Jimquisition: To Play The Villain

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Silentpony:
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...

He wasn't complaining about GTA 5. He says several times he likes playing the villian.

Watch the video before whining about it perhaps.

He said he hates the characters but that's what makes playing it all the more compelling. Maybe don't cast yourself as the authority on who is allowed to play which games.

My only "problem" with Greg's review was that I just couldn't understand where he was coming from. I read his review before purchasing the game and everything he was describing just made me say "Sooooooo how's that different than the standard GTA protagonist?" And having played the game now, I can officially confirm that feeling. I see no real difference between the protagonists in GTA 5 and the protagonists of other GTA games, with the exception of Trevor, but I'll get to that.

Michael is basically a watered down Tommy Vercetti. He's a former bank robber who really doesn't want to do horrible things but he's got HUGE anger issues (just like Tommy) and those get him in trouble (again, just like Tommy). Each job he does is in order to pay back some debt that his temper has gotten him into and basically he's just trying not to get himself killed. At the end of the day he really does just want to kick back and try to work things out with his family and lead a "normal" life. I say he's a "watered down Tommy Vercetti" because Tommy wasn't looking to retire, he was a low-level grunt in the mob and was actively WANTING to become Mr. Big, the King Pin. He wanted to create a crime empire and once he did he had to maintain it.

Michael is basically a carbon-copy of CJ from San Andres, so I really don't see how his character is anything different from the norm.

Trevor, on the other hand, I can understand people having a problem with because he's just so over-the-top ridiculous. Still, when you take into account the things that Tommy Vercetti and CJ did, he doesn't really do anything "out of the ordinary" (at least in terms of his vilent outbursts) from anything we've seen thus far. He's a straight-shooter who doesn't bullshit people and expects not to be bullshitted himself. And if you try to bullshit him, he's more than happy to tell you about how pissed off that makes him. He's the head of his own meth/gun-running empire which gives him a position of authority and a "big boss" mentality, that's why he expects people to do what he tells them to. Greg's review of the game

And so that's the only thing I disagreed with Greg on. He said that the characters had no motivations for the crimes and horrible acts of violence the committed, but I have to disagree. To me all the characters have perfectly valid motivations for all their actions.

In short: I didn't disagree purely because of the number-score he gave the game...hell, I don't even pay attention to that. I just disagree with his assessment of the characters. Kinda like Jim's episode from last week, people not liking Bioshock Infinite because it's a violent game. Did people REALLY pick up GTA V expecting anything less than GTA-brand ultra-violence?

All that said, at this point I'd give the game a 2 out of 5 purely because I've been afflicted with a game-breaking bug that, according to the Rockstar website, I'm not the only one to have. Simply put: I can't get into the building I need to get into in order to start the last heist of the game because all the doors are completely sealed and won't open. And now my game is refusing to load all together, meaning my only choices are to hope that Rockstar comes out with a fix for it soon and that it not only fixes the issue but allows my game to load...or erase my game and start from the very beginning and hope that the glitch doesn't happen again. Neither of which are very appealing at this point.

+1 for Zorg. That said, I have a bone to pick with what you said about Saints Row 2...

Steve the Pocket:

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.

Except the point of making sandbox-game protagonists villains isn't to make the player hate them; it's to keep them more in tune with the sort of behavior players will already be indulging in, i.e. wanton violence and destruction. Once again, Rockstar seems to have epically missed the point of their own franchise.

Who died and put you in charge of what the point of a villain protagonist is supposed to be? The point of making any protagonist is for the people writing the story to write the protagonist how they want the protagonist to be. If Rockstar wanted to write a protagonist that the player is supposed to grow to hate (and they certainly did want that, just take a look at Trevor), then they didn't miss the point of what their own game is supposed to be at all.

No, the only one who epically missed the point of Rockstar's franchise is you. The point is that it's their franchise, and if they want to make protagonists that players are meant to hate, then they can fucking do that because it's their franchise. So why don't you tone your arrogance down and stop trying to tell the developers of the franchise what the point of their franchise is? It is theirs, not yours, they can do with it as they please and you have no authority in the matter.

RJ 17:
Michael is basically a carbon-copy of CJ from San Andres, so I really don't see how his character is anything different from the norm.

You spelled Franklin wrong. ;)

Steve2911:
Wooooooah nelly! I don't know about you but I find it hard to take every single Yahtzee opinion (or the opinion of any critic for that matter) as gospel and base ALL of my purchasing decisions around him.

*blinks* I never said I took Yahtzee's opinion as gospel. He and I have very different tastes in games. However, he's very detailed about the individual aspects of games, regardless of whether he likes those aspects or not. Those details are what I base my buying decisions off of.

I recommend you look up an old saying about assuming things before you make a "Woah nelly" comment again.

Games in which I have felt uncomfortable on account of my actions? Hmm...

I think in Naughty Bear, where you can destroy/murder/traumatize into suicidal insanity, the protagonist might actually just be insane, as the narrator is explained, in a loading screen, I think, as just a voice in Naughty's head that tells him to kill. That, and the other bears usually give you something akin to a reason to go after them. Not always ones warranting murder, like sending ninjas to kill you or raising the dead, but still.

In the Katamari games, you roll objects, living things, land masses, etc. into a ball to blast into space, able to do it over and over again for maximum scores, but that's probably taking things a tad too seriously.

I went into Jedi Academy having played Jedi Outcast some years before with little immediate recollection of all the killing I'd done as Kyle Katarn. As such, it came as something of a shock that being a jedi under Luke's tutelage was very much like being a mercenary out for revenge on a murderous dark jedi, in that all I really did was snuff out lives and destroy things. It felt different from the KOTOR games, I counted, swing by swing, my kills in the tusken raider mission; 71-ish sentient beings that were never coming home that day.
"Well done, Jayden, all the jawas are dead, (Even if they aren't, the game even assumes you're killing them, I guess) but at least we got that one little droid for ourselves!"

Perhaps there's more of an art to this than appears at first glance?

Hindkjaer:
I remember Bioshock infinite. And the realisation that no one else does makes me sad again and again.

Take comfort in knowing that if more people still remembered it, it would be out of hatred. I should know. I'm one of those people who loves Dragon Age 2.

DVS BSTrD:

SirCannonFodder:

DVS BSTrD:
We're always going on about how we want videogames to be taken seriously as a medium, yet we reject games unless we're cast as the "good guy"? How is that mature?

Because in other mediums, no matter how depraved the on-screen behavior, you're an entirely passive observer and can easily detach yourself from the characters. With a game, you're actively taking part in it, helping the characters to carry out their horrible intentions, without your input none of it would be happening. It's a lot harder to detach yourself from what's happening.

Yet players don't seem to have problem when they're being terrible people on their own in Free-roaming.

Because when you're just messing around there's no context for it, all that's happening is just one set of pixels beating another set of pixels, it's completely abstract. But when it's done in the context of the story, you recognise the characters as being people (otherwise you wouldn't care much about the story in the first place), meaning it's no longer as abstract/distanced from you.

DVS BSTrD:
We're always going on about how we want videogames to be taken seriously as a medium, yet we reject games unless we're cast as the "good guy"? How is that mature?

Plenty of people dislike crime fiction/antiheroes/villains-with-depth in books and movies, too.

geizr:

It was 3.5 out of 5. Not Ten. Also, besides the characters (and some of the writing/themes of the game), Greg actually seemed to like GTA 5.

He just said that playing characters who to him seemed like just terrible people, in the end wore him down.

The difference between GTA 5 and other games where you play terrible people, like Spec OPS The Line, is hundreds of hours of being that evil person you don't like.

Some people seem to be forgetting what Jim first said in the video. If you don't like playing the game because you don't like the characters, that is a fair complaint.

Think about it. In the game if you do well at playing you're rewarded. And with story games, one of those rewards is seeing how well the characters do after you help them out. However, if you don't like the characters, then you are then made to help out people you don't like. Thus people you may even hate benefit from your efforts.
If that's how you feel about the game, then it's hard for it to be fun. Not many enjoy helping out people they don't like.
"Congratulations! That person you hate now has even more money and time to spend on being a prick!"

It's not about being the good guys or the bad guys, it's about if you can personally like the characters.
That comes down to the quality of writing, and personal taste.

For example, if you just list off the things The Joker has done without context, then most will end up thinking he is one of the most vile people on earth. People love the Joker, even though he is kind of just plain evil, because of the stories he is in, and the dialogue he is given.

I'd kill just to know who sent him Gay Furry Porn?

Not because I want it, but because I want to know why he'd do it. Do they love him so much they think he'll like it? Or do they hate him so much he'd be despised about it.

I was wondering about the age gate until the last 15 seconds, haha...

TROLOLOLOLOL

I will posit that it's interesting to play the bad guy. But I will also posit that the best baddies are those we can empathize, if not sympathize with. Conversely, it would also be fun to play over the top villains.

Not having ever gotten into GTA (never cared much for the stories), I can't speak to those games. However, I imagine a compelling story would allow me to get over the hump of playing an atrocious human being.

PunkRex:

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.

I think we should all buy Jim a seperate piece of a sex dungeon and send it to him.

Daystar Clarion:
Huh, wonder why there was a age ga- *Jim proceeds to read furry porn.*

Welp.

That's enough internet for today.

I bet Amaterasu was into it.

OT: Villians are fun but i'm abit of an emotional pussy so I find it hard to really get into it when I play, even in Overlord.

I couldn't even kill horses in RedDead.

Hah! Everything in this post is funny! ^^

OT: Playing a bad guy can be cool as long as they're not stupid. Stupid bad guys are even worse than stupid good guys.

I hated GTA IV, almost as much as I hated GTA SA. I barf at the whole "gangsta" culture, and cant even like it when its ridiculed. Nico belic was just dull and the music was horrible. GTA Vice City is where it at.

I might give GTA V a try eventually, but I'm in no rush. Where is RDR 2 Rockstar? Where is it? Hm?! WHY ARENT YOU MAKING THAT?!

Carpenter:

Silentpony:
Snip

He wasn't complaining about GTA 5. He says several times he likes playing the villain.

Watch the video before whining about it perhaps.

He said he hates the characters but that's what makes playing it all the more compelling. Maybe don't cast yourself as the authority on who is allowed to play which games.

Nooooo...

what he said was these people were villains that he not only didn't like, but didn't like what they were doing. Kane and Lynch for example. Didn't like the concept of shooting up innocents for the sake of it. However, by definition, playing the game requires you to participate in the story and that action. A subtle form culpability, by the way. Not in the Kane murdered someone therefore you are a murderer way, but in the idea that by buying the game and playing it, you can't distance yourself from saying you support it. Saying you don't like what the characters are doing WHILE doing it sounds weak.
"Oh I'm sorry, the game made me shoot you. If I had a choice, I wouldn't but its the plot so oh well."

That's my point. If you find the characters so repugnant that the very idea of them winning is sickening but then you play through the game, which requires you leading the characters to victory...well guess who doesn't get to claim neutrality?

Hint: You.

xPixelatedx:
Gay furry porn

xPixelatedx:
Now if it was a gay furry porn between Starfox and Sly Cooper, or two pokemon (there are doujins for that), that would have been fantastic! Jim is a video game journalist after all, at least give him something he can proudly display with his E3 swag.

That's kinda a problem because this is a published graphic novel for sale that someone sent him and comics that contain copyrighted characters don't tend to be published for sale because of legalities.

Having recently bought Dungeon Keeper II and playing The Nameless Mod with the "evil" side (hilarious BTW), I can't agree more with you Jim. I like to play as the good guy as much as the next person, but when a game is completely made around playing the bad guy (not 2 different paths like most games like to do nowadays), I'm instantly hooked.

"I relaxed and let the slimey cum pool i-"

NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE.
NOOOOOOPE.

I still don't see why people think the protagonists in GTA V are that bad. I haven't finished it yet, so maybe they do something a lot worse at the end? or is it just the mean old torture scene that makes them so terrible? I'm not saying they're nice guys, not at all. I just don't understand why people think they're that evil.

And here I was thinking that the age verification thing was for the torture scene. Instead we got gay furry porn.

After hearing that I think I'd much prefer to watch the torture scene, but maybe I'm just broken. Or something's wrong with me. I dunno.

Anyways, I don't mind playing as villains if it's done right. I'm not a fan of GTA, that's more of a personal preference more than anything else, but I can see how people flock to the game to be a total bastard. I think it all depends on the context for me and if it makes sense, and being a total bastard just for the sake of it with no meaning is more off putting to me more than anything else.

I totally blew up Megaton and put a collar on everybody who's head didn't explode. Even worse, I didn't give the little old lady the violin.

I AM A MONSTER, AND I REVEL IN IT.

Orekoya:

That's kinda a problem because this is a published graphic novel for sale that someone sent him and comics that contain copyrighted characters don't tend to be published for sale because of legalities.

I was under the impression you could buy henti books of copyrighted characters. I've seen hundreds of them for everything pertaining to anime, video games, etc. When these things are posted online, they are usually labeled as 'scans' from their respective books as well, and they certainly look like they've been scanned from a book. That said, I don't know if the people making these should be making them, nor will I agree/disagree with the practice. Just saying they exist.

Daystar Clarion:
Huh, wonder why there was an age ga- *Jim proceeds to read furry porn.*

....Yeah.

Though somehow it was still less disturbing than his poem about miltank.

Oh crap. what gay furry porn was he sent? O_O

*Sees it School Daze*

Oh that. Could have been worse. *shrugs*

I love Niko to bits. Even though his name is as unsubtle as it gets. "Niko" sounds Eastern European, but is not an actual Serbian name. It comes from "Nikovo", Russian (Niko is a Serbian, mind) for "Nobody". "Bellic", is from bellicose, or just "war" (Latin: Bellum, i think) in general. Nobody from the War. That's him. That's a miserable, arguably suicidal, crestfallen, self-loathing, fatalistic, nihilistic, but noble cynic. Noble, in that he feels obligated to protect the very few people he finds himself drawn to. It's like some murderous but not-quite-completely-evil revenant of some horrifying event (Yugoslav Wars).
Problems are:
1. There's nowhere for him to go, no self-betterment possible, no dream to struggle towards, no victory to achieve. He acknowledges as much himself. His story as a human being ended with one of the most inhuman conflicts of the 20th century.
2. He's a genuinely awful person in most of the ways that count, but he is definitely not the type fit as an open-world crime game protagonist. He's far, FAR too reserved for that. He may kill you if given a reason (money being a good enough one, usually), but he's not going to just flip out and initiate Operation Blaze of Glory.
Thus, GTA IV had a decent-ish story with a decently written (I thought) protagonist, and was also incredibly jarring.
Oh yeah and BIG AMERICAN TITTAIS gets annoying after a while.
Driving without mods was shit too.
Maybe it was just not a great game.

GTA is dystopian. In gaming and literary senses, I quite like some dystopian worlds: They are interesting and thought-provoking, and the notion of playing the bad guy is best realised in such an environment. But this collection of all the worst parts of American society (exaggerated to the point of non-semblance to the original; I'm not having a go at America here) has never presented a character compelling enough or gameplay fun enough to hook me.
I don't believe for a second that these games influence real life violence, or that playing the villian in games is connected to wrong behaviour. But I just don't want to explore GTA's crude, socially ugly worlds. They are intended to be ugly: it isn't that way by accident. Guns, drugs and crime lack any appeal in this context. Vice City came the closest to providing a compelling narrative, with a few characters that I enjoyed listening to. But that is part of the problem.

Listening to dull, lifeless dialog from lowlife characters, separated in equal measures by running/driving to the next point, clumsy shooting and aimless urban wandering is not fun for me.

That said, if there is something new and amazingly different with this new one then I'd love to hear about it. The heists didn't look too bad.

Alien1375:
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.....

I was hoping someone would point this out. Would Jim really be so eager to play as a "reprehensible" villain who was also a rapist? I mean, that's something criminal scumbags do in real life. Happens a lot.

Still excited to play as the villain?

Mm, personally I prefer to run paragon, while I do find villains fascinating and many of them quite endearing in a twisted kind of way, they're not the kind of individuals I want to BE, and that sense of discomfort is enough that I just can't even get into the role on the level you're talking about.

The second I read the title of the book you pulled up in the beginning, School Daze, I literally spit my drink out.

"I won't show you the pictures inside, they're a bit... Salty for the children"... Indeed, you could even say they're quite Sea Salty...

...

Engh... ._.

I'm not sure what's worse, the fact that I recognised that comic the moment he held it up, and can name the main character and the author's screen name, or the fact that he has a solid copy that I didn't know existed.

Good vid Jim. What I have found interesting in the wake of GTA V is how invested people are having the idea that they are good.

Personally I am more for interesting stuff that allows me to grow and learn, experiment and know the world a bit more. Don't remember the last time I did something because it was the right thing.

Screamarie:
I actually have a hard time playing a bad guy. I don't know why, I know these are virtual worlds, no one really cares what I do in this world.

Brain is not that good at differentiating virtual from real. Let me frame that, your brain does know with their higher functions, but not the lower more instinctual ones; that is why you can see people crying when a celebrity dies even though they never met and rightfully they shouldn't give a crap about them, but the brain has seen the celebrity enough to form an emotional connection. Fun trivia, did you knew your brain is active in almost the same areas when you jack off to something or have sex with someone?

TakeyB0y2:
Indeed, you could even say they're quite Sea Salty...

I'm watching you.

Jim's defense of playing the bad guy sort of reminds me of how an audience member (I'll just say me) felt while watching The Devil's Rejects, a movie that is evil and disgusting but is a "good" movie purely by virtue of the fact the movie doesn't detract from the Family's evil: They are vile human beings, but doesn't make them Robin Hood types or any other then morally reprehensible monsters.

I don't play many games anymore, but I have a friend who is planning on buying GTA5 soon, I may just play his game and experience the evil for myself. I have no problem playing Manhunt, playing GTA5 can't be much worse, can it?

Great video, Jim. May I say those descriptions were suitably... nauseating, but I'd rather have you read them then anybody else (well, maybe Brian Blessed or Patrick Stewart).

Imp Emissary:

geizr:

It was 3.5 out of 5. Not Ten. Also, besides the characters (and some of the writing/themes of the game), Greg actually seemed to like GTA 5.

He just said that playing characters who to him seemed like just terrible people, in the end wore him down.

The difference between GTA 5 and other games where you play terrible people, like Spec OPS The Line, is hundreds of hours of being that evil person you don't like.

Some people seem to be forgetting what Jim first said in the video. If you don't like playing the game because you don't like the characters, that is a fair complaint.

Think about it. In the game if you do well at playing you're rewarded. And with story games, one of those rewards is seeing how well the characters do after you help them out. However, if you don't like the characters, then you are then made to help out people you don't like. Thus people you may even hate benefit from your efforts.
If that's how you feel about the game, then it's hard for it to be fun. Not many enjoy helping out people they don't like.
"Congratulations! That person you hate now has even more money and time to spend on being a prick!"

It's not about being the good guys or the bad guys, it's about if you can personally like the characters.
That comes down to the quality of writing, and personal taste.

For example, if you just list off the things The Joker has done without context, then most will end up thinking he is one of the most vile people on earth. People love the Joker, even though he is kind of just plain evil, because of the stories he is in, and the dialogue he is given.

I had heard in Jim's video that the game was given a 3/10. It is possible that I misheard or misconstrued this fact, but that is the perception I was going by in my post. I presented my opinion on why or why not such a score may be justified given two particular hypothetical situations, and I explicitly mentioned (or tried to make somewhat clear) that these points were hypothetical. In my opinion, simply not liking the particular type of character being played is not sufficient to warrant such a low score (though it is definitely sufficient to warrant not wanting to play the game); however, if there were other significant details germane to the quality of design and construction of the game in which the game faired significantly poorly in those regards, then the score may be more justified.

Now, taking what you're saying at face-value, that the score is actually 3.5/5, then this starts sounding a little like the "Hate out of 10" problem that Jim has talked on in a previous video. Couple this also with the score inflation that has been assigned to the perceived meaning of review scores, instead of 5/10 being of average quality, 8/10 is taken as being of average quality.

This probably also points out how a singular review score is not sufficient due to the subjectiveness of the review. A reviewer that prefers a particular type, aesthetic, genre, or style of game is likely to give a significantly higher score to a game than one that is ambivalent or disliking of the game's type, aesthetic, genre, or style. In my opinion, it would be nice to have review scores done in triplets, with one score by a reviewer that has preference for the game, one score by a reviewer that is ambivalent preference for the game, and one score by a review that has adverse preference for the game. These scores would, of course, need to be clearly marked as such. The unfortunately problem with such a system is that it is extremely time and personnel intensive and likely impractical to implement by any singular reviewing publication. However, across the aggregate of reviewing publications (i.e., using the power of the Internet), this may be more realizable. If there is the cross-publication standard for reviewers to clearly notate their preference for the game, then it becomes possible for game buyers to look across reviews and see the balance of scores between the different levels of preference and make a between judgement of the quality of the game. (There probably also needs to be a cross-publication standard for review scores and how they are assigned, but I think most people are smart enough to do the conversion mentally.) The assumption here is that a game of nearly "objectively" (I use that word with a continent made entirely of salt attached) high quality should garner a reasonably high score (7-8/10 or better) from even those of ambivalent or adverse preference toward the game, given those with preference for the game a greater sense of comfort that the game will be one they intensely enjoy. Essentially, it would be nice to have some idea how the reviewer's subjective personal preferences slant his/her particular review score and have that clearly notated.

We all know that one really needs to read the review, not just look at the score, but the score does make a nice quick filter, if the gamer already has sufficient knowledge to determine if the game is within his preference. However, for those borderline cases, for example 6-8/10, filtering by review score becomes error prone, and the gamer is forced to spend effort researching reviews carefully to determine the worth of purchasing a game. While this is doable, it can become exhaustive after a sufficient number of games. At such a point, the gamer will likely just ignore any reviews and just seek a means of pre-testing the game (rentals or borrowing from a friend, relative, etc.) to determine directly if the game is worth purchasing. It becomes the point that only in the extreme cases that the review score allows quick decision on purchase. Even then, due to various corruptions of the review process that may occur, extreme high scores may be held as suspect.

Gah! Sorry for the wall-o-text response. Long story short, I wasn't really trying to state definitely one way or the other on the particulars of Greg's score, only that I could see justification in one situation but not so much in the other, without making any declaration on the exact situation that occurred, since, as I explicitly admitted, I hadn't actually taken the time to read Greg's review.

Nice topic, we need more playable villains. And Kudos for whoever had the required level of madness to send that reading item to Jim.

Thank you Jim X( And I'm fresh out of brain bleach too.
You're right though, villains tend to be better developed and more fleshed out than the heroes, but I'm not very good at playing as one.

Having finished the video, I now understand the age check.

Thank you for that, Jim.
redrusker's work is the best

OT:
I agree for the most part. Playing a villain is far more interesting.

Where I disagree is playing someone I hope doesn't succeed. That just makes me want to turn off the console to thwart the bastard.

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