Videogame Criticism

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ThirdDrawing
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Re: Videogame Criticism

Post by ThirdDrawing » October 10th, 2017, 7:46 pm

TLOU game play isn't bad, but its biggest issues are plot and its awful ending.

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Todinho
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Re: Videogame Criticism

Post by Todinho » October 10th, 2017, 11:43 pm

ThirdDrawing wrote:
October 10th, 2017, 7:46 pm
TLOU game play isn't bad, but its biggest issues are plot and its awful ending.
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Im sorry I just have no other reaction to this statement, I mean I get the gameplay criticisms even if I dont agree with all of them, but Im just a bit flabbergasted by this statement, do elaborate please.
KSubzero1000 wrote:
October 10th, 2017, 7:37 pm
I'm glad you like the game so much, Todinho, but I completely disagree about the specific issues associated with TLoU being present in 99% of third-person shooters. In fact, I would argue that both Uncharted and TLou are quite unique in how artificial and shallow all of their systems are being designed. Please note that I'm not disagreeing with what you said regarding the visceral feel of it all - it's indeed great, but it's only thanks to various smokes and mirrors. Peek a little behind the curtain and the illusion of interactivity becomes rather obvious. On a sliding scale of Presentation vs. Interaction, TLoU is certainly closer to Telltale's The Walking Dead than to Vanquish.

With all that said, these design choices have certainly struck a chord with many players such as yourself, which means that Naughty Dog definitely knows how to please their fanbase. I hope you'll like the sequel as well!
I fully concede TLoU isnt the deepest game in terms of mechanics and especially the AI,which certainlly was far cry to what was showed in the E3 demo, has problems but compare the AI in this game to most 3rd person shooters, enemies will try to flank you, will retreat,etc which like I said is not on the level of the E3 demo but I found quite a step up from most games of this type where all the enemies do are targets in a shooting range.
Add this to the resource managment where, at least in higher difficulties, every bullet counts and where you die very fast as well, it really makes you take advantage of stealth, to set up ambushes and plan how to solve an encounter, that of course is within a limited set of tools, it's not like MGSV for example where if you're caught carrying a soldier and you can throw him at your enemies to stun him or drop a supply crate on a boss, in that comparison TLoU is clearlly wanting and even compared to older games like RE4 where you can shoot enemies in the legs for a different effect, but comparing it to other 3rd person shooters like say binary domain,inversion and even Uncharted, the thought process in TloU is alot more involved and enjoyable to me.
I think the game provides this good middle ground where the game gives a limited amount of tools but they are varied enough to provide an extra-depth that makes what would be a standart shooting game more interesting, though I will admit having to keep throwing bottles got old ;) .

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ThirdDrawing
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Re: Videogame Criticism

Post by ThirdDrawing » October 11th, 2017, 2:21 am

Joel's insanely selfish choices at the last minute more or less have you kill a bunch of innocent people (They certainly aren't villains) and doom the world. It's one of the few times I found a game's ending morally reprehensible. I was so disgusted I traded in the game right after I finished it.

It's designed to provoke an emotional response that Joel grew as a person and thinks of Ellie as his child. I thought it was incredibly misguided, manipulative and in incredibly bad taste.

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Re: Videogame Criticism

Post by Whippledip » October 11th, 2017, 2:46 am

I loathe the Naughty Dog formula, but especially The Last of Us, ladder and plank finder simulator of the year. I kind of feel like I can't take part in discussions about their games because I haven't finished a single one, but that's because I always get about halfway through and find myself just bored out of my mind that I don't want to push through.

The Last of Us especially because zombie media is so overdone and oversaturated that it has to do something pretty special to draw you in. My first thought when playing TLoU was, "How long before the game says, "Maybe humans are the actual bad guys?"" like that is a mind bending original point that zombie media has never made before, and the first big event of the game ends with an injured teenage girl being shot by the military in front of her father and I was basically in "fuck you game" mode from then on.

Like I said, I haven't finished it, but I think I've got it figured out
Spoiler: show
let her die to get the cure or save her life but doom humanity right?
Every emotional beat, every story, every exploration of the themes presented in that game have already been done a hundred times before in a far more interesting and succinct way that TLoU's existence is pointless. Naughty Dog should just drop all pretense of being a game development studio and just make animated movies.

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Re: Videogame Criticism

Post by Todinho » October 11th, 2017, 2:46 am

Well I dont know what that says about me, and my mother, who were 100% behind Joel XD.
Like you said it is a incredibly selfish and morally reprehensible choice, if you discount the fact they were gonna gut a child without even asking her or trying to wake her up, but that was the point and I thought was very true to Joel's character and I think it's quite unique how videogames can put us into the roles of different characters, because devoid context Joel's choice is without a doubt wrong but by playing as him a building this relationship with Ellie along with you can understand where he's coming from, and especially if you completelly abhor his decision you playing the game are still in his shoes and being "forced" to do that I think it's very interesting, there's been few games where I have been forced to do something I was completelly against and all those times it didnt feel good but it made me think and question things and I think that's good thing.

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Re: Videogame Criticism

Post by ThirdDrawing » October 11th, 2017, 2:55 am

I didn't think it was true to his character at all. 80% of the game has him not trying to bond with Ellie at all.

Most of the game he's gruff to her and trying not to be friendly, basically until the giraffes.

Then he magically decides he wants to save her at the lab.

And I didn't enjoy playing the ending at all. I didn't question anything at all, I just kept thinking "this is crap and emotionally manipulative".

(I put TLOU's problems squarely on Neil Druckmann. He's an awful writer. He forced out Amy Hennig - a much better writer - so he could "make art" instead of making a fun video game. He steered Uncharted in completely the wrong direction and you can tell who wrote which game. U1 and 3 are fun adventures, 2 and 4 are humourless slogs. And it affected the gameplay as well. Druckmann's games are dumbed down shoot em ups whereas Hennig's feature more exploration and puzzles.

Druckmann is exactly the sort of guy that huffs his own farts and talks about how good they smell because he is an auteur. )

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Re: Videogame Criticism

Post by Todinho » October 11th, 2017, 4:20 am

ThirdDrawing wrote:
October 11th, 2017, 2:55 am
I didn't think it was true to his character at all. 80% of the game has him not trying to bond with Ellie at all.

Most of the game he's gruff to her and trying not to be friendly, basically until the giraffes.

Then he magically decides he wants to save her at the lab.

And I didn't enjoy playing the ending at all. I didn't question anything at all, I just kept thinking "this is crap and emotionally manipulative".
I have to question what game you were playing because while they both start off very stand offish towards each other, by the middle of summer they are already bonded, how can you play through winter and not see that with how Joel is desperate to find her, how Ellie is trying to save him, in the fall Ellie storms off because he wants to leave her and then he stays because he cares about her, he wanted to leave her because he found himself caring again and he didnt want that, they have numerous conversations that builds their relationship. I mean did they need to spell it out that he cared about her?
He doesnt magically decides to save her, he is a very violent man that has a hard time caring about people but when he does he doesnt let go and he has someone who he sees as a daughter being taken away to be gutted for the "greater good" Joel doesnt give a shit about the greater good he cares about that girl and he killed alot more people for less, that's why the ending is so true to his character.

Also I highly disagree with your evaluation of the Uncharted series, I didnt play 4 but 2 is my favorite and I think 3 is by far the worst game in the series, it's slog a to get through to the point I never even finnished it and Im really saddened that this was Amy henning last work at Naughty Dog because it sucks, the antagonist is the weakest and nearly non existent, side characters are wasted and not only that entire sections of plot are completelly meaningless like the boat sequence that is such a drag to playthrough and it doesnt add anything to the story.
Talking about emotional manipulation the relationship with Sully was so transparent the only thing missing was they saying out loud "ohh watch out he's maybe gonna dieeee" c'mon! In Uncharted 2 all characters are well utilized it introduced great new characters that you either loved or loved to hate, it's a great silly adventure and there's nothing wrong with that, 3 is the one trying to be more "serious" but just ended up being a boring version of Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade.

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Re: Videogame Criticism

Post by Joshihatsumitsu » October 11th, 2017, 10:32 pm

All this talk about TLoU makes me think I should try and finish that game again sometime. It wouldn't be fair to comment until I do. I kind of stopped playing about half way through, and I can't put my finger on why.

Maybe the game was over-hyped, or over-praised, which is will concede is something purely subjective, and hard to quantify or definitely measure. But there can be a gap between how "everyone else" feels about a game and my own personal experiences. And there can be a bit of pressure to feel the same way the "majority" (again, vague terms I know) feels. And when I'm a few degrees away from feeling the same way the consensus feels, I wonder if the problem is the game or if the problem is me.

And speaking for myself, maybe its a mix of both. The entire world has already spoiled the ending for me, so maybe that should be considered to. But then I've completed games with no story to speak of as well, and had fun doing it, so maybe it's not that straightforward.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? Maybe not with TLoU, but with another game?
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Re: Videogame Criticism

Post by Chopper » October 11th, 2017, 11:03 pm

I think that for a big swathe of gamers, the gameplay was just not enjoyable. Maybe it’s harder to reconcile that when the game receives universal praise?

Personally the ending didn’t redeem it; by far the best moment in the game for me was getting the SHOTGUN about a third of the way through. Blessed relief! :D

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Re: Videogame Criticism

Post by ratsoalbion » October 12th, 2017, 12:03 am

Arrogantly assuming that you guys are all Cane and Rinse listeners, have we not managed to get across yet through our own critique and our sharing of yours, the community’s, experiences - that enjoyment is entirely subjective and that absolutely every game is divisive to quite some degree?
:)

The playing of any game is multi-faceted and entirely experienced through our own absolutely individual lenses. I’m all for considering, discussing and sharing what we each enjoy and what we don’t and why (hence the podcast), but surely we’re getting beyond the notion that there is any one title that everyone *must* enjoy.
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Re: Videogame Criticism

Post by Joshihatsumitsu » October 12th, 2017, 12:38 am

I was just trying to this of a movie equivalent of this conversation, of a movie that gets a lot of critical praise and "must" be loved by everyone, and yet, is not.

And then I remembered that happens all the time! But its always good to come to this forum (and podcast, of course) and dig into the reasons why things work or don't, and have these sort of conversations. Movies have had this for a long, long time, and it's good to see games getting the same treatment.
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Re: Videogame Criticism

Post by ratsoalbion » October 12th, 2017, 12:41 am

Definitely.
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Re: Videogame Criticism

Post by Whippledip » October 12th, 2017, 12:57 am

Joshihatsumitsu wrote:
October 11th, 2017, 10:32 pm
All this talk about TLoU makes me think I should try and finish that game again sometime. It wouldn't be fair to comment until I do. I kind of stopped playing about half way through, and I can't put my finger on why.
I used to think like this, but eventually I just adopted the attitude of "whatever", to finish a game doesn't mean you can't form an opinion on it. The discussion to be had about why you couldn't finish it is just as valid as to why someone did finish it. No point in playing something you don't have fun with in order to cross some arbitrary threshold where you're allowed to discuss it.
ratsoalbion wrote:
October 12th, 2017, 12:03 am
Arrogantly assuming that you guys are all Cane and Rinse listeners, have we not managed to get across yet through our own critique and our sharing of yours, the community’s, experiences - that enjoyment is entirely subjective and that absolutely every game is divisive to quite some degree?
:)

The playing of any game is multi-faceted and entirely experienced through our own absolutely individual lenses. I’m all for considering, discussing and sharing what we each enjoy and what we don’t and why (hence the podcast), but surely we’re getting beyond the notion that there is any one title that everyone *must* enjoy.
I wasn't getting the impression that people were making such a definitive statement of the game. So long as people aren't being contrarian just for the sake of it I think questioning why it has such universal acclaim can be an interesting discussion about the psychology of the gaming community and it's bizarre fixation on numerical ratings. I abhor metacritic and the people who treat it's rankings as pure, divine gospel that can be held up as a definitive judgement of quality

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Re: Videogame Criticism

Post by ThirdDrawing » October 12th, 2017, 1:52 am

Todinho wrote:
October 11th, 2017, 4:20 am

He doesnt magically decides to save her, he is a very violent man that has a hard time caring about people but when he does he doesnt let go and he has someone who he sees as a daughter being taken away to be gutted for the "greater good" Joel doesnt give a shit about the greater good he cares about that girl and he killed alot more people for less, that's why the ending is so true to his character.

Also I highly disagree with your evaluation of the Uncharted series, I didnt play 4 but 2 is my favorite and I think 3 is by far the worst game in the series, it's slog a to get through to the point I never even finnished it and Im really saddened that this was Amy henning last work at Naughty Dog because it sucks, the antagonist is the weakest and nearly non existent, side characters are wasted and not only that entire sections of plot are completelly meaningless like the boat sequence that is such a drag to playthrough and it doesnt add anything to the story.
Talking about emotional manipulation the relationship with Sully was so transparent the only thing missing was they saying out loud "ohh watch out he's maybe gonna dieeee" c'mon! In Uncharted 2 all characters are well utilized it introduced great new characters that you either loved or loved to hate, it's a great silly adventure and there's nothing wrong with that, 3 is the one trying to be more "serious" but just ended up being a boring version of Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade.
Joel kills a bunch of innocent people and basically dooms the world for a girl he magically decides he wants as his surrogate daughter 90% of the way into the game. It was shallow, manipulative and not very believable. Joel is a selfish idiot. That's why TLOU sucks.

The reason UC 3 is great is precisely because it feels like Last Crusade to UC2's crappy Temple of Doom. It wasn't silly, it was dreary, because that's all that Druckmann can write, as opposed to Hennig, who actually knows the meaning of the word nuance.

UC2 had *another* supernatural villain, with more combat and less puzzle solving. It was an inferior version of UC1.
UC3 at least did different things. And it felt like an adventure.

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Re: Videogame Criticism

Post by AndrewBrown » October 12th, 2017, 2:53 am

I love how you didn't like TLOU's ending for the same reason (myself included) many others do.

Right there with you on Uncharted 3, though. Was thoroughly unimpressed by 1 & 2, strong mixed feelings about 3 & 4. I think I'd give 3 the edge overall because I didn't feel it bungled its third act as badly as 4 did.
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Re: Videogame Criticism

Post by Joshihatsumitsu » October 12th, 2017, 3:30 am

Whippledip wrote:
October 12th, 2017, 12:57 am
Joshihatsumitsu wrote:
October 11th, 2017, 10:32 pm
All this talk about TLoU makes me think I should try and finish that game again sometime. It wouldn't be fair to comment until I do. I kind of stopped playing about half way through, and I can't put my finger on why.
I used to think like this, but eventually I just adopted the attitude of "whatever", to finish a game doesn't mean you can't form an opinion on it. The discussion to be had about why you couldn't finish it is just as valid as to why someone did finish it. No point in playing something you don't have fun with in order to cross some arbitrary threshold where you're allowed to discuss it.
I am very slowly getting around to this way of thinking. Not completely there yet, but getting there.

A wealth of available games and a lack of time is certainly a motivator. I try to give whatever game I'm playing a decent amount of time and effort, in the interest of "fairness". But that measure of fairness is, as you say, an arbitrary threshold if it's not clicking with me in anyway.

But old habits are hard to break. And I will give TLoU another attempt... less out of arbitrary fairness, but because of a curiosity to understand why and at what point I gave up.
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Re: Videogame Criticism

Post by Flabyo » October 12th, 2017, 8:04 am

There's one subtlety to the ending of TLoU that I know I missed the first time round that adjusted how I felt about it:
Spoiler: show
It implies that Ellie isn't the first 'immune' person the fireflies have tried to turn into a cure, so her being 'the last hope' isn't true. She's just 'a' hope.

I did like the moral ambiguity of the ending. Ellie asks him if he has something to say about what happened, Joel says no. Ellie knows he's lying. Everything we've seen of the sequel so far implies Ellie goes off the rails as a result of this.

I'm not usually one to defend a games ending because 'it sets up the sequel!' but in this case I think its one where it will sit better when we know what happened next.
I did think the combat was a little clunky, but there's a nice narrative resonance there in that neither protagonist should be experts with firearms.

My only major complaint is one that it shares with Bioshock Infinite: companion AI characters that are functionally invisible to the enemy and so break the games immersion.

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Re: Videogame Criticism

Post by AndrewBrown » October 12th, 2017, 5:24 pm

See now, I'm in the opposite camp. I thought TLOU's ending was perfect as a standalone ending. I didn't *want* a sequel. I don't want to know what happened next. I wanted that moment of exquisite heartbreak to last forever.
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Re: Videogame Criticism

Post by ratsoalbion » October 12th, 2017, 5:25 pm

AndrewBrown wrote:
October 12th, 2017, 5:24 pm
See now, I'm in the opposite camp. I thought TLOU's ending was perfect as a standalone ending. I didn't *want* a sequel. I don't want to know what happened next. I wanted that moment of exquisite heartbreak to last forever.
I don't always agree with Andrew, but on this one he and I are 100% in alignment.
:)
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Re: Videogame Criticism

Post by KSubzero1000 » October 12th, 2017, 5:29 pm

I agree that TLoU's ending was great in all its weight and ambiguity and that the game certainly didn't need a sequel. But I'm kinda curious to see what ND have in store for TLoU2. Within moderation, of course.

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