Guilditorial #2: Games aren't fun anymore

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by Guild McCommunist, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. Guild McCommunist
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    Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    Well, this has been a matter creeping up on me recently, and enough so to write an editorial on it. If there's one trend I notice in video games nowadays, especially you're "mainstream" and "hardcore" games, it's that they're just not fun any more.

    Y'know, video games are important to me. My friend criticizes me for my heavy playing of them, but really, it's just a means to cooling down and keeping yourself from getting swallowed in the monotony and stress of school and life. And I choose video games to do this because I like having fun, and I'm too much of a lazy fuck to go outside or something. Well, to the point, it seems like the games everyone is playing nowadays just aren't fun. They're addicting, yes, but just not fun.

    Case in point is Call of Duty. It's a good enough game. It was designed decently enough to push those millions of copies. It doesn't spawn popularity and the criticized fandom it has without just cause. But really, it's not fun. In the end, the game seems more focused on mindless stat crunching and worthless memorization of combos and maps and strategies than being able to just load up the game, hop on, and have a blast. And when people are online, there's more talking smack and shouting at each other than having a good laugh.

    With the whole stat crunching, I mean mindlessly playing to get prestige or whatever you crazy kids call it and playing game after game just to advance a rank. All the time you're getting pissy at teammates and still doing the same routine. Over and over again. It's why I hate ranked based games. I love being able to hop online and play a game without my skill level meaning anything. Yeah, I like being good at a game, but having fun in it is the foremost thing.

    And the "criticized fandom" I was talking about earlier spawns from this reason. They get essentially brainwashed into the game. It's like an addiction. They memorize the random jargon, phrases, terms, and whatever the fuck else they need to know to be successful at the game and then that's pretty much all they do. I don't think it's fun at all.

    Well, there are still fun games out there. Take Super Mario Galaxy for instance. It's not inherently hard but it can be challenging at times. It's spectacular, it's got a look of just plain hop-and-bop mechanics, and it's what I'd call fun. You don't need to be a balls to the wall gamer to play it, but you can still enjoy it either way. And then there's your more "mature" titles like Left 4 Dead. You can hop into the game and learn all you need to know easily. It isn't about practicing your precision shooting or crap like that, you just go in there and mow down zombies. There's no ranking system, no stat crunching, it's just lots of zombies and lots of damn fun shooting.

    As for the trend, I think it will continue. Why? Because it's a successful tactic. As I said before, while the games aren't exactly fun, they're addicting. By the time you get way too angry to keep playing the game, you realize hours have gone by and some time later want to play more. It happens for Call of Duty, it happens for Halo, it happens for most popular games that can fall into the category of "addictive" but not "fun". These games sell because people want more, and really it's hard to fuck it up provided you use the same guidelines for game after game.

    What I really want is throwbacks to the old days. Games like Perfect Dark which, while they required skill, were fun because it was a huge arsenal of outrageous weapons with no limits. You didn't have to worry about winning or losing or weapon balance. You just took a N-Bomb and blasted a guy into yesterday until you laughed your ass off.

    Really, I just realized I went off on an unorganized tangent, but it's what I feel. And I'm obviously not the organized type.

    Discuss!
     
  2. ojsinnerz.

    ojsinnerz. Damned

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    Should've bought a PS3 with Demon's Souls.


    Or just go and buy Blazblue.
     
  3. Arp1

    Arp1 GBAtemp Regular

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    GTA 4 online with friends, that game will give you a good laugh, it's just not hardcore [​IMG]
     
  4. Sterling

    Sterling GBAtemp's Silver Hero

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    Holy shit, you have just typed what I have been thinking for the last 3 months. I guess you could say I am "addicted" to COD, but after about an hour I do a COD rage (The more advanced nerd rage, similar to a Halo rage), and stop playing. I get so pissed, and I go and play the Wii. Honestly I find I am shit loads better with shooter on the Wii.
     
  5. _Chaz_

    _Chaz_ GBAtemp's Official Mook™

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    FPS's should be played on a PC. Better control over everything.
     
  6. Guild McCommunist
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    Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    Meh, I got a Xbox 360 with Perfect Dark XBLA so I'm set [​IMG]
     
  7. BORTZ

    BORTZ You get a hat, and YOU get a hat!

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    Ive come to the same realization Guildy.
    Over Christmas i had a 360 given to me with the rrod. I was so focused on fixing it that when i was done, i was kinda stumped as to what to do. I seriously sat and looked through a large portion of the best games for 360 and realized i dont wanna play anything offered for the 360. Which is very very unfortunate.

    Case and point. The best selling games are shooters, sports games, and RPGs.

    Shooters-i hate them. im god awful at them and i dont find them any fun at all. if i do play them, its with friends and i always try to find a melee weapon or a rocket launcher.
    ( and to make it worse, i hate Halo because thats all my friends ever want to play.)

    Sports- worst genre of games ever. just go outside.

    RPGs-Ok i like rpgs. but the ones for 360 are hardcore, like mass effect and oblivion are no fun to me at all. i like the simple fun ones on the DS and old school systems.
     
  8. Jaems

    Jaems GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I think it just depends who you are and what you like.

    Call of Duty is fun. There's an exhilarating feeling, like you're in the middle of a battlefield. Makes for good fun. Sounds like you're focusing on the multiplayer aspect, and it's true - some people just like to rack up their scores and achievements! But they find fun in it, so it's fine either way, right?

    It's like the days in the arcade when someone would spend hours trying to get the 1st place spot in Galaga, and I would never understand it because I would just like to play to shoot things. If I'd ever asked them, they probably would've told me that they enjoy the challenge.

    Throwing us back to the days of Perfect Dark wouldn't make it any better, imo. I did get bored of Perfect Dark at a time when I thought it would never happen (Goldeneye, too).

    POINT IS, EVERYTHING GETS BORING.
     
  9. zuron7

    zuron7 RBYG

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    GPS not available in this area
    That's because you've been pirating too much.
    I remember that you stated some Pirate Syndrome.Maybe that's why.


    But honestly there are quite a few good games out there.
    You've just been doing too many other things and need to go look at the good games released recently even though there are just a few.
     
  10. King Zargo

    King Zargo I'm a Star

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    Sounds like a excuse the weak use when they lose. Mastering a game inside-out and having challenging matches against other skilled players is more exciting.

    Winning does not come easy you will need to work hard to earn it. Having a challenging match is more satisfying than sitting down for a few laughs.
     
  11. Sterling

    Sterling GBAtemp's Silver Hero

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    The more irony I see. I could be the greatest player on my team in COD (say 20-1), and the rest of my team mates flop. People on the other team shit talk about how I am such a camper, while my other team members go an get themselves killed. TBH if COD had co-op like GOW2 (with intelligent, and adaptive AI while still making good use of classes), and PVP I would say COD would be one of the best games around. But sadly so far COD is a second rate PVP game (bullet lag, shit talking, inbalances, etc.).
     
  12. Edgedancer

    Edgedancer Director of Moon based operations

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    I agree with you Guild. I still enjoy playing titles like Call of Duty but I never realised that they are developed in a way that people are addicted to it.
    If you want a good old-school RPG for the 360, try playing Lost Odyssey. It is very similar to the original Final Fantasy's and such.
     
  13. UltraMagnus

    UltraMagnus hic sunt dracones

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    I often feel quite similarly, one of my friends keeps telling me how fun WoW is once you get to level 80, he doesn't seem to get that I think it is stupid that you have to work and grind at a game before it even becomes fun. That is just completely and utterly stupid.

    eve on-line was similar, I played it for a month and didn't even interact with a single person, just mine, shoot bots, mine, shoot bots....

    thank you to providing a perfect illustration of the OPs points.
     
  14. King Zargo

    King Zargo I'm a Star

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    I don't use excuses if I lose. If my opponent uses a cheap skill I will need to find out how to counter this. If the game is broken like SSBB's Meta Knight or Sonic & Sega's All-star Racing's Shadow I will stop playing the game and look for something better. But if there is a counter I will learn how to execute it.

    If a player doesn't want to learn additional skills and starts blaming the cheap tricks he is a whiner. Suck it up and learn the maps/skills/jargon or play something else but don't start cursing in the mic.

    Having said that playing games that involve stat crunching or rank are not much fun. Because they force people to play very defensive, sticking to the stuff that works and not trying anything new in fear of decreasing stats.
     
  15. Sterling

    Sterling GBAtemp's Silver Hero

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    Well for one I started playing COD because my friends got into it. I myself do very good in my own right, but I was never a competitive player. If every game that had well implemented multi-player with PVP and co-op (such as GOW2) I would be a much happier person. TBH WaW, and MW would have been great if they were like MW2, because they mostly had no bullet lag. I really don't think I will get another COD unless they improve it, and not half ass it.

    (Spec ops doesn't count. [​IMG] )
     
  16. I2aven's_Sag

    I2aven's_Sag GBATemp Otaku

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    To be honest, when you play too much of ANY game, it becomes less fun. That and gaming overall tends to become less fun. We're so quick to internalize things (typing lol and laughing in your head) that we sometimes forget what fun "is". After a certain point, I agree with you, we learn the "mainstream", majority view and forget how to have fun.

    There haven't been very many intuitive and innovative games out in the last couple years that I really felt were fun. I even feel this way about Starcraft II. Perhaps when the UMS games come out I'll be able to have some fun. I totally hear what your talking about Guild.

    This topic is also one of the reasons why I have NES and SNES emulators on my PSP, they help re-live some of the simpler memories and cult classic games that I need to get around to playing...like Earth Bound and Star Ocean. They're also the reason I have Project64/Ocarina of time and PCSX2/FF-X. These games have moments that make you "tingle", want to perfect something, get something just right.

    Games where you can enjoy a unique experience, not the Call of Duty / Assembly Line community.
     
  17. Guild McCommunist
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    Guild McCommunist (not on boat)

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    The thing is that people engineer these games to require way too much time to be worth the coinage you spent on it. And by the time you stop having fun in it, you're still addicted, and surprise surprise, the next iteration is out. You gobble up the next title for $60 and repeat the same thing next year.
     
  18. Sterling

    Sterling GBAtemp's Silver Hero

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    LOL, so true. [​IMG]
     
  19. Jaems

    Jaems GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    They actually engineer the games so that they are fun.
    Which, in turn, makes them addictive.
    This also means the game has high replay value.

    If people keep coming back to a game, it's probably because they're having fun with it.
    You usually hear someone say they're addicted to a game and "not having fun," when the game is competitive, and they've been on a losing streak.
    Or when the game is an MMORPG that has turned more into work than a game (although most WoW players I've met say they enjoy 'working aspect' of MMOs).

    Again, I think it depends on your taste.
    Personally, sometimes I play Counter-Strike online and have a blast. Sometimes I play and I'm bored.
    It's great fun on LAN or with friends, I wouldn't say Valve engineered the game "to require way too much time to be worth the coinage you spent on it."

    And for the record, Call of Duty 1's campaign remains as one of my most memorable, thrilling and fun gaming experiences.
     
  20. I2aven's_Sag

    I2aven's_Sag GBATemp Otaku

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    Addictions are not necessarily fun. I need to point this out. There IS a gray area that some people are overlooking. Gaming addiction, moreover, the COD craze that has people like my little brother wrapped up with, falls more under, definition #2. Though like the previous poster pointed out, these games can be fun when there is more persona involvement (ie LAN) where there is an actual real-world connection towards the people your playing against. The fact remains, as Guild pointed out, that if these games were really as fun as some people claimed them to be they wouldn't move on to the next one in the series? To be honest, they haven't really changed the premise of the Call of Duty series (to my knowledge) enough that each game, is really, essentially a different game. They might differ in small ways, but there really isn't anything that goes against the "successful tried-true formulaic game".

    To be honest, there really isn't a lot of diversity in the gaming arena these days. Off the top of my head, the only game that I can think of that offers a unique/creative "fun" > different experience than other games are "Spore", "Okami" and various other games[note: casual gamer]. Personally, I think a lot of these big-name company's are responsible for killing the creative aspect that made gaming fun in ages past. In essence, an addiction, really seems to be a learned habit, that is, spending your time; getting as best at something as you can, then playing it [24/7] Honestly though, do you buy Call of Duty for the Campaign? or the Multi-player? Regardless of how good the campaign is or may be, I'm guessing 70% of your time will be spent on the multi-player.

    Addiction:
    (1) A physical or psychological need for a habit-forming substance, such as a drug or alcohol. In physical addiction, the body adapts to the substance being used and gradually requires increased amounts to reproduce the effects originally produced by smaller doses. See more at withdrawal.
    (2) A habitual or compulsive involvement in an activity, such as gambling.

    Fun:
    1. A source of enjoyment, amusement, or pleasure.
    2. Enjoyment; amusement: have fun at the beach.
    3.Playful, often noisy, activity.

    After the first month of playing an FPS game, I think there is far less [1]/[2] and far more < [3], but even at that, this gaming fad doesn't really seem to have anything 'playful' about it. For example, my brother, after dinner (which he missed frequently in the past) and I, "going to shoot some more people" I ask, "Yup," he responds. There's a desensitizing aspect of games these days, both good and bad, that tends to limit people from considering options other than the next COD / FPS game, psychologically, people like to choose something that they're comfortable with, and in that learned experience further limits their conscious/subconscious decisions to play other types of games. It's actually a bit ironic, how the "next games" as guild pointed out are actually cheaper to make than something that would take the series in a newer, fresher direction.

    (ie) Zelda: Ocarina of Time versus Call of Duty: Black Ops (or whatever it is).
    (ie) Planescape Torment versus Modern Warefare 2.
    (Just examples off the top of my head)
    (ie) Earthbound versus Counter Strike

    Just some rambling thoughts of my own ;D