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booni3 (User)

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That "Chore" Feeling.

booni3 | 2103d ago
User blog

Greetings all. This is my first blog post but i wont elaborate on that fact because it always comes across so cheesy.

Anyway, i invited you all here today to talk about what i consider a very important element of a good game. That would be the want to play it. Yes, obviously theres a want to play a game but perhaps my explanation would benefit from an example.
I recently picked up the long awaited Final Fantasy XIII.
I had high expectations, just like everyone else, for the game. I popped in the disc and i watched cool cutscenes.
I ran across lovely while linear HD environments. i took the only deviating paths to the floating treasure spears. I grinded levels, summoned eidolons and synthesized weapons.
And i might add that initially it was enjoyable.

But there were things about the game that really irritated me. I found the combat, for lack of a better word, boring. I thought that very few fights were optional later in the game seeing as to how everything could just catch you and attack. I found the design choice to include enemies in cramped halls that you must repeatedly traverse very poor. Many times i felt there was nothing to do but run amock veiwing the scenery(lame).The gil and exp farming did a number on my nerves. And when i finally reached the open world chapter, i was as lost as roger ebert at a gaming convention.

Everyone knows that if you like a game, you accept its flaws and continue to enjoy the game. But one fateful day, a stray thought changed everything. I had not played the game for between one and two weeks. I didn't particularly want to but more so felt i should play it. The train of thought went something like this:

"Man, it's been a while since i played FF. I really NEED to play that, i mean i did spend sixty hard earned bucks on it."

So i had got up and went to put the game in when it hit me.
I did not WANT to play final fantasy, but felt as though i needed to in order to validate my purchase.
That feeling is the topic of this post.
Should i have played it then, it would not have been for entertainment or enjoyment purposes, but because i felt obligated to it.
I'm here to inform my fellow gamers that this feeling is simply unacceptable.

Video games as we know them by there very nature, are to provide fun, happiness, and be something you look forward to. Not a daunting that sits in the back of your mind, taunting you, reminding you that you wasted your money on it.
I haven't played the game since.
I actually took it in last week, and combined with a coupon gamestop emailed me, the game was worth 32 bucks, nearly half what i paid.
I put it towards my copy of Super street fighter, which i must say is pretty good.

The moral of the story is this: If you ever feel as though you are playing the game because you have to, or it begins to feel daunting, put it down. That wasn't the developers intent.
Count your losses and take it in, put it towards something your fairly certain you'll enjoy.(IE, super street fighter 4)

Play games that you enjoy, games that you love, that you'd play nonstop if you had the option. Your not doing yourself or the industry any favors by playing because you feel obligated.
Now if you really like a game, the achievements/trophies may become a kind of chore(like the warrior and voyeur achievements from blazeblue did this past weekend) but thats ok since you love the game and are working towards a milestone you can take pride in. Also, because you enjoy the game, those achievements only work to further an already positive experience.

Play what you love and NOTHING less. thanks for the time, see you at my next post.

One of my personal favorite cutscenes.

I initially enjoyed the combat, but once the newness wore off and the repetitiveness sunk in, my taste for it waned. Don't hate me for this, but i spent the majority of combat time mashing X.

Farmhand  +   2102d ago
yep, some games can be a chore
I felt the same way on some games. FF13, what little I played, was like work. If i am going to work, I need more of a reward then just some digitized trophy.
booni3  +   2102d ago
@loves thats exactly what i mean. FFXIII's achievement rewards are innovative though, and i'd love to see more games adopt that. Hell, maybe some game will pioneer DLC as achievement awards, but i'm certain thats far off. thanks for reading!!

yes the achievements/trophies in ffxiii are simply an outrage. Among others, the Wield every weapon achievement was just daunting. Only if i really enjoyed ff, (which as you can tell from the post i didn't) would i venture into that. Thanks so much for reading!!
#1.1 (Edited 2102d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
mindedone  +   2102d ago
the repetitiveness of this game doesn't stop until game+
but even then fetting the platinum felt like a chore. I don't think any game should have players platinum during grinding. It should be timed with some epic moment in the game, I.e. Felling some massive UNIQUE Beast
Hitman0769  +   2102d ago
Excellent Blog Post my friend. I enjoyed it and you brought up great points. I am a huge FF fan and I've also felt some of these same feelings with the latest installment. I still get a lot of fun out of it personally, but I can absolutely see how it might turn out this way for me down the line.

In the end you bring up a very startling realization and good point that sometimes games become something like a homework assignment. I think partly this comes from history with a franchise. We feel like we HAVE to get the latest Call of Duty even though its the same game over and over again. Great stuff, keep up the good work.
edgeofblade  +   2102d ago
I'm very much a "first hour" gamer. Hook me or it's over. Most importantly, show me exactly why I should play during the tutorial. Don't give me story to compel me... I just don't care about story... but show me why the mechanics are compelling. If it takes hours and hours to explain even the most simple depths of the gameplay... like FF13, I'm gone. Shadowrun is a great example. They give you the entire tech, magic, and race matrix during the six-round tutorial. You learn exactly what's so compelling by the end of the first round.
booni3  +   2102d ago
@ Hitman
Yes, that makes sense.Kinda like a friend of mind went out and snatched up resident evil 5 cuz he loved 4 so much and found himself sadly disappointed. There is only reason to play a game, and that reason is fun. Thanks for reading!!

Thats a good theory blade. either im hooked or i'm not, though one hour might be just a bit short in my opinion. This furthers the idea that ALL games should have some sort of playable demo. I havent tried shadowrun but i have heard it was underrated, plus its cheap so i might give it a shot. Thanks for reading!
Sarevok  +   2101d ago
ff12 felt like a chore too.
karlowma  +   2101d ago
Great post, and while I disagree with the example, I certainly agree with the point.

Games are what we do for fun. They are entertainment; a way to get away from the trials and tribulations of the "real world". When I get home from work, the last thing I want is to sit in front of the TV/monitor and feel like I'm going to my second job.

This is how World of Warcraft had started to feel for me years ago, which led to me all but leaving that game altogether. This is how many console gamers feel now, with the advent of achievements/trophies, and the ultimate feeling of being "hip" to the rest of the gaming world. Be it playing a game to completion, getting rediculously tedious achievements, or simply picking up a game because the industry says you're supposed to (GTA IV, CoD:MW2), the original intent of this liesure activity has been eroded in to one more competition in a life of keeping up and getting ahead.

Back when I started gaming, my friends and I would share our experiences, but it was never really about being better than everyone else. We would talk about how great the Legend of Zelda was, or how we just passed one of the airship levels in Mario 3 after the 30th try. We would give each other tips on getting through Final Fantasy I, and challenge ourselves by trying the most unlikely party combinations (four white mages!). There were games that I would start playing, put down for months, and get back to when my interest was peaked again.

These days, we are assaulted with so much content, so many of what marketing deems must plays, we are simply not taking the time to enjoy our hobby. It's all about rushing through something so we can move on to the next title, lest we fall behind at the water cooler. And since we hate to see the glaring 300/1000 on our gamercards, we do everything we can to power through these games in the ways the developer thinks up to extend the lifetime of their products.

Now I am generalizing here, because I for one do not overly feel that way. If I don't like a game, I won't keep playing it. But this brings up a whole other discussion. I often say that I have Video Game A.D.D. I have trouble ever finishing games. In fact, I probably only complete (story-wise) about 15% of the games I play. My attention is constantly being drawn elsewhere, by a new mechanic that I want to check out, a sequel to a game I had previously enjoyed, or a new game I want to play simply because my buds at work are talking about it.

I can't exactly blame the gaming industry for making too many games, but there is a decided lack of quality in today's titles. Simply put, I do not feel compelled to play anything, save for a few titles, to completion. That is why I like games such as Final Fantasy XIII. A strong story, and characters that I am emotionally invested in, are the things that keep me coming back for more. I want to know what happens with Sazh and Dajh. I want to know if Lightning and Snow will become friends. The development of Hope's character, while somewhat overstated, fascinates me. Many of today's games lack focus, and get lost in the muddy waters of cross-genre mass appeal. The jack of all trades is the master of none.

My reply is becoming a little convoluted so I'll cut it off here, but I wanted to comment on your excellent blog.
NeoBasch  +   2101d ago
For some reason, I can't respond to your PM (servers busy)
But I wrote a response in my own blog that can be found here: (currently waiting for approval)
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NeoBasch  +   2101d ago
I hope you read this...
For some reason, I can't send PM's. I'll try to get it sorted it out. Regardless, here's what I would've sent you:

Fighting games are not boring. They're lots of fun in fact, I just need some depth in my games. Otherwise I feel disconnected from the experience, which is how I refer to games. I need more than just fun factor. I need the long term. That's what makes games an art form: the depth and care they put into their experience.

As for FFXIII, you can get through a majority of the first half of the game by mashing X. After Palumpolum, no way. There's no way in hell you'd survive even the simplest of field battles in Gran Pulse or Eden, let alone Barthandalus or the dozens of other nerfed bosses towards the end. They push the Paradigm system so heavily towards the end of the game, you wouldn't make it three seconds in without switching. I found myself mashing L1 way more than X throughout the game. ;)

I tried to grind, but they made it almost impossible to accrue enough points to exceed your current level, or stage. The battle system is easily my favorite of the series. It was extremely well designed, and they took great care in making sure you were getting the optimal experience.

The programming at work behind that system is simply mind boggling. They did SO much. You wouldn't believe it. I've been programming now for over four years, and all that code is like as close to perfect as you're going to get. I mean, they REALLY went out of their way to make sure the game was functional and easy to control. Not in the sense of pressing buttons, but in terms of memory, behaviors, the whole nine yards. Here, let me give you an example:

If you scan an opponent with Libra, enough times, you will know all their weaknesses, skills, state changes, etc. I don't know about you, but I can't remember all that. You can press R1 to bring up the sheet, but why would you. After you fully discern their abilities, the computer changes its behavior. Rather than trying to find the enemies weakness by testing spells and abilities, they use the appropriate ones to take them down efficiently. Not only that, but they will do so during a state change.

Later in the game you will fight a Vetala. Initially, the C'ieth is impervious to just about everything but a particular attack. After a scan, the computer will wait 'til it puts up a shield, provided your role is Ravager, and then chain its weakness mid-state to the point of stagger, where they will then change their behavior again to physical upon clearing the threshold. The A.I. is smart. Some of the best I've seen. It puts just about every game to shame in terms of programming. Whoever, made that system... Wow, damn. That's all I can say. I'd have loved to work on that beast. It's sad too, because despite Auto getting a bad rep, it actually complements the latter half of the game quite well. Sad, sad, day. I hope that programmer gets some credit.
Heisenberg  +   2101d ago
I agree, I had the same feelings. I was never excited to play it, I kept wishing the game would surprise me and I'd get to explore a town or engage in a discourse with a NPC, or really do anything but running down hallways. What made certain previous FF's so magical (among other things) was the illusion that you were free to roam the world and complete the journey the way you please as long as you did what you needed to do. They gave the player a lot of credit, and let you discover things for yourself... And chances are you'd finish the game and there'd be a million secrets and robust sidequests you missed, just waiting to be discovered the next time around. XIII just hits you over the head with a line from point A to point B, and ridiculously childish dialogue that truly frustrates (if I hear that åss clown call himself a hero and pump his fist one more time). At no point during XIII did I feel like I was immersed in a world, I felt like I was playing a very uninspired, cheesy game, with a dated style.

Forget having a Gold Saucer like experience in XIII. Forget exploring a massive place like Balamb Garden. No towns? I mean come on, how can SE be so out of touch with what their fanbase wants? Man... this just depresses me talking about it, I fear the old style is gone for good, but hopefully someone will see that there's a demand out there and take advantage of the disappointed FF fans by picking up where SquareSoft left off. Anyway this has got me feelin Nostalgic... I'm going to go pound some FFVII.
hamoor  +   2100d ago
good write
ffxiii is not like the previous ff games that i knew and love
i don't mind linearity and to be honest all ff games are linear(well except ffxii)
but ffxiii felt like walking,fighting some enemies,and more walking
and the first couple hours of the game is the worst part of the whole game
i have to admit that it got better after TEN HOURS OF GAMEPLAY but nothing special to be honest
seriously i can name 10 jrpg games this gen that are better than ffxiii i mean
even the victory fanfare is not the same
but in the end of the day ffxiii is not bad actually,but nothing special
SaiyanFury  +   2099d ago
I'd largely agree with the post. Play a game because you think it's fun, not because you feel obligated to. I followed FF13 since it was announced and the more I heard, the more I felt disinterested. No towns, no NPCs, no EXP, no real magic, completely linear and little exploration. Now you can make a JRPG without a couple of those things, but how the hell can you make an RPG with NONE of the above? Pardon me now, I'm going back to Star Ocean 4, which has towns, NPCs, EXP, magic (symbology), an open exploration characteristic. And on PS3, Japanese dialogue.
Bolts  +   2098d ago
The characters suck
I would be able to tough out the boring linear gameplay and lack of the RPG elements if it weren't for the repulsively emo and annoying characters. The though of being stuck in this narrow hallway of a game with pathetic and whiny characters like Hope and Snow for hours on end just make me wanna throw up in my mouth.

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