goof ...

Jade Empire came close , so close .. !

Squiz
22-06-2011, 08:26 AM
Then FF7 came out and it was the same old thing repackaged in 3D. Completely wasted opportunity. Again, this is an element of the series which didn't go away after FF7 (until FF12 I think). If it was a missed opportunity, then it did not hurt neither the sales nor the popularity of the franchise as the successors of FF7 have shown. So again, this is nothing that can be attributed to FF7 as a single game, but would have to be seen as a flaw of the whole series.


Mass Effect to me appears to be the true successor to those old SNES rpg's than the (crap) crop of FF games that have been spewed out for the past 15 years. I think ME has little in common with the RPGs of "ye olden times". To name a few examples, it has little to no exploration (I won't count the Mako missions as exploration), a very limited set of abilities, is much less focused on equipment as a source of party development and has no contiguous ingame world but a assembly of systems and worlds (one may call them "levels") which you are supposed to travel to from a menu. I would go so far as to see ME as part of a completely different genre, but that is another discussion.

Concluding, I would argue that the franchise hasn't changed very much. This especially true for the storylines and seems to me as a valid argument to criticise FF as a whole. At the same time, fans of the series still know what they'll get when they see a new release coming up. If your experiences with the games have changed over time it might show that maybe you as a gamer have developed other preferences. But I am sure that there are many people out there who haven't experienced earlier games of the series and that for them the "old" mechanics still work fairly well.



The combat in The Witcher 2 is awesome, and everyone who says otherwise lacks skill and should be ashamed of their weenie-man selves. I would have to disagree. I am on my second playthrough now on hard difficulty and I think that the combat isn't very challenging. You definitely don't need daggers and traps, bombs do come in handy and potions haven't proven to be necessary or overly useful apart from one or two instances of "Cat" usage in dark areas (much less useful than in the first game) and "Swallow" potions for convenience's sake. As far as signs go, well, they make and break most encounters of the game. "Igni" less so, but "Axii" , "Aard" and "Quen" (oh overpowered Quen...) quickly resolve nearly every fight for you.

Vexing Vision
22-06-2011, 08:32 AM
The combat in The Witcher 2 is awesome, and everyone who says otherwise lacks skill and should be ashamed of their weenie-man selves.


I actually agree, though I did enjoy Witcher 1's combat too. I wouldn't be able to say which I liked more though.

I think more people would have enjoyed that combat if the tutorial leading up to it wouldn't be so utterly mis-designed.

mashakos
22-06-2011, 08:38 AM
I think ME ... has no contiguous ingame world but a assembly of systems and worlds (one may call them "levels") which you are supposed to travel to from a menu.
I zoned out after you started mentioning equipment but this caught my eye. Since when did FF have a continuous world environment? It's always been a 2D or 3D map connecting different areas (levels) with tedious random enemy encounters in-between long stretches of moving your little player/craft icon from one end to the other. There is no sense of a world in the way WoW conveys it's world for example.

Squiz
22-06-2011, 09:07 AM
What I ment is that most locations are connected via a world map which you travel across. There are interior areas which could count as "levels", but theoretically, you could travel from the last village in the world to the first one (if there were no blocking elements in your path) and you often got the possibility to use some kind of aircraft to visit nearly every corner of that world. The "level" argument from my post above aimed at the seperated world(s) design ME used. Those were pure combat zones with one or two dialogues interspersed. No villages to visit (the main space station might count as one) and no locals you could talk to. Your party was a crack team on a mission and left the scenes as soon as the job was done there. I think that KotoR managed to be something in between, with different planets to visit but each inhabited by various species and settlements on them.

phenom_x8
22-06-2011, 10:16 AM
STEP MANIA 3.9 is a must install game on my system since 2007.
This game is a true PC game with widespread community support that provide us with a lot of songs that can't be boring (for free,yes )! I keep my fitness by playing this game (I even bought an usb dance carpet for this game) for 45 minutes before go to work and varied it with jogging and weighlifting if I feel bored. I'm able to reduce my weight because of this game too! I'm so proud of this freeware!

PES is way better than FIFA!
No matter how many people encourage me to play FIFA and join their community, I still thinks that this is better game overall! The goal randomness, players authencity (behaviour from bird eye view and face from close up) are top notch.My advice to enjoy it : Play it at highest difficulty, install the official uniform mod (including real world jersey, name and roster) from their widespread community, use small team instead of big name (I always use AS ROma since PS 2 era) and then played it with your friend(community) face to face (offline exhibition). I'm pretty sure it will be your football gaming heaven all this year !

coldvvvave
22-06-2011, 10:40 AM
Duke Nukem is not really an iconic character.

Or at least not a mainstream one.

I find it funny that such an iconic chatacter( at least according to Gearbox and Gametrailers) as Duke Nukem was never properly copied by some lazy gamedev team from some small country, I mean it's so easy to make a cheap knock-off DN3D-style game with a larger-than-life chatacter resembling Duke and get ALL THE MONEY from Dukes alleged fanboys who waited for Dukes return with bated breath. Duke isn't really such a deep character, copying him is easy, you can call him Count Shootem or something. Right now the only thing I know of that came close to even attempting to exploit Duke's alleged fame is Dudebro 2, but I think it's still in development hell, not to mention it's not an FPS and made by SomethingAwfull which means it's going to be, well, you know. All that makes me think that Duke was never really THAT iconic as a character, game was( and it WAS copied), but not Duke himselfm. And thats why making DNF as a game about how cool Duke is was probably a bad idea.

Kadayi
22-06-2011, 12:01 PM
Half-Life ain't all that
The best bit about HL (excluding the admittedly brilliant introductory tram ride and other pre-chaos stuff) was Opposing Force, both in concept and execution. And that wasn't even by Valve!

As for HL2, that was a solid but fairly unmemorable FPS and I haven't even bothered playing the Episodes. I'd much rather see more original IP from Valve than HL3.

I think you are missing the point as to why Half-life is such an important title. Perhaps you weren't around when it originally came out but it genuinely shifted the FPS Paradigm at the time: -

http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/1832/the_gamasutra_quantum_leap_awards_.php?page=9

Without the original there would of been no Opposing Force either.

As regards the sequel it built on the legacy of the original and was the first FPS to truly make use of ingame physics beyond simple rag dolling by adding actual weight to objects as well as upping the ante with respect to Non player character fidelity through the facial tech.

Kablooie
22-06-2011, 12:53 PM
I thought Half Life 2 was one of the more overrated games. I understand now (thanks, Kadayi) why it's rated like it was. My problem was I didn't play it until years after video game tech had moved on. I thought the story unoriginal and the game dreadfully boring in many areas.

It'll never be a favorite of mine, but I can understand why it's important.

Jams O'Donnell
22-06-2011, 01:19 PM
Deus Ex: It kind of dragged on a bit didn't it?

In 1998, Quake 2 and Unreal duked it out for the title of best FPS, then Half Life stole the crown.
In 2004, Doom 3 and Half Life 2 were vying for the title of best FPS, then Far Cry stole the crown.

Combat in Bioshock felt lightweight, weak, insubstantial, you name it. I sure didn't feel like I was firing weapons that could cause any real harm, and the AI wasn't very exciting to fight against.

Kadayi
22-06-2011, 01:51 PM
I thought Half Life 2 was one of the more overrated games. I understand now (thanks, Kadayi) why it's rated like it was. My problem was I didn't play it until years after video game tech had moved on. I thought the story unoriginal and the game dreadfully boring in many areas.

It'll never be a favourite of mine, but I can understand why it's important.

I think it's fundamentally important, especially given the rapidly evolving nature of games to contextualise any assessment of their qualities/merits/flaws in light of their place in the history of the medium as a whole, and appreciate that although they may often seem quaint and archaic now, at the time they had a profound impact in terms of establishing clear precedents and benchmarks for future developers to aspire to surpass.

measurements
22-06-2011, 07:11 PM
Even Xen ?
The giant crab thing was a bit annoying but nice.
The platforming: awful.


Xen was enjoyable, except for the terrible final boss. Valve have never done a good final boss fight, if you ask me.

I'm with Flint on this one. And strangely enough, I took like a fish to water with Half Life's crouch-jump (before and after long jump module) system. I was nimble like a mountain goat. So I never really tired of Xen. It was just the testicle-crab and last boss that blew.


As regards the sequel it built on the legacy of the original and was the first FPS to truly make use of ingame physics beyond simple rag dolling by adding actual weight to objects as well as upping the ante with respect to Non player character fidelity through the facial tech.

I know from my own recollection of the first days of Half Life 2 that I couldn't get enough of the physics and the animations that you mention here. But I feel like perhaps I was a sycophant to the Valve hype machine. I even recall, back in that time, showing my brothers Half Life 2 and trying to explain how significant the physics was. But they didn't buy it. It's not enough to pin an entire game on. I'm not completely condemning half life 2, you must understand. It's got more than enough going in it's favour. I just don't quite know why I was so overwhelmed by it back then when I'm distinctly underwhelmed by it now. I do recall thinking the guns were all quite shit on first play though. That is, for a game almost entirely about shooting things (no talkin') most of the guns feel insufficient and quite pathetic. Except for that blue one at the end. Then they put enemies out of it's range and make you use "comboings" (http://www.hlcomic.com/index.php?date=2006-09-07).

Splynter
22-06-2011, 07:33 PM
Majora's Mask and The Wind Waker are the best Zelda games ever made.

Majora's Mask was the first game that truly spoke to me on an emotional level. Sure, if you only played through the main quest the game wasn't exceptionally impressive, but as far as I'm concerned the side quests were the 'main' quest. The game explored the human drama behind a dying world and its bleak atmosphere was very much a departure from all else I had played up to that point.

The Wind Waker, on the other hand, is worth the price of admission if only for the joy of exploring and charting a vast ocean. As a sailor and someone who has always enjoyed exploration both in reality and in games, I could come back to this game forever if only to sail that little boat around the ocean.

Bioshock was boring and had horrible gameplay mechanics.

The 'feel' was completely missing from this game. The guns felt weak and unimpressive, and the requisite 'ooh make a difficult moral decision' 2000's design decision regarding the little sisters seemed silly.

Wizardry
22-06-2011, 07:34 PM
The Half-Life series is definitely overrated. It also happens to be one of those mysterious games that you can't speak out against else you suffer the wrath of fanboys everywhere.

squareking
22-06-2011, 08:19 PM
Duke Nukem is not really an iconic character.

Or at least not a mainstream one.

I find it funny that such an iconic chatacter( at least according to Gearbox and Gametrailers) as Duke Nukem was never properly copied by some lazy gamedev team from some small country, I mean it's so easy to make a cheap knock-off DN3D-style game with a larger-than-life chatacter resembling Duke and get ALL THE MONEY from Dukes alleged fanboys who waited for Dukes return with bated breath...

Serious Sam, perhaps? Croteam's certainly not lazy, and they weren't out to ape every aspect of Duke, but...

Kadayi
22-06-2011, 08:30 PM
The Half-Life series is definitely overrated. It also happens to be one of those mysterious games that you can't speak out against else you suffer the wrath of fanboys everywhere.

Overrated Vs which other FPS franchise exactly? Ordinarily I keep you firmly on ignore, but given your vague tirade against Mass Effect a few weeks back which ultimately resulted in the truth coming out that you'd not actually played the series in any way shape or form whatsoever, I'm kind of curious as to where this sudden intimate knowledge as to the relative value of FPS games comes from exactly? I'd hate to think that you're going to debase yourself further by talking smack about a subject that in reality have no valid input opinion on.

@measurements

I don't think HL2 is without flaws (the combat lacks the kinetic intensity of say F.E.A.R for example), and neither is HL (Zen was not good by any stretch of the imagination), however you have to look at these things from a legacy issue viewpoint. I look at Bioshock infinite and the character of Elizabeth and I see clear lines of influence leading back to Alyx. I look at the building collapsing in the BF3 trailer and I'm seeing a connection going back to the cinematic physics in EP2.

I think it's often easy to be 'disappointed' in games, because in a lot of ways whilst the medium is still evolving on a technical level, player expectations are often far higher than the actual medium can deliver more often than not. For me personally what I look for in a game is an evolution of the form from what presently exists, in interesting directions. Whether a game holds up within itself in it's entirety is not such a fundamental issue for me. Once in a blue moon someone really hits it out the park with a game, but by and large all games have flaws and the thing to assess them on is whether the flaws outweigh the positives.

Mirrors Edge for example is a fantastic and exhilarating experience in places; it's just ruined by a extremely tedious story, terrible and unnecessary combat and a couple of frustrating difficulty spikes. Is a game I recommend people play? I recommend they experience it for sure, but I can't necessarily recommend they play it to completion. However the prospect of Mirrors Edge 2 sometime down the road is an enticing prospect, as in this age of feedback the developers are going to naturally build on the games strengths and iron out it's weaknesses.

Wizardry
22-06-2011, 08:41 PM
Usually I have you on ignore but I thought it might be worthwhile to say that I did complete Mass Effect and played a good few hours of Mass Effect 2.

J Arcane
22-06-2011, 08:48 PM
Oooh, I love these kinds of threads. I'll add a few of my own, though I don't know how controversial some of them will be given what I've read the past few pages.

Passage was awful, or Stop trying to be "ART"
It is not even really a "game" in any meaningful sense, and even as a motion art exhibit, the half-assed pixelated graphics kill it's own intended message. It is a textbook case of a certain brand of crap indie "game" that desperately wants to be art, and seems to interpret this as meaning they can throw out any sense of actually being a game at all, and instead combine a mindless repetitive task with some overly simplistic visuals while trying to ram home some kind of "message" that really isn't much of a message at all so much as some trite or maudlin tautology. There was a very good quote I used to wear at as a signature for a long time, that a bloke made on another forum made:


To my mind, nothing gets in the way of producing things of genuine artistic merit than the creator in question sitting down and saying to themselves "I am going to make something of genuine artistic merit!" -- Warthur (http://www.therpgsite.com/showpost.php?p=328251&postcount=52)

Free to Play is death to quality gameplay
It's the hottest new thing with game publishers, and somehow as a result gamers themselves have been conned into thinking it's a good thing as well, when what it really has proven itself to be time and time again is a way to milk players for cash without having to bother with anything like actually being a decent game or anything.

It seems to be an open invitation to every kind of greedy manipulation, even when applied after the fact to existing otherwise traditional works, from Champions' "let's make an intolerably complicated system full of dead end abilities and charge for respecs", to LOTRO's "Now you can pay us $15 per zone to access the content you've already paid us $50 plus countless monthly fees for!", to Forsaken World's "let's introduce a host of different little perks you get at timed intervals but only if you stay online as long as possible", to Battlefield Heroes "You will never earn this superior weapon without quitting your job, so fork over the cash, but by the way it expires in two weeks", all the way down to the classic, known to a million Korean MMOs besides, Allods "The level rate slows down dramatically at key points, so that in order to progress at all you'll need to buy our magic XP gaining item!"

The whole bleeding F2P model pretty much requires these kind of manipulative and unethical design practices in order to sustain itself, and the result is that content and gameplay design takes a back seat to finding new ways to screw the player base. Why develop new zones and levels when you can just tweak the level rate quietly, and then introduce another new must-have item that boosts your EXP, but not quite enough to make up for the reduced rate?

Personally, I love subscription fees, for the same reason the Rift guys said in their interview here: A subscription fee provides a bar, a standard of expectation that the developer must reach. He knows that the player is going to justify that monthly fee based on whether he feels he's receiving enough quality content and gameplay, and a dev must either live up to that expectation, or die. It's cutt-throat, sure, but it produces a hell of a lot better games.

The problem with the MMO market isn't that WoW is too big to compete with, or that the business model is broken, it's just that most MMOs are shit, because they're designed by people looking for a cash-in instead of a good game.

There are other RPGs out there besides D&D
I know D&D is the big boy on the block in the tabletop space even to this day (though as much from cutt-throat business practices and bigger marketing budgets as quality), and that it was one of the few back in the heady days of Wizardry and Rogue and all that, but seriously developers, there are other games out there! We've been rehashing the D&D level/class system for like 40 years now, and it's got rather old. We even have people working in the games business who've developed some of those other games, with other rules and approaches, but damned if one can tell looking at the field. And the worst part is, most of the time they're not even ripping off the whole of D&D, just some stripped down version of BD&D with some bits tacked on, so much so that actual adaptations of the D&D rules like what NWN did look amazingly deep by comparison. I'd just like to see some acknowledgement of other design approaches and a little more effort put into RPG systems in video games.

mpk
22-06-2011, 09:40 PM
Deus Ex: It kind of dragged on a bit didn't it?



I got bored half way through and stopped playing. I understand why it's loved by other people, but it did nothing for me. Haven't touched the sequel, have no interest in the third either.

mpk
22-06-2011, 09:41 PM
I'm with Flint on this one. And strangely enough, I took like a fish to water with Half Life's crouch-jump (before and after long jump module) system. I was nimble like a mountain goat. So I never really tired of Xen. It was just the testicle-crab and last boss that blew.



I still find myself crouch-jumping on reflex in FPS games, even though I can't think of any other that I've played (off the top of my head) that uses it as a mechanic.

Jeremy
22-06-2011, 10:22 PM
Magicka didn't really do much for me
I know that a lot of people enjoyed this game, but it seemed pretty repetitive, and it focused on the action RPG style of Diablo without any of the compelling loot to keep me going. Granted, I know it wasn't really trying to be like Diablo, or Torchlight, or anything like that.. but there wasn't enough sense of discovery. The magic system had a lot of potential, but I felt that there wasn't enough variation to really make it truly interesting. In short, it occupied a small amount of my time before me and a pal of mine just sort of gave up on it.

TillEulenspiegel
22-06-2011, 11:11 PM
There are other RPGs out there besides D&D

And the worst part is, most of the time they're not even ripping off the whole of D&D, just some stripped down version of BD&D with some bits tacked on, so much so that actual adaptations of the D&D rules like what NWN did look amazingly deep by comparison. I'd just like to see some acknowledgement of other design approaches and a little more effort put into RPG systems in video games.
I violently agree with all of that, especially about ignoring so many of the good bits of the RPG systems in question. But. The bulk of current innovation in the tabletop RPGs simply isn't translatable to CRPGs. In short: humans can fill in blanks that computers can't.

I've recently been conducting a broad review of RPG rulebooks in search of interesting ideas (didya know Gary Gygax wrote a highly detailed random dungeon generation algorithm in Appendix A of the AD&D1 Dungeon Master's Guide?). I'm extremely impressed with Green Ronin's output, particularly Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd edition (not the current edition by Fantasy Flight!). Palladium Fantasy and Das Schwarze Auge also have lots of juicy bits. I'd probably mention more, but I have lots more reading to do...

Of course, even just expanding into some of the D&D supplements (http://index.rpg.net/display-entry.phtml?mainid=1454) would be wonderful. Pre-WotC D&D was inspired and broad-ranging, offering mechanics for a variety of scenarios. D&D3 cut that back, and D&D4 smothered it to death, truly becoming the hack-and-slash "kick down the door, kill the monsters, take their treasure" stereotype that so many gamers perceive D&D to be. And continuing to beat the dead horse that is Forgotten Realms (Ed Greenwood's tediously boring, generic fantasy mishmash setting).

IMO, the best CRPG interpretation of the tabletop spirit is still Darklands. The encounter system was just a simple text menu, but it worked so well and offered so many different choices.

Wizardry
22-06-2011, 11:18 PM
IMO, the best CRPG interpretation of the tabletop spirit is still Darklands. The encounter system was just a simple text menu, but it worked so well and offered so many different choices.
Shame about the combat.

Col
23-06-2011, 07:43 AM
Limbo is enormously overrated

Yes, it is atmospheric, yes, it looks lovely, but no, it is not that good a game. Its fatal flaw is that its respawn times are simply too long for a game that relies so heavily on instadeath traps and trial & error to solve puzzles. I don't mind getting stuck in a game, but getting stuck in a game in which the only way to progress is to have to wait 5 seconds every time you fuck up one of its highly fuck-upable puzzles is not on.

This was also the sort of game that reviewers queue up to put on the indie art game wankhat. The story is 'understated' and 'minimalist' (translation: there is no story); the imagery is 'shocking' (just add dead kids!); the ending is 'open to interpretation' (translation: it didn't make any sense).

Kadayi
23-06-2011, 08:01 AM
Limbo is enormously overrated

This was also the sort of game that reviewers queue up to put on the indie art game wankhat. The story is 'understated' and 'minimalist' (translation: there is no story); the imagery is 'shocking' (just add dead kids!); the ending is 'open to interpretation' (translation: it didn't make any sense).

You're a terminator and the girl is Sarah Connor. It's all in the eyes.

Also I wouldn't so much say it's overrated as it's overpriced. Aesthetically it's exquisite, but given the extremely short playtime and linear nature the price seemed excessive in comparison to that of a AAA title.

Vexing Vision
23-06-2011, 08:06 AM
I violently agree with all of that, especially about ignoring so many of the good bits of the RPG systems in question. But. The bulk of current innovation in the tabletop RPGs simply isn't translatable to CRPGs. In short: humans can fill in blanks that computers can't.

...

IMO, the best CRPG interpretation of the tabletop spirit is still Darklands. The encounter system was just a simple text menu, but it worked so well and offered so many different choices.

I absolutely concur, but would like to draw the discerning eye to the astonishingly well-done Realms of Arkania trilogy, which uses a German RPG system called Dark Eye. Personally, I find that the Dark Eye System is one of the most torturous pen&paper-systems there is in the entire world of pen&paper games (and this includes Call of the Warlock, of which I have a copy for giggles), but it works very well as a Computer game.


But yeah, I'd love to see a FUDGE-based game outside of MUSHes very, very much.

Jockie
23-06-2011, 08:32 AM
Shadow Warrior was better than Duke Nukem 3D

Sure, it's kind of cringeingly racist and has boobs thrown in for no reason whatsoever, but the ridiculous weaponry and silly little minigame asides as well as the basic action of the game made it superior in every way for me. The horrible racial stereotyping means we'll never see the franchise revived, but after seeing DNF, that's probably a good thing.

PvP in MMO's is across the board terrible

It just is, it's generally an imprecise benny hill chase as people spam about 3 different worthwhile abilities from a list of 20+ with animations that never actually connect. They should take a leaf out of Moba games books and realise that streamlining , simplifying and focusing on tight, focused and satisfying team-work is the way to do opposed, stat based fantasy combat.

J Arcane
23-06-2011, 09:02 AM
I absolutely concur, but would like to draw the discerning eye to the astonishingly well-done Realms of Arkania trilogy, which uses a German RPG system called Dark Eye. Personally, I find that the Dark Eye System is one of the most torturous pen&paper-systems there is in the entire world of pen&paper games (and this includes Call of the Warlock, of which I have a copy for giggles), but it works very well as a Computer game.


You should really try Drakensang. It's a pretty decent adaptation of the present state of the rules, and honestly gives me a stronger pen-and-paper feel than anything I've played since the original Fallouts.

Personally, though, while I've come to love SPECIAL, I consider it one of the great lost opportunities that the GURPS deal fell through, that would've been awesome.

Another that's actually surprising on the PnP adaptation front is the old Megatraveller games. The character systems in that one were so accurate you could actually use it as a character creator for the tabletop game.


PvP in MMO's is across the board terrible

It just is, it's generally an imprecise benny hill chase as people spam about 3 different worthwhile abilities from a list of 20+ with animations that never actually connect. They should take a leaf out of Moba games books and realise that streamlining , simplifying and focusing on tight, focused and satisfying team-work is the way to do opposed, stat based fantasy combat.

Oh my god, YES.

It's so fucking pointless too. It's just a load of maths, with a very thin veneer of twitch and exploit tactics on top (if you can't bunny hop with the best of them, don't waste time on WoW PvP). I have bigger numbers than you, so I win. Every bloody time.

Warhammer Online was a bit better than average on that front but that's about all, and I still grew bored of it after the third or fourth run of the same bloody battleground.

Squiz
23-06-2011, 10:40 AM
You should really try Drakensang. It's a pretty decent adaptation of the present state of the rules, and honestly gives me a stronger pen-and-paper feel than anything I've played since the original Fallouts.

Personally, though, while I've come to love SPECIAL, I consider it one of the great lost opportunities that the GURPS deal fell through, that would've been awesome.

Another that's actually surprising on the PnP adaptation front is the old Megatraveller games. The character systems in that one were so accurate you could actually use it as a character creator for the tabletop game.



Oh my god, YES.

It's so fucking pointless too. It's just a load of maths, with a very thin veneer of twitch and exploit tactics on top (if you can't bunny hop with the best of them, don't waste time on WoW PvP). I have bigger numbers than you, so I win. Every bloody time.

Both of you, get Guild Wars now, have a look at Guild vs Guild battles, rethink your statements.

Jockie
23-06-2011, 10:48 AM
Both of you, get Guild Wars now, have a look at Guild vs Guild battles, rethink your statements.

I own Guild Wars, it's perhaps the exception that proves the rule. But then again, most people don't consider it an MMO in the strictest sense, because of instancing and besides, the PvP is limited to 8vs8, meaning it is tighter and more focused and streamlined to 8 skills. The animations still aren't brilliant and it can still resemble benny hill with the warriors/melee classes being comically kited.

AndrewC
23-06-2011, 11:25 AM
To move the thread away from a worrying increase of terms like 'pretentious' and 'arty farty', i'd like to say that mouse-look is killing games. All of them, and also the time-space continuum, and keeps Britain's Got Talent on air.

So: great for accuracy, terribly for feel and physicality and immersion. I think someone far above in this thread said they liked controllers for FPS, and I agree in the sense that actually having to move the gun to where you want to point it instead of that WHIHP POP! insta-movement of mice gives one far more connection to that gun, and thus the world.

But even worse than FPSs where twitch skills are at least sort of in-continuity, take horror games, puzzle games or other slower paced games - all pace and atmosphere is broken just as soon as the screen is WHIHP POPping about with mouse look. Too fast, too obviously not-part-of-the-world, too fiction breaking, the screen screams 'just a game guys!'.

'but I feel so limited when I don't have mouse sensitivity at 200%! It's like moving through sludge! I must have control!'

Yep, no mouse-look limits control. But the problem is not the limitation, it is the mouse. Game-design limits our control all the time, and we have all accepted slower movement and weaker jumps in our FPSs over the last decade, all things that help put the player IN the world, thus give weight and thus reality to that world, but apparently mouse-look is off the agenda for change.

And forcing mouse-look has a bad effect on the game design, because threats must be weighted for that WHIHP-POP! insta-movement, so games become about more enemies and faster which, whether you think 'more' and 'faster' equates to 'better' or not, is still a straight jacket on games designers. Anything that forces a particular design on a designer is a bad thing. And forcing unrealistic movement on to a designer who is trying to make a realistic or immersive game? Utterly terrible.

So: for games where you do not control a physical thing in the world - like RTSs or menu driven games - mice are the greatest thing ever. For games where you are directly controlling a being in a world, ANY control scheme that forces impossible movement on that being is a bad thing, as it unattaches that being from the world, and thus distances the player from that world, and the WHIHP POP! of unfettered mouse look is the worst offender of this. Mouse Look destroys immersion.

And, as any game that tried to remove it would be met with SCREAMS, it is us, the PC Gamer, that is the engine of this destruction. It is our fault.

TillEulenspiegel
23-06-2011, 11:33 AM
I don't think the Drakensang series is a particularly good adaptation of DSA4. The combat system, perhaps. It commits the same sin as most D&D CRPGs, omitting large portions of even just the basic rulebook.

- Any advantage/disadvantage that wasn't just a simple modifier? Gone.
- I count at least 79 non-combat talents in the book, versus 23 in Am Fluss der Zeit.

hamster
23-06-2011, 11:38 AM
To move the thread away from a worrying increase of terms like 'pretentious' and 'arty farty', i'd like to say that mouse-look is killing games. All of them, and also the time-space continuum, and keeps Britain's Got Talent on air.

So: great for accuracy, terribly for feel and physicality and immersion. I think someone far above in this thread said they liked controllers for FPS, and I agree in the sense that actually having to move the gun to where you want to point it instead of that WHIHP POP! insta-movement of mice gives one far more connection to that gun, and thus the world.

But even worse than FPSs where twitch skills are at least sort of in-continuity, take horror games, puzzle games or other slower paced games - all pace and atmosphere is broken just as soon as the screen is WHIHP POPping about with mouse look. Too fast, too obviously not-part-of-the-world, too fiction breaking, the screen screams 'just a game guys!'.

'but I feel so limited when I don't have mouse sensitivity at 200%! It's like moving through sludge! I must have control!'

Yep, no mouse-look limits control. But the problem is not the limitation, it is the mouse. Game-design limits our control all the time, and we have all accepted slower movement and weaker jumps in our FPSs over the last decade, all things that help put the player IN the world, thus give weight and thus reality to that world, but apparently mouse-look is off the agenda for change.

And forcing mouse-look has a bad effect on the game design, because threats must be weighted for that WHIHP-POP! insta-movement, so games become about more enemies and faster which, whether you think 'more' and 'faster' equates to 'better' or not, is still a straight jacket on games designers. Anything that forces a particular design on a designer is a bad thing. And forcing unrealistic movement on to a designer who is trying to make a realistic or immersive game? Utterly terrible.

So: for games where you do not control a physical thing in the world - like RTSs or menu driven games - mice are the greatest thing ever. For games where you are directly controlling a being in a world, ANY control scheme that forces impossible movement on that being is a bad thing, as it unattaches that being from the world, and thus distances the player from that world, and the WHIHP POP! of unfettered mouse look is the worst offender of this. Mouse Look destroys immersion.

And, as any game that tried to remove it would be met with SCREAMS, it is us, the PC Gamer, that is the engine of this destruction. It is our fault.

I'm sorry what are you suggesting? That we control first person viewpoint with the arrow keys like in Doom? The mouse gives v. precise control as well as making the control experience intuitive - in FPS, it's like moving the gun around (with the assumption that you face whatever direction the gun is facing). And this is, well, rather realistic, is it not?

As for the mouse restricting design choice, this doesn't make sense. One could restrict mouselook in a variety of ways anyway. For example, inertia could be simulated, such that initial mouse movement would be slow, then quicker, and then movement in the opposite direction would be a fair bit more difficult. Stiffness could also be simulated such that a sensitivity cap is imposed when using v. large guns i.e. AA flak cannons. In any case, uninhibited mouselook doesn't restricted design freedom as there is an absolute bar in terms of hand-eye coordination and reflexes for the player. Enemies could be made to move in unpredictable patterns (stuff that you actually do see in console games); they could be made to move at a very very quick speeds; they could be programmed to dodge/parry bullets upon certain conditions etc. etc.

Seriously, what are you suggesting as an alternative? Analog sticks? Really mouselook can be constrained to be essentially the same thing.

AndrewC
23-06-2011, 11:43 AM
But it isn't. Even things like mouse smoothing get treated like the plague round here. What could be done isn;t being allowed to be done, by PC Gamers who want glorious realistic worlds, and then to move around them like it was Quake 3.

Alex Bakke
23-06-2011, 11:44 AM
One possible solution to mouselook would be Track-IR for turning and looking, with aiming done with a mouse.

Liqourish
23-06-2011, 01:29 PM
FPS games are more fun with a game pad

Definitely not more accurate but just more fun. I am fine with giving up accuracy and more responsiveness for a more natural grip - especially on the trigger button. Using a mouse to shoot a gun is horrible, it's like clicking an X to shut a window, except the X is someone's head. I do enough mouse clicking when working.

Gaaaaah what the hell is wrong with you. Is your mouse oddly angled or something? Are your fingers horribly deformed?

Anyway:

The reason a mouse is better is because you control the direction of your gun/fist/sword/whatever, not the acceleration of said device. With a stick, I'm controlling how fast I'm spinning to the left, not the movement.

I think with a more direct connection between movement on and off screen, you can more easily create a connection between the player and the game.


ALSO RE THAT BIT ABOUT STORIES:

Well yeah. Except a lot of games, mostly from the indie scene. I was digging for an example of a game I liked but now I can't find it.

Vandelay
23-06-2011, 05:22 PM
On controls, I really wish the PC community wouldn't be quite so stubborn about them. One of the great things about the PC is not that it has the "One True Control Scheme", but that it has (or should have) access to all of them. Yet, the number of times I see people bemoan keyboard and mouse controls is staggering. Just buy a sodding pad! It will open up a whole bunch of gaming treats.

P.S Only exception is with FPS games that aren't properly designed for Kb+m. Playing with a pad just makes you a muppet.

Liqourish
23-06-2011, 06:05 PM
Pads are good for a lot of things, like say, flying helicopters or driving cars, but for shooting mans I have to say that mice (or some other device that offers that x:y movement) are preferable.

Game with a properly presented story: Star Guard (http://vacuumflowers.com/star_guard/star_guard.html)

Skalpadda
23-06-2011, 06:28 PM
@AndrewC: Really? Let's do an experiment. Look around the room from object to object trying to move your head in lines like a you would a character with arrow keys or an analog stick. Now try the same moving from object to object quickly like you would with a mouse. Which is more realistic?

As long as you're not a cyborg with servos controlling your joints and eyes, "axis movement" is far less realistic than what you can do with a mouse.

edit: Replied to the wrong person.

Olero
23-06-2011, 06:42 PM
Game developers still aren't really pushing the limits.

And no, I'm not talking about graphics, world size or game length. What I mean is innovation and grandness. Still vague words, I admit, but let me try with an example: Morrowind, Fallout 3, Oblivion and all the other big scale sandboxy RPG's got some bits right. They created big and beautiful worlds, got a nice atmosphere and gave you a nice variety of weapons/skills/perks. But in the end, when you finally finished the main quest, I still felt like I saved yet another world which revolved purely around me. And me killing stuff or doing errands on the way there. Why do we still have all those classic Shakespearian drama's in games?

I want a game that says to me: Here's the world; go on, get (in)famous, make a name for yourself. But how you do it is all up to you. Setting up the biggest trade network, finding rare items as an archeologist, inventing new machines, start a political career, conquer the world with your music or even kill the right (wrong) people if you like.
The game will end when you've reached a giving/chosen/hidden goal, with 100's of possible endings, and not 10 different-but-not-quite-different endings games have nowadays. And while you're playing the game, doing the things you like best, the world evolves, ignorant of your puny existens. Towns grow, villages vanish, fires incinerate forests, stars crash down and most importantly; people work, get older, argue, marry, die, travel etc. Wouldn't this be too demanding for a PC? Probably, but they may lose the shiny graphics to compromise; gameplay is what it's all about.

*catches breath*

In short: I want real sandbox games that give me absolute freedom in a world that doesn't revolve around my character. I hate the fact that developers restrict themselves too much in the standard (combat heavy) RPG-hero plots.

Wizardry
23-06-2011, 06:53 PM
Game developers still aren't really pushing the limits.

And no, I'm not talking about graphics, world size or game length. What I mean is innovation and grandness. Still vague words, I admit, but let me try with an example: Morrowind, Fallout 3, Oblivion and all the other big scale sandboxy RPG's got some bits right. They created big and beautiful worlds, got a nice atmosphere and gave you a nice variety of weapons/skills/perks. But in the end, when you finally finished the main quest, I still felt like I saved yet another world which revolved purely around me. And me killing stuff or doing errands on the way there. Why do we still have all those classic Shakespearian drama's in games?

I want a game that says to me: Here's the world; go on, get (in)famous, make a name for yourself. But how you do it is all up to you. Setting up the biggest trade network, finding rare items as an archeologist, inventing new machines, start a political career, conquer the world with your music or even kill the right (wrong) people if you like.
The game will end when you've reached a giving/chosen/hidden goal, with 100's of possible endings, and not 10 different-but-not-quite-different endings games have nowadays. And while you're playing the game, doing the things you like best, the world evolves, ignorant of your puny existens. Towns grow, villages vanish, fires incinerate forests, stars crash down and most importantly; people work, get older, argue, marry, die, travel etc. Wouldn't this be too demanding for a PC? Probably, but they may lose the shiny graphics to compromise; gameplay is what it's all about.

*catches breath*

In short: I want real sandbox games that give me absolute freedom in a world that doesn't revolve around my character. I hate the fact that developers restrict themselves too much in the standard (combat heavy) RPG-hero plots.
Play Darklands.

Olero
23-06-2011, 07:00 PM
Play Darklands.

*looking for it now, thanks* (it isn't anything like Wurm Online though, is it? Since that game did tons of things right, but had a terrible interface, as well as very slooooow, grind-heavy gameplay)

squareking
23-06-2011, 07:08 PM
I want a game that says to me: Here's the world; go on, get (in)famous, make a name for yourself. But how you do it is all up to you. Setting up the biggest trade network, finding rare items as an archeologist, inventing new machines, start a political career, conquer the world with your music or even kill the right (wrong) people if you like.
The game will end when you've reached a giving/chosen/hidden goal, with 100's of possible endings, and not 10 different-but-not-quite-different endings games have nowadays. And while you're playing the game, doing the things you like best, the world evolves, ignorant of your puny existens. Towns grow, villages vanish, fires incinerate forests, stars crash down and most importantly; people work, get older, argue, marry, die, travel etc. Wouldn't this be too demanding for a PC? Probably, but they may lose the shiny graphics to compromise; gameplay is what it's all about.


I think the reason this game doesn't exist is because the majority of people are trying to do this in real life.

AndrewC
23-06-2011, 08:04 PM
@Skalpadda: Perform 180 degree spins of your entire body every other second. Either way, this 'control' thingy has a long way to go, and I can only hope we aren't doing things the way we are in another 10 years.

Skalpadda
23-06-2011, 09:12 PM
It is entirely possible to do a 180 degree spin with your entire body though and in the vast majority of games it's not something you have to do every other second if you don't want to. I'm sure there are better ways to solve controls, but out of the ones we have the good old mouse by far feels the most natural to me in 1st person games.

Of course, if you just meant that the mouse isn't the perfect solution that will trump all others for all time to come, then sure I agree completely.

Squiz
23-06-2011, 10:45 PM
I own Guild Wars, it's perhaps the exception that proves the rule. But then again, most people don't consider it an MMO in the strictest sense, because of instancing and besides, the PvP is limited to 8vs8, meaning it is tighter and more focused and streamlined to 8 skills. The animations still aren't brilliant and it can still resemble benny hill with the warriors/melee classes being comically kited.

Actually, it's 12 vs 12 with Alliance Battles and I think that most people consider it an MMO and some don't. The argument about streamlining is a bit daft in my opiniion. The tightly packed eight skills are what makes this game distinct from the usual "X-skills, all the same effect" mechaninc, which was criticised before.

pauljeremiah
24-06-2011, 12:55 AM
I think the Zelda series is the most overrated series in gaming

Just don't understand the fanboy love for this series, I did love A Link To The Past when it came out in the early 90's but the rest of the games are just meh to me. They all feel the same to me, go collect 3 objects, get new super weapon (usually the master sword) then a story twist ( eg the dark world in LTTP) then go collect 7 items/objects and then fight Gannon.

Jake
24-06-2011, 01:55 AM
Gaaaaah what the hell is wrong with you. Is your mouse oddly angled or something? Are your fingers horribly deformed?

Now I am going to be self conscious about my fingers, thanks. Oh well I can always wear mittens. I don't really see what this has to do with what I said though which is that clicking a mouse button is not a good way to fire a gun in an FPS: it's a tiny clicky action when it should be a more substantial squeezy action.

And I agree with AndrewC - mouselook is just too twitchy. I am not saying that a pad is perfect, it's definitely not. But I mice and keyboards are just not a good way to play games if you want your controls to be realistic, or representative of a person moving around rather than say, a tiny super fast robot. I would just prefer games where you felt like a real, heavy object moving through the world.

Personally I have been considering some of the alternative controllers that occasionally pop up, like the new Portal one, or the one that looks like a gun hanging from a web.

Olero
24-06-2011, 08:01 AM
I think the reason this game doesn't exist is because the majority of people are trying to do this in real life.

Oh sure, I expected such a comment. Of course, most of the examples I gave were based on real life. But I'm not talking about Earth as a game world here, which would be a bit silly. I'm talking about original, strange worlds with even stranger professions. And part of those professions can be based on those currently known here on earth, sure (nothing wrong with the more exciting professions earth has, especially those you probably won't do in real life). I sure as hell didn't meant a work simulator in a sandy box world...

@ Wizardry: Is there a good way to run Darklands on a "modern" (6 years old) PC? And are there any mods to adapt it to a more userfriendly environment (pointy clicky mouse-abilities for example?)

Vexing Vision
24-06-2011, 08:13 AM
@Olero I'm quietly waiting for Age of Decadence to be released, which looks just like the thing for you and me. :)

Dwarf Fortress may be something you'd enjoy, too - there are many ways the individual dwarfs can become famous (and/or insane, especially when Music, Butchery and Cats meet an unfortunate intellectual accident), and the way the world is generated is just sheer awesomeness.

Olero
24-06-2011, 08:31 AM
@Olero I'm quietly waiting for Age of Decadence to be released, which looks just like the thing for you and me. :)

Dwarf Fortress may be something you'd enjoy, too - there are many ways the individual dwarfs can become famous (and/or insane, especially when Music, Butchery and Cats meet an unfortunate intellectual accident), and the way the world is generated is just sheer awesomeness.

Yes, Age of Decadence is something I'm really looking forward to, as well as Dead State (and while I'm a patient man, they sure take their time to develop those 2 games...)

Dwarf Fortress is still on my to play list, but I'm a little bit afraid to do so. But then again, failure is good, right? ;)

Kadayi
24-06-2011, 08:39 AM
@Skalpadda: Perform 180 degree spins of your entire body every other second. Either way, this 'control' thingy has a long way to go, and I can only hope we aren't doing things the way we are in another 10 years.

Turn down your mouse sensitivity if it bothers you that much. In all honesty I'm all for people having complaints, but when those complaints pretty much centre around the user not adjusting their car seat to suit their personal requirements Vs demanding developers make car seats that naturally fit them I tend to lose my sympathy for them.

AndrewC
24-06-2011, 09:53 AM
Yes, that's the point, mouse-lookers make demands on the developers as the standard (i'm arguing it is standard) viewpoint in this current PC Gaming landscape is a game must have this 'seperated-from-reality' twitch-look, thus not allowing the developers to change 'how you look around' as part of their design.

Kadayi
24-06-2011, 10:40 AM
Given twitch is only really a factor in FPS, again I don't see the problem. In SP it's rare if ever that you get attacked from behind Vs the side, as no one appreciates monster closets (so no necessity to 180), and in MP you need that speed factor.

hamster
24-06-2011, 11:52 AM
Yes, that's the point, mouse-lookers make demands on the developers as the standard (i'm arguing it is standard) viewpoint in this current PC Gaming landscape is a game must have this 'seperated-from-reality' twitch-look, thus not allowing the developers to change 'how you look around' as part of their design.

Have you read my post? Mouse look doesn't limit anything. Can you even give an example of what you concretely mean?

Rii
24-06-2011, 11:57 AM
If you want a more gun-like mouse ... buy one (http://www.tweaknews.net/reviews/zalman_fg1000/).

It's a pity the Wii is so underpowered as the Wiimote+Nunchuck combo works quite well for FPS.

AndrewC
24-06-2011, 12:16 PM
Mouse Look in Amnesia is a good example - all that careful work to create atmosphere, all those designed-in limitations on character control to create clautrophobia, but there's that digital hyper-whippy mouse-look as your only way in to the world.
I'm arguing that the developers simply wouldn't be allowed (through fear of overwhelming negative reaction) to remove it, thus a major part of their game design - the controls - are limited by the expectation of the audience. And, in a horror game, limitation on control can actually be a very effective design choice, and it is denied to the developers.

In twitch-shooters or more abstract shooting games, the accuracy of mouse look is supreme, but in atmospheric games, perhaps it can take away some of that atmosphere and yet there it still is. Why?

And this is not to bring up the idea yet of 'feel' that others have in this thread - that the mouse makes aiming accurate, but it's like pointing and clicking rather than aiming, so the 'feel' is off.

Thus there is something there in this 'mouse look' control scheme that needs to be looked at - wherever that discussion eventually leads us - and the 'k+m is the only way to play' attitude that dominates the PC landscape needs voices raised against it.

Kadayi
24-06-2011, 12:23 PM
Given there's no guns in Amnesia, plus it's unique nature I'm really not seeing why the developers were forced to do anything in terms of following an FPS convention. If you have a problem with what they've done I recommend you take it up with them directly.

Rii
24-06-2011, 12:40 PM
And, in a horror game, limitation on control can actually be a very effective design choice, and it is denied to the developers.

You're not one of those people who argue that the terrible controls in the earlier Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil games were actually points in their favour are you? :P

The sad thing is that FPS design has already been compromised by the console dominance of the genre: compressed vertical spaces, increased linearity and slowed movement to accommodate the limitations of the analogue stick. There's nothing wrong with the sorts of games those trends encourage, but it means that you won't see anything like Ricochet produced in this day and age. Epic themselves have acknowledged that the architecture in Unreal Tournament 3 was toned down because they couldn't expect console gamers to spin 180 degrees in mid-air like PC gamers can. Tough luck for those who wanted an old-school UT experience.


Thus there is something there in this 'mouse look' control scheme that needs to be looked at - wherever that discussion eventually leads us - and the 'k+m is the only way to play' attitude that dominates the PC landscape needs voices raised against it.

The problem is that in multiplayer the pressure will always be there to use the best control scheme. The only way to bring non-mouse controls into that arena in a serious way is to cripple mouse users; which, incidentally, is the same approach to combat design as Witcher 2 pursues: 'Hey, just because you input a command doesn't mean I'm going to follow it!' Needless to say, this is a sure way to lose most of your audience. People aren't going to go out and buy your newfangled interface, they're going to not buy your game.

I can see two plausible avenues for change:

1. Microsoft leveraging Xbox technology (Kinect, etc.) on PC and backing it up with heavy-hitters like Flight Simulator, Age of Empires, MechWarrior, etc. on the software side.
2. The end of the PC as the standard internet/facebook/gaming/etc. device.

AndrewC
24-06-2011, 12:41 PM
Because the point is to get the community to confront their assumptions on k+m, not the developers.

Rii: again, in some genres, specifically multiplayer games or games based around hectic, twitchy fun, accuracy and speed is paramount, and the mouse is good for this. But does that mean it is right for all types of games, and will attempts to do something different be interpreted as negative change ('crippling mouse users' just as an example) rather than, simply 'change'?

TillEulenspiegel
24-06-2011, 12:58 PM
@ Wizardry: Is there a good way to run Darklands on a "modern" (6 years old) PC? And are there any mods to adapt it to a more userfriendly environment (pointy clicky mouse-abilities for example?)
DOSBox (http://www.dosbox.com/). No mods, it's a fairly pointy clicky game already, and when you need to use a keyboard shortcut, it's usually highlighted. You do need to use arrow keys and + and - to assign points during character creation.

Dwarf Fortress is good, but somehow unsatisfying. Darklands, like Ultima Online, was absolutely incredible for its time, but I would expect a bit more sandboxy goodness by now. Alas, no. Games really haven't gone that way at all.

Kadayi
24-06-2011, 12:59 PM
Games work within the conventions they set themselves and ultimately that comes down to developer vision of what they want to achieve. Take Arma 2 and MW/Moh. All three are military shooters, but the feel of Arma 2 is radically different that the latter 2.

Megagun
24-06-2011, 01:13 PM
@AndrewC: the problem is that you don't know where the rest of your body is in the game world. Instant 180 degree turns are indeed not realistic at all, but making a realistic control system that doesn't annoy everyone all the time can be tough challenge, precisely because players don't know the exact position and location of their individual bodyparts in the game-world.

Example scenario: A player hears footsteps behind him, expects that he can make the 180 degree turn of the viewport/head instantly (or 'really quickly'), but he misjudges the orientation of his body and finds out that he can't do it when it is too late. Player gets killed, gets annoyed, ragequits. Now, if the player DID know the orientation of his body, he might instead choose to hide behind a conveniently-placed crate.

With instant-turn mouselooking, this problem doesn't exist. Sure, it's not realistic, but choosing to go realistic might kill off a lot of the fun involved due to the various annoyances..

I've written something roughly related to this in a reply to a post about a nice-looking trailer for Half-Life (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/05/31/what-if-gordon-freeman-had-a-body/comment-page-1/#comment-702179), you might find that interesting.

Rii
24-06-2011, 01:45 PM
Rii: again, in some genres, specifically multiplayer games or games based around hectic, twitchy fun, accuracy and speed is paramount, and the mouse is good for this. But does that mean it is right for all types of games, and will attempts to do something different be interpreted as negative change ('crippling mouse users' just as an example) rather than, simply 'change'?

The connection between the player and the game via the control interface and audiovisual feedback is fundamental to the nature of gaming. Anything that gets in the way of that connection - of the synchronicity of thought-input-response - makes for a poorer game experience. Companies like Nintendo and Blizzard are as successful as they are at least in part because they understand and emphasise gamefeel in a way that many developers these days do not. For all their other limitations, id is another developer that understands gamefeel. For the most part the common factor is that these devs are relatively old-school: you had to get that basic relationship right in the days of yore because there was nothing else to offer the player. These days devs can throw so much sound and fury at the player that he can't even put his finger on why the experience isn't quite satisfying.

The Witcher 2 has terrible gamefeel to the extent that it almost feels like you're working through a translator.

EDIT: One way to slow mouse users down without compromising gamefeel is a method many developers are already using: motion blur. It's usually overdone, but if tuned correctly can be quite effective. Gamefeel and realism are often opposed (which is only occasionally a problem) but smart developers can find ways to achieve their goal without making interacting with the game an exercise in frustration.

JayTee
24-06-2011, 03:31 PM
TF2 is better now than on release

I like hats. I like guns. I especially like lots of hats and lots of guns.

On a more serious note I find TF2 an all-round more enjoyable experience now than at release, the new items giving me enough freedom to tweak the characters to play how I want them to. Hats don't break the instant-recognition of the characters, I've never felt the desire to pay extra money for stuff, I've never felt that I needed to farm to get new items, and I love the wider variety in gameplay now than previously.

hamster
24-06-2011, 04:12 PM
Mouse Look in Amnesia is a good example - all that careful work to create atmosphere, all those designed-in limitations on character control to create clautrophobia, but there's that digital hyper-whippy mouse-look as your only way in to the world.
I'm arguing that the developers simply wouldn't be allowed (through fear of overwhelming negative reaction) to remove it, thus a major part of their game design - the controls - are limited by the expectation of the audience. And, in a horror game, limitation on control can actually be a very effective design choice, and it is denied to the developers.

In twitch-shooters or more abstract shooting games, the accuracy of mouse look is supreme, but in atmospheric games, perhaps it can take away some of that atmosphere and yet there it still is. Why?

And this is not to bring up the idea yet of 'feel' that others have in this thread - that the mouse makes aiming accurate, but it's like pointing and clicking rather than aiming, so the 'feel' is off.

Thus there is something there in this 'mouse look' control scheme that needs to be looked at - wherever that discussion eventually leads us - and the 'k+m is the only way to play' attitude that dominates the PC landscape needs voices raised against it.

Dude, Amnesia was designed in the first person perspective not because they were trying to "pander" to the "Keyboard + mouse demographic" but because the visual perspective affords a high degree of control and visual/cognitive connection - you are looking through the eyes of the protagonist; everything is to scale; it is the perspective real people see in when they interact with the world, etc. What are you trying to say? That the FPS genre is no good? That Amnesia should have been designed in 3rd person perspective? The first person perspective necessitates some kind of anchor to control player movement and direction of vision. Again, i ask: what are you suggesting? I can't think of any other control scheme that's quite as intuitive in first person view apart from gun controls (but those forcefully automate movement as a consequence) and as i explained earlier, whether you use a touchscreen or a analog stick it's really just the same thing and any differences could quite simply be emulated into the game.

I mean if your point is that too many mainstream games are made in first person and they're all man-shoot clones then okay, that's understandable, but your argument against mouse look is completely untenable.

cjlr
24-06-2011, 05:10 PM
I've just run some tests. It only takes me about 0.15 seconds to turn around (walking, in my hallway). Just to look backwards is even faster - pivot and turn your neck, takes maybe 0.1 s. Even jogging it was only about 0.25 s. Then I tried loading up a couple bags and all my pockets with as much junk as possible, to better reflect the average game character's staggering carrying capacity. Then I tried doing as many push-ups and squats as I could beforehand, and even then it never took more than 0.4-0.5 seconds (and that's the high end) - unless I fell over, which did happen a couple times. Also I was using my cell as a stopwatch/gun prop, so I accidentally hurled it across the room one time. But it slid across a bunch of carpet before hitting the wall, so it's okay.

Anyway, point is that's not hugely bigger than the innate latency of any game-playing, plus the non-zero time required to flick a mouse across a table. Well, okay, it is a lot bigger, maybe it is a magnitude, but since the numbers are so small that's not the most accurate way to state it.

Ultrafast response is a sort of compensation for the fact that, even on a PC, our view is very restricted compared to real life. An interesting compromise in some 3rd person games is to have the camera swing instantly, but the actual character motion lag behind. Most shooters these days skew the crosshairs when you move them, so there's that too.

SirKicksalot
24-06-2011, 05:24 PM
Dragon Age 2 is better than Dragon Age: Origins.

I liked the story, especially the way in which characters and items that seemed to be of little significance had such a huge influence. Of course the execution could be better, but I enjoyed it more than the ultra-generic DAO story. The new combat is also better because it's more responsive. The enemy waves were a bit OTT, I heard they fixed them with the latest patches though.
Another huge improvement was the artistic overhaul - it's so obvious Jade Empire's art director is back in business. I love the new art style.
I can accept the repetitive environments in Kirkwall, but not the recycled dungeons. That's the biggest flaw of the game IMO.

Baris
25-06-2011, 04:01 AM
I've just run some tests. It only takes me about 0.15 seconds to turn around (walking, in my hallway). Just to look backwards is even faster - pivot and turn your neck, takes maybe 0.1 s. Even jogging it was only about 0.25 s. Then I tried loading up a couple bags and all my pockets with as much junk as possible, to better reflect the average game character's staggering carrying capacity. Then I tried doing as many push-ups and squats as I could beforehand, and even then it never took more than 0.4-0.5 seconds (and that's the high end) - unless I fell over, which did happen a couple times. Also I was using my cell as a stopwatch/gun prop, so I accidentally hurled it across the room one time. But it slid across a bunch of carpet before hitting the wall, so it's okay.

Anyway, point is that's not hugely bigger than the innate latency of any game-playing, plus the non-zero time required to flick a mouse across a table. Well, okay, it is a lot bigger, maybe it is a magnitude, but since the numbers are so small that's not the most accurate way to state it.

Ultrafast response is a sort of compensation for the fact that, even on a PC, our view is very restricted compared to real life. An interesting compromise in some 3rd person games is to have the camera swing instantly, but the actual character motion lag behind. Most shooters these days skew the crosshairs when you move them, so there's that too.

If you genuinely did that experiment... My new hero.

Basilicus
25-06-2011, 04:47 AM
I think Modern Warfare 2's single-player succeeded in most of its goals

Yes, it has the jump-the-shark moment of Russia suddenly invading the U.S. for a reason that would never fly, and yes, THAT level serves only as a plot-point and not the be-all, end-all meta commentary on the nature of playing shooters that Infinity Ward was apparently supposed to have delivered us.

But you know what? Slap it all in a summer blockbuster film and nobody would give a sh*t. The favela levels were top-notch, the twists and turns were very cool to witness, the chases were solid, the sniping was both ridiculously fantastical and excellently excellent.

I also thought it got its point about the manipulation of history across rather well (ham-handedly, but that's the definition of how a blockbuster delivers its themes), and I was somewhat astonished to see:

*SPOILER*
*SPOILER*
*SPOILER*
...that the last two missions have you fighting against American soldiers because their general is trying to manipulate history to his country's benefit. It was a neat touch to have the "good guys" turned on their head like that and become cannon fodder, and yet you feel for how disposable they are when Shepherd shells his own troops...
*SPOILER ENDS*
*SPOILER ENDS*
*SPOILER ENDS*

It's limited and linear and all that crap, but it's also intense and damn fun, and that's all I was asking for.

honolululu
25-06-2011, 09:03 AM
I had so much fun in the MW2 SP campaign
The first playthrough 'No Russian' worked very well for me. Now I just skip it though.

*spoilers*
When I busted through that russian prison wall and Price was in there, my hands went in the air. I still get ghost bumps and warm fuzzies thinking about it.

Price: Sooap!
random guy paraphrase: Who the hell is Soap?
*spoiler end*

Rinox
25-06-2011, 04:01 PM
I think Modern Warfare 2's single-player succeeded in most of its goals

Yes, it has the jump-the-shark moment of Russia suddenly invading the U.S. for a reason that would never fly, and yes, THAT level serves only as a plot-point and not the be-all, end-all meta commentary on the nature of playing shooters that Infinity Ward was apparently supposed to have delivered us.

But you know what? Slap it all in a summer blockbuster film and nobody would give a sh*t.

Oh, I agree. But with that difference that in movie criticism, such a film would be universally derided and end up at 25% on Rottentomatoes or some such. In gaming criticism, it gets 90+ across the board on consoles and 80+ on PC.

This is sales figures notwithstanding, which would prolly be great in either medium. :-)

And as far as completely jumping the shark goes, you left out


SPOILER
SPOILER

Hijacking a nuclear sub, firing a nuke from it to destroy the ISS, thus creating an EMP blast. WTFFFFF.

mlaskus
25-06-2011, 05:02 PM
@Rinox
I somehow doubt that it would score so bad as a movie.
Relevant (http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/avatar/)

Rinox
25-06-2011, 05:26 PM
Point taken. :-) I daresay MW2's plot is much more insane than even Avatar, though. More on par with The Expendables in terms of 'what is this I don't even' moments.

Mahel042
30-06-2011, 03:20 PM
I too was interested in the real turning speed compared to mouse look so I did an experiment.

Materials: 1 mobile phone for use as stopwatch(smallest unit of time 0.1second), 1 glock 17 lookalike airsoft pistol, pen+paper

Process: count to 3 ,start watch , turn around , fire ,stop watch. repeat 5 times for each situation(Turn Left/Right stationary/moving). Pistol held in right hand.

Results:

Right:
Moving 0.6 / 0.7 / 0.8 / 0.6 / 0.5 avg 0.64 seconds
Stationary 0.9 / 0.7 / 0.5 / 0.6 / 0.7 avg 0.68 seconds
Left:
Moving 0.7 / 0.5 / 0.6 / 0.5 / 0.5 avg 0.56 seconds
Stationary 0.9 / 0.8 / 0.8 / 0.5 / 0.6 avg 0.72 seconds

Conclusion : draw your own, but I would say that mouselook isn't that far from reality.

Vexing Vision
08-07-2011, 09:36 AM
Resurrecting a fascinating thread.

Deus Ex: Invisible War was not a bad game

Wait! Don't shoot me yet!

I agree that, with the exception of the graphical improvements, it failed to compete with Deus Ex. But if you strip away the Deus Ex tag, what you have is actually a rather fine, tense and interesting shooter adventure. The story is moderately interesting, the use of NPCs and traps quite fun (especially in that Arcology building). There are still a lot of things to explore, and the while the levels are mostly streamlined, there is a lot of variety in there.

Could it be better? Yes, of course. But Invisible War is, without the baggage of being the successor to an amazing game, not a bad game at all.

Flint
08-07-2011, 10:02 AM
I don't know, I just can't agree when people say that without the Deus Ex title it wouldn't be seen as such a bad game. The direct comparisons to its predecessor certainly do not help but to me it was a bad game even without the relationship to Deus Ex. The mechanics felt clunky and awkward, and to make matters worse you have the sheer lack of depth in anything in it - the plot felt nearly non-existent even though it was apparently there all the time, the attempts at making the characters something you'd care to invest in failed massively (I'm supposed to be shocked/glad/surprised to see my old school mate here? I only saw them for about 10 seconds in the beginning!). It's a below-average shooter that reminded me more of a generic Half-Life total conversion mod than a full-fledged game. The way it tries to make itself feel deeper with choices (most of which are even more pointlessly superficial than game choices usually), dialogue (which is very average and decorated with beyond horrible acting) etc but then failing in it all just makes its flaws stand up even more prominently. It was mind-numbing to play and the only thing that kept me going was the fact that I felt like I needed to experience Invisible War for general knowledge's sake.

To its credit though, I liked the way they handled the three different endings of the original.

Tikey
08-07-2011, 03:08 PM
As I see it, being a Deus Ex fanboy who denies the existence of IW. Without the DX name it's an okish game. It certainly does some interesting things on it's own but it's flaws are big. The main plot that uncovers itself in a few hours, the stealth mechanics where awful, the universal ammo was a stupid, stupid decision, the characters were uninteresting and the levels could fit in a shoe box. But overall it didn't feel like a bad game, It was a good enough game whit HUGE flaws.
I'd call it a regular game. Not good, nor bad. But that's only if you take away the Deus Ex name away from it. In the other case it's an abomination that must not be named.

luckystriker
08-07-2011, 04:34 PM
Starcraft 2 is more fun to spectate than it is to play
Once I played SC2 multiplayer competitively for any length of time, I became painfully aware of my skill limit (gold league). After a certain point my brain simply could not process events any faster and my hands could not move any faster. Watching replays of myself I'm always bemused at how slow and static the game looks. When I began watching the GSL (I also watched pro Brood War before that) I was stunned at the pace, fluidity and sheer outrageous skill of it all. At that point, my interest in playing began to wane as I spent my Starcraft time watching videos as opposed to playing. For me, watching Korean pros at the GSL is like watching Champions League football. imo, the pinnacle of esports.

Realm of the Mad God reigns supreme over other hack n slashes
Realm of the Mad God is R-Type (the old sega space shooter) meets Diablo. Its genius is to allow players to balance the questions, "how good at twitch gaming am I?" and "how greedy do I want to be?" If I'm level 8, i want to get the uber lootz, i can always teleport myself to where the level 20s are and then use my reflexes to avoid the meteor storm of incoming damage while scavenging off dead higher level corpses. It is a game that makes greed fun at no cost to other players. At the same time, because the game at its core is so simple and levels are so easy to come by, my uber level 20 priest dying the permanent death is not as traumatic as it sounds. I just start all over again and ask myself, "how greedy do I want to be this time?"

Kaira-
08-07-2011, 10:28 PM
Diablo 1 was better than Diablo 2

So, there are few reasons why I enjoyed D1 way more than D2.
First - the controls are more solid in my opinion, and the gameplay is tight and intense. I felt that Diablo 2 was much sloppier to control and that affected negatively my enjoyment.
Second - the atmosphere in D1 was so thick that you could've cut it and had a solid meal. Diablo 2 on the other hand didn't have much personality in my opinion, which, I believe, mostly was because of the areas where you play and even more importantly, the music.
Third and finally - I preferred the classes in D1 over those in D2, even though they were more varied in sequel.

Vexing Vision
09-07-2011, 02:18 AM
Second - the atmosphere in D1 was so thick that you could've cut it and had a solid meal. Diablo 2 on the other hand didn't have much personality in my opinion, which, I believe, mostly was because of the areas where you play and even more importantly, the music.el.

You are so, so, so right.

Please tell me again as I stand in the queue for Diablo 3.

EnterTheStory
09-07-2011, 11:49 AM
My unconventional view is that Zak McKracken was the greatest game ever made. Never seen anything like it before or since. It's David Fox's Hippy idealism I think. Mind expanding with such a light touch, and the perfect balance of reality and fun.

Kadayi
09-07-2011, 02:22 PM
I don't know, I just can't agree when people say that without the Deus Ex title it wouldn't be seen as such a bad game. The direct comparisons to its predecessor certainly do not help but to me it was a bad game even without the relationship to Deus Ex. The mechanics felt clunky and awkward, and to make matters worse you have the sheer lack of depth in anything in it - the plot felt nearly non-existent even though it was apparently there all the time, the attempts at making the characters something you'd care to invest in failed massively (I'm supposed to be shocked/glad/surprised to see my old school mate here? I only saw them for about 10 seconds in the beginning!). It's a below-average shooter that reminded me more of a generic Half-Life total conversion mod than a full-fledged game. The way it tries to make itself feel deeper with choices (most of which are even more pointlessly superficial than game choices usually), dialogue (which is very average and decorated with beyond horrible acting) etc but then failing in it all just makes its flaws stand up even more prominently. It was mind-numbing to play and the only thing that kept me going was the fact that I felt like I needed to experience Invisible War for general knowledge's sake.

To its credit though, I liked the way they handled the three different endings of the original.

I think the main problems with DX:IW for me lay in the huge amount of disconnect between the places I'm supposed to be, Vs the paucity of the actual environments themselves. I think much of that really comes down to poor choices by the development team in terms of engine, coupled with having to make it run on the original Xbox. You never really feel like you're in a City Vs being in a corridor, and the lack of civilians populating the environments exacerbates this disconnect (the animal fights with zero crowd being a prime example).

If DX:HR sells well and is as good as it looks I'd actually be quite down with Eidos remaking both DX & DX:IW and addressing those concerns. The original is still a great game, that deserves a modern re-imagining and DX:IW could benefit greatly from being retold using a more robust and capable game engine. Undoubtedly that sort of talk is heresy to certain gamer types, but frankly I've little time for that sort of sanctity. Personally I'd of been down with Valve re-imagining the original Half-life using the Source engine, or even getting someone like Gearbox to update it, but instead beyond the half-life: Source conversion they've left it to the modding community to procrastinate over.

GraveyardJimmy
09-07-2011, 02:31 PM
they've left it to the modding community to procrastinate over.

Sorry, what? Are you implying that modders such as Black Mesa Source should be working to a specific pace in their spare time?

deano2099
09-07-2011, 03:03 PM
Sorry, what? Are you implying that modders such as Black Mesa Source should be working to a specific pace in their spare time?

Yes? Purely from a human point of view, deadlines, even internal ones, are useful. Else stuff doesn't get done. And once you start courting the press and making public statements about what you're working on, I think people do have the right to call you out on it if you're slacking. Likewise they have the right to ignore it.

People feeling entitled to free stuff from the modding community annoys me, but people that feel anyone that mods anything for free should be beyond criticism purely because they're not being paid with money annoy me even more <- another less conventional view there.

GraveyardJimmy
09-07-2011, 04:13 PM
Yes? Purely from a human point of view, deadlines, even internal ones, are useful. Else stuff doesn't get done. And once you start courting the press and making public statements about what you're working on, I think people do have the right to call you out on it if you're slacking. Likewise they have the right to ignore it.

People feeling entitled to free stuff from the modding community annoys me, but people that feel anyone that mods anything for free should be beyond criticism purely because they're not being paid with money annoy me even more <- another less conventional view there.

Im not saying they should be beyond criticism, but people are actually working on the project. It may not be laid open to the public, but belittling their efforts as "procrastination" is silly. If it is such an easy task then Kadayi should be actively working all waking hours on the project. He isn't, so why should he be allowed to say that people who have produced content are procrastinating. If he had inside knowledge of the development process that they are doing and knew they were not bothering, fair enough. But that isn't the case, these people have jobs and lives and are developing in their spare time. Its the same with many modding communities- the pace is slow because this isnt their job, its a hobby. Some people work on their hobbies quickly, some take their time and craft something impressive, but the fact that they have worked and produced content, rather than sit around, means they arent procrastinating, but rather just not working up to the standards of kadayi.

TillEulenspiegel
09-07-2011, 05:33 PM
When you undertake a large mod project and advertise it publicly, and you seem reasonably serious about it, it strongly discourages others from taking on the same work and duplicating effort. I wouldn't cast aspersions on anyone, but the effect is quite real, and it's a big problem.

It's exactly what happened with the Sith Lords Restoration Project.

BTW, the problem is significantly mitigated if you just toss all your work up on GitHub or Bitbucket.

studenteternal
11-07-2011, 11:27 AM
On Invisible War: thinking back I can recall several great side quests\plot elements from this game, but the main plot seemed to fizzle out, or at least I am no longer able to recall any details of it beyond that one of the last levels was in the arctic or antarctic or something. but I loved the coffee shops and green house quests, and was actually moved by the plight of my fellow student and his experience working with the tech\gun runners. So there was clearly a lot of talent there but there is just no escaping that it had a lot of fundamental flaws.

as for my controversial views: I hated Quake, and doom and for that matter still hate any game that can not be bothered to at least string together a basic plot and reason why I am out man-shooting. Not all games need to try to be great art or tell a deep story, but I need some context for my gaming.

Also, Star wars games are great.... When you keep any taint of Jedi out of them. dark forces, x-wing, tie fighter were all fantastic, Jedi knight onward has sucked balls, sword mechanics are very, very difficult to do well, and I don't think anyone has made a truly satisfying sword fighting mechanic. Also I just hate Jedi, they are poorly justified, poorly reasoned, and don't add anything to the narrative except to be the super-powered "good guys" on nothing more then an authors say so.

Flint
11-07-2011, 11:35 AM
Also I just hate Jedi, they are poorly justified, poorly reasoned, and don't add anything to the narrative except to be the super-powered "good guys" on nothing more then an authors say so.
I agree to some extent (I wouldn't say I hate jedi but they aren't the reason I like the Star Wars universe and I'm not bothered about playing as them), but I'd say KOTOR (at least the first one, not played the second one) managed to tackle jedi fairly well and gave them some additional, interesting depth.

studenteternal
11-07-2011, 11:40 AM
I have not managed to track down the second one yet either, and I played the first one a long time ago... I remember that it was good though. Hrmm I kinda forgot about that one, so I guess there is one Jedi inclusive star wars title that I liked. But I still don't like em :) In all honesty though, what I wanted when I played KOTOR was Mass Effect. Not that Mass effect was without problems.

Olero
11-07-2011, 12:01 PM
Achievements are distracting and annoying - I really don't understand achievements. Not as a way to unlock new features, not to get a gold status and not fully complete a game. Achievements really throw you out of a game, and alter the way you play a game. Do you really want to think "ack, still 197 feathers left to collect" ? Or hear are weird *ploing* combined with a pop-up during an intense firefight to let you know you killed 100 insects? Leave me be, I just want to play my game, not tick off boxes!

and slightly along the same line...

Finishing games is overrated - Games are about fun, right? So what you do when the fun ends but the game hasn't? Do you push yourself along to "just finish it" (for an achievement maybe?) or do you stop playing, hoping you'll continue in the future but otherwise don't really care for the game anymore? I experience the latter a lot. It seems a lot of games have a certain point in which the fun gets less and less and the game becomes more and more a kind of chore. I don't want to do chores, I do that at work (and even then only for so long until I protest). And if those chores are required to finish the game, well too bad. Plenty of fun to be had with other games!

Outright Villainy
11-07-2011, 04:18 PM
I completely agree with the OP on Bioshock 2 and Wind Waker. They be some fantastic games.

My own: Not exactly hugely radical, but I really enjoyed Mirror's Edge. To the point where I've just bought Crysis 2, but half way through I just went back to ME and finished that again instead.

Gentleman Jim Stacey
12-07-2011, 06:56 AM
Crysis was a great GAME.

I see people insult it as a mere tech demo. I played through the singleplayer at least five times. I can see the main criticisms on the lower difficulties, but on Delta it becomes an excellent stealth game. And while the second half isn't as good as the first, the second half's linear levels are still lightyears more creative than something like Call of Duty. The Power Struggle multiplayer also had lots of potential, but never lived up to it due to hackers and a pretty small playerbase.

Napoleon and Shogun 2 are the best vanilla Total War games in the series.

Too many people look back on Rome and Medieval II with mod glasses. They remember Europa Barborum and Stainless Steel, so they forget that the vanilla games were just as much buggy clusterfucks as Empire was. Napoleon and Shogun 2 are the first ones that are actually polished experiences without mods. The modding still being held back, the gameplay being too arcadey, etc. Those are still problems for some people. But just straight, out-of-the-box, unmodded, vanilla gameplay - NTW and S2TW are the best ones.

Anime sucks and has the most annoying fans of any "thing" in existence

Not really game related but I had to get that off my chest.

Mirror's Edge was great. (thanks to the above poster for reminding me)

This was very harshly judged in my opinion. It got lots of 7s, seemingly just for being too short and (the mistaken belief) that you had to start using guns later in the game. This was a very original and polished piece of work that I had a blast with. After DICE finishes BF3 I'd very much like to see them start on Mirror's Edge 2.

Batolemaeus
12-07-2011, 01:18 PM
Achievements are distracting and annoying

You're not alone with that. I despise achievements.


Also.

GTA IV, Mass Effect and Crysis, Dragon Age and Call of Warfare: Battlefield are some of the most over rated games ever.

GTA IV especially falls short of all predecessors, delivering an abysmal show of terrible graphics, poor performance and poor gameplay while abandoning so many things that made San Andreas and Vice City great. The voice acting is good, but everything else is simply sub par.
I can't say too much about ME, but when a game manages to bore me, someone who plays round based strategy so dry it makes other people fall asleep, there's something wrong.
Dragon Age falls in the same vein as ME.
Generic fps like Crysis completely destroy my suspension of disbelief almost all the time. They're pretending to be realistic when they blatantly are not, which makes it impossible to immerse in them. Something like Return to Castle Wolfenstein or Quake or Unreal Tournament can get away with the ridiculousness because they're quite clearly not meant to be "realistic". But when a modern tank can't be disabled by just shooting out the tracks or damaging the engine, or a Hind for some reason can see a person lying prone behind a tree behind the helicopter, it's just glaring.
I call it the Uncanny Valley of gaming realism. Most pseudorealistic shooters fall into the valley while shooters like Arma2 or Serious Sam are perfectly fine.

deano2099
12-07-2011, 03:09 PM
You're not alone with that. I despise achievements.


I've gone full circle. For a while I hated them, then after getting a 360 I sort of came around to them as being quite fun. But now...

Well, at least on a 360 I can hit the home button when one crops up and see what the hell it is.

On Steam, unless I'm missing something, you're playing... ooh, achievement with an obscure name and description! what did I just do, I have no idea. Shall I find out? By switching to the Steam overlay then navigating to the game page, then to achievements... oh fuck off.

Seriously, it's one thing popping up a message saying "awesome, you just did this!" but popping up a message saying "awesome, you just did something but we're not telling you what!" drives me fucking mental.

mlaskus
12-07-2011, 05:22 PM
Deano, if you activate the overlay and hover the mouse over the most recent achievement, a description will pop up over it.

Rii
12-07-2011, 10:25 PM
The dual-talent system killed World of Warcraft

Ok, so that's overstating it a little, but that was the end of any pretense of WoW being an RPG. One of the things that Ghostcrawler used to talk about was the distinction - even conflict - between the desires of the player and the interests of the game. When Blizzard caved to pressure from players for a solution to the 're-spec' issue they took the easy way out and the game has been but a shadow of itself ever since.

Players complained that they had to re-spec on a daily basis for PVE/PVP or Raiding/Solo-play and that the costs associated with doing so were too high. The real problem was that the costs were far too low (and other barriers non-existent) such that there was no reason not to re-spec between various aspects of the game with the result that everyone did it, in turn meaning that everyone had to do it to be competitive. That Blizzard had singularly failed at this juncture of articulating a clear vision for support (i.e. non-DPS) roles in circumstances that didn't require support, and of providing gear to support such players in such circumstances (+healing and +damage were different stats at this time and there were multiple dedicated tanking stats) and that talent design was a similarly directionless wreck all contributed greatly to the scope and severity of the problem. That many of these issues were addressed only after D-Day leads me to suspect that what we were witnessing was an internal struggle within Blizzard, where the price of addressing those issues - of winning any number of battles - was losing the war.

So here's what happened: when WoW launched, players at the level cap had X things to do and re-specs were expensive and not undertaken lightly. Various minor adjustments to the re-spec system were made over the course of Vanilla to make it more flexible and it was far from unproblematic, but the core remained intact and effective. Cue Burning Crusade which introduced Arena and Daily Quests to the game and, perhaps most significantly, massive gold inflation. (Some) players now had 2X the variety of stuff to do (that is to say, 2x as many environments to balance their spec against) and re-spec costs became increasingly trivial such that the idea of switching between one spec for raids and one spec for solo play was increasingly sensible. And with that as an increasingly realistic option on the menu, pressure on Blizzard to refine the talent system to ensure that support characters could actually function outside group environments evaporated. "Pfft, Holy? Spec Shadow if you want to solo." And so 100% specialisation towards the task at hand became the watchword, increasing pressure on Blizzard to remove even the trivial barriers to re-specs remaining and, beyond reducing pressure on Blizzard for real change, actually hardening the community against it: "what, why would I want a PVP talent in my PVE build?"

To this self-inflicted tsunami Blizzard eventually succumbed, allowing players to maintain two entirely different talent specs simultaneously and to switch between them at will, removing players from the anguish of ever having to make a choice. Of course, even this failed to satisfy the baying masses. No sooner had the dust settled on the dual-spec system than players began demanding triple, even quadruple specs! Because there are more than two aspects of the game you see. It would be comical if it hadn't been so predictable.

The most unfortunate thing about all this is that Blizzard has since gone on to largely address many of those underlying issues which I alluded to earlier. Healers and Tanks can now deal useful DPS in the gear they naturally acquire in the course of their duties. Just as significantly, many of them now have vaguely interesting mechanics by which to contribute outside their core support functions. There are many more 'viable' trees for both PVE and PVP than there used to be. But all of these loving attentions and others fail to disguise the fact that the corpse is just that - a corpse.

At one point Blizzard even advanced the radical notion - with the Death Knight class - of supporting multiple tanking specs within the one class. An inspired, ambitious move, it was one that made absolutely no sense in the context of the oiled machine that WoW had become. What point in supporting two specs fulfilling the same basic purpose when if one leads the other by even 3% in a given environment, 95% of the players will switch to that spec because they can? Because some folks enjoy the feel or the mechanics of one spec over another? Hah, such romantic sentiments died long ago. Blizzard abandoned the experiment, claiming that it was 'too difficult'. Which is true, it's more difficult than the traditional approach they've now returned to, but that's the not the whole story: it was pointlessly difficult. It would've absolutely been worth pursuing had the talent system not been unceremoniously murdered some time prior.

The task of crafting one's character, of choosing (and acquiring) a finite set of qualities from amidst a near-infinite multitude of possibilities is one of the most fundamentally appealing aspects of an RPG. To MMOs additional weight is given this aspect by the fact that one is distinguishing one's character not from amongst some theoretical possibility space, but rather from all the other characters inhabiting the game world: "I am me."

In WoW this process is accomplished in myriad ways, from names to races to guilds to gender to gear. But the most significant system of identity in the game is the class system. Formerly, the talent system was right behind that, dividing the 9 classes into 27+ sub-classes. Now, however, all that is gone: one's talents no longer say anything at all about one's character. Indeed, there is no argument in favour of dual- or triple- specs which does not similarly argue for dual- or triple-classes. I suspect the latter is only a matter of time.

To a first approximation something like 98% of the playerbase approves of the dual-spec system; each and every one of them is wrong and wouldn't recognise good game design if it came up and bit them in the ass. As Lhivera put it, where we used to have characters in an RPG we now have mobile weapons platforms akin to the classes in Battlefield 2.

Shame.

SO HOW DO YOU LIKE THAT WALL OF TEXT EY?

Kadayi
13-07-2011, 01:54 AM
Sorry, what? Are you implying that modders such as Black Mesa Source should be working to a specific pace in their spare time?

Gabe Newells principal advice to modders has always been to ship and iterate often. A better approach to BM:S would of been to concentrate on it as a series of episodes (2-3 levels of the original game each) that could be released individually to the public and then stitched together later on. Everyone on the team is then on point, focused on the task at hand with relation to those few levels, working together closely and building up that important team dialogue, and more importantly able to see an end to that particular stage of the project. It's a lot easier to be motivated (and motivate others) when everyone can clearly see the goal posts within a few months Vs a few years.

deano2099
13-07-2011, 02:38 AM
Re WoW stuff - an interesting take, though I don't entirely agree. The one element that I think you're missing is WoW's success.

The game ended up appealing to a much larger market than Blizzard ever intended, and it was never really aimed at this market. It might have been the most accessible MMO out there on launch, but it is so much more user-friendly now than it was back then. It has changed to cater to a wider audience.

But one of the results of that huge audience is how much information is available. There was always going to be an optimum talent build, but for less popular games those builds might be hidden away on a forum somewhere. For WoW, they're all over the place. Same with boss strategies and similar stuff, to the point that Blizzard has had to react to the fact that people used WoW-Wiki, and started incorporating some of that information in to the game.

But dual-talents didn't change that much. You could always chose a sub-optimal spec if you just liked playing that better. Hell, dual-talents helped with that as you could have your 'fun' spec and still raid with an optimal spec if you wanted. I'd argue the game was dead for you before dual-specs even came along. Once you reach the end-game, it does become that mobile-weapon platform style experience if you want to do the most advanced content. But it has to be. The endgame content has to balanced around people playing with optimal specs, because if it's balanced around half of your team being sub-optimal, then you can just have them re-spec and cake-walk it. It's a fairly intractable problem, sure you can offer multiple optimal builds, but given Blizzard are already supporting three major builds for each of ten classes... is having to choose a single character archetype from a choice of 30 really that bad?

With a game with such a huge community, and so many avenues for sharing information, you can't have a challenging endgame that also allows people to mess about with less than ideal characters. Of course, outside of that endgame, there are few things in the game that are particularly tough, and you can experiment to your heart's content.

All dual specs did was make it easy for people that really enjoyed that endgame to try a different style of play without leveling up another character. We won't get dual-classes, but that concept still exists with heirlooms and bind-on-account items designed to make leveling up a second character a quicker experience. I doubt they'll eliminate the new-class learning curve entirely, but they're certainly open to compressing it.

Did they give in to popular demand? I guess so. But it's because the design of the game was already heading in that direction, and it no longer made sense not to. The experience at lower levels didn't change. The experience at max level was adapted to make it work better with the direction the endgame was going in. Short of completely reworking the raiding concept that the endgame was based around, there weren't any real alternatives. Now if you don't like that endgame experience, that's a whole other, perfectly understandable issue.

J Arcane
13-07-2011, 03:05 AM
My solution to that "problem" is probably as controversial as any other in this thread: Ban raiding, and fire Tigole and Furor if they haven't already.

Stop hinging the end game content on repeating the same dungeon over again, or PvP dickery, as the only options for those who want to play at cap.

This is Blizzard for god's sake, they should be better than just repeating Everquest's mistakes again and again. They revolutionized the genre at the low and solo ends of play, but they've continued to suckle at the teat of the worst kind of EQ player for ideas as to dealing with end game.

Get creative for god's sake. I wanna see procedural content, megadungeons that actually feel like real places instead of linear amusement parks, trading and crafting that involves more than fucking menus, non-combat questing, there's a raft of potential ideas they could be exploring, and the best they can come up with is fucking daily quests?

But instead they keep rehashing the same fucking gameplay ideas again and again, while each time slowly making them the tiniest bit easier in a desperate bid to grab a slightly wider audience without alienating the hardcore players who get pissed if someone gets something easier than they did. They've even worsened things in the current game by jacking up the XP rate so severely, just to rush people to their raiding sacred cow.

But hey, maybe Blizz just doesn't have it in them to be that creative anymore? Cataclysm was their most ambitious gameplay idea ever for WoW, and they flubbed it. Sure, the new stuff that was finished is cool, but the revamp of the old zones was half-done, and the broken XP rate ruined one's ability to enjoy it and still get any reward for doing so. The whole thing feels like it needed another year in the oven, which is just shocking to me for a company that once was so legendary for their quality standards.

And instead, they're dicking around with new macrotransactions (not a typo, it's $35 for a fucking horse, that's Incarna-level stupid), new kinds of sub-fees, and still following the "Oh, lets just keep throwing a new raid/dungeon at them every couple months while making the old ones slightly easier" strategy they've been tiredly hammering away at since the game came out.

At the moment, WoW is frankly a bigger mess post Cataclysm than it was at launch, and that's just damn sad, but to be honest, I think the Activision disease has gotten to them, and I don't think they care anymore. They're already talking up their next MMO, and it's apparently going "casual", so WoW's days are starting to look numbered.

Urthman
13-07-2011, 05:02 AM
Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones is a better game than Sands of Time.

Sands of Time was a fantastic experience. The excellent plot, writing, and voice acting elevate the entire game in much the same way those same elements transform Portal into something much greater than an excellent puzzle game. The experience of playing Sands of Time was wonderful in a way few games are, including Two Thrones.

But except for the story, the Two Thrones surpasses Sands of Time in every way.

The platforming is better. The puzzles are better. The level design is better. The graphics and the environment art is better (Sands of Time has, perhaps, better character design). The combat is vastly better.

But there are two things that really stand out. Two Thrones has one of the best implementations of quicktime events in any game ever. You get into position and wait for your dagger to flash. There's no ugly "press X" message, just a flash. If you time your strike correctly after the flash, you do a cool-looking finishing move. If you fail, there's no insta-death-go-back-and-watch-a-cutscene-then-replay-the-last-five-minutes. Most of the time if you miss the timing, you just have to fight the enemy using the regular, quite fun, combat.

The second thing comes out of the first. By giving you the option of using platforming to sneak up on your enemies and then take them out with a quick finishing move, Two Thrones brings together the combat and platforming. It feels more cohesive, much less like combat and platforming are separate games that you go back and forth between. (It's almost the polar opposite of Prince of Persia 2008 in that way.)

The first time I played these games, I loved Sands of Time much more, partly because of the novelty of everything that both games do well, and partly because the story was so good. But I replayed them both recently and this time Two Thrones was much more fun.

coldvvvave
13-07-2011, 09:01 AM
Anime sucks and has the most annoying fans of any "thing" in existence

Not really game related but I had to get that off my chest.
You do know that gaming 'fandom'( WoW/CoD/Halo fans which are 99%) doesn't look very good too, right?

airtekh
13-07-2011, 12:29 PM
@Urthman

You're forgetting the god-awful chariot races in Two Thrones. ;)

I do sort of agree with you though. Two thrones is a lot better than people give it credit for. Better than Sands of Time? I'd say I like them the same. Haven't played either in a long while though.

age
13-07-2011, 01:02 PM
Warcraft 3 is a better game than both Starcrafts

Warcraft 3 is a far better game, and it's a real shame that it never managed to step out of SCs shadow initially, and got dwarfed by that MMO in it's later years. Justifications below.

1. It's the most successful fusion of the RTS and RPG genres.
Splicing established genres is always a very risky task but WC3 pulled it off pretty much flawlessly. Both aspects of the game are required to be used in harmony in any strategy, with synergies between hero and essential to success. The RPG mechanics allow for another metagame layer, the battle for xp/items/neutral objectives, to exist in the battle for map control over the tried and true battle for resources/choke points. The usage of items allows for yet another layer of strategic depth that Starcraft will never have.
The basic model of WC3 gameplay is so good it spawned an entire new genre. That says to me that Blizzard got something seriously right with the fusion.

2. WC3 is deeper strategically while going very close to SCs level of balance.
UD players will probably disagree in regards to their Orc matchup, but even that matchup is winnable on many maps, though amittedly it's horrible on others.
WC3 has 4 races and hundreds of hero combinations, with almost all heroes (if not all combinations) being viable for a certain portion of the game. What SC1/2 have over WC in terms of the size and scope of the battles is made up by the added layer of depth introduced by heroes (and countering your opponents hero).
The upkeep system is a fantastically simple mechanism for keeping the games from being massfest, and giving a race like Human a very notable point of strategic difference (reliance on expansions) without overpowering them.
The races all play appreciably differently in all game formats.
WC3 is a better team multiplayer game. The 2v2 format in particular is an enormously interesting format to play, but the 3v3 and even 4v4 are enormously fun in their own way.

3. Better mapmaking community and battlenet.
WC3s mapmaking community is enormous and even ignoring DOTA some of the incredibly well realised games have come out of it. SC2s mapmaking community is held back by the battlenet 2.0 abomination. This is something that could well get better in time for SC2.
In some ways the success of the mapmaking took some of the gloss off WCs standard multiplayer. Dota in particular took players out of the (at the time revolutionary) matchmaking system, making it harder and harder to find some of the more exotic match formats (FFA, AT 3v3 and 4v4).

4. Better single player.
The storyline is better than SC2, and the missions were more interesting than SC1.

5. Better music.
Very subjective I know, but I'm going there. I'm going to flop my nerdery on the table and say I have the games soundtrack on my personal music device.

I could probably go on, but I think I got the main points. I should point out I'm not suggesting either SC stands out as a bad game, both are incredible games, but you can find someone waxing lyrical about how awesome they are. WC3 is a masterpiece in my eyes and it's frustrating for me that it gets overlooked for reasons I find hard to fathom.

Vexing Vision
13-07-2011, 02:48 PM
@Urthman

You're forgetting the god-awful chariot races in Two Thrones. ;)

And the god-awful boss battles.

I actually liked Warrior Within better than Sands of Time. DISCUSS!

archonsod
13-07-2011, 03:19 PM
Napoleon and Shogun 2 are the best vanilla Total War games in the series.


I'd say Napoleon and Empire. Shogun's problem is in their crusade to trim down they've took a little too much muscle along with the fat.

Mind you, I never bothered with any of the TW mods. Although I tend to find most mods are pretty crap, so perhaps that should be my controversial view ...

Tikey
13-07-2011, 03:36 PM
And the god-awful boss battles.

I actually liked Warrior Within better than Sands of Time. DISCUSS!

The combat is so much better, but I think that Sands of Time feels more like a whole.
Maybe gameplay bits are improved in other games of the series but overall SoT is a tighter game.
One of the few games actually where story and gameplay go hand to hand supporting each other instead of being an excuse for the other.

deano2099
13-07-2011, 04:53 PM
The first Bioshock was crap for one reason
I'm constantly astounded that this seems to only bother me, and that no reviews picked up on it. Because while I liked the setting and story of the game, and could take or leave the combat, I felt like I spent half the game looting containers, waiting for a bar to fill up, then getting stuff. And of course, as the full story was in audio logs, you had to search everything. And there weren't just one or two searchable objects in each room either... and then there were the corpses.

I was already annoyed with it when I got a tonic that allowed me to search objects twice for extra loot, and I genuinely laughed out loud as a I figured the developers were taking the piss.

mR.Waffles
13-07-2011, 08:56 PM
I think gamers suffer from a horrible case of nostalgia and it drives me insane. With a few exceptions like Homeworld, Deus Ex, and Mech Warrior 2, games were not better back in the day. We've come a long way not just in terms of graphics, but design and game play. Our story telling needs some work, but games are getting better all the time.

Oh also, not to get side tracked: But Star Wars Galaxies was horrible before and after all the updates.

Kadayi
13-07-2011, 09:31 PM
I think some gamers suffer from a horrible case of nostalgia and it drives me insane.

Fixed.

Yes there are a few people who seem to live in the past and doom & gloom every new game announcement, but I'd say they are very much a vocal minority, Vs the more open minded gamers out there.

Also guys not to be (more of an) asshole (than usual) but 'better' is not the only fruit: -

http://thesaurus.com/browse/better+

Just saying.

Wizardry
13-07-2011, 10:05 PM
Can't really agree. CRPGs, for example, have lost 99% of gameplay in exchange for cut-scenes, voice overs and action game combat. Of course, you'd have to have played a number of the past greats to comprehend the sheer extent of what has been lost.

deano2099
13-07-2011, 10:43 PM
Can't really agree. CRPGs, for example, have lost 99% of gameplay in exchange for cut-scenes, voice overs and action game combat. Of course, you'd have to have played a number of the past greats to comprehend the sheer extent of what has been lost.
I'd say CRPGs have changed to the point of being unrecognisable. I don't see that as a bad thing, I prefer the newer, more streamlined experience. But the old genre is pretty much dead. Which is guess is kinda interesting as that hasn't really happened with other genres. You can play Starcraft 2 and see exactly how it connects to Dune 2, or CoDBlOps and Doom. One could argue the point-and-click adventure, but there are still a whole lot of traditional takes on that genre being made.

Wizardry
13-07-2011, 11:26 PM
I'd say CRPGs have changed to the point of being unrecognisable. I don't see that as a bad thing, I prefer the newer, more streamlined experience. But the old genre is pretty much dead. Which is guess is kinda interesting as that hasn't really happened with other genres. You can play Starcraft 2 and see exactly how it connects to Dune 2, or CoDBlOps and Doom. One could argue the point-and-click adventure, but there are still a whole lot of traditional takes on that genre being made.
Well, ignoring opinions, you've pretty much nailed it. As it's so unrecognisable from its origins, I don't know how people can claim that games are plain better now. For other genres that have a lot in common with their origins still, but have advanced many aspects technically, you could make a convincing case that the genres have improved. CRPGs? Not the same beast. From BioWare's linear walk forward, cutscene, fight, cutscene, walk forward, fight, cutscene, zone change, cutscene, zone lockout, fight pattern to Oblivion's first-person action game affair, it's just nothing like Wizardry at all other than having some sort of public character statistics that can change, regardless of their importance.

Kadayi
14-07-2011, 12:26 AM
Not really getting the whole variable 'storyline' & 'choice & consequence' thing it seems.

deano2099
14-07-2011, 01:38 AM
As it's so unrecognisable from its origins, I don't know how people can claim that games are plain better now.

Well these days you can get drugs that cure things that in the old days they'd cut you open to try and fix. The two procedures are nothing alike, but the drugs are better.

In this case, it's more two disparate entities. But it'll remain an unfair comparison as we don't know what an old-style RPG with modern production values would be like.

zuddy
14-07-2011, 03:29 AM
Dunno, the Japanese are keeping the old-school dungeon crawlers going with their endless Wizardry 3 rehashes, Etrian Odyssey, The Dark Spire, etc.

Unless you mean "continuations of where Wizardry 8 was headed", since that was a bright path indeed, but coming from 2001 I wouldn't consider that old-style at all.

Wizardry
14-07-2011, 03:32 AM
Dunno, the Japanese are keeping the old-school dungeon crawlers going with their endless Wizardry 3 rehashes, Etrian Odyssey, The Dark Spire, etc.

Unless you mean "continuations of where Wizardry 8 was headed", since that was a bright path indeed, but coming from 2001 I wouldn't consider that old-style at all.
Well, it's an evolution of an old style. The roots are the same. First person, turn-based, blob combat. Not single character, real-time, hack and slash. It was definitely a bright path, though. It did so many things right.

coldvvvave
14-07-2011, 07:21 AM
Ok, looks like I have to replay Wizardry 8 because I really don't remember it being that much different from Might and Magic 6-8 and as much as I loved M&M it wasn't reallt THAT much different from Morrowind/Oblivion. It was more complex, obviously, but not different. That was long ago so I may be mistaken of course.

cosmicolor
14-07-2011, 12:57 PM
I think balance in singleplayer games is overrated. It makes me sad when (for example) things get nerfed from singleplayer game to singleplayer game sequel. I'd rather be able to be overpowered in a singleplayer game than be totally balanced, but that may or may not make me weird. I just think it makes thing more fun in my eyes. I do have to recognise though that a total lack of balance may make a game impossible to complete, though.