This was once a SW thread of mine, decided to post it as a blog as well after the fact. I changed the name since I guess I used the term "paradox" wrong. Damn you English teachers!
Do multiplatform games matter or do they not matter?
This is something in which tends to boggle the mind a bit. It wouldn't be inaccurate to move that most SystemWars Warriors tend to hold true to their hearts the high quality exclusives and show them off to the other respective systems. Brag, and declare ownage when an exclusive they really were looking forward to excels. Exclusives are the main focal point of SystemWars; it keeps the gears turning, and the SystemWars Machine in constant motion. I, for one, enjoy having discussions revolving only around exclusives though I do firmly believe that multiplatform games are now -- in this current generation -- the best games to get.
Now, we always see game lineup comparisons come into the scope of many folks. We enjoy comparing our preferred systems, and laughing or criticizing the other opponent's list. We hear the obvious in regards to the Xbox 360, or some instances for the PS3, list that: "game X is multiplatform." There the list gets largely attacked for being supposedly inaccurate. I don't inherently see anything wrong with doing that, it's the next step that I see which invalidates any complaints that I saw before. Enter the Wii or PC into the argument. Lemmings and cows alike scramble (sometimes together) in order to combat the beast that is the Wii. It's exclusive library towers over the PS3 and Xbox 360, thus the only way to defeat its towering library, multiplatform games get brought up in an exclusive discussion.
Say hello to Mr. Hypocrisy, folks.
Do AAEs really matter or do they not matter?
This question has been the most entertaining for me to see, and it's been a bit shifty most of the years that it's hard to nail a starting point when this started becoming an issue. We knew AAEs were high quality games since the early days of SystemWars. But we never had an established tradition which set the standard for when enough made it enough to declare that X-amount of AAEs overtake Y amount of AAAEs. Or in regards to how much worth an AAAAE has over other games. The subjectivity of all this makes this an inherently-unclear problem that may never be solved.
Last year is a perfect example of this, if you look at the SystemWars Awards in 2009, the system which was declared the System of the Year was the PS3. Ironically, you could count the high quality exclusives on the PS3 during that entire year span on one friggin' hand. Now for an entire year, that's an exceedingly dismal number in regards to high quality exclusivity; especially of sorts when you look at the Wii and PC. It would be unfair to label down just what caused members to vote in that direction; fanboyism, sheer amount of enjoyment, and/or using objective reasoning -- your guess is as good as mine. But the main point remains is that the PS3 lacked in the exclusive department, yet still came out on top. Again, what variables could have dictated that response when other systems swept it off the floor?
It's obvious that AAAEs play the main focal roll in discussions, but the question I move forward is why? Is there a huge difference from an 8.5 and a 9.0? If your system of choice gets a couple of AAAEs, does that really make it better than a system without any, yet has multiple AAEs?
To cherry pick, or not to cherry pick.
One of the slightly more discussed topics in SystemWars revolves around system-combinations. You know what I'm talking: "the best system combo." I bring up cherry picking because this is exactly what you'll see, there's never an established set standard on how to pick a system combo. Because, well, that would be silly. But! You don't really hear much logic behind folks choosing the combinations, and at the worst of things when you do see it, they present flat out hyperbole. But the question I present is why would they do that? Is it fanboyism, indifference to facts, or just misconceptions based on myths?
If you want access to the highest amount of quality games: the fact remains that the Xbox 360 and PC combination has the highest amount of quality titles. You can check the GS spreadsheet and verify that. If you further add in the XBLA, the margin gets larger by leaps and bounds. If you just want exclusive games, then you're obvious pick would be the Wii since it offers the most quality exclusives by far out of the consoles, and the PC. This is all founded in objective-readily-verifiable evidence.
System combinations isn't the only area in which cherry picking occurs. We see this all the time in regards to posting review scores, or cumulative averages. We grab the highest scores, and we showcase them yet rarely showcase the lower scores and sometimes dismiss lower scores outright if they don't agree with what we want. Furthermore, if one presents an argument in comparing systems libraries, and that person sets an imaginary boundary to where he or she think the drop-off should be -- that's another example of cherry picking.
Or how about the good ol' fashioned screenshot fest. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about. You want a bash a game, so you go out of your way to find the worst possible screenshot and post it. Failing to recognize most of the time that when you take one frame out of 30 frames, or 60 frames, while in motion, it's hard to get a high quality image out of that. Again, we see this all the friggin' time. And it's not just the worst screenshots, posting bullshots is another form of cherry-picking. Both these ways are deceptive, though they can be fairly easy to spot. I merely just don't understand the reasoning behind using them. It's one thing to try to dismiss claims of graphical superiority, but to do that by using dishonest means is quite unfortunate.
To look forward, or not to look forward.
This one perplexes me to no end. I hear comments all the time about the future of a system's library, yet never recognizing that it does, indeed, have a past. I can understand why you don't want another system, but to dismiss it purely because of the future? I don't know if you know this folks, but a system's games don't exactly disappear after a set time. They're always there. For example, if you won't buy the Xbox 360 merely because the future doesn't look bright, then you're making a fool out of yourself. There's a plethora of other reasons not to buy the Xbox 360, but dismissing it because of the unknown is so backwards thinking that it not only gives me a headache, but also kills a kitten every time. Yep, it does. Think of the poor kitties!
To compare, or not to compare.
In order for game X to be better than game Y, it must outscore it. Who in their right mind thought of this logic -- that ship is so full of holes that it would sink faster than a Titantic in an ocean full of mines and icebergs! We see this most common in regards to shooters or racing games. Namely, the most recent suspect is the god awful amount of GT5 and FM3 threads. We get it. FM3 scored a 9.5, and you think that in order for GT5 to be better, it has to score a 10. That's just so false that it gives me a headache. Why can't we compare the substance of the games themselves, and not focus at the scores? This may be shocking, but even if GT5 gets a 9.5 or even *gasp* a 9.0, it could very much be superior to FM3. It all comes down to substance, and styIe.
I'm sure arguments can be made in either or case, but leave the scores behind the score and compare games on an individual scale to what really matters: substance. I can understand comparing systems and using scores as a summary to compare, that holds standing but on an individual level -- it's just not even logical, nor reasonable in any regard for that matter. We all have to take into account standards, and the evolutionary shift of them as higher quality games comes out, and as time progresses. A solid 9.0 from last year could very well get a 8.0 or 8.5 this year depending on how far the genre progresses.
To be bothered by marginal difference, or not to be bothered.
This issue arises purely from multiplatform games, and it's another one that happens to spawn and be respawned time and time again. We have countless threads and countless posts arises from multiplatform game differences, and the vast majority of the time, those differences are negligible. For example, take Black Ops for the PS3 and Xbox 360. The differences between them are a few FPS, screentearing, and exceedingly minor contrast/color differences. I doubt anyone could have possibly been able to spot these differences out without external 3rd party technical equipment. Why do we pride ourselves at being so friggin' nitpicky?
I get it. You want the best version, and that's perfectly honest and acceptable for you to do that -- but to point out something small, and then make a large deal about it? Now, you're going into the jerk territory. Painting a bad image on gamers. There's something inherently wrong with that. There's a line, and I can see when performance becomes an issue and it must be brought forward for discussion or glaring obvious graphical differences. But when the difference is entirely negligible? What is the point? Why even bring it up? It's like gaming is taking a back seat in SystemWars to fanboy wars. When is enough, enough?
If folks want to buy the "inferior" version on their respective system of choice, why shouldn't they? It may be foolish depending on the differences, but then again, there's not just one absolute factor in determing which system to buy for.
That should cover some of them.
Let me know what you think