Games don't need to be fun to be good

Games like Red Dead Redemption 2 show that a video game can be incredibly "good" even when they're not always fun and exciting to play.

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roadkillers1471d ago

There has never been a non-fun game that is good. That's like having someone ask you how the rollercoaster was by saying the rollercoaster didnt move so we pushed it instead, but it was good.

... doesnt make much sense does it. RDR2 (or RDR3, whatever) is fun, but extremely unforgiving and sometimes tedious.

rainslacker1472d ago

They don't have to be fun. But they do have to be entertaining. The two aren't mutually exclusive.

darren_poolies1471d ago

I wish a lot of film critics/bloggers understood this.

Neonridr1473d ago

but it's not like RDR2 is un-fun and not exciting across the entire game. There might be stretches, but then there are parts where it is great fun.

I can't imagine a game being good if it was boring the entire time.

generic-user-name1472d ago

I'd say there's a difference between not being fun and being boring, you can not be fun and still be gripping, tense, emotional etc etc.

EazyC1472d ago

For people that hate RDR 2, I'd love to know what they were expecting. In terms of western experiences, I just don't know why you'd dislike it

WickedLester1472d ago (Edited 1472d ago )

Better mechanics. They're passable but underwhelming. Rockstar has really advanced the graphical presentation and story telling of their games. But the mechanics are still 2 generations old. I dont think it's right to ignore mechanics as a very important part of game development. That's why RDR2 is not GOTY worthy IMO.

mkis0071472d ago (Edited 1472d ago )

forced realism...i dont hate it though, just dissatisfied. options to customize would have taken it farther. eating during a shootout!?

Casepb1472d ago

I guess my biggest problem is I don't like cowboys.

DVAcme1472d ago

Quality of life. I can understand striving for realism in certain aspects of the game, sure, but one should NEVER go backwards in terms of ease of play and anti-frustration features. For example, yes, skinning is more realistic now. It's also a GODDAMN GRIND and time-consuming as hell. I'd rather have RDR1's skinning with more bells and whistles than the long-ass frustrating experience RDR2's version is.

Taz X141472d ago

I’ll probably get a lot of flak for this but w/e. My biggest issues were as follows:
Controls are super sluggish
Horse mechanics are often broken
Plot repeats literally the same points several times without much variation until the final two parts
Too many fetch/walk here then watch cutscene without engaging gameplay interactions
Lack of side activities
Focus on realism was a little dialed up for my taste (but that’s a preference thing, I understand) but it was such a divergence from the arcadey satirical aspects the original instilled

That being said, the characters and dialogue are incredibly well written and it can (at times) be one of the most awe inspiring games to look at. However, being a huge fan of the original, I felt very much let down.

shammgod1472d ago (Edited 1472d ago )

Better controls and mechanics.

toddybad1472d ago (Edited 1472d ago )

The world way was incredibly detailed.
But the gameplay was incredibly dull and slow.
At least to the point I reached which was still early on, admittedly.
I can actually appreciate the idea of slowing down the gameplay and making every aspect of life play out to put you in character more but I couldn't get past the monotony of very slowly walking around camp, having baths where each limb is slowly cleaned individually, getting skins by slowly cutting them from a dead animal, slowly riding across large tracts of land to relatively boring missions.....I sold it within about ten days.

Clown_Syndr0me1472d ago

I dont hate it. Its just boring and can always find something more fun to play.

Thundercat771472d ago

A story of people you can relate with and have some inspirational dynamics not a bunch of sad, drunk, dumb, murderers.

gamer91472d ago

#1 would be terrible fast travel, if you can even call it that. I want a game, not a horse riding simulator.

#2 would be the inventory systems. Could have been better / streamlined

#3 would be the slow animation in camp - get it in gear bud i have things to do

#4 would be the combat

Aside from graphics and story, i struggle with how this game got a 98 metacritic. Rockstar hype and political pressures of reviews. Nobody wanted to be the reviewer that gave the game an 8/10.

Christopher1472d ago (Edited 1472d ago )

I don't hate RDR2, but I don't really like it. I respect it for what it is, but it just isn't for me.

But I'll answer you anyway.

You spend too much time doing nothing. I love RDR, but RDR2 takes the use of time and turns it into something that I feel like I'm not getting anything done in an hour most of the time. Too many time sinks in the form of repetitive long travel times, long cut scenes, just as long transitions, and the like. Even after over 100 hours in AC Odyssey, I couldn't get into the game because I don't feel they respected my time.

I'm very happy others enjoy it, but there are legit reasons why it's not for others. It's not just all 'hatred' or 'reasonless' ideas.

Some other items I disliked about the game:
1. Outdated UI (running around to find items by looking for pick up queues is outdated. No UI customizatioin is outdated. People who wanted realism could be given the option to turn off highlighting items or the like. But I don't play games to walk around a room banging up against every bit of furniture to see if there's a drawer or the like to open.
2. Having to re-equip things constantly because getting off your horse and then back on suddenly unequips 3 of your items or changes them to something else entirely.
3. Massive up front investment where you feel like you're not doing anything. Things don't really pick up until you get to base camp, and even then it's still slow. It should have spread out the slow parts more evenly.
4. The shooting mechanics are very outdated, IMHO. It's not the worse I've experienced (currently playing Shadow of the TR and on consoles it's a mess), but with a company like R* behind it, it could have been much better. I think R* is to updated gameplay the way Bethesda is bug free games.

They absolutely killed it with the world, environments, and people in the game, though. There is no denying that they know how to build a world that feels alive and not repetitive based on what you encounter.

salmonade1472d ago

I Platinumed Red Dead 2 about 3 weeks ago and there are many things that are still extremely frustrating with the game. A big list. The clunky animations. The need to select things twice for them to happen (like feed your horse). The list goes on...The game is not perfect and I can completely understand why a fair few people don't like the game.

The game IMO is a 9 or 9.5 out of 10... but on the 'FUN' scale it NEVER gets above an 8, and often goes below to an average 7. For example the mission where you break John out of prison is the worst prison-break mission I've ever played in any game. So pathetic, lacklustre and unrealistic. It bordered on laughable.

The story is really great though and the majority of the gameplay is good enough. Really great game for me. I hated the game at the start, but ending up really enjoying it.

Also I want to mention... SCREW all the grind-heavy trophies you need to get. They take ZERO skill to accomplish. But are so boring and time-consuming that it almost leaves a bitter taste in your mouth, in regards to the game, after getting the Platinum.

sprinterboy1472d ago (Edited 1472d ago )

I think gamers main gripe is the perfect scores from the usual BS gaming websites, I don't think it's a bad game but if rdr2 was made by another developer or a new ip it wouldn't of got the same scores imo. It's a solid 8 at best maybe even a high 7.
The game is not without its faults and they do add up, ie slow pacing, weapon wheel, getting to the map? Etc

rainslacker1472d ago (Edited 1472d ago )

It isn't always all that engaging. There are lots of things that one can do, some required, some with a false sense of being optional, other things which are optional. There is a lot of good content there, but it's marred by having way too many game mechanics to keep up with, coupled with an oppressive number of game design choices.

-The quirky nature of being a bandit, or a good guy, and what is considered good or bad seeming rather random.
-The chores to maintain one's self, or your horse, your camp, your reputation, etc.
-Long processions of narrative to do anything that is story or larger side quest related.
-An over-emphasis on realism which actually detracts from the things it does right.
-A rather monotonous and repetitive quest structure.
-Not being able to get places quickly outside of towns or camp.
-The bounty system which easily makes things annoying when you try to do anything, regardless of if you're trying to be good or bad.
-Being accosted by NPC's, but unless it's during a quest(and sometimes during), it's always your fault regardless of what you're trying to do.
-A complete lack of appropriate storage for the size of the world, and the availability of places to offload it, considering just how much of a part of the game play it actually is, forcing one to travel even more across what is mostly a barren world which is filled to the brim with things to see or creatures/NPC's to interact with, but most of them are completely pointless to the overall game outside the hunting, and occasional stranger quest.
-Almost no actual challenge in combat.
-Having to give up collectible materials if you want to partake in the side items, which sucks because you come across those things randomly while going around doing collectibles.
-No real way to track anything in the world for collectibles.

And I could go on and on.

I like what the game does well, and it's a nice game for western stuff. The nature of the content itself can be quite good, and quite a few of things which are worthy of praise, but how it's presented is really not all that great, and it's brought down more by the things above. The game is praised for being realistic, and while some things are, the emphasis on realism almost made it feel forced, and not as real as games which decide to be more stylish. That realism actually detracts from the game. In an attempt to alievate the need for a suspension of disbelief, they made the game unbelievable.

Edito1471d ago

The controls are bad, the mapping on the controls are bad, the pace is bad, the motion on characters get annoying I think it's just to slow..

I think there are areas that they can improve but they won't admit...

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tinchotin1472d ago

To me it was boring, and I don't think it's a good game.

Neonridr1472d ago

fair enough, you are entitled to your opinion.

sampsonon1472d ago (Edited 1472d ago )

agreed. the world is amazing, but the combat is really bad and feels dated. i deleted the game because i was forcing myself to play. unlike a game like Horizon where i couldn't wait to get home to play.

I'll most likely play it again because it's a digital download, but man, i really need to be n the mood for it.

rainslacker1472d ago (Edited 1472d ago )

I'm one of those people who likes to play a game to completion. I almost feel obligated to finish this game, just so I can say I did, and when I criticize it, actually feel I gave it a fair shake, and not be called a hater.

Odd that I feel this way, because normally I don't care about what others think, but that's another issue.

I could just breeze through the story, as the game is actually about as casual as it gets in terms of game play elements, but I feel like giving it a fair shake with the content, and I actually think some of the side quest or stranger quest missions are actually more enjoyable than the main story, which does seem to trudge along at a snails pace.

Anyhow, going off of what Sampsonon said, I often want to go home and get to a game. I can't, or don't always do that because I spend time with the wife, and we often watch TV, which is why I come on here and post or read stuff while we're doing that, and she does her work. But this game, I'm home alone tonight, and I actually don't want to play it. I still want to finish it, but this is one of those games that I enjoy playing for what it does right, but know there are too many instances of where I can play for a whole night(or a whole day like this past Sunday), and accomplish absolutely nothing in terms of progress.

Friday, I spent 3 hours trying to fish a legendary fish. I didn't even realize it. It's easy to get lost in the content of this game, and for that, it's a masterpiece. But then you get back to the main content of the game....the story, or any of the side stuff required for game play elements or maintaining oneself, or design choices the dev made, and it brings me crashing back to realizing that this game fails in many ways.

Is it a good game? Yeah, but with a catch.

is it a bad game? No. But it has way too many things that ruin the experience, and it's a disservice that so many reviewers glossed over those things, or the impact they had on the game itself. The best I can figure is they didn't get wrapped up in that side stuff, and worked their way through the story to be considered a complete review.

Overall, I think how one feels about this game is going to be dependent on how they play it. If you're like me, with OCD, who likes to complete things, then it's not going to be that good of a time IMO. Because too many nights I've spent not accomplishing a damn thing.

I think that's about as objective as I can be about my opinion on this game. I have no reason to hate or love this game, and I'm neither a huge fan, or critic of R* overall. Just this game is heavily flawed, but also great, so it's sort of a mixed bag. I actually enjoyed it more when I was playing at work, and could only devote time to it in small doses.

PoSTedUP1472d ago

i havent played yet but from what ive seen, and heard from you, im probably going to love it. im the guy that can play fallout for a year without really playing much of the story. and i dig the western stuff and everything that comes along with the atmosphere. shame about everything else thought.

rainslacker1472d ago


You may very well like it. Despite my annoyances with the game, I actually do enjoy it. It's sort of a weird thing, and kind of a love hate relationship. I want to dislike the game because of its flaws, which are plentiful and actually outnumber it's good points, but what it does well, it does extremely well.

- Hunting can be satisfying if done like your actually hunting, or sometimes its fun to just chase down your game. This is marred by the limited inventory capacity until you can upgrade your satchels, which is a pretty big grind in itself.
-The long running multi-part side quests are some of the most fun in the game, and they're filled with colorful characters, and some of them are actually pretty funny, and each character brings something different to the world.
-Some of the random things you can come across are surprising and entertaining, and depending on what they are, offer up multiple outcomes based on your actions.
-Your gang member NPC's are probably some of the most fleshed out side characters I've ever seen in a game of this sort.
-The feel of the western theme is a true accomplishment, and there are tons of historically accurate depictions about things that existed in that time...along with a few liberties taken here or there for some psuedo-futuristic stuff, but they fit into the story where they exist, and they're contained within those side stories.
-World is massive, and there is a lot to discover. Unfortunately, that can be a chore sometimes as the habitated areas of the map are rather either really spread out, or clustered very close together, leaving vast voids between them. For instance, the first two towns in the game, one of the challenges is to ride between them in less than 5 minutes. I did it in 3.4 minutes taking a bee-line approach. From that 2nd town, you can ride to the other towns on that side of the map in a couple minutes. IN the opposite direction of the first town, you have to probably ride 5 minutes, through terrain that isn't easy to bee-line across.

Game isn't without its really positive pros, and anyone who says otherwise, is probably either hating, or hasn't played it. But I can also see why some people may really dislike the game, because it can get boring really fast depending on how you play it.

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3-4-51472d ago

I lost just doesn't do it for me and I absolutely loved RDR.......I just felt no urge to do 90% of the stuff in the game.

Still really looking forward to GTA 6 though.

moomoo3191472d ago

I thought the game was top notch but really couldve used better mission variety and structure. Their biggest departure from older games was going to a mission that said "Mary-beth" and it turns out to be a mission with Charles... wow, you really got me that time Rockstar. And they did it constantly smh i just ignored the mission names after a while.

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1473d ago Replies(5)
2pacalypsenow1473d ago

What? That’s the whole point of video games. To entertain. No one says I m going to play this game because it’s boring.

ptownjbo1472d ago

There is def a difference, imo, between being entertained and having fun.
When I read a book am I being entertained? Yea. Am I having fun? ehhh, depends I guess

CP_Company1472d ago

But if book is missing letters, words and pages, was wrote in small letters, you will get tired very fast.
RDR2 is the same, gameplay is boring, the same things over and over again. The whole game is chore to play and you fighting more with the game than in the game. Gameplay is key to every high top game, especially with 100h game.

WickedLester1468d ago (Edited 1468d ago )

I think there is a difference between fun and enjoyment. I take enjoyment from a LOT of things that dont necessarily provide me fun. A good book. A good movie. A good song/album. A good meal. A good conversation. All of these things provide me enjoyment but I wouldn't categorize them as fun.

I garnered enjoyment from RDR2 because of the settings, the characters, the music, the story, etc. However I didnt have a lot of "fun" playing it because of the mechanics. To me, mechanics are what makes a game fun to play or a chore.

TekoIie1472d ago (Edited 1472d ago )

You can personally not find a game fun but acknowledge that it's got good aspects that make a good package overall.

Flewid6381472d ago

Very true. I love fighting games, don't care for MK, but acknowledge it is a supreme package, legit fighter and high quality product.

EazyC1472d ago (Edited 1472d ago )

Nah. If that's true then Just Cause is the greatest series of all time.

I guess it all comes down to perspective. I don't like Citizen Kane (often said to be the greatest film ever), and I know people who think Pulp Fiction (one of my all-time favourites) is an overrated, steaming pile of dung.

ptownjbo above me makes a good point too, Dostoyevsky's 'the Idiot' isn't exactly what I'd call entertaining, but I think it is the one piece of art that has changed me the most, surely that means something more.

william_cade1472d ago

I prefer "The Dream of a Ridiculous Man" - that was fun and entertaining.

Razzer1472d ago

Well you have to take expectations into account. Citizen Kane was a technical masterpiece of the time. I don't care for the movie, but I can appreciate the achievement. Same is true for RDR2 for some it would seem. If I read Dostoevsky thinking I'm getting Stephen King then I'll be very disappointed. Most bought RDR2 thinking it was a spaghetti western type game like the first RDR, but they got a realistic cowboy simulator instead. Enjoyment level for that kind of game is going to be hit or miss as we are seeing now.

rainslacker1472d ago

Being entertaining and being fun don't have to be intrinsically linked. I can enjoy my time with RDR2 quite often, but I wouldn't really say I'm having fun doing it.

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Pedantic911472d ago (Edited 1472d ago )

There are many different kinds of "good" when it comes to videogames.


And so on. BUT, if the game itself isn't any fun to actually play (you know, the single most important point of a videogame) then it isn't good. No matter how you twist it.

EazyC1472d ago

I agree with all bar accessibility. That has a higher propensity to stymie games, if anything.

mkis0071472d ago (Edited 1472d ago )

lets say responsiveness? Do i have control or am i just telling the controller what to tell the game.

pcz1471d ago (Edited 1471d ago )

a game should be enjoyable, but fun is a very specific thing.

I mean, I would say Mario kart is fun, and gran turismo is not fun, does that make gran turismo the lesser game? no, its just a game trying to create a different experience.

I wouldn't describe silent hill as fun, but I doubt silent hill was ever intended to be fun. it might not be fun but its immersive, gripping, intriguing, etc its more about creating an experience.