*drags out soap box*
To lump in all modern intros as being completely railroading and saying all old video games were compelling, is just plain dumb. I realize that he says that Bioshock Infinite was an example of a modern game doing an opening right, but it was still implied that modern games suffer the same problem.
The first mission/couple hours of game play has ALWAYS been a boring tutorial that seems completely unnecessary for those that are aware of the controls, but is necessary for those that don’t. The exception is of course games where the control system is so simple that you can figure it out yourself. There have been many different ways to put the tutorial into the story, some being more engaging than others, but this is not something that just suddenly popped up to irritate gamers. Or have you forgotten Navi? Or rapidly pressing the B button to get through the walls of dialogue?
And the thing that irritated me the MOST is saying that “when we think nintendo, we think fun games, not fun stories.”
EXCUSE YOU. These are the same people that made Metroid Prime. These are the same people that made Legend of Zelda, it doesn’t matter which one, pick one. Except 2. Don’t pick that one. These are massively memorable engaging story-lines on top of excellent game play, and to say otherwise is ridiculous.
Some insight from another side of the argument on our last article.
The problem with modern gaming: the introduction.
Remember back whent he Nintendo 64 was cutting edge in 3D, where it had debateably better graphics then its disc counterpart the PSX? remember how you’d put in a game and be excited to play as the intro cutscene played? 3 minutes latter in most titles you’d be getting into a fun adventure, or good shooty action.
even earlier then that games just gave you a couple lines in a manual then tossed you straight into the action as soon as you pressed ‘start’.
modern games however have a problem, the explain too much.
I was playing luigi’s mansion 2 when I made this observation, it started harmlessly enough with a cute scene of ghosts helping egad, then king boo (king of the boo’s) destroying the dark crystal moon. Ok, got it, ghosts were good, moon crystal helped the fact, it’s gone now, ghosts are bad, fix the crystal, INTRO SORTED. Except it wasn’t, it decided to show me how luigi got into the situation…ok that kinda helps? I’d of easily assumed egad would of called luigi over, but i guess it’s nice to see luigi teleported to egads lab.
Ok, well, I know the story and how luigi got there now, I get my vacuum cleaner and flash light now right and I can get right into the game right? well no…first i have to have the whole plot explained to me a second time (I guess the game thought I got up to make a sandwhich or something?) and then I was sent on my way.
Here’s the first real problem with modern game intros, they arn’t engaging. If I’m bored by your game before I’ve done anything more then menu navigation then YOU’VE FAILED TO MAKE A ENGAGING EXPERIENCE. I’m sorry nintendo fanboys but this is a fundemental rule of any media: if you want to make a engaging experience you start from the start, not 15 minutes into the game.
I don’t need you to explain the plot to me twice (or even three times in some cases) before I start playing, that’s just gonna make me want to stop playing as soon as possible. And that’s not even getting onto my gripes about the tutorials that plague the first mansion.
I distinctly remember luigis mansion 1 had some simerler pacing issues, but at least you got to play the game for a bit and get a feel for it before you were talked to for 10 minutes about stuff you don’t care about.
but hope isn’t completely lost, we still have modern games doing it right, a recent example being bioshock infinite, while some may argue the game suffers different but just as bad issues with its intro, I don’t agree with that. Bioshock infinite is an example of a almost perfectly paced game, and the intro which lets you actually play within the first 2 minutes of ‘gameplay’ is nicely set up so that you always know which way you’re going so that you can set your own pace if you want to get into the shooty fun action times. it took me about an hour and a half to get to my first gun in the game, I was engaged the whole time by simply being in the game world.
so at the end of the rant what am I trying to convey? Really I’m just trying to convey my dismay with nintendo, a company revered for its engaging gameplay, not stories, yes they’ve made amazingly engaging stories, but let’s face it, when we think nintendo, we think fun games, not fun stories. The fact that I had to wait some maybe 10-15 minutes before I was allowed to play the game in its most basic form, and the fact that 80 percent of that time was egad telling me things i already knew from the introductory cutscene is a sad fact.
especialy since that introductory cutscene really did explain everything I’d ever need to know.
I’ve been Quill, and that was splash damage.
Gaming conventions I hate #53
When a character is dipicted as being more and more badarse looking when selecting a difficulty, this only serves to insult the person player and reflects nothing of the character in questions, bonus points if the easiest difficulty adds baby things to the characters or refers to the player as a baby.
I dislike this convention more then hate it though, infact the use of ‘babyfying’ the character I kinda like, sort of a deterent from going easy for some people, but yea it just irks me cause if you actually look what changes via difficulty it’s usualy your own effectiveness diminishing and your oponents increasing, meaning your character is LESS BADARSE in hard mode.
some games do do it right like I know some games describe default or easy difficulties as ‘your enemies fall against your might’
personaly i think a game with difficulty changes that make the game more fun/or make the game a different experience to easy are worth multiple playthroughs on all the difficulties, so insulting me for playing easy isn’t a smart thing for them to do.
also can we stop with the ‘new, sort of experienced, experienced” descriptors? fuckin seriousely, some people don’t play easy cause they are some new guy whose never played a game before in their life, most of us play games to relax or unwind, and higher difficulties on game we havn’t played before can add stress to this (for the record, kudos on CoD for the bump up but not down difficulty option, means if you get unchallenged you can bump it up, but you’re stuck there) sometimes at the end of the day you just want to experience a game, or get used to how a game works before challenging yourself with it (just cause all FPS are gun on the screen first person perspective shooters doesn’t mean they all have the same game feel, if you want a example of extreme difference in game feel try playing borderlands right after playing a half life game, or try playing a post 3 fallout game after playing call of duty)
game difficulties guys.
and now after typing all of that i feel like i should of saved that rant for splash damage. shit.
Us here at splash damage arn’t dead, just extremely lazy.
SimCity Part The Second and Final: The Clustershart Explained Better
“There’s no ask button, but this is totally an ask: Do you think EA’s offer of a free game ameliorates their cockup with Sim City at all?”
Short answer: No.
Long answer: Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo.
Fun fact: I got called a “retard” for stating how I felt about the game by someone who:
- Probably never played the originals like I did.
- Claim I’m nitpicking and over-reactional.
- Offering little to none good valid reasons why not to be infuriated other than “It’s fun.”
- Bringing up piracy for no reason. :\
- The old “No one made you buy it.” argument.
I’ll put it like this: One of my friends “got” that new Walking Dead game, Merlenderl: Serververl Ernsternts. They’re not a big gamer like Quill and I are. They… actually had fun with it. Seriously. Does that mean it’s a good game?
Just because one person has fun with it doesn’t mean it’s a good game. SimCity 5 is enjoyable, I will admit that… but I’ve played EVERY SimCity prior to this one’s release. With the exception of SimCity Societies? Every one of those games is better than SimCity 5. Why?
Because they didn’t have the flaws that SimCity 5 has. And this is beyond “OMG, ALWAYS ONLINE DRM,” although EA should’ve taken notes from Diablo 3’s always-online DRM. (And yes, we should complain and whine about it. Watch the damn video. We are entitled to complain when we pay money for a game that requires Always-Online DRM and cannot play the game when we want to.) There are things that ruin the fun for me.
RCI is supposed to work like such: Residental fills the jobs of industrial and commercial, and later buy the things from commercial. There’s none of that in SimCity 5. Your sims don’t go back to their actual house, they just pick a random house. Traffic pathfinding is a fucking joke. The shortest path is chosen because it’s the shortest path, not the quickest path. (HELLO CONGESTION!) There’s the basis for a great game here… and it’s… not and it pisses me off.
And yes, no one made me buy SimCity 5. I chose to purchase SimCity 5 because I was a big fan of the last SimCity games made by Maxis. SimCity ‘89. SimCity 2000. SimCity 3000 Unlimited. SimCity 4 Deluxe. Those are ALL great games. This one? Not so much.
You really can’t defend this one, sadly. You may enjoy SimCity 5… but it’s not a good game. :\
MOD: The real crime is that there hasn’t been a sequel to Sim Copter yet! Flying through buildings, putting out fires, saving people from rooftops, boats, trains, etc. Fighting crime by landing on top of arsonists, rioters, gun happy criminals, smashing into GTA cars and shooting Aliens in an Apache. What more could you want! Also, find a better soundtrack to fly to in an urban environment than this -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMtU01KDZu8 BE SURE TO TURN THE BASS UP TO 11! Screw Sim City, Maxis should have been developing Sim Copter II: Revenge of the Blorgnacks!
SimCity Was a Clustershart.
So. It’s about 2 weeks after the launch of SimCity 5, and… well, the game’s fucking unplayable. Cheetah Speed is still disabled, it’s still a pain in the ass to even try to connect to the servers, it’s just… UN-FUCKING-PLAYABLE. I feel bad for both me AND Mangos/Just-Ask-Rainbow-Dash, since we both have it.
By the way, I hate having to queue to RETRY to connect for 5 hours make it an actual queue to connect, not a queue for the “privilege” to retry connecting. Even World of fucking Warcraft lets you know you’re actually in a queue to ACTUALLY connect. G’damn, EA, you dropped the ball on that one.
Yeah, they severely underestimated how many people wanted to play this game. They also severely underestimated the backlash for this. Everyone told EA andMaxis that always-online requir… fuck it, DRM would be a bad idea if the servers couldn’t handle it, and to look at what happened to Diablo III for an example of how not to do it.
Frankly, this was worse than Error 37. Especially since it was later discovered that SimCity 5 COULD FUCKING BE PLAYED OFFLINE. Jim H. Tapdancing Sterling, Maxis! I. TRUSTED. YOU. I hoped you had learned from the mistakes of SimCity Societies. YOU. DIDN’T. YOU MADE WORSE MISTAKES.
Speking of Sterling, he had it right. If you expect US to be online 24/7 for the sake of your game, YOU had better make sure your fucking servers are online 24/7 so WE CAN PLAY THE GAME WE PAID SIXTY DOLLARS FOR. Some of us MORE. Why do you think Ubisoft removed their always-on DRM?!
I… I don’t know if I can buy another EA or Maxis game ever again. I’m certainly never pre-ordering from you motherfuckers ever again. You’ve betrayed that trust. EA, you’ve gone downhill since Riccitiello took over. Hopefully your next CEO is someone who won’t run their beloved franchises into the fucking ground.
And fucking fix Origin while you’re at it.
This is Serious Rainbow for Splash Damage. G’night and have a pleasant tomorrow.
The Trouble With Triple.
I like smart games. Heck I’ve always loved a game that can make me think. It’s why I was watching someone play Dear Esther, a ‘game’ that was more about trying to figure out a story then it was about fighting through a armada or solving puzzles. I’d finished watching the play-through, and had had my own ideas of what could have transpired. I decided to cross check the comments, and see what others were thinking. Couple of funny comments about the player actually being a large bird on crack, a few ‘beautiful game’ remarks, and then the obligatory ‘smart VS dumb’ debate. Naturally this was gonna be a long chain of comment, half of which I would not read. You see it always happens with these ‘smart games’ someone calls foul says it’s pretentious and stupid, and before you know it everyone’s ire is on Call of Duty.
Didn’t see that coming did you? Yes I lead you all on a bit. This article is actually about call of duty and how it’s ‘cool’ to hate it.
I really don’t understand the hate for Call of duty, and with good reason. See, I used to hate it too. I used to be there yelling about how it was a creatively bankrupt experience churned out every year. And then I played it and realized something. Call of duty is more then just its multi-player, people tend to forget that, and its stories are often about more then U.S.A. military prowess.
More then you think during the game you play as Europeans, just as much as U.S. Troops. Sure it’s a fifty fifty split, but they’d never move copies if they didn’t have the U.S.A. be half the main focus. Even then, the main focus of the story seems to be less “war is great lets go to war” and more “war is fucking horrible let’s try and avoid that shit” you get that impression through the anti-war quotes sprawled across the death screen (when you aren’t being cheap killed by grenades and the game passive aggressively warns you to watch out for them). there’s also the fact that the majority of games stories focus on trying to stop worse wars before they begin.
On the gameplay side of things you’ll be looking at some of the best looking, sounding, and feeling modern and past weapons in gaming, certainly not the classics of gamings fore fathers, but accurate enough to the real thing. Call Of Duty is really a porn game for guns, each one lovingly replicated for you to play with in-game.
Yea the focus of play doesn’t go much beyond “go here, shoot this” but it’s not meant to. It’s a ‘arcade simulator’ as I like to call it, giving a feel for the real thing, while still keeping the fun.
I think the major “it releases every year” complaint doesn’t hold water either. The idea is that there’s only a year development time? Left four dead two had a years development time, maybe even less, call of duty games? At least a year and a half if not two. If you’ll notice activision stacks it’s dev teams, how they used to release was “modern warfare, tryarch game, modern warfare, tryarch game.” going off that you can imagine development times overlap.
That’s not to say that the games don’t have flaws, oh they do, community being one of the main ones. (so you’re good at shooting virtual people, congratulations, now stop sounding and looking like you just jerked off into a sock, please.) and there are problems with just how little content and how expensive the games can be. But that can be said for any triple A title.
Now don’t take this as me defending CoD, if you’ve played it and dislike it, have every right to, if you haven’t played it and dislike it then that’s ok too, but before you start saying these games are everything wrong with video games, remember that games like sonic 06 and steel battalion heavy armor are worse, and even better examples of how in the shitter game companies are. when products like those are released it makes CoD look like Whale.
I’ve been Quill and this has been Splash Damage.
Welcome to Splash Damage!
Hey, Serious Rainbow here. My friend Quill and I have started a blog to which we are going to vent about video games. Quill’s gonna do the first one, followed by me. It’s primarily going to be a text blog, but we’ll do pictures when we can. Hope you’ll enjoy it.