What Is the Most Important Part of A Game To You?
BTW, GameSpot really needs to make more poll options than just 5.
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Everything goes hand in hand, it's all equally important.
Everything has to be good and evened out, except in the case of story, it can be paper thin like in Mario. But even then that paper thin layer has to be handled well, and if there is a story it can't be bad, or at least it can't take itself seriously.
I don't really like questions like these because games are complex and they need a good mix of many different elements to really "work".
It also greatly varies by genre. I don't give a f*ck about the story in a fighting game but in a JRPG it's a pretty important element of the game.
In this order..
Controls/Combat > Level Design > Music > Framerate > Graphics > Story
If my movement in a game doesn't feel good within the realm of the game then I probably won't enjoy it. For example, if Megaman X moved like Simon Belmont in his respective game, MMX would be a sh!t game, and likewise, if Simon moved like X the game would feel far too easy and negate a lot of the great level design.
If I'm going to be playing your game for a long time, it better have some good tunes to listen to. Nothing irritates me more then hearing sh!t music while trying to enjoy my game.
I really ran out of things to put in the list, so framerate. I enjoy fast and or precise gameplay the most, and I can't do that if the game plays like a slideshow.
The rest I don't give two damns about.
Level design and control make up core gameplay so I am going to go w/ a mix of those two (picked level design in the poll). Next most important is probably music and then artstyle, which create most of the atmosphere or any kind of feel that goes beyond gameplay. After that, I guess story is next most important but all this changes depending on genre. If I am picking up a visual novel type game, it's all about music and story and controlls are secondary, for example.
Gameplay in general means more than anything else to me. If a game looks terrible, but controls great, I'll enjoy it. If a game looks amazing, but controls like garbage, I'm not going to be picking up the controller again.
Controls always mean the most to me. I can play a terrible-looking game as long as the controls are smooth and responsive, while giving me a wide variety of actions to perform or ways to conquer an obstacle. Level-Design is second on the list. If the levels are designed well, it only serves to compliment a great control scheme. What's the point of great jumping controls if the level is composed of a flat area and platforms you aren't required to use? I always bunched controls and level-design into the "gameplay" category, so those 2 are, above all else, the most important aspect of a game.
Graphics, Story, Sound, etc., they are all important, but just generally less-important than the gameplay. I'm sure we all have a game in our favorites list that we always find ourselves playing or wanting to play, but looks terrible, or has a bad story, or really bland music. These are features that only serve to make a good game great. Gameplay forms the foundation of any good game, and the aesthetic features serve to bolster the game in your mind. A truly great game does well in all categories.
mp? controls(no input lag), lots of hp, lots of different playstyles, mouse aiming heavy, community(lots of bossy people is always a plus), absolute clear visibility(r_picmip style stuff), that would all fall into gameplay but all mp games fall into that
On reflection it largely depends on the individual genre.
Sound, level design and graphics for example for a survival horror game, and story, characters, world design, presentation and art style for an RPG or Strategy RPG. Gameplay in general is probably important for all games, since you need to actually enjoy them and keep going back for more.
My answer applies more towards newer games. With that, the atmosphere is so important to me now. I really like to be immersed in the games, and a great atmosphere really allows that to happen. Of course the story is an important aspect as well, but I love getting lost in a great setting!
Use your keyboard!
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