Why certain people will defend a clearly bad game

Ragsnstitches

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We're all guilty of it... most of us have some game in our collection that is simply ass, but it resonates with us in some way that makes it seem better to us. Maybe a nostalgia factor or a strong interest in the genre... good feelings in other words.

While not as widely panned as Survival Instinct, 2009's AVP was a pretty meh game... but I loved it.

Being objective about something you like is difficult since, by our very nature, we let a lot of shit slide if we derive pleasure or comfort from something. It DOES require deliberation and intent to overcome our predisposition with giving allowances to stuff we're fond of.

Most people don't have the patience for that. To be critical about something, while still derive pleasure from it, is a tenuous balance at best. Some folks can let flaws completely overshadow any genuine quality. Others can wade through the deepest chasms of shit and appreciate that flawed gem buried within. Very few people can wade through that shit and call it shit, while still admiring the gem. Likewise few people can acknowledge the flaws without degrading the game in their view too.

This is why you have some pretty... vicious responses to criticism. Some people genuinely can't handle the negative feedback. Others really can't see the diamond in the rough. This is why so many discussion about a games value, regardless of ratings, are boiling pots waiting to overflow.

The effect I'm talking about is quite easily seen in user reviews on any of the major aggregate sites*. For most people there is no gradient between good and bad... its a switch "Did you like it? Yes or No?" Maybe at a stretch "kinda/not really" too.

*Note: This isn't including review bombing. That is a different beast entirely.
 
Aug 1, 2010
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This whole "They're just trying to justify their purchase!" bullshit needs to stop. Right now.

People just cannot seem to handle the idea that *GASP* someone enjoys something.

Also, I'm increasingly getting the feeling that there is (almost) no such thing as objectively bad game.
You say you're not talking about a game that can be good or bad depending on tastes, but that can apply to pretty much every game. Yes, there are exceptions, but still.

Sometimes just 1 aspect is enough for me to love a game.

Space Marine for instance. The combat was decent, the characters were ok, etc. However, the level of love and fanboyish understanding that went into the world makes me cream myself every time I pop it in. Just the one scene in the trenches were off on the horizon a skyscraper sized artillery piece is firing at the Ork hordes. Every shot creates a miniature earthquake that ripples across the war torn landscape. They just [i/]got[/i] everything I feel 40k is about. A lot of people didn't even care about the game. That ONE scene was enough for me to love it.

So maybe these people you're talking about feel the same way about The Walking Dead.

Always assume someone praises something because they like it. It's a weak, irresponsible, generalizing rationalization to say they just want to convince themselves they didn't waste money.

Oh and by the way, the thing about the bugs is perfectly valid. People can only speak from their own experiences. If you had bugs and they didn't and they praise the game, they're not wrong just because they didn't have the same problems as you.
 
Nov 28, 2007
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Sir Thomas Sean Connery said:
snip-a-dee-doo-dah, snip-a-dee-ay
I agree with just about everything you wrote. Personally, out of my collection of games, I have at least 3 games with a sub-7 rating on Metacritic, either user or critical. Of those 3, guess how many I am considering getting rid of, in order to get a new game? None. However, there are two games I am planning to trade in, both of which are highly acclaimed games. Do I think those games are bad? No. I just don't have fun with them. And to me, that is what games are about, having fun. I'd be lying if I said I don't consider reviews when making a purchase, since I have limited funds, but I'm not going to avoid a game I have a feeling I'll enjoy just because someone thinks the game is shit.

Oh, and I really enjoy Alpha Protocol, DA2, and Mass Effect 3, all of which get slammed by gamers. For every game that someone dislikes, there is usually someone who enjoyed it. Except Big Rigs. No one unironically likes that game.
 

RWillers

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I think saying they're ALL trying to justify their purchase is wrong. Probably a few of them think that way, but many others defend a "bad" game because they really liked it.

I think that, with the exception of game-breaking bugs, everything else about a game is subjective. Plot? Gameplay? Graphics? What you think is bad could be amazing for somebody else. So in these cases they do't really see anything wrong with the game in question.

Other people do see the "bad" aspects of the game but the "good" parts of it are so good (in their opinion) that it just doesn't matter. They're having fun, they're enjoying the game, and that's all that matters.

Finally, some people do see the "bad" aspects of the game and realize that overall the game is trash, but they just don't care. Guilty pleasures and all.

 

Kirtap

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Th3Ch33s3Cak3 said:
I enjoyed Two Worlds
Also, I hope this dosn't devolve into another thread of people hating and questioning other peoples opinions.
I am currently hating and questioning your opinion.
 

piinyouri

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First possibility: Guilty pleasure. They know it's all terrible but that is precisely why people play it.

Second possibility: (Faults aside)the game gives something specific the person hasn't seen done(or done as well/done quite the same way). Mirrors Edge could be a candidate for this I think. (Not saying I think it's a bad game, just that I've noticed a lot of people seem to think so.)

Third possibility: The parts they do like are enough to overshadow whatever else they don't necessarily like.
This sort of goes hand in hand with the second possibility.

And then of course there's good old fashioned different perspectives/opinions that cannot be quantified or examined in any tangible way.

Example, I love Too Human and found the combat very fun and entertaining, even novel, and never had any really issue with the camera.
A LOT of people have said just the opposite.

Fun fact: I also enjoyed Might and Magic 9. (it was my first MM game)
The enjoyment I got out of it aside, even I can still say that game is put together terribly.
In my own insignificant opinion, I think the only thing that can probably turn everyone away from a game are technical issues that are so severe that playing the game is an actual impossibility. Anything else is mostly subjective.
 

Nazulu

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Jun 5, 2008
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I've been looking into this for awhile now, and what I've found is it's either those people are very tolerable or they only need a certain part of the game to work well to be enjoyable. And of course there are those who invest themselves into the game so much that they can not accept any criticism of it. Also, there are people that believe nothing can be bad, but I haven't met anyone like that yet.
 

King Aragorn

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It's really just a matter of opinions. Some people may found joy in this game that neither me or you can find, it can be a guilty pleasure, or something legitimately appealing to them.
What annoys me however, is how people, for example, on an IGN review:
X reviewer puts several legit points about the game, and one of them is the graphics...

Y user ignores EVERYTHING, and goes for: ''they only care for visuals!''
Or OUT OF NO WHERE go ''They only like CoD this review is bad'' *which really, when you think about it, shouldn't this game get reviews then, since it's published by Activision?*
 

infohippie

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Johnny Novgorod said:
I would contest that there're no "clearly bad games" to begin with, just games you like or you don't like.
Um, Custer's Revenge? ET (Atari 2600)?

There are some truly, objectively bad games. But they are few and far between.
 

Not Matt

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Nov 3, 2011
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because some people just like playing with shit.
i can mention a ton of shitty shitty games that i love with all of my heart that my friends are most likly never going to stop bullying me for playing.
 

Mr.Pandah

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Jul 20, 2008
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The game is a BADLY made game. I agree with that completely. People may or may not enjoy the game because of that. They might defend it because they still like it, but if anyone says the game was made "well"...they're dead wrong.
 

Psylumin

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Jul 26, 2012
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I don't see why this is worth a discussion.
I think its great if you are defending a game you bought. Remember when you were younger and you could only get one game a month, or even three months or even 6 months (depending on how awesome your parents were)? Of course you defended the game you bought, or sometimes, you just enjoyed it because it was just a game that you now finally own. I defended Spongebob Squarepants: Supersponge back then... Now, I could never find enjoyment in it again.

But isn't that what its all about? All that matter is how much enjoyment you get out of a game! The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct might just be a rushed, over-marketed licensed game that was made to grab everyone's wallets without delivering any solid gameplay, but that's only if you look at it from a business perspective.

Aww, how I wish we were all kids again and just 'rate' video games in terms of fun and not delve into these deep analyses where one single, small flaw can result in an uproar in the gaming community.

Sorry, I am ranting too much, but I seriously urge you to look at the review of Resident Evil 2 on Gamespot (make sure its the original ps1 review), and then compare it to any review of any other modern game. The way everyone reviews games has become far too strict and... Soulless?
 

FFHAuthor

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fezgod said:
madwarper said:
fezgod said:
"MY COPY of the game doesn't have all those bugs,"
(Granted, most of these opinions come from youtube comments so they're validity is in question)
The other two comments may have been subjective opinions... But, this last one seems pretty objective.

If the reviewer complains about how buggy they observed the game to be, it's just as valid as when someone says that they have yet to encounter such bugs in their copy.

Personally, I've played New Vegas dozens of times, and during every one of the character creation sections, the doctor's neck remained intact.
I know that other people have encountered bugs where it dislocates and just rolls around his shoulders, I've seen the videos, but that doesn't change the fact that it never happened to me.
Funny that you should mention New Vegas because I've only had one major crash in New Vegas but beyond that, I've never encountered any serious visual/gameplay bugs. But when I put the game in my friend's xbox, it wouldn't even load.
I've played New Vegas on 360 and PS3, and I've found that the bugs/freezes only show up on PS3, though both have funky level geometry in places.
 

tsb247

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Johnny Novgorod said:
I would contest that there're no "clearly bad games" to begin with, just games you like or you don't like.
I disagree with this sentiment whole-heartedly. It seems to imply that poor game design, bad ideas, and/or just plain laziness on the part of the developer(s) is/are excuseable because there are no, "Clearly bad games."

Yes, some games are clearly bad, and some people who defend them... Well... Let's just leave it at that.

For instance, I will point out a stereotypical game that is the very definition of bad; Big Rigs Racing (or whatever the official title is). To say that it is not, "Clearly bad," is to excuse the shoddy game design, the fact that it was released unfinished, and that it is pretty much unplayable.

My point? A line must be drawn somewhere, and the attitude of, "Well, it must be good for someone," or, "It's not bad, just something different," should not be adopted when it can be shown that a game was poorly conceived or cannot be played as intended. The second gamers stop being critical of a developer's mistakes is when they start releasing garbage (And, well, it's happening now). We have a responsibility to maintain the quality of games by being judgemental and providing feedback when necessary. People that blindly defend bad games don't really help anyone. They just do it to make themselves feel better. When it comes to reviews and criticism, they only give developers a false sense of security; even though the developer may have released a sub-part product.

So yes, there are bad games out there, like The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, and I don't see those that blindly defend them as doing any service to anyone but themselves. It's annoying.
 

Assassin Xaero

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fezgod said:
And can you think of other games that were clearly bad but you'll still see people defending them?

Disclaimer: I'm not talking about a game that can be good or bad, depending on your tastes, or a game that you personally think is overrated. I'm talking about games that are almost universally considered shitty but some people are still inexplicably defending.
I'll explain to you why I still defend Duke Nukem Forever. But first, the disclaimer part kinda defeats the point. What is "universally considered shitty"? You mean if the majority of people say it is bad? But that is personal taste or thinking it is overrated (or just jumping on the hate bandwagon). People say the Dirge of Cerberus sucked, but I loved the game and saw nothing wrong with it. On the other hand, everyone praise Dragon Age: Origins while I found the characters to be bland as hell, the world, story, and well, everything was also bland and pretty boring. The "combat" was just clicking and waiting for the enemy to die, then clicking on the next. So, I call it a bad game, but still, personal taste. Mechanic wise, NecroVisioN seem really clunky and the AI were horrible, but the game was so much fun it didn't matter. You could consider it to be a "bad" game, but when it was way more fun than a "good" game (DA:O), how can it really be that bad?

Now, as far as Duke Nukem Forever goes, it wasn't that bad of a game. It played fine, and all the mechanics were fine, from what I saw playing the demo, game, and DLC. Multiplayer servers had a ton of lag issues, but most people didn't even try the multiplayer. I used to work with a guy who said it sucked. I asked him why and he said because there was a two weapon limit. I then asked if he played it and he said no. Conversation there was over and anything he said about the quality of the game held no weight. How can I trust his opinion on the game when he never played it, and was just jumping on the "DNF sux!!11 you can only have 2 gunz!!!1111" bandwagon, like most other people who constantly trashed it when it came out. Other people said it was offensive. Well, yeah, Duke Nukem is pretty much the South Park of video games, it is supposed to be offensive and attack most popular things in the media/pop culture. TotalBiscuit complained that it was "too scripted" and other people complained about the weapon limit because "old school shooters didn't have weapon limits". Old school shooters were scripted, and people complain about that. People also said "after 13 years this game should be a lot better". They weren't working on it straight for 14 years. A quick google search for it's development could tell you that.

It hit the point where people, most of which never played it, were just looking for a reason to hate it. If you play a game and dislike it, fine, but don't go around talking shit on a game you've never played. That is why I made a PSN account in another country, just to try the Heavy Rain demo, and see if the game was as bad and boring as it looked (and it was). I'm sure just watching a video of Goldeneye would make you think the game was horrible in every way, but anyone who has played it knows how fun it is.
 

Edguy

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Stupid people.

Just like a lot of people genuinely think The Expendables, Transformers and Battleship are ok movies, some people just don't have the intellectual integrity to get their experienced ruined by flaws like horrible writing, bad mechanics or failed logic.

/elitism
 

fezgod

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tsb247 said:
Johnny Novgorod said:
I would contest that there're no "clearly bad games" to begin with, just games you like or you don't like.
I disagree with this sentiment whole-heartedly. It seems to imply that poor game design, bad ideas, and/or just plain laziness on the part of the developer(s) is/are excuseable because there are no, "Clearly bad games."

Yes, some games are clearly bad, and some people who defend them... Well... Let's just leave it at that.

For instance, I will point out a stereotypical game that is the very definition of bad; Big Rigs Racing (or whatever the official title is). To say that it is not, "Clearly bad," is to excuse the shoddy game design, the fact that it was released unfinished, and that it is pretty much unplayable.

My point? A line must be drawn somewhere, and the attitude of, "Well, it must be good for someone," or, "It's not bad, just something different," should not be adopted when it can be shown that a game was poorly conceived or cannot be played as intended. The second gamers stop being critical of a developer's mistakes is when they start releasing garbage (And, well, it's happening now). We have a responsibility to maintain the quality of games by being judgemental and providing feedback when necessary. People that blindly defend bad games don't really help anyone. They just do it to make themselves feel better. When it comes to reviews and criticism, they only give developers a false sense of security; even though the developer may have released a sub-part product.

So yes, there are bad games out there, like The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct, and I don't see those that blindly defend them as doing any service to anyone but themselves. It's annoying.
This is pretty much the point I was trying to make, albeit a bit clearer.
Also, I like your point on how developers are given a false sense of security. Game companies can release any type of garbage and as long as they can snag a few sales (which is easily achieved by manipulating a fanbase) then they still profit - especially since they probably didn't even spend a lot of money on the first place on the game. Then they can release another piece of shit game to get more money because they know that some people who bought the first game will defend it because they spent money on it and will want to feel as though they were justified in purchasing it so they won't feel as though they wasted money. When people defend a defective product, they can inadvertently generate a few more sales because they make it more confusing for consumers to determine whether or not a product is defective - which eventually leads to more sales of the video game company.

When a game is mediocre, that can either mean that the company a) ran out of time/money b) they didn't give two shits about the actual product because they know they'll make their money back.
If a game falls into the first category (again Fallout: New Vegas comes to mind) its still a good game that just has limitations due to the aforementioned problems, so it may still be worth a purchase.
If a game falls into the second category, it's an insult to the entire industry and to gamers in general.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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lithium.jelly said:
Johnny Novgorod said:
I would contest that there're no "clearly bad games" to begin with, just games you like or you don't like.
Um, Custer's Revenge? ET (Atari 2600)?

There are some truly, objectively bad games. But they are few and far between.
I seem to recall it being controversial because of its racist depiction of Native Americans, so it was morally and ethically bad, sure, but was the game bad per se? By the looks of it, it seems really hard and boring, but so were most Atari games back then.