Monday, October 05, 2009

Gamer discussion: FPSes and some comments on REALISM. And also FANBOYISM.

hi. Im pretty simultaneously busy and lazy to write anything thoughtful or useful to anyone or myself lately. So...lately, I have a crush on just about every cute girl i meet.

nah, im just playing with you. I can guess that hook didn't work too well.

Between this year and next year, there's going to be a number of great games I'm really looking forward to. Most of them are FPSes (first person shooters). Let me tell you: teasers, trailers and live demos are great marketing strategies. It helps to keep the consumer base salivating and wondering about whats more to the product. The mind would be playing simulations of what fun gaming possibilities are possible based on what they have seen and that fuels the curiousity and desire to obtain the specific product. There's going to a lot of competition next year for game companies.

Theories aside, whenever I watch videos or read of communities sites I can't help but notice user are badmouthing each other because of several differences that didn't really matter at all. For example, which platform (XBOX360, PS3, PC and stuff like that) is better? It doesn't really matter if yours is the best. I guess the reason people keep flaming other platform users while trying to prove their point is that deep down inside they felt disappointed that they are stuck to playing on the same platform. They lack opportunities to explore other platforms and see what others are talking about.

My point is: if you really think a particular platform is better, please try to avoid condemning (do the words fit? thats like 3 verbs in a row) others. Yes, I understand your enthusiasm trying to convert others into joining your beloved platform. But these people might just be like you. Most people can't afford to enjoy more than one platform. I mean, I couldn't and probably won't have enough financial stability to do so for years to come. Its at least fair to let us enjoy what we have. I think its ok if we could try to politely convince (again: verbs 3 in a row) others if the current platform is just pure marketing bullshit and people are getting their money stolen under their noses.

i could go on and on but lets move on to: REALISM.

Another major topic discussed by gamers everywhere. Realism in graphics: realistic graphics seems to be a major appeal for most gamers (or people who think they are gamers. Well, I'll discuss on what is a real gamer and types of gamers in another post). there are occasions where some of my friends saw me playing classic vintages I've grabbed from abandonware (google it) or bootleg game sites (I'm still buying originals, though. If wallet permits - another topic to consider: Piracy. Later posts i guess). They were disgusted and appalled at the sight of me playing them. y'know games like metroid, doom 2, planescape torment and warcraft 2. They said: "Eww, the graphics are ugly" or "Buruk juga dia pny grafik".

"Yeah, if you notice, these games date back to the 80's and 90's. I guess you weren't a gamer back then" i thought. i became a gamer somewhere in the 90's (how that came to be is a slightly interesting story - save that for later posts). I understand that visual and audio appeal are important but i doesn't translate to real value. Shooting the same stuff and walk through the same artistically and beautifully designed landscape can get dry real quick.

Let's see the realism aspect of gameplay. Most gamers whine how unrealistic games can be. Like, how you run, jump while gunning and still hit a target. how you can be revived from a quick zap with a defibrillator. How you can survived a grenade blast. It goes on and on. Let's get the facts straight: when there's a high degree of realism, it is called a simulation game. Face it, simulators are boring if you're not into that shit. they are the least fun for gamers who think of 2D graphics like girls with no "feminine" features (but they still make up with their personality. All the time). If you think realism is they way to go, try playing Armed Assault 2, Operation Flashpoint or America's Army. I might enjoy them because partly maybe I am a military geek.

I'm not sure how many would enjoy playing shooters with no crosshairs, no ammo count, no HUD notification of where a shot is coming from, no health bars, no minimaps, how equipment weight severely affects performance, one hit kill and other stuff that happens in real life. Like weapons malfunctioning when sand and water gets into the bolt mechanism. Then, you would have to play a minigame where you desperately do a takedown on your weapon and clean vital parts - all during a firefight. Like thats possible.

America's Army 3 for example. Your soldiers are bound to the Rules of Engagement, ROE (google that too), which means you cant be shooting every all moving object you could put a round into it. you'll have to identify it as threat. Do they carry weapons? Are the colours hostile? What are the circumstances? Do you have orders to engage? Where is your superior officer in the situation? Are they retreating (according to the Geneva convention, you can't shoot combatants in the back or when they are retreating)? For the average gamer, its all too overwhelming. Face it: most gamers are a shallow bunch. they gawk at hot beach girls with fake titties (ok, well. not all of them).

what I'm trying to say is: most real-life-like games are given unrealistic features because they have been tested by playtesters and proven to provide optimum excitement to players. Or in simple terms: because they are FUN. Face it: You come back home from work to unwind. Real-life involves huge amount of stress. You play games to get away from all of that shit (plus The Sims 3 is an evil game. YOU ARE THE REAL PUPPET). Unrealism can help give players through those "holy shit!" "Ahahah! Whoa that was wicked shit AWESOME!" moments we could remember and retell like a grizzled, bitter war veteran.

Don't get me wrong. I do appreciate realism. It takes real effort for developers to create a game with those minute details of realism. It can be exciting if you are genuinely interested. To me, a game is a product we buy with cold hard cash. It represents the investment and effort made by the hardworking people in a company. It is the fruit of their long brainstorming sessions finding ways to deliver us the excitement not remotely possible in real life. I am often put off by money making ploys of companies trying to make quick bucks. For example, games based on a movie franchise and one of those Chinese MMOs - little production values and the company owners posted in my PCGamer pretending like they know enjoy or give a damn about this whole gaming thing, if you know what I mean.

Finally, my take on realism: games provide you with the right amount of the right stimulus, your brain generates FUN. It doesnt get simpler than that. Im going to talk about political sensitivities in games but I'll save that for later.

And my take on FANBOYISM: well, maybe I won't say more on the matter but I would like comment on game famously known as DOTA. I don't hate the game. its fun. Its exciting. when played with friends. What disgusts the most is when someone plays DOTA a lot starts claiming themselves as hardcore gamers (like "DOTA is the best game ever in the universe" bullshit". Its a mod goddammit. Why Warcraft III didnt get any credit?). These people walk around like they're SO hardcore and start l33t-speaking about how they PWN the game and shit. Yes, your unmatched skill and vast insightful knowledge all the characters and item combo are valuable assets to the gaming community. "Oh, you do play other games? Oh, like what? Bejeweled? Diner Dash? Jojo's Fashion Show? Bejeweled 2?" Oh oh, and probably the only shooter you've played, other than CS, would be a game about a frog shooting colored BALLS out of its mouth which consequently blows up other matching color balls if they are 3 in a row (take a guess what game it is. Haha). I guess I am humbled because these games can't compared to the awesome skill requirement, which you possess, in DOTA.

here's a teaser video, on a game time proven to be fun (I hope):

I like what they did to the audio. the sound effects are awesome and spot on, especially the part during the deafening shellshock. Its been done before but its still awesome. the weapons have a satisfying feedback. multiplayer seems to be very exciting. Definitely something to look forward to.


Hafriz said...

Keeping Bad Company under my radar from now on :)

Back to topic, Zen, can I have more gamers like you around me? I'm getting sick of these Dota fanboys doing that too. Best of all they don't even know what Dota stands for!

In terms of platform fanboyism, I have to admit I have a strong preference towards the pc and the ps3, mainly because I own them and they have great amount of exclusives that simply warrant the purchase of the console. i don't envy the 360, because most of the games usually end up on pc anyway (still waiting for my Halo 3 bungie), but I do respect its legion of fans and I dont flame the on forums (im serious man)

BUT, I fucking hate the wii. I kinda hate it when people are hooked to this motion sensing gimmick and developers see this as opportunity to put half assed ports to the wii and have strong guarantee that the game will sell because some of the wii's clueless owners (women usually ahem) who would just buy the game as long as they slap a good hype around it. Sad.

Graphics. Like you I still play games that came out in the 90s and as much of a graphics whore as myself, I put gameplay above everything else in gaming. I still enjoy a good dosage of Deus Ex, System Shock 2, Max Payne, Undying and Half Life from time to time, while enjoying the current releases. And I do get these people hovering around me telling me how bad these games looked, when they just couldn't appreciate how wonderful the game's gameplay mechanics have aged for today's standards.

Eric said...

Jen, mcm berdebat ja ko ni. but i love the part u mention abt dota. mcm sa tau sepa tu. hahahahah

Zen said...

i always feel there's a lot to talk about fanboyism but i just can't point them all out. it has something to do with consumerism.

Yeah, the Wii is not strong point of this gaming thing. Wii survives the market based on its motion sensing gimmick. Games don't succeed because they're too ambitious. talk about half-assed, i too notice some half-assed ports to the PC (it annoys me to see the "press R1 to continue". The closest equivalent the PC have is F1) developers are getting lazier by the day. if you're a sport, the Wii is not that embarassing to play.

the graphics: to say a game from the 90's is fugly is like saying your grandpa is an ugly and weak old man who smells like old men. Little that they know that grandpa was once a handsome young man.Games in the past were challenging as opposed the ones today. today they have compensate for accessibility.

I appreciate that you appreciate the post. We're not fans. We're enthusiasts.

Zen said...

eric, sa tau ba ko minat dota. tu la sa mention.

oo, ndak. bkn tu org pasal dia kadang main game lain juga. Like kids who go into a LAN gaming center (skarang orang ndak panggil CC lagi) and act like they own the place but you can own his ass in C&C3 in less than 15 minutes.