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#1 Posted by Sweetz (508 posts) -

So at one point or another, almost all of the Giant Bomb crew have said "I hate the term Metroidvania" before proceeding to then use it (see: today's Bombin' the AM) because people understand what the term implies about a game and the guys lack a better term to concisely impart what it means.

So can we fix that? Probably not, "Metroidvania" has too much momentum to stop at this point, but it's fun to try anyway.

My personal suggestion: Ability gated action adventure.

Not too much more of a mouthful and Metroidvania, and I don't think it sounds particularly awkward when you say it out loud. I admit AGAA is a lame acronym though.

#2 Edited by Brodehouse (9848 posts) -

They say "I hate ________" right before saying it just so they can absolve themselves of any responsibility of proliferating a meme. It's not that it's not an acceptable word to describe it (if it wasn't, no one would ever have used it), it's that they don't want to be responsible to someone who wants to argue about terminology.

And really, what's wrong with "Metroidvania" if everyone knows what you mean when you say it? If it was a term that confused people and no one could really understand what it means, like if I called top-down shooters flippity floppity floo, then I would understand. But people have been saying Metroidvania, and you know what Metroidvania means, and you can pretty easily explain it to someone who doesn't. Like "rogue-like" means permadeath and random level generation. Like "Diablo clone" means isometric view, action-RPG with loot. Like "brawler" means side scrolling melee action game with a z-plane. We're not coming up with scientific terms here, we're coming up with colloquialisms. We don't need to find the core parts of it and translate them into Greek and now Hydro Thunder is in the aquatachyia genre.

#3 Posted by edsone (240 posts) -

I just refer to them as action/adventure titles. If it resembles Metroid or Castlevania you can say so but I don't think it's a genre in itself. Always hated the term myself. Anyway "agaa" is bad but hey, pretty much anything is better than "metroidvania".

#4 Posted by GunstarRed (5115 posts) -

How about just saying the game is structured like Metroid or Castlevania.

#5 Posted by Artikay (112 posts) -

Action Exploration.

Thats the term I heard used before I ever heard Metroidvania, cant remember from where though. Ever since I thought of those kinds of games as Action Exploration.

#6 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

How about just saying the game is structured like Metroid or Castlevania.

But that's exactly what "Metroidvania" means.

We don't need to find the core parts of it and translate them into Greek and now Hydro Thunder is in the aquatachyia genre.

I'm all for coming up with silly names for Hydro Thunder.

#7 Edited by AngriGhandi (773 posts) -

"A game that's kind of like Blaster Master, but without the overhead parts, which is for the best, I mean really, those parts were kind of terrible, and also without the tank, probably

-vania"

#8 Posted by BisonHero (6432 posts) -

I think you could call them Metroid-likes or Metroid clones, because frankly an incredibly small percentage of them incorporate any of the features added by SotN, and the vast majority are just borrowing the structure of Super Metroid.

#9 Posted by Hunkulese (2695 posts) -

I've always preferred castleroid.

#10 Posted by Popogeejo (614 posts) -

Gated Exploration. Boring but fairly accurate.

#11 Posted by ShaggE (6415 posts) -

Roguenotlikes.

Of course, the vast majority of games fall under that description.

#12 Edited by MikkaQ (10283 posts) -

"A game that's kind of like Blaster Master, but without the overhead parts, which is for the best, I mean really, those parts were kind of terrible, and also without the tank, probably

-vania"

I like it, rolls off the tongue well, and hell everyone remembers Blaster Master!

#13 Posted by bonbolapti (1611 posts) -

Metroidvania is a nice term explaining a type of game. it's exclusive to games in telling you what it is. You know what it means when someone says Metroidvania, I think it's a silly to be put off by that term. finding out a new way to say it just puts more work into something that feels so well established.

if it isn't that, you're just saying adventure game, and then how often would you feel the need to explain what type of game it is, further.

#14 Edited by Sweetz (508 posts) -
@brodehouse said:

And really, what's wrong with "Metroidvania" if everyone knows what you mean when you say it?

I mostly agree, but I think the point is to come up with a title agnostic term that doesn't depend on referencing one game to describe another. I.e. we call first person shooters "first person shooters" now, not "Doom clones." Even "Diablo clone" I think has mostly given way to just "action RPG." I think that's why the crew doesn't like it, because what does it mean when Metroid or Castlevania isn't around anymore, or if they morph into completely different games?

Here's the question, what core conceit of gameplay are we trying to impart by calling something a Metroidvania? As far I see it, it's that your progress is gated by getting certain pieces of gear or certain abilities. Hence "ability gated action adventure".

Also isn't Zelda basically the same thing? Yet I've heard people say "Zelda-clone" What's the distinguisher between a Zelda-clone and a Metroidvania, aren't they both AGAA's? See it's catching on already ;)

#15 Edited by Brodehouse (9848 posts) -

@sweetz said:
@brodehouse said:

And really, what's wrong with "Metroidvania" if everyone knows what you mean when you say it?

I mostly agree, but I think the point is to come up with a title agnostic term that doesn't depend on referencing one game to describe another. I.e. we call first person shooters "first person shooters" now, not "Doom clones."

I would agree when we're referring to games that are first person shooters but don't have any clear lineage or DNA from Doom, but I would still call Heretic or something a Doom clone. In the same way I would say that Batman and Assassin's Creed are both action-adventures, but Batman is a Metroidvania and Assassin's Creed is an open world game. Metroidvania exists to give a better definition of specific game elements in the action-adventure genre, not a term for the entire genre itself. In the same way that JRPGs and grid-based strategy RPGs and isometric RPGs (or CRPGs, as I've heard) are not setting limits on the entire RPG genre but merely highlighting connective tissue between major gameplay varieties.

Honestly, I feel like the entire 'character action' struggle could've been alleviated by simply choosing DMC-clone and God of War-clone and applying them where relevant. Character action is agnostic, but for a long time people needed to have it explained exactly what the fuck was being talked about.

#16 Edited by Tom_omb (385 posts) -

Exploformer, the exploration platformer.

..or exploding transformer..

#17 Edited by believer258 (11785 posts) -

@sweetz said:
@brodehouse said:

And really, what's wrong with "Metroidvania" if everyone knows what you mean when you say it?

I mostly agree, but I think the point is to come up with a title agnostic term that doesn't depend on referencing one game to describe another. I.e. we call first person shooters "first person shooters" now, not "Doom clones."

I would agree when we're referring to games that are first person shooters but don't have any clear lineage or DNA from Doom, but I would still call Heretic or something a Doom clone. In the same way I would say that Batman and Assassin's Creed are both action-adventures, but Batman is a Metroidvania and Assassin's Creed is an open world game. Metroidvania exists to give a better definition of specific game elements in the action-adventure genre, not a term for the entire genre itself. In the same way that JRPGs and grid-based strategy RPGs and isometric RPGs (or CRPGs, as I've heard) are not setting limits on the entire RPG genre but merely highlighting connective tissue between major gameplay varieties.

Honestly, I feel like the entire 'character action' struggle could've been alleviated by simply choosing DMC-clone and God of War-clone and applying them where relevant. Character action is agnostic, but for a long time people needed to have it explained exactly what the fuck was being talked about.

You can say "Petrarchan Sonnet" to any English major and he or she should know what's involved - fourteen lines total, an octet followed by a sestet, etc.

I'm just saying that the idea of naming a certain convention after the work or works that defined it isn't without precedence. Metroidvania is a fine name for games where you have to gain abilities to open up new areas.

#18 Posted by leinad44 (506 posts) -

Metroidvanialike

#19 Edited by Hailinel (24386 posts) -

This question comes up every few months, and I say the same thing every time. There is no problem with the term Metroidvania. It's a term derived for a specific style of game from games that popularized it. Trying to force a change from a commonly accepted standard is an uphill battle and in this case needless.

Online
#20 Posted by Icicle7x3 (1178 posts) -

@leinad44 said:

Metroidvanialike

Rogueroidvanias

#21 Edited by JZ (2125 posts) -

The term tomb raider used was "gear-gateing"

#22 Posted by Brodehouse (9848 posts) -

You can say "Petrarchan Sonnet" to any English major and he or she should know what's involved - fourteen lines total, an octet followed by a sestet, etc.

I'm just saying that the idea of naming a certain convention after the work or works that defined it isn't without precedence. Metroidvania is a fine name for games where you have to gain abilities to open up new areas.

It's been a while since my theater history class, and beyond all that this is a tough analogy to make but... "Petrarchan Sonnet" would be like if I was trying to come up with a new word for Experience Points, Karma Systems or Quick Time Events. I would label that as a more mechanical definition, rather than the more macro level we're talking about here. What we're talking is more like trying to redefine "Elizabethan tragedy" as "5 Act Structure English Early Modern Tragedy With Instructional Cautionary Ethos". While it is agnostic and spells out exactly what it actually is, it's a little obtuse. Pedant that I am, I still would rather keep these kind of fluid genre details more colloquial than scientific.

#23 Edited by Timing (619 posts) -

Backtracktion game

Abili-key game

Platforation game

Feel free to use any of these. I think they're all pretty amazing.

#24 Posted by believer258 (11785 posts) -

@believer258 said:

You can say "Petrarchan Sonnet" to any English major and he or she should know what's involved - fourteen lines total, an octet followed by a sestet, etc.

I'm just saying that the idea of naming a certain convention after the work or works that defined it isn't without precedence. Metroidvania is a fine name for games where you have to gain abilities to open up new areas.

It's been a while since my theater history class, and beyond all that this is a tough analogy to make but... "Petrarchan Sonnet" would be like if I was trying to come up with a new word for Experience Points, Karma Systems or Quick Time Events. I would label that as a more mechanical definition, rather than the more macro level we're talking about here. What we're talking is more like trying to redefine "Elizabethan tragedy" as "5 Act Structure English Early Modern Tragedy With Instructional Cautionary Ethos". While it is agnostic and spells out exactly what it actually is, it's a little obtuse. Pedant that I am, I still would rather keep these kind of fluid genre details more colloquial than scientific.

Well, it took me all of five seconds to think of that example, but yours probably fits a little better.

Regardless, the point holds up in both cases.

#25 Posted by crusader8463 (14419 posts) -

Boring and infuriating are the descriptors I always use when referring to those games. So how about Boriating?

#26 Posted by GreggD (4487 posts) -

@sweetz said:
@brodehouse said:

And really, what's wrong with "Metroidvania" if everyone knows what you mean when you say it?

I mostly agree, but I think the point is to come up with a title agnostic term that doesn't depend on referencing one game to describe another. I.e. we call first person shooters "first person shooters" now, not "Doom clones."

I would agree when we're referring to games that are first person shooters but don't have any clear lineage or DNA from Doom, but I would still call Heretic or something a Doom clone.

Well, not to be "that guy", but Heretic is actually built on the Doom engine, and was subsidized by id. But yes, I agree that Batman Arkham is a Metroidvania series. Anybody who says the genre needs to be 2D is an ass adding unnecessary parameters to an established template.

#27 Edited by TheMasterDS (2047 posts) -

Metroidvania is here to stay. It's pithy, apt and everyone gets it. More importantly it's something everyone uses and that'll hold even well past the point where it's still accurate which, I must point out, it still is. Look at the RPG genre. There are like 5 widely different genres under that roof some of which don't even involve Playing a Role and instead have only a slim connection to the Tabletop RPGs the genre is named after. The worst offender under the RPG hat is your Action RPG which have hardly any relation to the RPGs that have hardly any relation to roleplaying but have the RPG label slapped on because Action game is way too fucking vague for a genre name.

Point I'm getting at is Metroidvania is one of the most specific and most clear genre names. We should be proud of it, not ashamed of it.

#28 Edited by Belegorm (399 posts) -

Why fix what's not broken?

Also I think the term "character action" is a dumb term.

#29 Posted by joshwent (2165 posts) -

Metroid-like would be better.

Honestly.

Castlevania is an action platformer. Sure Symphony of the Night is great, and most of the games in the franchise since then have been ability gated, but those concepts were taken from Metroid in the first place!

I really wonder who used that term first because that damn "vania" part frustrates me every time. It's just repetitive and pointless.

How about A.G.E. ? Ability Gated Exploration. We already use FPS, RPG, and RTS, so another three letter acronym should fit perfectly.

#30 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (5405 posts) -

Maybe just cross two other names of metroidvania type games together.

#31 Posted by SniperXan (223 posts) -

I don't understand why people don't like the term. It...makes sense.

#32 Posted by Aleryn (704 posts) -

Metroidvania works. Retronauts back in 2006 hated it too but over time they just stuck with it.

#33 Edited by JZ (2125 posts) -

GEAR GATING

#34 Edited by MB (12255 posts) -
Moderator Online
#35 Posted by Vuud (1953 posts) -

Derivativania?

#36 Posted by BeachThunder (11828 posts) -

@tom_omb said:

exploration platformer.

To me, this seems like the best solution; it's simple and it gets to the point.

#37 Edited by MormonWarrior (2569 posts) -

Roguelike.

I've always preferred castleroid.

I had reconstructive surgery recently to permanently repair my castleroids.

#38 Posted by GnaTSoL (793 posts) -

MEtroid-genre. Seriously. MEtroid did it first. MEtroid did it the best. Why must that franchise share the spotlight with a title that took a lot of what worked in its gameplay from METROID!

One more thing..........................................................................................................................SUPER METROID!

#39 Edited by EchoEcho (820 posts) -

Metroidvania is perfectly fine. The guys get whiny about terms they don't like all the time, but they keep using them anyway. They have this weird fixation with trying to avoid as many memes as possible -- except for the ones they like, of course. It's dumb. I roll my eyes more every time one of them says "I hate this term, but..." than I would if they just used the damn term.

#40 Posted by me3639 (1753 posts) -

I remember hearing the term for the first time when Shadow Complex came out. As mostly a pc gamer i didnt understand the term, but after playing the game(shadow complex) and hearing it still today i just assume it pertains to Shadow Complex and not some game i never played. Its fine but in 5-10 years how many new gamers will really understand what the hell they are talking about?

#41 Posted by geirr (2525 posts) -

I like Metroidvania. In a way it pays homage to those games and being an old bored-with-new-shit gamer that's fine with me.

#42 Posted by huser (1076 posts) -

They say "I hate ________" right before saying it just so they can absolve themselves of any responsibility of proliferating a meme. It's not that it's not an acceptable word to describe it (if it wasn't, no one would ever have used it), it's that they don't want to be responsible to someone who wants to argue about terminology.

And really, what's wrong with "Metroidvania" if everyone knows what you mean when you say it? If it was a term that confused people and no one could really understand what it means, like if I called top-down shooters flippity floppity floo, then I would understand. But people have been saying Metroidvania, and you know what Metroidvania means, and you can pretty easily explain it to someone who doesn't. Like "rogue-like" means permadeath and random level generation. Like "Diablo clone" means isometric view, action-RPG with loot. Like "brawler" means side scrolling melee action game with a z-plane. We're not coming up with scientific terms here, we're coming up with colloquialisms. We don't need to find the core parts of it and translate them into Greek and now Hydro Thunder is in the aquatachyia genre.

Man if only more molecular biologists agreed with you. Their naming conventions are arcane to say the least.

#43 Posted by kenniWORLDPEACE (53 posts) -

Castleoid anyone???

#44 Posted by bowielee (34 posts) -

Maybe just cross two other names of metroidvania type games together.

Dustamelee?

#45 Posted by Kevin_Cogneto (1038 posts) -

@gnatsol said:

MEtroid-genre. Seriously. MEtroid did it first. MEtroid did it the best. Why must that franchise share the spotlight with a title that took a lot of what worked in its gameplay from METROID!

One more thing..........................................................................................................................SUPER METROID!

Bizarre capitalization aside, this is pretty much what I was going to say. Symphony of the Night was what, like the 6th Castlevania game? Which came out 10 years after Metroid? Everything before SotN was a linear action platformer with no resemblance to Metroid whatsoever, aside from maybe Castlevania 2 which really only dips a toe into the genre. How Castlevania gets to share the moniker for the entire genre is beyond me.

#46 Posted by PandaBear (1355 posts) -

viddy-o-ghaymz

#47 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

I don't mind it.

#48 Posted by AlexW00d (6235 posts) -

Aquarialike

#49 Posted by Levio (1784 posts) -

Side-scrolling exploration RPG? SERPG for short.

#50 Edited by tourgen (4465 posts) -

I like metroidvania. That's two of my favorite games all in one word. Metroidvania Roguelike Dungeoncrawler needs to be a new genre.