Results 1 to 20 of 963
18-06-2011, 12:50 AM #1
Your Less Conventional Views on Games and Gaming
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?
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!
Last edited by Rii; 12-07-2011 at 02:04 AM.
18-06-2011, 01:12 AM #2
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.
Last edited by Heliocentric; 18-06-2011 at 01:17 AM.
18-06-2011, 01:30 AM #3
18-06-2011, 01:50 AM #4
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
I'm a pretty controversial guy.
18-06-2011, 01:57 AM #5
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.If you like prog rock, then you're with me. If you dont, you are against.
18-06-2011, 02:06 AM #6
"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. Actions taken within the game succeed or fail according to a formal system of rules and guidelines."
18-06-2011, 02:16 AM #7
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.
18-06-2011, 02:16 AM #8
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
It seems like almost every game would be an RPG based on that definition.
18-06-2011, 02:19 AM #9
18-06-2011, 02:29 AM #10
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
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.
18-06-2011, 02:33 AM #11
"There is no inventory, no crafting, few secrets. "
That sounds like hoarding to me. An Action Hoarding Game - AHG.
Last edited by mashakos; 18-06-2011 at 02:38 AM.
18-06-2011, 04:29 AM #12
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
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.
18-06-2011, 04:47 AM #13
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.
Last edited by Anthile; 18-06-2011 at 05:59 AM.
18-06-2011, 04:53 AM #14
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.
Last edited by JackShandy; 18-06-2011 at 05:02 AM.
18-06-2011, 05:05 AM #15
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
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.
18-06-2011, 05:19 AM #16
sometimes... sometimes I like games that are not on the PC...
18-06-2011, 05:21 AM #17
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).
18-06-2011, 06:00 AM #18
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.
18-06-2011, 06:53 AM #19
18-06-2011, 06:58 AM #20
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.