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Posted by Utiow21 (69 posts) -

If you step back, it pretty astounding just how far video games have come in terms of gameplay and design in such a short amount of time. However, it seems as the cost of production for A-list games has increased, the desire to take new risks and explore uncharted territory (no pun intended) has diminished. Though I believe the modern gaming market is a far-cry from being truly stale, (especially compared with Hollywood) I still experience sequel fatigue, which I'm sure many of you can relate to.

I love when developers try to take well-worn series in new directions, and I think for many gamers, there is an expectation for innovation with each new iteration. However, I can't help but feel that some franchises seem to get a free pass. After two iterations of Modern Warfare, many series fans felt tired of the formula and demanded change, which led to a pretty serious falling out for many, when MW3 failed to live up to their expectations. I too felt it was time for change, but why then do franchises like Pokemon still receive critical acclaim? Sure there are plenty of new Pokemon and the online features have improved dramatically, but the core mechanics and gameplay systems have remained almost unchanged for 15 years.

Is it because games like Pokemon and Mario Kart are more geared towards younger audiences than Assassin's Creed? (which has also gotten a lot of flack for its yearly iterations, though AC3 looks to be mixing things up) Then what about the fighting game genre? Games like Street Fighter 4 and the Mortal Kombat reboot seem like really good refinements of decade old formulas than real leaps forward. But I guess with competitive games, you start getting into risky territory. An employee at Blizzard (wish I remembered who) equated Starcraft 2 to making "basketball 2" in that the rules of play were already so well ingrained in players, and the competitive space so established (especially in Korea) that they really couldn't change much. Couldn't you argue then that competitive shooters should be able to rest on their laurels for the same reasons?

And what is it about Nintendo that allows them to get away with this in their core franchises? Sure- this isn't always the case (see Mario Galaxy) but games like Mario Kart and Zelda (pre Skyward Sword) have kept their core mechanics through several console generations.

So any thoughts? Do you guys think innovation is especially important, or would you be okay with franchises fine-tuning the existing elements of their design through multiple games? And do you guys think that games like Pokemon really are getting a free pass, or is there more to it that I'm not seeing?

#1 Posted by Utiow21 (69 posts) -

If you step back, it pretty astounding just how far video games have come in terms of gameplay and design in such a short amount of time. However, it seems as the cost of production for A-list games has increased, the desire to take new risks and explore uncharted territory (no pun intended) has diminished. Though I believe the modern gaming market is a far-cry from being truly stale, (especially compared with Hollywood) I still experience sequel fatigue, which I'm sure many of you can relate to.

I love when developers try to take well-worn series in new directions, and I think for many gamers, there is an expectation for innovation with each new iteration. However, I can't help but feel that some franchises seem to get a free pass. After two iterations of Modern Warfare, many series fans felt tired of the formula and demanded change, which led to a pretty serious falling out for many, when MW3 failed to live up to their expectations. I too felt it was time for change, but why then do franchises like Pokemon still receive critical acclaim? Sure there are plenty of new Pokemon and the online features have improved dramatically, but the core mechanics and gameplay systems have remained almost unchanged for 15 years.

Is it because games like Pokemon and Mario Kart are more geared towards younger audiences than Assassin's Creed? (which has also gotten a lot of flack for its yearly iterations, though AC3 looks to be mixing things up) Then what about the fighting game genre? Games like Street Fighter 4 and the Mortal Kombat reboot seem like really good refinements of decade old formulas than real leaps forward. But I guess with competitive games, you start getting into risky territory. An employee at Blizzard (wish I remembered who) equated Starcraft 2 to making "basketball 2" in that the rules of play were already so well ingrained in players, and the competitive space so established (especially in Korea) that they really couldn't change much. Couldn't you argue then that competitive shooters should be able to rest on their laurels for the same reasons?

And what is it about Nintendo that allows them to get away with this in their core franchises? Sure- this isn't always the case (see Mario Galaxy) but games like Mario Kart and Zelda (pre Skyward Sword) have kept their core mechanics through several console generations.

So any thoughts? Do you guys think innovation is especially important, or would you be okay with franchises fine-tuning the existing elements of their design through multiple games? And do you guys think that games like Pokemon really are getting a free pass, or is there more to it that I'm not seeing?

#2 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@Utiow21 said:

but why then do franchises like Pokemon still receive critical acclaim?

Huh? I've seen people call it out for being the same old shit.

@Utiow21 said:

Do you guys think innovation is especially important, or would you be okay with franchises fine-tuning the existing elements of their design through multiple games?

The latter. Definitely the latter. Originality is misunderstood.

#3 Posted by avidwriter (667 posts) -

Both of those franchises are the same old shit. One just gets away with very little effort in the graphics area.

#4 Posted by Animasta (14698 posts) -

Pokemon also doesn't release every year, which is a big factor (though I don't know when B/W 2 is supposed to hit)

#5 Posted by huser (1084 posts) -

@Utiow21 said:

If you step back, it pretty astounding just how far video games have come in terms of gameplay and design in such a short amount of time. However, it seems as the cost of production for A-list games has increased, the desire to take new risks and explore uncharted territory (no pun intended) has diminished. Though I believe the modern gaming market is a far-cry from being truly stale, (especially compared with Hollywood) I still experience sequel fatigue, which I'm sure many of you can relate to.

I love when developers try to take well-worn series in new directions, and I think for many gamers, there is an expectation for innovation with each new iteration. However, I can't help but feel that some franchises seem to get a free pass. After two iterations of Modern Warfare, many series fans felt tired of the formula and demanded change, which led to a pretty serious falling out for many, when MW3 failed to live up to their expectations. I too felt it was time for change, but why then do franchises like Pokemon still receive critical acclaim? Sure there are plenty of new Pokemon and the online features have improved dramatically, but the core mechanics and gameplay systems have remained almost unchanged for 15 years.

Is it because games like Pokemon and Mario Kart are more geared towards younger audiences than Assassin's Creed? (which has also gotten a lot of flack for its yearly iterations, though AC3 looks to be mixing things up) Then what about the fighting game genre? Games like Street Fighter 4 and the Mortal Kombat reboot seem like really good refinements of decade old formulas than real leaps forward. But I guess with competitive games, you start getting into risky territory. An employee at Blizzard (wish I remembered who) equated Starcraft 2 to making "basketball 2" in that the rules of play were already so well ingrained in players, and the competitive space so established (especially in Korea) that they really couldn't change much. Couldn't you argue then that competitive shooters should be able to rest on their laurels for the same reasons?

And what is it about Nintendo that allows them to get away with this in their core franchises? Sure- this isn't always the case (see Mario Galaxy) but games like Mario Kart and Zelda (pre Skyward Sword) have kept their core mechanics through several console generations.

So any thoughts? Do you guys think innovation is especially important, or would you be okay with franchises fine-tuning the existing elements of their design through multiple games? And do you guys think that games like Pokemon really are getting a free pass, or is there more to it that I'm not seeing?

I think you might be underestimating the amount of change occurring in the Pokemon franchise. Jumping from the original Blue or Red to Black or White might have on a superficial level, the same core gameplay, but actually being good at it is something else. That said, the quickest way for an enthusiast activity to die is to either price or expertise yourself out of the range of new blood (ie kids). Pokemon is the gateway drug to gaming for millions of kids.

#6 Posted by Hailinel (24961 posts) -

@Animasta said:

Pokemon also doesn't release every year, which is a big factor (though I don't know when B/W 2 is supposed to hit)

This fall, I believe. But even so, B/W2 is a shift from the usual release norm of a new generation pair followed by a third game. These new ones are actually direct sequels to Black and White.

#7 Posted by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -
@Video_Game_King said:

@Utiow21 said:

Do you guys think innovation is especially important, or would you be okay with franchises fine-tuning the existing elements of their design through multiple games?

The latter. Definitely the latter. Originality is misunderstood.

You will get into the same discussion again. Hope you've got your arguments and examples ready.
#8 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@MikeGosot:

Totally. I AM A MAN OF MANY WORDS!!!

#9 Posted by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -
@Video_Game_King said:

@MikeGosot:

Totally. I AM A MAN OF MANY WORDS!!!

And you know what you're talking about. Which helps a lot. Oh well, i wish you luck.
#10 Edited by Spoonman671 (4645 posts) -

I haven't read it yet, but please don't let this be a post claiming that nobody criticizes Pokemon for not changing anything between sequels.
 
EDIT: Oh, fuck.

#11 Posted by 49th (2763 posts) -

I've never liked how Pokemon rehashes the same stuff, I don't like how CoD does that, I didn't like how the DBZ games kept doing that, I didn't like the Tony Hawk games doing that, and I didn't like Guitar Hero doing it.

I don't understand why people will still buy these games year after year even though they are almost exactly the same every time. I realised this when I was 11 and stopped wanting those games.

#12 Posted by believer258 (11948 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@Utiow21 said:

but why then do franchises like Pokemon still receive critical acclaim?

Huh? I've seen people call it out for being the same old shit.

@Utiow21 said:

Do you guys think innovation is especially important, or would you be okay with franchises fine-tuning the existing elements of their design through multiple games?

The latter. Definitely the latter. Originality is misunderstood.

This has caught my interest and I don't recall ever hearing your arguments for it. Might I ask what they are? And why innovation isn't as important as fine-tuning? I think both have their place but I'm not sure what your arguments could be.

As for Pokemon and Call of Duty - the cases are a little bit different and it has a lot to do with popularity. See, CoD is the most popular series in the world, so naturally it has a lot more detractors than Pokemon. Also, CoD is accused of stifling the aforementioned innovation in games because publishers keep trying to ape its success, whereas I don't hear about many other "Pokemon clones", though I'm certain they exist. And then there's my own personal little distaste for how every multiplayer FPS feels like they need a fucking level up and class system in their multiplayer. That pisses me off, people have been playing Quake 3 for years and it doesn't have anything like that. You need fun, not a fucking carrot dangling in front of my face.

#13 Posted by Utiow21 (69 posts) -

@Spoonman671: Well, yeah that is part of it. You might disagree, but I do feel that critics are surprisingly lenient when it comes to pokemon. But I think you'll find that's hardly the main point of my post if you read it through.

#14 Posted by BraveToaster (12589 posts) -

Many people have stated that Pokemon is more of the same shit. For games like Call of Duty, Pokemon, and Assassin's Creed, a lot of people are content with the more of the same thing, but with minor tweaks and new additions. I honestly think your age of audience argument is moot, since a lot of underage kids play CoD. Major changes won't be made until the majority of consumers refuse to make purchases. Of course, that's highly unlikely.

#15 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@believer258:

Originality is often understood to be an ideal that developers should strive for, and that originality in and of itself is good and contributes positively to an experience; I argue that originality isn't even connected to quality in any way, nor can it be, since originality is a referential trait and therefore extrinsic (IE not intrinsic).

#16 Posted by believer258 (11948 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@believer258:

Originality is often understood to be an ideal that developers should strive for, and that originality in and of itself is good and contributes positively to an experience; I argue that originality isn't even connected to quality in any way, nor can it be, since originality is a referential trait and therefore extrinsic (IE not intrinsic).

And here I was expecting it would be a long post, but you've stated this quite well. Better than I could have, anyway. I do agree that originality is not related to quality, but we need some originality in games.

#17 Posted by Utiow21 (69 posts) -

@believer258: That's a great point. Market saturation is a huge part of where the fatigue comes from and COD has spawned countless copycats, so the fatigue comes not just from the series itself but from the games it inspires as well. Didn't really consider this at the time.

#18 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@believer258 said:

And here I was expecting it would be a long post, but you've stated this quite well.

It is. I wrote a (future) blog about pretty much this subject, and it's so much longer than that that I had to split it into two parts. It doesn't help that I've bogged it down with quite a few charts and a Sherlock Holmes quote.

@believer258 said:

but we need some originality in games.

Why?

#19 Posted by NoobSauceG7 (1250 posts) -

Pokemon isn't released every year like COD so it is easy to get more COD fatigue than a pokemon fatigue. And like mentioned previous there are many changes from red to black even if the core gameplay itself isn't changed...And imo the core gameplay doesn't need to change.

#20 Posted by Phatmac (5726 posts) -

This kind of logic enrages me. If you want originality and creativity in games than look around you. There are more indie games that aspire towards innovation everywhere on the internet. Go check them out and stop trying to find innovation with AAA games. Be smart and look for creativity and stop asking for it.

#21 Edited by Utiow21 (69 posts) -

@Video_Game_King: I agree that originality does not equate quality. FF8 tried to do things very differently from most JRPGS and previous Final Fantasy games with junctioning and drawing, and even the way you got money. And to be honest- I kind of hated it for it. I felt like the developers were trying to change up the mechanics for the sake of it, rather than considering it if made for better gameplay.

I do think originality is important though simply because we all crave stimulation and are easily jaded.

#22 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@Utiow21 said:

I felt like the developers were trying to change up the mechanics for the sake of it, rather than considering it if made for better gameplay.

Yes! That is what developers should strive for! Not originality in the belief that it will produce quality.

@Utiow21 said:

I do think originality is important though simply because we all crave stimulation and are easily jaded.

Ah, but that is the fault of the gamers, not necessarily the games. After all, it's not like the game can control what other people play; it can only control itself.

#23 Posted by Zithe (1045 posts) -

I think you have to be into Pokemon in a hardcore way to see or understand most of the major changes they make with each generation of those games. Might be the same for Call of Duty. I'm not sure.

#24 Posted by HatKing (5973 posts) -

@Animasta said:

Pokemon also doesn't release every year, which is a big factor (though I don't know when B/W 2 is supposed to hit)

This, exactly. It's about fatigue, not people bashing the quality of the products. I have no interest in playing COD games because I feel like I play one every two months - it's an industry problem, not Activision's problem.

#25 Edited by Fozimuth (170 posts) -

Aside from the franchise fatigue, Call of Duty has gotten worse since 4. It had a fairly customizable multiplayer system with plenty of decently-balanced guns. Then MW2 said "fuck that," and added overpowered guns that take minimal skill and amazingly overpowered killstreaks functioning on a broken system. People joke that MW2 is "balanced, because every gun is overpowered." If you ever had akimbo Glocks, you would know just how bad it had become. From a series that once put so much emphasis on 3 stances and aiming down your sights to encouraging sprinting around, holding down the fire button and not even HAVING iron sights. That was enough for me. It wasn't just the sameness, it was the complete abandonment of balance for the sake of having "badass" bullshit like throwing knives and AC-130 killstreaks. It was stuck between "OMG SO COOOOOL" and trying to be a shooter grounded in reality, and so couldn't stand as a serious shooter using real guns, nor did it use its outlandish elements to make something fun and unique that also adds depth, like TF2 manages to do every couple months.

Also the plot was shit. Remember that at the time CoD4 came out, it was considered a step forward for stories in FPS. You could have a cool story and good gameplay without needing cutscenes or being HL2. But again, MW2 says "fuuuuuck that, guys!" and tries to be badass, but comes off as pretentious (everything Shephard and Price said was painfully overdone), childish, and completely full of holes.

#26 Posted by RPGee (759 posts) -

@Video_Game_King:

Query: If I'm not mistaken, are you arguing that originality in game design should act as the proverbial sauce to a meal, rather than being a meal in and of itself? That instead of being the sole focus of the game's creation, the originality is implemented into the system of a game that is already genuinely good? Genuine curiosity.

#27 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@RPGee:

My argument is that originality does not in and of itself affect taste at all. The focus should be on making a good game; if it turns out to be original (it won't; trust me), then whatever.

#28 Posted by Red (5995 posts) -

Pokemon also gets away with it because there aren't really any games that follow its formula to compete with it. Modern military online shooters are a dime a dozen.

#29 Posted by EXTomar (4761 posts) -

I don't think there is a double standard at all. People can and do state they are tired of both games because they keep doing the same things over and over and over again.

#30 Posted by believer258 (11948 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@believer258 said:

And here I was expecting it would be a long post, but you've stated this quite well.

It is. I wrote a (future) blog about pretty much this subject, and it's so much longer than that that I had to split it into two parts. It doesn't help that I've bogged it down with quite a few charts and a Sherlock Holmes quote.

@believer258 said:

but we need some originality in games.

Why?

I don't necessarily mean a complete revolution of how we view games or something insane like that; however, it would be nice if something came along that did some things differently. I don't really mean complete originality, but possibly a deconstruction of a genre would be nice. A deconstruction of modern military shooters could do the FPS market some good. (In case you don't know what I mean by deconstruction.)

I do think you're right, that a refinement of mechanics is more important than innovation, but I do not think that innovation (i.e. attempting something never done before) is something that should be ignored. Take a look at Mirror's Edge, a game which has found itself a cult following because it did something never done before. At least, never done right. Or, for a more universally loved example, there's the original Half-Life and what it did for narrative and set pieces in shooters. I can't say that it did much for base mechanics, but it did do a lot of things to draw players into a story instead of just plopping them into a level and asking them to go find the blue, yellow, and red keys.

#31 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@believer258:

Ah, but we must not argue these points from difference or originality; if we are to make a case for them being in games in the first place, we must argue that these are good in and of themselves.

@believer258 said:

(In case you don't know what I mean by deconstruction.)

My favorite game is Fire Emblem 4, a deconstruction of the Fire Emblem games before it; of course I know what a deconstruction is. And I always welcome poking and prodding of such genres. After all, deconstruction often leads to reconstruction, which makes for stronger narratives and, therefore, better games. This is but an example of the arguments I alluded to before, if I can be pretentious at the end of my own rambling.

#32 Posted by Hailinel (24961 posts) -

@HatKing said:

@Animasta said:

Pokemon also doesn't release every year, which is a big factor (though I don't know when B/W 2 is supposed to hit)

This, exactly. It's about fatigue, not people bashing the quality of the products. I have no interest in playing COD games because I feel like I play one every two months - it's an industry problem, not Activision's problem.

Although it it is Activision's fault if COD eventually crashes and burns due to a fatigue of yearly releases.

#33 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@Hailinel:

Or perhaps it is gamer's fault if such a thing happens. If not, then they are at least enablers to this habit. They see a great game, play it, and eventually complain that they are being given what they want. It's a tragedy of the commons fueled by idiocy.

#34 Posted by ajamafalous (12007 posts) -

Pokemon games actually change very significantly from Gen to Gen (i.e. Gen I to Gen II, Gen II to Gen III, etc.).

Online
#35 Edited by believer258 (11948 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@believer258:

Ah, but we must not argue these points from difference or originality; if we are to make a case for them being in games in the first place, we must argue that these are good in and of themselves.

@believer258 said:

(In case you don't know what I mean by deconstruction.)

My favorite game is Fire Emblem 4, a deconstruction of the Fire Emblem games before it; of course I know what a deconstruction is. And I always welcome poking and prodding of such genres. After all, deconstruction often leads to reconstruction, which makes for stronger narratives and, therefore, better games. This is but an example of the arguments I alluded to before, if I can be pretentious at the end of my own rambling.

But how are games to ever really change or do something interesting if a developer (or just one person) does not sit down and do their own thing? Take a look at Portal - that game would never have been made under the philosophy that originality isn't something we should look for. Or maybe id Software and their early first person shooters - imagine a world where those weren't made.

Originality does not, in and of itself, prove the worth of anything, whether good or bad; however, without originality we can't really make new and interesting things.

EDIT: I want to say that I don't disagree with you entirely, or even much at all. I'm saying that originality has its place, and the term itself isn't a bad or good thing.

#36 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@believer258:

You assume that originality is a thing that can be obtained; it cannot. Portal, for instance, is derivative of both Half-Life 2 (its engine) and Narbacular Drop (its entire gameplay concept). There were first person shooters before Wolfenstein, too, although none come to mind at this present moment. However, early first person shooters are not as original as you make them out to be; they were the natural evolution of the top down shooter, as is evident not only from Wolfenstein's predecessors, but also in the evolution of shoot-em-ups into rail shooters of Star Fox and Space Harrier fame.

You again fall into that fallacy I so hate. New is not necessarily interesting. Things which you have seen before can also be quite interesting, as I am currently discovering through Tear Ring Saga. I could also make the argument that interesting is not good, as seems the direction of your enthymeme, but I'm not necessarily in the mood for such semantics.

#37 Posted by Hailinel (24961 posts) -

@believer258 said:

@Video_Game_King said:

@believer258:

Ah, but we must not argue these points from difference or originality; if we are to make a case for them being in games in the first place, we must argue that these are good in and of themselves.

@believer258 said:

(In case you don't know what I mean by deconstruction.)

My favorite game is Fire Emblem 4, a deconstruction of the Fire Emblem games before it; of course I know what a deconstruction is. And I always welcome poking and prodding of such genres. After all, deconstruction often leads to reconstruction, which makes for stronger narratives and, therefore, better games. This is but an example of the arguments I alluded to before, if I can be pretentious at the end of my own rambling.

But how are games to ever really change or do something interesting if a developer (or just one person) does not sit down and do their own thing? Take a look at Portal - that game would never have been made under the philosophy that originality isn't something we should look for. Or maybe id Software and their early first person shooters - imagine a world where those weren't made.

Originality does not, in and of itself, prove the worth of anything, whether good or bad; however, without originality we can't really make new and interesting things.

There comes a point where something can be changed too much. Like, I hear people grumbling on occasion that Pokemon still uses a turn-based combat system and want to see it "evolve" away from that, but turn-based combat is the very core of Pokemon's gameplay. If I want to play a Pokemon game that isn't the standard generational title, there are games like Ranger or Conquest. They're spin-offs, but they do things with the Pokemon formula that exist outside of the standard series mold.

The Pokemon series has evolved over each generation of titles, and the Black/White generation alone made some long-overdue upgrades, like new battle types, battle animations, and the general graphic appearance of the world. For some, that's all that's needed. Throw in some brand new Pokemon to collect and train and we're off to the races.

#38 Posted by HatKing (5973 posts) -

@Hailinel: Certainly. It's definitely something we've seen Activision do before (Tony Hawk, Guitar Hero). I'm just saying the problem isn't exclusive to Activision, though they are a part of it.

#39 Posted by Destinycero (32 posts) -

Well, with Pokemon you pay less money for it and there not tons of pokemon like games out there to compare to it

#40 Posted by believer258 (11948 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@believer258:

You assume that originality is a thing that can be obtained; it cannot. Portal, for instance, is derivative of both Half-Life 2 (its engine) and Narbacular Drop (its entire gameplay concept). There were first person shooters before Wolfenstein, too, although none come to mind at this present moment. However, early first person shooters are not as original as you make them out to be; they were the natural evolution of the top down shooter, as is evident not only from Wolfenstein's predecessors, but also in the evolution of shoot-em-ups into rail shooters of Star Fox and Space Harrier fame.

You again fall into that fallacy I so hate. New is not necessarily interesting. Things which you have seen before can also be quite interesting, as I am currently discovering through Tear Ring Saga. I could also make the argument that interesting is not good, as seems the direction of your enthymeme, but I'm not necessarily in the mood for such semantics.

I know this, and I believe I said I agree with your point and argument. A new pile of shit is a pile of shit nonetheless. I haven't fallen into this fallacy and I fully understand what you're arguing for, I'm just saying that new ideas are neither bad nor good, but are necessary for the evolution of gaming and pretty much anything. This is not an enthymeme; without a new idea gaming could never have even been invented in the first place, let alone evolved into what it is today or continue to evolve into what it will be tomorrow.

Newness does not guarantee quality, but remember that gameplay mechanics were at some point a new idea. You can trace it back as far as you want to, but at some point someone sat down and said "Nobody's ever done this before, I'm going to do it". And then someone else refined it. And then someone else refined that.

I'm not asking for originality and new ideas to be something that everyone strives for; however, I won't downright call it unnecessary or that it does not have its place. It does have its place and is definitely important. How isn't it important?

Actually, for that matter, how are you defining "refinements"? Is a refinement, say, Bungie's two-weapon limit in Halo or Chrono Trigger's complete lack of random encounters, or are those things new ideas? Maybe we're defining these things in two different ways.

#41 Posted by ThePhantomStranger (371 posts) -

So this whole thing seems like a non-issue...stuff should get refined but some stuff should get smashed into other stuff to make newish stuff, like combining atoms into molecules, so that we can have a bunch of stuff. OK I don't see the problem here...HULK CONFUSED!

#42 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@believer258 said:

Newness does not guarantee quality, but remember that gameplay mechanics were at some point a new idea. You can trace it back as far as you want to, but at some point someone sat down and said "Nobody's ever done this before, I'm going to do it". And then someone else refined it. And then someone else refined that.

A....I need to stop beginning all these proclamations with "ah". Spending your nights listening to Japanese audiobooks of 19th century literature does a lot to turn you into a pretentious cunt.

Anyway, that might not necessarily be the case. At some point, somebody could have sat down, looked at what they saw around them, and asked how they could improve upon that in some imaginable way. Then ad infinitum. There are no origin points, in that regard; only endless rabbit holes.

@believer258 said:

Actually, for that matter, how are you defining "refinements"? Is a refinement, say, Bungie's two-weapon limit in Halo or Chrono Trigger's complete lack of random encounters, or are those things new ideas? Maybe we're defining these things in two different ways.

I do not believe that I have used the word "refinement" in this discussion. Instead, I have posited that just about any idea can be traced back to something before it in some other form. For instance, the idea of inventory limits is hardly a new thing, and one can name several games before Chrono Trigger that made random encounters less random. This does not make them bad ideas, per se; it merely means we cannot say it was their newness that made them good.

However, it does seem that your arguments do provide a positive solution for the stagnation which my ideas have been criticized for creating in their stead. Awesome.

#43 Posted by believer258 (11948 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

@believer258 said:

Newness does not guarantee quality, but remember that gameplay mechanics were at some point a new idea. You can trace it back as far as you want to, but at some point someone sat down and said "Nobody's ever done this before, I'm going to do it". And then someone else refined it. And then someone else refined that.

A....I need to stop beginning all these proclamations with "ah". Spending your nights listening to Japanese audiobooks of 19th century literature does a lot to turn you into a pretentious cunt.

Anyway, that might not necessarily be the case. At some point, somebody could have sat down, looked at what they saw around them, and asked how they could improve upon that in some imaginable way. Then ad infinitum. There are no origin points, in that regard; only endless rabbit holes.

@believer258 said:

Actually, for that matter, how are you defining "refinements"? Is a refinement, say, Bungie's two-weapon limit in Halo or Chrono Trigger's complete lack of random encounters, or are those things new ideas? Maybe we're defining these things in two different ways.

I do not believe that I have used the word "refinement" in this discussion. Instead, I have posited that just about any idea can be traced back to something before it in some other form. For instance, the idea of inventory limits is hardly a new thing, and one can name several games before Chrono Trigger that made random encounters less random. This does not make them bad ideas, per se; it merely means we cannot say it was their newness that made them good.

However, it does seem that your arguments do provide a positive solution for the stagnation which my ideas have been criticized for creating in their stead. Awesome.

You haven't said refinement. Someone said "fine-tuning", you quoted them, and I mis-remembered that one bit; this is a sign that I need to go to bed, though I'll still stand by my arguments.

Anyway, I don't quite see how fog provides a positive solution for the stagnation your ideas have been criticized for creating, unless you're somehow alluding to people having a "foggy mind". Unclear arguments, not understanding you, that sort of thing.

Anyhoo, I'd say this one's over as we seem to be repeating the same points and must agree to disagree.

#44 Edited by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@believer258:

I was watching bits and pieces of the final episode of the Persona 4 anime earlier (for this, you see), and imagined you as an angry Yu to my potentially nihilistic Adachi. I mean, given the vocabulary I've been spouting throughout this thread, it's appropriate that my mouth would flap about in such an unnatural manner while doing so.

Also, as I do believe that I am myself becoming lost in the system I have devised, I, too, shall end this argument here.

#45 Posted by iam3green (14390 posts) -

well pokemon doesn't get released every year. its like 3 years, i don't really keep up with pokemon. there are young people who play call of duty games every day, and then a new one comes out they go and buy it. they get pissed when there isn't anything new to the game.

#46 Posted by TehFlan (1944 posts) -

I can't really speak to Call of Duty, but I know that each iteration of Pokémon tends to improve upon its predecessors, even if the core gameplay is mostly the same. Add that to Call of Duty being released more often as people have mentioned and you can start to see why Pokémon is less often criticized.

#47 Posted by C2C (855 posts) -

Aright I'll address your questions one by one.

@Utiow21 said:

Is it because games like Pokemon and Mario Kart are more geared towards younger audiences than Assassin's Creed? (which has also gotten a lot of flack for its yearly iterations, though AC3 looks to be mixing things up)

This is a reason yes. The younger audiences may follow the series for a bit as they get older, but the target audience will always be the younger crowd. Looking at a series like AC and CoD, the audience is much broader and many more people can follow the way these games progress. This may explain why there are more people asking for something new from these series.

Then what about the fighting game genre?

Heh, this genre had a lapse in popularity throughout a large portion of the 2000's partly because how set in stone the mechanics were/are. Due to how the fighting game community has a strict definition of what a fighting game is, games like Super Smash Bros. and Power Stone are not considered fighting games even though the argument can be made they should. The strict sense of what a fighting must be from this community gives the genre a break from making too many innovations.

Couldn't you argue then that competitive shooters should be able to rest on their laurels for the same reasons?

You could argue this, yes. The original Counter Strike is probably the closest FPS equivalent to Starcraft. The crux of this argument however, lies on the fact that no other FPS (with the exception of maybe Halo?) has ever reached the level of fines and balance that is required for a reprieve in innovation.

And what is it about Nintendo that allows them to get away with this in their core franchises?

Here's the funny part, most of the core series have had deviations from the formula before to mixed results. Mario Kart had the dual-pilot mechanic in DoubleDash. Legend of Zelda had Majora's Mask and the portable games. Starfox had Starfox Adventure. Changes were made; some stuck, some didn't.

So any thoughts? Do you guys think innovation is especially important, or would you be okay with franchises fine-tuning the existing elements of their design through multiple games? And do you guys think that games like Pokemon really are getting a free pass, or is there more to it that I'm not seeing?

Ultimately I think that innovation remains a good thing. We have to remember however that disruptive innovation usually does not come from a series, but from a single game. Series have expectations from its' fan/audience that they can fulfill, for better or for worse. As a series Pokemon is expected to have approachable RPG mechanics for a younger audience plus some more pokemon every iteration. If following expectations is a "free pass," then pokemon certainly has had one given to it by the audience/fans for many years.

#48 Posted by Example1013 (4834 posts) -

inb4 no one cares. The people who bought Modern Warfare 3 could not give two shits about all the message board angst for that game, in the same way they didn't give two shits when they bought Black Ops, and even Modern Warfare 2 for that matter. This idea that any kind of majority of video game consumers are complaining about iteration is absolutely laughable. What you're seeing is confirmation bias in spades. Every post you read on Giant Bomb, r/gaming, Neogaf, /v/, etc. bashes the iterative nature of the last few Call of Duty games, so all the people who go to these websites and read these forums get the idea that everyone holds that opinion.

In reality you're seeing a very small section of the population of consumers who: 1) post on video game forums (to pull a Pachter, I'm going to say 99% of video game consumers don't post on or read video game forums) and 2) have a strong enough opinion to make those posts (this makes the posting segment even smaller for this particular issue, based on the most basic concepts of what bias is). Basically, you're trying to draw a conclusion on a population based on a sample that's not representative of the population. And this is easily visible by looking at the single loudest voice that speaks in this market: the almighty dollar. The Pokemon and Modern Warfare franchises are two of the highest-selling franchises of all time, and new releases regularly sell millions of units. Activision and Nintendo both have sizeable customer bases who enjoy the products as they are, so Activision and Nintendo are perfectly willing to keep catering to those customer bases, and this holds true for all iterative franchises, Assassin's Creed included.

I'm posting this because I'm super tired of reading all the people who think they've captured popular opinion. Reality check: video game forums are 99.99% circlejerks. That's just fine, and there's nothing inherently bad about that, but it really means that you have to recognize that nothing you see on here is going to be the popular or majority opinion for the entirety of the customer base for video games.

I really have no clue why I keep making these posts, since I'm fairly certain that no one reads them, and the people who do just completely ignore me and continue to post the same ignorant shit, as evidenced by the fact that these threads just keep getting made. I guess I keep hoping that if I say these things enough times, eventually people will get the message.

#49 Posted by GnomeonFire (750 posts) -

All I see in this thread is people purposefully creating dichotomies where they don't exist, in order to further an argument that doesn't need to be made.

#50 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7617 posts) -

Jeff brought a similar topic up during the last jars video when asked what the big fuss is about Diablo 3.

"It helps that it's Diablo 3 and not Diablo 13".

Pokemon may not advance much with each game, but we typically only see a new Pokemon game every 3-4 years (not counting spin-offs and such), so it's much more exciting when the new one rolls around. I'd be far more excited for Assassins Creed 3 if it weren't for Brotherhood and Revelations inbetween, which I thought were completely unnecessary games. Call of Duty also suffers because it's 'realistic cover based shooter #2555'. Games like that are a dime a dozen, where as there's nothing else really like Pokemon out there. But for the record, people bitch about Pokemon all the time.