Gaming Confessions & Blasphemy

1. I've never played a Final Fantasy Game
2. I've never played a Zelda Game

Just lump these two together and get them out of the way. I have never played a single instant of these series, and I probably never will. I have never owned a Nintendo console so that pretty much rules out Zelda. FF always seemed way too japanese for me, I don't need dudes with spikey hair, and I definitely don't another super long game to play.

3. I have an extreme dislike for isometric RPGs

I don't like the party system usually, they are usually so chock full of menus, stats, and inventory busywork that I find them to just be the exact opposite of fun to play, the generally not so awesome graphics don't help (see point 4). Somewhere above me somebody talked about liking Dragon Age 2 better than the first. While a year ago I would have hit you over the head with a hammer, after going back and playing the first few hours of Dragon Age: The First I realized that I really don't like the combat in that game. Rosey colored glasses coming in hardcore in that game (see point 6)

4. Graphics are very important to me in games

Some may deem me a graphics whore, and while I'm not as obsessive as some people Graphics still rate in my top 4 in terms of importance of making a game great.

5. I find most Indie games to be boring

They generally just iterate on one mechanic and it gets boring after <1 hour

6. I often don't replay old games because I am afraid of tarnishing my memories

Games I really love I often do not replay because I am afraid that those old, awesome, amazing memories will be tarnished in some way. See the Dragon Age example above. Using another Bioware example is Mass Effect, I haven't played it since it came out. Why? Because all I remember is how mind numbingly awesome that game is. I'm sure it is not, but that is what I remember and I want to keep it that way. Same reason I have never played a Halo game more than once, my favorite game series of all time, never played the campaign more than once because after a few months of MP all I remember from the Campaign was how freaking awesome the story was, how smart the enemies were, and how great that final mission was.

IHateDRM wrote:

I think people are to hard on writing in video games.
I grew up playing games, and there has never been a time in my life were I have felt that writing in games was any worse then writing in any other medium, yes it is certainly harder to tell a great story in games then it is in most other forms of entertainment but if you look at TV or movies your just as likely to find an example of bad story telling as you are in any game, and a movie can't even make up for it with gameplay.

This is pretty much right. I feel like always comparing games to movies is ridiculous to begin with, as games have as much or more in common with chess or paintball as they do any random movie. When people complain about stories, I think they are actually complaining about a lack of advancement in game mechanics, because when we're talking about stories that have to revolve around killing hundreds of people over multiple hours, there's a very obvious limitation to what it can be about. In fact, I would say storytelling has surpassed mechanics, because a lot of complaints about game narratives these days involves the disconnect between the mass murdering gameplay and a character you can relate to.

Also, it's difficult to comprehend a complex story when you're focused on gameplay. The only complaint I hear as often as "game stories aren't very good" are complaints about not understanding what's going on in game stories that are literally hitting their Michael Bay-level plot points over your head.

Finally, I hate to be blunt, but I think people just say that game stories are terrible because they are used to saying that, because I find a lot of people who complain about this don't tend to actually consume books or films that are any better.

(Not to mention that if stories in games were so bad, everybody wouldn't be so insanely upset about the tiniest of spoilers.)

I had actually never played a Metal Gear Solid game until Peacewalker and found it a ton of fun. A pleasant surprise. I will try and go back to the earlier games at some point.

Batman: Arkham Asylum was boring.
It had none of the joys of exploration and discovery that befits a proper metroidvania game. It might as well have been a series of linear levels for all the "freedom" it gave to wander around. The combat was a stultifying game of Simon Says. The story was nonsensical and the mechanics of the last boss fight were terrible. (Arkham City was kind of all right, though.)

I have never played a Metal Gear Game.
But I am fascinated by their insanity and quirkiness.

Assassin's Creed 1 is an amazing game, and most of what made it great has gradually been sanded away by its sequels.

I bought or rented every Bioware RPG as it came out, and didn't finish a single one until Mass Effect.
They're just too long. But I've still got that Baldur's Gate save kicking around that I'm going to finish up one of these days...really...I swear...

Dreamfall is a great game.
Sometimes interactivity is overrated.

On the other hand,
Sometimes I just want to play a dumb, competently put-together, linear 8 hour shooter.
Not every game has a great story or interesting characters. Not every game has boatloads of innovative mechanics. And that's ok. Sometimes it's nice to just relax and shoot bad guys in the face.

IHateDRM wrote:

Yasumi matsuno is a better writer then George R. R. Martin could ever hope to be.
Matsuno tells the exact type of story in Final Fantasy Tactics that Martin has been trying to tell in his song of ice and fire series in a game that would take you half of the time to play that it took me to get trough the first four books of a song ice and fire, And he did it without chopping heads of every five minutes and raping or threatening to rape half the female cast in an attempt to demonstrate how terrible life was for people of that era, when really George R. R. Martin just couldn't be bothered to come up with better character motivation. And on the rare occasion that Matsuno does use those tropes it and the characters reactions to it feels justified instead of cheap and unearned.

Oddly enough, I often try to refer to Final Fantasy Tactics as the Game of Thrones of video games as the best comparison I can make. The fact is the only real similarities are the politics and various characters. But I agree, Final Fantasy Tactics could possibly be my favorite story made in a video game because it has multiple themes and just feels like it is actually mature. Not pretending to be mature, but full blown "this is a story for grown ups about grown up things happening". Death carries meaning, the characters are given real motivation, and there's just so much going on.

The only real weakness is that a lot of this can easily be lost without looking over all the background info text.

In terms of books, though, I typically compare Martin more to Tad Williams. After all, Martin was inspired to write "adult fantasy" after reading Williams' Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series, the book series that showed him fantasy could be more than the adolescent chasing after Tolkien.

While I like A Song of Ice and Fire, I do prefer Memory, Sorrow and Thorn and Final Fantasy Tactics in terms of the story told. That said, we're still comparing it to an incomplete work.

But that leads me to one more item...

I believe Japan has had story-telling in games much more figured out than America since the early 90's.

In 1992 or 1993 my family rented Final Fantasy II U.S. (IV) for the SNES. I had played Final Fantasy on the NES and thought it was fun, so I was basically expecting a flashier version of that like Super Mario World was a flashy Mario Bros. 3 (to a 7 or 8 year old). Then the game opened up, the Red Baron theme became my Imperial March, and I was introduced to a story about a young knight trying to figure out who he was and what he stood for.

It's a theme that carries through the entire game. Even after Cecil turns down the dark blade in a profession he did not enjoy to take up the armor and blade of the Paladin he is granted a new question: why did that light say "My son"?

Final Fantasy II U.S. (IV) has one of the shoddiest stories I've ever been exposed to. I have no illusions about that. But it still had themes, character arcs and development figured out much more early and much better than most modern Western games. We may praise the odd Western game like Bioshock, but Japan is producing games where narrative and gameplay are much better fused together than American ones all the damn time. Sakaguchi recently revealed that the death of Aeris was a plot point inspired by his mother recently passing away, and that theme of someone dying and returning to the Earth becomes the whole basis of the game.

Hell, after I took a Film Arts class the opening of FF7 just SNAPPED in my mind. The first things you see in the game are outer space and then Aeris as she looks at some...Mako? I dunno, but it looks like Mako. BOOM! You see the threat (meteor coming from space) and the ultimate savior of the game (Aeris) in the opening seconds of the whole thing.

Americans are still stumbling with telling a good story, to the point that I sit here praising Spec Ops: The Line for trying to have a theme and commentary but still acknowledging that there are some ways the ending just doesn't work (though to be fair, that studio is based in Germany).

Hell, just look at Catherine. Story and gameplay are integrated perfectly together and are reflective of one another.

Japan is so much further ahead than us, and the only thing more disheartening than people just tossing those games from that country aside is hearing guys like Keiji Inafune insist that Japan is "behind" when they're actually light years ahead of us in terms of what games can be.

Heavy Rain was boring.

I love Madden Football but I haven't bought it since they stopped making it for PC.

I don't have a problem with consoles/ console games, but Madden is the only game that I would consider paying $150+ to get (and consideration has not turned into purchase yet). I can get enough games on my PC I just don't need it.

I think Braid is fantastic and thoughtful and I highly recommend it to all my friends.

All the hate for the creator being pretentious makes my head spin. Maybe I played it with a blindfold to the context, whatever. I loved it.

I don't frequent gaming forums. Even this one. I have never actually been on Reddit.

If I spend more than 20 minutes on a forum once a week unusual. But I love podcasts and Twitter. This is an unusual week.

I don't like any of the Infinity Engine games.

the Baldur's Gates, the Icewind Dales, Planescape Torment. Tried them all and uninstalled them pretty quickly.

I think online multiplayer is boring, and will be the death of gaming.
I don't want to play more deathmatch games, listen to 13 year olds call me racist slurs, and lag out due to someone's slow internet.

All FPSs are boring if they cater towards multiplayer.
Associated to the above. Half-Life 2 was the last good FPS.

World of Warcraft is insanely boring, and I think anyone who was addicted to it is certifiably insane.
I just don't get it. IT'S SO BORING.

I've never beaten the original Super Mario Bros.
I've gotten close!

I think anything pre-NES is a boring console.
I credit this to the fact that I was not alive until the NES was out.

I've never beaten BioShock.

I think Lara Crigger is insane because she likes Dragon Age 2 so much.
Sorry Lara, but I've fast forwarded a lot on past CCs when you started gushing more about your recent playthroughs

Sonic 3 is better than Sonic 2 in my eyes.

1. I enjoy Facebook games
They are a great distraction while at work and I find most of them to scratch my itch to understand the mechanics of a game and optimize my game play.

2. I own all of Mass Effect and Dragon Age but haven't played past the title screen on any of them.
I get frozen trying to make decisions and just end up dreading the game. I keep meaning to play to get past that point but always get distracted by linear story platformer title.

3. Metro 2033 is a terrible game with a terrible story and terrible mechanics.
Seriously; why would you play this game? It's like someone made a game about listening to someone scratching nails on a chalkboard. Then, they figured if you flinched you would have to start from the beginning. Then, not tell you how to make it stop so you can move onto the next chalkboard.

Pre-NES consoles were kinda boring. Games didn't have too much depth until SMB and Zelda. Even a lot of early NES games were crazily simple crapola.

The NES was the revolution. So many great series launched with it. So much innovation.

Blondish83 wrote:

1. I enjoy Facebook games
They are a great distraction while at work and I find most of them to scratch my itch to understand the mechanics of a game and optimize my game play.

2. I own all of Mass Effect and Dragon Age but haven't played past the title screen on any of them.
I get frozen trying to make decisions and just end up dreading the game. I keep meaning to play to get past that point but always get distracted by linear story platformer title.

3. Metro 2033 is a terrible game with a terrible story and terrible mechanics.
Seriously; why would you play this game? It's like someone made a game about listening to someone scratching nails on a chalkboard. Then, they figured if you flinched you would have to start from the beginning. Then, not tell you how to make it stop so you can move onto the next chalkboard.

I HAVE FOUND THE ANTI-ME!

Seriously though, I feel the exact opposite about each of those items.

I couldn't care less about what anyone on Neogaf thinks and it faintly annoys me that many in the game industry seem to.

KingGorilla wrote:

I will fight to the death defending that Starcraft is not only a bad strategy game, but is a very bad poorly balanced mess.

Wow, now that is a bold statement.

I will fight to the death defending that Starcraft is not only a bad strategy game, but is a very bad poorly balanced mess.

In another realm, memorizing the Quadratic formula does not make you a proper mathematician. Starcraft is about memorization of a formula that you must execute. There is not a decision making aspect. You select your race, hone a gambit or a methodology, execute it, and then find out if you win. Best players are measured in how fast you can click the mouse. There was an army that was built on firing as much ammunition as possible as fast as possible and they lost the war. They were called Nazis.

KingGorilla wrote:

I will fight to the death defending that Starcraft is not only a bad strategy game, but is a very bad poorly balanced mess.

In another realm, memorizing the Quadratic formula does not make you a proper mathematician. Starcraft is about memorization of a formula that you must execute. There is not a decision making aspect. You select your race, hone a gambit or a methodology, execute it, and then find out if you win. Best players are measured in how fast you can click the mouse. There was an army that was built on firing as much ammunition as possible as fast as possible and they lost the war. They were called Nazis.

Man I want to jump on this so bad. Must...resist...

That is perhaps the most factually incorrect analysis of Starcraft I have ever read before. But then I guess that's what this thread is for

IMAGE(http://narwhaler.com/img/lt/q/come-at-me-bro-baby-orangatan-LTQY4U.jpg)

No no, I think actually getting into details much defeats the whole purpose of the thread. Probably for the best we don't.

Was just my way of saying, you know, that is definitely some Blasphemy

I'm a filthy skimmer, but damn this thread blew up in the last 24 hours.

I've never played more than 3 hours of Final Fanasy Tactics. I don't get it.

I've never played more than 5 hours of any GTA game. I don't get it.

Finally,

Kingdoms of Amalur was a better game than Saints Row 3.

Aristophan wrote:

I've never played more than 5 hours of any GTA game. I don't get it.

Kingdoms of Amalur was a better game than Saints Row 3.

Dunno if the last one is so wild. I mean, depending on your gaming tastes it seems natural that you would skew one way or the other. I haven't played either but I suspect I'd be with you on Amalur considering my preference for RPGs. Totally with you on the GTAs. The only one I've played is 4. I tried really hard to like it.

Damn. Now I need to go fire up FF: Tactics again

On my Vita.

Which I f*cking love.

It makes me giddy that Blops 2 didn't beat MW3's 24 hours sales record.

Aristophan wrote:

I've never played more than 3 hours of Final Fanasy Tactics. I don't get it.

I will say, I've been playing the DS version of FF Tactics (which is awesome!), and later picked up the PSP remake of the original thinking it'd be similar... it's not. The gameplay is obviously much the same, but it's hard to believe they take place in the same world. I've barely touched the PSP remake as yet, but atmosphere wise, the original is more like Final Fantasy 7 (mopey and self-important), and the DS version is more like Final Fantasy 9 (fun loving and awesome).

So obviously I'm showing some bias there, but whichever one you played, but it might be worth trying the other if you have the right platform.

Which I think might tie into another revelation/blasphemy of mine. I think Japanese games are great when they keep things simple, but completely lose the plot when they get more complex. This goes for story and for game systems. A good example of this is the decline of any semblance of sanity in the plot of the Kingdom Hearts series.

Edit: I'd like to add I'm being inflammatory on purpose to keep with the tone of the thread. I'm actually planning on playing some more FF:Tactics on the PSP to see what all the fuss is about. It's just the one on the DS is just so darn cheery.

EverythingsTentative wrote:

It makes me giddy that Blops 2 didn't beat MW3's 24 hours sales record.

This is off topic but that doesn't surprise me. When MW3 came out a lot of guys I know tried it and went back to Black Ops 1 (I refuse to say Blops).

Whoever decided jump-scares were appropriate gaming material needs to be shot repeatedly
I'm sorry, a jump scare in a game does not a horror game make. If you can build the appropriate atmosphere and then throw in a jump scare, I may give you a pass. Once. Otherwise, you're just an ass that needs to be capped.

"Ultra-realistic" shooters are a waste of shelf space

4x games suck balls
Yeah, I said it. Dwarf Fortress? Sucks. Hard.

I'm sick to death of games that force you to grind in order to progress
Gaining levels because you're way too wimpy for an area? I can get that, though it's not my favorite barrier. Grinding for the purpose of finding that key-thing in order to unlock the door? Bite me.

Rubb Ed wrote:

"Ultra-realistic" shooters are a waste of shelf space

I thought we already had that. It is called the army, and you get health benefits, a pension, discounted mortgage rates.

Never played a Final Fantasy game.

The only Zelda game I've played was the NES one and only for a couple hours, total, at a friend's house.

Have started The Witcher 2 maybe 4 or 5 times, but never gotten more than 3 hours in. This makes me sad cause I loved the first one a lot.

I don't understand console/PC fanboyism. What does it matter how you like to play a game?

mwdowns wrote:

I don't understand console/PC fanboyism. What does it matter how you like to play a game?

I guess I can make this one of my confessions. I dislike console games because I have an irrational belief that they are holding PC games back. I'm very excited to see the next generation of consoles so that PC games can make another leap forward. Then again, Nintendo may have screwed up my theory with the release of the Wii U, which will be the low end peg for releases for the next four to five years...

Maybe I shouldn't be complaining. If consoles remain the business-side limiter of PC gaming technology, then that's fine; I won't need to upgrade my own hardware for another three to four years!

kuddles wrote:

Finally, I hate to be blunt, but I think people just say that game stories are terrible because they are used to saying that, because I find a lot of people who complain about this don't tend to actually consume books or films that are any better.

Along these lines, one of my "Not So Much Confession as Bitching" confessions would be:

I find it hard to take criticism of story seriously from game people, because I don't think most of them are very literate. I mean, obviously they grasp the raw mechanics of reading, but few seem to have the skill of considering a text and what is going on within it. Seems there's a high premium given on lots of narrative handholding, and little for subtext, nuance, or theme. I've yet to see an idea on how to "fix" a story that wouldn't actually make things worse.

Also, I despise how much corporate-speak has infiltrated enthusiast discussion. Franchise, brand, content, so on, so forth, this is how Marketing and Legal talks, and it bugs the sh*t out of me. Jeff Cannata, who is decent enough folk, was on the /Filmcast last week, talking Wreck-It Ralph, and mentioned "how much IP" was in that movie, and they had to stop and explain that IP means Intellectual Property, thus Characters. Infuriating. Series, characters, settings, universes, levels, missions, sequences, these are the terms we should be using.

And, two that reflect poorly on my character, I still love FFVII. While FFT is the best FF game, FFVII is my favorite of the main series. And yes, I've played it recently.

Also, as the crackhead is drawn to his crack, I always end up buying the latest Dynasty Warriors. I have tried, and tried, and tried, I have said I will quit so many times, but like the fiendingest fiend who ever walked the Fiend Fields, I end up getting the latest one, slipping into the repetitive combo stupor of the dumbest f*cking series on the planet, and why? Because I'm a sucker for unlocking characters and tricking them out. The last one, Warriors Orochi 3 had 132 characters! I'm not made of stone!