Games you enjoyed way more then you expected when you bought them.

Gergar12

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Monster Hunter Stories 2. I assumed due to its 80 on Metacritic, and 88 on user scores it would be a bad game, but it's not, at least for me.

The graphics aren't good, but the combat animations still don't get old, and the number of monsters you can ride is pretty big.
 

Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
As much as I love story driven/single-player games, this has become an issue on all spectrums of gaming. Some worse than others, but they're (mostly the AAA) are trying so hard to be "art" or impress people who don't game/dislike video games it comes off as insulting and alienating. I know when Hotline Miami came out, nearly everyone on board was trying to do the same thing or something similar with "decontrsucting" game violence and the player character so much, that a lot of people were forgetting to make a good or fun game first.

It's why I like Streets of Rage 4 so much. It's video game ass video game. It plays things mostly straight, but to satisfying degree with a few heartwarming moments I did not see coming.
The discussion really started when Ebert said "games can never be art" then it expanded as we started to see the so called "walking simulators" and games like Spec Ops the Line.
 

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The discussion really started when Ebert said "games can never be art" then it expanded as we started to see the so called "walking simulators" and games like Spec Ops the Line.
I still remember. Daddy Ebert got so many death threats at that time, he had to recant. He deserved to be called out, yes; death threats, no. Yet some of those same people that complained went overboard in either direction. You have those that claim art until it's the game or characters they like. Then it's all "It's just game, character, or that's how the genre goes!" in a panicky and overly defensive state. The other side. meanwhile, has to double down on the art and act as if games need to be exactly like cinema, instead of being inspired by. While acting as if no other forms of gaming exists or that they are lesser games, because they don't conform to their own views.

What these assholes on all sides seem to forget, or are too young to know, is that plenty of games have messages or art since the beginning. It's just a matter of appreciating it before or until later in life.

Spec-Ops may have been the "starting" point, but it did not start getting more recognition until a few years later. The message almost no one listened to unless you played it personally, because most (this includes me too) saw it as a generic cover shooter. Messages and themes aside, that is what it is. I've made it clear I dislike The Line, but do have minor respect for at least trying something and not being afraid of politics.
 
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Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
I still remember. Daddy Ebert got so many death threats at that time, he had to recant. He deserved to be called out, yes; death threats, no. Yet some of those same people that complained went overboard in either direction. You have those that claim art until it's the game or characters they like. Then it's all "It's just game, character, or that's how the genre goes!" in a panicky and overly defensive state. The other side. meanwhile, has to double down on the art and act as if games need to be exactly like cinema, instead of being inspired by. While acting as if no other forms of gaming exists or that they are lesser games, because they don't conform to their own views.

What these assholes on all sides seem to forget, or are too young to know, is that plenty of games have messages or art since the beginning. It's just a matter of appreciating it before or until later in life.

Spec-Ops may have been the "starting" point, but it did not start getting more recognition until a few years later. The message almost no one listened to unless you played it personally, because most (this includes me too) saw it as a generic cover shooter. Messages and themes aside, that is what it is. I've made it clear I dislike The Line, but do have minor respect for at least trying something and not being afraid of politics.
Did he recant? I thought he doubled down on it.

Not really, Spec-Ops started getting think pieces on it pretty quick. Most of the reviews also lauded its story, even the ones that were just ok tended to love the story and take points off for the generic gameplay.
 
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Dwarvenhobble

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I still remember. Daddy Ebert got so many death threats at that time, he had to recant. He deserved to be called out, yes; death threats, no. Yet some of those same people that complained went overboard in either direction. You have those that claim art until it's the game or characters they like. Then it's all "It's just game, character, or that's how the genre goes!" in a panicky and overly defensive state. The other side. meanwhile, has to double down on the art and act as if games need to be exactly like cinema, instead of being inspired by. While acting as if no other forms of gaming exists or that they are lesser games, because they don't conform to their own views.

What these assholes on all sides seem to forget, or are too young to know, is that plenty of games have messages or art since the beginning. It's just a matter of appreciating it before or until later in life.

Spec-Ops may have been the "starting" point, but it did not start getting more recognition until a few years later. The message almost no one listened to unless you played it personally, because most (this includes me too) saw it as a generic cover shooter. Messages and themes aside, that is what it is. I've made it clear I dislike The Line, but do have minor respect for at least trying something and not being afraid of politics.
Not that Brawlman will likely see this having said he'd put me on ignore before but I want to add something to this discussion

Part of the issue is the idea of the message being the most important part of a work these days. It's not a new thing this happened in theatre too and was pushed / promoted by Brecht (whose work I enjoy but I'm reliably informed he nearly destroyed the theatre industry with his ideas). The weird thing is the concern people will miss the message and no creator going "OK so what if they do? Does it matter? Let people engage as deeply as they want with the metaphysical ideas of the text and don't consider it a mark against a persons character. If they want to just have fun with the work because who are we creative, in our bubble with cares far different to the everyman to be mad that people won't engage with a message that chances are is more about something they've dealt with in their lives anyway and know is a problem and we only ever sometimes read of happening in newspapers."

People have taken up the attitude of


^that because some people and some in creative circles think the arts are how they'll save the world and will have this great influence on people. The problem being the closer to real life it becomes and the less of an allegory the less effective it ends up being at persuading people.

Worse you have people not really seemingly getting the idea of abstraction from events and just using media almost like twitter. It's not explaining their view, it's not critically thought out it's as an example from 2 different games "Brexit happening will turn the UK into a dystopian fascist hellscape". Rather than "Here's how fictional space colony leaving the united colonies slowly descended into a dystopian fascist hellscape of a colony".

It was either Oscar Wilde or Charles Dickens (I can't remember which) who in their essays on the nature of criticism were critical of theatre critics for rating plays based on agreeing with their politics or not and celebrating ones that were statements on the political issues of the day. They (Wilde or Dickens) lamented how such criticism was encouraging people to make plays about the current events more and not so much a deeper exploration of the human condition and the reasons said events happen. They said about why Shakespeare endured being due to the universally human issues explored that people could related to scenarios time and time again throughout history. Ideas of love being able to cross the bitterest if rivalries and the harm said rivalries can do to love. Ideas of peoples own greed and pride becoming their downfall.

In gaming with walking simulators there was little but the message and they were getting praise by some critics for the messaging of the titles not how well they were executed seemingly. It's this weird worry or concern that the people at the back might not get what it is about and not realising that is what good media critics should be doing, helping the audience learn about the ideas and see and understanding the symbolism. But only if said audience wants to.

You can make the case quite easily for Resident Evil 7 being about the Oil industry but few people ever have. Plenty of games do have themes and messages but they get little coverage because an easily searchable event in the new which is SEO friendly is far tastier for many companies. Why cover a game that examines the idea of the butterfly effect (the Butterfly flapping its wings one not specifically applied to time travel) and how different peoples lives impact one another when you can cover the game were the evil warlord Donaldus Trumpetous and his legion of red and orange wreak havok upon an innocent town and how some character rises up to fight them and likely get better SEO returns and therefore hits for covering it?

All of this also isn't helped by people who were pushing the idea of "Only some games (those with overt messaging) were truly art"
 

Phoenixmgs

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Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction
- I remember I was exchanging some game I didn't want and Mercenaries was sorta the best looking game available at the store even though I didn't feel like playing GTA-like game, but I took it anyway because there was nothing else that seemed too interesting. Mercenaries ended up being the game that ruined GTA and other open world games to this day even. The game's missions where really open-ended in design and took advantage of the open world structure unlike GTA. The game had factions like China and South Korea and if you were doing a job for South Korea against China and China saw you doing the job, they'd get mad at you and it would lower your standing with them. I think you could just pay them money to look the other way but it was a ton of fun figuring out how to do all the missions not having the other side know it was you. The only thing I remember not liking about the game was the final mission as it was more linear and I recall really hard as well.

Batman: Arkham City
- I didn't think it was gonna be that good because it went open world but it ended up being by far my favorite in the series. The game was a small open world where you could glide across the city in a couple minutes and you really got a feel for where everything was vs most open world games where you just follow the "GPS" to get to where you need to vs just knowing how to get there by knowing the city. Also, the game had a good amount of linear focused levels like the museum so it provided a nice mix of open world and linear game design. The combat actually added quite few new mechanics that made the Arkham combat still feel new and fresh like the beatdown mechanic and the quick-use gadgets and since City nothing was added to "Arkham combat" to keep it fresh until the Insomniac's Spiderman that added aerial combat to "Arkham combat". Lastly, the story was really good and it felt like a great end to the TAS Batman so-to-speak. Arkham Knight ended up being basically everything I feared City would be.

OT: Binary Domain. This game, apparently has a really adamant fanbase, and after playing it, I can understand why. It was a pretty standard, middle tier over the shoulder shooter game. But, it had a lot of interesting mechanics to it. The combat was simultaneously cool and fun, but also kind of hilariously silly at times. The way the ending was calculated, was determined in part by your relationship with your squadmates. So, in short, if you didn't take the time to bring them all out to play, and boost your rep with them via gameplay, it would make the ending worse, by various degrees. They changed up the setting and layouts of the maps a lot, making it really enjoyable.
This so much. I think I played Binary Domain because it was a PS+ game and I enjoyed the game way way more than I thought. However, it's still a rather flawed game and there's just some very unfun sequences in the game. I recall this boss fight that chases you through the city and you're in the back of a van shooting at it and the sequence just goes on so fucking long. The core TPS gameplay of shooting the robots is pretty solid where you knocking off pieces of them and you can knock off limbs and stuff. It's no Vanquish but it's not going for the same type of fast-paced combat either. Somehow the story and characters just fit together so well with the characters being pretty much standard archetypes while they are just interesting/fun enough for you to care about them while the plot has a wackiness to it while also having some decent sci-fi ideas in it IIRC. It basically walks that line that a Metal Gear Solid story does where it really shouldn't be good but all the elements somehow fit together and you end up loving it.
 

hanselthecaretaker

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Did he recant? I thought he doubled down on it.

Not really, Spec-Ops started getting think pieces on it pretty quick. Most of the reviews also lauded its story, even the ones that were just ok tended to love the story and take points off for the generic gameplay.
Kinda both -

Still condescending though.
 
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BrawlMan

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@Dwarvenhobble, I saw your message. Yeah, there are people that are all about the message and nothing else. Or thinks they're saving the world. You got people that are up their own ass. But you also have plenty of people that try to spread message for the right reasons. To help, understand, or save others (not the world). To me those are the most important. Actually dropping wisdom. Those are the ones I have respect for, and I am not just talking about games either. Not every piece media is going to have a message, but if something does, all I ask is neither side of spectrum be assholes about it.
 

Dwarvenhobble

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A more On Topic reply.

Ticket To Earth

This game is amazing

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It's all the episodes on Steam for like £10
So far I'm on Episode 3 chapter 6 and 36 hours in and some of that is due to backtracking / resource hunting but I'd say I'd probably be at least 24 hours in without farming and grinding and honestly you kinda don't really need to farm and grind if you don't want to.

Gameplay wise it's a tile matching tactics game as in the whole grid you move on is tiles
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You have 2 actions per turn moving is an action, attacking is an action and using certain abilities is an action while certain other non combat abilities are free.
You charge abilities by running on tiles
You charge you attack power by running on chains of connected tiles of the same kind and can store it to use when you want
The enemy can only move on connected tiles of the same kind and most only have 2 actions per turn except special enemies who sometimes get 3
If the enemy hits you it takes away HP by also attack power too
It creates a really nice risk and reward system as longer chains might get you more power but put you in range of the enemy so you could lose some of that attack power too.

story wise it's pretty cool, it's all Sci-Fi government secrets but also an uprising happening by people who want to topple the government and people trapped in this situation between an uncaring government and an angry mob out for blood for the perceived injustices done to them.

The game plays out scenes with a lovely comic panel art style too.
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Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
I've got another one. Devil Slayer: Rakasi.

I was curious about the style of this game and grabbed it in early access and its kinda regularly been in my game rotation since. It is kinda hard to learn to play but its really fun and I seem to always come back to it and do another run.
 

AnxietyProne

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Faith 1 and 2

I had heard loads of praise, and thought, yea, it's inexpensive and time to try it. I expected to like it. Instead, it's become the game I obsess about the most since Hotline Miami, and that's saying something.
 
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gorfias

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Bullet Storm is the game that I thought would be meh but is just a hoot with some really fun and different mechanics and story.

 
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Bullet Storm is the game that I thought would be meh but is just a hoot with some really fun and different mechanics and story.

I knew I was in for a treat with the very first trailer. I forgot Cliffy B's mug is in the weapons trailer. How's Lawbreaker's, Cliff? Oh right, dead!

I honestly did not need the developers getting in my face for that one to tell me how awesome the weapons are. A few clips and a voice over would have been great enough for me. The other trailers sold it better than this one.

God Hand and Viewtiful Joe. The former due to deep difficulty curve, and the latter, due to its unique brawler elements with time manipulation. I knew I would like these games, but I did not realize how far I would go to explore both of their combat depths. VJ is a special case as no one has yet to copy its gameplay mechanics other than The Wonderful 101, but both games are from the same director, Hideki Kamiya. Even then it's not a 1-to-1 translation.
 
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BrawlMan

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Not really, Spec-Ops started getting think pieces on it pretty quick. Most of the reviews also lauded its story, even the ones that were just ok tended to love the story and take points off for the generic gameplay.
I meant more so from the consumer/casual gaming public side. Professional critics and mostly small time YT channels were on it from the start. But a few years later, everyone suddenly cares from all spectrums. Even though MGS2 accomplished what The Line was trying to do 11 years ago at that point. That's not getting into people who despise The Line for various reasons like Gaming Brit and Turbo Button, but that is another well not needed right now.
 

AnxietyProne

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I read that, and the only thing that came to mind, was "...they made a video game of that bullshit christian album Cartman made in South Park? Faith+1?"
Now you make me want a mod that has the main character do a bit crushed vocal of Cartman going "RESPECT MAH AUTHORITAH" each time he drives away a demon.
 
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stroopwafel

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Terarria and Stardew Valley. Not games I would normally play but I wanted to try them out and they are indeed quite fun.