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Thread: Are all games equal? Should they be?

  1. #91
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Ignoring the current debate since I don't feel like reading every comment at the moment, I'll simply stick to the original topic at hand. No, I don't necessarily believe all games are equal. Even if you were to boil it down to "did I have fun?" as the general starting line on good versus bad, we can still argue that the level of "fun" one may have is still subjective. People had fun playing FFX and XIII, it boggles my mind how you can do so, because I found both games to be boring experiences, but at the same time, I can't say my opinion is somehow an objective truth. I have fun playing older, usually nightmarish hard 8-bit titles, but some people consider them as fun as getting a root canal without anesthesia. I'm not going to argue they are wrong if the game does not have the features one derives their fun from. The best I can do is try to articulate where I'm coming from when I say X is good and Y is bad. Yet I know I'm talking the extremes and the original OP was talking more about a "good" game versus a "great" game and how branding affects our views on this matter.

    Recently I've been going through FFXV and before that, I had finished up I am Setsuna. In my current mood, I would argue that I am Setsuna was the better game for me, but I would also state that had I am Setsuna been FFXV and FFXV was Brotrip: The Last of the Kings, that opinion may very well change. This is because brands do paint our perception of quality. Brands exist because they have a history of a certain quality and as that history grows, so does the expectations, even if that expectations is simply unreasonable due to looking at past glories through rose-tinted glasses, and frankly that 's just the unfortunate predicament that many long lasting game franchises have found themselves in.

    I didn't go into I am Setsuna with any high expectations, while I was certainly excited for it, I didn't go in thinking it was going to be as good as the nostalgic games it apes, and frankly that expectation was met, but I still found a lot of things to enjoy about it because it hit most of the criteria I need to find a game engaging. Despite my best efforts, I went into FFXV with some form of expectation and it certainly surprised me more than Setsuna did. Yet for all of its merits, the game has certainly got a number of flaws as well. Course I could easily argue that even the "glory days" weren't short of their own faults, but nostalgia is a cruel mistress sometimes, and it sucks that good games have to be judged long after the fans have moved past their impressionable years. If I was fifteen, it would just be as likely for me to consider FFXV to be one of the greatest games ever made, but I'm hardly that age, I've been around the block too many times, I'm not as easily caught in wonderment like I was when the world was expanding around me in my formative years, and I'm old enough now to know what I like and dislike, and even brands can't necessarily change that opinion.

    XV already had to deal with my opinions on things: how I feel about open world games, how I feel about ARPG combat, what I expect from characters and story. It was no different with I am Setsuna, but the difference here is that I went into Setsuna pretty certain it would under perform for me, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that assessment didn't always hold true. It's easier to be surprised when you are dealing with people you don't know. I've never played anything done by TRF's staff so I went in blind with just an opinion formulated from what I knew about the game. Final Fantasy and I have had a long history together, Tabata has been around long enough for me to have an idea of how works as a director, so of course I have certain things I look out for, and thus XV has a greater list of criteria to fulfill for me. It's just the nature of brands to build an expectation of a certain quality, and that quality doesn't necessarily extend to everything within the medium.

    Does it suck when a good game is ostracized due to insurmountable expectations? Yes, and I've seen my fair share of great games denied their rightful glory due to fans and the unreasonable quality we hold them to. Hell, I myself have done it, and I'm sure I've missed out on some great games cause I couldn't look past my biases and stubbornness.

  2. #92

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mirage View Post
    ...
    The progression system that offer what you deem as depth aren't exactly as grand as you make them out to be when a lot of those things become less effective as time goes by. In some cases that depth becomes so limited, you have very limited options to work with. One thing I can give credit to with some of the newer single player games is that depth at least stayed consistent. For example, instead of fire being replaced by fira, which would then get replaced with Firaga, they all still had a purpose. Progression Systems aren't the bread and butter of all RPGs, not even in the mainline FF series.


    I don't need to assume what you was getting at when you made that comment about a certain game doing a lot of thinking for the player. I've dealt with people on the internet long enough in that situation to be able to connect the dots. You aren't the first to make that type of comment, and you won't be the last.
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  3. #93
    Skyblade's Avatar
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    In the immortal words of Kuja: Well, now.

    It's a kind of hard question to answer. I mean, thinking critically, I am usually more harsh on games by AAA developers, as opposed to ones by indie devs or first time studios. Similarly, I will have a (slightly) higher expectation of a sequel, as I expect the developers to work out flaws and bugs from the first game when they make a second installment.

    But, when I actually play the games... Nope. I enjoy what I enjoy, and I don't like what I don't like, and none of the rest of it matters.

    That said, it's true that I look for certain particular things in Final Fantasy, and Square has been gradually excising those things as they've developed the series further and further. Which is why I've now reached a point where I didn't follow any of the pre-release hype for FFXV, barely noticed its release, and didn't care enough to buy it. As much love as I have for the series, I recognize now that Square has moved it and evolved it. It's just grown into something that I have no interest in. Square used to be the master of immersive worlds that I love to explore and adventure in, but that's just slowly been lost. Open world games rarely, if ever, capture that for me, because they always turn out too empty for me to care enough to explore and find the meat of the game. This is actually why world overmaps are fantastic things if you're on a journey of that scale. Because they skip the three thousand miles of empty prairie.

    Final Fantasy XV may be a great game. It may even be as appealing a game as the older entries in the series that I used to love. But I don't trust the name Final Fantasy to deliver that type of experience anymore. At least, not enough to try it out. Maybe I'll buy it when it goes on sale someday. Maybe. More likely, other, more promising titles will show up that I'll funnel time and money towards. When it comes to Square, I'll probably just stick to the Bravely series (until they change that one enough for me to despise it as well).

    At least there's still Persona.

  4. #94
    Newbie Administrator Loony BoB's Avatar
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    I think a part of my original question is getting quite overlooked - if you do expect more out of certain games, does that mean you would be willing to spend more on them than you do other games? If you place higher standards on a game, do you still expect the same price at launch? I'm talking PS4/XBO physical purchases, I should probably clarify. Not Journey or Limbo or anything, but games that have traditionally all cost the same amount.
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    Yossarian Lives Administrator Psychotic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loony BoB View Post
    I think a part of my original question is getting quite overlooked - if you do expect more out of certain games, does that mean you would be willing to spend more on them than you do other games? If you place higher standards on a game, do you still expect the same price at launch? I'm talking PS4/XBO physical purchases, I should probably clarify. Not Journey or Limbo or anything, but games that have traditionally all cost the same amount.
    I expect the same price at launch because that's how pricing works, but I won't get it at launch. All games eventually drop in price due to supply and demand. I got a brand new copy of FFXIII-2 for example for 15 or something like that because I waited until several months after launch.

    There was a thread on the Order 1886 on here when it came out, and apparently it's 5 hours long or something? I said in the thread it sounded like a fun experience but not one I'd pay 45 for and I'd get it when the price dropped. I looked at Amazon and it's 19 or so now. Still waiting for a further drop before I buy it! I'm not in any rush

  6. #96
    Feel the Bern Del Murder's Avatar
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    Yeah, like Psy, I'll wait for the price to drop depending on the level of enjoyment I plan to get out of it. I'm perfectly fine paying $50 for the next Naughty Dog game even though they are traditionally shorter than, say, an open-world RPG because I know that those fewer hours will be jam packed with enjoyment based on the history of their brand. For something I'm not as sure about (I'm waiting on The Order as well!), I'll just wait for demand and supply and burst pricing models to work their way through the process before I buy it. I'm in no rush.

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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    If you can guarantee the satisfaction level of a game for yourself, then I really don't see the financial hurdle being an issue, and that again just comes down to how well you know what you like. Persona 5 comes out next spring, and I've seen enough to feel it will be worth the purchase of when it first arrives. A game that has elements I don't care for but might be good, or something that sounds good but being worked on a developer I know next to nothing about, will tend to make me hold onto my purse strings a bit tighter. Whether a $70 game is worth the price of admission over a $30 one simply comes down to how well you know your tastes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loony BoB View Post
    I think a part of my original question is getting quite overlooked - if you do expect more out of certain games, does that mean you would be willing to spend more on them than you do other games? If you place higher standards on a game, do you still expect the same price at launch? I'm talking PS4/XBO physical purchases, I should probably clarify. Not Journey or Limbo or anything, but games that have traditionally all cost the same amount.
    I am not only willing to pay more for games that I trust to deliver a particularly positive experience, but I frequently do pay more for them.

    For example, I'm getting the "Take Your Heart" edition of Persona 5 because I am expecting a lot from that game.

  9. #99
    Fragaria addict Momiji's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyblade View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loony BoB View Post
    I think a part of my original question is getting quite overlooked - if you do expect more out of certain games, does that mean you would be willing to spend more on them than you do other games? If you place higher standards on a game, do you still expect the same price at launch? I'm talking PS4/XBO physical purchases, I should probably clarify. Not Journey or Limbo or anything, but games that have traditionally all cost the same amount.
    I am not only willing to pay more for games that I trust to deliver a particularly positive experience, but I frequently do pay more for them.

    For example, I'm getting the "Take Your Heart" edition of Persona 5 because I am expecting a lot from that game.
    Are you really paying more for the game, though? Generally when you buy special editions, you're paying for all the bonus collectible stuff that comes with it. (And I totally do that too if I'm a big enough fan).

    But ultimately, my answer is still no, I'm not willing to pay more for a game if I have higher expectations for it. I expect to pay full price for it, and don't want to pay anywhere near as much for something I don't have the expectations of.

  10. #100
    Skyblade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Momiji View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Skyblade View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Loony BoB View Post
    I think a part of my original question is getting quite overlooked - if you do expect more out of certain games, does that mean you would be willing to spend more on them than you do other games? If you place higher standards on a game, do you still expect the same price at launch? I'm talking PS4/XBO physical purchases, I should probably clarify. Not Journey or Limbo or anything, but games that have traditionally all cost the same amount.
    I am not only willing to pay more for games that I trust to deliver a particularly positive experience, but I frequently do pay more for them.

    For example, I'm getting the "Take Your Heart" edition of Persona 5 because I am expecting a lot from that game.
    Are you really paying more for the game, though? Generally when you buy special editions, you're paying for all the bonus collectible stuff that comes with it. (And I totally do that too if I'm a big enough fan).

    But ultimately, my answer is still no, I'm not willing to pay more for a game if I have higher expectations for it. I expect to pay full price for it, and don't want to pay anywhere near as much for something I don't have the expectations of.
    Is that extra content and collectibles sold at fair market value?

    I mean, if a collector's edition comes with a figurine, items of similar quality are usually around ten dollars in cost.

    If it comes with DLC, it's usually cosmetic stuff that, if sold separately, usually comes to five dollars at an absolute maximum.

    Yet you usually pay around thirty dollars for these editions, more for some.

    The mark up on the extras is usually pretty high.

    I get my money's worth, I feel, sure. But a lot of the extra money is just that, it's extra profit for the developers.

  11. #101
    Feel the Bern Del Murder's Avatar
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    Yes, I also think that these 'special editions' are just ways for the publishers work along the supply/demand curve in order to get people who are willing to pay more for their product to pay more for it. In a 'perfect' economic market (from the business perspective) the consumer pays exactly what they are willing to pay for the product as long as the company is willing to sell it at that price. Obviously companies can't charge individual prices so they create these extras with high markup to get there. Discounted prices that shortly follow a game's release are another mechanism for this. This practice is nothing new in business. At least with the 'extras' the consumer is satisfied that the extra money they paid went for something that others who paid the normal price didn't get, even if there is a high markup on those extras.

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