[PATV] Wednesday, November 28, 2012 - Extra Credits Season 5, Ep. 14: Combining Genres



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    UncannyGarlicUncannyGarlic Registered User regular
    I think what you're getting at and what I agree with is that gameplay should trump story. A game with good gameplay and no plot or a bad plot can still be a good or great game (pretty much every multiplayer game, most 16-bit era games and before with the exception of RPGs) while a game with a good plot and bad gameplay will be a bad game (examples are harder for this since most games don't have good plots).

    Titanium Dragon is right, leveling is there to make you play longer. They're smarter than Battlefield because the unlocks are better spaced out and the prestige levels are there to prolong play even further with the goal of encouraging players to play long enough to buy the Map Packs.

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    dracoslayer16dracoslayer16 Registered User regular
    Genre mashing? First game that comes to mind would have to be Natural Selection 1 & 2. FPS and RTS in one game each making up for what the other lacks. Not enough strategy in an FPS? Bring in an RTS commander to help give out orders. Don't like micro'ing in an RTS? Make the units controlled by players instead of AI as a FPS.

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    sp@mb0tsp@mb0t Registered User new member
    action, puzzle, and rpg...

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    TheySlashThemTheySlashThem Registered User regular
    henry hatsworth suffered mainly from being way too difficult, something that was apparently a result of rushed production

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    Mech117Mech117 Registered User new member
    I can't view the video! "Sorry, we're unable to play this episode." All my friends can't seem to get it to work either! We can watch previous episodes, but not this one.

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    killertofukillertofu Registered User new member
    There is a turn based strategy soccer game. Tecmo Cup Soccer. You run around in real time until you get close to an opponent or you pass or kick. Then it is like an RPG. Last one in the us was 1988 or so.

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    discriderdiscrider Registered User regular
    edited December 2012
    Double post. God my internet sucks.

    discrider on
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    discriderdiscrider Registered User regular

    You have a point there.

    You could change the Bioshock game slightly with Engineering Plasmids, but in the end it didn't leave you with many decisions in the actual minigame itself.

    Deus Ex did allow reactions in the mini-game which was great. And it also had the game world working around you whilst you hack, so you could be interrupted mid-hack, although this wouldn't work in Bioshock necessarily when you're trying to hack turret that is currently stunned for a short period of time.

    A problem that I had with both the minigames (both Bioshock and Deus Ex: HR) was that there was no way to eliminate the chance of failure. Bioshock would sometimes throw up unsolvable messes of alarms and broken pipes, where as Deus Ex always had the chance of being traced on the first sign of incursion, forcing you to burn your hacking tools or waste your hack "lives". I'd much prefer it if someone who specialised in these hacking games didn't have to worry about such insta-lose conditions, at the expense of some other part of the game proper.

    And I still think both of these minigames are bad overall. The role they facilitate in both games is important; they give the player another way to attack objectives. But they do so by removing the player from the main game. So while hacking games can work in and of themselves, the transferal to a secondary screen tends to draw me out of the original game and makes the minigame feel separate and disconnected from the rest.

    So, at the moment, I feel that all the hacking minigames are rubbish. But they're needed. Until you can crack open a control panel, rummage around in the circuitry and cause immediate effects on the game world, it will always seem forced. That is, the only reason you're not just pushing a button to take a different path is because it has to be difficult to do otherwise there's no reason behind the choice.

    I just think that criticism should be leveled at the whole hacking minigame genre, rather than picking on the Bioshock example in particular. These games are in there because they have a job to do, so let's criticise them on how well they do that job, rather than that they exist in the first place.

    So I may be getting uptight about an example being an example here.
    The whole hacking minigame genre is pretty dodgy, one example of it making into this segment is probably fair.


    Portal 2 has plenty of story, it's just not told in text boxes. And in fact, I think the story of Portal 2 carries it far more than the gameplay.

    Portal was brilliant. It gave you a simple concept and then taught you to use it so you could attempt more and more challenging puzzles. Portal 2 added far more elements, but as a result it had many small iterations of tutorials and then puzzles around the new element. This left the puzzles far too easy in the main story mode IMO, because there was no building difficulty, just one puzzle and then move on to the next mechanic.

    The story however, of Chell coming back, confronting GLaDOS, trying to escape again, everything going to hell and re-discovering the lost history of Aperture Science, made the story missions enjoyable, as opposed to being simply easy, and being dropped immediately for Co-op and now user constructed content by people in search of challenges.

    So, yes, games don't need story to be good, but Portal 2 has story by the bucket load.

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    Hams ShmacHams Shmac Registered User regular
    Action/FPS + leveling/skill trees = Borderlands and Borderlands 2

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    TremorAcePVTremorAcePV Registered User new member
    Stealth + RPG = Metal Gear Solid
    Action + RPG + Puzzles = Legend of Zelda and Darksiders
    Strategy + RPG + TPS = Valkyria Chronicles

    I could go on...

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    EmberwakeEmberwake Registered User regular
    Its strange to me that Bioshock was mentioned but no one has brought up Mass Effect yet.

    Mass Effect is functionally two separate games: a third person shooter and a classic adventure game. The game even plays in different modes, altering your perspective and disabling your ability to attack when you are in an adventure area. In these sections of the game, you can talk to NPCs, search for important objects, and generally pretend that you are playing Kings Quest MMCLXXXIII. When you enter combat areas, much of this functionality is disabled, and instead you play a fairly straightforward cover-shooter.

    This "Guns and Dialogue" approach has defined Bioware's style of RPG for years, and it seems to break the rule that JP outlined in this video. Yet it has been a successful approach.

    The analysis is welcome, but somehow lacking. Having worked at a couple game studios, I can tell you that even on AAA projects much more focus is is placed on the way a game feels than cold analysis. Game development, like film-making, remains more art than science despite the existence of good quantitative breakdowns of what makes successful games work.

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    Mech117Mech117 Registered User new member
    somebody please post this video on youtube. I can't view it with the player for some reason and the title sounds really interesting!

    I get the "Sorry, we're unable to play this episode" error.

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    ZombieAladdinZombieAladdin Registered User regular
    I can say the leveling system in Dead Island falls flat because not only do common enemies level up with you, they gain strength faster than you to compensate for your increased abilities. At Level 1, a Walker (the most basic zombie) will need like 8 or 9 hits to kill you. At Level 35, roughly the endgame amount, a Walker only needs 2.

    Leveling up in Dead Island feels really pointless because all it's doing is making you weaker.

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    Katamari23Katamari23 Registered User regular
    I have to add my voice to the people who already mentioned Valkyria Chronicles. Best genre mashup I've ever played. RPG + turn-based strategy = WIN!

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    Storm1729Storm1729 Registered User new member
    I don't think turn-based is a genre, it's more a mechanic, like a leveling system or energy bars.
    Also the reset mechanic for CoD is probably because levels function as more a mark of experience/rank, as well as levels only unlocking new guns instead of granting players actual power. The reset level could also be for a similar reason as the mortgage in Animal Crossing games, a long-term goal that helps fight off the air of repetition that comes from normal play.

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    padoylepadoyle Registered User regular
    @Emberwake I'd argue that the gunplay and rpg elements in mass effect both support the same goal of bringing to life the universe it all takes place in. The strength in having guns and shooting as the combat portion of an RPG means being true to the sci-fi theme and making the world feel more consistent. I suppose they could have had turn-based play with guns as weapons, but that would remove the player from Shepard's (shoulder's) point of view, which might hurt the immersion.

    There's definitely an artistic component to building a game that feels right, but I think it's only more powerful to characterize the game's feel and build on it in ways that are meaningful to what that is. In Mass Effect I think that feel is the role playing of Shepard and the exploration of the locales, politics, and history of the universe in which his/her story takes place. In that regard, shooting feels right because it's consistent with the themes that make the game great. I obviously can't say this with any certainty, but I think it was a more calculated decision than it was an artistic or intuition-based one.

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