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#1 Edited by platinumking320 (668 posts) -

As we know Big budget games much like blockbuster summer entertainment have experimented with 'gritty realism' to varying degrees of success and failure. Whod've thunk some of us "loyal" fans of comic book heroes, popular japanese and western action game franchises would've all grown up, read a few books, had some life experiences, and learned to spot what are now called 'shallow attempts at gritty realism' faster than a 'what's wrong with this picture' puzzle game.

Now there are definitely other issues contributing to what we call a 8 year decline in quality, such as lack of pacing, popular game and game-mechanic cloning, casualization of hardcore titles, and the rise of badly done F2P

But I've been thinking about that whole ludonarrative dissonance shit people were rambling about, where bad game stories come out of that have jack all to do with the gameplay. From you tube critique, even from entire self-aware lamenting games (Stanley Parable, Spec Ops) and forum complaints we've heard.

How are we supposed to reconcile with a mass murdering protagonist?

What is this place and what are those people wearing? Japan is weird.

'Campy' and 'Serious' can't co-exist in the same fictional entertainment. Pick a street and stay on it devs or else.

That third one's been bugging me, because I've seen it done successfully in the 5th and 6th console and PC gen games, multiple times. People used to structure game mechanics and limits based on whatever happened in game stories, whereas now it's shock and awe popcorn without context or buildup, and now people complain about them not being deep enough in appearance or gameplay.

And I've been thinking **** that! ( ok not really but) how come not enough game stories adjust based on the rules of the game. and I'm not talking Bioware-style choice wheels, and QTE, or cutscenes that feature the weapons you were recently using, or even self-analysis games like Spec Ops. What I'm saying is...

Wouldn't you like to really find out, what it's like to be a human, in a world that deals with GAMEY rules?

For Ex: You can still have all the perks of instant healthkits, it just demands some explanation right?

Like What chemicals go into that shit that'll fix your bones or stop the bleeding? Are there hallucinatory or temp handicap effects from overusage?

Or even a phoenix down. What junk science goes into that?

Or what crazy world phenomena causes you to go into bullet time in a shooter or jump higher and maintain superhero levels of stability and to varying degrees how much of the population has it?

What about these big ass RPG worlds, where towns and cities are civil but the open world is littered with nasty random encounters. What type of money and resources or weapons does it take to quarantine all that bad shit out. Would you live in a world like that? How would it affect you or a real game character?

What sort of social politics exist, and different self-image in this fantasy world that are different, and apparently less repressed than we are in the real world?

All of these are questions that games would embrace instead of just stick in and not explain. Only indie titles have really tried to tackle or answer, but in subversive and sometimes 'academic' ways. I don't see enough that embrace the UN-reality of games, and make those kooky worlds familiar and adaptable. We've had sci-fi, urban fantasy and cyberpunk flicks like the Matrix, Ghost in the Shell actually answer this question.

Its just weird that games treat GAMEY mechanics as the vehicle for the story and not as important story foundations in their own right.

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#2 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

I agree with everything you said. Except I don't blame developers or publishers.

I blame the consumers themselves.

Oh and heres a cool factoid, Vanquish, the game with bad characters bad plot and just plain bad acting had a much better context for bullet time and regenerative than Max Payne did. :) cool huh ?

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#4 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (19564 posts) -

Theres something else you can check out too.

The reasons for why people play video game these days has undergone a minor alteration. Gamers these days no longer play games just for fun..... They expect something in return. Its not enough that they just had blast in Super Mario but they also want to be rewarded for it too.

Rewards could be anything from Story to Achievements. And theres nothing wrong with that... Once the gameplay mechanics have been perfected to delivered maximum entertainment value then theres absolutely nothing wrong adding the rewards like scoring systems, leveling up, story and lore, collectables, achievements, and other such things. Those are nice so long as they are used as bonuses and no more.

But gamers don't appreciate the hardwork that goes into making gameplay fun and are more interested in the rewards. So developers have adjusted accordingly, now you get games that do the absolute bare minimum in the gameplay department and compensate by using rewards as the main reason for playing games. MMOs, RPGs, Tacked on Multiplayer shooters and Uncharted are perfect examples of this Phenomonon.

And guess what..... I hate it !

I didn't need a freaking story or achievement to stomp on goombas.... I did it because it was just plain fun and also because I'm a sadist who takes pleasure in crushing innocent creatures, and be honest... Theres a alil sadist inside some of you too, embrace it ! I didn't take down Bowser because he stole the princess.... I did it because it was awesome. Saving Peach or Pauline or whatever her name was is just a coincidental Bonus.

But in the end, all people want is a game about a city in the sky and a space-time traveling girl. No matter how frustrating the gameplay was.

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#5 Posted by Pffrbt (6612 posts) -

Deadly Premonition, Resident Evil 4, and anything by PlatinumGames are some of the only games I can think of that fully embrace campiness. I really wish more games would.