Yahtzee vs. the JRPG

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Suskie:

Yahtzee Croshaw:
For the lion's share of the game the only real input the player has is during battles (and even that's a loose and uninvolving input)

And how exactly would you know what the "lion's share" of a 40-hour game consists of when you've only seen the first five? I wasn't a big fan of the game either, but I at least finished it before I started making claims like that. At last contextualize it like you did in the video.

Thats the point he made. If you have to "Play" more then 5 hours jsut to get some fucking gameplay, then the developers need to be stabbed and raped by an angry sea urchin with rabies.

Look at the abomination that CLAIMS to be the new Freelancer "X3: Terran Conflict". The game takes around 3 FRIGGIN HOURS before you can even get ready to survive your first fight!

Then, if by 5 hours I am still asking "Why!? WTF? Why am I supposed to care about this? WTH does the villian want!? Why why why!?" then the game isn't pacing itself right. Let us look at bioshock for example. You jump in, and your told a why (Not the REAL why, but given a good answer to tide you over) the answer they give is good enough to hide the games big twists, while still satisfying your urge to actually be included in the "Knowing" group of people.
Jump back to FF7, while overhyped (And I think the story is rubbish) AT LEAST it gave you some tide over answers to keep you going. Imagine if FF7 told you NOTHING instead, and just waited until cloud began to remember things to actually feed you key story elements like villian motivation, your background, etc.

The fact is, FFXIII forgot it is a story driven game, so dropped the basics of good writing. Square has been having this BAD habit of the "No Data Available" trend of story telling. Where it leaves out big answers which just frustrates the player, instead of tossing us AT LEAST some fake answers to tide us over until the actual plot twist comes around.

Remember Square-Enix... Plot twists do not matter if we have no prior expectations beforehand.

Abriael:

boholikeu:

When I play a game, I want to actually, you know, play the game, not watch a bunch of cinematics etc about what's happening. You know how they say that a good book "shows" you the story instead of "telling" it to you? Well I believe a good game does the same thing. "showing" in a game is putting me in control and having me act out what's happening. "Telling" would be conveying the plot primarily through cut-scenes or dialogue

That's a difference in storytelling style, it has really nothing to do with quality. You may like one option more than the other (me, I like both, as long as they're well done), but if a developer didn't pick your favourite option, it doesn't suddenly turn the game into a bad one.

But it does have to do with quality. What's the point of actually playing the game if I can get pretty much the same experience from watching the cinematics on youtube? Not using the strengths of the medium you choose to work in is pretty pointless IMO.

Like I said before, it's like a film director choosing to convey the bulk of their story through text rather than actual video. Why even make a movie in the first place if you aren't going to use the medium for most of the story? Why make a story-heavy game if none of your story is in the actual game?

Abriael:

Actually I'm not trying to convince him it "sucks" so much as explain to him what I think Yahtzee meant when he said the game "didn't let you play it". I haven't played FFXIII yet so I can say for sure, but if it's anything like previous games I can understand where he's coming from.

What he meant was basically "I didn't care for the game from the beginning, I really didn't want to play it, but I had to, so i sat on my couch ranting, with a completely closed and narrow mind, slaved through the first few chapters without even paying attention, and then filled my half of my five minutes with hearsay and stuff i read on forums".

Mind you, I'm actually happy for him, since he can afford playing a game for only 5 hours before doing his piece. Any gaming journalist working for any semi-serious publication that not only did that, but actually proudly declared that, would normally be shown the door or at least heavily reprimanded 5 minutes after delivering his piece.
When I worked as a print gaming journalist, I slaved my way through 15-20 hours of plenty crappy games, unsightly stuff like Energy Airforce or Mission Impossible: Operation over Surma, with a mouth as wide as my leg for the excessive yawning. Why? because that's the professional way to do it and that's the only way to deliver an actually informed review.
Could I have gotten more or less the same results just by skimming forums and slapping a ton of hearsay in my articles? You betcha. But that's no way to earn your salary.

If gaming journalism is a job, he just suddenly decided that he had enough halfway through his shift and walked out of the office. Very professional indeed.

But hey, good for him if he can get away with it, seriously.

Bah, most "professional" reviews are bunk anyway cause they review games as a product rather than entertainment (let alone art).

In regards to the "book" thing:

These characters live in this world. They already know what fal'Cie and l'Cie are. There's no need to explain it to each other because it's common knowledge. The reason FFX could explain Fayth and Sin to the player was because Tidus was a stranger in a strange land, and thus had to have concepts explained to him. If we had Hope saying "O YA THE PULSE FALCIE ANIMA THAT LIVED IN BODHUM A SEASIDE TOWN TURNED US ALL INTO L'CIE" a lot, it would just be silly.

WhiteTiger225:

Then, if by 5 hours I am still asking "Why!? WTF? Why am I supposed to care about this? WTH does the villian want!? Why why why!?" then the game isn't pacing itself right.

If after 5 hours of Final Fantasy XIII you're still asking yourself that, then you didn't pay attention, and it's pretty obvious that Yatzhee didn't.

boholikeu:

But it does have to do with quality. What's the point of actually playing the game if I can get pretty much the same experience from watching the cinematics on youtube? Not using the strengths of the medium you choose to work in is pretty pointless IMO.

Yeah, but you cannot. It'd be like seeing an action movie without the action.

Like I said before, it's like a film director choosing to convey the bulk of their story through text rather than actual video. Why even make a movie in the first place if you aren't going to use the medium for most of the story? Why make a story-heavy game if none of your story is in the actual game?

Because a lot of gamers prefer to concentrate on the story when the story is being told, and concentrate on the fighting when they have to fight so they don't miss pieces of the puzzle here and there? Placing most (not even all) of the story details in cutscenes means simply that they will have more impact on the player, other than, of course, providing with more cinematic power.
You're entitled to your own preference, mind you, but that doesn't make such preference objectively better or worse. As long as the story's good and the gameplay is good, with all due respect, I see a lot of mental masturbation in trying to justify how one solution would objectively be better than the other.

Bah, most "professional" reviews are bunk anyway cause they review games as a product rather than entertainment (let alone art).

Games ARE a product, entertainment and some say art. Good reviewers give due attention to all three aspects. If you review a game only as entertainment, it being an entirely subjective value, you make your interview useful only to the ones whose subjective tastes match yours completely, which is a fraction of the readership. On the other hand, the review is misleading for everyone else.
Simply enough, this turns a review into a baseless power-tripping rant, and that's (or should be) the difference between a professional gaming journalist and a random guy with a blog.
It's the perfect way to mark a bad journalist: "I didn't like it! The stupid developer didn't design the game according to my taste! Therefore the game is bad. FOUR!"

acosn:
So he effectively has what you could probably call really high standards. If there's something wrong in a game at all he's going to point it out.

Not really, he heffectively has what you call a bias against certain genres of games and certain ways such games are made. He points out as wrong what's simply different fom his personal taste, and his personal taste is very, very restrictive, and has more often than not nothing to do with the actual quality (or even general value as entertainment) of a game.

If after five hours he could not get into the game that's his own call. If his superiors decide that's not proper journalistic grade material that's also their call.

Oh sure, good for him. That's not journalism though. That's ranting into a mic for the lulz. Let's keep it at that and avoid writing further long winded rants to try (and fail) to justify his shorter pauseless rants.

Does his criticisms on FF13 somehow impact your own enjoyment?

Not really. But this is a discussion forum, where articles are posted to be commented and, you know, discussed upon. Therefore, I use the medium for what it was created for.
If this thread has been opened only for those that love yathzee and think he's a great journalist, so that they can express their agreement with his ways and opinions(making his head bigger than it already is) great, just lemme know, uh?

the last game that i enjoyed that had a combat system that was close to turn based was KOTOR

I just think that Square has to get it through their thick heads what exactly makes a Final Fantasy game, and FFXIII was NOT a FF game. It was just another one of Square's gimmecky (and no I cannot spell gimmeck) titles, like Last Remnant or Infinite Undiscovery, that tries its best to revolutionize how we play RPG's. But what they do not understand is one simple concept:

If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

This isn't some Hideo Kojima game, I'm not here to be entertained by some fancy-ass cutscenes (although that's a nice little bonus). I'm here for some strategic, turn-based gameplay and, believe it or not, I actually enjoy the little micromanagement. The whole item/equipment system they have for this one is totally worthless. I've gotten all the way to chapter 11 now and I've only upgraded one piece of equipment, just to see how it works. It took me until disc 2 to realize that I had absolutely no way of gaining gil unless I sell all my shit, which sucks majorly. One of my favorite things about the other FF's is that I really didn't have to sell a goddamn thing, I could just horde all my equipment, and when a situation would arise where I'd need one with a particular effect, I'd have it.

And another thing: what the hell happened to limit breaks (or trance or whatever they call it). Those were some of the coolest parts of the game. Seeing your character do a super awesome move after going through hell to get to that point felt so much more rewarding.

Square just got this whole game wrong. I'm having as much fun playing this game as I would from playing with a Tamagachi, both of which I'm resolved to break after 3 minutes of playing. And at least the Tamagachi would try to show you some affection, whereas this game just goes out of its way to piss you off. I think after FFX came out Square just has their heads up their asses and think that whatever they come up with is gold. But I'm here to let them know that this is one shit-storm that was obviously never played by Square themselves.

Woah woah woah.... Yahtzee wrote a book? What's it about? Somebody tell me, PLEASE.

ExplosionsRkewl:
I just think that Square has to get it through their thick heads what exactly makes a Final Fantasy game, and FFXIII was NOT a FF game. It was just another one of Square's gimmecky (and no I cannot spell gimmeck) titles, like Last Remnant or Infinite Undiscovery, that tries its best to revolutionize how we play RPG's. But what they do not understand is one simple concept:

If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

This isn't some Hideo Kojima game, I'm not here to be entertained by some fancy-ass cutscenes (although that's a nice little bonus). I'm here for some strategic, turn-based gameplay and, believe it or not, I actually enjoy the little micromanagement. The whole item/equipment system they have for this one is totally worthless. I've gotten all the way to chapter 11 now and I've only upgraded one piece of equipment, just to see how it works. It took me until disc 2 to realize that I had absolutely no way of gaining gil unless I sell all my shit, which sucks majorly. One of my favorite things about the other FF's is that I really didn't have to sell a goddamn thing, I could just horde all my equipment, and when a situation would arise where I'd need one with a particular effect, I'd have it.

And another thing: what the hell happened to limit breaks (or trance or whatever they call it). Those were some of the coolest parts of the game. Seeing your character do a super awesome move after going through hell to get to that point felt so much more rewarding.

Square just got this whole game wrong. I'm having as much fun playing this game as I would from playing with a Tamagachi, both of which I'm resolved to break after 3 minutes of playing. And at least the Tamagachi would try to show you some affection, whereas this game just goes out of its way to piss you off. I think after FFX came out Square just has their heads up their asses and think that whatever they come up with is gold. But I'm here to let them know that this is one shit-storm that was obviously never played by Square themselves.

Amen bro!

By all means DO try to reinvent the wheel, but before it hit shelves...make sure it works. >.>

Abri rage in; 3,2,1..

AWDMANOUT:
Woah woah woah.... Yahtzee wrote a book? What's it about? Somebody tell me, PLEASE.

It's about some NPC who comes back to life in an MMO world. Sounds like it could be okay.

Abriael:

boholikeu:

But it does have to do with quality. What's the point of actually playing the game if I can get pretty much the same experience from watching the cinematics on youtube? Not using the strengths of the medium you choose to work in is pretty pointless IMO.

Yeah, but you cannot. It'd be like seeing an action movie without the action.

This would be true if FF games were all about action. While they definitely have some action sequences, I would hardly call them action stories.

Abriael:
Because a lot of gamers prefer to concentrate on the story when the story is being told, and concentrate on the fighting when they have to fight so they don't miss pieces of the puzzle here and there?

Well that right there is what I'm referring to when I say "divorcing story and gameplay". If the gameplay isn't just limited to battle sequences you can very easily convey plot information without "missing pieces of the puzzle".

Plus, I know it might surprise you, but human beings are capable of processing a surprising amount of passive information, even during action sequences.

Abriael:
Placing most (not even all) of the story details in cutscenes means simply that they will have more impact on the player, other than, of course, providing with more cinematic power.

Bolded the key phrase here. When I play a game I'm looking for powerful gameplay, not cinematic skill. Frankly I can find much better examples of the latter in actual movies.

Abriael:
You're entitled to your own preference, mind you, but that doesn't make such preference objectively better or worse. As long as the story's good and the gameplay is good, with all due respect, I see a lot of mental masturbation in trying to justify how one solution would objectively be better than the other.

Would you agree that a movie that tells its story primarily through text is bad? If so, how is that any different from a game that primarily tells it's story though video?

Extensive cinematics definitely had their place back when technology was more limited, but now developers are able to make gameplay sequences that are just as engaging and graphically pleasing. They are like intertitles in film. They had their place back when the medium was still developing, but now there are so many technical alternatives to them that they are best when only used sparingly.

So can I say that FF is objectively bad because of it's lack separation of gameplay and story? Perhaps not, because that's an opinion. Can I say that their narrative/gameplay techniques aren't as advanced as those find ways to integrate story into gameplay? Yes, I think that's fair. After all, even if their cinematics were as good as most films you see nowadays (which they aren't), that still only means their skilled at making movies, not games.

Abriael:

Games ARE a product, entertainment and some say art. Good reviewers give due attention to all three aspects. If you review a game only as entertainment, it being an entirely subjective value, you make your interview useful only to the ones whose subjective tastes match yours completely, which is a fraction of the readership. On the other hand, the review is misleading for everyone else.
Simply enough, this turns a review into a baseless power-tripping rant, and that's (or should be) the difference between a professional gaming journalist and a random guy with a blog.
It's the perfect way to mark a bad journalist: "I didn't like it! The stupid developer didn't design the game according to my taste! Therefore the game is bad. FOUR!"

Funny then, that professional film/music/art reviews all sound more like video game blog reviews (albeit the better ones) than they do the average professional game review. Have you ever read a professional movie review that gave a numerical rating to the film's special effects or sound quality? Has a reviewer ever complained that a director should've filmed their movie digitally so it would have the highest possible resolution? After all, movies are a product too, so these should be important, right? True, you can say that the only reason mainstream game reviewers pay attention to these things is because it's what gamers care about, but it also shapes the public's expectations of what makes a "good game".

boholikeu:

Funny then, that professional film/music/art reviews all sound more like video game blog reviews (albeit the better ones) than they do the average professional game review. Have you ever read a professional movie review that gave a numerical rating to the film's special effects or sound quality? Has a reviewer ever complained that a director should've filmed their movie digitally so it would have the highest possible resolution? After all, movies are a product too, so these should be important, right? True, you can say that the only reason mainstream game reviewers pay attention to these things is because it's what gamers care about, but it also shapes the public's expectations of what makes a "good game".

I just wanted to say that this is right on the money. The critics of the film, literary, music and art industries don't pretend to be objective; they're well aware of how subjectivity is essential in shaping people's reactions, so they're not afraid to express their opinions. Video game reviewers (I will call them reviewers because most of them are not critics) are the only ones who shy away from giving an opinion of the game, who cling to talking about meaningless technical features and basically regurgitating the list of selling points the developer comes up with themselves. Yahtzee by comparison is one of the few people who isn't afraid to express an opinion, and a personal reaction to the game, which is why I pay more attention to what he says than to the reviews of Gamespot et al. Sure, he gets flamed for it, but this is the internet, where trying to express an opinion without being criticised for simply daring to hold it is like attempting to stave off death by leaping in front of a bus.

boholikeu:

This would be true if FF games were all about action. While they definitely have some action sequences, I would hardly call them action stories.

It's a story about escaping an enemy army, about rebellion, about destroying the world, and then saving it. All again armed enemies. You can bet that the action and the combat are the main part of the story, and hence, of the game.

Well that right there is what I'm referring to when I say "divorcing story and gameplay". If the gameplay isn't just limited to battle sequences you can very easily convey plot information without "missing pieces of the puzzle".
Plus, I know it might surprise you, but human beings are capable of processing a surprising amount of passive information, even during action sequences.

It still remains a matter of taste. You continue to talk like your way is objectively the best way, quality wise. Looks like lots of people disagree, given how many people throughly enjoyed FFXIII.

Bolded the key phrase here. When I play a game I'm looking for powerful gameplay, not cinematic skill. Frankly I can find much better examples of the latter in actual movies.

Good for you. There's plenty "powerful gameplay", as the actual Escapist review (written by someone that, differently from Yatzhee, evidently did play the game, being a journalist that apparently knows what a professional behavioir is) stated, it has the best combat system that the series has seen to date. There's your powerful gameplay. On top of the powerful gameplay, there are some of the best cinematics ever seen in the industry, both in-engine and CG. One thig doesn't exclude the other.

Would you agree that a movie that tells its story primarily through text is bad? If so, how is that any different from a game that primarily tells it's story though video?

You're mixing apples and oranges. A movie expresses a story through visual action and sound, exactly like a game.
Using your comparison, you can compare a movie that tells it's story primarily through text with a game that tells the story primarily through text.
Despite the fact that you seem to want to impose your taste over everyone as an objective quality, cinematics are still a plenty viable medium for videogames. You don't like them? More power to you, but others do, and their tastes aren't "inferior" to yours.

Honestly I'm not surprised that you defend Yathzee, since his attitude validates yours. "I like this way, therefore it's superior. I don't like this way, therefore it's inferior"
Sorry mate, but it really doesn't work like this.

Extensive cinematics definitely had their place back when technology was more limited

And who decides that? Sorry, they have a place even now, plenty place, in fact developers all over the world (for sure not only JRPG ones) continue to use them aplenty, and make great games.

but now developers are able to make gameplay sequences that are just as engaging and graphically pleasing.

No developer nowadays can create playable sequences with the complex direction and camera movement and the graphics quality of FFXIII cinematics. The thing that comes closest (but still quite far)are quicktime events, but guess what, not everyone cares for those.

Funny then, that professional film/music/art reviews all sound more like video game blog reviews (albeit the better ones) than they do the average professional game review. Have you ever read a professional movie review that gave a numerical rating to the film's special effects or sound quality? Has a reviewer ever complained that a director should've filmed their movie digitally so it would have the highest possible resolution? After all, movies are a product too, so these should be important, right? True, you can say that the only reason mainstream game reviewers pay attention to these things is because it's what gamers care about, but it also shapes the public's expectations of what makes a "good game".

Good movie critics talk aplenty about objective quality aspects of movies. Special effects, sound, costumes... there's plenty. They don't give numbers because it's their standard (even if some actually do), but they do give a qualitative statement about them.
THEN they will tell you their opinion. But they will be VERY careful to make a visible distinction between what's objective and their opinion. That's how you allow readers to make their own.
The BAD movie critics will just fill half a page with artsy dribble that most readers won't be able to relate to, because their tastes are obviously different than that of the critic. Some will just "believe" him, and will go or won't go seeing the movie according to his taste (bad idea) some won't care, and will go anyway, only to come out thinking "what the hell was that idiot talking about?"

ultimately, games and movies are two completely different entities, with different layers of complexity. Comparing a movie review method with a game review method (even more with books and music) is again making a totally fallacious comparison.

Aiming to "shape" the reader's opinions and expectations acording to one's own is the pinnacle of arrogance, and with all due respect, it's what drools from every word of Yathzee's reviews.
There's nothing more irking than seeing the sheeps react to one of his chaotic ego trips with "i didn't know about this game, but now i won't buy it for sure", and that's for any game. Because those sheeps are missing a game with the potential of being very enjoyable because of tastes that aren't theirs.
This is not to say that a good journalist won't give his opinion, but he will make sure that it's not mixed up with the objective part, that will instead help the readers to make their own opinion without having just someone else's biased taste as an element.

The fact that there are a lot of ego trippers between movie critics doesn't make such an attitude professional or commendable. Quite the contrary, it shows how that kind of journalism has plummeted in quality.

But after all, I gave up on yathzee as a professional when I saw is reviews of Dragon Age, Mass Effect 2, Valkyria Chronicles or Demon's souls. Rarely i saw that much nonsense all together lined up nicely for fruition, even on the worst flamebait blogs.

Lately it's getting easy to spot the good games. If Yathzee and Jim Sterling both say that they're bad, they are very probably the pinnacle of game development.

@ExplosionsRkewl

1: "strategic, turn-based gameplay" is exactly what you have in FFXIII. if you don't find it strategic, or if you don't see the micromanagement, you must have not paid attention to the many nuances it has. It's much deeper than any FF before.

2: You may have missed that many of the drops off the enemies (credit chips for instance) say in their description that they can be "sold for premium". The fact that enemies don't go out with a wallet doesn't mean they don't drop money. You just need to sell those drops that are made to be sold.

3: limit breaks equivalents are in the game, you get them on tier 9+ of the crystarium. Also, if you're looking for "badass" moves, the summons have plenty

Abriael:
Aiming to "shape" the reader's opinions and expectations acording to one's own is the pinnacle of arrogance

Show me a review that doesn't try to do this.

Abriael:
@ExplosionsRkewl

1: "strategic, turn-based gameplay" is exactly what you have in FFXIII. if you don't find it strategic, or if you don't see the micromanagement, you must have not paid attention to the many nuances it has. It's much deeper than any FF before.

2: You may have missed that many of the drops off the enemies (credit chips for instance) say in their description that they can be "sold for premium". The fact that enemies don't go out with a wallet doesn't mean they don't drop money. You just need to sell those drops that are made to be sold.

3: limit breaks equivalents are in the game, you get them on tier 9+ of the crystarium. Also, if you're looking for "badass" moves, the summons have plenty

You know, you don't have to justify yourself. We get it, you liked FF XIII. That's fine, you yourself say it's a matter of personal taste. I understand if something clicked and you liked every aspect of the game. However, you shouldn't be surprised at all that the same doesn't hold true for many people.

The FF series has always been mainstream, and many people had their first encounter with JRPGs largely and sometimes exclusively through FF VI or VII, especially western audiences. In my opinion, the later games both fell victim to overuse of JRPG tropes and experimenting with new RPG mechanics. The materia and sphere grid were okay... the junctions and licenses less so. FF IX's simplistic old system I found the most fun. It became largely hit and miss, but what held it aloft for me was a kind of magic in the settings, the stories, the attention to detail and the imagination. Subjectively, I say that has been going downhill ever since IX. None of the FF worlds has been particularly awe-inspiring or imaginative.

And I was a JRPG fan. I still think some JRPGs are very VERY endearing, and I practically fell in love with the cast most "Tales of XY" games. They treat their characters like a real ensemble, they devote time and effort into fleshing them out and instead of cutscenes, we see the characters interacting even in mundane circumstances. While linear, they present an open world that keeps opening up and changing throughout the game. Now, while loving these kinds of JRPGs might be a sort of personal taste, I claim that FFs have lately been depicting everything that ISN'T right with JRPGs. They take away control, freedom and interaction from the player, focus exclusively on their story without the effort to make it the player's. It's like listening to someone else's music with him repeating: "Hey check this out, this is awesome."

Another thing that people fail to analyze is that JRPG tropes and conventions were born out of hardware limitations. Random encounters and battle screens were there because doing real-time battlefields wasn't an option with SNES or even Playstation later. What developers don't seem to realize is that these faults aren't helping "JRPG genre recognition" but basically congesting and slowing down the evolution of the genre. Lately the freedom to roam freely and control the environment has become what people have come to expect, so don't be surprised when they react negatively to a FFXIII being a restrictive narrow uninteractive 3D backdrop for cinematics. You might like it, but I doubt you want it to continue in that direction. It's basically rushing away from everything that videogames are now finally opening up for us. FF is a BIG title, and it should act like one. Big means open to everyone. Instead, it tucks itself into a tiny JRPG-fan niche, it's up to its neck in archaic game design choices and outright BAD writing.

0!.... BOOM!!

Tetranitrophenol:

Abri rage in; 3,2,1..

0!.... BOOM!!

Abriael:

It still remains a matter of taste. You continue to talk like your way is objectively the best way, quality wise. Looks like lots of people disagree, given how many people throughly enjoyed FFXIII.

Funny, you'll have to show me where these "lots" people are, since more than 80% here thinks the game is a piece of shit.

Also, you continue to accuse people of saying that their way is the objective and right one, while you are doing the exact same thing. >_>

dble post sorry, tought i was in edit ;;

Woo, this is gonna be a long pos. Bear with me. =)

Let's begin by clearing up a few misconceptions.

First of all, I'm hardly a "mindless sheep" of Yahtzee's. I enjoy his videos for the comedy, but I rarely agree with his reviews (go ahead and look and my post history if you like). If either of us has a bias in this argument, I'd think it'd be the one who already professed they like every single previous FF game and said they had "given up" on Yahtzee.

Secondly, I'm not trying to "impose my taste" so much as explain why some people really dislike FF (and similar games). Personally, I don't care if you like the game or not, just like I don't mind if someone thinks Transformers is most entertaining movie ever. Some things are fun and entertaining even though they, say, have crappy cinematography or imbalanced gameplay. Is relying on cinematics as much as FF does bad gameplay? Well, I can't answer that, but I certainly wouldn't call it good gameplay considering the main point of video games is interaction. Can a game still be fun despite that? Of course, but again if someone criticized the game for it I think they'd have a pretty valid point. I certainly wouldn't complain that they never gave the game a chance.

Abriael:

It's a story about escaping an enemy army, about rebellion, about destroying the world, and then saving it. All again armed enemies. You can bet that the action and the combat are the main part of the story, and hence, of the game.

Fair enough. If that's all the story is about then there's very little need for any cut-scenes at all. All of the above can easily be conveyed through gameplay alone.

It still remains a matter of taste. You continue to talk like your way is objectively the best way, quality wise.

Looks like lots of people disagree, given how many people throughly enjoyed FFXIII.

Hey, you were the one that dismissed Yahtzee's statement to begin with. Our whole conversation began when I was simply trying to explain to you where he's coming from.

Anyway, you're right that there are still plenty of people that don't seem to mind extensive non-interactive sequences, but that number seems to be getting lower as time goes on. More and more developers are opting to focus on gameplay narratives than cinematic ones. In fact, pretty much the only place you still see such long cut-scenes is in JRPGs, and even they have almost become a niche market lately...

Good for you. There's plenty "powerful gameplay", as the actual Escapist review (written by someone that, differently from Yatzhee, evidently did play the game, being a journalist that apparently knows what a professional behavioir is) stated, it has the best combat system that the series has seen to date. There's your powerful gameplay. On top of the powerful gameplay, there are some of the best cinematics ever seen in the industry, both in-engine and CG. One thig doesn't exclude the other.

Again, the cinematics I can see on youtube, so I'd pretty much only be buying the game for the battle system. I dunno if that alone is worth the $60 purchase price.

You're mixing apples and oranges. A movie expresses a story through visual action and sound, exactly like a game.
Using your comparison, you can compare a movie that tells it's story primarily through text with a game that tells the story primarily through text.

No apples and oranges here. What does the video game medium have that differentiates it from other mediums? Interactivity. Take that away for extended periods of time and it's like taking sound or video away from a movie.

In other words, why bother working in a medium if you don't even bother taking advantage of its strengths?

And who decides that? Sorry, [cinematics] have a place even now, plenty place, in fact developers all over the world (for sure not only JRPG ones) continue to use them aplenty, and make great games.

Really? Can you name a few recent ones? I can think of a few other recent games that have quite a few cinematics, but they still manage to tell the majority of their story through gameplay.

No developer nowadays can create playable sequences with the complex direction and camera movement and the graphics quality of FFXIII cinematics. The thing that comes closest (but still quite far)are quicktime events, but guess what, not everyone cares for those.

Now you're the one comparing apples and oranges. Of course they can't create playable sequences with complex camera direction. That is a strength of film, not video games. Besides, even if you have to give up nuanced cinematography by making a sequence interactive, there are other techniques that can be used to achieve the same effect. Once again, if developers are going to ignore those techniques in lieu of cinematic ones I really have to question why they didn't just make a movie in the first place. They are obviously uncomfortable telling a story through gameplay alone...

Good movie critics talk aplenty about objective quality aspects of movies. Special effects, sound, costumes... there's plenty. They don't give numbers because it's their standard (even if some actually do), but they do give a qualitative statement about them.
THEN they will tell you their opinion. But they will be VERY careful to make a visible distinction between what's objective and their opinion. That's how you allow readers to make their own.

The BAD movie critics will just fill half a page with artsy dribble that most readers won't be able to relate to, because their tastes are obviously different than that of the critic. Some will just "believe" him, and will go or won't go seeing the movie according to his taste (bad idea) some won't care, and will go anyway, only to come out thinking "what the hell was that idiot talking about?"

Actually, I pretty much agree with you here. I guess I was exaggerating a bit when I mentioned about the special effects scores, etc. but my point was that there's far more objective analysis in most mainstream video game reviews, and hardly any attention paid to say, the artistic qualities of the game or story analysis. I understand that it's important to make a distinction between what's opinion and what's objective, but that doesn't mean you have to totally neuter your feelings about something. The best reviews I've read actually teach me a little something about film or literature, and even if I don't agree with the reviewer I at least know where their coming from and if their tastes match my own.

ultimately, games and movies are two completely different entities, with different layers of complexity. Comparing a movie review method with a game review method (even more with books and music) is again making a totally fallacious comparison.

Can you give some examples? I don't see how they are that different aside from small, superficial things not related to our conversation.

Aiming to "shape" the reader's opinions and expectations acording to one's own is the pinnacle of arrogance, and with all due respect, it's what drools from every word of Yathzee's reviews.
...
There's nothing more irking than seeing the sheeps react to one of his chaotic ego trips with "i didn't know about this game, but now i won't buy it for sure", and that's for any game. Because those sheeps are missing a game with the potential of being very enjoyable because of tastes that aren't theirs.

You missed my point. I meant that reviewers are already "shaping" readers opinions based on the fact that they don't go include in depth analysis in their reviews. If tomorrow all reviewers dropped the "graphics" section of their reviews I think you'd be surprised at how many "sheep" would suddenly expand their gaming horizons.

So Yahtzee doesn't hate all jRPGs, he just hates the BAD ONES.

VGFreak1225:
By the way, if you never did finish Chrono Trigger Yahtzee, you should try the DS remake.

NEVER SPEAK OF THAT AGAIN.

Anyway, you're right that there are still plenty of people that don't seem to mind extensive non-interactive sequences, but that number seems to be getting lower as time goes on. More and more developers are opting to focus on gameplay narratives than cinematic ones. In fact, pretty much the only place you still see such long cut-scenes is in JRPGs, and even they have almost become a niche market lately...

In fact, I really think the genre has made practically no structural step forward in the last 10 years. It's the equivalent of publishing Quake 2 today, only with shiny graphics. The entire framework of the thing is just OLD, refurbishing with new textures means nothing if the core gameplay mechanics are from the 90s. Some genres are arguably already polished and stuck (arcades, RTSs), but RPGs?! They've been breaking boundaries for the last decade, and they were getting bigger, more immersive and more complex. But seriously, FFXIII is structurally a blast from the past - in what way did it evolve from the seventh?

I'm all for consistent genres, and unlike yahtzee, I kinda like franchises... to a point! This fossil has been the same for the last 20 years! A little creative visionary thinking, for the love of god, you're a multi-billion-$ corporation. It's just embarrassing.

See, I kinda get where Yahtzee is coming from. I've tried playing several JRPGs before, and none of them has worked out. The main problem I have with JRPGs is that it seems that most of them expect to have some basic understanding about the particular worlds before you even pick up the game. And I like to think that when I'm playing a game, I'm actually completing an action, like I'm actually in control of a fight, but then the fighting wouldn't look quite as pretty I guess.

Anyway, because of all my listed reasons, I've only been able to play one single JRPG all the way through, Tales of Symphonia for the Nintendo Gamecube. The actual gameplay is really good I think, as you can control your character in all fights. Not only that, but you can have three of your friends join in on the excitement of "playing" a JRPG. And the story doesn't start halfway into the main quest. You literally start the game in a school, meaning you're actually learning about this new and magical world. It may not be the best game ever, but the formula for telling its story, and its gameplay system work fantastically I think.

Seneschal:

And I was a JRPG fan. I still think some JRPGs are very VERY endearing, and I practically fell in love with the cast most "Tales of XY" games. They treat their characters like a real ensemble, they devote time and effort into fleshing them out and instead of cutscenes, we see the characters interacting even in mundane circumstances. While linear, they present an open world that keeps opening up and changing throughout the game. Now, while loving these kinds of JRPGs might be a sort of personal taste, I claim that FFs have lately been depicting everything that ISN'T right with JRPGs. They take away control, freedom and interaction from the player, focus exclusively on their story without the effort to make it the player's. It's like listening to someone else's music with him repeating: "Hey check this out, this is awesome."

Another thing that people fail to analyze is that JRPG tropes and conventions were born out of hardware limitations. Random encounters and battle screens were there because doing real-time battlefields wasn't an option with SNES or even Playstation later. What developers don't seem to realize is that these faults aren't helping "JRPG genre recognition" but basically congesting and slowing down the evolution of the genre. Lately the freedom to roam freely and control the environment has become what people have come to expect, so don't be surprised when they react negatively to a FFXIII being a restrictive narrow uninteractive 3D backdrop for cinematics. You might like it, but I doubt you want it to continue in that direction. It's basically rushing away from everything that videogames are now finally opening up for us. FF is a BIG title, and it should act like one. Big means open to everyone. Instead, it tucks itself into a tiny JRPG-fan niche, it's up to its neck in archaic game design choices and outright BAD writing.

Man, this is exactly how I feel about genre right now. I totally agree with what you say about most JRPG conventions being born out of hardware limitations. It's kind of what I was getting at with my whole rant about cinematics above.

Tetranitrophenol:

Also, you continue to accuse people of saying that their way is the objective and right one, while you are doing the exact same thing. >_>

Heh, I was thinking the same thing...

Seneschal:

In fact, I really think the genre has made practically no structural step forward in the last 10 years. It's the equivalent of publishing Quake 2 today, only with shiny graphics. The entire framework of the thing is just OLD, refurbishing with new textures means nothing if the core gameplay mechanics are from the 90s. Some genres are arguably already polished and stuck (arcades, RTSs), but RPGs?! They've been breaking boundaries for the last decade, and they were getting bigger, more immersive and more complex. But seriously, FFXIII is structurally a blast from the past - in what way did it evolve from the seventh?

I'm all for consistent genres, and unlike yahtzee, I kinda like franchises... to a point! This fossil has been the same for the last 20 years! A little creative visionary thinking, for the love of god, you're a multi-billion-$ corporation. It's just embarrassing.

Exactly. It's sad too, because of all the genres out there RPG games can benefit the most from the new technology developed in the last ten years.

Seneschal:

Anyway, you're right that there are still plenty of people that don't seem to mind extensive non-interactive sequences, but that number seems to be getting lower as time goes on. More and more developers are opting to focus on gameplay narratives than cinematic ones. In fact, pretty much the only place you still see such long cut-scenes is in JRPGs, and even they have almost become a niche market lately...

In fact, I really think the genre has made practically no structural step forward in the last 10 years. It's the equivalent of publishing Quake 2 today, only with shiny graphics. The entire framework of the thing is just OLD, refurbishing with new textures means nothing if the core gameplay mechanics are from the 90s. Some genres are arguably already polished and stuck (arcades, RTSs), but RPGs?! They've been breaking boundaries for the last decade, and they were getting bigger, more immersive and more complex. But seriously, FFXIII is structurally a blast from the past - in what way did it evolve from the seventh?

I'm all for consistent genres, and unlike yahtzee, I kinda like franchises... to a point! This fossil has been the same for the last 20 years! A little creative visionary thinking, for the love of god, you're a multi-billion-$ corporation. It's just embarrassing.

Heeey! no, no, no...

Don't start assuming the game is even remotely close to what the previous installments of FF were, the only similarity with FF7 is that the characters are rendered in 3D. Unlike FF13, 9 and all that came before it had at least decent story and was able to combine that story on to the gameplay in a brilliant way. The combat system of this installment seems to have been designed in the time equivalent of 2 coffeebrakes, asking for your input as little as possible. Im not saying that the classic turn based combat should be included unchanged (or even included at all), but it should be done correctly!

Claiming that you've actually experienced a game, despite playing less than 10% of the content, is an absolute joke. I get that the entire purpose of Yahtzee's reviews is to be entertaining, rather than informative, but come on.

If a game has ten + levels and you play only one, you're doing something wrong as a reviewer. Same can be said of games that have multiplayer.

No one should ever base a purchase/rental decision off of one of Yahtzee's reviews. Because as a comedian he's spot on, but as a reviewer...well...he's less than adequate. Go play a game for yourself and don't let reviewers choose for you. Then, after you have your own opinion, come back and watch his reviews. It will be much more enjoyable because you'll understand where he's coming from on certain things, and also be able to flat out say "You're full of it" for other things, which is equally enjoyable.

Zero Punctuation=Comedy skits, not reviews.

I could care less about anyone's opinion about about JRPGs, I was more excited to hear about the book.

I always told myself that if Yahtzee were to write a novel it would feel somewhat like a Douglas Adams story. I laughed to myself when he was mentioned in the product description.

Its funny, most people I know liked the first paper mario much better than the thousand year door but I always liked it much better than the first.

Shamanic Rhythm:

Show me a review that doesn't try to do this.

The fact that there are more reviewers that think they are the messiah of the masses than those that actually strive to inform doesn't make the first way right, or professional. I'd bring you mine, but that'd be boastful, and I refrain from that kind of behavior.
The more actual "information" you see in a review, the more that review is good, because, you know, it's actually useful to the reader, not to inflate the reviewer's ego. Gaming reviews are there to help customers become informed, what other purpose should they have?
To make an example, the IGN UK's review of Final Fantasy XIII is pretty good http://uk.ps3.ign.com/articles/107/1075772p2.html The reviewer gives quite a lot of detailed information, before moving to his personal gripes, making sure to distinguish between fact and opinion. He's no drooling fanboy nor drooling hater. Yathzee, in comparison, is not a reviewer. he's a drooling hater.

The big problem is that reviewing videogames has become mainstream. People have taken it from journalism to a way to become "the little star", and Ego has started to play an exaggerated role in the industry.

Seneschal:

You know, you don't have to justify yourself. We get it, you liked FF XIII. That's fine, you yourself say it's a matter of personal taste. I understand if something clicked and you liked every aspect of the game. However, you shouldn't be surprised at all that the same doesn't hold true for many people.

I don't have to justify myself, thank you, after 130+ hours of fun (and I'm not done yet), I'd say my purchase is much more than Justified. And mind you, the game is not perfect (like what I ran in yesterday, If you don't use a character for a while and the accumulated CP go over 999999, they're wasted, what the hell? Is this a 1970 arcade with the counter that only has 6 digits?), nor my absolute favourite of this year, but it doesn't deserve for sure the drooling mass of hate Yatzhee spew at it.
When a game manages to hold back the other 8 games you got more or less at the same time (I'm in a damn gaming bottleneck), it requires pretty much no justification.

It's not a matter of clicking. It's a matter of recognizing factual quality, and Final Fantasy XIII has a lot of it. Reviewers with which the game didn't click still recognized it, and the fact that it can definitely click with a lot of people, and gave the game a decent to good review, while stating their gripes. A good example of this is the Escapist's review, for instance.
Ego tripping maniacs, like the reviewer of The Edge, or that blight upong gaming journalism named Jim Sterling decided that since the game didn't appeal their personal taste, and as such it deserved a scathing review full of hate and almost no information and a 5 (or even 4).

Funny though. You tell me I'm here to justify my purchase, then what about you, are you here to justify your love for yathzee? This is a discussion forum, people are here to discuss, because it helps pass time. It's that simple.

The FF series has always been mainstream, and many people had their first encounter with JRPGs largely and sometimes exclusively through FF VI or VII, especially western audiences.

Not my case, I played every single final fantasy (minus some juvenile spinoffs).

I claim that FFs have lately been depicting everything that ISN'T right with JRPGs. They take away control, freedom and interaction from the player, focus exclusively on their story without the effort to make it the player's. It's like listening to someone else's music with him repeating: "Hey check this out, this is awesome."

This is a matter of taste. The more control you get, the less deep the story will be. The less detailed the characters' background will be, the less complex that intraction will be. Some people prefer ot one way, some the other, I can enjoy both. They're different genres, just as Modern Warfare and Grand Theft auto are. You shoot in both, but they're different animals with different storytelling.

Another thing that people fail to analyze is that JRPG tropes and conventions were born out of hardware limitations. Random encounters and battle screens were there because doing real-time battlefields wasn't an option with SNES or even Playstation later.

Random encounters are mostly a thing of the past. Battle screens sometimes are still there for a very simple reason. Tactical combat. Not everyone enjoy button mashing combat, and turn-based allows for a level of tactical depth that real time combat lacks.
The Final Fantasy XIII system is way deeper than any other final fantasy so far, including XII, that had real time combat. Lots of people are enjoying this battle system, so what does it matter if it was originally born of hardware limitations? it works very well, and it's enjoyable by many.

Seneschal:

In fact, I really think the genre has made practically no structural step forward in the last 10 years. It's the equivalent of publishing Quake 2 today, only with shiny graphics. The entire framework of the thing is just OLD, refurbishing with new textures means nothing if the core gameplay mechanics are from the 90s. Some genres are arguably already polished and stuck (arcades, RTSs), but RPGs?! They've been breaking boundaries for the last decade, and they were getting bigger, more immersive and more complex. But seriously, FFXIII is structurally a blast from the past

Actually the Final Fantasy system has evolved a ton, and experimented a lot between I and XIII. Expecially the last few ones. The fact that some thing have remained similar (the cutscenes for instance) and that *you* happen not to enjoy those, doesn't mean that the series hasn't evolved. It has evolved in directions you're not interested in, and that's fair, but it has.

in what way did it evolve from the seventh?

The battle system is much, much more deep, complex and tactical. The fact that it's turn based in both games doesn't mean that it's the same. It may look the same in the eyes of an hater like Yathzee, that probably spammed auto battle all the time during his meager 5 hours of gameplay, but it changed radically.
Also, there are no more random encounters and the storytelling is much more intensive, characters are on screen all the time (as opposed to only the leader on screen), and actually talk during normal gameplay. The inventory system has been overhauled, with evolving weapons instead of a buy & replace system, and so forth.

but RPGs?! They've been breaking boundaries for the last decade, and they were getting bigger, more immersive and more complex. But seriously, FFXIII is structurally a blast from the past - in what way did it evolve from the seventh?

Oh yeah? That's why lots of people (me included) love Dragon Age, that's basically a re-enactment of western RPG mechanics from more than 12 years ago?
But of course, western developers are plenty entitled to stick to their tradition, but God forbid if Japanese developers do!
Ah, the lovely western-centric bias :D

You know what made me laugh a TON about a lot of Final Fantasy XIII reviews? A lot of reviews of western RPGs go to big lenghts to praise the data storage system in games like Dragon Age or Mass Effect, telling you how much it gives you insight on the world, and how it makes the setting deeper.
I agree wholeheadtedly, that's a great innovation to RPGs.

Too bad that basically NO ONE between the ones that whined like spoiled kids that Final Fantasy XIII doesn't give you insight on the world and characters at the beginning, actually pointed out that Final Fantasy XIII has exactly the same system, and that datalog system (that's actually more extensive than most of it's equivalents), gives you plenty of that information the lack of with they're complaining about. Way to go champs!

And mind you, the datalog system is another difference from previous FF games. Take VII (since you made the similarity), even that one at the beginning didn't give you much information about the world, Midgar, who the hell Soldier and Avalanche were, but left you in the dark, and you discovered that little by little. No one whined.
Today players are too used to be spoon-fed, I guess.

Tetranitrophenol:

Funny, you'll have to show me where these "lots" people are, since more than 80% here thinks the game is a piece of shit.

You people should get together and decide on a version. I've just been told that the ones speaking against FFXIII here are part of a vast minority. So, which one is it?

Mind you, I'm afraid yours is the wrong one, because there are tons of people out there that are enjoying Final Fantasy XIII throughly. Maybe not everyone is willing to go to the trouble of entering Yatzhee's habitat to criticize is extremely unprofessional review, facing his fanboys. :D

Metacritic has a critic score of 8.3, and an user score of 8.7, based on more than 1000 votes, which is already a decent statistical poll. I'd say it's not a bad reception at all.

Also, you continue to accuse people of saying that their way is the objective and right one, while you are doing the exact same thing. >_>

Really? That's weird, since I've gone to great lenghts telling that I enjoy BOTH ways.
People here hating FFXIII: Our way is the best! FFXIII sucks!
Me: Not really, both ways have a place. You might not like FFXIII but lots of people do.

It's that simple.

F8L Fool:
Claiming that you've actually experienced a game, despite playing less than 10% of the content, is an absolute joke. I get that the entire purpose of Yahtzee's reviews is to be entertaining, rather than informative, but come on.

If a game has ten + levels and you play only one, you're doing something wrong as a reviewer. Same can be said of games that have multiplayer.

I'm confused. If a game is boring, why should someone keep playing it?

(For the record: No, I haven't played FF XIII. It doesn't interest me. So I won't play it. Simple enough.)

As far as Yahtzee? People still think he's a reviewer and not a critic? (There's a difference.)

Abriael:

*snip*
Mind you, I'm afraid yours is the wrong one, because there are tons of people out there that are enjoying Final Fantasy XIII throughly.
*snip*

Also, you continue to accuse people of saying that their way is the objective and right one, while you are doing the exact same thing. >_>

Really? That's weird*snip*

Do you usually blatantly contradict yourself in a single post?

boholikeu:
Woo, this is gonna be a long pos. Bear with me. =)

moving on to the big one....

First of all, I'm hardly a "mindless sheep" of Yahtzee's. I enjoy his videos for the comedy, but I rarely agree with his reviews (go ahead and look and my post history if you like)

That's good for you, really.

If either of us has a bias in this argument, I'd think it'd be the one who already professed they like every single previous FF game and said they had "given up" on Yahtzee.

Oh really? You might have misread I'm afraid. I wrote I liked every previous Final Fantasy exclusing V, that was quite dull, and XII, the story and character development of which were extremely bland and for sure not even near the usual Final Fantasy level.
I'd add that I enjoyed IX less than the others too, but that's more a personal preference, given that I really, really resented the graphical style and character design.

About Yatzhee, that's not a bias. It's experience. He spewed big drooling balls of hate at some of the best games released in the last couple years, so it's pretty much a given that he doesn't know crap about what he's talking about. Plain and simple.

Secondly, I'm not trying to "impose my taste" so much as explain why some people really dislike FF (and similar games). Personally, I don't care if you like the game or not, just like I don't mind if someone thinks Transformers is most entertaining movie ever. Some things are fun and entertaining even though they, say, have crappy cinematography or imbalanced gameplay. Is relying on cinematics as much as FF does bad gameplay? Well, I can't answer that, but I certainly wouldn't call it good gameplay considering the main point of video games is interaction.

That's your idea. Many others, me included, feel that the main point of videogames is Interaction AND storytelling (excluding of course those kind of games that don't have room for a story, even if there have been some pretty nice experiments in trying to mix in stories with them).

Can a game still be fun despite that? Of course, but again if someone criticized the game for it I think they'd have a pretty valid point. I certainly wouldn't complain that they never gave the game a chance.

There's a difference between criticizing the game for it out of a personal standpoint and taste, and arbitrarily deciding that a game that relies on cinematic storytelling is the worse option.

Fair enough. If that's all the story is about then there's very little need for any cut-scenes at all. All of the above can easily be conveyed through gameplay alone.

Luckily game developers don't put in games only what is "needed". Otherwise we'd all play pong and pacman. There's no cutscene in Final Fantasy XIII that feels out of place.

Hey, you were the one that dismissed Yahtzee's statement to begin with. Our whole conversation began when I was simply trying to explain to you where he's coming from.

I don't dismiss Yathzee's statement at all. I dismiss Yathzee's way of reviewing. Doing his piece after not even going near playing what's reasonable and professional before judging, and reviewing not to inform, but to impose his personal taste on the viewers.
That's not journalism, is low-rated blogging that people happen to enjoy because of the lulz. too bad it also misinforms. Which is detrimental.

Anyway, you're right that there are still plenty of people that don't seem to mind extensive non-interactive sequences, but that number seems to be getting lower as time goes on. More and more developers are opting to focus on gameplay narratives than cinematic ones. In fact, pretty much the only place you still see such long cut-scenes is in JRPGs, and even they have almost become a niche market lately..

Oh really? Assassin's Creed 2? Uncharted 2? The Red Alert series? even starcraft 2 will be very heavy on cutscenes. Those aren't JRPGs and definitely no niche titles, but are quite cutscene-heavy, and mind you, the first two are between the most critically acclaimed games of the last year (uncharted 2 is THE most critically acclaimed game last year actually), and Stacraft 2 is one of the most awaited games this year.
Add to those Yakuza 4, that's probably one of the best action RPGs ever released

Again, the cinematics I can see on youtube, so I'd pretty much only be buying the game for the battle system. I dunno if that alone is worth the $60 purchase price.

Yeah sure, because seeing the cinematics on youtube is the same as seeing em while playing... oh wait.. it isn't.

No apples and oranges here. What does the video game medium have that differentiates it from other mediums? Interactivity. Take that away for extended periods of time and it's like taking sound or video away from a movie.

It's apples and oranges because text is NOT part of the usual movie paradigms. On the other hand, cutscenes ARE and have been for a long time part of the usual videogames paradigms.
So you're comparing making a movie with text that's not part of the media's paradigms with making a game with cuscenes that ARE part part of the media's paradigms.
To put it down simply, yours is a by-the-book strawman argument, with it's logical falacy in tow.

In other words, why bother working in a medium if you don't even bother taking advantage of its strengths?

Cutscenes don't necessarily take away from gameplay. They are IN ADDITION to gameplay.

Really? Can you name a few recent ones? I can think of a few other recent games that have quite a few cinematics, but they still manage to tell the majority of their story through gameplay.

I just did above.

Now you're the one comparing apples and oranges. Of course they can't create playable sequences with complex camera direction. That is a strength of film, not video games. Besides, even if you have to give up nuanced cinematography by making a sequence interactive, there are other techniques that can be used to achieve the same effect. Once again, if developers are going to ignore those techniques in lieu of cinematic ones I really have to question why they didn't just make a movie in the first place. They are obviously uncomfortable telling a story through gameplay alone...

They actually tried. It didn't work too well, remember?
"Of course they can't create playable sequences with complex camera direction."
It's called tradeoff. Some developers like to have those complex camera direction and cinematic effect, and guess what? Those developers relate with those gamers that enjoy such standards in their games.
Other developers trade off cinematic effect for more interactivity, and they relate with those gamers that enjoy that.

Each way has it's fans, and it's people that enjoy them. Each way has it's place. You're basically arguing that one of the two should disappear because you don't personally enjoy it.
It doesn't work like that.

Actually, I pretty much agree with you here. I guess I was exaggerating a bit when I mentioned about the special effects scores, etc. but my point was that there's far more objective analysis in most mainstream video game reviews, and hardly any attention paid to say, the artistic qualities of the game or story analysis. I understand that it's important to make a distinction between what's opinion and what's objective, but that doesn't mean you have to totally neuter your feelings about something. The best reviews I've read actually teach me a little something about film or literature, and even if I don't agree with the reviewer I at least know where their coming from and if their tastes match my own.

I never said you have to totally neuter your opinion. Quite the contrary, opinion is indispensible in a review. But information is indispensible as well.
Take away opinion, and you have a list of features that one can read on any (decently made) back cover.
Take away information, and you have a ranting ego-drooling trip.
Neither of those way is even barely professional or useful to the reader.

Can you give some examples? I don't see how they are that different aside from small, superficial things not related to our conversation.

For one movies don't have gameplay at all, ergo a good description of gameplay is important in a game review. Actually it's the most important part, because it's what helps the reader decide, ultimately, if the gameplay fits his taste.

That's where Yathzee fails. His spiteful pieces don't give an even nearly decent description of gameplay. They're basically a whole continuous repetition of "It sucks! Durrrrrr!"
They also include a whole lot of oversight and misinformation, either because he doesn't play his games enough, or because actual information would negate his views and as such it would make for much less lulz.

Just an example between the TONS. In the Demon's souls review he goes on to say that the dodge doesn't actually dodge crap, so it's an useless and badly implemented mechanic.
he forgets to mention that the dodge is not a valid move when you're wearing heavy armor and weaponry, because, you know, dodging in full plate isn't exactly the easiest thing of the world. It works perfectly when you're more lightly armored/armed.
Either he didn't know at all, and then it's his fault for not looking at the game in depth/researching, or he omitted that detail, because:

"dodging doesn't dodge, splat!" -> lulz ensue
"dodging doesn't always work because..." -> no lulz.

Result? Bad and misinformative review with lulz.
Secondary result? lots of sheeps writing "I was on the fence, but now i won't buy it". A reviewer that prompts gamers to miss a possibly very enjoyable game out of misinformation is honestly a something quite negative, no matter if he's good at lulz.

You missed my point. I meant that reviewers are already "shaping" readers opinions based on the fact that they don't go include in depth analysis in their reviews. If tomorrow all reviewers dropped the "graphics" section of their reviews I think you'd be surprised at how many "sheep" would suddenly expand their gaming horizons.

I wouldn't be too sure of that. Graphics are the most evident element of a game. People that base their gaming tastes on graphics alone don't realy need a reviewer to tell em that the graphics are good.

JEBWrench:

As far as Yahtzee? People still think he's a reviewer and not a critic? (There's a difference.)

A critic needs to still be informative and professional. Writing/talking burning balls of hate full of actual misinformation for lulz' sake, isn't either informative or professional, so no, an overblown ego and lulz ain't enough to make acritic.

JEBWrench:

Do you usually blatantly contradict yourself in a single post?

Alert! Reading failure detected.

One thing is stating blatantly wrong information as "everyone hates the game! Durr!"

Different thing is talking about TASTES and OPINIONS on two different ways of making games, that are a tradeoff of each other.

You can get it, make an effort :D

Suskie:
And how exactly would you know what the "lion's share" of a 40-hour game consists of when you've only seen the first five? I wasn't a big fan of the game either, but I at least finished it before I started making claims like that. At last contextualize it like you did in the video.

Enlighten me. Does the gameplay magically change somewhere around hour 20? Precious few games significantly mix things up once the base mechanics are established, and for good reason. Having good gameplay late in the game is worse than having none at all, because it says to the player "we were actually competent, but opted to leave you twisting for the first half of the game because we're inconsiderate pricks."

What, exactly, changes after hour five? Whether a game is eight hours or eighty, shouldn't the groundwork have been well established by the 5 hour mark? Or possibly well before? I realise it's only a fraction of the game, but unless there's a four hour tutorial, one should have a general idea of how the majority of things should go by now, or so sense would dictate.

Zachary Amaranth:

Enlighten me. Does the gameplay magically change somewhere around hour 20? Precious few games significantly mix things up once the base mechanics are established, and for good reason. Having good gameplay late in the game is worse than having none at all, because it says to the player "we were actually competent, but opted to leave you twisting for the first half of the game because we're inconsiderate pricks."

What, exactly, changes after hour five? Whether a game is eight hours or eighty, shouldn't the groundwork have been well established by the 5 hour mark? Or possibly well before? I realise it's only a fraction of the game, but unless there's a four hour tutorial, one should have a general idea of how the majority of things should go by now, or so sense would dictate.

The gameplay costantly progresses in a crescendo after hour 1, as the paradygm system is expanded and new abilities are learned through the crystarium. Then changes radically on chapter 11. Mind you, it's not a BETTER game after chapter 11. It's a DIFFERENT game. Some like it better, some others enjoy it less. I happen to like both more or less in the same way for different reasons.

Mind you, lazily playing 5 hours while spamming Auto Battle like Yathzee did isn't even near to what's needed to judge the game objectively, nor is anywhere around what a professional gaming journalist should do.

Gaming journalism is a job. When you have a Job you don't just walk wout of the office halfway through your shift because you're bored.

I went to the Amazon link, and I must say, your book looks pretty damn awesome. Want.

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