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What makes a game good to you?

Discussion in 'Video Games' started by 8542Madness, Feb 22, 2016.

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  1. 8542Madness

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    There are tons of video games out there. Hundreds of new games are added monthly on Steam alone. With this massive rush of video games, it's a challenge to begin determining which are the best. What makes some games better than others?



    For once, I don't have much of a solid opinion on this. I think there isn't any one thing alone that makes a game good. It's complex. There's so many different parts that must all work together smoothly, and you can't rely on any one particularly shiny cog in the machine to hide how bad the other parts are.
     
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  2. Absolute Zero

    Absolute Zero The second seal

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    Enjoyable gameplay is my number-one need. A game that is too easy or too hard, too simple or too complex, to lengthy or too brief, or just has bad gameplay design choices in my opinion (repeat: in my opinion) lose many points in my view. Examples in that order: Pre-E4 Pokémon, Sniper Elite V2, Pokémon Picross, Pillars of Eternity (or am I thinking of something else?), Civilization, Somewhere Out There, Mega Man X7. A lot of those games are good for other reasons, but the gameplay definitely makes each of them lose at least a whole letter grade in my book.

    After that is story. Granted, if all I wanted was a story, I'd go read a book, but it's nice to have some drama between/during the action. I'll tell you now, if it wasn't for some fairly good storylines, I'd probably never touch a Final Fantasy game ever again (see above: too simple. Non-boss battles can usually be won by button-mashing regular attack). A good story can be worth so much when paired with a game that's good otherwise. For example: Pony Island. Best game I've played all year. Not only were the puzzles interesting and self-teaching and original and the game-game of it was more complex than a standard nonstop runner, but it had the best video game story I've played since Bastion or Majora's Mask or Braid. Maybe even better than those.

    There are other things that matter to me too, but generally not as much. Music is important (any Mega Man game ever), and having no music at all can ruin a game (Saints Row 4), but the quality generally only wins points for me if it's super-good. Similar with visuals, as long as it looks like the artists have talent, I don't mind if it's realistic, cartoony, sprite, or pixels. It's all just a choice of medium, and quality transcends artistic choice.
     
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  3. 8542Madness

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    @[member="Zero Sifr"]

    It's funny you mention Civilization as one of the games with bad gameplay, because that's one of the games I've always considered to have some of the best gameplay. I love the difficult and complex strategy required to play. To me, it's a challenge. It's not unfair, just complicated to test your abilities. At least, that's how I see it.

    I fully admit that Civilization is one of the games that appeals to a very specific audience, and most people outside of that group won't enjoy it. I can see why other people would say that Civilization has bad gameplay, but it feels perfect to me.
     
  4. Weedle Enthusiast

    Weedle Enthusiast Resident Weedle Enthusiast

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    I will try me best to translate my rational. Usually i just go based on whether i enjoy it, without thinking over it. A non-broken combat system is always really nice, though I've had some pretty good games that lacked combat as a noticeable part (like Harvest Moon). I LOVE being able to interact with characters in a way that actually influences the game. Dragon Age and Rune Factory are two games that will always hold a place in my heart (especially the Rune Factory series). Becoming friends with the characters has inspired me to do a lot in games, when i normally would find it too hard (Aquarius, I don't care if you are a god, you don't touch Daria and survive). The plot can make or break a game for me. I think Skyrim is a terrible game, and it is the one game that my dad actually wanted a refund on, so he sold it back. It has cool game play. But killing dragons to learn how to scream is not a decent plot to me. A combination of all three is amazing. But I've played ones that only had one of the three, and really liked them. But for me to play it to the end, it usually needs at least plot. Pokémon is an exception. Great plot or character interaction = beating the game. Enjoyable combat = playing probably half way through and losing interest.
     
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  5. Absolute Zero

    Absolute Zero The second seal

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    @[member="8542Madness"] I'm not saying that Civilization is bad. I think its level of complexity is perfect and its paths to success are varied and its acknowledgement of cultures that are less common in today's media (Songhai, Carthage, Babylon, and others) is awesome. Those are all great. After all, if it wasn't a great game in many aspects, it wouldn't have spawned four sequels and however-many spinoffs.

    What I don't like about it is this: it's a turn-taking game whose turns can take several minutes per player. In chess, you might have to wait 10-30 seconds while your only opponent ponders the next move and you get to go again. But Civ? During war time, each turn can take upwards of four minutes. Multiply that by five other players you're playing with, and you're doing nothing for twenty minutes, waiting for the game to move forward. I can't play multiplayer Civ unless I'm doing something else on the side. Reading a book, watching TV, playing another game. I feel like I should be able to just sit down and play a game, not sit down and play a game, alt-tabbing between that game and Young Justice or Super Meat Boy or whatever. That's what makes it lose points from me. Contrarily, I'll play Rise of Nations and love every minute of it. It's kind of between Civ and AoE in its amount of focus on war, but the only waiting phase is during the optional Risk-like game mode, which involves a fraction of a minute of deciding your next move between 15-minute mini-campaigns.

    Civ is good, but the waiting is a killer for me. Maybe this is an idea that could be tested: each turn progresses in real-time like fashion, with everyone making their moves on the fly, but the turn ends at the same time for everyone, after they're all done with that year. It makes battle less predictable (you can try to move a unit away before your opponent gets to them, or they use that as a ruse for a sneak-attack elsewhere) and it minimizes the wait span of the waiting time to the difference between you and the slowest player, rather than the sum of every other player. That idea would need some testing, but I might go for it, and I'd guess that Civ game would be a B+ in my book, rather than C+ like Civ 5 is.
     
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  6. Nate

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    There are quite the number of factors for me. One, I'm probably not going to like a game if it's not in a genre I like. But also the story, characters, and visuals are large parts. Now, I also think it changes based on the genre. Story is much more important in an RPG and also in those games you need to balance enemy levels (please don't make me grind too much), mechanics, etc. The amount of things that go into a game is insane. It really is hard to pinpoint.
     
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  7. Wizard

    Wizard Do you feel it? The moon's power!

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    There is one thing in games that stand out to me the most, and it has been the common factor for almost all of my favorite games over the years: the soundtrack. The gameplay, of course, needs to be good, as if a game has bad gameplay, I'm not going to want to go back to it. Anyways, back to the ost. Think about this: Pokémon, Fire Emblem, Final Fantasy, Animal Crossing. What do these all have in common? They all have music that makes me want to come back, whether it be the intense complexities of Pokémon, nostalgic tunes of FF, the adventurous feel of Fire Emblem, or even the calm vibes of Animal Crossing. These are all tunes that I will listen to when I'm not playing the games, and the music brings me back to the game. This is what makes a game good to me, a proper balance, with the soundtrack having serious consideration.
     
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  8. Eclipse

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    I dislike this question so very much, because I never know quite how to answer it. My best guess is to look at the games I liked the most, more than any other game I've played before - almost all of which are on the GBA - and see where they come out on top.

    I think what draws me most to those games is the replay value. The games have aged well, and despite the path always being the same from start to end, it's always fun and engaging to try again with a few twists. (In the case of Superstar Saga and Ace Attorney, the paths are always the same, but for Golden Sun and Fire Emblem 7, there are a lot of permutations for class setups.) There's something really charming about sprite-based gameplay that newer games really lack, giving up the depth of sprites for the depth of models. But that's another subject. I suppose it could be said that these games have aged really well...?

    Other factors are the music, which always scores very highly for me. I always play my games with headphones on whenever possible, so I can really immerse myself in the world well. Of course, the notion of a good soundtrack is universal and has never died out - I was recently linked to a few tracks from Xenoblade Chronicles X's OST and oh my word it's beautiful. Gameplay is also a factor, usually combining as part of the replay factor. Story is nice, but it tends to be secondary to the other aspects or effects. (Has anyone actually played Superstar Saga for the story?)

    It's weird. I'll go back to those games time and again, but newer games I'll not want to pick up as readily. Even Etrian Odyssey IV, which I got about halfway through the main game and liked, I have no urge to pick it up and keep going, and I'm not sure why that is. (I'd like to blame it on the steep difficulty curve, but I really don't think that's the reason why. I hope not, at least.)
     
  9. ✯Ho-OhLugia✯

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    There are so many factors that influence this decision to me. What makes a game good to me? First of all is the plot and the characters. I'm not sure which one of these is most important to me, but perhaps it's the characters. If the character is a really good one, such as Pit or Link, or a Pokémon, then I'll be sure to pick up the game regardless of the game play. Plot is also very important too! That is the story and the harmonious balance between the characters and the plot. There haven't been any games I've played that had a terrible plot at all.

    Another thing is the music. Game music is probably one of my favourite genres of music (if it is even a genre - before anyone corrects me!). Lot's of game series have really beautiful game soundtracks. Even games I haven't played, such as Xenoblade Chronicles, I can tell by Super Smash Brothers that it has a wonderful soundtrack.

    Gameplay is important, but not as important to me. If the controls are hard, then I will adapt to them.

    Another huge factor is what company the game belongs to - Nintendo!
     
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  10. Reckless

    Reckless Won't take the easy road

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    To give my own personal two cents; easy to learn controls and a story you can sink your teeth into for at least a couple hours. I can get over awkward camera angles and other missteps in game design if these two aspects are pretty solid, with a heavy emphasis on the later. Hell, I don't even care about graphics or framerate! If I feel like a game that's gonna take 40+ hours to complete doesn't grab me within roughly the first hour or two, I'll more than likely drop it, but I'm willing to give most things the ol' college try.
     
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  11. Starry Windy

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    For me, a good game is one that has enjoyable story, and having good control and easy-to-learn gameplay mechanics. Likeable characters are also a selling point if you want the game to be good, for sure. If it's difficulty is too hard, it may wear out some players that they refuses to play it again (well, I've been on that experience for one or two), so too hard is no good for me, so it's the best to put the difficulty on the balance so that it's enjoyable to everyone, that's what defines a good game for me.
     
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  12. Vanillite

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    This is a hard question, tbh. I would like to say a good story, but I've played some incredible games that didn't have much of a story at all. So I guess I'll put that idea on the back burner :s

    Tbh, graphics are really important to me. If a game visually looks top-quality for the console it's on, I'm really inclined to play it and enjoy it. Another important thing for me is replay value. If I can replay a game multiple times and not get fed-up with it, I'd say it's a pretty good game! I really like those games that allow you to make choices throughout the game-- Meaning you may get a different ending each time. That really ups the replay value in my book.

    Okay this last one is lame as hell, but it's always been this thing that's always gotten me excited: Being able to swim in a game. If I can swim in a game, I get so pumped tbh.
     
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  13. Teddybear2345

    Teddybear2345 Which is cooler, to be cool, or uncool?

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    Soundtrack - keeps me coming back for more, if good enough
    and makes those hard to impossible levels, easier to take

    Plot - Be somewhat memorable and not something an infant can write blindfolded.
    Not something of sheer importance, still needed nonetheless.

    Characters - Have to be decent interesting and have some sort of
    cool backstory. (Not always needed)

    Lots of game modes - I do not want to play something with practice than story mode and that is it.
    Kind of sucks that!

    Unlocks/Post-Game - Some costumes or side quests, new creatures etc are all high points.

    That is about it really. I am not too fussed, other than those criteria.
     
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  14. Achromatic

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    Something that is just super engaging and can keep you playing for months. Something that really makes you excited to play when you hop on it. Like Animal Crossing, Rune Factory, Fantasy Life... those for me. 8)
     
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  15. Megarai111

    Megarai111 Elizabeth 3rd

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    For me, a combination between a good price, a good story and the genre is key. I prefer games that are available for free (for obvious reasons - free stuff!), but those tend to be short or disappointing. I'll play games with a great story combined with some action and controls that even I can keep up with. As long as it's not too expensive, I'll play it.
     
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