Dan's Red Dead 2 talk was frustrating. Not because of his take, because of his etiquette.

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#51 Edited by Stephen_Von_Cloud (1696 posts) -

@frytup said:

I listened to every minute of it.

I think there's a pretty serious disconnect here as to what "fact" means. Strongly stating an opinion is not the same as representing that opinion as fact. When people in this context say something like "this thing is x", it's understood that they're stating their opinion. It's up to people who disagree to challenge it... or not.

So you missed when they completely invalidated others opinions when they told them they didn't enjoy the gameplay? or when Brad discussed his fishing moment and was told he was running from the story cause it was bad... okay man. It seems like you didn't pay attention.

You're really lost in the weeds on something no one is suggesting other than you. We all know what opinion is. It's the tone and telling others what they thought of games when they have to argue that they didn't. Totally disingenuously representing others arguments.

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#52 Edited by Stephen_Von_Cloud (1696 posts) -

@liquidprince said:

I think if you objectively compare the control scheme of any Rockstar game to any contemporary game, you can't really argue that it isn't bad... or at least significantly poorer.

lol oh boy. I think the controls in Max Payne 3, GTA V, and now RDR 2 are the best and most rewarding I've played. The physicality is unmatched and extremely immersive, as well as rewarding. MP 3 is the best third person shooter I've played by a large margin.

Okay tho. You're on that Jeff/Dan telling people they didn't have fun when they say they did tip.

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#53 Edited by Seikenfreak (1545 posts) -

I understand where the OP is coming from on Dan's thing, at least I think I do. It stinks, but he was playing the room. It comes across as a bit manipulative. Someone else will concede some small negative detail to express that they don't think the game is perfect or anything, but overall it's good or great.. And then you'll see a smirk on Dan's face, and then he'll latch onto that small negative detail and continually bring it up in his argument. Like "Well, Vinny, you said you had an issue with X, and Ben said he had that problem one time with Y.. Sooo?" And then that stirs up the whole thing again.

If you watch him, you'll see him smirk a lot. I know because I'm a pretty manipulative person, as much as that is something I don't like to admit. But it's all part of the deliberations "game" so to speak. You need to rally more people to your side. There was a point where Abby suddenly chimed in after an awkward moment I think and said some real shit, it might've been about how or why Dan thinks RDR1 is so incredible and yet this is practically the same thing and somehow it's the worst game ever. It flipped the tone in the room, but only briefly, I think because Dan responded and changed the subject a bit. Also, he was trying to use that "one person before was able to passionately argue for something to get on a list" card, except it was totally shot down by.. Actually, that was a game that people felt indifferent about and looked fine from a distance. Not, hey.. this game is loved by a few people in the group, liked by others, and disliked by a person who clearly was never going to like it in the first place. I don't think he had enough of a valid case for it to be in those three.

And I agree with what @humanity has been saying. It comes off as shitty for me to say this, but I think if the game type is clearly not for you, maybe your opinion on these games should hold less value. I don't really play fighting games, and I suck at them, so I think it would be really unfair for me to come in and say "DragonBall FighterZ sucks. I can't do combos or anything, everyone beats me every time. It plays like shit." and then Jason says.. "Actually, the entire fighting community is in love with it.. It's highly praised for it's controls and gameplay.." and I reply with.. "Well it's shit. They're all crazy." On the other hand, if I were to talk about a racing sim, I think I know what I'm talking about more than say.. Jeff, who has expressed complete disinterest in that genre and specifically wants something super arcadey. If he doesn't like a racing sim.. well that's kinda irrelevant.

Imagine if Jeff had just opted to not play RDR2, knowing he probably wasn't going to like it? Which a lot of people on the forum predicted based on his tastes we've seen over the years. Then he might've taken a much more measured, more mediator role in the argument and not swayed it so far into the negative even only playing it for a couple hours.

It is what it is.

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#54 Edited by monetarydread (2890 posts) -

@stephen_von_cloud: You are entitled to your opinion, but c'mon, if you have done any reading on the subject you have to know you are in the minority on that opinion right? I loved Max Payne 3 on PC, but have you tried to play the game with a controller? It is objectively one of the worst controlling shooters on console because the free aim option requires immense accuracy and reflexes that way too demanding/fast for most people, or you can choose the auto-aim option that basically does all the work for you.

Also those three games arguably do have controls that are weirder and potentially worse than most other games. They have applied physics/momentum to determine how your character moves around the environment and that results in this weird, floaty, unresponsive, animation-priority character movement that is completely in opposition to how almost every other game controls. Most games have this instant movement, so you are running forward and push left, your character just moves left instead of this weird momentum thing where the character tries to react realistically. There is potential value in being realistic, especially if you actually believe in things like Ludonarrative dissonance being important to pay attention to, but it is for sure a stylistic choice and by no means a better choice.

@seikenfreak: I am reading your section about opinions being more valid than others. I have to disagree with that, this isn't some group of university professors arguing whether a game should be canonized or not, this is a video game website talking about what games are most relevant for the staff at this particular website. Even if your original stance is correct, as far as the subjective opinions of the giantbomb crew and discussion of "most disappointing game is concerned," the opinion of the person who was most vocal about how the first RDR was the best game of last generation and now thinks RDR2 is a disappointing game should hold more value then, right?

As for Jeff, he is very vocal about liking games in the open-world genre and is specific on the reasons why he doesn't like RDR/RDR2. So why should his opinion be any less valid? Just because there is authorial intent behind some of the games decisions doesn't mean that the game absolved from making those decisions. If I am forced to watch a bunch of shitty, animations that take way too long because the developer wanted a game that is slower paced to represent the movies the game is influenced by, doesn't mean that the game is still filled with shitty animations that slow down the pace of the game. The only thing that Jeff has implied that he isn't a fan of is role-playing immersion at the expense of fun and that is a completely valid point to bring to the discussion.

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#55 Posted by LiquidPrince (17073 posts) -

@liquidprince said:

I think if you objectively compare the control scheme of any Rockstar game to any contemporary game, you can't really argue that it isn't bad... or at least significantly poorer.

lol oh boy. I think the controls in Max Payne 3, GTA V, and now RDR 2 are the best and most rewarding I've played. The physicality is unmatched and extremely immersive, as well as rewarding. MP 3 is the best third person shooter I've played by a large margin.

Okay tho. You're on that Jeff/Dan telling people they didn't have fun when they say they did tip.

I don't recall ever telling people whether or not they did or did not have fun, but thanks for putting words in my mouth. You feel the controls are the best you've ever played and that's great for you. But the biggest point of contention about RDR2 outside of the split between how the open world and linear story missions are handled, are the controls.

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#56 Posted by frytup (1368 posts) -
@frytup said:

I listened to every minute of it.

I think there's a pretty serious disconnect here as to what "fact" means. Strongly stating an opinion is not the same as representing that opinion as fact. When people in this context say something like "this thing is x", it's understood that they're stating their opinion. It's up to people who disagree to challenge it... or not.

So you missed when they completely invalidated others opinions when they told them they didn't enjoy the gameplay? or when Brad discussed his fishing moment and was told he was running from the story cause it was bad... okay man. It seems like you didn't pay attention.

You're really lost in the weeds on something no one is suggesting other than you. We all know what opinion is. It's the tone and telling others what they thought of games when they have to argue that they didn't. Totally disingenuously representing others arguments.

You can easily read the continued insistence that Jeff was "stating as fact". I didn't invent the argument.

I find the idea that Jeff or Dan tried to invalidate Brad's opinion baffling. If you say that they weren't all that interested in being swayed, then you have to accept that Brad wasn't either. He was "dismissive" of their argument that the gameplay sucks just as they were "dismissive" of his argument that the story was worth the gameplay problems. Brad essentially told them to play the game better.

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#57 Posted by FrostyRyan (2925 posts) -

And I agree with what @humanity has been saying. It comes off as shitty for me to say this, but I think if the game type is clearly not for you, maybe your opinion on these games should hold less value. I don't really play fighting games, and I suck at them, so I think it would be really unfair for me to come in and say "DragonBall FighterZ sucks. I can't do combos or anything, everyone beats me every time. It plays like shit." and then Jason says.. "Actually, the entire fighting community is in love with it.. It's highly praised for it's controls and gameplay.." and I reply with.. "Well it's shit. They're all crazy." On the other hand, if I were to talk about a racing sim, I think I know what I'm talking about more than say.. Jeff, who has expressed complete disinterest in that genre and specifically wants something super arcadey. If he doesn't like a racing sim.. well that's kinda irrelevant.

This.

It also reminds me of people's attitude on this site towards the Devil May Cry series. It gives off a huge "I can't take the time to become good at it and it's too much of a burden to fully understand, so it must be a bad action game" vibe. Then the reboot over simplified the combat and make it worse and that's what everyone likes because it's more accessible but the depth is completely gone. It's ok to prefer that but don't pretend it's "objectively bad"

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#58 Posted by topgunmv (47 posts) -
@humanity said:

@liquidprince: I guess I have a hard time saying if it’s objectively better or worse when it suits the atmosphere. I would love to have an arcadey, fast paced western game where you have stunt position on horses and all that - but I don’t know if I want that in this game. For instance Max Payne 3 is very divisive among people because it also has a very weighty control scheme compared to previous entries which were absolutely split second twitch shooters. I really love Max Payne 3 the way it is, and think the control scheme they chose really fits. Does Dark Souls control objectively poorly compared to Devil May Cry? I dunno if I can really conflate the two but each is going for a different vibe. It’s a tough conundrum really because we’re discussing the ever subjective “feel” of a game. That’s something that is unique to each person.

So like I get what you’re saying - I also love snappy games with extremely responsive controls. I’m just not sure if those snappy controls can be transplanted into any other game and not take away from the experience in a negative way.

I don't understand the argument people have that not liking the controls automatically mean's they're wishing for an old west version of Just Cause controls. You can have both weighty characters and good controls like in Max Payne 3.

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#59 Edited by Seikenfreak (1545 posts) -
@monetarydread said:
@seikenfreak: I am reading your section about opinions being more valid than others. I have to disagree with that, this isn't some group of university professors arguing whether a game should be canonized or not, this is a video game website talking about what games are most relevant for the staff at this particular website. Even if your original stance is correct, as far as the subjective opinions of the giantbomb crew and discussion of "most disappointing game is concerned," the opinion of the person who was most vocal about how the first RDR was the best game of last generation and now thinks RDR2 is a disappointing game should hold more value then, right?

As for Jeff, he is very vocal about liking games in the open-world genre and is specific on the reasons why he doesn't like RDR/RDR2. So why should his opinion be any less valid? Just because there is authorial intent behind some of the games decisions doesn't mean that the game absolved from making those decisions. If I am forced to watch a bunch of shitty, animations that take way too long because the developer wanted a game that is slower paced to represent the movies the game is influenced by, doesn't mean that the game is still filled with shitty animations that slow down the pace of the game. The only thing that Jeff has implied that he isn't a fan of is role-playing immersion at the expense of fun and that is a completely valid point to bring to the discussion.

The first thing is where the discussion of why does Dan hate this and love the original was not explored enough. I think someone put forward that his tastes changed and not the game, which he maybe vehemently denied. When was the last time he really played RDR1? And not just a casual hour or so. Perhaps when the backwards compatibility version was released for Xbox One? Where was he at mentally in life when RDR1 came out and how does that compare to now? Otherwise, it could've been a decade and he is viewing that game through rose tinted glasses. A person can be depressed, have no job and lots of free time or some other bad life situation, and a massive time sink, engrossing game is exactly what they need at that moment and they allowed themselves to be fully absorbed and committed as the game makes for an excellent distraction. I loved the original RDR1, perhaps the game of the generation, and I thought RDR2 was for the most part incredible, ground breaking, and very much played how I remembered RDR1 played.

On the topic of Jeff's tastes, not sure if you meant he is vocal about not liking games in the open-world genre? I'm having a hard time thinking of open-world stuff he does like. Jeff's tastes seem to align with the generation of games he grew up with. He's got classic tastes. He likes things fast and straight forward. He values gameplay over all else (which is then weird that he has a odd obsession with clickers, the most cynical and least involved gameplay of anything. I think he's more into the meta of it all though.) He does not seem to care for realism or gritty detail but a big, bold, bright, simplified aesthetic that doesn't get in the way of gameplay, like classic 8-bit games, seems to be his thing. He doesn't care for anything slow or methodical? RPGs, Simulation games, survival stuff, the Souls genre (briefly enjoyed Bloodborne, but I'd bet he'd dislike it if he kept going with it), etc. He seems to like clear goals like Hi-Scores or moving from one end of a level to the other. Low barrier to entry. He doesn't seem to enjoy stuff that involves setting your own goals or motivations, or injecting some of your own imagination into the game. He likes "Fun" in the classic sense of video games.

RDR2 is pretty much one humongous pile of what Jeff doesn't care for. This is just based on my observations of like.. 6 years of being a Giant Bomb member. I'm sure there are some exceptions (and it'd be interesting to explore those) but that seems to be the pattern.

And I guess I do believe authorial intent is very important when judging a game. If every developer tries to please everyone with their game, it'll just become this generic, homogenized mish mash of everything that doesn't do anything special. Something like the Souls genre, the gameplay characteristics it reintroduced into the industry, is an example of what more developers need to do. Try new things.

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#60 Edited by CabooseMSG (107 posts) -

I just cant stand how reductive the arguments about Red Dead are. It is totally valid to have an issue with how the game teaches you things and how you interact

You cant play a game contrary to how it was made though, and get mad when it doesnt work. The game was made to be slow and methodical and contemplative.

You cant say Red Dead is just a game where you "start mission, get on horse, ride someplace while talking, shoot people, ride back" when your literal game of year is "get in boat, ride someplace while talkin, hit the attack button a couple timea, then ride back."

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#61 Posted by LiquidPrince (17073 posts) -

I just cant stand how reductive the arguments about Red Dead are. It is totally valid to have an issue with how the game teaches you things and how you interact

You cant play a game contrary to how it was made though, and get mad when it doesnt work. The game was made to be slow and methodical and contemplative.

You cant say Red Dead is just a game where you "start mission, get on horse, ride someplace while talking, shoot people, ride back" when your literal game of year is "get in boat, ride someplace while talkin, hit the attack button a couple timea, then ride back."

I mean this a valid argument to make when talking about Red Dead specifically since the atmosphere of the game allows it to have the slower moseying pace. But the game in terms of responsiveness is not vastly different from how GTAV felt and so what do you say in that instance when you aren't controlling a slow poke cowboy?

There are honestly plenty of games that have lots of nuanced bespoke animations and yet still control in a lot more of a snappy way. Or at least have a control layout that has more consistent mapping. There is like 3 different buttons if not more to pick up items, 3 or more different buttons mapped to interacting etc...

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#62 Edited by mellotronrules (2635 posts) -

i feel like there's a lot of simmering passion in this thread (be it against dan's personality, the site's editorial/rhetorical tone, and/or giant bomb's treatment of past games) that this discussion has inadvertently reignited.

but ultimately the piece that didn't square with me is how the 'red-dead-cannot-be-most-disappointing' crowd seemingly would not entertain the notion of the game coexisting on both 'most disappointing' and 'best game' lists (as if those accolades are mutually exclusive). the lists are never completely endorsed by all members of the staff- and how many times over the years have we heard, 'well i don't agree with [X], but if you want the real truth look to my personal list..." i forget who said it, but i thought it was a really salient point when someone in the deliberations mentioned that by including read dead on 'most disappointing' it was a more accurate portrayal of the site's diversity of opinions on the game.

by simultaneously existing in the various subcategories (best story, most disappointing, etc) as well as the top 10- that feels like a much more honest product of the site's deliberations than if red dead had simply been in only positive categories...which is why i'm pretty satisfied with the outcome.

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#63 Edited by fnrslvr (579 posts) -
@seikenfreak said:

It comes off as shitty for me to say this, but I think if the game type is clearly not for you, maybe your opinion on these games should hold less value. I don't really play fighting games, and I suck at them, so I think it would be really unfair for me to come in and say "DragonBall FighterZ sucks. I can't do combos or anything, everyone beats me every time. It plays like shit." and then Jason says.. "Actually, the entire fighting community is in love with it.. It's highly praised for it's controls and gameplay.." and I reply with.. "Well it's shit. They're all crazy." On the other hand, if I were to talk about a racing sim, I think I know what I'm talking about more than say.. Jeff, who has expressed complete disinterest in that genre and specifically wants something super arcadey. If he doesn't like a racing sim.. well that's kinda irrelevant.

It's all just people assigning weights to each others' opinions on the internet, but I lean towards saying that it is indeed just shitty of you to say this.

Come time for RDR3, once RDR2's impact has had time to be absorbed by the community and reshape expectations, you might have a point. But up until the release of RDR2, it was hard to miss evidence of the fact that Dan was a central exhibit of the "RDR fan" demographic, which makes weighing in on the game as fair game for him as for anyone. He was gushing about all the same sorts of RDR1 open-world nonsense antics that everyone else seemed to have whenever the game came up. It's pretty clear perusing discussion of RDR2 across the internet (including in the comments section for the deliberations in which Most Disappointing Game took place) that the game has been very polarizing for the fan base, and for good reasons. Your remarks basically amount to a claim that the people on the negative side of the newly formed schism are not "true" RDR fans or didn't truly embrace the "right" things about the original, which is really shitty. It's okay for R* to disappoint a chunk of their fanbase and cater exclusively to the remainder who appreciate the purity of mechanics they're going for, but there's no getting around the fact that those former fans have been let down.

wrt your fighting game example, a more suitable comparison might be coming to the (eventually beloved) Street Fighter III after being a veteran of SFII, and being disappointed by the unfamiliar mechanics like parries and the weakened zoning and lack of familiar roster. It doesn't take away from 3rd Strike being an FGC darling that a lot of SF fans just can't stand anything about III. You can make the case that those fans fail to appreciate what 3rd Strike has going for it, but it is shitty to call those fans' views illegitimate. The III series of games is simultaneously immensely beloved and immensely disappointing.

Another example: Majora's Mask is my favourite game of all time, if I had to name one. A lot of the GB crew (especially Jeff) hate it. Hearing Jeff unrelentingly shit on my favourite game can be grating, and I do hope that views like his don't kill a variety of game that I'm into, but I can't say that his opinion ought to be assigned less weight in... well, speaking from nearly two decades of remove from the release of a game, it can become extra apparent how silly it is to even bother thinking about how much relative importance to lend each others' opinions. I mean, is Jeff's opinion of Majora's Mask going to drag it downwards on the Definitive Eternal Platonic Objective Ranking of All Video Games list? Who cares?

---

I actually found the pro-RDR2 side of Most Disappointing more, well, disappointing. They seemed intent on conflating "disappointing" with "objectively bad", as though unable to reconcile the idea of a truly great game by the standards of some, having immense capacity for disappointment for others. I felt like someone needed to pause the deliberations and remind some people that the category wasn't Worst Game, so they could take their very low levels of disappointment and step aside while people with extremely high levels of disappointment did their work. I'm glad Dan came out on top here.

Hell, a game can be simultaneously utterly mind-blowing and sorely disappointing for one person. In 2017, the strongest year in gaming in recent times as far as I can tell, Breath of the Wild was my GOTY. I sunk ~400 hours into that game, I even have the dubious honour of having Hestu's golden poop sitting in my inventory to commemorate collecting all 900 Korok seeds. But also, if I were to name a most disappointing game of 2017, it'd be BotW without contest. Nintendo schooled every other open-world game dev shop in the industry on how it's done, but somehow they completely missed the opportunity to seamlessly blend their iconic Zelda dungeon design into the remarkable experience they created. I really badly want those integrated dungeons. You could argue that I should "cancel" my disappointment against my love for that game and move it to 3rd or so on my GOTY list overall, but that just wouldn't be right.

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#64 Posted by Shindig (4991 posts) -

I can see it being disappointing. RDR's regarded as a game of the generation contender and seeing Rockstar double-down heavily on the 'authenticity' of it can really piss any momentum or enthusiasm away. Taking several hours to get into it requires a lot of faith from the player or at least something else to engage them with.

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#65 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (7699 posts) -

Once a year they have at least ONE discussion like this. This was Dan's. There was a DotA tirade a few years ago where feet were planted too. I think they sad fact is that 'planting your feet' is a rather immature argument tactic..It has never felt good when some of the crew have done it. Moreover, I think it steamrolls the more thoughtful crew members who would rather not reduce themselves to immaturity - they just stop arguing.

I could say more but I won't convince anyone who has already chooses a side in this. People see what they want, not what is factual, we know this for the past two years of politics.

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#66 Posted by CptMorganCA (257 posts) -

@efesell said:

This is a topic from 2015 where someone has crudely scratched out and replaced 'Witcher 3' and 'RDR2'.

Not really. The only constant here is a slow movement system.

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#67 Edited by CptMorganCA (257 posts) -

I understand where the OP is coming from on Dan's thing, at least I think I do. It stinks, but he was playing the room. It comes across as a bit manipulative. Someone else will concede some small negative detail to express that they don't think the game is perfect or anything, but overall it's good or great.. And then you'll see a smirk on Dan's face, and then he'll latch onto that small negative detail and continually bring it up in his argument. Like "Well, Vinny, you said you had an issue with X, and Ben said he had that problem one time with Y.. Sooo?" And then that stirs up the whole thing again.

If you watch him, you'll see him smirk a lot. I know because I'm a pretty manipulative person, as much as that is something I don't like to admit. But it's all part of the deliberations "game" so to speak. You need to rally more people to your side. There was a point where Abby suddenly chimed in after an awkward moment I think and said some real shit, it might've been about how or why Dan thinks RDR1 is so incredible and yet this is practically the same thing and somehow it's the worst game ever. It flipped the tone in the room, but only briefly, I think because Dan responded and changed the subject a bit. Also, he was trying to use that "one person before was able to passionately argue for something to get on a list" card, except it was totally shot down by.. Actually, that was a game that people felt indifferent about and looked fine from a distance. Not, hey.. this game is loved by a few people in the group, liked by others, and disliked by a person who clearly was never going to like it in the first place. I don't think he had enough of a valid case for it to be in those three.

And I agree with what @humanity has been saying. It comes off as shitty for me to say this, but I think if the game type is clearly not for you, maybe your opinion on these games should hold less value. I don't really play fighting games, and I suck at them, so I think it would be really unfair for me to come in and say "DragonBall FighterZ sucks. I can't do combos or anything, everyone beats me every time. It plays like shit." and then Jason says.. "Actually, the entire fighting community is in love with it.. It's highly praised for it's controls and gameplay.." and I reply with.. "Well it's shit. They're all crazy." On the other hand, if I were to talk about a racing sim, I think I know what I'm talking about more than say.. Jeff, who has expressed complete disinterest in that genre and specifically wants something super arcadey. If he doesn't like a racing sim.. well that's kinda irrelevant.

Imagine if Jeff had just opted to not play RDR2, knowing he probably wasn't going to like it? Which a lot of people on the forum predicted based on his tastes we've seen over the years. Then he might've taken a much more measured, more mediator role in the argument and not swayed it so far into the negative even only playing it for a couple hours.

It is what it is.

Yea, you broke it down better than I was able to. I don't think anyone benefits by playing the deliberations "game" and it's more fun to come about the list more naturally. As the for the other stuff, as I said, Dan's actual feelings on RDR2 are totally valid and I'm glad his disdain for it was ultimately represented in their list. I just don't like the way he seemed manipulative about it.

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#68 Posted by CptMorganCA (257 posts) -

i feel like there's a lot of simmering passion in this thread (be it against dan's personality, the site's editorial/rhetorical tone, and/or giant bomb's treatment of past games) that this discussion has inadvertently reignited.

but ultimately the piece that didn't square with me is how the 'red-dead-cannot-be-most-disappointing' crowd seemingly would not entertain the notion of the game coexisting on both 'most disappointing' and 'best game' lists (as if those accolades are mutually exclusive). the lists are never completely endorsed by all members of the staff- and how many times over the years have we heard, 'well i don't agree with [X], but if you want the real truth look to my personal list..." i forget who said it, but i thought it was a really salient point when someone in the deliberations mentioned that by including read dead on 'most disappointing' it was a more accurate portrayal of the site's diversity of opinions on the game.

by simultaneously existing in the various subcategories (best story, most disappointing, etc) as well as the top 10- that feels like a much more honest product of the site's deliberations than if red dead had simply been in only positive categories...which is why i'm pretty satisfied with the outcome.

Totally agree with the spirit of this. I have zero beef with something being high on Top 10 but also disappointing, but I just don't think a good enough case was made in this time. With Destiny, it made a lot of sense. But here, I don't think there was enough actual disappointment to warrant it.

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#69 Posted by stinger061 (481 posts) -

I think the higher number of people in the room now leads to these strongly pushed opinions and it's not unique to Dan. In fact, in the exact same discussion, I'm absolutely certain other members of staff were exaggerating their expectations for Fallout 76 specifically because they really liked RDR2 and wanted to argue for something else in order to keep Red Dead off the list even if nobody actually had any real hope for Fallout 76 after it's reveal.

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#70 Posted by wheelhouse (26 posts) -

i feel like there's a lot of simmering passion in this thread (be it against dan's personality, the site's editorial/rhetorical tone, and/or giant bomb's treatment of past games) that this discussion has inadvertently reignited.

but ultimately the piece that didn't square with me is how the 'red-dead-cannot-be-most-disappointing' crowd seemingly would not entertain the notion of the game coexisting on both 'most disappointing' and 'best game' lists (as if those accolades are mutually exclusive). the lists are never completely endorsed by all members of the staff- and how many times over the years have we heard, 'well i don't agree with [X], but if you want the real truth look to my personal list..." i forget who said it, but i thought it was a really salient point when someone in the deliberations mentioned that by including read dead on 'most disappointing' it was a more accurate portrayal of the site's diversity of opinions on the game.

by simultaneously existing in the various subcategories (best story, most disappointing, etc) as well as the top 10- that feels like a much more honest product of the site's deliberations than if red dead had simply been in only positive categories...which is why i'm pretty satisfied with the outcome.

The Red Dead 2 discussion reminded me of the Destiny 1 discussion from 2014. So much so that I went back and re-listened to it.

The big takeaway I took from hearing both in the same day is that Brad doesn't seem to actually HEAR what people say when he's passionate about something. Alex and Patrick were pretty active in saying that Destiny didn't belong in the top 10, with Jeff echoing their thoughts (but still stating that in a year of bad games it'd most likely be on his personal top 10), and Jason, near the end, mentioned how after the beta he was looking forward to it, and how the final product was such a bad game. Also Drew, being a Halo fan, wanted to like, but simply didn't. Dan didn't really say a ton in the discussion, and Vinny was once again the diplomatic star of the segment.

The one part in particular was how Alex and Patrick brought up that there was very little content in Destiny (and Jeff and Jason mentioned a "loot game without loot"), and the only thing going for Destiny was it had great shooting. What Brad seemed to take from that is that the only problem was that Destiny needed MORE of what it had ("you can't dismiss a game from the top 10 for not having more content" or something to that effect) and both Alex and Patrick had to stress that they didn't actually like what Destiny did have (apart from the shooting).

Vinny took the diplomatic approach and got to where Brad admitted it took him 15-20 hours before he enjoyed it (around the time of the first patch, IIRC), and Vinny suggested it was a tough ask to recommend a game to anyone if it's going to take 20 hours for it to "get good". As someone who played Destiny 1, and did every raid (completed once, while current), Destiny 1 doesn't "get good" until Taken King, but that's my opinion.

RDR2 seems similar for Brad (as well as others). Takes a while to "get good". Has issues that some can't really get past (controls, etc). Has bad main mission structure (Ben's points). But also has an AMAZING atmosphere and story (everyone's points, bar Jeff and Dan). When Ben mentioned the sniper story and also running into town and getting mobbed, I did feel that Alex (and to some extent Brad) dismissed that because Ben "played the game wrong" and they didn't. I know that's not what they actually said, but it's what I heard from Alex especially.

As someone who's never played RDR 1 or 2 (they are westerns, I have no interest, and hearing about the controls interests me even less), I thought there were tons of valid reasons brought up in the discussion for it being a disappointment. But my gaming habits are more in line with Jeff and Dan - gameplay comes first. I don't enjoy sitting through cutscenes, or having my movement speed crippled so the dev can be sure I hear some character's speech. Most stories in games are bad, and poorly made, IMO. Comparable to Sharknado levels of quality writing and scene framing. So I've learned to filter what various cast members say about games and apply them to my habits. For example, even though everyone seemed to love RDR 1 - I can ignore that praise because I know I don't want to play a western.

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#71 Edited by soulcake (2827 posts) -

I am okay with people hating games but did Dan even once, made a valid criticism ? Saying you don't like the gameplay isn't valid critique even from a game jurno, the term "gameplay" is to broad IMO. I listened to the whole thing but it was weird. Duders like Jeff or Vinny express there criticism in a more objective and understandable way so more power to them. Saying you don't like x and then going but Y was good isn't valid critique IMO.

Dan would make a fine politician :D.

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#72 Edited by Onemanarmyy (4610 posts) -

Hm interesting. I thought Dan was actually very good at it. Argued his points, was very clear that he was not telling others that they were wrong about their opinions, never raised his voice in an angry way and just kept focusing on the issues he had with the game despite enjoying other aspects of it. When i think about the discourse on Red Dead on the podcasts, Dan's journey from being super psyched about RDR2, enjoying it and later on hating it was very indepth and gave me a good idea what that game was like. I bet i would love it if i had a ps4.

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#73 Posted by mems1224 (2514 posts) -

I thought Dan was fine. If anything it felt like Brad and Alex ganged up on him and tried to invalidate his opinion multiple times which is why Vinny stepped in and backed Dan up.

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#74 Posted by glots (4431 posts) -

Not much feelings towards one way or the other, but Dan’s ”Say it, mweehee!” by the end of the discussion was kinda eyerolling.

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#75 Posted by Jesus_Phish (3918 posts) -
When Ben mentioned the sniper story and also running into town and getting mobbed, I did feel that Alex (and to some extent Brad) dismissed that because Ben "played the game wrong" and they didn't. I know that's not what they actually said, but it's what I heard from Alex especially.


Just one point about that mission. The entire mission is this and Ben left it out and makes it sound like the mission is Buy Rifle -> Get into fight. John tells you to go get a rifle with a scope because you're going to need it to go steal sheep (honestly). You use the rifle in an entirely different part of the map to scare off ranch hands from a distance before you run up behind the sheep and the game teaching you how to wrangle packs of animals like sheep and horses and cows. You bring them back to Valentine, and then follow John around to the saloon where you meet up with Dutch and then a gun fight breaks out. The game tells you to escort the wagon which has Strauss on it. Dutch even tells you to use the wagon as cover for yourself. By the time I'd gotten to the bar in that mission I'd forgotten about the sniper rifle because I was on the street level, I had to escort my friends and there was a lot of dudes shooting at us. I went to what became my old reliable of two really nice revolvers.

And on the running into town getting mobbed thing, Ben didn't play wrong. You can run through markets and barrel over people but you will get a bounty for it because thats the way the game is made. Ben said something like "well fuck me for playing a video game" which is kind of a bad take. You can't get mad at Madden when cause a flag just because you don't like the rules.

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#76 Posted by BradBrains (2274 posts) -

I felt throughout the year on the beastcast and here Dan was pretty articulate on why he didnt like the game. If anything I felt brad and abby where much more hand wavy and foot-putting-down than anything. I felt brad refusing to say the winners and runner ups for the category was kinda silly too.

I liked dans point that games have been added due to a strong opinion of one person. Heck destiny 1, maybe the most famous GOTY discussion moment was all about one persons passion vs everything else.

In the end just like Brad said this is the process and its always kinda been a "listen if you dare". I think it also works because this is the one time a year you really hear this kinda discourse

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#77 Edited by lase (30 posts) -

Have yet to listen to the Most Disappointing section yet, but if it's anything like Best Style, I can tell it's gonna piss me off. Really gets under my skin to watch a year of Brad playing different video games and having no idea how core features work, not noticing big flashing UI elements, etc., and then when people critique RDR2 he says things like "it's not that hard" in a snide manner. Ben had to teach Brad how to play Bane! After thousands of hours of Dota! Dude is consistently an airhead when it comes to formulating or ingesting actual critiques.

Also, I feel like there has been a lot of back and forth in this thread about the movement being "good" or "bad", and that is obviously subjective. The movement is demonstrably slow and unresponsive. The menus are labyrinthine. There tutorials popups are small and vanish quickly. I think they (& us) should focus more on descriptive language in discussion.

I'm with Dan on this one, unfortunately. I play just about every western game I can get my hands on, but to me, RDR2 just doesn't have any of what makes a game fun. That, and the story isn't that good either! The ending was so obviously telegraphed on that Strauss mission! Why don't my magic bullet time powers work right as my friends are getting shot to death? Why does the trolley throttle break for no reason? Why does Charles sign up to possibly die for no reason? Why are there so many missions where you can't catch the person/thing you're chasing until after the game decides you can? This stuff is ridiculous.

It's pretty obvious Rockstar just wants to make a movie, and they should. They are continuing to wring out what remains of the "game" portion with each of their releases.

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#78 Edited by Efesell (4645 posts) -

It's been mentioned a few times but I'm still flabbergasted at the complaint over being penalized for just running folks down in crowded places.

Like...do you just miss a generation of video games with Wanted systems. Do you just barrel through whole games loudly wondering why everyone is so darn upset?

I have never gotten a single bounty in a town because I stop galloping my god damn horse at full speed when I'm around people. A thing I would do anyway even if there was no bounty system.

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#79 Posted by sodapop7 (660 posts) -

Please tell me some people are getting the idea that this is what these podcasts are about? This happens literally every year and I enjoy seeing the passion from people. I’d even say this argument was better on both sides than previous ones. The Destiny discussion comes to mind.

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#80 Edited by elite49 (608 posts) -

@lase said:

Have yet to listen to the Most Disappointing section yet, but if it's anything like Best Style, I can tell it's gonna piss me off. Really gets under my skin to watch a year of Brad playing different video games and having no idea how core features work, not noticing big flashing UI elements, etc., and then when people critique RDR2 he says things like "it's not that hard" in a snide manner. Ben had to teach Brad how to play Bane! After thousands of hours of Dota! Dude is consistently an airhead when it comes to formulating or ingesting actual critiques.

Also, I feel like there has been a lot of back and forth in this thread about the movement being "good" or "bad", and that is obviously subjective. The movement is demonstrably slow and unresponsive. The menus are labyrinthine. There tutorials popups are small and vanish quickly. I think they (& us) should focus more on descriptive language in discussion.

I'm with Dan on this one, unfortunately. I play just about every western game I can get my hands on, but to me, RDR2 just doesn't have any of what makes a game fun. That, and the story isn't that good either! The ending was so obviously telegraphed on that Strauss mission! Why don't my magic bullet time powers work right as my friends are getting shot to death? Why does the trolley throttle break for no reason? Why does Charles sign up to possibly die for no reason? Why are there so many missions where you can't catch the person/thing you're chasing until after the game decides you can? This stuff is ridiculous.

It's pretty obvious Rockstar just wants to make a movie, and they should. They are continuing to wring out what remains of the "game" portion with each of their releases.

The best style thing was infuriating because it shouldn't have even been in the running to begin with. They kept praising the same Mansion scene and talking about the way it was shot. Yes, somethings in the game were very well done. Yet most of the games cutscenes look last-gen, they're not impressive whatsoever compared to most games thing gen and even some last from a motion capture/camera work perspective (not vocal performance or graphics).

You also forgot to mention the absolute shitty archaic mini-map that I stared at roughly 70% of the time I was playing because Rockstar can't be bothered to change it to an overhead compass or a waypoint on screen system. Looking at the bottom left corner of my TV for red dots, random encounter dots, and whether or not I took the right route... oh wait, I slammed into another guy on a horse and now he's trying to kill me because I missed the yellow marker.

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#81 Posted by Tom_omb (1088 posts) -

I thought Dan was being very civil, patent and even keeled during the Most Disappointing game discussion. I don't think Alex and Brad had much of an argument to back up their stubbornness. Fallout 76 came out a few months after a confusing announcement for a game only a couple played. Dan waited seven years for a follow up for his game of last generation, at no point did he expect to be let down before release.

His experience with RDR2 was much like my own. Vinny and Jeff had similar issues. He wasn't reaching with his arguments.

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#82 Posted by loafofgame (173 posts) -

Having listened to the discussion after reading the comments, I'm not bothered by the entire thing. To be fair, I have no dog in this fight, but I always find these discussions fascinating to listen to, also as a phenomenon of communication between passionate people who respect and like each other. Yes, it gets heated, some arguments might be inconsistent and some tactics might be questionable, but it's just so entertaining. And I never get the feeling it gets disrespectful or uncomfortable. To me it feels like people are projecting their own feelings on what's going on in that room. I'm speculating, but I find it very hard to believe there would the same lingering discomfort amongst the crew as some of the people in here are feeling. And as such, I can't be bothered by how anyone presents themselves in these podcasts. These people know each other well and they know what they're getting into.

In short, I'm happy with how this turned out.

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#83 Posted by TheRealTurk (602 posts) -

RDR2 is kind of a hard one because the experience can be very different depending on what you are doing. If you are treating all parts of the game equally (i.e. side-content, etc.) I think it's really very fun and could easily see how someone like Abby, for example, could have it as the Game of the Year. There's tons of really interesting, even unmarked/hidden content to explore that fits really well with the game's deliberate pace. It makes it easy to get lost in the world.

However, if you're looking only at the mainline experience, I could easily see people lining up with Dan's position. The central pillar of that game has a lot of design issues that are kind of endemic to Rockstar games - bad tutorialization, slow movement, poor mission design, etc.. And unlike a lot of the ancillary activities, the mainline story really doesn't fit well with the pace of the game. The gameplay wants you to take your time, but too often the missions boil down to "hurry up and shoot stuff," which also plays to the worst of the game's problems like the slow movement and klunky gunplay.

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#84 Posted by hermes (2638 posts) -

I thought it was on par with how GOTY has always been.

It was more prevalent in previous years, because they tried to move away from the "lets focus on the negatives instead of celebrating the good" (and I think they mostly succeeded) but, maybe because of the nature of that category, it was bound to favor defects of the games over things the competition did better; but it is not a lot worst than other years, like Brad dismissing criticism of Skyrim, Destiny or DOOM.

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#85 Posted by acharlie1377 (149 posts) -

Honestly, I was annoyed with Alex and Brad during that discussion. Dan was obviously incredibly disappointed with that game, but more people than not in that discussion had some issues with that game (Jeff obviously hates it, Jan, Vinny, and Ben had some problems with it, and even Abby admitted to some smaller disappointments), and they flat-out refused to even consider putting RDR2 on the list. Even Brad admitted that you had to "give yourself over" to the mission design, and said that it takes up to 10 hours to actually start enjoying the game, but refused to admit that maybe the game has some frustrating, or even disappointing, elements to It's even more frustrating because there was already precedent for a game being on both Best of and Most Disappointing (Destiny).

There seems to be an almost cult-like aspect to some of the fandom around RDR2; anyone who doesn't like the game is dismissed because of how much of an achievement the game is. In fact, when Dan first started turning hard on the game on the Beastcast, I remember there being a couple threads that were mad about his opinions, because people thought he didn't give the game the respect it obviously deserved. For whatever reason, people who don't like the game are frequently treated like they don't understand it, and that they shouldn't espouse their criticisms because they're untrue and blasphemous.

Obviously, people should be allowed to love this game, and tell people how much they love it; at the same time, people should be allowed to despise this game, and tell people how much they didn't enjoy playing it. I'm glad it ended up making the top 3 most disappointing, because (if you listen to the relevant Bomb- and Beastcasts) it reflects a real sense of disappointment that a non-trivial portion of the crew felt playing that game.

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#86 Edited by Bane (929 posts) -

Dan was absolutely fine during the Most Disappointing debate. He stated his case, made good arguments, acknowledged his views were mostly unique to himself, respected the opinions of those who disagreed with him, and agreed that the game does some things very well and was recognized for that in other categories.

I thought Vinny and Jeff made good arguments to support him as well. Vinny said something like Most Disappointing is the difference in how you felt going into a game versus how you felt coming out of it. Well, that fits Dan's experience perfectly. Jeff asked whether they were arguing to have Fallout 76 on the list or to keep RDR2 off the list. That sentiment was rebuffed of course, but I think Jeff nailed it. The fact that the official Most Disappointing list didn't get read at the end speaks volumes to that.

Edit: when Jeff asks his question about keeping RDR2 off the list Brad says that's a part of why he's arguing against it. Later on Alex said that wasn't one of his reasons.

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#87 Posted by DarkeyeHails (607 posts) -

@acharlie1377: Yup, especially Brad. Anyone who didn't find Brad more frustrating during that whole segment than Dan is out of their mind. The way he kept moving around how you determine if it belongs on the list (first it was about not having the support and then when it looked like Dan had more support, it was a test of wills and numbers don't matter). It was fucking nonsense and got up my nose a little. I don't necessarily agree with Dan but he made his case and, frankly, he articulated it well and wasn't a pissant about it.


I can't deny that the bit he did about Brad not reading all the names was a cheeky act of motherfuckery but his run up until that was fine.

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#88 Posted by primeate (5 posts) -

I can respect the sentiments around most disappointing coming up around the game. I thought it was a great perspective personally as I was in the marginal group of people that didn't have issues with most of the subjects brought up in the discussion. I also didn't understand the whole 10 hours to get into thing that kept getting discussed as it felt like a pretty natural flow to me, but once again I know I'm in a very small group with that being the experience and I think the fact that experiences like mine were the minority speaks to what Dan and the others point was. This was just a dig in the heels moment that Vinny described as I believe pig headed which is not far from the truth. Same shit, different year, different category.

P.s. How bout Dem Bears?

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#89 Posted by redcream (909 posts) -

I have no qualms with their conversation at all. It's good that they are not always in their best behavior especially when talking about their opinions. That's what makes listening to it interesting and worthwhile. Dan may be a bit pushy but I like it especially since Brad is also a hell of a fighter.

As an aside, it's funny that Brad specifically talked about it being a battle of the wills and it reminded me of the year Skyrim won over Saints Row III by Brad being stubborn about it. He actually "outwilled" all of the GB staff that year.

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#90 Edited by WTHall (4 posts) -

Long time first time (actually, the forums have alerted me to the fact that I had posted three times before this. oops): What the RDR2 discourse reminded me of was 2017's Nier talk.

Two games that went for interesting and laudable things for(capital V, capital G) Video Games to try. They REALLY went for those things, and probably largely achieved them, but were also maybe not Fun in a traditional Video Game sense. I played the five big endings of Nier, thought it was interesting, but nothing I hadn't seen before or questions I hadn't seen asked, and wished it had just been a two-hour movie. I won't play RDR2. I am not at all interested in westerns or this kind of slow pace and open world, and cannot support Rockstar and their labor practices. I am very happy others love these games, and genuinely enjoy when I hear a good arguement for why they are great.

And for me that kind of intelligent argument was missing from the Nier talk in 2017 and RDR2 talk in 2018.

My issue with the Nier talk in 2017 and the RDR2 talk in 2018 was that some advocates for each (at the GOTY table) acted as if not liking those games meant that you were not sophisticated enough to understand the fine art that Video Games could be. If you didn't like one it wasn't about the game, it was something wrong with you. Both sets of advocates, both times folks with disproportionate power at the GOTY table, came in assuming their game had a god-given right to the top spot.

In the end, I think that meant that the arguments for each game were weaker than they should have and could have been. Instead of intellectually engaging with the rest of the table advocates just guffawed at the notion that a pleb would not understand that game, and discounted any argument against the game as being the other person 'not getting it,' or just not having the incredibly personal reaction that advocate had for the game.

Intellectual elitism sucks everywhere. Including in Video Games. Arguments are great, but have an actual argument.

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#91 Edited by thetenthdoctor (321 posts) -

The whole category was frustrating to listen to, honestly, because they were treating it like “Game we were most surprised was bad” instead of “Most disappointing”.

They kept getting hung up on and judging every game on when they realized it was going to be bad or how much info was given pre-release, but that shouldn’t matter. Even if they knew Fallout 76 was going to suck from the very first announcement, it can still be disappointing that Bethesda released such a bad game.

This happens a lot in these talks, and the Dan thing was just as bad. No one could really articulate (and Dan couldn’t understand) that cases where one person’s impassioned argument gets a game on a list is only when there is no vehement argument to the opposite. In this case half the room held the FIRMLY opposite opinion, but he forced the team to put their name on a list they strongly disagree with by just being stubborn and wearing them down to the point they gave up for sanity’s sake. Trying to force Brad to read the list a second time made it even worse.

Not a cool move in my opinion, and it makes it harder to listen to him going forward.

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#92 Posted by The_Greg (549 posts) -

I think that others in the squad do the same, a little bit. It's just the nature of the show, I think. A lot of information being fired around at random.

Off the back of this, I'd like to say that Alex was an absolute f*cking pro on the GotY podcasts. There were a few moments where things started to go off the rails and he pulled everything back in with an on-point summary of the discussion so far, as well as clearly defining what the best way to handle the discussions would be. I was genuinely very impressed by him.

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#93 Posted by Forzafan86 (36 posts) -

Dan has his own view and yes, he put things a little harshly but don't watch his content if you don't like it.

Personally I loved RDR2 and it is the best story driven game I ever played. And I started playing games with the PS1.

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#94 Edited by Clapmaster (357 posts) -

I feel like the only people frustrated by that discussion are the folks that are up RDR2's back side. I didn't even start playing the game till after I watched all of the goty stuff and about 10 hours in I'm loving it so far but I didn't see any problem with Dan expressing his issues with the game and his negative opinion on it. I agree with everything he said on the game so far but I'm still having an awesome time with it.

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#95 Posted by AdamALC (306 posts) -

They shut down Dan so hard on his Dream Daddy argument last year that I don't blame him for coming out swinging on something he was actually passionate about.

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#96 Posted by Efesell (4645 posts) -

The whole category was frustrating to listen to, honestly, because they were treating it like “Game we were most surprised was bad” instead of “Most disappointing”.

They kept getting hung up on and judging every game on when they realized it was going to be bad or how much info was given pre-release, but that shouldn’t matter. Even if they knew Fallout 76 was going to suck from the very first announcement, it can still be disappointing that Bethesda released such a bad game.

This happens a lot in these talks, and the Dan thing was just as bad. No one could really articulate (and Dan couldn’t understand) that cases where one person’s impassioned argument gets a game on a list is only when there is no vehement argument to the opposite. In this case half the room held the FIRMLY opposite opinion, but he forced the team to put their name on a list they strongly disagree with by just being stubborn and wearing them down to the point they gave up for sanity’s sake. Trying to force Brad to read the list a second time made it even worse.

Not a cool move in my opinion, and it makes it harder to listen to him going forward.

Something about this reading makes the situation way more appealing.

Like damn, good for you goin' that distance.

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#97 Edited by Froghourt (181 posts) -

Just my two cents, but being "frustrated" at Dan for what I considered to be a very civil and respectful tone in a heated discussion is very strange to me. Dan made it very clear why he thought the game should be considered for most disappointing, he made it clear it was his own opinion and that he no intention or wish to try and sway anyone else's opinion on the game or try to say it was a "bad" game. At no point did he raise his voice or make any outlandish claims, and made it clear that it was fine for him for the game to be both on the "Most Disappointing" and "Best Game" lists because he also was respectful of the fact that for a lot of people in that room it was their GOTY. This was also something that was in the making a long time. Dan's opnion on the game matured as he played it and he felt aspects of the game ruined his personal experience. This wasn't a hit job because he was mad at Rockstar or Red Dead for no reason, nor was it a ploy to try and get another game of or on the list like it was for some of the other people in the room.

Like, I read this thread before listening to the podcast and I was fearing the worst, but I would also go so far as to say Dan's arguments were exemplary. He started of with a clear thesis statement and then argued for why HE thought it belonged on the list, both in terms of the game itself but also from the precedent set in the GOTY discussions of years past. There was no poor etiquitte here, unless you consider some one not liking a game you like as being poor etiquitte.

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#98 Posted by CheapPoison (1127 posts) -

I can't Fault Dan here, I had way more of a problem with the stances towards Dan and his opinion. Which led him to buckle down, or that was my take.

I could be completely wrong. Not worth too look too hard into it. Things get said and over analyzed on a video.