How Anticipation and Fandom affect gaming

The Last Guardian finally came out, much like Final Fantasy 15, after a ten plus year development hell. Both games got stellar reviews for the most part, and while I really enjoyed FF15, I couldn't handle Guardian.

It got me thinking. How much of people's responses (not official IGN/Gamespot reviews because those have been untrustworthy for years) are people ignoring a game's faults due to hype and fandom? Looking on Metacritic and you can see the user reviews of The Last Guardian are overwhelmingly positive. 10/10 levels of positive.

And I ask you guys how? How can people defend the sheer volume of poor game design, poor controls, poor A.I., poor feedback? It feels like people will just slap a 10/10 onto the game because it is made by the Shadow of Colossus people? Because they have waited ten years for the game it can't possibly be bad. When objectively it is a very poorly put together game.

Now I'm not heartless of course. I see how beautiful the game is, the ideas behind the world and the characters are absolutely fantastic. But as a game....it's terrible. It plays bad, it feels bad, it acts bad, it is not a good game.

Final Fantasy 15 also suffers from this. Bad camera, boring side quests, janky story. Yet I love the game. Because for all it's little faults, I can't help but love it. Where with TLG, I cannot handle the stiff controls, bad camera, etc etc, in FF15 I can love a game despite the problems. And I don't know how.

So the question for the community is this.....How far are you willing to go to tolerate and overlook terrible things in game you've been looking forward too? Or if you are a big fan of the series, how much will you overlook in a new entry in that series? Have you guys ever played, or forced yourself to enjoy something you know wasn't good?

Furthermore, how do you guys feel about how hype and fandom can affect people's views upon games and how they view new titles.

How can people defend the sheer volume of poor game design, poor controls, poor A.I., poor feedback?

The parts they are interested on have them so impressed that they consider the more severe faults negligible at best and justified at worst (it adds up to the experience). Personally I find funny when people feel guilty for liking a flawed game (although not so much when the Internet tries to guilt people for liking a flawed game). That's why I see scores more like personal recommendations than pseudo-objective evaluations.

That being said, I think several factors can influence people's opinions. Hype is specially persistent before release, but it just goes so far. I think fandom, tribalism and choice-supportive bias affect people's opinion more on new titles after release than hype. However I'm hesitant to say those factors apply in the same manner to their perception when playing the game than when writing their opinions (or when getting defensive towards game criticism).

CaitSeith:
How can people defend the sheer volume of poor game design, poor controls, poor A.I., poor feedback?

The parts they are interested on have them so impressed that they consider the more severe faults negligible at best and justified at worst (it adds up to the experience). Personally I find funny when people feel guilty for liking a flawed game (although not so much when the Internet tries to guilt people for liking a flawed game). That's why I see scores more like personal recommendations than pseudo-objective evaluations.

That being said, I think several factors can influence people's opinions. Hype is specially persistent before release, but it just goes so far. I think fandom, tribalism and choice-supportive bias affect people's opinion more on new titles after release than hype. However I'm hesitant to say those factors apply in the same manner to their perception when playing the game than when writing their opinions (or when getting defensive towards game criticism).

But you also get a lot of people that bash criticism of flawed mechanics. They might enjoy a game despite it's flaws, but to then turn around and say, "You don't understand, that's how it's supposed to be" or some such rhetoric, is bullshit. Who are they trying to convince, the other person or themselves.

Oh this games plays like ass, but it's supposed to be that way.

If you can overlook a game's flaws, that doesn't suddenly make the flaws irrelevant. I just feel like fandom can blind people to things, and cause irrational defense of products to a fervorish level, especially against those who say that something is bad.

Objectively The Last Guardian is a bad game. Simply based on mechanics, controls, and stubborn UI.

Now if you can enjoy it, then fantastic, you should be able to enjoy whatever you want. But that doesn't give you the right to bash other people's opinions because they can't see through your fandom blindness or whatever you wanna call it right?

CritialGaming:

CaitSeith:
snip

But you also get a lot of people that bash criticism of flawed mechanics. They might enjoy a game despite it's flaws, but to then turn around and say, "You don't understand, that's how it's supposed to be" or some such rhetoric, is bullshit. Who are they trying to convince, the other person or themselves.

Oh this games plays like ass, but it's supposed to be that way.

If you can overlook a game's flaws, that doesn't suddenly make the flaws irrelevant. I just feel like fandom can blind people to things, and cause irrational defense of products to a fervorish level, especially against those who say that something is bad.

Objectively The Last Guardian is a bad game. Simply based on mechanics, controls, and stubborn UI.

Now if you can enjoy it, then fantastic, you should be able to enjoy whatever you want. But that doesn't give you the right to bash other people's opinions because they can't see through your fandom blindness or whatever you wanna call it right?

Yes, you're right. I have seen that bashing even before release. It's amusing when they try to refute what a reviewer experienced first-hand with what they just know second-hand at best and assumptions at worst.

CaitSeith:
snip.

You know, I wonder how it has gotten to that point. Is that just what fandom does to people? Were people in the 70's having wars over Star Trek and Star Wars (they were probably)?

The biggest mystery to me, is when fandom arises around brand new IP's. Like what we saw with No Man's Sky. People flipped when they were told it was junk. The game hadn't even come out yet, and there was no previous entries to back up the fandom. It just happened because of lies and hype. At least with a game coming from a history of games like Final Fantasy, I can get the defensiveness of it.

But it seems that people want justification rather than truth. They would rather buy a shitty game, and be told later that it is a good game, when everyone know's it is a shitty game.

It doesn't make sense and I wonder if it is hurting how games get made now a days.

CritialGaming:

Objectively The Last Guardian is a bad game. Simply based on mechanics, controls, and stubborn UI.

I pretty much agree with everything you've said, but I'd be a bit more careful with your word choice when you're trying to make the distinction between a game having flaws and a game being subjectively fun.

I think a more proper way to phrase your above sentence would be "Objectively The Last Guardian is poorly made." I feel the separation between good/bad is individual to the player based on whether they enjoyed it or not. The poorly made refers to the shitty controls, etc. If nothing else, it puts those who did enjoy the game despite the flaws not automatically on the defensive, so they're more likely to be willing to discuss the game's issues.

Gaming is about the overall experience. Even if a thing may be an issue to some, if your experience was a 10/10, nothing can invalidate that.

Criticism aimed to tell people their experience was wrong fundamentally falls flat before the sheer joy of a 10/10 experience. Nothing can change that.

I find that knowing oneself is imperative towards proper use of hype. If you do, hype is awesome and you will never be let down. Instead of dressing down hype, promote correct introspection and self awareness. Promote the honing of ones tastes to laser point such that a single glance is enough to form an accurate opinion sometimes.

I wasn't hype for these two games personally, Persona 5 though, oh boy was that amazing.

CritialGaming:
snip

So instead of bashing the critics, I should agree with them on their opinion that the game is poorly made... Yeah, I'm sorry, but I'm not going to do either of those. I'll like or dislike the game (or any other game, movie etc) on my own terms, if you don't mind.

Some people like the clunky feeling of the Souls games, some people like the heavy, slightly unwieldy aim to the guns in The Last of Us, and some people like the floaty jumping in Little Big Planet. They might even say it's what adds to what they feel the game is trying to convey. You claiming that's bullshit, and it's just blind fanboys buying a shitty game in the hopes that critics validate it isn't exactly going to invite a proper discussion.

Casual Shinji:

CritialGaming:
snip

So instead of bashing the critics, I should agree with them on their opinion that the game is poorly made... Yeah, I'm sorry, but I'm not going to do either of those. I'll like or dislike the game (or any other game, movie etc) on my own terms, if you don't mind.

Some people like the clunky feeling of the Souls games, some people like the heavy, slightly unwieldy aim to the guns in The Last of Us, and some people like the floaty jumping in Little Big Planet. They might even say it's what adds to what they feel the game is trying to convey. You claiming that's bullshit, and it's just blind fanboys buying a shitty game in the hopes that critics validate it isn't exactly going to invite a proper discussion.

However such fanboys do exist, so do those who read reviews just for validation and get extremly upset against reviewers and critics who disagree with them. But personally I think that those fanboys who get equally upset of other people that like a game that they despise are even worse.

In short, there is nothing wrong with enjoying a game that's not really good; but it's wrong to bash those who don't (and viceversa).

Avnger:

CritialGaming:

Objectively The Last Guardian is a bad game. Simply based on mechanics, controls, and stubborn UI.

I pretty much agree with everything you've said, but I'd be a bit more careful with your word choice when you're trying to make the distinction between a game having flaws and a game being subjectively fun.

I think a more proper way to phrase your above sentence would be "Objectively The Last Guardian is poorly made." I feel the separation between good/bad is individual to the player based on whether they enjoyed it or not. The poorly made refers to the shitty controls, etc. If nothing else, it puts those who did enjoy the game despite the flaws not automatically on the defensive, so they're more likely to be willing to discuss the game's issues.

Fair enough.

It yields to the fact that people will overlook a lot, in order to not feel like they've made a bad choice. Part of me wonders how many people realized that No Man's Sky sucked, yet they made themselves believe they were having fun but they really weren't. Like they were so up in their head about the game being amazing that they forced themselves to think it was amazing just to be justified.

Same thing could be applied to the Last Guardian. People have been wanting a new game from Team Ico for so long, that they'll overlook everything and almost brainwash themselves into thinking it's better than it is.

Casual Shinji:

CritialGaming:
snip

So instead of bashing the critics, I should agree with them on their opinion that the game is poorly made... Yeah, I'm sorry, but I'm not going to do either of those. I'll like or dislike the game (or any other game, movie etc) on my own terms, if you don't mind.

That's fine and you're free to do that all you want. But regardless of your ability to enjoy a game despite it's clunkyness or bad controls. It is undeniable that the game would feel, play, and simple BE better if the controls were tight and responsive. The ability to overlook flaws, doesn't negate the fact that the experience is flawed and would be improved if such core game designs were in place properly.

Final Fantasy 15, for example, has the jump and interact button as the same button. Which is unbelievably stupid. You have no idea how long I've collectively spent jumping instead of picking up the item on the ground. While I love the game, and can deal with that control issue. I also would be incredibly happy if that was fixed.

There has to be a line drawn from rabidly defending a products flaws, and being able to love a product despite the flaws. Like my dog....he pisses all over the floor, but I love him anyway....big dumbass dog. Why wont he go outside!?

CritialGaming:

Same thing could be applied to the Last Guardian. People have been wanting a new game from Team Ico for so long, that they'll overlook everything and almost brainwash themselves into thinking it's better than it is.

Or maybe they just like it.

What are some of your favorite games? Because I'm struggling to think of any games that are 100% perfect that you would be able to enjoy without liberal brainwashing.

undeadsuitor:

CritialGaming:

Same thing could be applied to the Last Guardian. People have been wanting a new game from Team Ico for so long, that they'll overlook everything and almost brainwash themselves into thinking it's better than it is.

Or maybe they just like it.

What are some of your favorite games? Because I'm struggling to think of any games that are 100% perfect that you would be able to enjoy without liberal brainwashing.

Well that's true to some extent. But I think there is a difference between liking a flawed game, and forcing yourself to like an outright bad game.

Now The Last Guardian isn't a "bad" game. But to me it isn't good enough to get over the flaws. And it certainly isn't a good enough game to attack reviewers over for saying negative shit about it. No game is that good.

In light of your question I'll give you my top 5 games of all time.

1. Final Fantasy 7
2. The Witcher 3
3. Rogue Galaxy
4. Xenogears
5. World of Warcraft

Any of those games can be hit with a fair share of bashing, though.

CritialGaming:
There has to be a line drawn from rabidly defending a products flaws, and being able to love a product despite the flaws. Like my dog....he pisses all over the floor, but I love him anyway....big dumbass dog. Why wont he go outside!?

With some games that line isn't as much there for the fans as it is for the critics. Team Ico games are among them, same as the Souls games; Where the jankiness and the loose controls is what gives it some of its charm. This is also why with games like these fans and critics usually end up butting heads.

I mean, I've got plenty to criticize about The Last Guardian, but the controls are pretty low on that list. Had they tighted up the controls it would've lost some of that floppy nature that makes the kid feel like he's in this chaotic situation that's above his head. That doesn't mean they could've have improved some of the cotrols, but overall I'm okay I like 'm.

Casual Shinji:

CritialGaming:
There has to be a line drawn from rabidly defending a products flaws, and being able to love a product despite the flaws. Like my dog....he pisses all over the floor, but I love him anyway....big dumbass dog. Why wont he go outside!?

With some games that line isn't as much there for the fans as it is for the critics. Team Ico games are among them, same as the Souls games; Where the jankiness and the loose controls is what gives it some of its charm. This is also why with games like these fans and critics usually end up butting heads.
.

Very true. However it is part of the critic's job to point out issues they found with the games, even if they aren't game breaking. If a critic never mentioned something like bad controls, or game-breaking Ui, and then you found the game plays like ass chances are you would never go back to that critic's reviews.

People tend to take reviews as Gospel, when in fact they are mere guidelines that tell you about one person's experience with the game. This person ideally shares similar taste in games as you, and has the added advantage of lots of gaming experience upon which to form a distinct opinion. If you don't agree with a reviewer's opinions, then maybe you need to find another reviewer, or simply trust that they did not have a good experience with the game.

I always suggest people read several different reviews on the same game before buying, because you never know what someone's tolerance may be.

CritialGaming:

Objectively The Last Guardian is a bad game. Simply based on mechanics, controls, and stubborn UI.

None of those are objective criteria. Those are all matters of taste, so your statement is objectively incorrect.

Bad UI is objective. Bad controls are Objective. Mechanics are objective. Bad AI is objective.

Being able to overlook them is personal tolerance, not taste.

There's a distinction between being tolerant of bad mechanics and the game being so good in other areas to make whatever isseus so comparatively small so as to be insignificant, hence, negligible.

If a game is so amazin, the number of flaws that one can point at are nothing but a testament to how good the good parts are since if they are able to pull up a game with all these issues into 10/10 material, they would have to be pretty damn godlike now wouldn't they.

CritialGaming:
Bad UI is objective. Bad controls are Objective. Mechanics are objective. Bad AI is objective.

Being able to overlook them is personal tolerance, not taste.

Considering the number of different types of UI I've seen, I can't really say any given UI is objectively bad. I mean, CoD's UI isn't going to be particularly effective in Dark Souls, and vice versa.

Bad controls work the same way. I mean, some people actively like the "people who walk like tanks" controls in Resident Evil, and actively disliked those getting changed. Same when MGS remasters added different gun aiming mechanics.

And speaking of mechanics, they're only objectively bad if they don't do what they say they will. Like, the Darkness/Blind condition flat out not working in FF6. Past that, who's to say regenerating health is objectivly better or worse than health packs?

Bad AI? What makes an AI objectively bad? Heck, you're using a subjective descriptor, that pretty much automatically means what you're describing is subjective rather than objective.

Because hype leads to stupidity. If you're willing to spend moolah on comprehensive advertisement, you're willing to target specific reviewers and sites to concentrate the noise. Bethesda ran comprehensive exposes, staff commentators on the upcoming product, and advertisement runs to release their dog shit masquerading as Fallout games. But IGN, 9.5/10....

Bethesda hasn't released a decent game since Morrowind. Even fans of the games edited content out because it was so awful, and the writing so woeful.

How much of a corporate shill do you have to be to say; "If you ignore the main quest, if you ignore the utter lack of meaningful dialogue, retarded morality systems. If you ignore the ridiculous Fallout collectibles in the waste because fanservice is the best they could do, and basically turn off the objective markers because all it does is remind you that you're not really blazing your own trail... you're a monkey and the designers have so little faith in you to figure things out for yourself through, gosh horror, *maybe more dialogue if they could bother spending money on VAs rather than publicity stunts* .... if you ignore all of that, you might enjoy the game..." and have that as your *defence* of the game?

W/e. Frankly if you ignore all the stuff that makes a hamburger you can totally pretend mayo and barbecue sauce between two untoasted buns is a meal that can be called a hamburger.

The real moral should be; "As soon as you ignore these things and that becomes acceptable, you realize it has been a problem of every Bethesda product for 16 years."

Fandom and hype make games shittier by far. 99% of the time you can blame it on the publisher and design staff. But it takes two to tango.

If No Man's Sky was sold as a fuck you large, ennui-inducing, existential jaunt of discovery and ultimately the player trying to craft their own meaning by discovering weird flora and fauna and amassing riches and other preoccupations, where by the vastness of space ultimately makes you meaningless and your sanity hinges in finding solely self-constructed virtues to hold on to what remains of your bulwark against inherent loneliness ... No Man's Sky would be fantastic. It delivered.... but the publishers and design staff then turned around and started making ridiculous claims.

The hype turned into a snake eating its own tail.

Addendum_Forthcoming:
Because hype leads to stupidity. If you're willing to spend moolah on comprehensive advertisement, you're willing to target specific reviewers and sites to concentrate the noise. Bethesda ran comprehensive exposes, staff commentators on the upcoming product, and advertisement runs to release their dog shit masquerading as Fallout games. But IGN, 9.5/10....

Bethesda hasn't released a decent game since Morrowind. Even fans of the games edited content out because it was so awful, and the writing so woeful.

How much of a corporate shill do you have to be to say; "If you ignore the main quest, if you ignore the utter lack of meaningful dialogue, retarded morality systems. If you ignore the ridiculous Fallout collectibles in the waste because fanservice is the best they could do, and basically turn off the objective markers because all it does is remind you that you're not really blazing your own trail... you're a monkey and the designers have so little faith in you to figure things out for yourself through, gosh horror, *maybe more dialogue if they could bother spending money on VAs rather than publicity stunts* .... if you ignore all of that, you might enjoy the game..." and have that as your *defence* of the game?

W/e. Frankly if you ignore all the stuff that makes a hamburger you can totally pretend mayo and barbecue sauce between two untoasted buns is a meal that can be called a hamburger.

The real moral should be; "As soon as you ignore these things and that becomes acceptable, you realize it has been a problem of every Bethesda product for 16 years."

Fandom and hype make games shittier by far. 99% of the time you can blame it on the publisher and design staff. But it takes two to tango.

If No Man's Sky was sold as a fuck you large, ennui-inducing, existential jaunt of discovery and ultimately the player trying to craft their own meaning by discovering weird flora and fauna and amassing riches and other preoccupations, where by the vastness of space ultimately makes you meaningless and your sanity hinges in finding solely self-constructed virtues to hold on to what remains of your bulwark against inherent loneliness ... No Man's Sky would be fantastic. It delivered.... but the publishers and design staff then turned around and started making ridiculous claims.

The hype turned into a snake eating its own tail.

This a guy who get its. Remember IGN's "Believe the hype" for Titanfall 1. That's a crock of shit most people fell for and ending up regretting later. I find it funny that people who fell for, and hyped it like it was going to revolutionize gaming ended up backpedaling or acting they never liked it begin with. Lot's of YouTube personality suffered from it; even Maximilian_Dood to an extent. Though at least he admitted how wrong he was, but it was pretty obvious he never kept on putting out Titanfall 1 footage after the first two months. The last time I bought in to hype was with Anarchy Reigns, after that never again. But even before than, I would always do my research first before usually jumping in to anything.

 

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