Author Topic: What are you playing? - 2016 Virtual Insanity Edition  (Read 12674 times)

Solid Blake

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What are you playing? - 2016 Virtual Insanity Edition
« on: April 01, 2016, 05:46:40 AM »
It's 2016, time for the future and a new thread (Junior be damned)! It's also time for me to gush over a game from 2010. As I've finally caved in getting an Xbox One (opting for the less expensive option between Xbox or PC), I'm catching up on some Xbox 360 games I missed during my PS3-exclusive days. Alan Wake is such a game. The idea of a Silent Hill/Twin Peaks-esque, story-driven third person shooter from the guys who made Max Payne and Max Payne 2 had me salivating when I first saw coverage of this game almost a decade ago. It's still a pretty impressive game. Remedy sure knows how to create a mood/atmosphere and the lighting in this game feels current-gen, almost masking the low resolution textures (those ugly day scenes, though). The episodic nature makes for nice pacing, as I'm currently knocking off a episode every night or so (currently on the third episode) and the hard cuts with music accompaniment just oozes with style. Great game. It has me excited for their forthcoming Quantum Break (inspite of mixed reviews).

Other than that, I'm anticipating the next episode of Hitman, the Ratchet & Clank remake, and, of course, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. So.... what are you guys playing (for the next 9 months, at least)?
« Last Edit: April 01, 2016, 06:39:42 AM by Solid Blake »

Solid Blake

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Re: What are you playing? - 2016 Virtual Insanity Edition
« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2016, 10:48:20 AM »
I also checked out the Final Fantasy XV 'Platinum' Demo and, albeit being yet another Final Fantasy game, the active combat and gorgeous graphics/animation made me convinced to pull the pre-order trigger on this baby. The last FF game I've played to completion is FFVIII, so we'll see how much I get into this one (the weird bro-road-trip aspect is kind of a turn off). Any of you guys getting this one?
« Last Edit: April 01, 2016, 10:51:33 AM by Solid Blake »

FLYmeatwad

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Re: What are you playing? - 2016 Virtual Insanity Edition
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2016, 10:50:04 AM »
I'll post in here when I get home about 2016 stuff. I pre-ordered the PS VR Bundle because I need the Move controllers. And figure the game will be something. Otherwise, I already have the camera. Ready for VR!

Paul Phoenix

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Re: What are you playing? - 2016 Virtual Insanity Edition
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2016, 11:12:51 AM »
Okay, so Firewatch is not a short game. It's not a very interactive game, either. Quite a linear adventure with the illusion of choice, more so than the Mass Effect series. And that's saying something. Can't say that I hate the experience either, considering its story-centric design. I don't mind such games every now and then, but nowadays, I do prefer to stick to movies or just anime when it comes to good stories. Games can be quite tiresome when I have to do all the work to get through the story. And we can forget about books and visual novels either, considering my short attention span. I put the Umineko no Naku Koro ni Chiru VN on hold shortly after I began reading it. I digress...

Anyway, I also got this game called "Downfall" that's supposed to let you mold the main character in a number of ways, depending on your choices. I like that kind of game, but all too often, it's just false advertising (like Firewatch).
"I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is ending up with people who make you feel all alone." - Lance Clayton (played by Robin Williams), World's Greatest Dad

Eternally seeking variety. 'Tis the spice of life for me.

Melvil

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Re: What are you playing? - 2016 Virtual Insanity Edition
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2016, 02:01:48 PM »
I haven't played Firewatch yet, but "illusion of choice" is one of the worst things you can do in an interactive narrative, so that's a red flag for me. I will most likely still check the game out when I can pick it up on sale.

Paul Phoenix

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Re: What are you playing? - 2016 Virtual Insanity Edition
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2016, 05:28:31 PM »
but "illusion of choice" is one of the worst things you can do in an interactive narrative,

Yeah, I agree. It's just a shame that there are very few high quality interactive narratives out there that aren't text-based CYOA games, so I make do when one of these comes along.
"I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is ending up with people who make you feel all alone." - Lance Clayton (played by Robin Williams), World's Greatest Dad

Eternally seeking variety. 'Tis the spice of life for me.

FLYmeatwad

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Re: What are you playing? - 2016 Virtual Insanity Edition
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2016, 05:57:54 PM »
Feel like any narrative driven game where you are making decisions is going to end up presenting an illusion of choice. Realistically any narrative game, regardless of genre, with any sort of freedom only presents you with that illusion. It's how it's masked that makes games successful or not (or in the case of Firewatch how it directly toys with the idea of narrative choice and consequence in the way it has risen to prominence over the past few years), so I don't think that's really a red flag.

Video games, like all forms of fiction, or art, are a dialogue constructed between author and reader. Or player, as the case may be, where one creates gaps and the other fills them in, which result in the final product, though ultimately that finality is (and likely should) always be in the artist's hands.

Paul Phoenix

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Re: What are you playing? - 2016 Virtual Insanity Edition
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2016, 06:13:33 PM »
Feel like any narrative driven game where you are making decisions is going to end up presenting an illusion of choice. Realistically any narrative game, regardless of genre, with any sort of freedom only presents you with that illusion. It's how it's masked that makes games successful or not

Exactly. I know a visual novel titled "School Days" that has over 20 endings (which is uncommon even amongst other visual novels), such that you could barely tell where you're going to end up at the end of the adventure. I love such open-ended nature with such a wide variety of possibilities. Video games, unfortunately, have a limited nature by design, and could thus do less. School Days had the advantage of simplistic graphics and animation, not to mention that its interaction only amounts to clicking between two dialogue choices. And yet, I enjoyed it far more than any other video game.

I think the closest video game to achieve such a open-ended nature was Undertale, where the player's decision can result in a number of different consequences as well. To a lesser extent, there was also the Mass Effect series, of course, where you end up with the infamous three-colored flavor endings... yikes.

Oh, and I must mention - The Stanley Parable! That was such an amazing game. I never knew where I was going to end up.
"I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is ending up with people who make you feel all alone." - Lance Clayton (played by Robin Williams), World's Greatest Dad

Eternally seeking variety. 'Tis the spice of life for me.

Melvil

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Re: What are you playing? - 2016 Virtual Insanity Edition
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2016, 07:56:41 PM »
Feel like any narrative driven game where you are making decisions is going to end up presenting an illusion of choice. Realistically any narrative game, regardless of genre, with any sort of freedom only presents you with that illusion. It's how it's masked that makes games successful or not (or in the case of Firewatch how it directly toys with the idea of narrative choice and consequence in the way it has risen to prominence over the past few years), so I don't think that's really a red flag.

That's correct. The other option is not to pretend you're giving the player meaningful choices if you, ya know, aren't. :)

Paul Phoenix

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Re: What are you playing? - 2016 Virtual Insanity Edition
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2016, 08:01:53 PM »
That's correct. The other option is not to pretend you're giving the player meaningful choices if you, ya know, aren't. :)

There's an article on this:
https://heterogenoustasks.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/standard-patterns-in-choice-based-games

I would love to see a Time Cave design in modern video games, of course, but I could always settle for the more common Branches and Bottlenecks.
"I used to think the worst thing in life was to end up all alone. It's not. The worst thing in life is ending up with people who make you feel all alone." - Lance Clayton (played by Robin Williams), World's Greatest Dad

Eternally seeking variety. 'Tis the spice of life for me.

 

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