Get Out of Your Comfort Zone for 2016

Yahtzee Croshaw

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Get Out of Your Comfort Zone for 2016

I can never be content to remain in a comfort zone forever, because I've been spoiled too many times. Stuff that I wouldn't have sought out were I not professionally obliged, and which left me feeling renewed on a unique, almost spiritual level.

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Bedinsis

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A fair point, i.e. that one should seek out new experiences on the chance of therefore discovering something new and interesting. My only real contention is that Yahtzee has already professed his love of Earthbound, and since I've understood that Undertale to a large degree apes the mood/setup of Earthbound I am a bit uncertain if playing Undertale was that much of leaving a comfort zone.

Incidentally, I have in the past expressed the opinion that Yahtzee should play Crusader Kings 2, for no other reason than because it does a few unique things and I think it would therefore be an experience that actually would help him be a better critic. Given that the game is old now I don't think a review is likely or useful for the viewers however.

There is however an upcoming game by the same studio coming whose theme should tickle Yahtzee's fancy, and therefore I wish to publicly request ahead of time: Stellaris. A Grand strategy game set in Space.
 

Gul

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Bedinsis said:
My only real contention is that Yahtzee has already professed his love of Earthbound, and since I've understood that Undertale to a large degree apes the mood/setup of Earthbound I am a bit uncertain if playing Undertale was that much of leaving a comfort zone.
It turns out Undertale is actually kind of a different thing from Earthbound, but that doesn't become apparent until after the fact, so your point is perfectly valid and agreeable. That being said, it might instead count as a sort of an antithesis to the utterly safe and bland new Star Wars film: something where you expect the same old thing, but instead find something entirely new and different and fresh and actually pretty good.
 

Thanatos2k

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The thing with Star Wars is they needed to put us back in the comfort zone after the prequels. They literally could not make any other film at this juncture than the one they made.

Now, that excuse is gone for the next one. If they make a carbon copy of Empire then they deserve all criticism.

Bedinsis said:
A fair point, i.e. that one should seek out new experiences on the chance of therefore discovering something new and interesting. My only real contention is that Yahtzee has already professed his love of Earthbound, and since I've understood that Undertale to a large degree apes the mood/setup of Earthbound I am a bit uncertain if playing Undertale was that much of leaving a comfort zone.
I hate Earthbound. I love Undertale. I've also found that Undertale only really looks like Earthbound. The similarities quickly end. It's one of the main reasons Undertale is so great - it is masterful about building and smashing your expectations. See, if you played it now you'd expect it to be Earthbound. And then it would show you how wrong you are.
 

angel85

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In defense of the new Star Wars, there are 2 reasons why the basic plot is so similar to A New Hope. The first is obvious, it's the first time they've made a Star Wars movie in around a decade and with all the negative feelings from the prequels they had to show the audience that they can do something that feels like Star Wars, and mimicking the original is as good a way to do that as any. The second is actually to show the cycle of history (to paraphrase an anime, "history is like an endless waltz, the 3 beats of war, peace, and revolution repeat themselves throughout the generations.") Star Wars is also in that waltz, episode 1 started with the revolution from the separatists, the clone wars was the war, and revenge of the sith was peace (with the empire in control.) A New Hope was the next revolution when the rebellion fought back against the empire, followed by the war of the Empire Strikes Back, and peace in Return of the Jedi. The Force Awakens is the next revolution phase as the First Order tries to re-establish the empire, the theme of the cycle of history is preserved.

That said, the next movie shouldn't be a re-tread of Empire Strikes Back, that would be just plain stupid given the situation the characters are facing now.
 

inkheart_artist

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I've always appreciated this from Yahtzee, that pursuit of new and electrifying experiences. I value his opinion even when I don't share it. How boring would he have become if he had never evolved his opinion beyond enjoying sandbox games for the simple fact that they were unscripted in a sea of scripted games. If he were just happy as a clam now that they were the norm rather than the exception, would he have much of value to say?
 

bjavor

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Here's one of my favourite quotes from Terry Pratchett's "The Truth", which deals with running a newspaper publishing business:

?People like to be told what they already know. Remember that. They get uncomfortable when you tell them new things. New things?well, new things aren?t what they expect. They like to know that, say, a dog will bite a man. That is what dogs do. They don?t want to know that a man bites a dog, because the world is not supposed to happen like that. In short, what people think they want is news, but what they really crave is olds.?
 

Johnny Novgorod

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I agree with Yahtzee, but doesn't Undertale belong to another kind of comfort zone? The little indie game that breaks the fourth wall by addressing player agency?
 

Fat Hippo

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Bedinsis said:
Incidentally, I have in the past expressed the opinion that Yahtzee should play Crusader Kings 2, for no other reason than because it does a few unique things and I think it would therefore be an experience that actually would help him be a better critic. Given that the game is old now I don't think a review is likely or useful for the viewers however.
I've never thought of Yahtzee's reviews as serving the purpose of being useful for my purchasing decision and I'm not sure if that's true for everyone, but I primarily watch them for the laughs. And since CK2 is frequently a hilarious and bewildering game, it should serve as great material for Yahtzee. And it would get him out of his lamented comfort zone as well, so should almost feel obligated to play it at this point.
 

normalguycap

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A great beginning EP piece for the new year.

Johnny Novgorod said:
I agree with Yahtzee, but doesn't Undertale belong to another kind of comfort zone? The little indie game that breaks the fourth wall by addressing player agency?
Maybe, except good, meaningful and lasting.
 

Biran53

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Hear, Hear!
Encourage change and discourage complacency!

A life without challenge is a fucking tedious one.

I think I can explain the difference between a terrific sequel and a passable one:
Mad Max Fury Road is a creative, challenging, and standalone blockbuster that doesn't require its predecessors to make sense.
Force Awakens has none of these qualities.
 

Adam Jensen_v1legacy

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This is probably my favorite EP. I stopped playing almost all AAA games because of how pathetic they all seem to be in their attempts to appear similar to something else that's popular. Ubisoft and EA are the worst offenders. I don't even want to bother with them.

There are a few notable exceptions and only for certain types of gamers. For example, I enjoyed Tomb Raider reboot because as a PC gamer it had something different to offer to me. I can understand the PS3 crowd complaining that it's similar to Uncharted, but I've never played Uncharted so I wouldn't know.
Because of all the big budget open world games I found GTA V to be forgettable. It's fun to play at times, but nothing about it stands out in comparison to its predecessors and its competition. And that's the first for the series. Even the boring GTA IV had a unique appeal. I was more impressed by Sleeping Dogs than both of those games, and Sleeping Dogs is without a doubt a "GTA clone". It's remarkable how such a small shift in focus from guns to martial arts and from career criminal to undercover cop made that game so memorable.
 

Oroboros

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I keep hearing that Star Wars VII *HAD* to go with what was essentially a derivative aping of the original trilogy because audience trust in the franchise that they wouldn't accept it as Star Wars if it was anything else. I can't disagree more-that sort of standpoint is just incredibly insulting to the intelligence of the audience.

It's friggin Star Wars-one of if not *The* most iconic Science-Fiction settings out there! If the only way JJ, Disney and co could think of to make their movie a recognizable continuation of the Original trilogy is to shamelessly copy and paste every iconic scene, character, and plot and give them different names and coats of paint, then it doesn't speak greatly to their ability to handle the setting.

The Irony is that when Lucas needlessly inserted silly things from the OT like C3P0 into the prequels to make them more interconnected, it was rightly criticized. Yet lifting the entire OT and dumping it into a new movie for 'familiarity' gets a free pass in the case of SW VII. I'm hoping that in a few years the general audience will be more open to analysis and critique of the new movie. Lord knows it has its share of problems beyond the creative bankruptcy of the whole copy-paste plot thing.

In regards to games, creative ambition seems to be an increasingly rare luxury. Particularly in regards to story, as oft is seems the first thing to go to the chopping block for the sake of making something as blandly appealing to as wide an audience as possible...with the end result that AAA games seem to be rather...homogeneous after a while. Its' a real shame, because there is very little pushing the envelope out there at the big-budget end of the spectrum.
 

Nazulu

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Star Wars was definitely deep in that comfort zone, so deep it didn't even feel like it's own movie (including with all the big events that weren't explained). And it's success will only encourage more banality.

Fully agree with the experimenting. Because of progressive rock which I started listening too 5 years ago, I try my best to find all the weirdest, strangest and most challenging work put out. Every now and again I find something BIG, and it can sometimes flip my world upside down. Undertale is certainly a special one, simple in some ways and tricky in others, and I don't believe the soundtrack could be better.
 

Space Jawa

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The very idea that Episode VII had to be a beat-for-beat repeat of Episode VI for whatever reason reads as nothing more than the cheapest of cop-out arguments.

Give the movie time, wait till the current trilogy is over, and look at it again when people don't have their "it's not a George Lucas prequel movie!" honeymoon hype to fall back on, and I feel safe in saying people will be calling Episode VII one of the worst movies of the franchise, if not the worst.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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normalguycap said:
A great beginning EP piece for the new year.

Johnny Novgorod said:
I agree with Yahtzee, but doesn't Undertale belong to another kind of comfort zone? The little indie game that breaks the fourth wall by addressing player agency?
Maybe, except good, meaningful and lasting.
As in your opinion? Sure.
 

Silentpony_v1legacy

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So does this mean Yahtzee is going to be playing RTS games, Smash Bros, and Space Marine? Or by 'leave our comfort zone' does he mean for us to come join him in his comfort zome and just sit quietly while he explains why his views are inherently correct and that he need not take any risks of his own, because that might ruin the facade of expertise he cultivates?

Also I went ahead a watched an Undertale Lets Play after the vitriol I received when I said Yahtzee was just baiting Indie gamers in his Top 5.
And I will admit if my only experience with RPGs were the Pokemon series and Skyrim, then yeah Undertale does a lot of new things. If on the other hand I had played FF6, FF7, Chrono Cross and maybe half a dozen other 90s RPGs...then no. No, Undertale doesn't really do anything unique or new that hadn't already been done 20+ years ago.
 

Xman490

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"Yes, there are games I like, games I LOVE. Do I want to play a new installment of the same thing every few years? NO! The fastest way to spoil your pleasures is to make them routine! Variety is the spice of life, and status quo is the starch. The star that shines brightest is all the more glorious for its brevity. Or to bring this metaphor down to a broader cultural level, The Simpsons has been running for [21] seasons and hasn't been good since the 5th."
- Yahtzee, Super Mario Galaxy 2 ZP Review
Johnny Novgorod said:
I agree with Yahtzee, but doesn't Undertale belong to another kind of comfort zone? The little indie game that breaks the fourth wall by addressing player agency?
Well, it is part of the "looks like Earthbound" comfort zone. However, only a few games have done that, so I let it slide.
You could say that replaying it alludes to one's comfort zone as well, but the game scolds you both for considering undoing a Pacifist Run and for committing to the Genocide Run.
 

Thyunda

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Silentpony said:
So does this mean Yahtzee is going to be playing RTS games, Smash Bros, and Space Marine? Or by 'leave our comfort zone' does he mean for us to come join him in his comfort zome and just sit quietly while he explains why his views are inherently correct and that he need not take any risks of his own, because that might ruin the facade of expertise he cultivates?

Also I went ahead a watched an Undertale Lets Play after the vitriol I received when I said Yahtzee was just baiting Indie gamers in his Top 5.
And I will admit if my only experience with RPGs were the Pokemon series and Skyrim, then yeah Undertale does a lot of new things. If on the other hand I had played FF6, FF7, Chrono Cross and maybe half a dozen other 90s RPGs...then no. No, Undertale doesn't really do anything unique or new that hadn't already been done 20+ years ago.
So I assume this is the part where you present to us a bullet-point list of all the things Undertale is said to have innovated, but didn't - and you'll provide examples of these 90s RPGs that do it?

Yahtzee Croshaw said:
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone for 2016

I can never be content to remain in a comfort zone forever, because I've been spoiled too many times. Stuff that I wouldn't have sought out were I not professionally obliged, and which left me feeling renewed on a unique, almost spiritual level.

Read Full Article
Amusing point about people who say 'turn your brain off.' I mean, I've got nothing against the popcorn shooters and I'll fight you to the death over Halo 5 because the multiplayer alone is everything I wanted it to be, but I don't think I've ever seen the phrase used as anything but an excuse for enjoying a 'mediocre' (though I can't stand the term) game. As for guilty pleasures - mine in particular are stealth games. I hate them. I can't stand the fucking things. They're stressful and they're high-pressure and either ludicrously easy or ridiculously unfair and yet I love every second I spend sneaking about. Every single RPG I play starts with me playing a spellcaster and then switching it out for a stealthy rogue. I don't know what's wrong with me. I avoided This War Of Mine for so long because I knew it was a stealth game with limited resources and would only give me a heart condition but I got it and played it for twelve hours over two sittings because six hours in I discovered I could make my mates refugees and, well, once you've informed a friend he was shot raiding a brothel, what else is there to do in life?

Somebody else on this thread suggested Yahtzee plays Crusader Kings II.

That is a Let's Play I would pay for.
 

Weasker

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Johnny Novgorod said:
I agree with Yahtzee, but doesn't Undertale belong to another kind of comfort zone? The little indie game that breaks the fourth wall by addressing player agency?
For me the answer is simply that it goes beyond that.
I wouldn't call that a comfort zone. Stanley Parable is an indie that breaks the fourth wall, but not because of that you can really compare it to Undertale, everything else is completely different.