Serious Game Fatigue

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

Serious Game Fatigue

One tawdry pair of rundowns hardly does the year justice, so let's reminisce about some other things I didn't get quite so passionate about.

Read Full Article

"God fuck us, every one" is the best Christmas/holiday quote I have heard in a while.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
But to close things off, there's one more thing I want to mention in the 'games too depressing to even make videos about' category, and that's the remake of Flashback...

But Yahtzee, you did make a video about that game! How could you forget?


Which I recommend everyone watches, by the way.

Ho ho! Did everyone catch the crafty callback to the controversial joke from the original Papers, Please review? Gorsh I feel so clever and smart for spotting/interpreting it, I do I do.

Yeah once I played Bioshock Infinite, I just couldn't get into any other games. I remember watching Yatzhee's review and he said something along the lines of it being a depressing gaming year after that game. And I hate to admit it, but he was right. Sometimes I think Yatzhee is a troll, but damned if he didn't hit the nail on the head with that one. I mean I thought Bioshock was the perfect blend of humorous/serious/character development.
Games like Last of Us or GTAV just kinda' blurred together; not that the separate games blurred, mind, but the action/characters within each kinda' blurred together into a barely remembered mess of bad dialogue and boring action and wasted time.
Maybe I'm getting too snobby or old, but I'm starting to become okay with about 4 serious games a year. any more than that and its wasted time.
And indie games? The only one I thought was good was Stanley Parable, and I was finished with that in a day.
Its sad to be sure, but there are barely any games on my radar that strike my interest. A lot of them just seem like games I've played before in a younger time and have no real interest in returning to.

Do you think this is the same thing as when certain comics became "Graphic Novels" because "comics" has childish connotations? Interactive narrative doesn't have much of a ring to it though.

"And God fuck us, every one."

I think He's got that covered!

I think it was interesting Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs didn't make it into the list, the review seemed to be overall rather positive.

Well, the one game I'm hyped for this year is EDF 2025. I'm always more for mindless carnage.

Wait, wait, wait: Last year, Yahtzee called SO:TL his game of the year of 2012, and now he's named the fatigue of "serious" games after it. I'm trying to rationalize that, but I think he prefers a few "grimdark serious" games to stand out from the action-packed excitement of the others. Too many and its a big, drab slog.

Too many people are looking for consistancy in opinions when we are all aware that people change all the time. This is unavoidable.
Anyhow, when outlast was mentioned, i was a little confused as there was an xbla ubisoft title i downloaded with the same name which turned out to be a huge meh. Certainly not a horror!
As an incredibly cynical, jaded, hateful person who still doesnt understand trolling entirely, i cant say Sir Ben here is a troll (whatever that means in non phantasmagorical form), just an eclectic mix of truth, humour and hate :)
Bioshock infinite is up there with the film 'he was a quiet man' as stories that stay buried in your mind to haunt you on random nights or even during the day when someone is giving me important instructions on handling dangerous machinary

Comparing Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (a game) to sausage rolls (a type of meat) is a good analogy. They both have really good tastes, though are relatively quick to finish. "Sausage" sorts of games like Braid, Limbo, and Bastion that have small characters diving into scary/disturbing worlds can all be expected to have a core of "fat" flavoring while "peppered" with an unusual graphic style.

Oh that reference to the Papers, Please video, classic. Still a bit disappointed that the joke got changed but what happens happens.

I didn't think you hated Sticker Star all that much, the reference surprised me. Though what surprised me more is that you still 'put' TLoU in your unofficial selections for Top 5 of the year and left out games you gave very positive or sort of positive reviews (Blood Dragon, Luigi's Mansion 2).

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Which brings me to The Last Of Us, a game I would have been happy to stop thinking about but everyone else seems to be convinced that it was the best game ever or something.

I don't think anybody thinks that, let alone "everyone else" - I think that for some reason TLOU has polarized opinion so much, that anybody not outright hating the game or defending it from the haters in anyway is seen as an irredeemable fan boy. Same deal with Bioshock: Infinite.

Xman490:
Comparing Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (a game) to sausage rolls (a type of meat) ...

Wait, since when did sausage rolls have meat in them? I think you are mistaken, Sir.

I was curious to see what Yahtzee thought of Flashback and now I know. Pretty much the same as I felt. My heart sank when he said "awesomesauce" It's one of those weird remakes that manages to forget everything that made the first game so great. Conrad was one of those characters like Gordon Freeman or Master Chief. A blank canvas to project your own awesomeness onto. New Conrad is what we Irish call "A fucking dickhead" It's a shame, because the environments in that game were really well modeled and....well that's it really.

Also obligatory "I loved your Flashback LP" ball licking

Teoes:
Ho ho! Did everyone catch the crafty callback to the controversial joke from the original Papers, Please review? Gorsh I feel so clever and smart for spotting/interpreting it, I do I do.

I totally missed that. What did he say about it?

I actually wanted to see if he had an opinion on the PC-port of State of Decay.

I'm also surprised that he's so favourable towards Rogue Legacy, when he felt that Dark Souls was unreasonable/constantly disrupted your game-session with deaths. For me Rogue's Legacy suffered from far more unresponsive controles and unfair gameplay.

Johnny Novgorod:

Teoes:
Ho ho! Did everyone catch the crafty callback to the controversial joke from the original Papers, Please review? Gorsh I feel so clever and smart for spotting/interpreting it, I do I do.

I totally missed that. What did he say about it?

It was where he mentioned Papers, Please but then said he did enough "sucking on that particular willy" in the original review; my immediate thought was of the particular kind of willy mentioned at the time and the brouhaha that resulted.

In fairness that particular particular willy was actually referenced during the Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons section of the review, but eh. Same video, same oral analogy, P,P actually had it's own similar willy controversy, same overall shitstorm.

Funny he did not mention anything about Shadow Warrior 2013. It was made by the guys who made Hard Reset, Painkiller and even Hotline Miami. They listened to his review of Hard Reset and even included a mop to do the clean up. Certainly reviewing it would be a great oppurtunity to go and say, "SEE! This is why people need to listen to me!"

I can't tell if Yahtzee is fatigued by serious games, or has a serious case of game fatigue.

I'm still convinced that Shadow Warrior would be on your top 5 list if you'd taken a chance to play it. Serious game fatigue, you say? Shadow Warrior is the perfect cure. How the fuck did this game fly under everybody's radar? It's glorious.

IrisNetwork:
Funny he did not mention anything about Shadow Warrior 2013.

A shame, really. A lot of people listen to Yahtzee. It would drive sales through the roof if he were to say a few kind words about it.

I chalked Yahtzee's dislike of TLOU to him not being affected by something designed to crush your heart and resenting it's attempt at the same time. Personally I'm in the camp of liking it immensely for its story and gameplay mechanics.
different people have different options-views-perspectives and are more than welcome to have and express them, that being said I don't really care about what other people say/think about games, if I like it that's all there is if someone else share my opinion then cool, if not then oh well. if someone wants to spew hateful vitriol about a game at other people that's annoying more because its some douche being a jerk to others than because they are bashing a game.

Where are all these fans of TLOU?

Honestly, I've mostly just seen people ribbing on it for some people calling it the best game ever.

Personally, I think the reason that Yahtzee dislikes The Last of Us is that it presents him with a main character that does bad things, and yet makes no attempt to make the player feel bad about it.

Spec Ops worked for him because he was expecting it to be some generic ooh-rah jingoist fantasy, which he dislikes, and the game not only subverted his expectations, but basically agreed with his sentiments about ooh-rah jingoist etc. 100% ("Too right, fuck those guys!").

The Last of Us, however, puts you into the shoes of a man who has internalized the "kill or be killed" mantra of the world that he lives in, and yet the game tries to make you sympathize with him and his struggles.

And that alienates Yahtzee; he wants to either be told that he is playing an irredeemable monster and should just roll with it because it's wacky fun mayhem (e.g. Saints Row), or that he is playing an irredeemable monster and should feel bad about it (e.g. Spec Ops).

At least with Papers, Please, another game where you play an everyman in a dystopian environment, the player gets some measure of free agency to try and set things right in their own way (by letting the occasional illegal through). But The Last of Us, being a shooter, basically gives you no way to set things right, the only options being either to kill your problems (which is arguably how the game ends), or to try and tiptoe past the problem and refrain from engaging it.

"What about Bioshock Infinite, then?"

Well, Bioshock Infinite again puts you into the shoes of a man with no compunction about killing waves of people to get his way, but in that case the enemies were mostly cartoonishly evil caricatures - Nazis, basically. As Yahtzee once said, no one feels bad killing Nazis, because whatever evils you yourself perpetrate, it's against the Nazis! In the end, the game still allows you to feel good about yourself (erm, the entire thing about Anna DeWitt excepted, but at least you eventually atone for it, set it right so to speak). It's first and foremost a "fun game", not a "serious game".

Adam Jensen:
I'm still convinced that Shadow Warrior would be on your top 5 list if you'd taken a chance to play it. Serious game fatigue, you say? Shadow Warrior is the perfect cure. How the fuck did this game fly under everybody's radar? It's glorious.

IrisNetwork:
Funny he did not mention anything about Shadow Warrior 2013.

A shame, really. A lot of people listen to Yahtzee. It would drive sales through the roof if he were to say a few kind words about it.

HA yes. A game that starts off with Stan Bush's The Touch and lets you slash demon's to bits is definitely an antidote to fancy-pants, complex modern games. Only now there are key-hunting elements but besides that, the objective is still kill everyone.

Also, I just remembered about FC3: Blood Dragon. The man who came in dressed as a cock. No seriousness there. MGS: Revengeace taking up the 5th place instead of Blood Dragon was quite a surprise. Maybe it didn't count as a game as it was just DLC?

LenticularHomicide:
Personally, I think the reason that Yahtzee dislikes The Last of Us is that it presents him with a main character that does bad things, and yet makes no attempt to make the player feel bad about it.

Spec Ops worked for him because he was expecting it to be some generic ooh-rah jingoist fantasy, which he dislikes, and the game not only subverted his expectations, but basically agreed with his sentiments about ooh-rah jingoist etc. 100% ("Too right, fuck those guys!").

The Last of Us, however, puts you into the shoes of a man who has internalized the "kill or be killed" mantra of the world that he lives in, and yet the game tries to make you sympathize with him and his struggles.

And that alienates Yahtzee; he wants to either be told that he is playing an irredeemable monster and should just roll with it because it's wacky fun mayhem (e.g. Saints Row), or that he is playing an irredeemable monster and should feel bad about it (e.g. Spec Ops).

At least with Papers, Please, another game where you play an everyman in a dystopian environment, the player gets some measure of free agency to try and set things right in their own way (by letting the occasional illegal through). But The Last of Us, being a shooter, basically gives you no way to set things right, the only options being either to kill your problems (which is arguably how the game ends), or to try and tiptoe past the problem and refrain from engaging it.

"What about Bioshock Infinite, then?"

Well, Bioshock Infinite again puts you into the shoes of a man with no compunction about killing waves of people to get his way, but in that case the enemies were mostly cartoonishly evil caricatures - Nazis, basically. As Yahtzee once said, no one feels bad killing Nazis, because whatever evils you yourself perpetrate, it's against the Nazis! In the end, the game still allows you to feel good about yourself (erm, the entire thing about Anna DeWitt excepted, but at least you eventually atone for it, set it right so to speak). It's first and foremost a "fun game", not a "serious game".

That's why I felt The Last of Us was so brilliant. It never tells you how to feel about Joel. I've talked to different people about the game, who give interpretations ranging from "a horror story where you play as an irredeemable monster with serious daughter issues" to "a heartwarming story of redemption showing the fundamental goodness of humanity." It simply presents events to the player and allows them to decipher their own personal significance from it. The fact that the ending can either be viewed as a cathartic rampage or a horrific removal of player agency (or both) is exactly what made it so powerful. Some players will come to hate the main character, while others feel a deep personal connection with him; and since that seems to be exactly what the developers were going for (to present a scenario in which the moral ambiguities of the apocalypse are displayed without clear answers), is that not an extremely successful execution of an artistic vision?

Doopliss64:

LenticularHomicide:
snip

[...] Some players will come to hate the main character, while others feel a deep personal connection with him; and since that seems to be exactly what the developers were going for (to present a scenario in which the moral ambiguities of the apocalypse are displayed without clear answers), is that not an extremely successful execution of an artistic vision?

Oh, absolutely. Even Yahtzee admits that "It's like a dirty-faced Rorschach test". It's still entirely his right to reject the game because of what he saw reflected in it (that he was playing a psychopath whom he felt had no redeeming qualities, and was supposed to be rooting for Joel).

Bottom line is, he doesn't like 'serious' games that show him that ordinary men can be shaped into monsters by their circumstances, and prosper and thrive as a result. I guess he'll say that it's not Gratifying (or Cathartic, in his new jargon).

So with that in mind, all the fanboys calling for his blood in the comments for ragging on their favoured game can just agree to disagree with him, right? (Yeah, right, and I'll get a pony for my birthday ;-) )

LenticularHomicide:

Doopliss64:

LenticularHomicide:
snip

[...] Some players will come to hate the main character, while others feel a deep personal connection with him; and since that seems to be exactly what the developers were going for (to present a scenario in which the moral ambiguities of the apocalypse are displayed without clear answers), is that not an extremely successful execution of an artistic vision?

Oh, absolutely. Even Yahtzee admits that "It's like a dirty-faced Rorschach test". It's still entirely his right to reject the game because of what he saw reflected in it (that he was playing a psychopath whom he felt had no redeeming qualities, and was supposed to be rooting for Joel).

Bottom line is, he doesn't like 'serious' games that show him that ordinary men can be shaped into monsters by their circumstances, and prosper and thrive as a result. I guess he'll say that it's not Gratifying (or Cathartic, in his new jargon).

So with that in mind, all the fanboys calling for his blood in the comments for ragging on their favoured game can just agree to disagree with him, right? (Yeah, right, and I'll get a pony for my birthday ;-) )

I've become of the frame of mind that "agree to disagree" and any discussion on the internet are absolute mutually exclusive things. So much so that if people were to start doing so, a tear in the very fabric of reality would appear and hell-monsters would start dropping through. Interesting to see when there are so many gamers who appear to be trying to look "tolerant" in social issues won't accept that opinions aren't fact, subjectivity is personal and tolerance isn't solely relegated to racial/gender/sexuality issues.

I'm surprised that Shadow Warrior hasn't gotten a review or very much of a mention yet.

Aardvaarkman:

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Which brings me to The Last Of Us, a game I would have been happy to stop thinking about but everyone else seems to be convinced that it was the best game ever or something.

I don't think anybody thinks that, let alone "everyone else" - I think that for some reason TLOU has polarized opinion so much, that anybody not outright hating the game or defending it from the haters in anyway is seen as an irredeemable fan boy. Same deal with Bioshock: Infinite.

I don't think anybody HATES either game that much. I've been pretty negative about both of them but I certainly don't. I just think their gameplay is lacking and they would work better as movies than stories. They're both still pretty good games, but for their standout moments they don't work for me as interactive experiences. My characters keep making choices that I don't agree with and have no say in - so how am I supposed to "sympathise" with them or the story at all?

TheMadDoctorsCat:
I don't think anybody HATES either game that much. I've been pretty negative about both of them but I certainly don't. I just think their gameplay is lacking and they would work better as movies than stories.

Well, there are actually people posting on The Escapist who claim that these games are objectively and provably bad - in other words, they don't think it's just their opinion, but it's some how logically or scientifically possible for these games to be good. That their existence is an insult to all gamers.

There has been more than one person to do that on this site. Yet I have never seen a single person claim that either is "the best game ever." So yeah, I think the extremism around these games is pretty solidly on the side of the haters (which I wouldn't put you in the category of, given the description of your position above).

Aardvaarkman:

TheMadDoctorsCat:
I don't think anybody HATES either game that much. I've been pretty negative about both of them but I certainly don't. I just think their gameplay is lacking and they would work better as movies than stories.

Well, there are actually people posting on The Escapist who claim that these games are objectively and provably bad - in other words, they don't think it's just their opinion, but it's some how logically or scientifically possible for these games to be good. That their existence is an insult to all gamers.

There has been more than one person to do that on this site. Yet I have never seen a single person claim that either is "the best game ever." So yeah, I think the extremism around these games is pretty solidly on the side of the haters (which I wouldn't put you in the category of, given the description of your position above).

Well the problem with that is there ARE objective problems with these games. This is the problem I have with the whole "subjectivity" argument - or rather, people who claim that any criticism of a piece of media is "subjective". Your EXPERIENCE with that media will be subjective. There are films that I wholeheartedly enjoy while recognising their objective flaws - but I don't try and deny the very existence of those flaws, or that objectivity.

It seems that I've done nothing but discuss "Bioshock Infinite" on these forums recently, but let me get this straight: I don't begrudge anybody who enjoyed it more than me (as many people often did). My problem is that I don't think the game got anything like a fair critical response to it. I think the critics rated it as a MOVIE, not as an interactive experience. I think that there are legitimate objective flaws that can be highlighted in "B: I", and that those people who enjoyed the game did so because those flaws didn't have as much of a negative effect on their subjective experience as they did on mine. Which is fine - I'm happy that they got their money's worth out of the game - but just because some people weren't bothered by the game's flaws, doesn't mean that the flaws don't exist or aren't worth mentioning. Especially if your job is to give fair and unbiased criticism of the game.

TheMadDoctorsCat:

Well the problem with that is there ARE objective problems with these games. This is the problem I have with the whole "subjectivity" argument - or rather, people who claim that any criticism of a piece of media is "subjective". Your EXPERIENCE with that media will be subjective. There are films that I wholeheartedly enjoy while recognising their objective flaws - but I don't try and deny the very existence of those flaws, or that objectivity.

Except that most of the "objective" complaints were about completely subjective things like character motivations, plot development and only having two weapons at the same time.

I never saw a single "objective" argument put up by these commenters that had any kind of measurable or provable quality about it - their supposedly objective reasons for disliking the game were all subjective.

 Pages 1 2 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