On Remakes and Nostalgia

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L4D2 is a good sequel to a plotless first installment. and the fact that not all the lvls take place at night was good too. I actually enjoyed the sunshine in the game for once. New infected, new types of heals, melee weapons, new setting. Isnt that all a plotless game can do to be a sequel? give u more content with the same game play?

i would dare to say its like getting 2 pieces of toast this time! :O

DrDeath3191:

And you're really going to emphasize story and gameplay on the same level of importance? Don't get me wrong, I enjoy narrative in games as well. However, you should remember the medium we're discussing. We're not talking about movies, novels, or plays. We're talking about games. Therefore, the gameplay must always take full position of importance. Following shortly thereafter should be level-design that compliments the gameplay, not the story. In fact, narratives in games are rather unimportant in the whole scheme of things. Yes, they may give you a compelling reason to continue playing. But if the game itself is not enjoyable to play, then what's the fucking point?

If you really believe this, I don't want to know the sort of games you love to play. Saying gameplay must be more important than story in a game is like saying the special effects in a movie are more important than a story... wait... ok. So it's people like you who want style over substance that allow Micheal Bay to have a career... for shame. FOR SHAME!!

7ru7h:

DrDeath3191:

And you're really going to emphasize story and gameplay on the same level of importance? Don't get me wrong, I enjoy narrative in games as well. However, you should remember the medium we're discussing. We're not talking about movies, novels, or plays. We're talking about games. Therefore, the gameplay must always take full position of importance. Following shortly thereafter should be level-design that compliments the gameplay, not the story. In fact, narratives in games are rather unimportant in the whole scheme of things. Yes, they may give you a compelling reason to continue playing. But if the game itself is not enjoyable to play, then what's the fucking point?

If you really believe this, I don't want to know the sort of games you love to play. Saying gameplay must be more important than story in a game is like saying the special effects in a movie are more important than a story... wait... ok. So it's people like you who want style over substance that allow Micheal Bay to have a career... for shame. FOR SHAME!!

Actually, you have your analogy the other way around. Games are meant to be played, hence why games without stories can be great (ie Tetris, Pokemon, Mario, etc.) and those with great stories can absolutely blow (Yakuza, Final Fantasy 12, and others. I haven't played many of these games due to crappy reviews) due to having shitty gameplay. Games, unlike movies, are not required to be a narrative medium. We don't need strong characters to be engaged in a videogame. We need strong gameplay and level design. Just like movies require a story to be engaging and not necessarily special effects.

theultimateend:

DrDeath3191:
*sigh*

First of all, this is not a retread of any sort. You claim that this game is a remake of Mario 3? Mario is far more maneuverable in this title than he is in that game. He can wall jump, butt-stomp, and pretty much do anything he could in 3D in a 2D plane. You might immediately claim that therefore this must be a carbon-copy of the DS game. Again, no. There are many new levels, some new power-ups, a 4-player versus option, a 4-player versus component, motion controlled areas and the Super Guide. This is not the same game.

And you're really going to emphasize story and gameplay on the same level of importance? Don't get me wrong, I enjoy narrative in games as well. However, you should remember the medium we're discussing. We're not talking about movies, novels, or plays. We're talking about games. Therefore, the gameplay must always take full position of importance. Following shortly thereafter should be level-design that compliments the gameplay, not the story. In fact, narratives in games are rather unimportant in the whole scheme of things. Yes, they may give you a compelling reason to continue playing. But if the game itself is not enjoyable to play, then what's the fucking point?

The only reason I even finished the last 8 or so games I played was because of achievements and story.

Most modern day developers are fairly terrible at concocting an enjoyable game. At least the ones who have the money to advertise are.

They're significantly worse story-writers. The narrative is really only meant to string you along to your objectives and very rarely makes emotional impact. I'm not saying stories are bad, just completely unneccesary.

Byers:

Hardcore_gamer:

Byers:

It's like one of those experimental prog rock records from the 60s that inspired countless musicians and came to be a defining influence of some truly great bands, but judged musically on its own isn't all that good.

Then why are people still playing the game and making new MODS and levels for it? And why has the game been ported to almost everything that has a monitor on it during the past 16 years?

If the game weren't that good and only became famous as a result of begin new and interesting at the time then you would have sort of expected people to have abandoned it by now instead of constantly looking for more ways to play the game.....

For the same reason we might now be getting a new Ghostbusters movie with just one of the original Ghostbusters in it. People can't let go.

No, you don't make tens of thousands of user made levels just because of nostalgic reasons. Also, the problem with your claim is that the people playing the game have been playing the game ever since it was released. They did not just play it at the time and then pick it up back again recently, they have been playing it almost none-stop for the past 16 years (albeit not every single fucking day). The whole "people are just begin tricked by nostalgia" thing is just stupid, games like these are remembered for the same reasons Super Mario Bros and Duke Nukem 3D are remembered: Because they are really fucking awesome.

Spelonker:

qbanknight:

Now there are certain games that dont need a story, as you said DOOM is a good example (Painkiller and Serious Sam come to mind as well), but story and gameplay when combined together can be heralded as far more significant that a game with an excellent story and shitte gameply or a fun game with a lousy story. That and it tends to be remembered longer, and most people would rather come back to play that game over and over again

Gameplay > story

Hence the name "videoGAME". There can be games without story, but there can't be games without gameplay. Therefore, gameplay is more important than story. Name one game you play JUST for it's story.

But I totally agree with story enhancing the experience, sure, but at the end of the day, we play GAMES not novels.

Rule of Rose.

Hardcore_gamer:

Byers:

Hardcore_gamer:

Byers:

It's like one of those experimental prog rock records from the 60s that inspired countless musicians and came to be a defining influence of some truly great bands, but judged musically on its own isn't all that good.

Then why are people still playing the game and making new MODS and levels for it? And why has the game been ported to almost everything that has a monitor on it during the past 16 years?

If the game weren't that good and only became famous as a result of begin new and interesting at the time then you would have sort of expected people to have abandoned it by now instead of constantly looking for more ways to play the game.....

For the same reason we might now be getting a new Ghostbusters movie with just one of the original Ghostbusters in it. People can't let go.

No, you don't make tens of thousands of user made levels just because of nostalgic reasons. Also, the problem with your claim is that the people playing the game have been playing the game ever since it was released. They did not just play it at the time and then pick it up back again recently, they have been playing it almost none-stop for the past 16 years (albeit not every single fucking day). The whole "people are just begin tricked by nostalgia" thing is just stupid, games like these are remembered for the same reasons Super Mario Bros and Duke Nukem 3D are remembered: Because they are really fucking awesome.

Just because I loved the shit out of something when I was 13 doesn't make it groundbreaking 15 years later, when gaming has evolved and my horizons has been adequately widened. The fact that people choose to cling on to something for far longer than it deserves tells me something about the lack of worthwhile things they have to spend their time on, more so than the quality of said products.

Byers:

Hardcore_gamer:

Byers:

Hardcore_gamer:

Byers:

It's like one of those experimental prog rock records from the 60s that inspired countless musicians and came to be a defining influence of some truly great bands, but judged musically on its own isn't all that good.

Then why are people still playing the game and making new MODS and levels for it? And why has the game been ported to almost everything that has a monitor on it during the past 16 years?

If the game weren't that good and only became famous as a result of begin new and interesting at the time then you would have sort of expected people to have abandoned it by now instead of constantly looking for more ways to play the game.....

For the same reason we might now be getting a new Ghostbusters movie with just one of the original Ghostbusters in it. People can't let go.

No, you don't make tens of thousands of user made levels just because of nostalgic reasons. Also, the problem with your claim is that the people playing the game have been playing the game ever since it was released. They did not just play it at the time and then pick it up back again recently, they have been playing it almost none-stop for the past 16 years (albeit not every single fucking day). The whole "people are just begin tricked by nostalgia" thing is just stupid, games like these are remembered for the same reasons Super Mario Bros and Duke Nukem 3D are remembered: Because they are really fucking awesome.

Just because I loved the shit out of something when I was 13 doesn't make it groundbreaking 15 years later, when gaming has evolved and my horizons has been adequately widened. The fact that people choose to cling on to something for far longer than it deserves tells me something about the lack of worthwhile things they have to spend their time on, more so than the quality of said products.

Certainly not ground-breaking, but enjoyable. I still like old movies despite the technology being updated. Just because they're old does not make them bad.

DrDeath3191:

Byers:

Hardcore_gamer:

Byers:

Hardcore_gamer:

Byers:

It's like one of those experimental prog rock records from the 60s that inspired countless musicians and came to be a defining influence of some truly great bands, but judged musically on its own isn't all that good.

Then why are people still playing the game and making new MODS and levels for it? And why has the game been ported to almost everything that has a monitor on it during the past 16 years?

If the game weren't that good and only became famous as a result of begin new and interesting at the time then you would have sort of expected people to have abandoned it by now instead of constantly looking for more ways to play the game.....

For the same reason we might now be getting a new Ghostbusters movie with just one of the original Ghostbusters in it. People can't let go.

No, you don't make tens of thousands of user made levels just because of nostalgic reasons. Also, the problem with your claim is that the people playing the game have been playing the game ever since it was released. They did not just play it at the time and then pick it up back again recently, they have been playing it almost none-stop for the past 16 years (albeit not every single fucking day). The whole "people are just begin tricked by nostalgia" thing is just stupid, games like these are remembered for the same reasons Super Mario Bros and Duke Nukem 3D are remembered: Because they are really fucking awesome.

Just because I loved the shit out of something when I was 13 doesn't make it groundbreaking 15 years later, when gaming has evolved and my horizons has been adequately widened. The fact that people choose to cling on to something for far longer than it deserves tells me something about the lack of worthwhile things they have to spend their time on, more so than the quality of said products.

Certainly not ground-breaking, but enjoyable. I still like old movies despite the technology being updated. Just because they're old does not make them bad.

Yes, playing Duke Nukem 3D is totally the same thing as watching Casablanca.

Byers:

DrDeath3191:

Byers:

Hardcore_gamer:

Byers:

Hardcore_gamer:

Byers:

It's like one of those experimental prog rock records from the 60s that inspired countless musicians and came to be a defining influence of some truly great bands, but judged musically on its own isn't all that good.

Then why are people still playing the game and making new MODS and levels for it? And why has the game been ported to almost everything that has a monitor on it during the past 16 years?

If the game weren't that good and only became famous as a result of begin new and interesting at the time then you would have sort of expected people to have abandoned it by now instead of constantly looking for more ways to play the game.....

For the same reason we might now be getting a new Ghostbusters movie with just one of the original Ghostbusters in it. People can't let go.

No, you don't make tens of thousands of user made levels just because of nostalgic reasons. Also, the problem with your claim is that the people playing the game have been playing the game ever since it was released. They did not just play it at the time and then pick it up back again recently, they have been playing it almost none-stop for the past 16 years (albeit not every single fucking day). The whole "people are just begin tricked by nostalgia" thing is just stupid, games like these are remembered for the same reasons Super Mario Bros and Duke Nukem 3D are remembered: Because they are really fucking awesome.

Just because I loved the shit out of something when I was 13 doesn't make it groundbreaking 15 years later, when gaming has evolved and my horizons has been adequately widened. The fact that people choose to cling on to something for far longer than it deserves tells me something about the lack of worthwhile things they have to spend their time on, more so than the quality of said products.

Certainly not ground-breaking, but enjoyable. I still like old movies despite the technology being updated. Just because they're old does not make them bad.

Yes, playing Duke Nukem 3D is totally the same thing as watching Casablanca.

A classic is a classic is a classic.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
This isn't helped at all by the internet, where a large percentage of discourse consists of elevated versions of playground arguments over whether He-Man was better than Thundercats.

I think you're stepping on more toes there than you did with the God comment... o_0

DrDeath3191:

7ru7h:

DrDeath3191:

And you're really going to emphasize story and gameplay on the same level of importance? Don't get me wrong, I enjoy narrative in games as well. However, you should remember the medium we're discussing. We're not talking about movies, novels, or plays. We're talking about games. Therefore, the gameplay must always take full position of importance. Following shortly thereafter should be level-design that compliments the gameplay, not the story. In fact, narratives in games are rather unimportant in the whole scheme of things. Yes, they may give you a compelling reason to continue playing. But if the game itself is not enjoyable to play, then what's the fucking point?

If you really believe this, I don't want to know the sort of games you love to play. Saying gameplay must be more important than story in a game is like saying the special effects in a movie are more important than a story... wait... ok. So it's people like you who want style over substance that allow Micheal Bay to have a career... for shame. FOR SHAME!!

Actually, you have your analogy the other way around. Games are meant to be played, hence why games without stories can be great (ie Tetris, Pokemon, Mario, etc.) and those with great stories can absolutely blow (Yakuza, Final Fantasy 12, and others. I haven't played many of these games due to crappy reviews) due to having shitty gameplay. Games, unlike movies, are not required to be a narrative medium. We don't need strong characters to be engaged in a videogame. We need strong gameplay and level design. Just like movies require a story to be engaging and not necessarily special effects.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that gameplay is unimportant, but to say that it is more important to story, there I have to disagree. Yeah, there are games that are popular without a good story, but most of those are from the old console days. Most of the games that come out today that don't have a good story to the either fail, or are casual games, and those usually are only popular for a while and then they fade in to obscurity.

Sure, I COULD play a game with no story, but why would I want to? What is my motivation? Thats why I don't really care for the later games in the Halo series: they sacrificed the story and the why to focus on things like multiplayer. In those sorts of games, I might play for a few hours here and there, but a game like Mass Effect or Bioshock? I have played through the campaign MANY times, and I still find them enjoyable. Hell, just look at DA:O. The gameplay in that one is mediocre, but the storyline is engaging as hell, and I can easily see myself coming back to that game all the time, much like I do for TES III/IV, BS, AC, ME and FO3.

Then we get things like the Transformers movie, and the human race continues to suffer a general decline into apocalyptic horror.

"Given your previously expressed contempt of Nintendo basically doing the same thing over and over, reusing the same characters, and favoring appeals to nostalgia over innovation, what would you do with Mario?"
-Michael B., from email

I thought this was Michael Bay for a moment.

7ru7h:

DrDeath3191:

7ru7h:

DrDeath3191:

And you're really going to emphasize story and gameplay on the same level of importance? Don't get me wrong, I enjoy narrative in games as well. However, you should remember the medium we're discussing. We're not talking about movies, novels, or plays. We're talking about games. Therefore, the gameplay must always take full position of importance. Following shortly thereafter should be level-design that compliments the gameplay, not the story. In fact, narratives in games are rather unimportant in the whole scheme of things. Yes, they may give you a compelling reason to continue playing. But if the game itself is not enjoyable to play, then what's the fucking point?

If you really believe this, I don't want to know the sort of games you love to play. Saying gameplay must be more important than story in a game is like saying the special effects in a movie are more important than a story... wait... ok. So it's people like you who want style over substance that allow Micheal Bay to have a career... for shame. FOR SHAME!!

Actually, you have your analogy the other way around. Games are meant to be played, hence why games without stories can be great (ie Tetris, Pokemon, Mario, etc.) and those with great stories can absolutely blow (Yakuza, Final Fantasy 12, and others. I haven't played many of these games due to crappy reviews) due to having shitty gameplay. Games, unlike movies, are not required to be a narrative medium. We don't need strong characters to be engaged in a videogame. We need strong gameplay and level design. Just like movies require a story to be engaging and not necessarily special effects.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that gameplay is unimportant, but to say that it is more important to story, there I have to disagree. Yeah, there are games that are popular without a good story, but most of those are from the old console days. Most of the games that come out today that don't have a good story to the either fail, or are casual games, and those usually are only popular for a while and then they fade in to obscurity.

And yet the likes of Mario, Pokemon, and Tetris are still played to this very day. Plants vs. Zombies didn't have a narrative either, but that didn't stop it from becoming popular. What about Braid? It's 'story' was so weak it may as well have not been there in the first place. But the games are fun, which is why they are popular.

Sure, I COULD play a game with no story, but why would I want to? What is my motivation? Thats why I don't really care for the later games in the Halo series: they sacrificed the story and the why to focus on things like multiplayer. In those sorts of games, I might play for a few hours here and there, but a game like Mass Effect or Bioshock? I have played through the campaign MANY times, and I still find them enjoyable. Hell, just look at DA:O. The gameplay in that one is mediocre, but the storyline is engaging as hell, and I can easily see myself coming back to that game all the time, much like I do for TES III/IV, BS, AC, ME and FO3.

Why do you play Chess, Checkers, Monopoly, or any other board game? Because the game is fun. These games have no narrative, but I doubt anyone can argue that these are even approaching bad games because of it. Just because videogames can be cinematic does not mean that they must be. Games at their most basic level are about achieving a goal with some form of rules. That's all games need to be. Thus, it is the most important aspect of games.

DrDeath3191:

7ru7h:

DrDeath3191:

7ru7h:

DrDeath3191:

And you're really going to emphasize story and gameplay on the same level of importance? Don't get me wrong, I enjoy narrative in games as well. However, you should remember the medium we're discussing. We're not talking about movies, novels, or plays. We're talking about games. Therefore, the gameplay must always take full position of importance. Following shortly thereafter should be level-design that compliments the gameplay, not the story. In fact, narratives in games are rather unimportant in the whole scheme of things. Yes, they may give you a compelling reason to continue playing. But if the game itself is not enjoyable to play, then what's the fucking point?

If you really believe this, I don't want to know the sort of games you love to play. Saying gameplay must be more important than story in a game is like saying the special effects in a movie are more important than a story... wait... ok. So it's people like you who want style over substance that allow Micheal Bay to have a career... for shame. FOR SHAME!!

Actually, you have your analogy the other way around. Games are meant to be played, hence why games without stories can be great (ie Tetris, Pokemon, Mario, etc.) and those with great stories can absolutely blow (Yakuza, Final Fantasy 12, and others. I haven't played many of these games due to crappy reviews) due to having shitty gameplay. Games, unlike movies, are not required to be a narrative medium. We don't need strong characters to be engaged in a videogame. We need strong gameplay and level design. Just like movies require a story to be engaging and not necessarily special effects.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that gameplay is unimportant, but to say that it is more important to story, there I have to disagree. Yeah, there are games that are popular without a good story, but most of those are from the old console days. Most of the games that come out today that don't have a good story to the either fail, or are casual games, and those usually are only popular for a while and then they fade in to obscurity.

And yet the likes of Mario, Pokemon, and Tetris are still played to this very day. Plants vs. Zombies didn't have a narrative either, but that didn't stop it from becoming popular. What about Braid? It's 'story' was so weak it may as well have not been there in the first place. But the games are fun, which is why they are popular.

Well, with the exception of PvZ and braid, all the games you mentioned were created in an era when a story wasn't expected, it was just a bonus for the player. Nowadays, if a game comes out without a story, it can be popular, but it usually isn't nearly as popular as the games with a compelling story. I wont argue that Mario and tetris are classics and still popular, but just because something is popular doesn't mean that it is good (this isn't aimed at those specific games, more at the style) or should be the template for future creations. But for a game that last forever, you really need the combination of the two (which is the whole point I'm trying to get at). For example, when you think of a zelda game, do you think of LoZ 1, or do you think of LoZ LTTP or one of the N64 titles? More often than not, people will say LTTP or the N64. Why? They combined the good gameplay with a story that made the player want to see it through to the end and revisit it every now and then.

And as for PvZ, it was popular for a bit, but like all casual games, its 15 min of fame came and went, and braid was never really all that popular.

Sure, I COULD play a game with no story, but why would I want to? What is my motivation? Thats why I don't really care for the later games in the Halo series: they sacrificed the story and the why to focus on things like multiplayer. In those sorts of games, I might play for a few hours here and there, but a game like Mass Effect or Bioshock? I have played through the campaign MANY times, and I still find them enjoyable. Hell, just look at DA:O. The gameplay in that one is mediocre, but the storyline is engaging as hell, and I can easily see myself coming back to that game all the time, much like I do for TES III/IV, BS, AC, ME and FO3.

Why do you play Chess, Checkers, Monopoly, or any other board game? Because the game is fun. These games have no narrative, but I doubt anyone can argue that these are even approaching bad games because of it. Just because videogames can be cinematic does not mean that they must be. Games at their most basic level are about achieving a goal with some form of rules. That's all games need to be. Thus, it is the most important aspect of games.

You can't try to compare board games and video games, the gap is too wide there. Sure they can be fun, but its usually because of the people you play with. Try playing monopoly by yourself. Still fun? No, because you lose out on what makes them fun.

Its arguments like that, that make the industry stagnate. Why should a dev make a great story when they know they can make a decent game with multiplayer and they will likely get their money back. Sure PvZ was fun, but I beat it once and haven't really gone back to it. Tetris is not bad, but I only play it to kill 15 minutes. What about LoZ LTTP? I try to make time at least once a year or so to go back and play the game, because I still enjoy it to this day. Yes, games are about achieving a goal with some form of rules, but if there is no why to it, the game will be destined to fade into obscurity. Sure I could play Shattered Horizons, it might be fun for a bit. Or I could play DA:O and be compelled to see the game through to its end, and replay it to see what I missed.

What I am trying to get at, like I said above, is not that story is the most important thing, its that gameplay ISN'T the be-all, end-all aspect of games. Do you honestly think that Diablo II would have been as popular as it was and stayed popular just because the gameplay is good? No. At most the game would have enjoyed moderate success and been popular for a month or two, and then something else would take its place.

So just because you can put out a game with no story doesn't mean you should.

7ru7h:

DrDeath3191:

7ru7h:

DrDeath3191:

7ru7h:

DrDeath3191:

And you're really going to emphasize story and gameplay on the same level of importance? Don't get me wrong, I enjoy narrative in games as well. However, you should remember the medium we're discussing. We're not talking about movies, novels, or plays. We're talking about games. Therefore, the gameplay must always take full position of importance. Following shortly thereafter should be level-design that compliments the gameplay, not the story. In fact, narratives in games are rather unimportant in the whole scheme of things. Yes, they may give you a compelling reason to continue playing. But if the game itself is not enjoyable to play, then what's the fucking point?

If you really believe this, I don't want to know the sort of games you love to play. Saying gameplay must be more important than story in a game is like saying the special effects in a movie are more important than a story... wait... ok. So it's people like you who want style over substance that allow Micheal Bay to have a career... for shame. FOR SHAME!!

Actually, you have your analogy the other way around. Games are meant to be played, hence why games without stories can be great (ie Tetris, Pokemon, Mario, etc.) and those with great stories can absolutely blow (Yakuza, Final Fantasy 12, and others. I haven't played many of these games due to crappy reviews) due to having shitty gameplay. Games, unlike movies, are not required to be a narrative medium. We don't need strong characters to be engaged in a videogame. We need strong gameplay and level design. Just like movies require a story to be engaging and not necessarily special effects.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that gameplay is unimportant, but to say that it is more important to story, there I have to disagree. Yeah, there are games that are popular without a good story, but most of those are from the old console days. Most of the games that come out today that don't have a good story to the either fail, or are casual games, and those usually are only popular for a while and then they fade in to obscurity.

And yet the likes of Mario, Pokemon, and Tetris are still played to this very day. Plants vs. Zombies didn't have a narrative either, but that didn't stop it from becoming popular. What about Braid? It's 'story' was so weak it may as well have not been there in the first place. But the games are fun, which is why they are popular.

Well, with the exception of PvZ and braid, all the games you mentioned were created in an era when a story wasn't expected, it was just a bonus for the player. Nowadays, if a game comes out without a story, it can be popular, but it usually isn't nearly as popular as the games with a compelling story. I wont argue that Mario and tetris are classics and still popular, but just because something is popular doesn't mean that it is good (this isn't aimed at those specific games, more at the style) or should be the template for future creations. But for a game that last forever, you really need the combination of the two (which is the whole point I'm trying to get at). For example, when you think of a zelda game, do you think of LoZ 1, or do you think of LoZ LTTP or one of the N64 titles? More often than not, people will say LTTP or the N64. Why? They combined the good gameplay with a story that made the player want to see it through to the end and revisit it every now and then.

And as for PvZ, it was popular for a bit, but like all casual games, its 15 min of fame came and went, and braid was never really all that popular.

Sure, I COULD play a game with no story, but why would I want to? What is my motivation? Thats why I don't really care for the later games in the Halo series: they sacrificed the story and the why to focus on things like multiplayer. In those sorts of games, I might play for a few hours here and there, but a game like Mass Effect or Bioshock? I have played through the campaign MANY times, and I still find them enjoyable. Hell, just look at DA:O. The gameplay in that one is mediocre, but the storyline is engaging as hell, and I can easily see myself coming back to that game all the time, much like I do for TES III/IV, BS, AC, ME and FO3.

Why do you play Chess, Checkers, Monopoly, or any other board game? Because the game is fun. These games have no narrative, but I doubt anyone can argue that these are even approaching bad games because of it. Just because videogames can be cinematic does not mean that they must be. Games at their most basic level are about achieving a goal with some form of rules. That's all games need to be. Thus, it is the most important aspect of games.

You can't try to compare board games and video games, the gap is too wide there. Sure they can be fun, but its usually because of the people you play with. Try playing monopoly by yourself. Still fun? No, because you lose out on what makes them fun.

Its arguments like that, that make the industry stagnate. Why should a dev make a great story when they know they can make a decent game with multiplayer and they will likely get their money back. Sure PvZ was fun, but I beat it once and haven't really gone back to it. Tetris is not bad, but I only play it to kill 15 minutes. What about LoZ LTTP? I try to make time at least once a year or so to go back and play the game, because I still enjoy it to this day. Yes, games are about achieving a goal with some form of rules, but if there is no why to it, the game will be destined to fade into obscurity. Sure I could play Shattered Horizons, it might be fun for a bit. Or I could play DA:O and be compelled to see the game through to its end, and replay it to see what I missed.

What I am trying to get at, like I said above, is not that story is the most important thing, its that gameplay ISN'T the be-all, end-all aspect of games. Do you honestly think that Diablo II would have been as popular as it was and stayed popular just because the gameplay is good? No. At most the game would have enjoyed moderate success and been popular for a month or two, and then something else would take its place.

So just because you can put out a game with no story doesn't mean you should.

The gameplay is what I remember from Zelda. The story for all of the games (for the most part) are very similar. I remember using the Ocarina for the first time. I remember defeating Ganondorf. The tale is irrelevant. It was the gameplay and level design that made Ocarina of Time the greatest game ever made. The story was just gravy. Once again, I'm not saying narrative is bad, just that it should not be met with the same level as gameplay.
You think that focusing on gameplay forces the stagnation of the games industry? Look at the RPGs being made: they're so far up their own ass with trying to tell a story that gameplay becomes irrelevant. These aren't fun to play: these may be fun to watch or read, but certainly not to play. Or Metal Gear Solid 4: I know that there's supposed to be great gameplay there, but with cutscenes that literally can cross the one-hour mark, it's getting flat-out ludicrous. Games are about interactivity. What you do, not what you hear, see, etc. etc. What makes a game truly eternal is not a tale. It's the fun people have playing the damned thing. People aren't returning to Halo 3 for the story: they're returning for the gameplay. Same thing with the Modern Warfare games. It isn't stories that make a game great: it's gameplay. It's the integral and indispensible science that makes up this artistic medium.

You know how you introduce classic Mario to a new audience? You make them play classic Mario!

It's the 4-player co-op that makes it an unique new experience (as in, one that cannot be had with an older mario title)

DrDeath3191:
Why do you play Chess, Checkers, Monopoly, or any other board game? Because the game is fun. These games have no narrative, but I doubt anyone can argue that these are even approaching bad games because of it. Just because videogames can be cinematic does not mean that they must be. Games at their most basic level are about achieving a goal with some form of rules. That's all games need to be. Thus, it is the most important aspect of games.

Now this is what this argument is all about? Figuring out what is the most important aspect of games is figuring out what you would do otherwise if games didn't exist. If the answer is board games, sports or puzzles, then the gameplay is the most important. If the answer is reading books, watching movies, then the narrative element is the most important.

Really, it all depends on the specific game and the specific player

DrDeath3191:

7ru7h:

DrDeath3191:

7ru7h:

DrDeath3191:

7ru7h:

DrDeath3191:

And you're really going to emphasize story and gameplay on the same level of importance? Don't get me wrong, I enjoy narrative in games as well. However, you should remember the medium we're discussing. We're not talking about movies, novels, or plays. We're talking about games. Therefore, the gameplay must always take full position of importance. Following shortly thereafter should be level-design that compliments the gameplay, not the story. In fact, narratives in games are rather unimportant in the whole scheme of things. Yes, they may give you a compelling reason to continue playing. But if the game itself is not enjoyable to play, then what's the fucking point?

If you really believe this, I don't want to know the sort of games you love to play. Saying gameplay must be more important than story in a game is like saying the special effects in a movie are more important than a story... wait... ok. So it's people like you who want style over substance that allow Micheal Bay to have a career... for shame. FOR SHAME!!

Actually, you have your analogy the other way around. Games are meant to be played, hence why games without stories can be great (ie Tetris, Pokemon, Mario, etc.) and those with great stories can absolutely blow (Yakuza, Final Fantasy 12, and others. I haven't played many of these games due to crappy reviews) due to having shitty gameplay. Games, unlike movies, are not required to be a narrative medium. We don't need strong characters to be engaged in a videogame. We need strong gameplay and level design. Just like movies require a story to be engaging and not necessarily special effects.

Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that gameplay is unimportant, but to say that it is more important to story, there I have to disagree. Yeah, there are games that are popular without a good story, but most of those are from the old console days. Most of the games that come out today that don't have a good story to the either fail, or are casual games, and those usually are only popular for a while and then they fade in to obscurity.

And yet the likes of Mario, Pokemon, and Tetris are still played to this very day. Plants vs. Zombies didn't have a narrative either, but that didn't stop it from becoming popular. What about Braid? It's 'story' was so weak it may as well have not been there in the first place. But the games are fun, which is why they are popular.

Well, with the exception of PvZ and braid, all the games you mentioned were created in an era when a story wasn't expected, it was just a bonus for the player. Nowadays, if a game comes out without a story, it can be popular, but it usually isn't nearly as popular as the games with a compelling story. I wont argue that Mario and tetris are classics and still popular, but just because something is popular doesn't mean that it is good (this isn't aimed at those specific games, more at the style) or should be the template for future creations. But for a game that last forever, you really need the combination of the two (which is the whole point I'm trying to get at). For example, when you think of a zelda game, do you think of LoZ 1, or do you think of LoZ LTTP or one of the N64 titles? More often than not, people will say LTTP or the N64. Why? They combined the good gameplay with a story that made the player want to see it through to the end and revisit it every now and then.

And as for PvZ, it was popular for a bit, but like all casual games, its 15 min of fame came and went, and braid was never really all that popular.

Sure, I COULD play a game with no story, but why would I want to? What is my motivation? Thats why I don't really care for the later games in the Halo series: they sacrificed the story and the why to focus on things like multiplayer. In those sorts of games, I might play for a few hours here and there, but a game like Mass Effect or Bioshock? I have played through the campaign MANY times, and I still find them enjoyable. Hell, just look at DA:O. The gameplay in that one is mediocre, but the storyline is engaging as hell, and I can easily see myself coming back to that game all the time, much like I do for TES III/IV, BS, AC, ME and FO3.

Why do you play Chess, Checkers, Monopoly, or any other board game? Because the game is fun. These games have no narrative, but I doubt anyone can argue that these are even approaching bad games because of it. Just because videogames can be cinematic does not mean that they must be. Games at their most basic level are about achieving a goal with some form of rules. That's all games need to be. Thus, it is the most important aspect of games.

You can't try to compare board games and video games, the gap is too wide there. Sure they can be fun, but its usually because of the people you play with. Try playing monopoly by yourself. Still fun? No, because you lose out on what makes them fun.

Its arguments like that, that make the industry stagnate. Why should a dev make a great story when they know they can make a decent game with multiplayer and they will likely get their money back. Sure PvZ was fun, but I beat it once and haven't really gone back to it. Tetris is not bad, but I only play it to kill 15 minutes. What about LoZ LTTP? I try to make time at least once a year or so to go back and play the game, because I still enjoy it to this day. Yes, games are about achieving a goal with some form of rules, but if there is no why to it, the game will be destined to fade into obscurity. Sure I could play Shattered Horizons, it might be fun for a bit. Or I could play DA:O and be compelled to see the game through to its end, and replay it to see what I missed.

What I am trying to get at, like I said above, is not that story is the most important thing, its that gameplay ISN'T the be-all, end-all aspect of games. Do you honestly think that Diablo II would have been as popular as it was and stayed popular just because the gameplay is good? No. At most the game would have enjoyed moderate success and been popular for a month or two, and then something else would take its place.

So just because you can put out a game with no story doesn't mean you should.

The gameplay is what I remember from Zelda. The story for all of the games (for the most part) are very similar. I remember using the Ocarina for the first time. I remember defeating Ganondorf. The tale is irrelevant. It was the gameplay and level design that made Ocarina of Time the greatest game ever made. The story was just gravy. Once again, I'm not saying narrative is bad, just that it should not be met with the same level as gameplay.
You think that focusing on gameplay forces the stagnation of the games industry? Look at the RPGs being made: they're so far up their own ass with trying to tell a story that gameplay becomes irrelevant. These aren't fun to play: these may be fun to watch or read, but certainly not to play. Or Metal Gear Solid 4: I know that there's supposed to be great gameplay there, but with cutscenes that literally can cross the one-hour mark, it's getting flat-out ludicrous.

I am not sure you could have missed my point by more. Sure there are games like MGS4 that go too far in promoting their story, but what about games like the newer Mortal Kombat games? Games that have taken tried and true gameplay and just reskinned it and put it out as the next version. They are so bland you don't even want to keep playing them. The point is, a dev has to find a good balance between good gameplay and a good story.

Games are about interactivity. What you do, not what you hear, see, etc. etc. What makes a game truly eternal is not a tale. It's the fun people have playing the damned thing. People aren't returning to Halo 3 for the story: they're returning for the gameplay. Same thing with the Modern Warfare games. It isn't stories that make a game great: it's gameplay. It's the integral and indispensible science that makes up this artistic medium.

Sure, games are about what you do, but it wont be eternal if there is no why (example: reading a book that is just about 2 dudes fighting, versus a book that draws you in, gives meaning to the conflict, along with the actual confilct), and gameplay cannot make a game eternal. For example, if gameplay is the ultimate deciding factor on what games live forever, why didn't more games resembling mario become "eternal"? Why is it that you can't just make a shooter and have it go down in the history of gaming as a great game? Because for every Doom (an actual innovator in/the creator of the genre), there is a Crysis (a game that, with minor tweaks, could be any other game). Sure gameplay is important, but without a decent story, more often than not, it will fall to the wayside.

If you want, keep giving me games that have no story and became classics and stood the test of time, and I bet for every one of those, I could find at least 2 games, if not more, that tried the same thing and failed. For every Contra, there is an Altered beast.

i dont like reading someone dumb this down 4 me 1 time

7ru7h:
A snip of Biblical proportions

The reason that those imitators failed and the others succeeded is because the imitators were inferior. Sonic the Hedgehog is eternal, Bubsy the Cat is not. Mortal Kombat (1) is eternal, Kasumi Ninja is not. None of the games mentioned have much along the lines of a story. However, two are still adamantly played to this day. Because they are good games. Games which stand the test of time to be part of our gaming nexus. Not all games remain this way: newer Mortal Kombat and Sonic games have fallen by the wayside, but that does not change the fact that the originals were and are great games.
All games inherently have a 'why'. Why do I want to kick this guy's ass? Because I want to win. Why am I shooting asteroids in space? Because I want the high score. This is what seperates games from other forms of art: we don't need a motivation beyond winning. Pacman didn't need a huge narative to be one of the most commonly played games ever. Nor did Pong or Asteroids. They did what all devs should focus on: make the game fun. You can do this with or without the presence of a story, making the story nothing more than a frill. Story-telling in games can be great (it usually isn't, but it can be) but the game has to be fun before you actually care. To take your Mass Effect and Bioshock examples from eariler, yes they had good stories. But they were also good games. They were actually fun to play. That's why I played through them multiple times: they were fun.

tobyornottoby:

You know how you introduce classic Mario to a new audience? You make them play classic Mario!

It's the 4-player co-op that makes it an unique new experience (as in, one that cannot be had with an older mario title)

I'd like to add something to this.

Not that I think it's a big game-changing experience. It's not. That wasn't the point of this game. New Super Mario Bros Wii is basically taking New Super Mario Bros for the DS with sharper graphics, new stages and powerups, and four-player simultaneous action. It has never claimed to be any more, or any less.

And that is the one thing Yahtzee has failed to grasp here. He's judging the game as if it were supposed to be the followup to Super Mario Galaxy. It's not. It's the equivalent to Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins.

Belano beat me to it. Counterstrike would be the epithome of a story-less, gameplay based game and it still has been enjoying widespread success for a decade.

Byers:

Just because I loved the shit out of something when I was 13 doesn't make it groundbreaking 15 years later

So only 13 year old's played Doom and loved it because they did not know any better? Doom was played by people of all ages, and still is. Recently one of the greatest mappers/user made level designer for Doom died from cancer and he was over 40 years old.

As for not begin groundbreaking, do you know anything about early 90's games? Doom was groundbreaking in almost every way you can think of. It was the first game where you could move around in a 3D world and walk up and downs stairs making it the first game ever to have a believable world the player get immersed in. It was the first game to have a lighting system where each room could have many different kinds of lighting and flickering lights. It was the first game shooter to have moving floors and elevators, it was the first first person shooter ever besides Wolfenstein (and that game was made by the same company). Doom was new in almost every way and did shitloads of things no other game had ever done before it.

Byers:
The fact that people choose to cling on to something for far longer than it deserves tells me something about the lack of worthwhile things they have to spend their time on

And who are you to say that the game no longer deserves to be played? And the reason for why there are still people who play the game is because they simply don't have anything better to do? Do you actually mean that or are you just one of those stupid 12 year old's who insists that only recent game are worth anything and that playing old games is stupid "because there old"?

Almost all of my top fav games are old.

Worms.
GTA 2.
Half-life 1.
Crash Team Racing on the PS1.
Ace Combat 3 on the PS1.
Doom.
Doom 2.
Quake.
Quake 2.
Super Mario Brothers 1 and 3.
Super Mario 64.
Star Fox 64.

I could go on and on like this forever, and all of these games are either 2 console generations old or older (and some are much older). Am i some stupid fanboy who has nothing better to do because i consider these games better then most tittles that are pumped out today? And this is coming from someone who bought both the PS3 and the Xbox 360 in order to enjoy all of this generations best offerings.

DrDeath3191:
Actually, you have your analogy the other way around. Games are meant to be played, hence why games without stories can be great (ie Tetris, Pokemon, Mario, etc.) and those with great stories can absolutely blow (Yakuza, Final Fantasy 12, and others. I haven't played many of these games due to crappy reviews) due to having shitty gameplay. Games, unlike movies, are not required to be a narrative medium. We don't need strong characters to be engaged in a videogame. We need strong gameplay and level design. Just like movies require a story to be engaging and not necessarily special effects.

I'm at odds on the need for a strong character. Mario is strong because of his versatility. He's done everything including whoring himself out as a doctor. We can imagine him as whatever Nintendo needs him to be. But if what you're saying is true, we wouldn't have many RPGs that tell compelling stories with decent gameplay such as Disgaea or Parasite Eve.

So, in answer to Michael B's question, "what would I do with Mario," I would leave Mario exactly where we left him: doing aeroplane impressions somewhere out in deep space. And hope he can't find the way back.

OMG YES! I thought I was the only one who believed Mario needed to take some time out of the spotlight and allow other characters to push up to the front. After Super Mario Galaxy, I believe they should have just retired Mario for a while. Tell the world "Look, gimme a break. Bowser's on vacation and so am I" then let Luigi pick up a game or two with Waluigi.

It's not that I hate Mario, but when has Nintendo focused on other characters or *gasp* creating a new one out of all of the ones that they have? Where's Donkey Kong been hiding nowadays? I'm not asking for much, just to be able to see some progress in what's done with their IP.

Gindil:

DrDeath3191:
Actually, you have your analogy the other way around. Games are meant to be played, hence why games without stories can be great (ie Tetris, Pokemon, Mario, etc.) and those with great stories can absolutely blow (Yakuza, Final Fantasy 12, and others. I haven't played many of these games due to crappy reviews) due to having shitty gameplay. Games, unlike movies, are not required to be a narrative medium. We don't need strong characters to be engaged in a videogame. We need strong gameplay and level design. Just like movies require a story to be engaging and not necessarily special effects.

I'm at odds on the need for a strong character. Mario is strong because of his versatility. He's done everything including whoring himself out as a doctor. We can imagine him as whatever Nintendo needs him to be. But if what you're saying is true, we wouldn't have many RPGs that tell compelling stories with decent gameplay such as Disgaea or Parasite Eve.

So, in answer to Michael B's question, "what would I do with Mario," I would leave Mario exactly where we left him: doing aeroplane impressions somewhere out in deep space. And hope he can't find the way back.

OMG YES! I thought I was the only one who believed Mario needed to take some time out of the spotlight and allow other characters to push up to the front. After Super Mario Galaxy, I believe they should have just retired Mario for a while. Tell the world "Look, gimme a break. Bowser's on vacation and so am I" then let Luigi pick up a game or two with Waluigi.

It's not that I hate Mario, but when has Nintendo focused on other characters or *gasp* creating a new one out of all of the ones that they have? Where's Donkey Kong been hiding nowadays? I'm not asking for much, just to be able to see some progress in what's done with their IP.

The reason Mario is versatile is because nothing has truly been set in stone about the charcter besides the fact that he saves the Princess. I have no problem with this. With regards to RPGs, stories are nice, but in the end not necessary.

And I take it you refuse to count Brain Age, Wii Sports, and Endless Ocean under new Nintendo IPs?

He makes a good point about nostalgia being an increasingly bigger attraction since the internet. On the other hand: the notion of nostalgia is of all ages... especially later in life.

Maybe we're just getting old? ;)

Yeah go die.

squid5580:
It supports both actually You just want to call it a different word saying "setting" instead of "story". What do you think gives you said goals? Would a game be very much fun if you do what you have to do for no other reason that the dev said so? No! You need something more to hold the game together.

Bollocks.

No story holds Tetris together; you form lines to make them disappear. The game plainly says that is your goal without further ado and, you know what? It's fun, challenging and timeless. So is Chess.

So there goes your argument:

A game where there is a goal without a story can be fun.
A game does NOT need a story to have goals. And...
A game's developer can define said goals without compromising the fun of the game's design.

And a "Story" has a flow and a narrative that moves forward. A setting is static, unchanged and unaffected by your actions. You can play all 50 levels of Pacman and the setting won't change; no story has been told, no narrative advanced.

Stories and settings may enhance the experience, but they are not required, let alone equally important to gameplay.

So there: gameplay = required; story = not required.

Those games have SETTINGS, not STORIES. Arkanoid is a Breakout clone with a "story", and that's not even the reason why it's better. Most people don't even know that Arkanoid even HAS a story; that's how pointless it is in that game.

7ru7h:

You can't try to compare board games and video games, the gap is too wide there. Sure they can be fun, but its usually because of the people you play with. Try playing monopoly by yourself. Still fun? No, because you lose out on what makes them fun.

I found this comment to be very ironic, considering the extreme popularity of online deathmatch games which, traditionally, feature no story or narrative whatsoever. Fighting games are the same when it comes to Vs matches. The story becomes irrelevant.

Videogames have a lot more in common to board games than to movies.

Seriously, does anyone honestly believe people bought Modern Warfare 2 for its story?

Grampy_bone:

Super Mario Bros is the best selling game of all time. Yes, ever, in the history of all videogames. Go ahead, look it up.

Since you challenged:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_video_games

# Wii Sports (50.54 million)
# Super Mario Bros. (40.23 million)

Both had the benefit of being bundled with the consoles of course.

It's no coincidence either that all of the top 12 selling games of all time are first-party Nintendo titles.

I have too many games on my plate already right now, but I'll get NSMBW eventually - likely after the price goes down.

As for story, one of the things I've always liked about simpler games is that you're free to project your own story and motivation on to the game. That's very often more compelling than what the designers spoon-feed you.

DrDeath3191:
The reason Mario is versatile is because nothing has truly been set in stone about the character besides the fact that he saves the Princess. I have no problem with this. With regards to RPGs, stories are nice, but in the end not necessary.

And I take it you refuse to count Brain Age, Wii Sports, and Endless Ocean under new Nintendo IPs?

Isn't it the story that keeps most people wanting to fight the Big Bad in the end? I'm pretty sure you don't slog through RPGs because of some need for open exploration. Rather, they're for getting enough experience to tell a story in a medium much closer than a movie or a book could do.

I find all of those odd choices in looking at Nintendo's IPs. Brain Age is Sudoku on steroids, Wii Sports is fairly similar to the old school Track and Field on Nintendo, and Endless Ocean I didn't hear about until your post. Granted, they may be "new" IPs. But I was looking more in the direction of taking an established character such as Donkey Kong and expanding on his mythos. For example, why not have a game where he and Bowser are fighting to kidnap the Princess? Better yet, use the other Kongs and expand on that.

Another option is to create a few new characters, which they did with Wario and Waluigi. There are a lot of options in a large company such as Nintendo. But as I see it, and Yahtzee has correctly surmised, they are averse to risk. Hence why we have Mario's regression in his newest game.

Gindil:

DrDeath3191:
The reason Mario is versatile is because nothing has truly been set in stone about the character besides the fact that he saves the Princess. I have no problem with this. With regards to RPGs, stories are nice, but in the end not necessary.

And I take it you refuse to count Brain Age, Wii Sports, and Endless Ocean under new Nintendo IPs?

Isn't it the story that keeps most people wanting to fight the Big Bad in the end? I'm pretty sure you don't slog through RPGs because of some need for open exploration. Rather, they're for getting enough experience to tell a story in a medium much closer than a movie or a book could do.

I find all of those odd choices in looking at Nintendo's IPs. Brain Age is Sudoku on steroids, Wii Sports is fairly similar to the old school Track and Field on Nintendo, and Endless Ocean I didn't hear about until your post. Granted, they may be "new" IPs. But I was looking more in the direction of taking an established character such as Donkey Kong and expanding on his mythos. For example, why not have a game where he and Bowser are fighting to kidnap the Princess? Better yet, use the other Kongs and expand on that.

Another option is to create a few new characters, which they did with Wario and Waluigi. There are a lot of options in a large company such as Nintendo. But as I see it, and Yahtzee has correctly surmised, they are averse to risk. Hence why we have Mario's regression in his newest game.

It really shouldn't be your motivation. If the game itself cannot hold your interest enough for you to advance, the game fails. The story in RPGs is to compensate for gameplay that is less than stellar. As I said earlier, RPGs minus the story become a huge math equation. But even in these instances a minimalist plot can be found and greatly appreciated: see Pokemon and the Mario RPGs.

Despite the fact you consider them odd, that does not revoke them of their status as Nintendo IPs; and quite popular ones at that. Regarding the whole 'expansion of the mythos' thing: there really isn't much to stretch out. Besides, DK has no interest in the Princess: he wants Pauline.

Nintendo has created new characters: the Miis. While they may not be deep in any sense of the word, they still have a sense of personality. That and the majority of their games are actually fun.

Incidentally, if you want a Mario game where DK is the villain, you might want to check out the March of the Minis games, one of which should be appearing (if it hasn't already appeared) on the DSi downloadable service. You can also check out the GCN offering, which is actually a damned fine game if I recall correctly.

Damn, now I too am hungry

Yahtzee makes a valid point in this article. Many gamers worship Mario as if he were a god. But my question is "Why?" Why is it that people worship Mario as if he were the creator of the wheel in a prehistoric society (New game idea for next Mario game)? What is so appealing about Mario that people will buy remakes of the same game several times? I could understand parents buying the games for their children, but what about the consumers that know who Mario is, and own all of his games? It really confounds me.

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