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Thread: Are all games equal? Should they be?

  1. #16
    Feel the Bern Recognized Member Del Murder's Avatar
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    I'll expect more from the publishers I like. Bioware, Naughty Dog, SE, Nintendo, I expect high quality games from them. If they disappoint me it does affect my enjoyment of the game even if it is overall about the same quality or better than some indie game. Because expectations are a part of how human beings view things. However, that's not all of it and if a game is generally great by my standards I will play it if I can no matter where it came from. Also, my standards are different for different types of games. My standard for a 4 hour romp like Journey is much different than for an open world RPG. These big time publishers tend to make big time games so I have big time expectations.

    I think this thread stems from the fact that you don't understand why some people don't want to play FFXV even though there is a consensus that it is a 'good' game. For me, open world RPGs are such a time sink that the game has to be more than good. Xenoblade Chronicles X is also considered good by critics but I played four hours of it and haven't since. It's just not good enough for me to get invested in it. For FFXV, it had to either be great on its own or have enough of the FF nostalgia feeling to compensate for its shortcomings. Nothing I have seen so far indicate that either of these are true, though I will say it's on the border!

    The FF title definitely has meaning. When I see a game with that I have certain expectations of quality and the type of experience I'm about to have. That's why SE doesn't apply the FF label to everything they make (or used to). But at the end of the day, great is great. FFXV under the Brotrip Skyrim IP would have those same expectations but then again I probably wouldn't have even been interested in it at all. It is only the FF label that has me still interested so I don't think it's unfair to hold the game to the standard I set for that label.

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  2. #17
    Fragaria addict Momiji's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychotic View Post
    Why did Square call Final Fantasy XV that rather than, to borrow from Momiji, [INSERT NEW SQUARE ENIX IP HERE: BRO SKYRIM EDITION]? Brand recognition based on the success of previous entries in the series leading to greater commercial success. If you want to use that to drive sales of and interest in your game, you also have to accept the consequence of being held up against the previous games. Or rather, live by the sword, die by the sword.
    Mmhmm, that's what I'm trying to say.

    Folks can say that nostalgia kind of clouds your perception of things, but I'm not entirely sure that I can fully agree with that. Nostalgia matters-- that's why brand name recognition is such a powerful tool. It was even a factor in why I bought FFXV in the first place, despite not being super interested in it to begin with, and hearing negative reviews on it. Because oh man, it's Final Fantasy! The series that was the highlight of my adolescence! The ones from the past were so good, that there's still a part of that kid I was that was so dearly hoping that it would resonate with me in the same way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Loony BoB View Post
    I wonder, Momiji: Given your different expectation levels, would you be okay with paying more for one game than the other based on the standards you hold to each series? Would you have paid twice the price for a game you felt was 8/10 than a game you felt was 4/10?
    If you flip it around, sure. Games are already pretty pricy as they are! It's very rare for me to be enticed by something that costs more than MSRP. If there's a game that I know I would personally rate a 4, I'll wait for the price to drop to a point where I feel "yeah, I suppose I'll grab it". So yes, I'll pay twice as much for an 8 if it's at MSRP and the 4 is half that price (or lower).

    It has to be pretty awesome (or be a package deal that comes with a lot of neat bonus stuff) to make me ever consider paying more than a game is worth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fynn View Post
    Lol, if Danganronpa is junk food to you, Momiji, then we have totally different ideas on what good standards are. Which basically deconstructs the whole thread because it just goes to show all of this is 100% subjective.
    The balance of personal subjective opinions and objective opinions is what we're trying to get to the core of in this thread, isn't it?

    Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying anything particularly negative about the DR series. Subjectively, like I said, I rank it quite high! Objectively, though, it doesn't really do anything outstanding either-- it's just a very well done visual novel/mystery adventure game.


    I think we're getting a little too caught up in the metaphors here, but I think the divide here, in my mind, between something that I would objectively rank a 10/"gourmet food" are games and series that contribute to defining a genre, and games that I would objectively rank a 5/"junk food" don't play a huge role in doing that-- and unfortunately, this is something where brand name recognition is a huge thing. It's kinda like... if you ask someone "hey, do you like RPGs?", a lot of people will think of the classic archetypes of the genre, so their mind will probably point toward long-standing series like Final Fantasy. Ask them about platformers, they'll probably think something like Mario. It's because those series have substantially contributed to what the genre is defined by-- and as such, it's kind of hard to not hold it as a standard to match other games up to in their respective genres. Meanwhile, I wouldn't take the phrase "junk food" negatively. A gigantic sundae with all your favorite toppings is totally delightful! But it's still junk food. Does that make sense?

    Keeping that in mind, what is objective and what is subjective don't always match. I may not rank Pokemon or Dangan Ronpa super high on an objective scale, but subjectively, I like them a whole lot-- enough that I've picked pretty much all of their respective games out on release date (and in special edition form, regarding the latter!). I genuinely love those series! I just feel like it's okay to be able to critically look at games (or any media, for that matter) with both objective and subjective perspectives.

    (for real let's talk about dangan ronpa i need more people to discuss it with)

  3. #18
    Feel the Bern Recognized Member Del Murder's Avatar
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    Why would anyone play a game they rate a 4/10? Go do something else.

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  4. #19
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    maybe if it had one single redeeming feature that no other game offered
    everything is wrapped in gray
    i'm focusing on your image
    can you hear me in the void?

  5. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mirage View Post
    If I go to a sushi restaurant, I expect variations and improvements on sushi. If I go there and ask for them to recommend me something, I would be a bit disappointed if they gave me a steak, no matter how good the steak was.
    Perfect analogy, thank you.

    Mirage has superbly expressed what I want to say, which is that expectations are not purely about quality. I don't expect Final Fantasy to be 'better' because the older games were really good. I expect it to give me a certain kind of experience. I expect it to have an interesting story. I expect it to have compelling, well developed characters. I expect it to have tactical, thoughtful gameplay. If I like those things, then I go to the games that give me that experience, which means I go to Final Fantasy.

    Now, if Final Fantasy stops doing that... where do I go? What will offer me that experience? How can I experience the powerful stories and emotional character arcs? To borrow Mirage's metaphor: if what I want is Sushi, where can I eat if the sushi restaurants turn into Pizza Huts?

    I'm not disappointed with Final Fantasy XV because it's a bad game. I'm disappointed because I wanted to watch football and it gave me ice hockey. I wanted sushi and it gave me steak. I wanted orange and I got lemon lime.

  6. #21
    Fragaria addict Momiji's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Del Murder View Post
    Why would anyone play a game they rate a 4/10? Go do something else.
    It's a matter of objective vs. subjective again, which does cause some conflicting emotions. I wouldn't really want to play something I'd personally, subjectively rate that low, but if I feel that it objectively is a 4 while still enjoying it, that's fine.

    Sometimes, it's pretty nice to just enjoy games even if you acknowledge that they're not absolutely stellar ones.

  7. #22
    Feel the Bern Recognized Member Del Murder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Momiji View Post
    I feel that it objectively is a 4
    Heh.

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  8. #23
    Untalented Game Designer FFNut's Avatar
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    I am going blind into XV. Haven't got it yet just due to money being a little tight. I have noticed I lowered my expectations though.

  9. #24
    Witch of Theatergoing Karifean's Avatar
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    I feel the need to separate "expectations of quality" and "expectations of content type", because they're two very different things. Any premise can be done well or badly, and a good game can come from any concept/genre.

    I have some expectations of quality based on two main factors: the reception of others and my own past experiences with the creator. I don't pay much attention to a generic score, but as soon as I hear someone talk about how great a game is for them personally, a certain expectation of quality is created in my mind. Like I expect this to be a game ambitious enough to possibly become someone's favorite game or at least rank among their favorites. That doesn't mean I will like it as much, but I will treat it as that kind of game. While games that are just a "fun time to have playing through it" I will treat differently as I play them. I did not go into ImoPara expecting a good game, for example.

    Then there's expectations of content type, which mostly come from genre tags. If I play a game with the "mystery" tag, I expect to be engaged on some level on that level; I expect the game to have something you can figure out ahead of time if you pay attention to clues and such. What my expectations of content type is can very much change how much I can appreciate the game, because while I try to keep an open mind, it still takes me a bit of time to readjust if my expectations turn out to be false. I can think of a couple games I probably would have enjoyed more had I known what they were about from the start. Of course a classic example that smurfs with this is games with a genre shift. But those are usually done in a subversive way which gives you that "hah, I see what you're doing and I love it" effect that overshadows any difficulties in that regard.

    Overall though I've never been truly disappointed in a game. When I can't appreciate a game as much as I would've liked to I usually accept it's because I had faulty expectations of content type, and move on. Games where I had wrong expectations of quality I can generally still like for what they are without much issue (like Danganronpa, since it came up earlier =P with the exception of Nagito, they're very much pure fun games to me). And I'll probably be able to enjoy the game more when I replay it with a better idea of what it's about later on.

  10. #25

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    I am always confused by what people talk about when they say "X and Y is Final Fantasy and feels like Final Fantasy". Imo, it's a giant misconception that a large chunk of the fanbase has from viewing the series in time periods, rather than the entire history. As technology has continued to evolve, there have been more radical differences between the titles. Does that mean you have to like every single FF related game? Nope, but keep in mind regardless of your viewpoint FFXV, and FFXI are just as much mainline games as the original Final Fantasy. That's what gives the series a charm and curse at the same time. It has a lot of flexibility and you'll never really know what you'll get. You may get a Charles Angels vibe from X-2, while having the opposite ultimate bromance in FFXV. I can't really say that I hold games on name sake to different standards. I play for enjoyment factor, hence why I stay away from certain genres most of the time. I'm able to enjoy the mainline FF games easier because I'm not trying to generate a mental check list of things a game absolutely has to do.
    "I'm seeing it clearer/Hating the picture in the mirror/They claim we inferior/So why the f**k these devils fear ya?/I'm watching my nation die genocide the cause/Expect a blood bath/The aftermath is y'alls/I told ya last album, we need help cause we dying/Give us a chance, help us advance cause we trying/Ignore my whole plea, watching us in disgust/And then they beg when my guns bust/They don't give a f**k about us" 2pac ft. Outlawz- "They Don't Give a F**k About Us"

  11. #26
    Fragaria addict Momiji's Avatar
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    Being a "mainline" game does not automatically make it a good game-- that's kind of what I've been trying to say this whole time. I don't think that invalidates my opinion that it does not feel like the Final Fantasies of the past, because it seriously doesn't, to me. It really does feel like a completely different series with a few Final Fantasy references dotted in-- and I think that's seriously disappointing.

    Take Bravely Default, for example-- it's not Final Fantasy and in fact it's its own series at this point, but it's got WAY more of a Final Fantasy feel to it (including the many references involved) despite it not having the series name, as it retains many elements of what has been the foundation of the Final Fantasy series for decades. And I like it!

    It's got nothing to do with technology, really. The "radical" differences, I feel, are failed experiments to make the series something it isn't-- and it's only something that has happened in fairly recent history. Pretty much every "mainline" FF game has followed roughly the same formula for gameplay up until X-2, and then that's when the real differences began. FFXIII was painfully linear and the gameplay was simple to the point of being dull. FFXV isn't any better, imo, only the game is open to the point that a little linearity would actually be welcome--... and the gameplay continues to be simple to the point of being dull. What bits of strategy the older games had just doesn't really exist anymore when all you really need to do to win most battles is "hold circle and fly around at the mercy of the battrout camera". You're right, there is a lot of flexibility, but you can only flex things so much before they feel broken. It's rare for a broken toy to feel fun. It happens, but rarely. For me, the only game S-E has done in the mainline series in the past decade that I've genuinely loved is FFXIV, because there's so much time, effort, and love for the game and its players, and it just makes the whole package stellar.

    I play for enjoyment factor, too-- and I enjoy looking critically at the media I consume. When I'm not enjoying something, I feel that it's not wrong at all to criticize it-- and just because FFXV is the long-awaited next entry in the "mainline" series, it's not immune to that criticism-- in fact, I'm going to be more critical of a title that they decide to say "yes, this game is one we deem worthy of the mainline title and the legacy behind it".

    There are plenty of low quality games that I play for enjoyment too-- because they have other elements to them that retain my attention. FFXV just doesn't do any of that. It's kind of frustrating to feel somewhat pinned against the wall for having a negative opinion of it, too.

    There really isn't a "mental checklist" here beyond what any player of any game can't immediately observe. When people play games, they're experiencing multiple forms of media at once, and I don't really believe that anyone can ignore all of those forms and still enjoy the game. There's the visual quality, the musical quality, the quality of the story and characters, and the quality of the gameplay itself. It's not like I'm scrutinizing every detail of the game and being all "OH IT DID THIS WRONG, WHAT A BAD GAME", it's all simple observations. "Sure, the game's pretty. It looks really nice! The music's okay, but there aren't many tracks that have really got my attention, which is disappointing to me since I've liked a LOT of Shimomura's stuff before this-- I find myself enjoying the FF soundtracks while in the car, but the car's an element of the game that I don't like, and you can only listen to the music while driving, and the driving is boring-- and it's kind of sad that I want to listen to the music from past games more than the game's actual music. The plot is kinda hollow and the forced realism of the story makes it so suspending disbelief is really hard. The characters feel one-dimensional and I don't feel any connection with them or concern for them. I don't feel immersed in the game, I just feel like I'm piloting this group of dudes as they do chores. And the combat gameplay frustrates me a lot, because encounters feel very few and far between-- and are very, very short anyway-- literally seconds long-- outside of story battles or hunting quests, but at the same time it's hard to care because as I mentioned, combat is simplified to "you can do other stuff for nifty graphical flair, but you can really just hold circle and get the same results the vast majority of the time. It is kind of sad that I've poured 10 hours into this game and the most fun I've had is putting 99 Fire/Ice/Lightning Energy into a Quintcast spell and doing 9999 damage to all enemies while Prompto catches on fire and screams in agony-- which is another thing, the AI bros die way too easily and I feel like I should have more control over how they behave. Ultimately, I'm just not having fun with it".

    Even if I weren't holding it to higher standards due to its namesake, I still think I'd struggle to enjoy the game, but I think I'd be less critical of it, too. As I said, there's plenty of games that really aren't anything special that I actually love a lot-- because there's something I find genuinely fun about them, because when you boil it all down, that's really what matters most, and for FFXV, I'm just not feeling any sense of fun at all.

    It's all subjective, but still.

  12. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Momiji View Post
    ...
    Nostalgia blinds your judgement. If you wish to discuss strategy, a majority of the games have boiled down to learning a very small handful of abilities and using them over and over again until the battle is accomplished. I didn't really read the rest of what you posted but I will say these two objective things:
    1. The world does not revolve around you.
    2. The FF series does not revolve around you.


    Common sense remarks I know, but you should really take those into consideration. The simple reality is that the things you grew up on and love are probably not going to be the same things that people of the current generation are growing up on and playing. The mainline FF series is an ever evolving series that not only makes changes due to technology, but also people in general. There is no problem saying certain titles are your favorite. However, there is an issue if you try to push your favorites as objectively the best. We all have different standards and tastes. If FF for the whole entire ~30 years of it being around only kept one type of gamer in mind, the mainline series would have stagnated at this point if not sooner. You can look at COD as an outside example and see how well that series is holding up general reception wise, despite sales still being fairly good.
    "I'm seeing it clearer/Hating the picture in the mirror/They claim we inferior/So why the f**k these devils fear ya?/I'm watching my nation die genocide the cause/Expect a blood bath/The aftermath is y'alls/I told ya last album, we need help cause we dying/Give us a chance, help us advance cause we trying/Ignore my whole plea, watching us in disgust/And then they beg when my guns bust/They don't give a f**k about us" 2pac ft. Outlawz- "They Don't Give a F**k About Us"

  13. #28
    Fragaria addict Momiji's Avatar
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    This is getting kind of unpleasant.

    I'll be blunt: I'm getting frustrated at these notions (and it's not just you) that I'm apparently not allowed to dislike FFXV while other people like it-- as if it has some sort of immunity from negative views. Like, holy trout. The fact that I dislike the game and would like to discuss it shouldn't have any impact on whether or not other people like it, so why be so defensive of it? My opinions are my own, just as much as yours are your own. Both are valid.

    And to say that I think the world revolves around me, and that the series revolves around me? Come on, now. That's really, really dense. And to say that I'm pushing my favorites as objectively the best is clearly telling me that you're not listening to me at all-- in fact, you admitted that you're not by saying you didn't even finish reading the post-- because I never said that. That's your fault, there, because I've said many times already that what I'm saying is my opinion. In fact, the very last thing I said in my last post was "it's all subjective". Don't read what I never said in a post you never finished reading to begin with. At least have the intellectual honesty to read what I said before you make your accusations, dude. You say "we all have different standards and tastes", so why do I have to keep defending mine from being dismissed with "oh, well you're just blinded by xyz factor" to have it be considered valid? That's the whole reason why I'm trying to speak up here.

    I don't feel nostalgia "blinds" my judgment, because as I've said, nostalgia is a legitimate-- you know what, I'll just paste what I said instead of typing it all out again.

    Folks can say that nostalgia kind of clouds your perception of things, but I'm not entirely sure that I can fully agree with that. Nostalgia matters-- that's why brand name recognition is such a powerful tool. It was even a factor in why I bought FFXV in the first place, despite not being super interested in it to begin with, and hearing negative reviews on it. Because oh man, it's Final Fantasy! The series that was the highlight of my adolescence! The ones from the past were so good, that there's still a part of that kid I was that was so dearly hoping that it would resonate with me in the same way.
    Game series would not last anywhere near as long if nostalgia and brand name recognition weren't a factor-- and if it wasn't being utilized as a marketing tool to draw people back to their most prominent series, why does every game in the main series have the Final Fantasy [number] instead of a unique, more individualized title? People wouldn't be drawn to it based on past memories of the prior games in the series and would be instead drawn to it by it's individuality. Do you think it would sell as well, if it didn't draw in the people who are fans of the games before it in the series? I don't think it would.

    I realize that the games I grew up on and love are not going to be the same as the current generation-- I was never unaware of that. I can still express my disappointment over how far it has strayed from what it used to be, because that's my opinion of it based on my feelings from the past as well as my feelings on it here and now. And again, like I said, even if nostalgia weren't a factor-- if this was an entirely new IP all together for Square-Enix, I still wouldn't care for it. I'd probably be less critical of it, perhaps, because it wouldn't be trying to cash in on name recognition of a series with a very strong legacy, but I still would not like it all that much.

    None of this is dismissive of anyone else's opinions. People are free to love FFXV-- I'm glad they do. All I'm saying is that I'm actually pretty jealous of them, because I wish I could like it too. So many people are gushing with excitement over it, and I just don't feel that enthusiasm for it at all. It's making me wonder what I'm missing that is bringing so much excitement, but every time I try to fire up the game, I find myself feeling bored and unable to share that excitement.
    Last edited by Momiji; 12-14-2016 at 04:13 AM. Reason: small grammar fix

  14. #29
    Radical Dreamer Fynn's Avatar
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    Pretty much sums up how I feel about the XIII fiasco. We're all entitled to our dislikes. Everything is subjective.

  15. #30

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    My goal is to make my own RPG the way it should be done and then when you all love it I will be able to prove that I had the correct opinion all along!

    Until then though we all have to live with everyone else's views. Even if they don't like the FFVIII soundtrack very much.

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