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Love is a strong word too


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2 hours ago, AK Bell said:

When I take the game with me and I can see/play it in my head. 

 

If I shut my eyes I can still see Spider-Man 2 swinging about in my head. Not as vividly as when I was playing it, but a shadow of the pendulous way he swung about is burned in and the drop from a skyscraper forever sunk in my stomach. 

 

The last one was Mass Effect Andromeda. It would rattle in my head at night. It's basically full of go here, do that, fetch this and I'd go through the order I was going to attack the list tomorrow. 

 

It's nice that I'm just carrying that stuff around when I'm doing tedious stuff. 

 

I've had dreams about games where I've reached the solution in the dream and then implemented that in the game in real life only for it to work.

 

The weirdest one involved finding the crucifix in Wizkid on the Amiga.

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I love it when a game does not pull punches. Two different examples:

 

- Children as enemies. Dead Space 2, Days Gone, Dante's Inferno and Silent Hill 1 have you fight and naturally kill children that are possessed, zombified or whatever else. Dead Space 2 and Silent Hill 1 have literally kindergarten/school areas, it makes perfect sense to have kids there. In contrast: there's no dead kids in Fallout 4. There's schools, there's a live baby in the introduction, there's kids in settlements. So miraculously all kids survived?

- Killing off important characters. The Last Of Us Part 2 does this so well without making a big deal out of it.

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It's movement for me, I think basically above all else. If I'm playing your big fancy Open World game that you want me to spend 60 odd hours in, make it fun to get around for all of that time! Breath of the Wild's glider, Spider-Man's swinging, the bike in Day's Gone. Make it a bit systems-y (stamina bar, petrol) so that I can't just shut off my brain entirely and fly across the map, Assassin's Creed's hold the run button and run up walls never did it for me.

 

Even in smaller games, I tend to think about them in terms of the sensation of playing rather than locations or graphics or anything. When I think about Titanfall 2 it's never kills or Titan drops or anything like that that comes to mind. It's flying through the air on my grapple hook, lining up jumps through windows perfectly, barely touching the ground as I whip across the map. A mate of mine always thought it was mad I literally started with the grapple hook and never deviated in the multiplayer. "Try the cloak, it's really useful!" I never cared. The sensation of movement in that brilliant brilliant game is what kept me coming back above all else. 

 

Ghosts of Tsushima is a recent example of a game that I spent ages playing but getting everywhere was just a case of climbing on your stupid boring horse and pressing forwards. I think it's probably a better game than Day's Gone overall but I just loved the mood of getting on that bike and driving around that world, stopping for fuel and scoping out little buildings, so I'll always hold it in higher regard. Even Red Dead 2 has a timed button press to gallop and those extra horse stopping moves that just make it feel that much more alive than Tsushima. 

 

And then there's Mario. The best example. Every game adds something new to the movement sandbox and by the time you get to Odyssey he's just an utter joy to control even without all the transformations. It makes such a difference to your game if the simple act of walking from A to B is the most fun thing in the game. 

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I love really simple games with simple controls, made for simple hardware. It still blows me away that really primitive games like Pac-Man, Tetris, Breakout, even Pong can still be a fun and engaging experience. These games are truly universal too. I could teach an 80 year old who doesn't speak English how to play Pac-Man - there's something to be said for an experience that's so accessible.

I like modern mega-games too but if someone asked me to nominate a perfect video game I'd be looking at this early stuff.  

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8 hours ago, ScouserInExile said:

In my forty years of gaming, I've never had this. I didn't even realise it was a thing until I started seeing "like if you cry every time" memes about FFVII and, despite having played it through three times, had to look up what they were referring to. 

 

6 hours ago, Plissken said:

Seriously?

 

I'm not talking about bursting out into tears, but the ending of RDR had me properly pissed off at the fate of John Marston - pissed off as in "I cared and didn't want that to happen" as opposed to it being cheap or wrong. Portal 2 makes you engaged with the characters and story and you end up laughing despite some very, very dark themes.

I had that with Emily from Deadly Premonition.  I think the way she was so badly drawn and weirdly animated only added to the effect.  At first she's just a character in a game. By the end you're so invested that it was just heartbreaking what happened to her.

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22 hours ago, Plissken said:

Seriously?

 

I'm not talking about bursting out into tears, but the ending of RDR had me properly pissed off at the fate of John Marston - pissed off as in "I cared and didn't want that to happen" as opposed to it being cheap or wrong. Portal 2 makes you engaged with the characters and story and you end up laughing despite some very, very dark themes.

I suppose I don't play many story driven games, so the opportunities are limited. Its kinda tricky to get overly attached to a pink Toyota Yaris. But, when I have played story driven ganes, I just don't seem to get that invested. I can't say I've ever actually cared about a character in a game. 

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I think that's fair, as it's not something games have been traditionally good at.  Which I suppose is why you always hear about the same "older" games having that effect on people.  There are a lot more good games out there using much better writing* to tell a story that engages.

 

 

*Anyone who says Kojima at this point should sit in the corner and think about what they have just done

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I love it when I'm playing a sports game with a decent career mode, in which the world does not revolve around you.

 

The perfect example would be Football Manager. Sure, the focus is on you and your teams, and your news feed is generally full of things the game thinks is probably relevant to you, but there's a whole world going on around you that largely serves only to immerse you in the game. You're sitting there with your team of semi-professional cloggers on some godforsaken island in the Atlantic, and a few clicks away you can find out who's just won a crucial qualifier for the Asian Cup.

 

It becomes a game of systems for you to explore and interact with, instead of some carefully funnelled experience where opponents might as well exist in suspended animation until it's time to face them, which so many games opt for. I can see why, it's a much simpler approach that a large enough portion of the audience won't care about, but when a game goes that extra mile, oh boy.

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On 13/09/2021 at 09:23, Plissken said:

Seriously?

 

I'm not talking about bursting out into tears, but the ending of RDR had me properly pissed off at the fate of John Marston - pissed off as in "I cared and didn't want that to happen" as opposed to it being cheap or wrong. Portal 2 makes you engaged with the characters and story and you end up laughing despite some very, very dark themes.


I try to “care” in most narrative-driven games; the satisfaction of defeating a boss is so much sweeter when you care about the context surrounding their actions. Without that investment I’d just be relying on the gameplay to be engaging - sometimes that can be enough, but it’s usually a more satisfying experience if you can be invested in multiple ways.

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