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34 comments

  • BladedFalcon - November 7, 2013 8:39 a.m.

    I agree with the the first part about how wonderful it is that games can be so damn silly and workers. But utterly disagree with the second part that we should tone it down or be concerned that people not into games could "get" it. Mainly because, as far as experience has taught us, every attempt that has been made to "ease" outsiders into our medium ends up being something that hurts gaming on varying degrees. The most notable example of course, is gimmicks like motion gaming. Which sure, they attracted a lot of people that had never touched games before... but only marginally, and once the novelty o motion gaming wore of, I am positive that the vast majority of those people haven't touched a game again. And in return, motion gaming for the most part, has crated more terrible games or annoying gimmick control than not, only really working in very select examples or dancing games. Then you have companies attempts in making a franchise "more accessible", and every-time this is said, it usually translate in making the franchise more dumbed down, less complex, and usually, less fun or losing part of the charm of what made it great in the first place. Look at the Dead Space franchise for one of the most recent examples of this. IMO, honestly, games should stop being concerned about appealing to others, and just focus on doing their own thing; Fuck, that's what the overwhelming majority of the games for the PS2 were, and lo and behold, that is the most successful gaming console to this day, it didn't concern itself with gimmicks, or "appealing to a wider audience" and yet it managed to draw in more people than ever before because it simply had a shitton of good and different games, and most of those were concerned with just being fun.
  • GR_DavidHoughton - November 7, 2013 9:01 a.m.

    I completely agree about this generation's obsession with accessibility and the nebulous 'wider audience'. Simply making hardcore games easier is not the way. Simplifying the controls of action games doesn't pull in people who don't find action games appealing, it just makes those games less appealing to the people who loved them for what they were. *cough*princeofpersia2008*cough* When I say we need more comprehensible narratives and game worlds, I mean in addition to the games we already have, not instead of them. Next-gen's openness to indie should allow a lot of those games to fill in the gaps between the kind of games we already enjoy, and hopefully make console gaming as a whole more appealing to a wider variety of people. If the PS4 has games like Metal Gear Solid and Gone Home sitting side by side in its online shop, then that's healthy for everyone.
  • BladedFalcon - November 7, 2013 9:15 a.m.

    Well, when put that way, then yeah, sure, I'm not against that. Just as long as that's what the developer really wants to do, and isn't just doing it to try and reach out to a wider audience. And I mean, I think that the best way to achieve this, is by just simply letting developers do the games they want to play? Like you said, Gone Home and The Walking Dead are steps int he right direction, yet I'm pretty sure neither game was made with the intention of reaching a wider audience, or make sense to non-gamers. Those games were made because it's something the developers were passionate about, and they just did it. IMO, the problem you present here could simply solve itself just by allowing more creating freedom to developers period. The more different experiences they are allowed to create, the more chances that games that have stories that HAPPEN to appealing to non-gamers would increase as a side effect, i think.
  • Vonter - November 7, 2013 12:23 p.m.

    Fun vs. Engagement is an issue developers and gamers have to juggle this gen of what they truly want in games. I think motion tried but failed to take the next step of making gaming fun, more or less what the oculus rift is promising now (making new ways to play). Presentation was what most advanced this gen, but I hope new gameplay ideas aren't stopped simply because one thing work and the other didn't. I just don't want deep storytelling in games I want also that developers keep making new ways to play.
  • BladedFalcon - November 7, 2013 12:33 p.m.

    Thing is, innovating for innovation's sake is dumb, and always ends up backfiring, both the creator suffer, and the customer hates it. I'm fine with people finding new ways to play AS LONG as it is with a legitimate purpose and they have a good, clear idea of what they want and how it'll improve gaming. Motion gaming was created more out of the idea of "look! this has never been done before! it'll blow people's minds" rather than "Man... my idea for this game is limited by the way games control today... maybe motion controls will solve this issue" If motion control really had been created with the second mindset, you'd see far more games that new what to do with motion controls, instead of seeing the overwhelming majority of titles having motion control clearly shoehorned in. So again, if you're going to do something new, do it with a clear purpose, don't just innovate for the fuck of it. Which, in all fairness, it DOES seem like the Oculus Rift has a much more clear idea of what it WANTS to do, so I respect that, as long as they can pull it off. Unlike you though, I'm more concerned with just raw quality, over innovation. I'm perfectly fine with games playing the same way they have been so far as long as they keep coming up with exciting new ideas to play within that scheme, or have better stories to tell, or just be weird and have fun. One should strive to do GOOD, not to do NEW.
  • Vonter - November 7, 2013 12:46 p.m.

    Ok I agree with everything except the last line. Since that implies one should not try doing new things, and that's bad in any medium. Mainly adding that new things are generally flawed, but people still like it either because of novelty or because it establishes things people hadn't considered before.
  • BladedFalcon - November 7, 2013 2:33 p.m.

    I wasn't implying that. I just meant that one should try doing new things preferably in order to IMPROVE something, not just doing it in order to be new or different.
  • Vonter - November 7, 2013 2:57 p.m.

    That's exactly my point. You see only progress in a straight line and while it's a tendency to make faster, better, bigger, greater. There are times where clever alternative ideas make things memorable. Up top of my head I remember the Star Wars Arcade that used only a joystick to simulate light saber combat. It wasn't revolutionary but it was very clever.
  • BladedFalcon - November 7, 2013 5:40 p.m.

    And again, clever, alternative ideas can be a great thing IF they come to be because they have a clear purpose or drive. That's what marks the difference between a successful innovation like say, the rumble pack, to a continuously failing one like 3D. Rumble pack had a clear purpose and intent, which is to add some tangible feedback to your actions while playing, and even though it's something simple and even archaic at this point, it works to this day because most people that use it understand what to do with it. 3D on the other hand, even when it works, it's misused most of the time because the people that integrate it often don't have a clear idea of what they want the 3D for, they just feel obligated to use it because it's a selling point. I'm all for the former kind of innovation, but staunchly against the latter, which is why I'm uber skeptical of the new Kinect and it's functions, even assuming they work as advertised, I don't really think he people that came up with the ideas had a clear vision of what to use them for.
  • JarkayColt - November 7, 2013 9:20 a.m.

    I hate that term as well, y'know, making things "more accessible". As an example, I feel as though the Zelda team says this before any new Zelda comes out recently. I think they started that "philosophy" from Phantom Hourglass, which IMO they kinda screwed up with. I read that, apparantly, the reason why Skyward Sword was so "hand-holdy" was because they thought that's what we wanted based on feedback from previous games and also general player (read:casual gamer) opinion, like, they thought people were giving up because they were getting stuck. And they're like, oh, we got a lot of backlash for that, so we're making A Link Between Worlds the kind of experience that's actually nice to get "lost" in, because apparently you guys don't like hand holding. C'mon, make up your minds. Don't try and accommodate the casuals if you can't take the criticism from the main fanbase for watering down your product. Your game will probably be universally appealing if it ends up being good anyway...
  • BladedFalcon - November 7, 2013 9:53 a.m.

    Good point, and I actually forgot that Nintendo has been so incredibly guilty of doing this with most of their recent games. Not just that they seem to be easier, but they have super obnoxious stuff like pop in messages that say, "hey! you've been playing for half an hour! you should rest!" or if you die a couple of times, a character or a block appears and offers to win the level for you... Both of those things I find both condescending, insulting and annoying, and I frankly don't see them as successful barrier breakers for non-gamers.
  • JarkayColt - November 7, 2013 2:11 p.m.

    Haha, I actually sort of forgot about that, and yet whenever I see stuff like it I can't help but to always think back to Lubba, who is essentially the personification of that very ideal. "Aww, too bad, looks like you've failed that section...wanna take a break?" "Sure. I was actually feeling fine until you explicitly pointed out how much I suck. Again." I suppose it was okay that they added that "easy mode" to DKC Returns 3D for example...although...I still played the normal mode, and whilst the game is insanely hard, that is kind of the point of DKC games. Once you finally beat a level, it makes you feel like a god (that is, until you start the next one XD) To make it easier to to kind of kill the spirit of the game I suppose. Also, I know this topic is merely a sidenote to the point the article was trying to make.
  • BladedFalcon - November 7, 2013 5:44 p.m.

    Indeed, and I mean, even if it's not super obtrusive, it just annoys the fuck out of me every time that damned pig in DKR appears waving a flag and suggesting if I'd like extra help. I mean, it's not even that the game offers that extra help, it's that it SHOVES it into view instead of at least making you take the effort to reach for said help. It's the difference between having a clerk ready to assist you if you have any question within a store, and having said clerk butting in on you every fucking 5 minutes asking if you need help.
  • Vonter - November 7, 2013 5:50 p.m.

    Uhm yeah handholding is bad, when it's constantly shoved in your face.
  • Vonter - November 7, 2013 6:39 p.m.

    Sorry I thought you were still talking to me or misplacing the comment. :p
  • BladedFalcon - November 7, 2013 6:58 p.m.

    lol, worries, it happens often with the way the comments are laid out XD Glad you agree though (:
  • freeden - November 7, 2013 11:51 a.m.

    Playstation 2, though, was really the last of the gaming-as-a-niche kind of industry, where only gamers were gaming. Even the Gamecube was still for gamers. Then the next gen came around, and the attempt was to bring gaming into the mainstream. Nintendo is the most evident of this. It's no longer about just appealing to life long gamers, it's about appealing to everyone. The Call of Duty franchise was once about appealing to fans of FPS's, now it's about bringing in new fans of FPS's. Motion gaming is a direct result of non-gamers enjoying the interaction. And it's no wonder companies are opening the doors wider; they're making more money doing so. This is no longer a niche industry where gaming was simply for a specific audience. This is now an industry trying to appeal to everyone, and as gaming becomes more and more popular, this wider appeal to more audience is going to be something we see more of.
  • BladedFalcon - November 7, 2013 12:13 p.m.

    Well, that's exactly my point: The PS2 wasn't trying to appeal to non-gamers, and yet it's a FAR more successful console than any of the new consoles have been. PS2 sold to way many more people without trying to appeal to a wider audience. And yes, all the new consoles and companies today are trying to do that nowadays, and look at the results: They are not selling nearly as much, Gaming is STILL not taken seriously by the non gaming mainstream, and hardcore gamers whine constantly (and often deservedly so) about how many games or features get in the way rather than improve the experience. Basically, you undermined your own point: By trying to become less niche, Sony actually sold FAR LESS than in the last generation, Nintendo is currently struggling heavily with the Wii U, and Microsoft to this day is scrambling to repair the overwhelming criticism it took with it's reveal of the Xbone, for trying to appeal to a wider audience :P
  • Eightboll812 - November 7, 2013 12:59 p.m.

    I don't think he necessarily contradicted himself. I believe console ownership (just for gaming) may also be in decline over the same period. I've said it in other comments elsewhere, but gaming is so big now when you add in the social stuff and everything else, that it's really hard to know how that has impacted consoles and "hard core" gaming and gamers. I can only look at myself and note that I do play a few games on my phone, and I would say that historically, I fall in that "hard core" category, meaning that I always like the games with depth and story a lot better than time waster games. I think it was also somewhere in that PS2 --> PS3 era that console stopped being segmented from computer games, meaning that if you wanted to play "game X" you had to have a PS2 to play it and you just couldn't get it on PC. And vice versa, if PC "game Y" was what you wanted, you couldn't play it on a console...any console. You can see how that also impacts buying preferences. More people in that "hard core" crowd can say, "yeah, I'm just gonna play this gen on my PC" than could a few gens ago. There's only a handful of exclusives, and if you can go without those, PC is an option. It's only Nintendo that has that segmentation from PC anymore. What's my point? Just that there's a lot of other factors that feed into this and I don't think it is as simple as "just cater to hard core, and PS4 will experience a renaissance similar to PS2." I do agree that accessibility is largely a fools errand. In fact I agree with most of what you say. Just picking at where you are picking at the other guy. Oddly enough, I'm completely opposite of some of the trends. I skipped most consoles as a "PC snob." Probably the thing that even got me back into consoles at all was Blu-ray and a big HD TV. I always hated the way pre-HD era consoles looked. I liked the clean lines of a monitor. And I liked more of the point-and-click adventure games too. But owning a console on a big TV is pretty cool, and put consoles back on my radar again.
  • mothbanquet - November 9, 2013 1:54 a.m.

    Couldn't agree more. Games are fast outdoing movies in terms of sheer popularity, despite their creative shortcomings at times. Games can be as serious or as silly as they want to be and that choice is why they're the best entertainment medium on earth. Hell, given another ten years, it could well be movie magazines that are writing articles like this, saying that movies aren't game-like enough!
  • StrayGator - November 7, 2013 8:28 a.m.

    In Japan, growing mushrooms and fire flowers are a real thing fyi.

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