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Video Games

Discussion in 'Entertainment, Culture, and Sports' started by Brian SD, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. landho

    landho Senior member

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    GTA4's major flaw is that despite an incredibly matured narrative and style, the excessively ribald humor is still there, the strip clubs are still there, the ragdoll physics are way over the top, etc. It just has too many moments of immaturity for it to be really perfect.

    That said it's fantastic, no doubt.


    I was just thinking the same thing, but more about the core gameplay mechanics than the humorous accoutrements. Walking out in the middle of the street and jacking whatever car whenever you need to get somewhere just doesn't seem like something the protagonist would do.

    GTA has, for better or worse, retained virtually every gameplay element from the days when it was a goofy arcade game with no story where the object was simply to rack up as many crimes as possible.


    Just because the option is there doesn't mean you have to indulge in it.
     


  2. Reggs

    Reggs Senior member

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    Where does Michelle like to go on dates? So far I have found that she likes sports cars, fast food burgers, and cheap sunglasses.

    The game seems fine so far, but I wish the camera for driving was more above you and looking down. If you are going up a hill there is no way to see what is in front of you without fooling around with R.
     


  3. Reggs

    Reggs Senior member

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    GTA4's major flaw is that despite an incredibly matured narrative and style, the excessively ribald humor is still there, the strip clubs are still there, the ragdoll physics are way over the top, etc. It just has too many moments of immaturity for it to be really perfect.

    That said it's fantastic, no doubt.


    I like the physics. They are not rag doll. The people try to move against any force that might knock them over, and never go completely limp. That said, it takes too long for them to regain control, and you can't manipulate dead bodies laying on the ground.
     


  4. Augusto86

    Augusto86 Sean Penn's Mexican love child

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    Just because the option is there doesn't mean you have to indulge in it.

    This has struck me as the spirit of GTA since GTA III and VC. The mainstream media raves that you can gun down bystanders, murder hookers, chainsaw cops...but they miss that you can CHOOSE to. And if you do, it has consequences - virtual consequences, to be sure, but it's virtual repercussions for virtual violence. The game reacts similarly to real life. In games with real worlds and real consequences, I've always felt guilty indulging in blatantly cruel acts. Deus Ex, Mass Effect, Jade Empire, GTA - you feel like you are actually hurting people. So I do my best to act in a "decent" fashion within the game's framework. It seems that GTA takes this even farther by establishing Niko as a real character of depth and inner struggle.
     


  5. whacked

    whacked Senior member

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    All this GTA4 raving makes me want to get a XBox360 this summer. I hate you all. [​IMG]
     


  6. Joffrey

    Joffrey Senior member

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    I think I may get a PS3 just for this silly game. Damn it
     


  7. Brian SD

    Brian SD Moderator

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    I'm not sure if I'd say he's a character of depth or inner struggle, but I agree that the narrative aspects of the game have come leaps and bounds since GTA3. MGS fan-boy-speak incoming: I can't wait to see what Kojima does with MGS4 in terms of ethics and consequences. In MGS, it really gets to me, because Snake is like a god to the player. It's depressing to see a character you really love killing senselessly. I play MGS where I kill only when I absolutely have to. I never kill soldiers/guards, and I'll only kill some of the bosses (obviously this has become an issue with Vamp). Most of MGS has been about sneaking by enemies so that you don't have to kill them, not so that they don't kill you. Standard soldiers have their own (sometimes goofy) dialogue, that you can listen to with the directional mic. I just couldn't stand hearing a guy go "Oooh man, I dont feel good today. My stomach is killing me," then sneaking up behind him and snap his neck. On that topic, my favorite video game characters ever are Snake, Raiden and Otacon. Raiden looks brilliantly designed. Having left the scene at MGS2 in confused, cathartic victory, knowing he's going to be a father and not much else, he shows up in MGS4 as weary, vengeful and barely human. I think Kojima was saying that he wanted Raiden to look destroyed and soultorn because of all the hate he received from the player base. I thought Raiden was an amazing statement on player-game connection and I liked him through the whole game (especially after the torture scene). I take no part in the collective guilt everyone should have in turning him into the cyborg ninja of MGS4. In MGS4 you can pick your allegiences. I'm not sure what's fair game, though I'm certain you can't side with Liquid-Ocelot [​IMG] God this is going to be a long 38 days.
     


  8. dusty

    dusty Senior member

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    Just because the option is there doesn't mean you have to indulge in it.

    The option is irrelevant. The way the mechanics are laid out no longer matches the tone of the narrative. This concept is crucial for a game to be fully cohesive.

    This is really nitpicky though; it's a fantastic game.
     


  9. Reggs

    Reggs Senior member

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    Kojima is a pretty strange guy. He said once that the character designer for MGS is his best friend and they always hang out and see movies together. When they made MGS1, they had something of a feud over the design of Solid Snake. Kojima wanted a much older snake, and the artist wanted someone fairly youthful that most players could connect with. In the end the artist got his way.

    I would not be surprised if Kojima put Raiden into MGS2 to kind of poke fun at that conflict, or prove a point, then just rubbed it in with MGS3.

    I really enjoyed seeing a young flamboyant Ocelot in MGS3.
     


  10. Brian SD

    Brian SD Moderator

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    Raiden was included in MGS2 as a kind of way to control the player. The player goes into MGS2 expecting it to continue in the mold of MGS1, and they are purposefully led to follow some given connections. Kojima gives you a character that is young and has never been in a warzone before - a guy who has trained as Solid Snake in "virtual missions," just like you did in MGS1. He acts just like Solid Snake, he wants to be Solid Snake. Just like you. Then, you're presented with familiar scenes (like the torture room), that appear to behave identically but are only there to control you – in MGS2's torture, you don't even have to mash the circle button to stay alive. You can't possibly die, the time bar runs out before you life does. It's all done so wonderfully - Kojima controls you through manufactured personalities and information, exactly like the Patriots control Raiden. The idea (the theme of MGS2), is that cultural memories cannot be used to dictate actions. As you (the player) realize that things that worked for you in MGS1 are not working for you in MGS2, you may start to realize this. It all blows up in your face as Liquid Snake takes over Ocelot and dives off with Metal Gear to kill the Patriots. Solid Snake chases after them, and Raiden breaks out of his Solid Snake mold and throws away his previous ties to the player, as he literally throws away the dogtag that has the player's name on it. Liquid fucks up the Patriots' plan, and Raiden fucks up Kojima's plan. God, I'm a nerd. Oh, and I agree it was cool to see Ocelot in MGS3. When they first introduced him I was like "Oh shit! Fuck yea!" Unfortunately, for me, MGS3 was cool in that it filled in some gaps, and the game was amazing in its own right but didn't have nearly as much depth as MGS2 did.
     


  11. Augusto86

    Augusto86 Sean Penn's Mexican love child

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    MGS was one of those games that I knew I should like but I just totally lost track of what was going on and stopped caring. The plot is less comprehensible than FLCL or some other psycho anime. I'll just play splinter cell, and get my fix of sneaking without all the pop psychology and completely impossible plots [​IMG]
     


  12. dusty

    dusty Senior member

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    MGS2 is far from universally-loved. I, for one, thought the idea of a post-modern game was a good one, but the execution totally sucked.
     


  13. Brian SD

    Brian SD Moderator

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    MGS was one of those games that I knew I should like but I just totally lost track of what was going on and stopped caring. The plot is less comprehensible than FLCL or some other psycho anime. I'll just play splinter cell, and get my fix of sneaking without all the pop psychology and completely impossible plots
    MGS2 is far from universally-loved. I, for one, thought the idea of a post-modern game was a good one, but the execution totally sucked.
    The plot I don't find to be incomprehensible, it just requires you to be on alert for clues and symbolism - something most video games do not do. The effort needed to take everything in can be pretty jarring, and many people simply might not get into the story which requires a large suspension of disbelief as there are many "wtf?" factors involved. The dialogue can also be exhausting and preachy as well - again, something that I'm sure turns many people off. It's a Japanese game by a Japanese developer and directed by a very Japanese man, so the overarching feel of the game is going to be pretty distinct from American-style games, like the aforementioned Splinter Cell. Oddly enough, Kojima considers the American version with David Hayter the "real" version. Some Japanese MGS releases do not have Japanese voices, just subtitles. I don't expect everyone to see it the same way I do, but it was designed to be that way and it's a shining achievement for video games as an art form. Outside of that admission, I don't see how the execution can be seen as totally sucking. Are you talking about MGS in general, or just MGS2? You don't have to listen to every conversation nor even enjoy the story, but all three MGS games have broken ground in both gameplay depth, cinematics and polish. In many ways it's as much a puzzle game (finding ways to sneak around the guards' fields of vision) as it is an action game, and every scene has hundreds of ways you can go about playing it - whether you prefer to go Rambo with a rocket launcher, break necks out of the shadows or put people to sleep with the tranquilizer, stick them up to scare them then run, or just avoid combat altogether. If you're good enough at it, any of those things are possible. Not to mention that it's challenging, even on its easier modes, and the boss fights require unprecedented amount of pattern recognizing and quick reactions - and even these leave you with many options and gameplay styles to succeed with. As for being universally-loved, it's mostly American gamers that didn't jive with MGS2 because of the ridiculous story-line, as well as the fact that Solid Snake as a playable character was snatched away. But among critics and outside of the hardcore USA gamers, it's the highest-regarded MGS games, and one of the highest regarded games - period. http://www.metacritic.com/games/plat...ar%20solid%202 Anyway, if you don't feel like reading the above, short version: I understand why many people don't like MGS2. But me like. It fun.
     


  14. dusty

    dusty Senior member

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    Oh it was great fun to play and very well-made. I'm referring only to the story as being largely a failure. MGS2 was not an art game; it was a completely conventional game yoked together with an art game story. Rather than achieving an effective synthesis of narrative and gameplay, the game forced you to alternate between solid (yet completely orthodox) play and tedious storytelling. Yes, I understand the postmodern intent of the story, but it's just plain bad game design to make all of your points through cutscenes/codec conversations and then follow it with segments of mute gameplay. The cleverness of the game was quickly outpaced by its annoyingness. Both 1 and 3 are better. Also, as if I don't dickride it enough, Earthbound is a perfect example of a successful postmodernist game (plus it has an even longer Tim Rogers essay written about it).
     


  15. Brian SD

    Brian SD Moderator

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    MGS2's post-modern elements are in its formalism, not in its narrative. This is where a lot of the game's harsh critics come up incorrectly. The script in MGS2 isn't as good as in MGS3, but it's not supposed to be. Only a very small portion of the "art" aspects come through by explanation. The characters exist as part of the story, so it is tied to it, but the dialogue and plotline are largely inconsequential to what makes MGS2 great.

    The story is not at all a failure. I can't comprehend how it could be conceived as such, unless your point was that it's so hard to follow its just not worth it). MGS3, by comparison, is like the "summer flick" version of MGS. It's catchy, fun and saddening, but it's very linear and simple.
     


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