Jimquisition: To Play The Villain

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Kinda hoping for pics

I've never been able to wrap my heart around games with an indecisive moral slider. If I'm gonna be the villain, than I better be able to partake in some villainous hijinks! Any game worth its salt in portraying antiheroes (Disgaea lovelove) is enough for me, but rare is the game where I truly enjoy my adventure with/as the bad guy. Couldn't hurt to have more games like that.

Disclaimer: I have not played GTAV, so I cannot speak as to how it fits my views on this topic. That being said...

I have to disagree with you, Jim, about the Boss in Saints Row 2 being an un-redeemable villain. The most compelling part of that game for me was that to a certain extent, his actions WERE understandable. Heroic? Never; but there was a code to his behavior, beginning and ending with loyalty. I'm not sure I'd go so far as to call him sympathetic, but it was enough to grip my attention. Sure, you were an evil bastard most of the time... but you were being an evil bastard to OTHER evil bastards for almost all of it. Seems that almost puts it in the same group as the Overlord games.

TLDR: I really wouldn't consider Saints Row 2 the best example of "playing an unrelatable villain". Not nearly the same as Kane and Lynch or (from what I'm hearing, anyway) GTAV.

templar1138a:
I like games where you play the villain, but not really to the degree you seem to, Jim. Still, they can be fun.

As for me, there are four reasons I'm not playing GTA V at the moment.
1. I haven't beat GTA IV or even started on the expansions. One game at a time.
2. It's not out on PC.
3. Even if it were, Yahtzee would have to give it an amazing, orgasm-inducing review to convince me to buy it at release price.
4. It's the annoyingly hyped up game of the day no one will care about in a few weeks. Anyone remember Tomb Raider or Bioshock Infinite? Yeah, didn't think so.

Also, I prefer my furry porn straight, but that's just me.

I remember Bioshock infinite. And the realisation that no one else does makes me sad again and again.
Looking at forums like Reddit, that just overflow with "The Last of Us" post, I feel somewhat melancholy when people forget Bioshock.. That was In my opinion, the best game of the year..

For me though, I want to play GTA V. Red Dead Redemtion was a total blast for me, so I want to find out how Rockstar have (if possible) taken what they learned, and turned that into GTA V.

(Sorry for bad english, it's my second language)

I understand that your line of thinking regarding playing a villain and rampaging all over the place just for the hell of it, but that's not why I, personally, play video games. I love playing the morally good person, the paragon, the white knight, etc etc. I see enough shitty things in real life (not gunning down police men first-hand but enough on TV) that I really don't care for it in my video games, which is meant to be a form of escapism from the real world and your troubles. GTA does this, imho, by making life so bad for the characters that your life feels better. And as for villains...they aren't morally upstanding citizens, I'll give you that.

I've thought a lot about why I dislike video games that don't put you as the savoir of the galaxy, rescuing cities and the like, and I think it boils down to the gender of most protagonists in games: they're all male. Yes, some games, like Saints Row and most RPGs, allow you customization of your gender and to play as who you want, however most do not so I'm stuck trying to understand and empathize with a character, who should be a great hero, yet falls flat because they're male. Sometimes the gender gap is that big. I stopped reading fantasy novels for the sole reason that the lack of female characters that actually did something were few and far between, much less even touch a sword and slay the dragon. Move over to sci-fi novels and you get a shit ton of them.

Now, most of the time I will admit that the gender of the main character doesn't matter but I still feel like I'm starving for female characters I can play and be a hero I can see myself as (for why else are we playing video games other than to feel like we're doing these things we virtuall do?). Therefore, because I don't get enough of the hero syndrome most male gamers get, the villains just don't have any appeal.

Jim, you like your villains. That's great. I'll stick with my heroes and hope there are more female characters around who have more than two lines.

As a disclaimer: Yes, I've played GTA V. Yes, I've played as Trevor. No, I haven't reached the torture scene. No, I don't really understand the appeal of this game and I'm not sure I ever will. Yes, it is fun but I'm with Greg on the review. (And I've also gone to a strip club. Just saying.)

Good episode tho Jim, I very much agree that evil characters are much more interesting than heroes, most of the time. But I don't really feel it is the detachment that makes them good, but the connection. To me, the most interesting parts about them is when we realize maybe we are not that far from them.

However, I find that today we rarely really get any Lawful Good characters nowadays. As many people have said, we are plagued with the BADASS syndrome, to the point in which I simply can't differentiate between Kratos and whoever he is mutilating this time.

That aside, I think the issue is not actually playing a villain, In Games such as Saint's Row 2, for me it works because how wacky the universe is ( not as wacky as 3 or 4, but still very surreal ), Similar to what Vice City, or Hotline Miami made me feel. A bit different is the case of Kane & Lynch 2, that is a very linear game and you are simply witnessing these real horrible humans being horrible humans, which is also quite refreshing.

But the problem with monsters is that they fall into parody and ridicule much too soon. The experience manages to disconnect from you on an empathetic level, and ends up just becoming more of a borderline laughable pyrotechnic spectacle. At some point you are just staying there to see how silly it can get.

Even if Jim doesn't, find it more interesting when the main character IS evil, but ignores it, or manages to twist morality into justifying his or her actions.

My issue with GTA4 and 5 Is that they seemingly allow you ANYTHING, but in order to advance your character /s can ONLY do the really dumb - stupid - evil thing, what most bothers me is that dichotomy of the freedom to do seemingly anything in the sandbox, but being forced down a linear path that I don't even find THAT evil, but more distinctly STUPID.
OK, To be honest this does fit for the personalities of some of the characters, but to me, Michael seems very out of character and his switch is much too abrupt. Exactly as Jim mentions towards Nico Bellic, I feel the Ludonarrative Disonance is strong in this one.

You feel like you could run away, do something else, drive into the sunset. But nothing means anything other than what this character is imposed to do, which happens to make him more of a horrible character.

I'm sure this is just a matter of how people play this game or how they relate to the characters themselves, but to me it clashed, and it ended up feeling pointless and one dimensional.

You either die the villain, or you live long enough to see yourself become the hero.

Or something like that. That's how it works in Anime at least.

So you like hurting people, but don't have the balls to do it in real life ;)

Fappy:
What can we possibly send him (that's legal) that tops that!? I don't even know.

You've broken me, Jim! Completely and utterly!

Too fucking funny.

Well, there's always the Oculus Rift.

...IMAGINE IT

Otherwise, I still don't feel this is proper justification for playing scumbags (because whilst GTA characters ARE scumbags, at least they have some sort of forceful motivation), but then again it is an opinion show, so in accordance to the maxims of Tsunemoto, thank you Jim, for your opinion.

Jim reading furry porn...huh, wasn't expecting that.

I too find playing the villain in games to be satisfying, most games I play (mainly RPG's) I typically play the goody-two-shoes who goes about making everyone as happy as possible. So playing a game where I can have fun just being an all round bastard in games like Dungeon Keeper and Grand Theft Auto can be addicting.

The Manga/Anime Beelzebub has our main hero Oga Tatsumi, who for the most part has little redeeming qualities (until later on) He is a delinquent who loves fighting and treating most people around him (including friends) like dirt, yet I find him interesting to follow and I root for him against characters who of a lesser evil. Readingabout a jackass like that was very fun and was a refreshing twist from our typical Shounen Hero (big eater, cheery disposition, doesn't give up, always there with a smile etc)

EDIT: So far, the main characters of GTA V are a riot! The hipster thing was pure gold! Michael was calling Trevor a hipster and Trevor claimed he hated hipsters, the whole conversation was classic.

Thanks Jim, you put into words why I love Duke Nukem too. :)

erttheking:
It reminds me something my short story professor said. If a story makes you feel uncomfortable, it's doing its job right. Stories aren't always there to hold our hands, sometimes they're there to punch you in the gut.

This. regardless of what the torture scene may or may be saying, it absolutely makes sense that someone like Trevor Philips would torture someone. Yes, he is a charming character in his own way, but he's also a cannibal, a pervert whose only goal when it comes to sex is that the opportunity needs to arise, a user of every drug imaginable, a violent beast who will slaughter based on nothing more than assumption, and a sadist who actively enjoys psychologically breaking those around him.

If he makes you uncomfortable. Good. You figured out the punch line.

*Swirls limoncello around a glass*

Hmm... Most delightful...

You have a divine talent in reading erotica, Jim. Please, use it again, sometime. I am... Most eager to hear more.

Thank God for Jim.

More on topic, I rather like taking on a more unclear role between villain and hero. Like, either someone with villainous plans being rather kind and helpful to people to gain trust and recognition, or someone working as a force for good by rather unwholesome methods.

Same here, I felt genuinely disturbed by some of the actions the main characters do. But at the same time, it intrigues me, because their morality is so radically different from what I'm used to and because of that, you can never really tell what is going to happen next - how low will they go?

I mean, if movies, books and plays can get away with it, why not games?

Also, I nearly died at the end. Seriously Jim, never change.

ShirowShirow:

People say they're tired of "Boy Scouts" or "One-dimensionals" but can you honestly name many protagonists that are honestly, characteristically and immutably moral? There are tons of faceless, voiceless blank slates that save the world. There are plenty of people that topple villains in their quest to survive. There are plenty of revenge-seeking anti-heroes. But how many game protagonists actually go out of their way to save people for the sake of helping people? How many game protagonists consciously take the morally upstanding route when it's not the one that is laid before them?

I think a true hero is far more interesting then a true villain. We've just been dealing with lacklustre protagonists for years and calling them "Heroes" for lack of a better term.

It's no better in movies either. Just this year, we couldn't just have The Lone Ranger or freaking SUPERMAN do good things just for the sake of being a good person toward your fellow man. PFFFT that's UNREALISTIC! We got to give them a bumbling coward or have them go through an existential crisis or some other mopey dope bullshit in order to motivate them to do good deeds. And even then it sorta just HAPPENS, they switch from one mode to another so quickly that you question WTF was the point of the first two hours of the damn film to begin with.

The only one I can think of that's just simply a good guy is Captain America. He was just raised as a nice, sweet kid that knows what it's like to be bullied and doesn't want to see other people getting bullied. Superman is SUPPOSED to have been raised by Earth parents that show him the good humanity has to offer. THAT'S what motivates him to want to be the protector of the human race, which in turn makes the contrast between him and Lex Luthor (illustrating the worst humanity has to offer) and Batman (the ultimate cynic) work so well. He doesn't need some ulterior motive or some traumatic catalyst to motivate him to get off his ass and be the hero. It's simply "Hey, I wasn't raised to be a selfish asshole, so it makes sense for me to go out and help people."

But apparently I guess you have to have some fucked up shit happen to you in order to get a sense of morality...because being good on your own is "borrrring" and being the morally fucked up rock star is much more fun according to most users here.

Well, now I have 1 more thing to expect the next time I'm asked to verify my age. I had to mute the last 30 seconds before I felt like vomiting.
As for playing villains, I don't mind it depending on presentation. I'm going to the dark-side in STAR WARS: The Old Republic because, hey, I'm a Sith Lord and those guys kick ass, yet I'm also like a cool Big Brother to my crew. I like the idea of playing Evil Genius (while actually playing it gets hair-pullingly frustrating at times) because I'm a charismatic Bond villain building a lair with minions! I blame the push towards "realism", because the more realistic the games we play get, the less comfortable we are with playing the kind of unrepentant lunatic who could exist in the real world (a.k.a. the thing we turn on our gaming system of choice to ESCAPE from).

Steve2911:

b) The fact is that the villains in GTAV aren't just straight up murderous fantasy figures. They're actual characters with motivations and feelings, regardless of the fact that they're irredemably twisted. So what you say doesn't really hold water at all.

I was talking about the protagonists, not the antagonists.

That's really my feelings on the subject too, I mean I saw the escapists review and I was a little worried I'd hate the characters as much as Niko annoyed me near the end because as fun as parts of GTA 4 were it just ended so depressing. But I just like villains a lot it's fun to be the good guy but Jim's right being the evil bastard that does whatever they like is just great, I played each of the protagonists a little differently so it wouldn't seem like they'd all gone kill crazy but honestly I had a lot of fun playing as Trevor and Michael, a little less as Franklin only because he's supposed to be the moral compass sort of but he was fun too.

I am glad they decided to end the game on a much lighter tone than the last one it fits with the location in GTA 4 yeah it's new york no one's expecting a ride into the sunset and it ended about as happy as you'd expect from a city that's portrayed that dark and gritty, 5 on the other hand is in a sunsoaked town if it ended badly I'd have been pissed because throughout most of the game I was just smiling and enjoying the mayhem everyone was creating and it wasn't in a sadistic way most of the time it was just their professionals doing their job and dammit it was exciting to do that.

Bottom line Jim thanks for putting into words what I was having a hard time with, and thanks for reading gay furry porn as my roommate walked in I needed that.

I totally agree that anti-heroes and villains can be amazingly deep and interesting characters in films, books, and video games. I disagree that the characters in GTA 5 are either deep or interesting. To me they are shallow cliche unlikeable dicks. To each their own I guess.

I disagree, but only slightly, I personally have no problem playing anti-heroes or even outright villains, some of my favorite characters are the villains, but if I'm supposed to be playing said villain, I would rather like to have a good reason for the terrible things they do. Not morally good reasons, that would make the point entirely moot, but if my morally repugnant protagonist is doing morally repugnant things, just because, that's not very satisfying.

That's why I love Saints Row 2, You do some absolutely terrible things to people in that game, and you don't have a single morally good reason for doing almost any of it. But the reasons that you do them all make some kind of sense that most people can understand even if they're repulsed by it. The main complaint I heard about GTA V is that you aren't given any such reasons for why the three terrible people you're playing as do such terrible things, and they just come off as shallow bastards and I can understand not liking that.

I'm still going to play it and form my own opinion of it, but that's the complaint that was made.

As soon as I saw the age verification I thought to myself: "Dear God, what sort of perversive filth has Sterling included in his video this time?"

You never seize to amaze me, you magnificent, dirty bastard.

Malbourne:
Kinda hoping for pics

I've never been able to wrap my heart around games with an indecisive moral slider. If I'm gonna be the villain, than I better be able to partake in some villainous hijinks! Any game worth its salt in portraying antiheroes (Disgaea lovelove) is enough for me, but rare is the game where I truly enjoy my adventure with/as the bad guy. Couldn't hurt to have more games like that.

(well I'm sure you can google "school daze furry" if you now happen to be interested, I'm sure there's a forum for you there.... I think I will skip that though...)

I don't find GTA interesting yet, much because I haven't sat down and played it for more than a few minutes to try it out but I do see the appeal of playing a villain every now and then to get a break from "humanity's last hope"...

Now let's go and find people to chock with showing the last min or so...on loud volume.. Maybe at work... hehe... Gay furry porn must be hard to top, wonder what people will send "god-like" Jim next to show their appreciation...

It truly is a miracle you are allowed to show your face and even speak here on the escapist Jim, thank god for you Jim, thank god for you.

XDravond:

Malbourne:
Kinda hoping for pics

I've never been able to wrap my heart around games with an indecisive moral slider. If I'm gonna be the villain, than I better be able to partake in some villainous hijinks! Any game worth its salt in portraying antiheroes (Disgaea lovelove) is enough for me, but rare is the game where I truly enjoy my adventure with/as the bad guy. Couldn't hurt to have more games like that.

(well I'm sure you can google "school daze furry" if you now happen to be interested, I'm sure there's a forum for you there.... I think I will skip that though...)

I don't find GTA interesting yet, much because I haven't sat down and played it for more than a few minutes to try it out but I do see the appeal of playing a villain every now and then to get a break from "humanity's last hope"...

Now let's go and find people to chock with showing the last min or so...on loud volume.. Maybe at work... hehe... Gay furry porn must be hard to top, wonder what people will send "god-like" Jim next to show their appreciation...

Well, it'd loose all of the magic without Jim doing the presentation. It's like the little man in a straw hat at a carneval, it's not nearly the same without the build-up.

I'm going to keep my fingers crossed for a christmas-themed version when that time o' the year is coming. That'd be a lovely moment!

Even if I must write it myself...

Captcha: bad books. Yes, as if you were any better, Captcha, I know what you're like.

There's stories in that mag?
How boring. That didn't even sound furry, no squidmen with huge, throbbing tentacles, no spider people shooting their hot, pulsating egg load into eyesockets, no nothing.

A good rebuttal to Tito I must admit but I'm still on the side of the argument where I want to do horrible things in game... but have a reason beside my own characters written psychopathy.

Also we need to send Jim more things. MORE THINGS!

I guess I can see Jim's point about wanting to play someone irredeemably bad, I don't personally have a desire to explore real evil though and that's what made me skip on Saint's Row 2 and GTA5.

I work with politicians on a near daily basis in a highly corrupt state. Evil and irredeemable is something of a norm for me, not something I want in my escapism.

I'm glad other people enjoy the villains as much as I do. I love a good hero, but a good villain makes the game amazing. Especially if you get to play as one, or three with the new GTA. Trevor is amazing and makes you feel like you are playing a psycho.

EDIT: I was saying EXACTLY! over and over during this video.

So playing a psychopath torturing a man by pulling his teeth out and waterboarding him is fun, but a game where you rape a woman is bad mmmkay?

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/jimquisition/5972-Rape-vs-Murder

Hypocrite much? mmmmmmhhhhhmmmmmmhhhh.....

Who on earth sent Jim School Daze?

It is some of the most blandfurry porn you can get. Mind you, its not Associated Student Bodies (but I consider that almost more parody than real porn) - but still

If it doesn't involve stuff that'd probably get you instantly perma-banned from this forum, why even bother sending it to Jim - he's clearly made of sterner stuff

Fappy:
What can we possibly send him (that's legal) that tops that!? I don't even know.

You've broken me, Jim! Completely and utterly!

Too fucking funny.

his very own gimp dressed as something from dynasty warriors maybe?

*disclaimer* i am not responsible if a gimp dressed up as a character from dynasty warriors turns up at jums door

Jim makes some interesting points in the video. i tend to agree, its definitely something out of the ordinary to play someone you normally wouldnt but somethings cross the line for me like making a torture scene interactive like that and the game goes from uncomfortable moments with a narrative like spec ops to something vile for me that i wont touch. if you want to play it and obviously millions do all the more for them. ill be skipping it

Gotta disagree with you on Saints Row 2, Jim. Jessica wasn't some innocent bystander who got caught in the crossfire, she masterminded having Carlos tortured to death and then called the boss to gloat about it. I'll admit that maiming Matt after he told you everything he knew was over the line, but Jessica had it coming.

That's essentially what irked me about Tito's review. I got the impression that the main reason he did not really like the game was because he didn't like playing a true villain. It's fine not liking it, but I don't feel it's a good point of scoring a game in a review as it's a purely personal preference. In other words, it is not actually a fault of the game, but he treats it as such because it conflicts with his personal wants; essentially throwing objectivity out the window. It's like a reviewer scoring Dark Souls poorly because he doesn't like being in the dark.

Also, I've never been this aroused before.

People who constantly misuse and abuse the farce that is Lugoscababib Discobiscuits in their vain attempt to sound politically and morally correct REALLY need to take a look at this Jimquistion (after they're subjected to the Lugoscababib Discobiscuits one for a good 20min.) because that's about the only gripe i have with the people who avoid GTA V. The hypocrisy does a good job of rustling my jimmies too. Oh so it's okay for Joel(The Last Of Us) to shove glass in some poor bastard's throat because he lost his little girl? Uh no, i don't think so, he's as morally reprehensible as Captain Walker(Spec Ops: The Line) and i think BOTH Games deserved to be played.

I'm all for Idealistic Power Fantasies (I'm an Introvert, people like me practically THRIVE off it.) but you can't ask for Games to be taken as a serious Medium but dismiss it or even fight it when they TRY to be serious and/or realistic.(Yes i'm still mad over Six Days in Fallujah, seriously who WOULDN'T?)

They're valid reasons to dislike a Game but they REALLY upset me, it's like hating Call Of Duty because you have to shoot a Gun. But i guess it's because no one likes to admit when they fuck up, how many people here can honestly accept that the shit you do in Saints Row 2 is incredibly evil? Yeah it was fun but i can already imagine the amount of people who'd try to justify say killing Jessica as requiem for not being paid, or even crippling Matt on the Stage. But THANK GOD for Jim, now i don't feel like the only man on Earth who genuinely enjoyed Kane & Lynch and isn't mentally/emotionally unstable.

So sick of the Escapist contributors using the common strawman argument to defend that review.

"Oh people are mad that the score was low, but the score wasn't low so the complaints are all childish and stupid"

No, people were not complaining about a low score. As you said, the score is not low. If it was just the score, people complaining about the review wouldn't be constantly quoting the written review itself.

They are complaining because he gives it a good score but spends the entire review whining that he had to play a bad guy and throughout the review says things that are not a matter of opinion but demonstrably wrong such as claiming that we are given no context for the Life Invader mission.

He claimed that we were not told what would happen (Lester tells you what you are going to do before the mission and what he plans to do with it) and he claims we are given no reason (Micheal straight up asks him why to which Lester starts rounding off reasons that HE feels justifies the attack, after the mission we are also given the real reason which is to manipulate the stock exchange) and no that's not a matter of opinion no more than it's a matter of opinion to claim in a review that the game features absolutely no vehicles.

That's just one section of the review, I could go on and on here. It's fine to defend it, but defend it on it's own merit, don't hide behind that "People just mad cus of scores" bs.

I really expected better from you jim. I honestly expected you to talk about the actual issue and not just use the same lazy strawman that the others on this site have been using.

This is another one of those times Jim defeats his own argument by going longer than he should. He doesn't like the characters or what they do and doesn't want them to succeed. Great. But then he goes and not only buys the game, but plays it. Thats like not liking a movie or any of the characters in it, but you saw it then bought the DVD.
I don't want to play GTAV...and guess what? I didn't buy it. Jim's thing seems to be he buys these games, knowing he wont like the characters, story, game play or themes. And then plays it while say "Oh man, I hate this game and do not wish to see it completed."

Its kinda' a contradiction...

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