Extra Punctuation: Action Is Not Finisher Porn

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 NEXT
 

Zhukov:
I reckon the most annoying example of this would be Assassin's Creed Brotherhood.

About 85% of kills end in an Ezio performing a somewhat elaborate finisher, complete with fancy camera angles (which can be mercifully disabled in the options). They look cool and there's enough of them that I never really got tired of seeing the same ones.

Problem is, other enemies can run up and smack you before you're done. Since you have no way to avoid the finishers, this results in a ridiculous series of interrupted stabbings.

I'd like to disagree and point out that those moments offer an [b[excellent[/b] opportunity to scope out which enemy is the best to continue your combo on. That combo mechanic works well because the problem you mentioned will NEVER happen unless you don't pick your targets carefully.

Trust me, fight your way to atleast Silver medals in the Virtual training combat courses and you'll get a VERY good sense of how to handle a crowd of enemies in one precise uninterrupted chain.

I like finishing moves. I feel that God of War would've been nearly as enjoyable without Kratos doing things like impaling the Hydra on a ship's mast. Of course, I agree 100% that they shouldn't be overused. Save them for boss fights where the cinematic appeal will have the most impact, and make them unique so as not to make them get boring over time.

Or if you REALLY want to have finishers against normal enemies make it part of the combat. Like if you pull off a combo chain that kills an enemy, have the last blow turn from a standard sword slash into a quick riposte through the unfortunate enemy's throat (or turn a power move into a decapitation or other kind of dismemberment). Quick enough not to interrupt the flow of battle, visceral enough for the cinematic appeal, and simple enough to program multiple such moves to keep things fresh.

And instead of button matching games when a boss's health gets to a certain point, have like an ultimate meter or some such that fills with long combo chains, and hard to pull off moves. When it's full, THEN you can do the ridiculous, over-the-top finisher. Budokai 3 comes to mind, though more for the short and sweet minigame they use and overall ridiculousness of their finishers, and less for the stupid crap they make you do before you can use one.

Ninja Gaiden 2 on Xbox was the worst offender in my opinion. I couldn't finish the game because of it. It got too boring and a lot of enemies wouldn't die unless you did a finisher. That, and the bugs. Replaying a two hour level sucks butts. If you google "felch coughing," this story is the first thing to come up.

I just fell a little in love with the cooking broth metaphor.

hermes200:
Actually, I enjoy the X-Rays in MK more than I enjoyed the QTE in God of War or even Bayonetta. The reason for that, I guess, is repeatability... For MK, you have to fill a bar to be able to pull them off. That, combined with the amount of damage they did when they connected, means you can't just spam those moves over and over and over again.

You can't spam those in Bayonetta either. Just wanted to point that out.
Also you just gotta love

ShannonG:

With the example of the X-Ray moves in particular, I find myself wondering why they couldn't have implemented it differently. For example, let's say that instead of executing the same move every time, it puts you into an X-ray mode and leaves you in control while showing you the damage you're inflicting with each attack.

I don't like Mortal Kombat, but that sounds pretty cool.

On an unrelated note, I think Yahtzee should review (if you want to call it that) more niche games. That would probably bring a bit of fresh air into Zero Punctuation every now and then. It could shift the focus slightly from the flaws of AAA-developers to interesting gameplay or storytelling. And I really hope Yahtzee will review Catherine. That game is certainly different.

I happen to appreciate Mortal Kombat's X-rays. They are very high-risk, high-reward, doing many things right.

They do "break the flow" of the game... and that's a GOOD thing in my book. Why? Because in a fighting game, especially one like Mortal Kombat, I view it like a good game of chess. You attack, they defend/dodge/counter. They attack, you defend/dodge/counter. It's a back and forth parry of moves, timing, maneuvering, and outsmarting.

And like Chess, I sometimes need time to plan my next move after my opponent makes an amazing comeback or deals me a heavy blow. Or I bide my time, plot my moves, build my strength, and then execute my coup de grace. I want to breathe a little bit and enjoy the reward for pulling it off.

Beyond that, X-rays ARE OPTIONAL. And that adds a lot of strategy to the mix. Only poor players exclusively use X-rays (especially when you know how to defend or counter them). Smarter and more skilled players use their meter to get out of tricky combos or to augment their normal moves with enhanced specials to supplement damaging combos. The meter has multiple uses, and focusing only on the X-rays is not tapping into the depth the system offers.

So I really don't have a problem with QTE or finisher porn any more than I do with beautiful CG cutscenes in Final Fantasy, scanning enemies in Metroid Prime, botching puzzles in Portal, or even Riddler Trophies in Arkham Asylum, all of which break "the flow" of a steadily beating game experience.

I started to think of the assasinations in halo: reach after reading this. This instant kill move you can do if you manage to sneak behind enemys. They are just about 2-3 seconds long. And they are mostly really hard to do on multiplayer and in singelplayer.

And I love em! They feel like a small reward during gameplay, and short and so they don't feel repetive. You also put yourself at great risk when doing them. Since other enemys can intrupt it and save their teammate. . Which can often lead to hilarious situations.

Yes Yahtzee, that was an excellent metaphor.

Unskippable cutscenes of any kind are my biggest irritation with games, simply because they're stupid and unnecessary, and nobody has ever liked them.

I'll agree that cinematic finishers are a nuisance, but I will say that conditional finishers are exciting. When it shifts to Poseidon's perspective and you hit a few buttons to watch Kratos obliterate the living hell out of the camera was one of the best death scenes I've ever seen. Admittedly, you get to participate in that more than the insta-kill with a grab attack sequences for beleaguered enemies, and it would be better if you could move seamlessly from that decapitation to continued assault, say for instance by throwing the body at enemies t stun them and following with a blade swing that left them two feet shorter, their legs suddenly ending at their knees. But pressing the button to rip them in half, then another to throw, followed by a third to separate tops from bottoms. That would work because we could still be involved in the actual kill.

Realitycrash:

SanguineSymphony:
It was designed for casuals or just shitty gamers.

So, tell me, how would the game have been improved if the combat was more "skilled"?

Want it harder? Turn up the difficulty-setting.

I don't like canned combat.... I want my presses to have direct consequences. It makes the combat fresher and gives me more to shoot for than how big a combo I can string together... After getting 20 plus hit combos in most battles it gets stale fast.

I liked the Platforming and the Stealth in AA but prefer Bayonetta and DMC3's combat by a mile.

Fullmetalfox:
Capcom got it right. Ultra moves in SSFIV are 3 or 4 seconds long. That's enough time to make a spectacle without breaking the action flow.

The X-ray last about 4 seconds. The longest 6. The second Ryu ultra take 6 seconds (I'm not a crazy guy with an chronometer, I see this things on the youtube, if you wanna know). In fact, the close up "fist met chin" in this ultra it's an obvious inspiration to the MK X-Ray moves. Borderline, X-Ray are ultra movies with dark humor.

ShannonG:

With the example of the X-Ray moves in particular, I find myself wondering why they couldn't have implemented it differently. For example, let's say that instead of executing the same move every time, it puts you into an X-ray mode and leaves you in control while showing you the damage you're inflicting with each attack.

They already do. In the Street Fighter Alpha series. There's a mode in which instead of have ultras your character moves more powerfull and you can make better combos. It's functional but is damn hard. The ultras are simple more convenient.

Sorry for the bad english.

Slinker07:
I started to think of the assasinations in halo: reach after reading this. This instant kill move you can do if you manage to sneak behind enemys. They are just about 2-3 seconds long. And they are mostly really hard to do on multiplayer and in singelplayer.

And I love em! They feel like a small reward during gameplay, and short and so they don't feel repetive. You also put yourself at great risk when doing them. Since other enemys can intrupt it and save their teammate. . Which can often lead to hilarious situations.

Or one of your teammates can come and in and Yoink it away from you. In the end, it's a good reward for taking a risk.

So mk9's xray moves are bad and arkham asylum's fighting is alright.
Cannot honestly tell if trolling or genuinely emitting dreadful opinions.

The whole point of MK finishers was it was supposed to be a reward for the END of the fight, not some slow-mo cut-scene that actually INTERRUPTS the fight. Stupid damn idea that makes me want to X-Ray mutilate the spine of the designer.

Oh good! Glad to know I wasn't the only one who grew sick of Kratos' finishers (once I grew desensitized to them anyway). I didn't even realize how desensitized I had become until I noticed I was bored and wondered if he knew of any more colorful ways to gut a centaur...

X-rays and Ultras in SF4 are there as sorta hype-inflators. They do a good deal (but not insurmountable) of damage and can end or turn around a match, and it requires a conscious decision on the players part.

In addition they must be managed, you can't just use it to get ahead in a fight or you won't have it ready in the next round. It adds a layer of strategy and can greatly excite players and audience in alot of situations.

I like them.

Repetitive finishers get boring fast however, as you do nothing special for them there's no real reward situation there or anything. I for one don't really like artificially cinematic moments like that, but I do see how its nice after a big boss or something.

X-rays are supers. It's just another attack that costs meter. They cost 3 meters, has character specific properties, and can't be broken with a breaker. Thats it. What your character's x-ray does is an important tactical decision.

I.e. Kung Lao's x-ray is a really good anti air that has a little bit of a bigger hitbox then his normal spin. It also has armor, easy to hit in combos, and after it hits you can dash and combo 2,4,1+3,(JF)2.

Also, doing an x-ray at the end of a combo isn't the most efficient way of doing damage in mk. For a lot of characters, it's better to use EX moves then an x-ray in a combo. It saves meter, does about the same damage, and lets you keep meter to use a breaker to regain momentum if you start getting hit.

Fatals are just added in for both nostalgia and is basically ingame teabagging. It's completely optional

But Yahtzee has yet to play a fighting game except SSBB. The reason I say this is because you need other people to actually play a fighting game. They are multiplayer games. Period. Judging a fighting game on its single player and story alone is like judging chess for the same reasons. They aren't designed for that purpose and it is silly to judge them that way.

Started reading this on my iphone and was misreading the second "o" in cooks for a "c" the whole way through, it still made complete sense.

As for the rest of the article, I am a firm believer in the "all things in moderation" I only want to see some cinematic hands off death scene, for bosses or for special kills that take a lot of effort to accomplish and that I'm not going to be able to do every minion or two.

Slinker07:
I started to think of the assasinations in halo: reach after reading this. This instant kill move you can do if you manage to sneak behind enemys. They are just about 2-3 seconds long. And they are mostly really hard to do on multiplayer and in singelplayer.

And I love em! They feel like a small reward during gameplay, and short and so they don't feel repetive. You also put yourself at great risk when doing them. Since other enemys can intrupt it and save their teammate. . Which can often lead to hilarious situations.

Or infuriating situations. I've lost track of how many times I only wanted a simple beat down because there were more guys in the room but ended up getting smoked fried because my guy decided to do his best impression of Ezio. But they're fun mano e mano or during the campaign though.

OT: Totally agree with you Yahtzee about this. It was the biggest problem with Viking: Battle for Asgard. You would just spam the attack button to kill mooks until the Sub-Bosses came out to kill you. You would spam a couple more attacks till QTE showed up; it was cool the first few times but the animations stayed the same and the enemies stayed the same. So by the end of the game it was just fucking annoying rather than cool

I'd like to think the kingdom hearts series does a good job with flow with the exception of kingdom hearts two that gets really caught up in quick time event kills. Also I think dynasty warriors has a fair amount of flow for those willing to actually play with the controls (I'm the only one who ever seems to combine charges swift attacks and mousous)

RIOgreatescapist:
So mk9's xray moves are bad and arkham asylum's fighting is alright.
Cannot honestly tell if trolling or genuinely emitting dreadful opinions.

You should know better than that Jim is the guy who uses troll tactics yathzee genuinely means it and while we are in the neighborhood you mind explaining why yathzee's opinion is dreadful? Cause it seems like the point of his article was that X-ray moves stop the flow of combat while in arkam you didn't have those things and you just punched and kicked never stopping thus maintaining flow(I'm honestly surprised he didn't mention prince of persia or maybe that last prince of persia game killed the romance they had)

Arkham Asylum really did have a nasty combat-flow system. Very delicious for the most part, my only gripe with it being that, playing on PC at least, sometimes it was hard to aim at precisely the fellow you wanted to hit next to keep your chain going. Not really a problem in the main game, but when you're doing challenge mode arenas and trying for the use-every-move-in-an-unbroken-combo score bonus, swinging at the guy who's getting up off the ground instead of the one right next to him who's about to pull a gun out of a gun box can make or break the attempt. x.x

Other than that it was lovely.

Swifteye:
I'm honestly surprised he didn't mention prince of persia or maybe that last prince of persia game killed the romance they had

Of the many things he praised about Prince of Persia, I don't think the combat was one. Passable, but not "play this game for the awesome combat mechanics."

Maybe I'm misremembering.

I think the Assassin's Creed games had the perfect balance of flow and spectacle. The animations flowed together incredibly well--your sword would never stop moving in the time it took to kill several different enemies, seamlessly switching from a slash to the throat to a thrust in the chest. The finishers, too, were pretty much all quick and nasty and never lasted more than a couple seconds, and there were enough of them that it was uncommon to see the same one more than once in a fight. I want more third-person combat like that, because it was an immensely satisfying experience.

3 second rule, if it takes longer then 3 seconds chances are its going to get annoying. As for Spiderman, after watching my brother complete Web of Shadows for the second time... GO VENOM, GOGOGO!!!

This is why the Blazblue series are my favourite fighting games. The animations flow very smoothly, the controls are easy to learn, but they're still tough games to master. And there's no finisher porn in them. They are, in my opinion, what fighting games should be.

EDIT: I forgot to mention, they also have some really sweet soundtracks.

What if the finishing moves were only for the last attack in a group of enemies? Similar to how Arkham Asylum slowed down the last hit on the final thug of the room.

I disagree with him totally about Bayonetta. The only mandatory finishers were the boss finishers, and she had a unique finish for every single boss. You can accuse Bayonetta of many things, but monotony and laziness are definitely not among them.

Bayonetta didn't have finishers outside of the summon finishers in the boss fights, which were all awesome, and you only saw them once in the game. The torture attacks weren't finishers, they were special moves.

Edit:

Optimystic:
I disagree with him totally about Bayonetta. The only mandatory finishers were the boss finishers, and she had a unique finish for every single boss. You can accuse Bayonetta of many things, but monotony and laziness are definitely not among them.

Lol, you posted this as I was typing my post.

Sorry, double post, I edited my post above.

Should point out Street Fighter does X-Ray moves even worse with their super and ultra "combos".
And I like the X-ray moves. They are not too long, and they are as repetitive as any other thing in a fighting game. When I use Smoke, I do the same things. Even worse I often have to fight Scorpion anyways.

This is one of the few times Yahtzee has acually kinda annoyed me. But he is not a fighting game person anyways, so maybe thats why.

I completely agree, Yahtzee, that was your best metaphor so far.

I also agree with the other stuff. Finishers should be a cool thing that takes some effort to do and are not required, so the short animation feels like what it's supposed to be: a reward. If it's actually required to defeat an enemy it's in the way.

I think Batman:AA and Ninja Gaiden 2 are really the superior examples to be referenced. Both of them don't require you to use the finishing moves, but if you do, not only are you treated to a nice little animation but you also make proper use of the game's efficient techniques. It rewards you in more ways than one.

...between the two games, though, Batman probably serves as a better example because as soon as you're done with your execution move in NG2, you get gang banged the moment the last animation frame ends. It doesn't flow as well as Batman's finishers/combat, but it's still an appropriate example of quick and cool finishing moves.

I feel something that should be mentioned here is how these over-the-top powerful moves/combos tie into the competitive fighting game scene, and how infrequently they are actually used. Besides MvC3, attempting to get off these sort of moves is incredibly risky and are not of great priority. Most of the time they are blocked or whiff (miss) as competitive players are so very used to avoiding them or anticipating them in the first place.

From a casual point of view (I am a casual myself), fighting games may seem like they are entirely about these super/hyper/ultra/X-ray moves. You see them in all the trailers and there is so much emphasis on them in the media. Really though, these moves form a very small part of a fighting game's actual mechanics and should be seen as merely a catchup option if someone is getting owned. A competitive player is more likely to burn their super/xray bar through enhanced attacks then leaving the whole thing for said move, mainly because it is more advantageous for them to do so. The sparring or 'footsies' of a fighting game is what a competitive player is focusing on 90% of the time. Should said 'footsies' allow them a small window of opportunity to properly place one of these special moves, then great! If you watch enough tournament videos you will know that it is THIS that entertains and awes the crowd, not the special move itself. This is because at the competitive level, successfully getting off one of these moves is not easy. It is incredibly hard.

I guess what I am trying to say is that people are probably looking at these moves the wrong way and thinking of them in the wrong light. Yes, for the casual beating up his friend who doesn't know how to block these moves can get boring and probably pull the action away for both of them. But for two people who are actually fighting competitively, getting these moves off are significant, difficult and highly entertaining.

Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDnaTmGHb1g&t=10m10s

Also, fatalities are nothing more than glorified finishing moves. You don't have to do them. Anyone complaining about how they are forcing unnecessary gore porn down your throat is just silly.

i dont either
i think that games are amazing

I want to agree with you but this argument is kind of flimsy. A repeatable mechanic or animation is OK so long as it doesn't overshadow the gameplay, even if is very long. Example: Knights of the round in FFVII. You acquire it late in the game, it is used repeatably, but it doesn't take over the game, because it is isn't forced on the player.

If the game is varied enough, this issue is basically moot. For a fighter, or a platformer, where the gameplay is very one-dimensional, it becomes much more important.

As with almost everyone here, I have to admit the Arkham Asylum fighting engine is the best I've seen. The things they let you do with a two button system really made you felt like Batman. In most games having more than 10 enemies should make you wary, but not in AA. The combat really flows.
In fact at the last bit where you walk through a corridor filled with goons who weren't gonna attack you, I punched one in the face just because there were like over 20 in the room and I wanted to rack up a combo. THIS is how a fighting engine should feel like, not breaking up the action with unskippable cutscenes. Assassin's Creed Brotherhood had a pretty good one down too. It had execution scenes which could be stopped if someone else was attacking.

Moffman:
I'd say Ninja Gaiden II also has a very good fast paced combat, sure it's hard as hell but the system is very fast paced because the finishing moves happen in a flash, nice and quick, you know, like a ninja should be... I guess it gets its porn aspects in in other ways though :P

Damnit Ninja'd....oh i get it

But seriously, when you quickly look for the guy missing an arm and hit Y (or triangle i would assume). The animation is somewhere between 2-5 seconds long it gives a nice break considering your invulnerable while you do it and it out right kills the guy but the action never breaks because the exact second it is over all the guys waiting will jump your ass so you have to be ready to dodge, jump, slash, kick, and generally be a bamf until its over. Especially when on the harder difficulties you're begging for them because you need a breather.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here