Monday, June 20, 2016

On my unfair expectations - Podcast

We were tired. The energy level is low.

Chamberlain and Chance - Recovery Mode
That was my third try at the intro. But the content is still good, right?!

...

I need to defend my unfair standards of game critiquing.

When a game is good, like really good, it pays to spend more time on the little things that it got wrong, the tiny things that, if fixed, would have moved it from really good to perfect. It has all of the basics, the things that we as people who play games simply expect to be there, covered, so we can collectively up the complexity, depth and perhaps bitchiness of our complaints.

I pick nits because I love. For example, Alien Isolation is a modern classic, but let's start with the basics. Does it feel good to move around in its environments? Do said environments assist in telling the story? When combat does happen, it is responsive? Since it is a stealth based game, does it follow it own rules, does hiding make sense?

All that checked off? Good, it is now at least an average game and we can pick harder. How is the writing, does it sound natural or was it recorded by the janitor in his lonely, lonely closet? I see there is crafting, does it make sense in the world or is it tacked on to fill time? It is an existing property, does it do its source material justice?

All yesses again? This is a damn fine game so bring out the finest toothed comb.

Ends on a quick time event? Fuck this game and the horse it rode in on. Not really, but it made it past all of the rudimentary hurdles and much more difficult obstacles that trip up so many lesser games. Does that mean I should not call it out on its one failing? Does that not mean I should call it out harder?

Games like Homefront: The Revolution get points for making it out of the door in the morning with pants and socks on. The socks don't even need to be matching, at least it is dressed. Games like Alien Isolation are so fucking dapper that when the pocket handkerchief is slightly askew you just have to let them know. Not out of hate, though I know I sound that way, but out of respect for what they have accomplished and desire for a game to manage what so few have, honest perfection.

We are all looking for our next Super Mario Brothers 3. It may never happen but we have to keep looking.

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