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The new Doom looks amazing.
Chris Katko
Member #1,881
January 2002
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“Programs should be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.” - Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
"Political Correctness is fascism disguised as manners" --George Carlin

torhu
Member #2,727
September 2002
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Looks like fun. Reminds me I still haven't played the previous one :o

Chris Katko
Member #1,881
January 2002
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The previous one looked interesting. This one really dialed up the BrutalDOOM elements. I like it.

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“Programs should be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.” - Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
"Political Correctness is fascism disguised as manners" --George Carlin

Eric Johnson
Member #14,841
January 2013
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DOOM 2016 was fun, but got repetitive by the end. I don't see why this will be any different.

Chris Katko
Member #1,881
January 2002
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2016 looked repetitive.

This one, yeah, actually does feel a little repetitive. Shoot bad guy, jump, shoot bad guy. I'm hoping there's a little more to it.

I'm not gonna run out and buy it on launch day. But overall, for the "new DOOM" formula, it feels like a definite iterative increase.

Like, did you watch the beginning where they talk about how you blast CHUNKS of muscle and bone off the monsters as you shoot them? The walking horned demon, as it takes hits, physically rips away muscle polygons and reveals burning, glowing bones underneath. That's cool as crap.

Certainly not cool enough to sustain say, 20+ hours of gameplay. But at first glance, it's definitely a step up in terms of user interaction for the tired-and-true FPS formula.

I was mentioning to friends it feels kind of like a modern re-imagining of Crusader No Remorse. Which was basically called a "murder sandbox" in the sense that it's fun to try and blow up everything and everyone, in a multitude of ways. (Almost) every gun in Crusader had unique death animations. People caught on fire and ran around. People froze and then shattered.

Now we're finally getting the point where the AAA games offer deformable meshes. I REALLY HOPE that becomes a standard feature. Previously, the best we had, was custom built "death animations" that can be triggered manually (or randomly) and they played exactly the same except for some rag-doll phase thrown on the end. You couldn't deform a live monster. Only a dead/dying one.

That's a step in the direction of interactivity that, frankly, we should have had 15+ years ago. But whatever. AAA has been dog crap for forever now. So seeing ANY novel concept that requires actual effort (and not just buying the newest Unreal Engine/et al) is impressive to me.

Also, you'll note it has some hilarious lines comparing alien invasion to immigrants on the US border / Sweden / etc. It's super tongue-in-cheek. As in, the devs don't necessarily believe / profess the obviously humorious lines like:

- "Don't call them demons. That's an offensive term. They're mortally challenged."

- "Earth is the melting pot of the universe."

Which is !@$!'ing hilarious. And only people who are have their heads up their butts wouldn't laugh at that.

Oh wait... here they are:

https://www.redstate.com/brandon_morse/2018/08/13/sjws-flip-doom-eternal-mocks-leftist-political-correctness-immigration/

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/boards/691088-xbox-one/76906687

https://www.mmo-champion.com/threads/2422655-Is-DOOM-Eternal-a-fight-back-against-SJWs

https://www.gamerevolution.com/features/426049-doom-eternal-incites-fake-outrage-over-mortally-challenged-joke

https://www.reddit.com/r/OutOfTheLoop/comments/9btfhi/why_is_doom_eternal_being_dubbed_antisjw/

[...dozens more...]

I brought this up to my friends. They've (the media) been saying for a decade+ that games SHOULD be more political and not "hide" their politics.

https://www.google.com/search?q=games+should+have+politics

You know... until someone makes ONE game with ONE tongue-in-cheek joke about immigration. Now OMFGGFOMGFOMGFOMGFMOFG!?!@#?$%!?@$@!$!@$ WHITE SUPREMECIST DOG WHISTLE.

https://www.reddit.com/r/GamerGhazi/comments/96hpzq/the_new_doom_eternal_trailer_is_full_of_weird/

https://www.oneangrygamer.net/2018/08/dooms-mortally-challenged-comment-has-sjws-calling-it-gross-and-anti-immigration/66299/

What's a dog whistle? It's this hilarious liberal boogieman term (read: conspiracy) for someone saying a word or prhase, but really, it's this "wink" or "secret command" to communicate with their super-secret hidden white-supremacists. Get it. You blow a dog whistle but.. only the secret Nazi dogs can hear it. (I'm. NOT. MAKING. THIS. UP. Full stop. Let that sink in.) And so we have to stop the dog whistles because then the white supremacists will hear it and... and... do... something? Something bad?

I mean, lets assume there's a secret conspiracy to inform white supremecists you love them in your video games. Uhhh... okay? Now they know you love them. What... does that even do? If 30 companies dog whistle in a month, do the white surpemecists achieve their final form and summon the Nazi version of Cthulhu? Oh my god... ADOLF CTHULHU.

When did liberals become so paranoid they became conspiracy theorists? Is there something in the water? Are they so desperate to see racism in everything, they'll literally see it in everything?

It's so hard to call myself a "liberal" when these are my compatriots.

-----sig:
“Programs should be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.” - Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
"Political Correctness is fascism disguised as manners" --George Carlin

Gideon Weems
Member #3,925
October 2003

... Am I still a blob?

The graphics are to die for, but that's par for the course with Doom. What really piqued my interest was the hand-to-hand combat (which could be satisfying if the controls are right) and the use of environment (hookshot, using bullet spray to push an enemy back over a cliff, etc).

Chris Katko
Member #1,881
January 2002
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Yeah! The combat of Doom (and Quake) has long been "boring" to me at this point because while they were LEGENDARY when they came out--they were legendary because they were NEW.

Now that everyone else does the same formula, the next Doom/Quakes have all just been... incrementally better. And even then, mostly graphically.

video

The BrutalDOOM mod basically RE-INVENTED the doom genre. "Why can't I rip a demons heart out, and then flip him off?!" And Doom 2016 shamelessly ripped that off. But Doom 2018 is adding humor, and some new game mechanics.

I'm hoping there's a decent story to string it all together.

[edit] The blowing chunks off system was also ripped off from BrutalDOOM. As was the hand-to-hand combat.

-----sig:
“Programs should be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.” - Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
"Political Correctness is fascism disguised as manners" --George Carlin

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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I remember when I was a kid Doom and Wolfenstein were pretty amazing. There was nothing else available. I didn't even own them. Other kids installed them on the computer labs at school and we used to sneak in there at recess to play. Don't ask me how the hell we got away with it. To this day, thinking back, it's absurd.

That said, run and gun is just shit gameplay IMO. It is completely immersion breaking. Typically in that style of gameplay the player sustains way more damage than the enemies can. Which is illogical given that the player is bound by his own limitations meaning aim and speed and accuracy, and he's often surrounded by several enemies which are all armed equally as he is. That kind of game completely breaks the immersion. If I'm somehow superior and magical then why fight at all? The odds are stacked in my favor. Even if I win, there's nothing good about me. The game was designed for me to win. If I lose, I really really suck. Why play when the best you can do is prove you don't really really suck?

That might have been adequate when it was all we had. We've had better game designs for more than 2 decades though now. It's dated and it's lazy. While there may be nostalgic players that miss that style of gameplay, I cannot appreciate it. I prefer shooting at human targets. They're unpredictable. They get lucky. You get lucky. Bots are just bots. They are usually pretty lame and the main ways that they defeat you are to overpower you with significant health or damage boosts or effectively "cheat" by detecting you through walls, etc. Human players that are legitimate are the best challenge in that regard. When you win you win, and sometimes you truly dominate and deserve the applause. Other times, you truly fail and deserve the verbal abuse.

The other scenario that I enjoy is story based combat. Where the key element is the story, not the combat, and the combat supports the story. You happen to be super human, and the gameplay is a balance between being challenging, but being believable. Usually this requires a save mechanism where you can pretty much step through the scenario fight by fight, so that you can learn the area's bots and learn to defeat them. In reality, they're usually pretty predictable and you just need to learn the limit ways they'll react and get a bit lucky (at worst). But it makes you feel great and having fun is the whole point of playing a game. But you'll never experience legitimate difficulty quite like playing against better human players. Even equally matched human players will normally give you a run for your money.

If you aren't playing humans I prefer for the game to be very story based and focus on immersion. Allow me to believe the story. Allow me to believe I am the character. And allow it to be believable. If I am playing a human with no super-powers, but I'm superhuman in terms of damage that I sustain or even situational awareness (e.g., magical radar) then it all bites into the immersion. Once I've lost immersion I've lost the fun.

Most of the time story-based shooters require a quicksave mechanism so you can quicksave as you succeed in your shots. Because the reality is that not only are we not superhuman, but also the baddies occasionally get lucky. Even with a quicksave we occasionally have to repeat a fight sequence 10 times to get past it. Without one, a game either needs to be stupidly easy, or can be frustratingly hard.

I play PVP first-person shooters pretty much daily and I'm pretty good against the average human player. Watching these demos looks very scripted. There's no way a player would know to do these things on their first play-through. It's obviously a play tester or developer or whoever that has practiced the battles. And you can see they're surrounded by baddies, and not taking damage as if all of the baddies are waiting around for their turn to lose. It explicitly looks like somebody is stuck in 1990 and they're designing 2018 games with all of the modern day graphics to feel like 1990. It just doesn't pass for me. It's copying the worst parts of the 1990s instead of the best parts. There's a reason games were made that way 30 years ago. There's no good reason to still make games that way today.

And that's just my opinion. If you think that's amusing then have at it. There may well be a bigger market for that than there is for my style of gameplay. But I don't see the allure at all. I want to feel like I've accomplished something, and that feeling is lost when I obviously have unexplained super-powers over the enemies. Mind you, a game that explains the super-powers can still be plenty of fun. It isn't anything to brag over when the game hands you superior powers over the enemy, but it can still be loads of fun. But when the super-powers are hidden and you apparently don't have them I'm left feeling cheated.

Edgar Reynaldo
Member #8,592
May 2007
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You see now, I don't mind games like Halo and such, but I never liked things like Mass Effect 2 at least. What I really like is Castlevania, which takes a lot of skill and coordination to defeat all the darkness.

Kitty Cat
Member #2,815
October 2002
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bamccaig said:

Why play when the best you can do is prove you don't really really suck?

Because the point of a game is to have a fun and challenging experience. If you automatically win, or if there's no difference at all between winning and losing, or there's no win/lose state, what's the point of playing?

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While there may be nostalgic players that miss that style of gameplay, I cannot appreciate it. I prefer shooting at human targets. They're unpredictable. They get lucky. You get lucky.

Incidentally, an overbearance of luck and unpredictability is a sign of bad gameplay. If I can play the game the same exact way, and one time get completely steamrolled and another time be the one doing the steamrolling, then the win condition has little to do with your playing. It's just the game randomly deciding to give you a victory trophy. I don't need to spend $60+ a year to experience that.

That of course doesn't mean you can't have an element of luck or unpredictability, but it has to be carefully managed to not be the main factor or feel like a big contributor. Many times I've stopped playing a game (RPGs even) because it felt like the only way to play was to beat into a brick wall, and progression only happened when the game randomly gave me a good "roll". That's not fun, engaging, or immersive. The moment I have to reload, immersion is broken. If the game forces me to reload because it gave me bad rolls, that should be a sin against game design.

In regards to the original Doom, it was more than just run'n'gun gameplay. There were plenty of elements of resource management (which gun should I use with the ammo I have? should I grab that berserk pack now for the bonus melee damage or get it later since it also restores health to 100?), as well as some puzzle solving. What made Doom so good was that it pulled this off really well; it gave you what you needed without being a cakewalk, it required you to use your skill to win while not unfairly punishing you, and made you feel accomplished when you found secrets. On top of that, the level, visual, and sound design were top-notch, with excellent music, providing for an immersive atmosphere.

In regards to story, it should be there to support the gameplay and atmosphere. But if I'm spending more time not playing and just watching a prefabricated cutscene, something's wrong. Final Fantasy 7 and later became notoriously guilty of this (there's a reason many people prefer 6 over 7), but it's a common trap for RPGs to fall into. I could never get into the Witcher games or BioWare RPGs because it just felt like a story that I'm going along the ride for, rather than actually playing a game. The way the story separates into chapters breaks immersion because I have to be mindful of 'if I do this quest, it will jump to the next chapter, and that will end those other quests, so I should rush off and finish those side quests regardless of what makes sense narratively'. If I want a story told to me, I'll pick up a book or watch a movie or tv show, which are better suited to that task.

It should be no surprise that my favorite RPG series is The Elder Scrolls (Daggerfall, in particular). What that series has traditionally done well is not force its story down your throat, but allow you to tell your own story through gameplay using what the gameworld provides. Daggerfall especially did well with how it handled failure; rarely does it make you feel like failing a quest removes access to content. Except for death, you can play through failure and not feel like you missed out on something (which is a major cause for people to reload on non-death scenarios).

--
"Do not meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will pee on your computer." -- Bruce Graham

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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Kitty Cat said:

Incidentally, an overbearance of luck and unpredictability is a sign of bad gameplay. If I can play the game the same exact way, and one time get completely steamrolled and another time be the one doing the steamrolling, then the win condition has little to do with your playing. It's just the game randomly deciding to give you a victory trophy. I don't need to spend $60+ a year to experience that.

My inspiration for that statement was Counter-Strike. When you're up against better human players it's as frustrating as any gaming experience. It's impossible to defeat them. You might get a rare lucky shot, but mostly you'll get dominated. That's a real challenge. Computer AI that cannot learn isn't really a huge challenge. Experienced players learn the weaknesses of AI and learn to defeat it reliably. Constantly changing humans players cannot be so reliably defeated.

Other inspiration from Counter-Strike is bot practice. This is a local server environment where the enemies (and teammates) are all computer controlled. These vary from stupid bots that cannot navigate the map and are very slow and inaccurate; to bots that effectively have all of the advantages of hackers, can track you through walls, can instantly shoot with near perfect accuracy, etc.

Once you've played hundreds of hours in both of these environments you really appreciate the differences. The bots are essentially either no challenge or they're "unfair". The AI technology is too poor to make them resemble a real intelligence. Either they're slow and easy, or they're superhuman and you need a bit of luck to defeat them. Story-based games can conceal their stupidity by programming a specific encounter scenario. A randomized combat experience needs to rely on the bots' programming instead. That's where things get very repetitive and boring. Sure, it can be very challenging if the bots are programmed with the abilities to track you through walls, or instantly target you, or if there's just hundreds of them all around you, etc. None of it compares to the challenge of playing equally matched human players. Bots are a poor substitute. They're unfair in all of the worst ways, and they're boring in all of the worst ways.

Kitty Cat said:

The moment I have to reload, immersion is broken. If the game forces me to reload because it gave me bad rolls, that should be a sin against game design.

Where is the challenge in a game that you can't fail at? I'm confused. A challenge means you might fail. If you fail, you must somehow try again. In a shooter where the fail condition is death is makes sense that you have to reload. The alternative is invincibility which isn't a challenge, or respawning which is effectively reloading without the technical details. A game like Doom requires me to constantly reload. At least, if it isn't stupidly simple which would be pretty boring.

Kitty Cat said:

Final Fantasy 7 and later became notoriously guilty of this (there's a reason many people prefer 6 over 7), but it's a common trap for RPGs to fall into.

Final Fantasy 7 remains my favorite game of all time so I'm biased, but I do not experience it that way. It's not like every 2 seconds you're watching a FMV or scripted sequence. Typically, at each "checkpoint" there's some bit of scripted events/conversation to tell the story, but it's usually over pretty quickly. And where it takes a few minutes it's revealing lots of story. The story told in FFVII is far too long to fit in a movie. And books aren't accessible to everyone. I bet it would make an amazing book, but personally I cannot read books. I zone out and read several pages without absorbing it. I can "read" for an hour and only get 15 pages through a book.

Kitty Cat said:

The way the story separates into chapters breaks immersion because I have to be mindful of 'if I do this quest, it will jump to the next chapter, and that will end those other quests, so I should rush off and finish those side quests regardless of what makes sense narratively'.

This is a major pain point so I agree fully with this. There are situations where this can be a part of the game. For example, in Driver: You Are The Wheelman for PlayStation, missions were presented through a menu. After each mission you'd return to a menu to select your next one. They were presented as jobs offered via an answering machine in your apartment. And you sometimes got the choice of which job you wanted to take. You might get 1 option or 3 options. You could only choose one. The only way to experience all of the content there is to replay the game. Which I don't think is a bad thing. Replayability is good. Video games should offer new experiences when replayed.

However, in a game that doesn't explain the link between sidequests or alternate quests and main quests it's extremely frustrating when you think you'll get to do them later, and instead they disappear. Particularly in a game that is supposed to be sandbox. I cannot think of a situation where this happened in FFVII (which obviously isn't a sandbox anyway), mind you, but if it did occur I think it would have been required by the story. Which is to say, when parts of the world change due to story events, it doesn't make sense for optional content to still exist that ignores the changes to the story world. That's extremely immersion breaking so it's better that it does disappear. Again, this can be considered replayability. Next time you'll know that you need to do that first. There certainly are gameplay elements, though not so much "quests", in FFVII that are time-sensitive, and if you miss your opportunity they're gone for good. That's part of the puzzle of finding secrets and things.

The only other thing I will add is that at this point in my life I don't have time to experience a new game like FFVII anymore. I can replay FFVII itself, but that's because I already know what happens. I already know what I'm doing. There's no learning curve, no struggles. Even so, it takes a month or two to do and that's not even completing the final battles. Usually I get pulled away before I can complete the full game. I pretty much give up on Final Fantasy titles these days. The latest game looks really neat, but hardware requirements aside I don't think I could even play it. It looks like it would require too much of a time requirement. I only have a couple of hours to play a night, at best, and I'd rather spend them playing against human players in Counter-Strike every night than struggle to inch forward in a complex game narrative.

I've been playing Deus Ex: Mankind Divided off and on (mostly off) for probably a year now and I haven't even gone very far in the story. I've been trying to complete side-quests and things before losing them, which has just slowed my progress right down. I've been pulled away several times. I haven't even played it in probably 3 or 4 months now. Which feels like just yesterday to me. Time just flies. I miss when I was a child or teenager and had time to play games like that.

Kitty Cat
Member #2,815
October 2002
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bamccaig said:

My inspiration for that statement was Counter-Strike.

I can't say I've ever been a fan of deathmatch shooters. When you add PvP elements, particularly with random people, its all too easy to lose any semblance of balance and fair play. Skill-based games lose their skill-based nature because the outcome heavily depends more on who you get into a match with, and story-based games lose their narrative.

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Where is the challenge in a game that you can't fail at? I'm confused. A challenge means you might fail. If you fail, you must somehow try again.

Right, but I fail because of my mistake at the game. The game expected something from me, I failed, so I lost and have to try again. If a game is properly balanced, and I play really well, I should be able to complete it first try. If I don't play well, or if I get thrown off at some points (or turn the difficulty up higher than my skill would normally allow for), I'll lose at times and have to get better.

But when a game throws things at you without first giving you the means dealing with it, that's annoying. It's one thing if it takes you a few tries to accomplish something, but the game shouldn't withhold information to ensure you fail the first time.

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I cannot think of a situation where this happened in FFVII

Doesn't every disc break basically cut off most stuff that's not the main story?

Quote:

Which is to say, when parts of the world change due to story events, it doesn't make sense for optional content to still exist that ignores the changes to the story world.

But it's the developer's decision to make a story in such a way that the player needs to lose access to those quests early. When the desires of the story start having a negative impact on gameplay, it's a good point to question if a game is really the best medium for that particular story. There's a reason Choose Your Own Adventure books are a novelty, not the normal way to make books, because books aren't conducive to that kind of player/reader-driven storytelling. Similarly, games aren't the best medium for linear forced-narrative stories because of the negative impact they have on gameplay.

--
"Do not meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will pee on your computer." -- Bruce Graham

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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Kitty Cat said:

I can't say I've ever been a fan of deathmatch shooters.

Neither am I. Deathmatch is completely boring to me. In particular, automatic respawn deathmatch. You inevitably get spawn campers and things of that nature that just ruin the game.

The primary game mode for Counter-Strike is tactical. Demolition or hostage rescue. Terrorists are either trying to bomb a target, or have taken several hostages. The counter-terrorist team are trying to stop them, either by killing them all, defusing the bomb once it has been planted, or extracting hostages to a safe zone.

The use of non-lethal grenades is predominantly where the tactics come in. If you smoke off the line of sight between teams or temporarily disorient the enemy with a flashbang then it doesn't matter how good they are. Even a relatively average player can defeat the best. The best moments are when somebody "clutches" the round. That means the odds are stacked against them. They're outnumbered, time is almost up, and they should have very little chance of success, but somehow they manage to win anyway. Maybe they sneak in and defuse the bomb right under the enemy's nose. Maybe they place a flashbang just right to disorient everyone and then run in and kill everyone with well placed shots. Maybe the enemy just gets cocky and runs at you single file and you take them down one by one. Those moments are very rewarding.

Kitty Cat said:

Doesn't every disc break basically cut off most stuff that's not the main story?

That was probably just as much a technical limitation as it was game design. Think about it, if you needed all the same side content on every disc it would have ballooned each disc. There might have been 4 or 5 discs instead of 3. I think that the way they did it was perfect. You never had to flip-flop between discs. You only had 2 disc changes throughout the entire very long game. And the opportunities you lost pretty much made sense because the world itself was changing as the story went on.

Kitty Cat
Member #2,815
October 2002
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bamccaig said:

The primary game mode for Counter-Strike is tactical.

I consider any kind of shooter PvP to be deathmatch. There can be different goals and win conditions (e.g. capture the flag), but if the gameplay involves shooting and killing players (or player-like entities, aka bots), it's deathmatch.

Quote:

That was probably just as much a technical limitation as it was game design.

The main contributor to that behavior was the length and amount of FMV sequences. Which again points to the forced linear narrative having a negative influence on gameplay. FF7 was initially prototyped for the N64, but because Squaresoft wanted to include all those cinematics which couldn't fit onto a cart, they switched to the PS1. Those "technical limitations" were entirely self-imposed because they wanted their mass of FMV, instead of using scripted sequences. I hear it said that each disc actually duplicates most of the game, just with different video files and the like; if you swapped out the disc during play, the game would still function but it would show different cinematics at the points they play.

--
"Do not meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will pee on your computer." -- Bruce Graham

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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Kitty Cat said:

I consider any kind of shooter PvP to be deathmatch. There can be different goals and win conditions (e.g. capture the flag), but if the gameplay involves shooting and killing players (or player-like entities, aka bots), it's deathmatch.

In Counter-Strike, shooting and killing players is optional. You can win the match without ever firing a shot if you're extremely skilled or lucky. The object of the game is not killing enemy players. It is succeeding in your mission. This means:

  • Planting the bomb and ensuring it is not defused.

  • Defusing the bomb.

  • Rescuing the hostages.

  • Ensuring the hostages are not rescued.

Obviously shooting and killing players is the most effective way to prevent them from completing their objective. However, often when the teams are well matched it's too risky to attempt to kill everybody. Instead, those on the defensive instead try to stay in cover and suppress the enemy with grenades and suppressive fire. Sometimes the best tactic is doing nothing at all. Just remaining hidden prevents the enemy from knowing where you are which can sometimes prevent them from attempting to complete the objective in time.

That aside, if you wish to call this a deatchmatch then you're completely wrong and apparently ignorant of shooters. A deathmatch is a free-for-all where the only objective is killing as many foes as you can. Counter-Strike has deathmatch game modes, but they're mods or alternative game modes. The primary game mode that I'm describing shows no resemblance to a deathmatch. You can win by killing the entire enemy team, but it's a lot safer to complete the objective than it is to hunt down every enemy player and engage them directly. You do not respawn once you are killed. You are dead for the duration of the match (until somebody completes an objective or one of the teams is eliminated). The dead players are just spectators waiting for the next match to begin.

Kitty Cat said:

The main contributor to that behavior was the length and amount of FMV sequences. Which again points to the forced linear narrative having a negative influence on gameplay. FF7 was initially prototyped for the N64, but because Squaresoft wanted to include all those cinematics which couldn't fit onto a cart, they switched to the PS1. Those "technical limitations" were entirely self-imposed because they wanted their mass of FMV, instead of using scripted sequences. I hear it said that each disc actually duplicates most of the game, just with different video files and the like; if you swapped out the disc during play, the game would still function but it would show different cinematics at the points they play.

I think you're barking up the wrong tree anyway because FFVII is huge, and I think most of the fans LOVED the FMV sequences. I know that I did. In fact, I always wanted MORE of them. It turned the blocky game world into a unique fantasy world that we could not comprehend without the visualization.

I've never heard of being able to swap discs. In my experience, the game knew which disc was which, and if you inserted the wrong disc it would halt execution and force you to insert the correct disc.

Chris Katko
Member #1,881
January 2002
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I started playing Team Fortress 2 for the first time this week. I've owned it since... 2010, when it came with the "Orange Box" (HL1, Portal, and TF2).

Now it's free-to-play.

I'm actually enjoying it. It's not... I mean, it's a deathmatch game. But there's a lot of unique strategy to it. Half-way toward what a MOBA or whatever / overwatch game is today.

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For example, a "Heavy". People see the heavy and think it's just for "bros" who want to feel immortal. In fact, newer player tend to scatter at the unintended sight of a heavy.

Except... a heavy is actually not immortal at all. A heavy has a minigun and the most health in the game. But a couple good direct hits, or a single sniper headshot and you're dead! The heavy is also the slowest character by far, and the minigun has to spin up for a second or two before it can fire and even then, your accuracy is reduced the first second of firing (if you don't pre-spin it up). The gun is also VERY inaccurate (and reduced damage) at range.

So everything about the heavy is: Slow to move. Slow to react! Takes a long time to get into place. EXTREMELY sensitive to being ambushed. The gun can't react quickly.

Sounds terrible.

But Heavy + [player with a tactical brain] means you get into a safe place, and take advantage of nooks-and-crannies so that you're cutting down enemies that ideally are not attacking you head-on. You want to cut people down as they pass.

If you get a MEDIC that actually does his job, as he heals people, he charges his "uber charge" meter and once charged, he gets a powerup he can apply. He can have different powerups but the main one is simply IMMORTALITY for him and the person he heals. When a medic "ubers" a heavy, you're a walking tank. But it only lasts for like 5 seconds! So you have to work together to "push" with the entire team.

And that's essential when the enemy team has a very entrenched position with numerous "sentry" fully-upgraded AI-controlled gun turrets.

The other class I've been playing is the Pyro. Again, people say the Pyro is what noobs play because you can just run forward, and shoot. But there's so much more to that if you actually want to be an effective killer. Actual tactics.

The tactical theme is re-occurring: Minimize your classes weaknesses, and maximize its strengths, by choosing where to be, how long to stay, and who to target. (One thing that PUBG has really taught me is... sometimes it's better NOT to shoot someone. Because you may not be able to win a fight, or, that fight will attract MORE people who you then can't beat. So it's important to size up a situation before engaging.)

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The pyro has decent speed, a flame thrower and fairly low health. The flame thrower can be incredible. It doesn't do that much damage and has the LEAST RANGE of any class. Many people can literally just run away from you and you'll barely be lapping flames at their heels. But the flame thrower CAN hit multiple enemies in a row. Which means the more people group together, the more you can hit (or even hit them while hiding behind a teammate as a human shield!).

However, the Pyro has a Jetpack (once you unlock it). You can fire it twice (and it slowly recharges), and it has a set timing and flight pattern. You click it and it fires a tiny hop whereever you're looking and then half-a-second-later the main burst fires and you go flying. You feel really cool once you master the timing and direction.

Anyhow, using the Jetpack, you can FLY BEHIND a group of enemies and wreck complete havok on them. One upgraded weapon gives "100% critical hit chance when hitting someone from behind." So you just rip through a group of people all stuck together. They go scattering everywhere!

But again, anyone could outrun you and you have almost NO range for your weapon. So it's all about ensuring the maximum number of people are bunched together before you unleash your flame (or get spotted). You want to create SHOCK AND AWE and then use that second fuel of your jetback to GET THE HELL OUT. Because a group of calm people are going to take you down with a couple of shots.

Another thing is, simply, the mental aspect of it. You can hold off entire groups of people at doorways because they're afraid of being caught on fire--even if the fire won't do "that" much damage. So you can delay them until they eventually get brave enough or take you down. You won't really get points for it but, in the grand scheme of teamwork, any enemies that are focused on YOU are not able to attack the rest of your team, steal a flag, or capture a point.

[edit] I didn't even go into engineers and ammo. Heavy and Pyros run out of ammo fairly quickly! You have to pick up extra ammo from bodies or drops. Or, an engineer can make a dispenser that produces both health and ammo. A good dispenser can basically let a heavy fire non-stop forever! TEAMWORK.

[edit] And the Pyro has a secondary fire mode. An air blast (which takes a ton of fuel). It can reflect enemy projectiles like grenades, and rockets. But I use it to KNOCK PEOPLE OFF MAPS, and, to push medics away from their heavy to separate them and allow my team to take them down one-by-one. (As medics have tons of extra health when attached to and healing a heavy.)

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Kitty Cat
Member #2,815
October 2002
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bamccaig said:

That aside, if you wish to call this a deatchmatch then you're completely wrong [en.wikipedia.org] and apparently ignorant of shooters.

Fine, then let me clarify: I've never been a fan of multiplayer shooters. Multiplayer games in general are tricky for me to enjoy (not to say I don't enjoy some multiplayer, but not shooters, and not when I'm dealing with random people). Regardless, it doesn't change my point that it's a sign of bad gameplay when victory is not under your control. Developers know this, and is why many shooters try to incorporate match-making systems that track your skill.

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I think you're barking up the wrong tree anyway because FFVII is huge, and I think most of the fans LOVED the FMV sequences.

I'm sure people did. Justin Bieber is huge too, and most fans love his looks and buy his music. Doesn't make his music good, it just means he's marketable. Not that I'd put FF7 on quite the same level of Bieber, but I would say a lot of FF7's popularity comes not from being revolutionary or that great as a game, but for having 1+GB of FMV sequences that were marketable. The rest wasn't particularly new, given that it was a followup to the 6 other popular titles in the series. For many long-time fans, 7 was actually a step back from 6.

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It turned the blocky game world into a unique fantasy world that we could not comprehend without the visualization.

It was their choice to make it 3D, despite knowing the abhorrent quality of the PS1's 3D rendering hardware. They could've easily stuck with sprites (like Symphony of the Night did for Castlevania), or gone for the N64's superior 3D capabilities, both providing better opportunities to visualize their world in real-time than PS1's 3D. But they were set on presenting a more movie-like experience than a game-like experience, and prerendered FMVs were best for that, so a mix of rudimentary PS1 3D and the "quality" FMV 3D it was.

But with that decision, came the aftermath. Not only was its in-game 3D inherently dated, its FMV CGI became quickly dated too. There's a reason people have been clamoring for a remake even in the PS2 era... not because the game was so good they wanted to buy it again on a new system (the PS2 was backwards compatible with the PS1 after all), but because the visuals that were a defining part of the game no longer hold up. The game itself isn't enough to sustain their enjoyment, they need cutting-edge visuals like they remember from first playing it.

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"Do not meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will pee on your computer." -- Bruce Graham

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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Kitty Cat said:

It was their choice to make it 3D, despite knowing the abhorrent quality of the PS1's 3D rendering hardware. They could've easily stuck with sprites (like Symphony of the Night did for Castlevania), or gone for the N64's superior 3D capabilities, both providing better opportunities to visualize their world in real-time than PS1's 3D. But they were set on presenting a more movie-like experience than a game-like experience, and prerendered FMVs were best for that, so a mix of rudimentary PS1 3D and the "quality" FMV 3D it was.

But with that decision, came the aftermath. Not only was its in-game 3D inherently dated, its FMV CGI became quickly dated too. There's a reason people have been clamoring for a remake even in the PS2 era... not because the game was so good they wanted to buy it again on a new system (the PS2 was backwards compatible with the PS1 after all), but because the visuals that were a defining part of the game no longer hold up. The game itself isn't enough to sustain their enjoyment, they need cutting-edge visuals like they remember from first playing it.

I disagree. The FMV sequences were great in FFVII, but they were relatively few and far between. For every 5 minutes of FMV there was probably 5 if not 20 hours of battling to reach it (for the average player). Most sequences were probably only a couple of minutes long. Most of the story was told through scripted sequences, just as it would have been in a 2D RPG. The choice to go with 3D was good because it made the game more unique at the time. And the result, even though it's a little bit "weird", ends up just adding a unique style to the game that cannot easily be duplicated.

People haven't been asking for a remake because the graphics are bad in the original. On the contrary, I just played through it a couple of months ago and I still loved the visuals. It ages as well as any old game can. The people that fell in love with it still love it. And the people that didn't can't get into it. That's true of any game. Name a game from 1997 that I just must play and I'll probably not be interested in playing it.

I actually would have preferred a sequel or expansion of the story somehow, but centered around Cloud and Sephiroth again (or at least the characters that people most loved). The problem with a brand new game is it's difficult to come up with a new story and do it justice without risking doing it an injustice and spoiling the universe. Some of the other works in recent years have already been on thin ice. I think that a remake makes sense because the story is already mostly defined. And it has been 20 years so there are a lot of "new" people that didn't experience it yet. People that would have trouble playing a game older than they are when they're used to a more visual, detailed textured 3D graphics experience.

I'm excited for the remake, but I'm skeptical that I'll like it. It wasn't any one thing that made FFVII great. It was everything. From the PlayStation console and controller, to the story and unique art style, to the 3D world, to expansive open world map, the character design and lore, the battle system and growth, the secrets. Everything. And I'm doubtful that they'll be capable of doing such a perfect (lucky) job again, let alone in HD graphics. It just doesn't seem practical to do a good job of it. I thought I'd love FFXIII, but I actually found it terrible. Maybe I just didn't play long enough to escape a city to a world map, but I found it just so restricted. I was able to see grand sights all around for what looked like miles, but I could only move about 10 meters to the side and had to walk in straight lines. I suspect that they weren't capable of creating a more open 3D world to explore without making sacrifices in other areas.

If they manage to pull it off I'll be ecstatic, but I'm not holding my breath. Another advantage that the original had is that the blocky graphics left a lot up to the imagination. When I was playing the game at 12 years old and looking at the blocky 3D models I was visualizing the textured models from the CD cover and FMV sequences. My brain was filling in all of the blanks and that made it even more impressive than even a PlayStation 4 can achieve.

Also, the N64 might have been technically more powerful, but the PlayStation had better controller design and loads of better games. Nintendo has been falling out of relevance ever since. The N64 would not have made for a better FFVII. It would have probably meant a worse game, and a failed project.

Kitty Cat
Member #2,815
October 2002
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bamccaig said:

Most sequences were probably only a couple of minutes long.

Such riveting gameplay. Having the controller down for minutes at a time for most sequences when you're ostensibly playing a game.

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The choice to go with 3D was good because it made the game more unique at the time.

I call bollocks. FF7 was hardly the first 3D RPG; most people don't remember FF7 for its interesting real-time 3D visuals, but for its prerendered backdrops and FMV sequences. Considering the only thing that was real-time was the rather bad character models (and a few interactable scene elements), they weren't the focus.

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It ages as well as any old game can.

No. Plenty of old-school games get by just fine with their original visuals intact. Hell, in the modern day not only are indies leaning heavily on games with purposefully dated visuals, some AAA developers are taking part too (see Octopath Traveler). That people so badly wanted FF7 remade with improved visuals isn't because its visuals are dated like any other old game, but because the defining characteristic of the game was its cutting-edge visuals, which quickly became not so cutting-edge. Again, it was only a few years after that people started wanting to see a remake for improved CGI like FF8 and FF9 had. It was so extreme that when a tech showcase video for the PS3 included a reshoot of part of FF7's opening sequence, fans were livid when they were told it was just a hardware demo and there was no remake in the works.

A number of older Final Fantasy games have been remade with improved visuals, and while certainly it's welcome among some, the desire or want for it is nowhere near as high as for FF7. Plenty of fans are content with the originals as they are. Relatively few people have also been asking for a remake for FF8 and FF9, despite being on the same system (and FF8 could do with a remake for other reasons too).

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I actually would have preferred a sequel or expansion of the story somehow

Like Advent Children?

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I'm excited for the remake, but I'm skeptical that I'll like it.

As are most people since Square-Enix have openly said they're going to make changes from the original, which goes against the main reason most people want it remade. Even though the original is riddled with design flaws and plot holes, and there's no doubt things the developers originally wanted but had to cut for time 20 years ago, people just want it as it as they remember it, with better visuals. They want to relive the nostalgia and experience the cutting-edge FMVs like when they first played the game, and while the remake would bring in more satisfying visuals, changing the game could break the sense of nostalgia.

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Also, the N64 might have been technically more powerful, but the PlayStation had better controller design and loads of better games.

PlayStation had such a better controller design, which is why it basically started as a copy of the SNES controller (D-pad on the left, four face buttons on the right, two shoulder buttons on top, start/select in the middle), and in a later revision incorporated features of the N64 controller (the thumbstick and rumble functionality). Those things, including the extra (Z-)trigger button(s) that the N64 also introduced, are standard for any game controller these days. Sure the N64 controller's three-prong design was a bit weird, but it was hardly unusable and in no way would've hampered something like FF7.

PS1 certainly had loads of more games, but the N64 had a better SNR for quality games. Which is understandable considering the higher cost of releasing a game on the N64... developers had to be more confident in having a quality product to sell given the fees involved, whereas on the PS1 it was cheaper to release games and you didn't have to sell as many copies to make a profit. Which was likely a point in favor for Square, if they were to be up against more junk than not-junk on the PS1.

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The N64 would not have made for a better FFVII.

For sure not a better FF7-as-we-know-it. An FF7 designed to take advantage of the N64 would've necessarily been quite different, focusing less on forced-narrative prerendered cutscenes. There's no way to say whether it would've been better or worse since we have no idea what it would've been like, and of course different people like different things (some people would be just as happy with an N64-FF7 as a PS1-FF7, some people wouldn't have liked an N64-FF7 over a PS1-FF7, and some people would've liked an N64-FF7 over a PS1-FF7). But presuming Square was a competent developer, they could've made a good game regardless of the hardware limitations (in fact, a sign of a good developer is being able to work within and around the hardware, to produce a game that seems to surpass what the hardware is capable of doing).

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"Do not meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will pee on your computer." -- Bruce Graham

piccolo
Member #3,163
January 2003
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very much so. i saw the demo vid

wow
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i am who you are not am i

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
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Kitty Cat said:

Such riveting gameplay. Having the controller down for minutes at a time for most sequences when you're ostensibly playing a game.

Your hatred for the game is notable. Did you even play it, or are you just a closet hater? Perhaps you just hate it because it wasn't available for your beloved, overly expensive, awkwardly controlled N64 that most people didn't care about.

There are different types of games. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with blending movies and games together. People absolutely love it. You don't have to, but that doesn't make it an invalid game design. It was riveting, just as it is to watch a good movie. Except by combining cinematics and gameplay a lot more story was told than could have been with a movie, and players got to feel like they were a part of it.

Kitty Cat said:

Considering the only thing that was real-time was the rather bad character models (and a few interactable scene elements), they weren't the focus.

The focus was actually the battle system more than anything. Which to this day is better than any other RPG I've played. But I don't play too many because I often cannot stomach them.

The character models were by no means bad. They were limited by the technology of the time, but they were more than adequate to tell the story. Even with these "bad" models the game is still a fan favorite.

Kitty Cat said:

No. Plenty of old-school games get by just fine with their original visuals intact.

Like FFVII, which many people bought a second time to have them on their PS3 in its original format (I did, and I know many other people did as well).

Kitty Cat said:

Hell, in the modern day not only are indies leaning heavily on games with purposefully dated visuals, some AAA developers are taking part too (see Octopath Traveler).

Wikipedia said:

Octopath Traveler is a role-playing game that sports a graphical aesthetic known as "HD-2D", which is defined by the developers as combining 16-bit Super NES-style character sprites and textures with polygonal environments and high-definition effects.

Doesn't sound very dated to me. On the contrary, it sounds like a new twist on incorporating high definition graphics into games. Indies lean on dated visuals because they don't have full studios to design rich graphics for larger games, and older gamers are nostalgic about games that remind them of their youth. You won't see too many 12 year olds in 2018 seeking out games with dated visuals. And if they were going to, there's a much better catalogue from the 80s and 90s than there is in the 2010s.

Kitty Cat said:

Like Advent Children?

Exactly. I loved it. And I want more.

Kitty Cat said:

(in fact, a sign of a good developer is being able to work within and around the hardware, to produce a game that seems to surpass what the hardware is capable of doing)

Unless they do it on the PlayStation platform because then being able to work within and around the hardware is just crap. ;) I don't think you're convincing anyone of FFVII's faults. Only your own.

Edgar Reynaldo
Member #8,592
May 2007
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Meh. FFVII wasn't THAT great. The characters looked like cartoons, and I couldn't play it all the way through because of a bug in the Windows version. :/ Meh.

Personally, I liked 9 alot, and 12 and 13-2, as well as the first few like the original of course. But VII doesn't represent the FF universe, at least not to me.

Kitty Cat
Member #2,815
October 2002
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bamccaig said:

Your hatred for the game is notable. Did you even play it, or are you just a closet hater? Perhaps you just hate it because it wasn't available for your beloved, overly expensive, awkwardly controlled N64 that most people didn't care about.

I never said I hated the game. I never even said it was bad. I just said it has issues because of its overt focus on forced-narrative prerendered cutscenes over gameplay, with the former having a negative impact on the latter. I'm big enough to admit that, yes, initially I held some disdain for the game because Square dumped Nintendo over the CD/storage fiasco (which is odd when I think about it really, because I had only ever played Final Fantasy 1 up to that point (and Mystic Quest if you count that, but no one counts Mystic Quest), so I had no reason to care about not having 7; I guess it was more the principle of the thing). But I've mellowed out over things like that in the last 20 years. Considering I've shifted largely to PC games, and Linux at that, I've learned to deal with the fact that games I may want aren't necessarily going to be for my system.

Anyway, I have played Final Fantasy 8 and 9, and will readily admit I had fun playing them and really enjoyed their FMV sequences. But just because I had fun playing them doesn't mean I don't think there wasn't a lot of room for improvement. And just because I really enjoyed the FMV sequences doesn't mean I don't think they had an overall negative effect on them as games. I know 7, 8, and 9 aren't exactly the same, but they do have similarities, so I can get a basic idea of it. I can also remember the hype surrounding FF7 back then, to see what people were excited about. I can also read what other people say and have said about it, so I can get a fairly good picture of why people like it.

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The character models were by no means bad.

As far as early PS1 goes, sure. But they could've been a lot better if they didn't go full 3D yet, or targeted more capable 3D hardware.

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Like FFVII, which many people bought a second time to have them on their PS3 in its original format (I did, and I know many other people did as well).

I'm sure people have bought it, because it's a popular title. But it's a bit disingenuous to say that because a lot of people bought it, they're all perfectly okay with the game as it is. Again, I only need to point to how much fans have been wanting an HD remake, the extreme fan reactions for the PS3 video tease, and the explosion from fans when it was revealed to actually be a thing a few years ago (and the following consternation upon the revelation that there will be a number of changes). That's not what you get for a game that could stand as it is on its own. That speaks more of a large fanbase that's missing something from what they fell in love with, and want to recapture what's missing.

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Doesn't sound very dated to me. On the contrary, it sounds like a new twist on incorporating high definition graphics into games.

The core visual style is quite old-school. 2D sprites on a simplistic 3D backdrop. It's essentially what you would've gotten if you took an SNES JRPG and brought it to the following generation. There are a few modern-ish HD effects like lighting/shadows, depth of field, and bloom to make it "pop", but that's just the icing... the core style could've easily been accomplished on something like the PS1 or N64.

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Unless they do it on the PlayStation platform because then being able to work within and around the hardware is just crap. ;)

Or perhaps they did. They wanted to wow people with CGI cinematics, which they needed the storage capacity of CDs to pull off. They had clever methods to meld real-time 3D characters with prerendered 2D backdrops and using masks to give the characters depth in the scene. They even worked out ways to meld real-time 3D with prerendered video, where the camera was moving around real-time objects during cinematic events. They did pull off some tricks to make things that would've otherwise been impossible on the hardware.

But while it made for some (at the time) nice visual spectacles, it didn't really add anything to the gameplay, and indeed required sacrificing certain elements of gameplay to pull off (the constant loading and area switches from changing backdrops, the inability for the camera to move forward and back with the character to see and interact with certain things, etc).

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I don't think you're convincing anyone of FFVII's faults.

You're pretty convincing of your fanboyism, though. I never said FF7 was bad. I never even said it was any more guilty of doing things that other RPGs haven't also done. But because I don't think it was the greatest thing since sliced bread, and think there are some ways it could've been improved even during its own time, you came out heavy trying to defend it, only to end up proving my point of its heavy narrative and cinematic focus having an negative impact on the gameplay, and trying to justify it because of its narrative and cinematics.

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"Do not meddle in the affairs of cats, for they are subtle and will pee on your computer." -- Bruce Graham

Gideon Weems
Member #3,925
October 2003

If we're taking sides here, I join Kitty's team. FFⅦ is overrated--not bad, just overrated. And I am willing to fight about it, if fighting about it means squeezing a sentence or two in between you guys' novels.

Chris Katko
Member #1,881
January 2002
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I think FF7 was just like Quake, Doom, or Wolfenstein.

The RIGHT game at the RIGHT TIME. But subsequent games have basically improved the formula since then.

Although those Id games do have some unique charm to them, as does FF7. Their "uniqueness" has died over decades of new games taking inspiration from them.

Kind of like how I watched Ghost Busters for the first time ~6 years ago and went "WTF. I was told this was the greatest comedy ever made." It was funny, sure. But from what I'm told, when it came out that kind of irreverent comedy was like inventing the nuclear bomb. It hadn't been done before. Or at least in that combination. So it really upped the bar for comedies.

Or how Harvest Moon was seen as an AMAZING game (relegated only to the gameboy of all things), and then someone makes a Steam remake of it with tons more content and even (recently) co-op support and it's like "Why would I ever play the gameboy version?" The Steam game hits all the checkmarks leaving very little "new"/"original" content left that you can't get in new places.

That's one thing I want to do game reviews of. Unique Games Worth Playing. Note the secondary clause. Because there are lots of great games we grew up with, but they don't offer unique experiences anymore unless you're looking specifically for a nostalgia version. But there are SOME games that have NEVER had a GOOD remake of them.

System Shock 2, for example. It's !@$!@'ing brilliant. And Bioshock 1/2 completely ripped out all of the RPG and inventory management that made the game great. They took a 3-d game and made it 2-D. They chopped off a dimension--RPG. It was diluted down. They took an adult game experience and turned it into a diluted console child's experience. You don't "grow" as a person. Your ideas aren't challenged. It's just more, meaningless Michael Bay explosions.

Thief 1/2, still, to this day. Represent the best "I'm a thief and I can steal every piece of gold in the house and come in from any door/window in the house" kind of game. They were literally inspired by Goldeneye 64 which allowed out-of-order objectives. And created most of the levels first BEFORE adding any of the OBJECTIVES. So they were real, living places FIRST.

Yeah their graphics (and Windows support) has certainly gotten worse. But the core beauty of those games isn't the graphics. It's the GAMEPLAY. It's WHAT YOUR DOING that's so original.

And back to FF7, I can't remember very much that hasn't been incremented with in the twenty-thousand subsequent final fantasy games. And the story? Like the controversial "omg, kills a main character" plot-twist? Except... you literally have RESURRECTION items in your inventory. So apparently the only way you can actually die in FF7 is if your "plot armor" fails to block a "plot sword." Great writing. ::)

[edit] Note: They ARE making an official System Shock 3 which may be incredible. Warren Specter (SS1, SS2'ish, and Deus Ex!) himself is on-board. He said "You always see the evil AI in games like System Shock 2. But what nobody ever deals with in games is... WHY. WHY did an AI turn so evil? What can make it want to kill humanity? That's what I want to explore in SS3."

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"Political Correctness is fascism disguised as manners" --George Carlin

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