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Life Imitates Media


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#1 Cukeman

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 01:09 AM

Introduction to thread:

 

This topic was inspired by watching YouTube, and I find it's a fairly precise name for a variety of topics I've spent time thinking about that fit into this category.

 

I realize that any time you make a claim that "A"(in media) leads to "B"(in life) there are always exceptions, but hopefully this discussion won't get out of hand and no one will take this personally.

 

I won't limit the discussion to video games, but it's a place to start.

 

Let's start this thread:

 

One of the most popular aspects of YouTube is videos about gaming. Stuff like the AVGN and the countless others who do what he does. AVGN is not James Rolfe. AVGN is a character, and while part of the show is honest critique and review, the other part of the show is comically exaggerating and blowing things out of proportion to humorous effect. Sometimes one quirky glitch in an otherwise good game can become a major part of the video because it's funny.

 

The weird thing is, this type of video has become so popular that some people are taking these half-review, half-comic skit videos literally. It's common to see someone doing a playthrough on a game I've enjoyed a lot and see comments completely dismissing the whole game because all they've heard about the game is the downsides on a variety of videos where the joke is getting ridiculously angry over every little thing. Almost every game has flaws, some minor, some major. Some games with flaws are still a lot of fun, while others are unplayable.

 

It bothers me when people dismiss a mostly great game because they only know about minor flaws from watching rage-head comedy videos, and then they think the game's not worth anyone's time. I think Zelda II is a good example of this. Is the game perfect? No. Is it a playable quality title? Heck yes. Is it for everyone? No. Is it too hard? For some people maybe, but for others it isn't. Is it as bad as the worst crap on the NES? Absolutely, definitely not.

 

Now I know, I know, people who would walk right past a good game without giving it a fair chance aren't people anyone should spend time worrying about. But the point is that some people are easily influenced and because of that, their life is imitating what they see in the media (in this case YouTube) rather than basing their thoughts on their own real life experiences. They aren't A) trying the game first, or B) reserving judgement until they do and leaving their mind open to the possibility that the negative review they saw may have been a comic performance rather than an actual legitimate review.

 

The same goes for movies, and I'd like to talk about specific movies, and more specific games in future posts. I hope other people will bring up stuff to talk about as well.

 

I think that, for me, the main point of this thread is to talk about some praise-worthy, enjoyable creations that you like a lot, but that don't get much appreciation, because most things we enjoy do have flaws in them, but that doesn't make them unplayable, unwatchable, unlistenable, etc. And I think that, for me, the second point of this thread is that sometimes people get ideas stuck in their head that don't apply to reality at all. I mean we've all come across factoids about animals in online posts that later turned out to be factually incorrect. Those are just my initial thoughts though, I'm sure there are other points and discussion topics worth exploring that will pop up.


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#2 Cukeman

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Posted 05 August 2017 - 05:27 PM

I feel lack of historical perspective is very related to this topic (basing conclusions on new media rather than personal experience). For example, Rare. Rare wasn't a household name until Donkey Kong Country made them super-famous. But my generation grew up playing a lot of Rare games on the NES. Sure there were some gems like Battletoads and Snake Rattle 'N Roll, but there was a lot of crap too. Rare was very hit-and-miss. They partnered with other companies to develop movie license games and such. Nightmare on Elm Street for NES is a panned game by Rare. I tried playing it and immediately recognized music that would fit right into Battletoads, and for the limited amount of time I was trying it out it seemed okay, except for some of the bosses which were complete garbage. I'd say Rare's games were maybe 60% great 40% garbage before DKC. DKC 1 and 2 were awesome, and 3 (while good) was a noticable step down from 2.

 

Where I'm going with this is the gamers who were shocked when Rare's games started getting lame towards the end of the N64 era. Total lack of perspective. Yes Rare had a good streak of games going, but I'm thinking that was due to a unique team that formed within the company during those years. Viewing the company as a whole, Rare has always been hit-and-miss making both great games and lousy games. People seem to have the false notion that Rare began with DKC and after a few years it was all downhill. No. Rare had a peak beginning with DKC, and make lousy games (and some good games) before and after that peak. Rare was never infallible.

 

Speaking of Rare, Goldeneye 007 gets way more credit than it deserves. Yes it made waves in the console scene, but compared to the FPS games on PC that came out before Goldeneye, it's like a step backwards in technology. Quake on PC was a great 3D multiplayer FPS game, had larger levels, faster movement/enemies/processing and better smoother controls. Goldeneye felt like there was a lot of slowdown, and the controls weren't that great honestly. It did have a nice set of mission objectives per level that was pretty innovative, and I did like it, it just didn't really compare with what we had on the PC.

 

Which reminds me of Ocarina of Time, fantastic game, but it doesn't deserve any credit for Z-targeting. It may have revolutionized Zelda, but not gaming. We had the same targeting system 2 years before in Tomb Raider.



#3 Anthus

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Posted 06 August 2017 - 12:56 PM

A good example of this, is how people look at Rayman 2 (and Ubi-Soft as a whole, really, but that's another topic, since Rayman 2 is not made by the same guys who make Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, and all that stuff, it's just the same company. If it WAS the same guys, we'd have surely had about a dozen 3D Rayman sequels by now :P). There have been so many bad, and downright broken ports of that game, that a lot of people just assume the game is a buggy mess. It's, in my opinion, the pinnacle of 3D action platforming right up there with SM64 on a pillar of its own. It's level after level of greatness, without the bogged down fluff of other collectathons. You don't re-explore the same levels again and again. No, there are 19 21 (I forgot about the Walks of Life, and Power) big, unique levels, and each one has stuff to find, but you can still blast through it if you're skilled. It really acts like a 2D platformer that went 3D. The N64, and PC versions are the most polished, and complete, as those are the versions that were made first, with their respective hardware in mind. The PS1 port removes a ton of content, presumable so they could voice the entire game, and make it fit on one CD, and DC port fucks up a lot of menu graphics, and adds in a completely new, and dumb world map, the DS port is just a poorly optimized N64 version, and 3DS version is a horribly optimized version of the DC version, and PS2 version is the closest thing to being good again, but it adds in a bunch of stuff that isn't really needed probably to make the game seem longer.

 

Ripping on DK64 also seems to be in vogue now, as I've seen a lot of videos criticizing it harshly for requiring you to collect so much stuff with different Kongs, and while I admit, it is annoying at worst, it's not enough to make the whole game bad. But popular opinion is that the game is clearly shit because you can't switch Kong's on the fly. Again, I'll admit I'd love that feature, but it's not a deal breaker for me. What get's me about this is how people still rave on and on about the Banjo games like they are some perfect masterpieces with no flaws whatsoever. They're of course not bad games, and deserve the love, but they are far from perfect. Kinda like the N64 Zeldas. IMO, Rayman 2, and SM64 > DK64 and Banjo, but, I digress.

 

And Tomb Raider had tank controls, it's obviously shit *runs*



#4 Cukeman

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Posted 07 August 2017 - 02:53 PM

Yeah Tomb Raider had some clunky controls, sometimes they did the job, other times they caused problems. I still love the level design, exploration and mood. I like that game a lot. 2 got more tedious, and 3 was a train wreck IMO, I just stopped playing it after a while. TR Anniversary on Mac I enjoyed quite a lot.


Edited by Cukeman, 07 August 2017 - 02:53 PM.


#5 Cukeman

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 05:49 PM

In the same vein of repeating what you've heard from media rather then looking into it yourself is certain tech complaints. People say the GBA has crappy sound, well it has a crappy speaker, but if you use headphones you'll get much better quality audio. It's not really fair to say the GBA can't do better audio than its speaker because it CAN, it's just that you have to go through the hassle of connecting headphones or external speakers to the audio jack. GBA SP had headphones too (some people don't realize this) they just didn't use a standard jack.

 

This same thing could be said about RF units/AV cables/RGB cables/HDMI etc., etc. What people should really complain about is how inconvenient or expensive it is to get the best out of your system, rather than saying the default is the best the system is capable of.

 

Back when Game Boy Color came out I would always use an AC adapter, and hook it up to external stereo speakers to play it in my room, that was pretty sick  :D   :thumbsup:


Edited by Cukeman, 08 August 2017 - 05:49 PM.



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