Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Decline Videogame Culture Needs to Stop Fetishizing Skill

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by Beastro, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Werdna's Revengegender: ⚧ Learned

    Werdna's Revenge
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    Games Journalism has also been kinda crappy, but it's seemed especially bad over the past little while. This Dean thing is fascinating though, how does this guy have a job at all. It's not even about skill. I'm not very good at platforms, but at my wife's behest I've played a number of the classics with her. After even playing a couple of them you pick up on the flow of traditional platformers, and Cuphead doesn't look to deviate from that at all. His flailing around shows someone who doesn't play platformers at all. Like I said I'm not skilled at them, but even I could handle the start of that game. Mostly because I know how platformers work, and what they expect of you from actually playing a number of them. It's not that Pigeon Deaner lacks skill, it's that he doesn't even know how games work. How can you review what you can't engage with or understand? I think part of it is that publishers pushed out the few actual enthusiasts by demanding these guys just publish press releases and put up ads for their games, leaving just the true hacks and liberal art degree failures trying to use it as a stepping stone to something else.

    That the traditional journalists are dying out is not as great as it would seem though. I'm not sure streamers are all that better to be honest. There is more of an enthusiast aspect to it, yes. But the big streamers mostly seem to be on the shill train these days after the publishers figured out these guys were more bang for the buck. It has also meant that everyone is moving towards making games that look good for streaming (bit sized gameplay for people with ADHD) rather than being good games. Lots of streamers are also as frustrating to watch in the same way as Pigeon Deaner. I've seen them miss obvious things because they play in a bizarre ADHD fashion with multiple monitors taking their attention at once.
     
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  2. IHaveHugeNickgender: ⚧ Arcane

    IHaveHugeNick
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    Yeah, it's funny how they try to twist it and make it about skill. Nobody expect 30+ video game writer to be a pro player, that's not the fucking point at all. He needs to at least understand the basic concept of what a video game is. Imagine, I don't know, a guy writing reviews for those clit massagers. Sorry, you're not qualified, and no, your creative writing degree does not help.
     
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  3. Make America Great Again Multidirectionalgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    I remember when I thought this mostly applied only to gaming journos. Then I started following Trump's election campaign..
     
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  4. PulsatingBraingender: ⚧ Learned Patron

    PulsatingBrain
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    Don't forget, there were instructions written on the fucking screen too

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Make America Great Again Ranselknulfgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

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    PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    Modern gamers believe they should not have to read about a game to learn how to play it.

    This is one major difference between old school gamers and new school gamers.

    Old school games had massive manuals and books that you had to read if you wanted to be any good at the game. In [current year] even minimal reading makes a game too difficult for the mass audience.
     
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  6. Burning Bridgesgender: ⚧ Enviado de meu SM-G3502T usando Tapatalk

    Burning Bridges
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    The difference between video gaming and masturbation is blurring.
     
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  7. IHaveHugeNickgender: ⚧ Arcane

    IHaveHugeNick
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    Manuals make no sense in the age where every game has a day-one patch introducing shitload of last-minute changes.
     
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  8. Make America Great Again Ranselknulfgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Ranselknulf
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    My sentiment was more about the mechanics and research required in old school games to be good, not a statement on the superiority of any particular medium of the written word.

    A manual can be online, a website, or a wiki in todays world. Patching is another issue connected to modern games.. whereas old school patches were to fix bugs.. new school patches are to "balance". An old school patch wouldn't rebalance the game and make the manual obsolete. This is another issue entirely though.
     
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  9. Colour Spraygender: ⚧ Novice

    Colour Spray
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    You can immediately tell a person who grew up with games in the 90s. The first thing they do when they start a new game is press every button to see what each one does. It's like a basic competency check that newer video games have trained out of players because instead they bore the shit out of you with a 2 hour long tutorial that you have to repeat every time you play the game.
     
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  10. Laheygender: ⚧ Learned

    Lahey
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    This youtuber did a pretty good job summarizing the whole pigeon dean affair:
     
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  11. Naveengender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Or open the door to get in the car, as seems to be the case.
     
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  12. Zenithgender: ⚧ Educated

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    They're gonna compare it to theater, too. I'm not even joking, we'll see it in our lifetime.
     
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  13. Make America Great Again Lyric Suitegender: ⚧ Arcane

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    I think it is insulting that they aren't even bothering putting an effort.

    Ok, so you are just an hack journalist who got a job writing for videogames even though you don't give a shit about them. Now, wouldn't you at least put some effort in maintaining the charade? You could tell the guy had no experience whatsoever with games. He could have at least saved himself from this catastrophe by playing a couple of platformers. He didn't have to get good at them, just play them enough to know the basics.

    What this shows is that those people live entirely in their own universe and everything that doesn't revolve around their petty little social bubble is completely beneath them.
     
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  14. anvigender: ⚧ Scholar

    anvi
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    Chess should be made easier too so 5 year olds can play it. I am helping.
     
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  15. Burning Bridgesgender: ⚧ Enviado de meu SM-G3502T usando Tapatalk

    Burning Bridges
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    Apparently people pay these journos. Although they may do it inadvertedly, or because there are no other available. It's called failure of the free market. Like when you go into a huge bike shop and say you want a simple bicycle made from steel, with single speed, conventional brakes and without noticeable labelling, and they tell you they have not a single one.
     
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  16. Make America Great Again Dextergender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Shills > Partisan Political Hacks disguising themselves as Enthusiasts any day of the week. This is basically what late 90s/early 00s were like.

    Also reminder, he's proud of this:



    In 2007 he had to amend a Mass Effect Review he wrote because he didn't figure out how to Level up:
    https://web.archive.org/web/2007123..._why_mass_effect_falls_short_of_its_hype.html

    https://web.archive.org/web/2008010...and_apology_for_a_bad_mass_effect_review.html

    Show Spoiler

    A massive mea culpa and apology for a bad Mass Effect review
    By Dean Takahashi
    Tuesday, January 1st, 2008 at 3:32 pm in Dean Takahashi, Dean and Nooch on Gaming, General.

    When so many readers wrote in to tell me that I messed up my review of Mass Effect, I had to take a second look. It turns out, you were right. I was wrong. I owe an apology to you for writing a bad review. I also apologize to BioWare, which made a better game than I thought, and gulp, to Microsoft. The game play is not as flawed as I thought. I’ll leave the earlier review up for everyone to ridicule as they like, but I’ll add some new thoughts here that acknowledge the mistakes in it. My new take should help gamers who might make the same mistakes. It has taken me a while to admit this because I haven’t been free to replay the game during the holidays. But I have to fess up because blaming the developers for my own shortcomings isn’t something a respectable and professional reviewer, as I pretend to be, should do. In fact, I am a very part-time game reviewer, as it is a small but fun part of my responsibilities at the Merc. As Cassius said, “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves.” I really thought that my experience must be the same mainstream Mass Effect experience as everyone else’s, but it seems I may be off in the weeds.

    This is as good a way to start the new year as any. Mea culpa. This is as colossal a correction as I’ve ever had to do. I tried out the suggestions for replaying the mission on Feros. And I found that I was playing the game without exploiting some of the fundamental keys to the game. The suggestions from NJ Mom, Mark, DontMakeMeLaugh, Maximus, Blaze Lord, Brian C., Ryan, Menarek, and others were all very helpful. Thank you for those recommendations. The only thing left to debate is my level of stupidity as a gamer who didn’t pay attention to the rules. Thanks to Slippy for coming to my defense but I over-reached with my criticism here. I still have beefs, but we’ll save that for later on.

    The dumb thing about the way I played the game, as many pointed out, is that I didn’t make use of my Talent Points. I started the game doing so, but while on Feros, I didn’t pay attention to all the Talent Points I was accumulating after every encounter. Those points just sat there. They were waiting for me to assign them to specific character trait improvements. Without doing this, it didn’t matter that I was paying close attention to my inventory and upgrading my weapons as soon as I got better stuff (by hitting X in the equipment screen).

    For those who overlook it like me, the Talent tree is visible under the Squad menu. You can look it up for Commander Shepard or your own custom character, or the companions in the squad. Each time a character levels up, Talent Points are awarded. You spend these talent points by increasing specific capabilities. I backtracked to an earlier spot on Feros before the Thorian boss fight. Then I looked in the Squad menu and assigned the points. For Wrex, I gave him better Throw capabilities. For Garrus, I increased his decryption skills and his damp ability, which is what I needed to shut down the Asari clone’s powers. This is actually a very fun element of game play. You can direct the growth of your own character in the areas where you think you’ll need it most. And you can balance out the capabilities of the rest of your squad to complement your main character. Yes, I know, this is what a bunch of people told me. It doesn’t take rocket science to discover this menu. It just took a reminder to actually use it.

    A lot of positive effects flowed from this expanded repertoire in game play. My characters were fundamentally stronger. I could take out the Thorian Creepers with fewer shots. They did less damage to my characters. I didn’t have to go all out just to take them out. That meant I had more grenades left over and more health to power through each new level. Now that I had some extra powers to use, I went into the first battle with the Asari clone with a much stronger crew. I paused the battle by hitting the right bumper. I targeted the Asari clone, moved the cursor to Wrex’s capabilities, hit the “Throw” command with the A button, and then moved on to Garrus. I also targeted the Asari clone and hit the “Damp” command with the A button. Then I returned to live action.

    Now the companions weren’t dumb combatants anymore. They could do my bidding at each step in the combat. The Asari clone essentially froze and I could now take it out with five or six shots. The Thorian Creepers were still a menace, but now I could take them out by simply retreating from them while firing, as has been suggested. By using what BioWare put at my disposal, I could do something other than run and gun. I could enjoy a more nuanced, RPG-style combat. And now that I could take the Asari clones down, I could reach the medical station and weapons station in the level and upgrade to new capabilities and get more health. I didn’t even need to turn the target assist on to easy in order to get through the level. No longer was I a lone Homer Simpson running around with a pea shooter.

    After I beat the boss, which, indeed, wasn’t that hard anymore, I was rewarded with some cut scenes that revealed deeper parts of the story. The accomplishment of getting through Feros made me feel good and motivated enough to keep on moving through the game. I’ll do that and report back. I can honestly retract the part of my review that said the game play was totally weak. Should I have figured this stuff out? Yes. The developers didn’t hide the information and if I read the strategy guide, let alone the manual, closely it would have all made sense.

    That said, here are some of the complaints that I still have:

    The guns sound mostly the same. They shouldn’t. I haven’t used the sniper rifle yet so I’m not talking about that one.

    The grenade is still a little tough to wield. The back button is not an easy thing to hit once, let alone twice, in the heat of a battle. Flying in a straight line? They should do real grenade physics instead.

    The enemy AI is still really really dumb, particularly the Thorian Creepers, the Geth soldiers, and the human colonists in the Feros level. They make up for it with numbers. They often notice you only when they’re being shot. This still ranks as the most annoying thing about combat.

    You can’t skip conversations you’ve already had. You can only do so much with the X button that people have pointed out. Like watching the Asari clone coming out of the Thorian over and over. When you do go up to talk to someone you’ve already talked to, you should get an indicator telling you whether you’ve already talked that person to death or not.

    I believe that the general direction that this kind of RPG should go is toward more realistic combat. Halo 3 style play would be over the top. But something closer to it. That’s why we’re not throwing 10-sided dice anymore. BioWare has been moving down this path and I think it’s a good one. But if they make one part of the game – the conversation system – more cinematic, then they ought to make the combat system more cinematic as well. And you can still do that and have these cool features like freezing the battle and giving orders.

    As for finishing the game before I review it, we’ll see. I’ve already taken one direction and reversed course and I’m nowhere near being done. I can’t make judgments about just how good a game it is just yet. But it’s better than I thought. Again, I have to again say I’m sorry to all those fine folks at BioWare and to our readers as well.

    My last mea culpa? I played it for eight hours, not 12, like I thought. It just seemed that long without the fighting tips. Although I’ve offended a lot of you with my lousy review, I hope you’ll keep reading. I’ll keep working on doing a better job. I now know when it is OK to stand by a review, and when I have to eat my words. Happy New Year.


    Some more of his past masterpieces:
    How many ways can THQ's Space Marine game rip off Gears of War?: http://archive.is/LmErm
    The DeanBeat: I’m surrendering to the aliens in XCOM 2. It’s too hard: http://archive.is/Oskqn
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    This also led to a post on GamaSutra - Common Pitfalls in Game Tutorials: http://archive.is/GOV7M

    SupperBunnyHop also wrote a piece on this and almost decided defending him: https://www.patreon.com/posts/cuphead-it-still-14270750

    Before he saw this:
    He not only couldn't play Cuphead, he miscomprehended and wrongly copied off of Wikipedia that the game was developed by the Super Meat Boy developers: http://techsqrd.com/2017/08/24/cuph...nutes-of-shame-with-an-old-time-cartoon-game/
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuphead
     
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  17. IHaveHugeNickgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    I still suspect that the whole thing was a viral ad by Microsoft to promote Cuphead.
     
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  18. Murkgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

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    "Game journos can't play it for shit" is a surprisingly enticing selling point to me.
     
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  19. Laheygender: ⚧ Learned

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    It prompted me to pick up the metal slug anthology, so SNK at least got some shekels out of it.
     
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  20. Mark Richardgender: ⚧ Savant

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    Not really. I've seen games journalists panhandling on Twitter so they can eat that day. I don't know Dean's story, but most are freelancers with the income of an Egyptian logger and are expected to work for a handful of peanuts, which in turn devalues their profession so the next journalist is offered even less (a single walnut maybe. If they lived in the setting of Pathologic they'd be set for life). On top of all that they live in the most expensive cities where developers congregate. This all leads me to believe most journos are stacked up like Tetris blocks into one-room San Francisco apartments. Anyone who goes through that must have some kind of passion for what they do, there's no other explanation.
     
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  21. mondblutgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    mondblut
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    Bullshit. There were entire countries that never saw a non-pirated game with manual and shit. We had to learn everything on our own - and then earn our first lunch money writing third-party manuals and walkthroughs for book and magazine compilations that went hand in glove with piracy. We had played - and finished - the likes of goldbox series without journal entries, let alone fucking manuals.

    Reading about a game to learn how to play it is for pussies like that Dean dude.
     
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  22. Beastrogender: ⚧ Magister

    Beastro
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    Not a game, but that's the latest season of American Horror Story in a nutshell.

    Except many didn't bother to read such manuals unless they were going into a complex game like Civilization that they knew nothing of. Even then it's mostly turning to the manual when blindly going into the game didn't work at all. Hell even then my first try at that game had me mostly dicking around, going to war against the Aztecs and surrounding their city because I didn't know how the capture mechanics worked, all the while only having a single city since the settler ones didn't stand out. That was damn fun though even though I had no idea what I was doing, it was the fun that comes from that where everything you're doing is a learning experience.

    The real problem is manual or no manual, people "back then" didn't mind working through trial and error in order to learn a game and then master it. The thing was, so many "back then" were kids, and a big part of our development as one is a drive to tinker and explore while we have loads of free time to do so.

    Cognitively, that window starts to close past 20 and is largely done by 30, it' much the same causes that lead to the streak in criminality in males and how that tendency drops off immensely after 30 so much that some prison reformers solutions are to simply jail people until they reach that age and let them go to see what the re-offend rate is.

    One of the factors of the problems today is that the average game players age has increased, it's no longer largely played by kids and yet it is such a medium for kids, but most of us simply don't have the time to bother with all that trial and error now, and even here you pick up comments touching on that like how many don't even bother watching cut scenes any more and it's no coincidence that such confessions come with a comment like "I'm not a kid anymore, I can't be bothered to put up with this crap like I used to".

    That isn't the only problem we're facing, this article reveals another reason, one that video games share with other games, like sports, where the desire is to destroy any spirit of achievement and competitive spirit. It's not all bad, at least that desire is innate in us and a hallmark of childhood is a compulsion towards it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
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  23. illuknisaagender: ⚧ Learned

    illuknisaa
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    Here is my favorite video game journalist. He has a lot of insightful and in-depth comments on mechanics, level design and overall flow of games:
    Show Spoiler


    Should a game journalist be good at video games? I don't think so but any functioning adult should have at least bare bones basic problem solving skills (skills that are taught to you in school at second or third grade)
    Can Dean even read?

     
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  24. Make America Great Again Unkillable Catgender: ⚧ Damnit Moon-Moon! Patron

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    No, you just revealed yourself to be an "old-school" filthy gaming pirate. ;)

    Even games with no documentation to them except a flimsy cassette inlay in the 1980s used that little space to print out game instructions and what each key does. You could even redefine keys on most 8-bit systems, a feat not even modern games can replicate faithfully!
     
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  25. I'm With Her Icewatergender: ⚧ for prison Ice ice baby Patron Dumbfuck

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    THIS. Whenever I'm given a new ability in a game, my immediate reaction is to experiment with it—both by itself and in combination with other abilities—to determine its capacities and limits. Modern gamers expect to never have to do anything that they're not explicitly told how to do, because modern games have trained them to have that expectation. The problem is largely caused by its "solution."
     
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