Gameplay, Graphics, Story... All Equally Important in the Making of a Great Game

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Rikusaki

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#1 Rikusaki
Member since 2006 • 16474 Posts

In System Wars, I always hear people stating that gameplay is more important than everything else that makes up a video game.

Why?

Video games are works of art. All aspects should be great in a great game.

If Uncharted 2 had horrible visuals, then the game's overall quality would not be the same, but that doesn't mean the gameplay was by any means bad.

If one aspect of a game is sub-par, the rest of the game goes with it. Gran Turismo 5 is a prime example of that.

But...

The overall design of a game can easily render the graphics and/or story useless. I believe this is where the argument originated from. Many Nintendo games are designed so well, they don't need graphics or a story in order to be great. Keep in mind that it's not JUST the gameplay that makes these games good. It's the overall design.

Great gameplay alone makes a shallow game. You need a good design to make it into something more.

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FatCatPatRat

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#2 FatCatPatRat
Member since 2010 • 550 Posts

No, gameplay really is the most important aspect. Mario says hello.

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Solid_Link22

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#3 Solid_Link22
Member since 2006 • 5698 Posts

I agree with this.

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lundy86_4

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#4 lundy86_4
Member since 2003 • 54670 Posts

Wait a sec... Who are you, and what have you done with Rikusaki?

Also, I agree. Though to a lesser extent with graphics. Whilst they are a nice thing to have, I don't find them to be essential (purely from a technical aspect).

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Luxen90

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#5 Luxen90
Member since 2006 • 7427 Posts

Depends on the genre/game for me personally.

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Jynxzor

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#6 Jynxzor
Member since 2003 • 9313 Posts
Where does OnLive fit in this whole picture...or are you...not praising it in a thread!? "Feels the ground" no not that cold yet. Personally it's a balance of all 3 aspects but some can tip higher on the scale than others, you can never focus too much on graphics because if you deliver a great looking game but lack story or gameplay you are shooting yourself in the foot. But as for gameplay you can tip that pretty far in priority and have a "so so" looking game and still be a huge hit. Story can drive alot as well, alot of RPG don't even play that well but we buy them for the great stories they tell. Look at games like Persona, Mario, Zelda, Disgea and many others, they don't focus on graphics as much as they do either gameplay or story and still are remarked as great games in respect.
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GreenGoblin2099

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#7 GreenGoblin2099
Member since 2004 • 16988 Posts

I'll just wait and see how you use your OP to turn this into an OnLive thread, Riku.

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BaraChat

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#8 BaraChat
Member since 2008 • 3144 Posts

Nah, gameplay makes up for about 50% of a game quality IMO, story being about 35% and presentation (sound/graphics) the other 15%.

Of course those can change depending on the game.

For example sports games are 80% gameplay, 20% sound/graphics.

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LegatoSkyheart

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#9 LegatoSkyheart
Member since 2009 • 29732 Posts

Minecraft.

Graphics are no where near Crysis.

Story...there's Story?

But Gameplay...Oh Boy there's lots.

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campzor

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#10 campzor
Member since 2004 • 34932 Posts
ye i agree that all areas in game development should be up to scratch, though i disagree with gt5. ontopic : [spoiler] onlive stinks!! :P [/spoiler]
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mrmusicman247

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#11 mrmusicman247
Member since 2008 • 17601 Posts
Yes yes we get it. You like Onli- Oh. Not an Onlive thread...highly suspect says I. Anyways contributing to the thread, each element must go well with the other in order to be a good game.
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hiphops_savior

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#12 hiphops_savior
Member since 2007 • 8487 Posts
I would argue that the story cannot drag the experience as a whole down. If you have a complex story that gets in the way of the gameplay, what use is it then? Just look at Super Mario Galaxy 2, the gameplay, the graphics and the music is excellent, but the story is minimalistic; all it does is give you a reason go out into space or look for stars, that's it. All the story really does is give you an excuse, as the player, to go on an epic adventure that gives you such a blast.
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theuncharted34

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#13 theuncharted34
Member since 2010 • 14529 Posts

It depends on what the game rely's on to make it great. But I mostly agree with this.

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ActicEdge

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#14 ActicEdge
Member since 2008 • 24492 Posts

I've played tons of great games with crappy stories and crappy graphics. I disagree, all it takes to make a great game is a design that make that player enjoy the strengths more then dwell on the weaknesses.

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AmayaPapaya

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#15 AmayaPapaya
Member since 2008 • 9029 Posts

I disagree. A game with an amazing story and graphics is nothing without the gameplay to back it up.

Otherwise, a game with a crappy story, and graphics but outstanding gameplay will go much much farther.

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xTheMuffinManx

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#16 xTheMuffinManx
Member since 2010 • 93 Posts

In System Wars, I always hear people stating that gameplay is more important than everything else that makes up a video game.

Why?

Video games are works of art. All aspects should be great in a great game.

If Uncharted 2 had horrible visuals, then the game's overall quality would not be the same, but that doesn't mean the gameplay was by any means bad.

If one aspect of a game is sub-par, the rest of the game goes with it. Gran Turismo 5 is a prime example of that.

Rikusaki

i agree with everything you said

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Rikusaki

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#17 Rikusaki
Member since 2006 • 16474 Posts

Wait a sec... Who are you, and what have you done with Rikusaki?

Also, I agree. Though to a lesser extent with graphics. Whilst they are a nice thing to have, I don't find them to be essential (purely from a technical aspect).

lundy86_4
The visuals add to the atmosphere and the overall artistic quality of the game. They don't have to be technically good, they just have to be up there with the rest of the game.
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Rikusaki

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#18 Rikusaki
Member since 2006 • 16474 Posts

Minecraft.

Graphics are no where near Crysis.

Story...there's Story?

But Gameplay...Oh Boy there's lots.

LegatoSkyheart
Like I just said, the visuals add to the atmosphere and the overall artistic quality of the game. They don't have to be technically good, they just have to be up there with the rest of the game. The graphics in Minecraft are perfect for the kind of game it is.
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LegatoSkyheart

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#19 LegatoSkyheart
Member since 2009 • 29732 Posts

[QUOTE="LegatoSkyheart"]

Minecraft.

Graphics are no where near Crysis.

Story...there's Story?

But Gameplay...Oh Boy there's lots.

Rikusaki

Like I just said, the visuals add to the atmosphere and the overall artistic quality of the game. They don't have to be technically good, they just have to be up there with the rest of the game. The graphics in Minecraft are perfect for the kind of game it is.

Just saying man.

If the game has amazing Gameplay then who needs Story and Graphics?

But yeah Story and Graphics aren't that bad either.

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Pikminmaniac

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#20 Pikminmaniac
Member since 2006 • 11387 Posts

According to my favourite games of all time

1) Gameplay by a massive margin

2) Quality level design for the gameplay

3) Richness in content

4) Graphics and sound

5) Story (completely unnecessary, but is a nice bonus sometimes)

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badtaker

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#21 badtaker
Member since 2009 • 3806 Posts
well according to GS no only Gameplay, Graphics are important
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Rikusaki

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#22 Rikusaki
Member since 2006 • 16474 Posts

I've played tons of great games with crappy stories and crappy graphics. I disagree, all it takes to make a great game is a design that make that player enjoy the strengths more then dwell on the weaknesses.

ActicEdge
I agree with this as well.
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Rikusaki

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#23 Rikusaki
Member since 2006 • 16474 Posts

[QUOTE="Rikusaki"][QUOTE="LegatoSkyheart"]

Minecraft.

Graphics are no where near Crysis.

Story...there's Story?

But Gameplay...Oh Boy there's lots.

LegatoSkyheart

Like I just said, the visuals add to the atmosphere and the overall artistic quality of the game. They don't have to be technically good, they just have to be up there with the rest of the game. The graphics in Minecraft are perfect for the kind of game it is.

Just saying man.

If the game has amazing Gameplay then who needs Story and Graphics?

But yeah Story and Graphics aren't that bad either.

It's the overall design of the game that renders graphics and story useless. Not the gameplay itself.
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the_mitch28

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#24 the_mitch28
Member since 2005 • 4684 Posts

Disagree.

Gameplay is the foundation of the game. If you don't have at least solid gameplay then you don't have a great game.

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Rikusaki

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#25 Rikusaki
Member since 2006 • 16474 Posts

I disagree. A game with an amazing story and graphics is nothing without the gameplay to back it up.

Otherwise, a game with a crappy story, and graphics but outstanding gameplay will go much much farther.

AmayaPapaya
It's the overall design that makes those games great. Not just the gameplay itself.
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Rikusaki

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#26 Rikusaki
Member since 2006 • 16474 Posts

Disagree.

Gameplay is the foundation of the game. If you don't have at least solid gameplay then you don't have a great game.

the_mitch28
The design is the foundation of the game. Some games depend on graphics and story more than others.
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alfredooo

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#27 alfredooo
Member since 2007 • 2664 Posts

Gameplay's importance cannot even be compared to graphics. A photo-realistic game with beautiful environments would be trash without decent gameplay to back it up, the game will be trash and the devs should go ahead and make a cgi movie or something instead. In the other hand, a game can look like trash and still be a masterpiece if the gameplay is good. Games are for gameplay, if you care more about graphics go watch Avatar or buy yourself a nice picture book.

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Solid_Link22

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#28 Solid_Link22
Member since 2006 • 5698 Posts

I was just thinking that games could have a whatevs story and and good graphics and still be awesome because of the gameplay.

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Master_ShakeXXX

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#29 Master_ShakeXXX
Member since 2008 • 13361 Posts

Gameplay is the basis that ALL videogames were originaly founded upon and will always be the most important. Story is a *very* nice bonus, but good gameplay is a crucial requirement.

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Rikusaki

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#30 Rikusaki
Member since 2006 • 16474 Posts

Gameplay's importance cannot even be compared to graphics. A photo-realistic game with beautiful environments would be trash without decent gameplay to back it up, the game will be trash and the devs should go ahead and make a cgi movie or something instead. In the other hand, a game can look like trash and still be a masterpiece if the gameplay is good. Games are for gameplay, if you care more about graphics go watch Avatar or buy yourself a nice picture book.

alfredooo
A game can have great gameplay and still be horrible. It's the overall design that makes those games great. Not just the gameplay itself.
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Rikusaki

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#31 Rikusaki
Member since 2006 • 16474 Posts

Gameplay is the basis that ALL videogames were originaly founded upon and will always be the most important. Story is a *very* nice bonus, but good gameplay is a crucial requirement.

Master_ShakeXXX
Great gameplay alone makes a shallow game. You need a good design to make it into something more.
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the_mitch28

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#32 the_mitch28
Member since 2005 • 4684 Posts

[QUOTE="AmayaPapaya"]

I disagree. A game with an amazing story and graphics is nothing without the gameplay to back it up.

Otherwise, a game with a crappy story, and graphics but outstanding gameplay will go much much farther.

Rikusaki

It's the overall design that makes those games great. Not just the gameplay itself.

Yes but you were asking about those 3 catagories. Before you edited your OP and started looping everything in with design.

So let me put it to you this way:

Well designed gameplay is much more important than graphics or story.

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alfredooo

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#33 alfredooo
Member since 2007 • 2664 Posts

[QUOTE="alfredooo"]

Gameplay's importance cannot even be compared to graphics. A photo-realistic game with beautiful environments would be trash without decent gameplay to back it up, the game will be trash and the devs should go ahead and make a cgi movie or something instead. In the other hand, a game can look like trash and still be a masterpiece if the gameplay is good. Games are for gameplay, if you care more about graphics go watch Avatar or buy yourself a nice picture book.

Rikusaki

A game can have great gameplay and still be horrible. It's the overall design that makes those games great. Not just the gameplay itself.

The overall desing relies more on gameplay than anything tho. As I said, we play games are for the gameplay, not to stare at pretty graphics.

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Devil-Itachi

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#34 Devil-Itachi
Member since 2005 • 4387 Posts
Story is certain not equally important considering it's not even required.
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Master_ShakeXXX

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#35 Master_ShakeXXX
Member since 2008 • 13361 Posts

[QUOTE="Master_ShakeXXX"]

Gameplay is the basis that ALL videogames were originaly founded upon and will always be the most important. Story is a *very* nice bonus, but good gameplay is a crucial requirement.

Rikusaki

Great gameplay alone makes a shallow game. You need a good design to make it into something more.

Way to discredit just about every Zelda, Mario, Metroid, etc. ever made. They didn't really have stories so they're shallow?

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FatCatPatRat

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#36 FatCatPatRat
Member since 2010 • 550 Posts

NO TC, dont edit your original post. that was your original argument, you stick with it. dont change it when others prove you wrong.

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hiphops_savior

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#37 hiphops_savior
Member since 2007 • 8487 Posts

[QUOTE="Rikusaki"][QUOTE="Master_ShakeXXX"]

Gameplay is the basis that ALL videogames were originaly founded upon and will always be the most important. Story is a *very* nice bonus, but good gameplay is a crucial requirement.

Master_ShakeXXX

Great gameplay alone makes a shallow game. You need a good design to make it into something more.

Way to discredit just about every Zelda, Mario, Metroid, etc. ever made. They didn't really have stories so they're shallow?

Technically they all have stories, it just depends on how much of an emphasis the story has in the game. Most of the time, you can get away with a minimalistic storyline (eg. the princess got kidnapped, you have to catch a crook in a supercar, a terrorist is holding an entire building hostage and you have to defuse the situation).
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sinpkr

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#38 sinpkr
Member since 2010 • 1255 Posts

it does matter to have at least decent looking graphics ,but gameplay is key. look at games like halo 3. it dosent have the best graphics out there but its very fun. another one would be l4d

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LoG-Sacrament

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#40 LoG-Sacrament
Member since 2006 • 20397 Posts
well, i agree that the very best games fuse gameplay and story while making sure the visuals contribute something beyond obvious practical benefits (storytelling themes, art directions to accentuate the feeling of the gameplay, etc.). still, video games do not need a story to be great. i consider a good portion of the mario platformers to be great games and their stories are minimal.
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Giancar

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#41 Giancar
Member since 2006 • 19155 Posts
I'll take most of those features (including gameplay) than just gameplay
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truebond

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#42 truebond
Member since 2010 • 31 Posts

No, gameplay and story should equally be great.

Graphics are important but it does not trump story or gameplay.

I can enjoy playing a game with good story and gameplay and have average graphics.

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IceBlazerX

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#43 IceBlazerX
Member since 2010 • 3286 Posts
I do agree. I love graphics and they add so much more to a game.
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sandbox3d

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#44 sandbox3d
Member since 2010 • 5166 Posts

Gameplay is most important by a huge margin. And lol at the poll results. If that was really how people on SW think (gameplay above all) then I wouldnt get into so many redundant debates that prove otherwise.

This place is graphics wars first and foremost. Gameplay and story are an afterthought on this board.

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Orchid87

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#45 Orchid87
Member since 2009 • 2567 Posts

It all depends on the genre.

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edidili

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#46 edidili
Member since 2004 • 3449 Posts

That depends heavily on the type of game. Video games are not just games. For example chess is a game, it's purely gameplay that doesn't need story. A video game is more than that, it mixes game with story and music to give the player an experience. The purpose of many video games is to give the player an experience that he would never had in real life, like being a marine in the future fighting robots or a knight in the medieval times saving the kingdom.

Mario or Tetris are purely gameplay and don't need a great story and graphic, although graphics (artstyle) are important for Mario. The same can be said for sport game and the online multiplayer shooters.

Amnesia or Dead space rely heavily on the atmosphere. These games rely more in graphics than story and gameplay to create the horror experience.

Dragon age or Mass effect would have been not that great if they had a shallow story. Rpg games in general are more about adventure and experiencing a role in a fantasy world so it needs a good story to shape that world in which your character lives.

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g0ddyX

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#47 g0ddyX
Member since 2005 • 3914 Posts

Should cost not be a factor as well?

How much did it cost to make Tetris compared to Crysis?
If you dont have that much money, your not expected to make a mind blowing, immersive game.

That being said, the greater games get them spot on.. And some games, deliver on what they intended to like Forza 3.

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youngmurk911

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#48 youngmurk911
Member since 2004 • 3895 Posts

ive seen get alot of GAMEPLAY praise because of great graphics........

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tubbyc

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#49 tubbyc
Member since 2005 • 4004 Posts

Graphics don't have to be high quality for a game to be great. Gameplay does have to be high quality. For story and sound, depends on the type of game. For example, I think a great horror game should have great sound. A great RPG should have a solid story. High quality graphics and sound always help though.

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PAL360

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#50 PAL360
Member since 2007 • 29711 Posts

I love graphics and a good story but nothing is more important than gameplay in a video game. Super Meat Boy is a good example of it.