Contentious Videogame Opinions



  • I'm sure some of us have very contentious opinions about certain games that are generally disagreed on by the wider videogame community. I'd like to know what contentious opinions you guys have on videogames. Here's a list of some of my own contentious opinions:

    • Personally I can't seem to find the appeal of Breath of the Wild-mainly because the durability systems get in the way too often for my liking.
    • I don't see why Sekiro Game of the Year material despite having enjoyed what I've experienced of the game.
      -Control might be another one that throws me a bit-but that's more to do with the protagonist and her pretty dull personality.
      -I think Kratos from 2018 God of War is boring.
      -I believe The Evil Within reminds me more of better horror games than anything else (yes I am killing Huber's baby).
      -Resident Evil 3 (remake) is a haphazard palette swap of the Resident Evil 2 (remake).


  • Somebody else did a thread like this a while back but I'll gladly bite again.

    Breath of the Wild is a fun game with some infuriating design choices.

    1. Durability - everything breaks way too easily. Combat is fun right up until the weapon you like breaks and you have to beat a mob with some garbage. And if you say it's realism, it's not realism if I can carry 50 weapons. Also, shield surfing is a really fun new idea that breaks shields. Also, I don't care to go off the beaten path because all I will ever find besides temples, is weapons that will break. A puzzle could take 20 minutes and give me a weapon that lasts 10. By the fifth or sixth time doing this, I was no longer interested in exploring.
    2. Climbing + rain. Again, you might say it's realistic but it's also not fun.
      I know there are more but I haven't played it since launch. These two stick out the most.


  • I don't think any of my points of view are contentious because I've said them to numerous people and nobody has outright been blown away or shocked by my opinions, but I do have a few outside of what most people will agree with.

    Not to completely dog pile but I agree with everything @JDINCINERATOR and @E_Zed_Eh_Intern say about Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

    • The game feels like an MGS V clone. A very empty world, with a bunch of enemy camps spread throughout, and a few well executed systems that get exhausted because of a gameplay loop meant to pad the length.
    • The gameplay loop is "disguised" but it is just as much of an open world game as any other generic open world game of the generation. Explore, fight a mob, weapon breaks, find a new weapon, do a shrine, rinse and repeat.
    • The audio SFX are bland, the limited music is bland, the environment is pretty ugly and, again, bland: grass, sand, lava... exciting...
    • The amount of time you spend in the menu is a deal breaker. I need to farm food / items or healing for survival then pause every 2 seconds to eat them. Sifting through a poorly optimized menu to even find some of the items is so counter-intuitive. For a game so open minded about being free and exploring at your own pace, the menu management is shockingly cumbersome and stalls the entire flow of the game.

    It's crazy cause the game was sooooo fun for 4-5 hours. Then the loop started to become more transparent. Then I got tired of fighting mobs of enemies. Then I got tired of shrines. I feel like I was grinding my climb stamina by doing shrines when that is basically the progression of the game itself - doing endless shrines.



  • The Uncharted games (at least 1, 2, 3) are poorly designed games, with terrible stories, unlikeable main character and have been a driving force in making the higher profile games in the industry less interesting and in general making games take a step back on relation to being able to tell good stories as it's own medium.

    Ni No Kuni is one of the worst JRPGs I've ever played, and it drove me mad seeing how something I looked forward to so much ended up being so incredibly mediocre.



  • 1:
    I've never played a game with a "quest system" that I felt couldn't be improved by removing it entirely (or better yet: taking 10% of the quests and including them organically). This includes conventional RPGs/JRPGs, metroidvanias, and not just the open world genre. I'm referring to quest systems which are any conspicuous systems that are elevated to a constant part of the game (and not, say, a quest you do at that particular town or at that particular moment in the plot) and which present quests in a more predictable/more templated way than normal goals and gameplay.

    2:
    Dislike: Having character cutouts displayed above/inside dialogue boxes, or even overlaying a lightly animated 3D model during dialogue scenes (i.e., for games where such scenes don't have close camera work and motion capture like a AAA game). I dislike this and I think it is actually a step backwards from what came before. I feel it will occasionally be a confusing source of player attention, since the actual game screen is no longer the sole focus. It's a step backwards because it seems to have fully replaced having a diverse set of animations and expressions. It'd contend that 16 bit RPGs and a certain style of PS1 RPGs with highly detailed spritework still use more character animation and character posing than a staggering amount of comparable games that followed.



  • @chocobop I'm pretty sure it's me but I don't understand your second point. Can you give a few examples?



  • @chocobop said in Contentious Videogame Opinions:

    2:
    It's a step backwards because it seems to have fully replaced having a diverse set of animations and expressions. It'd contend that 16 bit RPGs and some PS1 RPGs with highly detailed spritework still use more character animation and character posing than a staggering amount of comparable games that followed.

    I don't want to project my own opinions onto your point here if this isn't actually what you're referring to, but do you mean how in 3D games, especially JRPG games, they use this sort of pantomime animation in the background while the 2D depiction of the character in the text box is actually more expressive than the 3D model?

    If so, I also HATE this. It blows my mind how lazy some animation is in JRPG games. The sort of poses I see where the model stands in their default pose, the they just have them gesture their arm to the side like that is some sort of compelling acting in any way whatsoever.

    Fun fact - at my studio we usually hire candidates by having them do animation tests. We will very likely not hire somebody if they use hand gestures / pantomime to act the character out. It's just lazy, universal acting that can apply to any character and isn't unique to the way somebody is written in the script or voice acted.

    I love Persona 4 but there was a disgusting amount of lazy animation in the talking scenes. Arm flipping gesture, arms raised when mad. I actually like how they convey the character expression through the 2D head, but I really don't like the acting on the 3D models.

    See the pantomime example below when Youske says "Huh? N-No, I didn't mean --!" in which Kanji immediately follows up with more lazy arm gestures. This stuff is outright BAD to me.

    Youtube Video – [04:57..]



  • @e_zed_eh_intern
    Here are some examples I could come up with quickly: https://imgur.com/a/z3EhPEv



  • @dipset I don't personally mind this, but I can see your point on the matter and why it may be seen as low effort.

    And not to excuse this as I think it is a valid criticism, but I do believe this often comes as a measure to provide clarity to the scenarios and not inflate costs, since as far as I know animations can be one of the most labor intensive and expensive parts of game development and in JRPGs in particular I can see that as being a cost they are not willing to take given the generally don't have huge teams and they are aimed at a niche audience, certainly was the case with Atlus on the PS2 days, and still today to a lesser extent.



  • Resident Evil 4 is a bad game. All it has going for it is the third-person combat, which is just awful by today's standards. The story is nonsensical, the escort parts suck and it helped popularize QTEs, which suck big time. I'll admit it was revolutionary for the time, but that doesn't make it good.



  • @bard91

    Totally and that's why I really don't harp on it too much. P4: G and P5 are two of my favourite games ever, so I don't use the generic animation as a major knock against them.

    On the other hand, we're in a world where Yakuza games exist as quasi-niche titles and Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio manage to add some more expressive acting and poses across the side missions with a more budgetary attention to detail in the main story stuff. Even if they have basic posing / acting, they have recently been adding more interesting camera blocking and such. We're not talking The Witcher 3 side mission levels of blocking, but its still decent enough.

    So I just think more games should try harder in this regard. Obviously, this is based on the size, scale, and budget of the production.



  • @chocobop Ah yeah, ok. And then they only have like 3 different expressions for each character that they switch between in a single frame.



  • Most games are good.



  • @dipset (Didn't see your post when I replied initially). The pantomime'ing is related and almost inseparable, although technically I was referring to the character "cutouts". These cutouts appear as overlays on the screen, and don't exist in any perceivable space even though the regular game screen and its perceivable space is still visible in the center of the screen (it is the latter place would typically have pantomime'ing, although games with an even less detailed art style wouldn't of course).

    I'm not a fan of pantomime'ing for the same reason: it has replaced more expressive animation and scripting the character sprites to move around dynamically (think FF6, Super Mario RPG, Chrono Trigger). But pantomimes alone (with no cutouts) don't split your attention at least. Usually they aren't rise-able to me even though they are obviously a knock against the quality. I think the main culprit behind pantomime'ing is voice acting (when the amount of production values can't reach something more like a voice acted cutscene), although since you are professionally involved with stuff like this you'd probably understand what is going on more.



  • @chocobop

    I think you kinda hit the nail on the head with this statement here:

    @chocobop said in Contentious Videogame Opinions:

    I think the main culprit behind pantomime'ing is voice acting (when the amount of production values can't reach something more like a voice acted cutscene)

    Something just lost me when I played FFX for the first time. I don't know how to describe it but I always just blamed the VO. I think VO had become a band aid solution for studios to say "see, we have high production values too," but so much of the creative and artistic expression got lost in the pursuit for higher fidelity models and real VO.

    I played FF6 for the first time about 2 years ago and I was pretty blown away by the aesthetics, the way the story unfolds with a locked overhead camera, and how charming everything and everyone feels when they move around the set/background.

    Sometimes I almost think to myself that if a studio can't pull of voice acting, scene blocking, and animation to the extent that, say, TW3, TLOU2, GOW2018, Yakuza 6, and other games like those, then don't do VO in your RPG. However, I don't even know if I fully agree with myself on that statement so don't hold me to it.



  • @dipset

    Sometimes I almost think to myself that if a studio can't pull of voice acting, scene blocking, and animation to the extent that, say, TW3, TLOU2, GOW2018, Yakuza 6, and other games like those, then don't do VO in your RPG. However, I don't even know if I fully agree with myself on that statement so don't hold me to it.

    Yep, I think that way too. There are obvious counter-examples though that I can self-undermine this assertion with, i.e. examples where I've really enjoyed voice acting with little to no associated animation:

    • when the VO is coming into your character's ear like a walkie-talkie during normal gameplay (near ubiquitous in first person games nowadays)
    • codec scenes like from Metal Gear Solid and RE4
    • narration over a cinematic (often the opening cutscene of games)

    Games like Star Fox and the flying sections of Kid Icarus: Uprising have both memorable and very frequent voice acting and it wouldn't make sense to add 3D modeled animation during on-rails gameplay even if they wanted it.

    Another thought is that somehow Dark Souls pulls off VO very well without having almost any character movement during those interactions. I think it's because those games don't use dialogue very much to begin with, and it's basically just one person talking about something that is usually very disjointed from what the player has been doing recently. This lets the player settle into thinking "well, I guess the whole game world is just mysterious and lonely, and there isn't normalcy like the real world". The other JRPG examples we've been referring to use dialogue very frequently, and want to have much more normal interactions where characters are emoting back and forth and speaking about recent plot events.



  • @phbz Beat me to it.



  • @chocobop

    Touche. You pretty much just proved me wrong there because I can safely say that I adore the acting is the Souls series despite absolute no animation on the in-game characters at all.



  • I made a thread for this exact purpose a while ago
    https://forums.easyallies.com/topic/4886/hard-axis-hate-and-contempt

    The Black Ops games are by far the worst Call of Duties.
    The multiplayer level design is atrociously bad and the singleplayer of the first game is insultingly bad. The only redeeming quality of any Treyarch made CoD is zombies, and even that is played out now.



  • Most games some of us think of as the GOAT are actually 7s with fanatical niche audiences and heavy doses of nostalgic feelings attached to them.