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Are Games Worth Complaining About? 287

Posted by Soulskill
from the nine-out-of-ten-angry-internet-commenters-agree dept.
A few days ago, the Opposable Thumbs blog ran a piece titled, "In gaming, everything is amazing, but no one is happy." The thrust of the article is that discussion about modern games focuses almost entirely on flaws, which are often blown out of proportion. "Every game is too short, although we never finish the games we play. Every game is too expensive, although we demand ever-increasing levels of interaction, graphical fidelity, and length. The same people who claim every game was 80 hours and a masterpiece 10 years ago are 10 years away from saying that today was the golden time, once they have the distance needed to scrub the bad games from memory." Today, gaming site Rock, Paper, Shotgun offers counterpoint, saying that video games need active criticism for the industry to improve. "Everything is amazing, and sometimes people are happy. That’s how it will always be. And we should probably make the most of it, and then strive to make it better."
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Are Games Worth Complaining About?

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  • Are Games Worth Complaining About?

    Billions of sports fans can't be wrong.

    • by sycodon (149926)

      If you paid money for it, then you are allowed to complain all you want.

      • by demonbug (309515)

        If you paid money for it, then you are allowed to complain all you want.

        If you didn't pay money for it, you're free to critique it. But NO COMPLAINING!

  • by Deinhard (644412) on Friday September 09, 2011 @02:47PM (#37354884)
    Everyone expects everyone to be better than it is. "If only..." has become the starting phrase for many a musing on games, programs, books, movies, cars, girlfriends, boyfriends, wives, husbands, houses, pets, plastic models, ad infinitum. If people would just realize that what you have right now is the best that it can be in this moment, then we would have a better world. In actuality, Satisfaction == Reality / Expectation. Expect less and your satisfaction will be higher.
    • by morari (1080535)

      But what you have right now isn't always the best that it can be in this moment. Complete satisfaction breeds complacency. We need desire to strive for better situations, even if complete satisfaction will never truly be within reach. This reality only becomes a problem when expectations are unrealistically formed, and ultimately dashed. That doesn't create desire or drive either... it only creates animosity in the moment.

    • This. Welcome to The Internet. People are far more likely to voice themselves when it's about something they dislike. You seldom ever hear praise unless the person is getting paid, when people are happy they are quiet. The result is that the vast majority of discussion especially online is people complaining about something. I had to explain this phenomenon to my step father when he started commenting on there being so many bad reviews of stuff he was Googling.
      • I actually like to be positive about some products, though I do worry I sound like a shill, or that people will be reading the same comments from me over and over. I'm happy to praise Amazon (good reviews) and Google (useful products, even if their intention is to better sell ads), as they've only done good things for me. I used to be happy to praise Ubuntu until 11.04.. now I praise Mint.

        • by Machtyn (759119)
          Likewise, I have some concerns about Steam, but I will praise it. I'll never ever own an Apple product, but I will give the company credit where it is due (they opened up the mp3 market like no one else could.)
    • Patches are welcome (Score:4, Interesting)

      by tepples (727027) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {selppet}> on Friday September 09, 2011 @03:04PM (#37355258) Homepage Journal
      In almost any kind of software other than games, the stock response to "If only" is "Patches are welcome." But for some reason, games as a whole tend to be more resistant to free software principles [gnu.org] than other kinds of software. I've written a couple reasons why that might be [pineight.com].
      • by Moryath (553296) on Friday September 09, 2011 @03:07PM (#37355310)

        How about a little goddamn quality control in the first place.

        Gamers gravitated to console away from PC in part because there wasn't the "ship now, patch later if we fucking bother" problem on consoles. Consoles couldn't patch. You shipped a game with a game-breaking bug, you'd better be prepared to replace it for any affected customer. Nintendo had to do exactly that, paying to repair save files and ship SD cards back and forth for a game-breaking Metroid bug in the most recent Metroid on the Wii.

        So what happened? Now, Xbox360 and PS3 are plagued by "ship now, patch later" crap. And the gamers are starting to get fucking fed up - though not enough to go back to PC, where games are shipped with so much fucking game-breaking DRM that they're basically unplayable anyways.

      • by Grishnakh (216268)

        Free software works better for certain things than others. It depends a lot on how many interested developers you can get together, if you can get corporate support for the project, and many other things.

        For instance, there's many companies that contribute to important parts of Linux (like the kernel) because they want to get Linux users to buy more of their hardware (e.g. Intel), or because they want to sell service contract (e.g. Red Hat, IBM).

        For most projects, it seems that the amount of corporate supp

        • games that aren't very demanding of hardware, and don't change much over time. Card games, copies of classic arcade games, etc. are like this.

          Which leaves a big hole in the middle: games that are "not very demanding", in that they could probably run on a phone or netbook or ten-year-old PC, yet aren't implementations of a tabletop game or clones of an 8-bit-era non-scrolling arcade game. I for one have been harassed in comments here on Slashdot for having too many clones of an 8-bit-era non-scrolling arcade game in my online portfolio. Is there a Free counterpart to, say, SNES/PS1/DS level stuff? For example, where's the Free counterpart to Stree

    • by somersault (912633) on Friday September 09, 2011 @03:15PM (#37355440) Homepage Journal

      This is indeed how our brains work, but with gaming, there have been obvious steps backwards in recent years. It's mostly due to games publishers taking advantage of how locked down things are on consoles right now. Consoles are finally getting online, but most games have no mechanism for creating and sharing your own content (with a few notable exceptions like LittleBigPlanet). They charge insane prices just for a few extra maps or single player missions. Back when I was a heavy PC gamer (ie before I got a job!) maps and mods for games were plentiful. I thought it would still be that way in PC gaming, but I've seen a few people comment that things have gone backwards there in terms of the latest games being moddable/customisable. So really, it does seem like there is something to complain about.

      There's a reason people love Minecraft even though it looks like ass: the focus on user-generated content.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        Often the PC games now exclude map generation/conversion software and similar stuff to make modding harder. They want to sell DLC not have user made content.

      • by Dr Max (1696200)
        I completly agree if i bought the game i want to be able to play it any way i want. For example single player games are good but i dislike the one track to victory; so offer all the big maps as battle field games with bots. I know that would steal customers from online services, but its cheap to implement, extends the game as far as any one wants and allows for fans to easily use custom maps.
    • Everyone expects everyone to be better than it is.

      Or perhaps they just want it to be changed in the future. Hence, they voice their concerns. Or perhaps they enjoy complaining. Who knows?

      Expect less and your satisfaction will be higher.

      Whether this will work or not likely depends on the person. And, really, how are you to know if it worked? Can you somehow predict how you would have felt if your expectations were higher/lower?

    • by BKX (5066)

      I think the formula is more like Satisfaction = 2 * Reality / ( Expectations + Hopes). Even if a product performs exactly as you expected, you won't be 100% satisfied if you hoped for better, thus Satisfaction is Reality divided by the average of your expectations and hopes.

      Of course since some people like geometry more than arithmetic, maybe for them it's really Satisfaction = Reality / sqrt(Expectations*Hopes).

  • You only remember the titles from 10 years ago which where good but not the 90% of crap in the shelf. Not you look at the shelf and wonder why there is 90% crap.

    • by MarkvW (1037596)

      You only remember the titles from 10 years ago which where good but not the 90% of crap in the shelf. Not you look at the shelf and wonder why there is 90% crap.

      Ten years ago there was a wider variety of crap, there was more crap, and there was more imaginative crap. Out of that pile of crap, there was a ten percent pile of goodness.

      I still look back fondly to the time when a trip to Egghead was something I looked forward to.

      Do you get that now?

  • by dkleinsc (563838) on Friday September 09, 2011 @02:55PM (#37355066) Homepage

    If you don't like games, don't buy them. The gaming industry will definitely respond to that.

    • by Nidi62 (1525137)

      If you don't like games, don't buy them. The gaming industry will definitely respond to that.

      No. They'll just join the MPAA and RIAA and assume everyone is just pirating the games instead.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      When? I've never bought a title with DRM, and they still make them.

  • If everyone stopped complaining, nothing would ever improve. Think about it: if you're a video game exec and people just shut up and bought anything you put out, why would you bother investing in better graphics, better narrative, better design? People think it's bad enough now with CoD17 and Madden2200, but it can get much worse. Without constant complaints we would see a race to the bottom, with even more unoriginal ideas and simplistic gameplay. Dissatisfaction drives innovation and change. Companie

    • For one thing, games have gotten easier because they're more expensive to produce, and therefore the developer wants the player to see all the scenarios that the publisher paid the developer to produce.

      For another, seeing the credits doesn't mean you've finished the game. Case in point: one can "finish" an Animal Crossing game in a half hour a day for a couple months by just farming foreign fruit and fish, and then taking two weeks to keep the weeds at bay to get the perfect town. But 100% completion, incl

    • When I was younger I was never able to finish video games either. You know why? It's because they just kept getting harder and harder until you died. Just like life.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        If you play right, life gets easier and easier, after college.

        • Yeah I know. I was just paraphrasing something I read on the internet once. I actually started video games on the Atari 2600 and I've seen how far gaming has come since then. Anyway, here's the passage I was referencing:

          We didn't have any fancy Sony Playstation video
          Games with high-resolution 3-D graphics!
          We had the Atari 2600! With games Like 'Space Invaders' and 'asteroids'.
          Your guy was a little square! You
          Actually had to use your I magination!! And there were no multiple levels
          or Screens, it was just one

    • Re:Yes, they are (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Dutch Gun (899105) on Friday September 09, 2011 @03:31PM (#37355714)

      If everyone stopped complaining, nothing would ever improve. Think about it: if you're a video game exec and people just shut up and bought anything you put out, why would you bother investing in better graphics, better narrative, better design? People think it's bad enough now with CoD17 and Madden2200, but it can get much worse. Without constant complaints we would see a race to the bottom, with even more unoriginal ideas and simplistic gameplay. Dissatisfaction drives innovation and change. Companies aren't going to fix what their customers don't see as broken.

      Anecdotally, when I was younger, I was never able to finish video games. Now, I finish the majority of console games that I buy within the first day or 2, with the exception of sandbox games like Red Dead Redemption and Fallout. Either the games have gotten shorter, or they've gotten easier. Either way, something's wrong

      It's not complaints that motivate companies. Creativity is driven largely by gamers working within the industry. Where I work, we're mostly a company of gamers, and we all really, really want to produce the most kickass game we can (this is fairly typical in the gaming industry). We're pretty fortunate that our management are also gamers, and support us both financially and creatively (which unfortunately is not so typical). The other motivator, of course, is sales. No matter how creative we wish to be, we're doing this as a business, and we need to be paid for our time in order to live (housing, food, etc isn't free). Complaints are inevitable to some extent, because people like complaining. Typically, a company can tell when it does something *wrong* by listening to complaints, but believe me, it's not a driving force in most cases.

      BTW, as to why games have gotten shorter... there's no simple answer, but the general trend has been that high-fidelity content (meaning 3D, high-resolution graphics, fully voiced, fully orchestrated scores, movie-quality sound effects, etc) are unbelievably more expensive than games of a few decades ago. The game I'm working on now has over a hundred artists working for the past few years (it's a huge, huge game). Most games simply don't have the budget to do this. Huge worlds used to be created with simple 2D tilesets, and populated with sprite-based characters that only needed to speak in chat bubbles. Once you move to 3D graphics, this same open-world concept becomes incredibly difficult to achieve. I'm not trying to offer excuses for shorter games - it's just the reality of the situation. You *know* that if a game lowered the graphics standards or did too much copy and paste of content, they'd get creamed in the reviews. If they don't, people complain about the game length.

      The good news is that I believe we're going to reach a relative plateau of fidelity, and from that point, the bulk of the development effort will be in finding ways of producing more content in a more efficient manner. It's still going to be expensive, as there are some tasks that just can't be easily animated, but there are still many things in the industry that we tend to do by brute force, unfortunately. It also doesn't help that we need to recreate the same types of assets for each new generation of hardware as capabilities increases. Once the tech settles down and we can start re-using more core assets from game to game, and we can focus more of our time on developing advanced content generation tools, you're going to start seeing much larger and more complex games, even from those with relatively modest budgets.

      • by Obfuscant (592200)

        It's not complaints that motivate companies.

        That's right. It's dollars. Or loss of dollars, to be more precise.

        And now that companies refuse to refund anything for a game that doesn't run at all, there is no financial motive for them to give a fuck. You bought it, they have the money, end of story.

        • by Dutch Gun (899105)

          You obviously stopped reading my post a bit too early. For your convenience, I'll recap for you with fewer and shorter words:

          Innovation in the game industry is motivated by:
          * creativity
          * sales

          BTW, I think a loss of sales is a fantastic motivation for companies. It's the equivalent of threatening a company's life, so you can bet they'll take it seriously. That's why I say complaining doesn't do as much. Voting with your wallet is typically more powerful than ranting about something on a blog or in a foru

  • How many of today's games will get replayed as much as the good old games. Back in my day games were designed to be played for hours and were still enjoyable after you beat them because the levels were hard even if you knew what to do. These games today are weak and once you figure out a trick to beat the bosses or look up how to beat them they are boring and the "good" ones with online play won't be very enjoyable in 10 years when no one plays them. And one more thing get off my lawn.
    • This has to do with the attitudes of modern developers now. I was working on the guide for a particular game, and some of the team was watching me play. I ended up using a trick I'd found to skip a large portion of a level, and one of the artists asked me afterward if I was going to put it in the guide. I said of course. He then asked me if I could not, because he spent 2 weeks modeling that area, and he wanted people to see it rather than just skipping it.

      Because game developers now are trying to give th
    • by Darinbob (1142669)

      I suspect many publishers may not necessarily want that many replays. They want to sell new games not have players stuck on the old ones. Treating games as an ephemeral activity, like watching a movie only once, is a shift in attitude of both players and publishers. If a game does have replayability then the devs want to use downloadable content that you pay for rather than just an open ended fan based modding.

  • then it is worth complaining about.
  • I played through every good game, some even more than once. I even play some really old games now (like Baldur's Gate) or remakes of old games (like King's Bounty). And follow FreeOrion, ScummVM and similar efforts to recreate old, but good games. The present "game industry" is not targeting me any more, so I rarely find good games nowadays, I have to resort to play the same old games.

    • Same here, and Indie games still have that effect on me. The Humble Indie Bundle is closed now but check the type of games they offer. DRM free multi platform.

  • Seems like these arguments are based on games that are single player. The most popular games are online and interactive with other players. Sure, there are many single-player games being produced, but they don't make the recurring revenue from the consoles' online services. Why put money into a one-time transaction when you can hook players into a monthly fee?

    • by PRMan (959735)

      And as a gamer, that's where they lost me. If I am with other people, I like to do things other than play games. I have enjoyed the Lego series with my daughters and also Super Mario Wii 2 at a time, but usually I game when I would otherwise be alone. I don't want to play with other people and I don't want a "railed" universe just because some guy spent 2 months on it.

      I recently started replaying Ultima 3 because it's such an open world, with a series of tasks that can be done in virtually any order. Th

  • Once something has been done well, the expectation becomes that all future products will continue to do it that way. Of course, in some cases what people consider the correct way of doing things might be entirely opposite of what others believe, which further fuels the fire of complaints. It's also why every MMO released in the past few years gets compared to WoW. Enough things done right and that becomes the minimum standard, and all future products are either above or below spec in areas when compared

  • There's a long list of games I love and play over and over to the point of digging out emulation software or nursing along ancient hardware to play them. None of them are perfect, but they are good enough for me to love. To say that games today are amazing but no one is happy is a long stretch, IMO. Maybe I'm too distanced from mainstream gaming nowadays, but there are several games that are both modern and successful. There will always be detractors, especially when a game is widely praised. That doesn't
  • If you are interested in something at a level above 'neat' then you will complain about its flaws, because you care about it. If you don't feel something is important enough to you to complain about, you don't care about it.
  • by LaRainette (1739938) on Friday September 09, 2011 @03:08PM (#37355330)
    I think Fallout 2 was content-wise far superior to Fallout3.
    I think Baldur's gate II was the most profound RPG ever.
    If you don't agree and you think some games form 2010 can rival these I'm really interested in your suggestions.
    I don't think games and getting worse, I just think the focus has shifted in a way I don't like. The aim is to seduce the wider audience possible, and it is very hard to accomodate this with taking risks is the design or satisfying the hardcore gamers.
    In some genres it's easier to do than in others, and for instance SC2 is as good as SC. FPS probably didn't see much change either appart from greater graphics.
    But for adventure/RPG the shift is massive and I find it damaging. (although this is just my opinion)
    • I think Fallout 2 was content-wise far superior to Fallout3.
      I think Baldur's gate II was the most profound RPG ever.

      I'm going to take a wild guess that you were born sometime between 1980-1985.

      Everything was better when I was young too.

      • I was born in 88 and no everything wasn't better when I was young.
        I'm really not a nostalgic or anti-progress, and honnestly as much as I played Starcraft 1 for days, I wouldn't touch it now that I've played SC2.
        So I find it GREAT when real improvement is made, being graphical or anything else.
        The problem is the more industrialized the game market became, the more the focus of the devellopers is shifted from content to aspect.
        Apparently makes more money to advertise on technical prowess than to make
    • for instance SC2 is as good as SC

      With the exception of the phone home nanny. I'd love to play it, I spent hundreds of hours in the original. Problem is, I don't want to play online w/ cheats and I haven't had to ask permission to play a game in over 20 years. Not about to start, I'm a big boy now.

    • Ive played all those games, and I can say I preferred Fallout 3. Baldur's Gate was good as well. I was probably born around the same time as you. However, one game I haven't found a match to is Star Control II.
  • I think that a lot of the complaints mentioned in the post apply more to large commercial games than to Indie efforts. I love some of the large commercial games like Red Dead Redemption, but felt that I expected more polish out of such a major effort, while I've played some indie games that felt nearly perfect (Braid, Limbo). Perhaps the issue is that a lot of the larger commercial games are repeats of an old concept, while many of the indies feel fresh. When you've already experience a mechanic ten times
  • by roc97007 (608802)

    It's possible that people overstate cases. These are *gamers* we're talking about, after all; not the most rational bunch. If you're not emotional and quick to react, you aren't a gamer and this doesn't apply to you anyway.

    The answer is: Anything worth money is worth critiquing. Never forget that. If it's not worth critiquing, how could it be worth buying? Do game manufacturers really want to go there? So yes, games are worth complaining about. QED.

  • Back when Medal of Honor: Allied Assault came out, the world freaking changed.

    Now new games have incremental improvements in look and equipment, maybe a little tweak to gameplay, but they're no longer revolutionary, and it takes revolutionary to keep the niggling from dominating the culture.

    Especially when the thing you're niggling about keeps getting you pwned.

  • I am happy to see people complaining in what can be approved in games. Complaining about trivial matters is a luxury. I personally don't play games that often. My own complaints are more related to software related matters, which are not trivial to me as software development is my main source of income.
  • by RobinEggs (1453925) on Friday September 09, 2011 @03:16PM (#37355458)
    First, I think the entire article applies only to AAA titles; Indie games are kicking more ass every day. Amnesia scared me more than all Silent Hill and Alone In The Dark games combined, and Bastion had more style in its intro screen than most mega-games have in total.

    The same people who claim every game was 80 hours and a masterpiece 10 years ago are 10 years away from saying that today was the golden time, once they have the distance needed to scrub the bad games from memory

    Second, only delusional twits could argue that every game was a masterpiece 10 years ago. Everyone will admit that shitty games come out in every era if you remind them of some random title names from their perceived Golden Age. I think today's jaded gamer is absolutely right, however, to argue that the number of truly great games coming out has taken a massive nose dive in the last 10 years.

    Between 1997 and 2001 we got Fallout, System Shock 2, Deus Ex, Baldur's Gate, Planescape: Torment, Half-Life, and countless other games I'm probably forgetting. All of them were, truly, masterpieces. And they're not just fond-memories masterpieces; you could release the same damn games today, with era-appropriate graphics, and they'd get a 9.8 out of 10 all over again.

    In the last five years I can't think of any AAA title I'd call a masterpiece; I stopped within an hour of the endings of Mass Effect 2, Bulletstorm, and Crysis 2 because they just weren't compelling enough to bother with their endings (and I should have stopped about two hours before the ending of a lot of other games, particularly Human Revolution). Bioshock is probably the closest thing to a great game I can recall lately, and it's inferior in gameplay to System Shock 2 even though it's better in art direction and comparable in story.

    That's the problem. Good AAA games have become slightly less common, and fantastic ones basically non-existent, despite the vast increase in the number of games published. So yes, games are worth complaining about until publishers get the ratio back up, and not just for the abstract reasons that constructive criticism is always good or whatever.



    Oh, and on a second rant topic: maybe Ben Kuchera could tell developers to get some new ideas before anyone whines at us anymore about not being happy. We're tired of World War 2, we're tired of self-indulgent space opera and we're tired of cover-based action games. We're *really* tired of games that comprise more than one of those.

    • Interestingly I did a little thought experiment: Are there any genres now, for which the average game quality is greater or equal to what it was in 2006? The only one I could think of was Point and Click adventure, since there basically weren't any in 2006. In my mind, I'm not sure gaming really is fine.
    • by PRMan (959735)
      Portal was very good and Portal 2 was fantastic. And the gaming press didn't like them, but the Lego series is the most fun I've had gaming in over a decade.
    • First, I think the entire article applies only to AAA titles

      Actually, I think the opposite is more often the case. AAA titles are lauded, hyped, and their flaws swallowed without complaint by the vast majority of nigh hysterical fans.

      Personally, I think the article authors have been hanging around /v/ too much.

  • I only have one 80+ hour game in the last 25 years and that was Dragon Quest 7. All other games were lucky to hit 40 hours. Every game is too expensive today. 60$ should get me 2 games not 1 but no we have to have HD graphics which increased the dev time and shortened the game time and increased the cost PS2, XBox, Game Cube and Dreamcast Era graphics are good enough. And don't you dare ever repeat DQ7. It's nice but I'll never finish a game if it takes a minimum of 80 Hours, but practically takes 120. I
    • I've saved a lot of money by waiting a couple of years to get the latest hit. FYI, Fallout 3 is still a fun game if you've never played it before.

  • The constructive way to "complain" about games is to refrain from buying or demand a refund. Commiserating about frustrations with games in blogs and sites like Slashdot is also technically complaining but isn't likely to be very constructive unless you can form an angry mob of gamers with pitchforks. Short of that it's the publisher who calls all the shots if you keep handing them wads of cash.

  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday September 09, 2011 @03:28PM (#37355666)

    We should still criticize games, no matter how good they are, because pointing out problems is how things improve. Nothing is perfect, nor will it be, but we should always strive for perfection. To talk about Deus Ex, since the first article mentions it, the endings are something that need improvement. It doesn't make it a bad game, heck it doesn't even reduce it from being a great game, however it is not up to par with the rest of the game. It should be pointed out that it needs improvement.

    However I will say they are right that many gamers need to shut the fuck up and stop whining. There's a difference between offering some criticism of things that could use improvement and crying about small things as though they ruin everything.

    Again to use the Deus Ex example I saw a number of people online just slam it for having shitty graphics on the PC. That was odd, since supposedly they worked on making the PC version higher end, but then maybe that was all marketing. Then I get the game. No, it is just people being assholes. The game is beautiful. Not the best graphics EVAR or anything but very visually appealing, better than many games. I can't see how it would ruin the experience for anyone, at least to the point of being all pissed off about it.

    What gamers need to do is offer suggestions for improvement, not cry that everything isn't perfect.

    • by demonbug (309515)

      Again to use the Deus Ex example I saw a number of people online just slam it for having shitty graphics on the PC. That was odd, since supposedly they worked on making the PC version higher end, but then maybe that was all marketing. Then I get the game. No, it is just people being assholes. The game is beautiful. Not the best graphics EVAR or anything but very visually appealing, better than many games. I can't see how it would ruin the experience for anyone, at least to the point of being all pissed off about it.

      What gamers need to do is offer suggestions for improvement, not cry that everything isn't perfect.

      I have to jump in to the Deus Ex thing here. I just got it two days ago, and have managed about 4 hours so far. Having read reviews saying that it is an awesome game and that the PC version is the best, I guess my expectations were a little high. The graphics are... meh. Not impressive, but not really bad either. The thing that has bothered me the most so far is the animation. Character animation seems to have taken a giant leap backwards compared to other games I've played over the last five years. Not a h

  • I only play games I like :) /runs xbill

  • The more you pay for a product, the more justification you have for complaining if it doesn't meet your standards in certain ways. When the companies decided to "up the ante" as a rule, selling new PS3 game titles for a pretty standard price of $55 each, for example? They asked for harsh criticisms at every turn.

    The argument that "players demand ever improving graphics quality and soundtracks, and more intricate level design" is largely bogus, IMO. Rarely do I hear people bemoaning those issues. Actuall

  • "Every game is too short, although we never finish the games we play. Every game is too expensive, although we demand ever-increasing levels of interaction, graphical fidelity, and length. "

    "The food here is terrible!"
    "I know, and the portions are so small!"

    See also, Louis C.K.'s bit on technology being amazing and us appreciating nothing [youtube.com].

  • by ProfBooty (172603) on Friday September 09, 2011 @04:01PM (#37356176)

    Entire genre's of games have pretty much disapeared, this is true in the PC world in particular.

    Point and click adventure games are pretty much gone.

    The simulation field has dried up. From space sims, flight sims, to mechwarrior type sims. While I racing has brought something new to the table, the other sims have largely been ignored. I would have figured by now that there would have been plenty of high res cheap HMDs on the market leading to a resurrgence of sims, but it hasn't happened. Heck, you had low res HMDs for Flight Unlimited and mech warrior 2 back in the mid 90's!

    CRPG's don't have the depth they used to. Fallout 3 didn't have nearly the same content as fallout 2.

  • While those who game.... are gaming :)

  • Gamers of the same complaints and demands as everyone else in every other industry.

  • The author missed about a million flash games targeting casual audiences, and many of them are pretty damn good. Whoosh, the article doesn't even remotely apply to those.

    Also there are plenty of "normal" PC/console games that are universally praised without nary one whit of criticism. Not every game can be counted among the best.

    Lastly: everything is *not* amazing. The purpose of games are to be FUN, and fun has nothing to do with the state of current technology and more than you can give someone more
  • The problem is that people complain but continue buying these games anyway. People are more concerned about pleasure than they are principles. Because if they were truly unhappy with the state of gaming they'd stop buying until developers produced what these people want. But evidently tired old first person shooters with hackneyed, b-movie storylines and yearly regurgitations of sport franchises is what most gamers want.

    I'm convinced that the vast majority of triple A games that get lavished with praise no

  • I'd argue that the ideal situation is to be able to see the flaws (and point them out) but still enjoy what you have. At this point I can find flaws in every single game I play, but still rave about how good some of them are.

    And if enough people complain often enough, things can improve. Only the crappiest console to PC ports don't have save anywhere these days. Even Square, king of the lazy-ass random encounter mechanism for RPGs, has mostly given them up. Mass Effect 2 took every bit of complaining about

  • I have played (and finished) Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II (on the Mac, thanks) several times each. A play through for me takes from 100-120 hours. I simply LOVE these games. There are only a couple of valid criticism of either IMHO. I consider them the best RPGs I have ever played.

  • and most modern games are elaborate plays on addiction biology. world of warcraft being the prime example.

    not the good games. like when i was a kid. get off my lawn.

  • ... the article is a lie. Especially if you've been following PC games and the games industry (console and PC) in general when it comes to developers and publishers.

    Let's take a look at what happened to First person shooter games after Halo 1 (with regen shields) duke nukem forever was just released not too long ago and what do we find? A game chained to halo style 2 weapon + regen shield... I mean it's 2010 and many gamers are just saying "WTF happened to games?". Developers jumped way too hard on the

Arithmetic is being able to count up to twenty without taking off your shoes. -- Mickey Mouse

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