Game of the Year? You're crazy!

I know I am late to the party in finally getting around to playing, and completing, Journey and Saints Row: The Third, but after doing so I fail to see the hype. Both of which are GOTY contenders for their respective years and I am struggling to see how that appears to be the general consensus.

I played Saints Row when it came out, had a few missions and found it boring. I felt as though the driving had went back a step from other games in the genre and is what caused me to stop playing it - well that and my friend who I started the co-op with never being on. I recently decided to pop it back in my console and see what the fuss was all about, I mean I had been told I 'should play this game', several times. I feel as though the game has a pretty awful story, I guess the franchise always has, but man. Everything is so forced it's quite cringe-inducing. I know that's basically the point, so I don't know. I like comedy in games, but this had few chortling moments. The gameplay I thought was way too bland and too easy to make it feel... rewarding to play? I don't know if that makes sense, but whatever. I just blew through the game with ease, and ended up being superman by the end of it. Excellent. Nothing more fun than zero challenge.

When I saw Journey, I thought it looked gorgeous. Then I started walking forward, sliding down sand dunes, making noises and... well. That's all I done, then the game ended. Oh, I also kind of jumped and floated a bunch. I guess you're thinking that I just totally didn't get it. I did, I pretty much took it as a metaphor for life, or the road to heaven. I haven't made my mind up, and I probably won't. I thought the gameplay was pretty fun the time I had with it, I just kind of fail to see what makes it so special.

Anyway, I guess I'm out of touch, or cynical. Who knows. Do you think I'm an idiot?

26 Comments
27 Comments
Posted by Baillie

I know I am late to the party in finally getting around to playing, and completing, Journey and Saints Row: The Third, but after doing so I fail to see the hype. Both of which are GOTY contenders for their respective years and I am struggling to see how that appears to be the general consensus.

I played Saints Row when it came out, had a few missions and found it boring. I felt as though the driving had went back a step from other games in the genre and is what caused me to stop playing it - well that and my friend who I started the co-op with never being on. I recently decided to pop it back in my console and see what the fuss was all about, I mean I had been told I 'should play this game', several times. I feel as though the game has a pretty awful story, I guess the franchise always has, but man. Everything is so forced it's quite cringe-inducing. I know that's basically the point, so I don't know. I like comedy in games, but this had few chortling moments. The gameplay I thought was way too bland and too easy to make it feel... rewarding to play? I don't know if that makes sense, but whatever. I just blew through the game with ease, and ended up being superman by the end of it. Excellent. Nothing more fun than zero challenge.

When I saw Journey, I thought it looked gorgeous. Then I started walking forward, sliding down sand dunes, making noises and... well. That's all I done, then the game ended. Oh, I also kind of jumped and floated a bunch. I guess you're thinking that I just totally didn't get it. I did, I pretty much took it as a metaphor for life, or the road to heaven. I haven't made my mind up, and I probably won't. I thought the gameplay was pretty fun the time I had with it, I just kind of fail to see what makes it so special.

Anyway, I guess I'm out of touch, or cynical. Who knows. Do you think I'm an idiot?

Edited by freakin9

I didn't get the impression the hype SR3 got here was a general consensus. Though I never played it, couldn't shake the first game and thought I had seen all the funny moments watching the coverage here so I would then be left with a open world game when I'm pretty much fed up with them.

Having said that, as someone who didn't care for Portal 2's gameplay but loved the game for the dialogue, I certainly understand how an ability to make the gamer laugh can go far.

Posted by CornBREDX

To each his own. 
 
I played Saints Row the 3rd this year and thought it was the best open world crime game I've played in years. 
 
Journey was a beautiful, maybe even cathartic experience. I dont know what it'd be like playing it now, but when it came out the whole idea of running into random people and having to go on this struggle never really knowing the other person or what they really wanted from you was a fascinating experience for me. The tone and underlying story was really fun to discuss as well. 
 
I guess from a certain perspective a lot of has to do with the "games as art" argument if you'll get peoples feelings on Journey. It's not my favorite game this year, but it's definitely going to be high up on my list.  
 
I tend to really like thought provoking stuff like that. It doesn't make you an idiot if you don't care for it as much, though.

Edited by TooWalrus

So, I haven't played Saints Row. Should I? 
 
EDIT: Sorry :-(

Posted by Colourful_Hippie

You're not an idiot you just don't like those games. I'm no different in thinking that CoD is a boring linear experience yet millions of people disagree with me. As for Saint's Row I think you're missing the point of what are essentially unlockable cheats cuz of how invincible you become at the end. The game is supposed to be over the top and stupid and all about being the ultimate badass, the jokes falling flat for you is merely up to personal preferences because I enjoyed a fair amount of them.

Posted by YI_Orange

People(myself included) thought SR3 was funny and dumb fun and open world gameplay is generally mediocre so the powerups made it better to get through.

People(myself included) thought Journey was a unique and compelling experience with fantastic visuals and sound and a strangely important multiplayer.

It sounds like you already know that though. Threads like this always confuse me, I never know what the OP wants from responses.

Online
Posted by CornBREDX
Posted by Spoonman671

You're probably dead inside.

Posted by Baillie

@CornBREDX: I wouldn't call it a struggle? It was pretty straight forward. Follow the light. The only part I had struggle with was on the snow level I came to a gate, it was locked. I couldn't figure out where to go then when I did, I jumped off the cliff as it seemed like the right way to go. Nope. I had to spend ages getting back to that point - exciting.

I guess Saints Row just felt like what I got bored of doing in GTA III all those years ago - just blowing shit up and being awesome. It's fun year, but after I did everything once, it was pretty mediocre.

@freakin9: I'm pretty sure SR3 is pretty highly regarded everywhere.

@TooWalrus: Do you want more open-world nonsense?! From what I've seen of Sleeping Dogs, I think that looks way more enjoyable. That's if you haven't already played that, lol.

Posted by TooWalrus
@CornBREDX: I... should apologize. That was a shitty reference to every podcast of late 2011, where they used the phrase "You should play Saints Row" literally dozens of time. 
Posted by CornBREDX
@Baillie: The struggle being the journey. 
 
@TooWalrus: Sorry, couldn't tell =P
Posted by ThePickle

I agree with you on a lot of stuff in SR3 but I still enjoyed it a lot. GOTY? No. But, SR3 was a ton of fun. The respect system was great, basically rewarding you for doing anything awesome, and the story got oddly compelling in the later parts. What prevents me from loving it on the level of Jeff or Ryan is a lot of the side missions. I didn't enjoy most of them. They would be easy to ignore if you weren't forced to do them as a part of the main storyline.

Posted by endaround

Burt Fucking Reynolds. And he shows up in a black and gold trans am.

Posted by freakin9

@Baillie said:

@freakin9: I'm pretty sure SR3 is pretty highly regarded everywhere.

That's an interesting comment given you don't like the game and made a thread to say as such. Nonsensical in fact.

Posted by Baillie

@Spoonman671: Yeah. That's probably the best reasoning I can come up with myself.

@YI_Orange: I don't really want anything. Maybe just a pat on the back and tell me that my choice of games are the best and that my life isn't the shambles I think it is.

Edited by stise

Why struggle to understand it? If you don't get it, ya don't get it.

Edit: Or maybe I should say if it doesn't hit you, it doesn't hit you. The word "get" implies that enjoyment is a puzzle you're responsible for solving.

Posted by Baillie

@CornBREDX: Oh, yeah. I did enjoy the game a bunch, it just confuses me how this game is thought of as a masterpiece. I actually wanted to go back into it after I finished it and start slaloming down the sand/snow, but when I did go to a checkpoint and ended up at the end of the game again. It confused me.

@freakin9: Oh, I meant from other gaming outlets and the majority of users I've seen raving about it here.

Edited by believer258

I didn't think SR3 was anywhere near as good as the Bomb Crew made it out to be.

EDIT: Well, if you're an idiot then I'm right there with you. Saints Row The Third did feel forced and bad all the way through. None of it was particularly funny to me. On top of that, most of the gameplay was "meh". Saints Row 2 felt much more natural and far less forced.

Posted by freakin9

I know what you meant, and that's simply not the case that everybody thought it was a GOTY contender.

Edited by CornBREDX
@Baillie: I'm curious. Did you ever run into anyone when you played it, or was yours a solo experience?
 
I think a lot of it may be lost if you're not constantly running into people- trying to stay with someone, losing them at some point (for whatever reason) and then being alone again and then at some point running into someone else. It may feel more hallow, I don't know. It's one of the reasons it's not my GOTY, as amazing an experience as it is, it is one that can only really be appreciated as it is intended and loses some of it's affect if you end up being alone (I remember I had my sister play it after I did not long after it came out and I guess it was a bad time or people had already stopped showing up as much or maybe server issues, but she rarely ran into anyone. Interestingly when she did, though, she would ignore them because she didn't want to bother people). 
 
I'm just curious though. 
 
Edit: darn my typos
Posted by ImmortalSaiyan

@believer258 said:

I didn't think SR3 was anywhere near as good as the Bomb Crew made it out to be.

Me either. I was surprised how much they did like the game.

Posted by Tylea002

I'm 100% with Jeff on SR3, that game is amazing. I know many people didn't really get into it in the same way, or find it particularly special, but boy oh boy, I did.

And it was glorious.

Posted by DoctorWelch

If you didn't play multiplayer in Journey, then you didn't play Journey.

Posted by YOU_DIED

@endaround said:

Burt Fucking Reynolds. And he shows up in a black and gold trans am.

THIS. END THREAD.

Posted by Baillie

@DoctorWelch: No, I never played multiplayer. I can't for the life of me get my PS3 to actually connect to the PSN, so I couldn't connect to anyone. I highly doubt someone else being there would have made the game any different to me.

Posted by NipCrip66

Journey is far and away my standout game of the year so far but I can see why people wouldn't like it. I think the description of it as "like playing a Studio Ghibli film" is perfect. It hit me emotionally like very few games, if any, have. I felt a sense of wonder and joy in the world and felt a closer bond to my co-player than I ever have in any game that let me communicate in a traditional way.

The last time I played it I dropped down from the ledge for the long slide sequence - the "moment of joy" - not realising that my co-player had gotten stuck on a ledge. I tried everything to slow down but couldn't so went down to the bottom and waited for them realising that they had probably gotten too far away and left my game. I felt absolutely terrible. I felt like I had abandoned them and was totally gutted. In that same sequence my new co-player and I walked into the light exactly side-by-side. If one of us went a little bit ahead we stopped and waited for the other one to catch up. Every time I play this game I have experiences like that and that is why it will be up there with Ico & Shadow of the Colossus for truly special games that can give me a genuine emotional experience mainly through visuals, animation and music.

However it is only a 1.5 to 2 hour game and there is not much actual "gameplay" so I don't think anyone can be criticised for not enjoying it.

Edited by DoctorWelch

@Baillie said:

@DoctorWelch: No, I never played multiplayer. I can't for the life of me get my PS3 to actually connect to the PSN, so I couldn't connect to anyone. I highly doubt someone else being there would have made the game any different to me.

The whole point of Journey is that experience with the other player that you can't talk to. As the name implies, it's about the journey you're having with someone. It's my game of the year, and if I didn't play it multiplayer I wouldn't even put it close to my top 10.

It's really kind of hard to explain, and since you already played through it by yourself that kind of ruins the experience. I was with another player when I first met the monster, and it was this weird experience where both of us desperately wanted to find the other person after getting hit. There's like this weird bond you build with this person specifically because you can't talk to each other. It kind of brings out the best in people, and you actually feel like you are making this journey in a beautiful world with a close companion.

Then, when you get to the snowy mountain and you're both fighting your way to the top, it's this awesome experience that has never existed in any other game before. There's this awesome sense of companionship, and when you finally reach the end it's a stunning visual and emotional climax of, "WE MADE IT."

So, it makes perfect sense to find it mediocre if you didn't play it online, but you really missed out.