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Depth in Action games and games in general

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1 Depth in Action games and games in general on Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:07 pm

Depth: The number of experientially different possibilities OR meaningful choices that come out of one ruleset.

                       
For reference, please make an effort to understand what has been said here, it can be a heady subject but were all learning together:











Notice the shared terminology? a criteria needs to be set to judge depth by, this is substantiated by fact, as in the actual proof of what you can and can't do in a game on a mechanical level, then the meta is the player making use of these facts, the decisions they can make with them allows for depth.

Some games have depth, others have more or less, or actually none at all. Its not all equal, that's faulty logic. The less meaningful choices that come out of one ruleset, the less depth, because fewer decisions you can make that alter the gameplay exist. Its that general.

Its more academic and scientific than you may think, its rational, not emotional, depth is a mental activity of using the possibilities presented from that ruleset to make more meaningful useful decisions. You don't feel depth, you think it. There's a reason why its game design, there is actual design to it.

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Birdman


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I don't know. Some points I don't agree on or didn't make sense to me. Is Vanquish really considered to have less depth than their other titles?

It's too much info and I get bored listening and the balance stuff I don't really care for.

Depth: The number of experientially different possibilities OR meaningful choices that come out of one ruleset.

as in the actual proof of what you can and can't do in a game on a mechanical level, then the meta is the player making use of these facts, the decisions they can make with them allows for depth.

The only common theme I see is how much you can do.

So is it all about number of actions you can perform? In that case yeah, DMC4 would probably be on top. But what about less actions and totally different mechanics. What about tons of actions with more than 50% being just 'shit you can do' rather then actually necessary? Like that DMC guy who praises 4 and shits on everything else with comments like "You can defeat and enemy in 1000000 different ways".

What if the game doesn't take huge skill like Okami, but has tons of combat options?

Sorry, but I the stuff in these videos has never even crossed my mind. I just don't think like that and was bored to death. No one ever argues this stuff. It's always about number of attacks/weapons available deciding whether a game is good or not.

I forgot, you asked me what I consider a shallow game. I try to avoid trashing games I think have less value in whatever area, but I'll talk about Remember Me.

I actually quite like this game, and didn't mind the combat but it's very simple. You have a lot of moves, but none of them mean anything because of how the system works.

You set them into a slot and then just tap the button to perform them. There are all kinds of punches and kicks, but because the character automatically closes distance, and the timing of every move is the same, none of them are unique. You have to press the attack button just as your attack connects to lead into the next. The timing is lenient too.

It's kinda like Batman, where you dash from enemy to enemy knocking them down, except in RM you don't dash around, you just beat down a single enemy and dodge as needed.

The main aspect though is how you have all these different looking attacks, yet they all have the same property, to do damage. This jumping spinning kick is the same as this simple jab. There's no speed or range difference.

If I had to define a game as shallow, it would be this. There are a small amount of other combat options but nothing huge.






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3 Re: Depth in Action games and games in general on Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:20 am

Even there I might disagree, depth in Remember Me is not in the combat but in the numbers behind it. You have selection of Super Essens, which need meter to be used. One is you entering 'super you' mode (kind of like Devil Trigger) where your moveset is replaced by a default one and each attack deals more damage than the last. It has a cooldown of 60 seconds.

Now one element of depth here is that you can build a combo made out of cool-down reducers, use this 3 times and you have the ability to use the Super Essen again. Slowly your strategy for big fights is to chain combos together and keep yourself in your 'super you' mode as much as possible; that's the depth of one strategy.

You can also focus around another Super Essen, the Bomb which includes a full i.framed dash to grab a foe and hook a bomb onto him and then dodge away. Setting up enemies so that they are all hit by the bomb is very satisfying.

Remember Me is, as you can see, all about the Super moves, not the regular attacks (which are all samish). 

> depth in general
For me, and I've said this quite a few times so I'll leave it at this before I write the article on it, depth is the amount of options you have and the different effects each option has on the overal combat/encounter. If you have a ton of combat options, but they all do the exact same thing, then it quickly becomes a test of optimasation until you find the move that deals the most damage in the least amount of time. Nioh suffered greatly from this, as nearly all moves (with the exception of maybe the Kusari-gama) did the same: deal damage. They didn't do knockdown (mostly) and they didn't approach the target or have special features. This is why most pro-players of this game just spam the same move, because they've optimized it.

So yeah, the different applications of each move, that's the real kicker. This is why games like Batman do have depth, because sure the main combo is bland and just deals damage, but you have pulls, freezes, stuns, instant-kills, ranged projectiles - a whole plethora of moves that don't kill but have other applications.

> Shallow game
It is rare for me to find one, but if I had to name one game in which I found the combat to be Shallow it is probably Assassin's Creed. There are no setups, no real combos, the parry is way too good. Sure you have a lot of options, to the point of having a hand-to-hand move with disarm features, but there is just nothing substantial to be found I feel. But even that can be entertaining to me if I'm in the mood for it.

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4 Re: Depth in Action games and games in general on Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:05 am

Birdman


Moderator
I was going to mention the super options but just ended up focusing on and isolating the basic attacks.

Batman - You should do an article focusing on this game. I've lost count of the amount of times Ive seen it trashed for having 'one button combat', mash counters and no variety.

Yeah at best we could find a game with less options than another. But I dont think the number of options make a game inferior. It seems to me it's the mechanics that carry eveything. Shinobi is the perfect example. El Shaddai is another. Onimusha too.









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5 Re: Depth in Action games and games in general on Sun Jan 28, 2018 12:54 pm

Batman is high on the list but, like Vanquish, scary for me to write about since I hold them so dear since I'm also a huge Batman fan in terms of comicbooks having spent more than 10.000 euros on comics over my life at the very least. So I want to do it justice.

In terms of the buttons itself, Remember Me is empty I agree. The moves have no unique features, all have the same frame-data etc. The customisable moveset is a fun idea but poorly done, especially since there's no real mode to go 'ham' in with a fully decked out Nihilin.

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Birdman


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Meanwhile, that silly DMC Vs Souls topic rages on lol. I can't understand this people.

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I dare not read into that topic, it is just twenty plus people screaming their opinions hoping to be heard. There is no talk, no discussion, only forcing each opinion on the other - I'll skip going there.

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Birdman


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Change the number of people and you have the perfect description of gamefaqs lol.

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http://critical-gaming.com/blog/2008/6/15/mario-melodies-interplay-part1.html


This is all taken from the above article on this site:Critical-Gaming:http://critical-gaming.com/blog-archives/

Tons of great game design info from Richard Terell(KirbyKid) if your aware of them.

Interplay:
Critical-Gaming wrote:Interplay is the back and forth encouragement of player mechanics between any two elements in a game. Put simply, interplay is where actions and elements in a game aren't means to an end, but fluid opportunities that invite the player to play around with the changing situation.

The easiest way to think of interplay is offensively/defensively or in counters. Consider two elements of a hypothetical action/fighting game. The first element is the player's character, and the second is an enemy. If an enemy can attack you, does this attack/enemy have a way to be countered? What happens when you counter the enemie's move? Does the enemy die, does it reset itself, or does the situation change? If the situation changes, is the enemy still a threat? If so, can you counter the new threat? And the cycle repeats.

Once you have run out of counters between the two elements you're examining, it's easy to map out which mechanics were used at each level, what kind of mechanics were used, and what additional elements were involved in the situation. Only with all of this information can the interplay of two elements be accurately described. The greater the level of interplay involving higher (more primary) mechanics and level elements, the deeper and more dynamic a game is.

Examples(I’ve cut out a super mario boss example, its the only other example but it’s quite long):

Critical-Gaming wrote: Donkey Kong Jungle Beat

All the bosses in this game are designed with a well balanced amount of interplay that allows the player to constantly flow with the action instead of waiting around for weak spots to reveal themselves.



Even in this relatively simple boss Torch Tusk, players can utilize throwing explosive pineapples offensively to counter the boss attacks of fireball projectiles and lasers. When Torch Tusk is taking in air to shoot the fireballs, players can throw a pineapple so that it gets jammed inside of its tusk. Players can also stop the laser by hitting Torch Tusk with a pineapple while its discharging the beam. At the same time, the boss can counter the player's only offensive option by intercepting an incoming pineapple, letting the small flame walls detonate the planted pineapples, or blasting them with the laser beam.

This kind of offensive interplay keeps the momentum high because the player always has something they can do to gain an advantage. Because the player's only offensive option is using the pineapples that are located at the exposed top and bottom platforms, the player is more likely to move around the field platforming in a variety of ways.

Interplay doesn't have to reach any particular level in order to be interesting, useful, and well designed/integrated with the rest of the game. Just having multiple one step interplay elements can build exciting and rich gameplay experiences.

Viewtiful Joe's enemies and bosses are action packed because of the high amount of interplay in their design. Though the level of interplay doesn't typically go past 2, the mechanics involved in the interplay are all highly interconnected. A single attack from a boss or enemy has at least one obvious counter. At any time, players can use their special fx powers to speed up time, slow it down, or zoom in the camera to adjust the difficulty of executing the counter in real time. In other words, if an attack is too fast for a player, they can simply slow down time to make things easier. But as the enemies and attacks begin to layer together, things get more complicated. All the while, the energy that Joe needs to stay powered up drains away. When Joe is all out of energy, he not only losses his super powers like his fx powers and his double jump, but he takes more damage as an "ordinary joe." During the most exciting battles, players are fully engaged in the push-pull inter-gameplay.



Some examples of interplay can branch from a single point. Take Squirtle's withdraw attack from Super Smash Brothers Brawl. With this move, Squirtle tucks himself into his shell and slides forward. While inside his shell, Squirtle cannot take damage. Also, the moving shell can hit objects and opponents for a weak attack. With these two properties, this move could have been unbalanced because of its offensive and defensive abilities. Fortunately, counters were built into this move that comply with form fits function. Opponents can strike the shell to counter its trajectory. Though Squirtle won't take damage, he will slide in the direction of the attack according to the strength of the attack used. So it's possible to smash the shell off the stage so that Squirtle has to extend himself just to recover back to the stage. Opponents can also counter the move by jumping on top of the shell Super Mario style. When this happens, Squirtle is flipped on his back helpless as he struggles to turn himself back over. If all the moves, especially the stronger ones, had this much interplay, Brawl would be a much better game.

Closing thoughts:
Critical-Gaming wrote:If an individual game action or element is analogous to a musical note, then interplay is how the range and variety of notes are created in a videogame. Long held notes, short notes, syncopation, grace notes, and runs up and down a scale are analogous to game mechanics like charging a bast in Megaman, small jumps in Mario Bros., countering in Ninja Gaiden, angling an up-B recovery move in Smash Brothers, or riding down an icy mount in Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. Interplay is how the music of a game can move beyond simply recognizing the situations to use a mechanic, executing the mechanic, and moving on.

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10 Re: Depth in Action games and games in general on Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:12 pm

Birdman


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When this happens, Squirtle is flipped on his back helpless as he struggles to turn himself back over. If all the moves, especially the stronger ones, had this much interplay, Brawl would be a much better game.

The problem with comments like this, while they might be true, is that you can add this comment to absolutely ANY game in existence. I bet Brawl is already a great game with tons of in-depth mechanics.

I find that site way too complicated. Couldn't really follow what the guy is getting at. I just don't think in these terms I guess. I'm a simple peasant. Though I understand what you mean by interplay.

Shit, this means Knack 2 really is a super deep game lol.

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11 Re: Depth in Action games and games in general on Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:21 am

Fun site, will have to delve into it further. But be mindful of taking words of others as gospel, it is easy to grab a piece of text and say "see, it is noted here, thus it is correct" but that is missing the point. Stinger Magazine is also just me trying to be objective, but in the end it is still all subjective.

On the topic at hand, I think you've been overly self-negative here Birdman in terms of this discussion. You call yourself a simple peasant and such, we all know that's not true. You know your stuff, you love the genre and games within it, that's enough for me. It's why I made the note that depth is personal. You find it where you want to find it.

Also, Brawl was horrible haha, at least as a competative game (though it is the only game I really played at a high level enough to earn money with it, to my shame).

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12 Re: Depth in Action games and games in general on Thu May 24, 2018 11:52 pm

Birdman


Moderator
What do you think of this?

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13 Re: Depth in Action games and games in general on Fri May 25, 2018 7:59 am

I actually saw that video before I wrote the article some months ago. I actually left a comment on it:

While I love the video, and the genre (I mean I got an entire site and forum dedicated to it..can't really get more fan than that), I do have to call out one thing that makes me question some of your points.
I get your main point, but the arguments you make sort of showcase a lack of knowledge of the games, which I doubt was your intention because your passion is undeniable. Most notably during the "optimal strategy" part, where you reference Dante's Inferno and Ninja Gaiden. Ninja Gaiden is (in)famous for promoting lazy play, especially in Karma runs. Demanding OLUT spam if you want a high Karma Score. Most players that beat Master Ninja did so using UT-chains with either the Tonfa or Lunar. While the mechanics for in-depth play are there, they aren't pushed and you will have to handicap yourself to get to them. The balance in the title is also nearly always lopsided, with overpowered moves (360OLUT, 360T, BotA 360T, BotA TTTT, Guilotine Throw etc). Ironically, with the exception of the Scythe, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge was the most balanced, while Black and 2 - while sacred games - were balancing disasters.
I see this disinformation also return in your analysis of the Flying Swallow. You are almost on point, until you start discussing the disadvantages of the Flying Swallow - while there are none (outside of Level 1 swallow that is). You can always cancel it into an air shuriken into OLUT, so you're always safe - again showing just how unbalanced the move was. There is a reason why the Flying Swallow was considered the most broken move in NG, NGB, NG2 and to some extent NG3. Razor's Edge (I'm starting to sound like a fan...which I'm not, I prefer NG2004) fixed this somewhat.
This returns also with the Witch Time argument, not noting the differences like the mechanic in the first being a crutch for new players and thus removing it at the hardest setting, while the second title has it as a main mechanic. Again, I really love the passion you put onto display and the points you make are valid, but some examples like Flying Swallow and Ninja Gaiden's combat in general are really uninformed I feel. You were really on point with Dodge Offset and your Devil May Cry commentary, and more of that footage also wasn't from trailers compared to your NG footage, so maybe that's your prefered series? Like you I'm really passionate about the genre, its community and combat so sorry if I'm a bit too critical. But I just wanted to give my 5 cents : )

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14 Re: Depth in Action games and games in general on Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:46 am

Birdman


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The only thing in this video I don't agree on, is that NG and DMC series are at the 'top' of the genre.

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15 Re: Depth in Action games and games in general on Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:26 am

Honestly, I didn't like a single second of the video except the intro. There is a thing that's called a sub-genre. Metroid Prime is a First Person Adventure, not a platformer. The reason we call them Action Hack&Slash, or whatever, is because they are a sub genre (or at least are slowly becoming one). Souls games are a spin on an action game with adventure and rpg elements. Should we then call it an Action Advenure RPG? Perhaps. Soulslike or Souls-style game is clearer though.
Same with MetroidVania, that's just a very specific design methology for an (often 2d) adventure game. In the end they are just words, but I feel like we're doing a disservice by saying they don't exist. I do agree with the notion that games that are bad suddenly aren't part of the genre, they are. DMC2, Rising Zan, God of Snore, DMC3, Ninja Gaiden - quality doesn't matter, you are part of a genre. Some are just good, others are not.

is that NG and DMC series are at the 'top' of the genre.

In terms of content, quality - both in terms of animations, design etc - and overall production value they are hard to top though. While Vanquish is still top dog for me (but it doesn't really fit in the overal genre, it is more a fusion) I would have no trouble saying Ninja Gaiden Black is the best one made overall. Sure there's different flavors and it doesn't cover them all, and it doesn't invalidate other games' existence (which often people say it does). But it really is a gem and a standard I judge many games in this sub-genre to.

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16 Re: Depth in Action games and games in general on Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:39 am

Birdman


Moderator
Hmm.

I can agree with the first part of your post. I find I often tend to just not care or keep up with whatever people are calling shit these days because it changes to much then suddenly I'm playing a 'spectacle fighter' without knowing wtf that is.

Second part, not totally. Like sure, those are good games and end of the day there are, without a doubt, going to be a list of 'the best'. I'm just going to avoid talking about NG because as you know I have barely played it. Though I do know how good it is, I don't feel I'm in a position to make any claims about it.

DMC series though, I played those for years and I wouldn't out them at the top. 3&4 are top for combos, but that's it. The enemy behavior is just dumb. I get better combat encounters out of Knack 2 or God Hand and a ton of other games. That's it right there. Some games definitely excel at certain things far better than others.

Even among the list of games that I think are the pick of the crop, I still can't bring myself to call one the best. It just isn't true. It will be true to someone though but that's where opinions come in I guess.

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17 Re: Depth in Action games and games in general on Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:53 am

DMC4 is top for combos, DMC3 is very different. Comparing DMC4 to DMC3 is, sorry to say, a bit ignorant as they are barely alike. There's a big difference between the two, both in terms of level, combat, enemy and moveset design. I really feel you're discrediting these two games (NGB and DMC3) mostly because they are very popular and people compare games to them at a constant basis, though if I'm wrong please correct me. While I love titles like Killer is Dead, God Hand, VJ, PN03 etc, I consider NGB and DMC3 leagues above them. But unlike most people I don't go "so those other games shouldn't even exist" or "they should copy them", let games do their own thing. But yeah DMC3 and NGB are really, really good. I highly recommend diving into them at one point, especially since they are the opposite sides of the action spectrum and made at a time when good quality was at the forfront, with single characters being the focused (so not dumbing down enemy design to fit multiple characters) and had a budget to match. DMC3 has so many setups and hidden tactics to discover and isn't really about combos (though you can play it that way if you wish), NGB is very interesting due to its movement emphasis - especially once you master its many hidden techniques.

It just isn't true.

As you note, that is your opinion, and not a fact. They can not be the best around to you, and that's fine. But they are to me, and that's also fine. You can consider some games better than others and not hate other games at the same time. You know I enjoy a lot of action titles, even few off-beat ones like Rising Zan. But to me DMC3 and NGB really are at the top, with maybe GoW2 and VJ next to them.

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18 Re: Depth in Action games and games in general on Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:47 am

Birdman


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>DMC3/4
I know. I actually like 3 far more than 4. I agree with everything youve said on them. I was just trying to point out how their combo mechanics are superior. When I added 'thats it' I guess that was just me still being pissed at the video making such claims which I believe really hurt the genre. I spent years doing crazy combos in 3 but to be honest I like just playing around with gunslinger setups.

>Discrediting
No wasnt trying to discredit them at all and really wasnt thinking anything. DMC3 is one my favs. As I said I know NG games are good but I dont know enough to speak on them. I guess my whole point in disagreeing with the whole 'top' thing is that I feel it discredits other games and I consider those games on the same level. But again no one has to agree with that.

>leagues above
It's definitely the case for some games though personally I'll usually only agree if they're somewhat similar or so lacking that it cant be said otherwise. Like I said I consider DMC3/4's combo mechanics leagues above other games but if combos arent the focus and some game focuses on a different mechanic, I dont see the point of even making the comparison. Maybe if comparing two combo focused games, sure.

>My view on the list you posted.
I agree they're leagues above Killer is Dead but not GH or PN03. GH's system is too different and so is PN03's. I get an experience out of them that I dont get from a DMC game. I would have to put more time into VJ to formulate an opinion.

Another is Okami. As easy as it is, it offers such unique and fun gameplay while having tons of options that the exp is totally different. I dont consider DMC3 better or worse. It's just on my list of fantastic titles.

>playing NG
I still have the vanilla Xbox version here and as you know it's on my list. I would love to get to it in the near future but I cant guarantee anything.

I think in the end I consider a much larger list to be equal. Like, I still have a top list, and apart from NG and GoW2 (which I barely touched and thus have no authority to speak on) my top list would include DMC3. It would no doubt include the others you listed but I feel I should play and be good at them first.

I realize I did say I wouldnt put the DMC games mentioned at the top then I just did that in the above paragraph. What I was trying to say is that I wouldnt call them the best alone, but rather among a list of others.

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19 Re: Depth in Action games and games in general on Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:42 pm

> DMC3/4
Yeah 3 really beats out 4 in pretty much every way except maybe combo potential. Personally I'm a trickster man. Love the mobility, one of the things I adore so much about Ninja Gaiden propper.

> discredits
Yeah I feel you, but the whole point I tried to make was that you can like one game over the other without disliking either, but that's something a lot of people can't seem to do (i.e. gamefaqs). I like Ninja Gaiden Black more than most action games, but hey, I still play those too and love them. On the flip side I consider Metroid Prime to be the pinnacle of gaming, but I never put that disc in.

> NG
Considering your time restrictions, if you can just play Black. You can also beat Regular 2004 on Normal and then buy Black, since beating regular on Normal unlocks Hard for Black from the start - allowing you to see the new goodies (new foes etc).

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20 Re: Depth in Action games and games in general on Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:04 am

Birdman


Moderator
>Discredits
I understand you. That video just irritated me because of the way he stated it as fact.

>NG
One issue I know I'll have with NG, is that I won't be satisfied with just playing it. I actually won't stop until I'm good at it and with action games like this you know how the hours can pile up. This is one of the reasons I keep putting it off.

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21 Re: Depth in Action games and games in general on Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:16 am

Honestly, this makes me happy to hear. I was a bit afraid Ninja Gaiden would end up being a "played it once or flavored it" and then on to the next game in the backlog of kings. The game really needs time to breathe to sink in. In that case I highly suggest starting on Normal in the 2004 version, then switching to Hard in Black. That way you get to experience both 'systems'.

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22 Re: Depth in Action games and games in general on Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:45 am

Birdman


Moderator
Well, that 'best hack & slash' topic is a total shitshow.



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23 Re: Depth in Action games and games in general on Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:53 pm

Yeah I'm in deep doing god's work, but this is going nowhere. Gotta hand it to Behemoth, guy knows how to get his topics to 500...

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24 Re: Depth in Action games and games in general on Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:38 am

Birdman


Moderator
I like his shots at GH in regards to Balrog's dodges, calling them 'salvaged' from a crappy game.

Funny, considering we don't even know how they work yet, they came from a completely different system, and if they really were taken by Itsuno as he suggested, that says more about Itsuno's lack of being able to create good, engaging mechanics, or that GH is so good he took inspiration from it.

Kinda shot himself in the foot there lol.

I was going to make a few extra topics, but I'm not sure if they're worth their own due to being depth related.

In regard to many options, but some being better then others.
1. If I don't need to use it, why should I use it?

I hear this often, and have been told CL is bad due to being too clunky.
2. What is 'clunky'?

Thoughts?

The first one speaks for itself, but for 2, I often see the term thrown around with no backup. Honestly half the time it seems synonymous with 'I dislike/hate/can't win'.

Is it slow? Is it some kind of unresponsiveness?
When talking speed, I've seen it used in comparison to action games where the character moves faster than the so called 'clunky' one.

Comparing like this strikes me as nonsense. It has to be considered in the context of the game itself.

Also, this label is in large part due to the player not understanding any, or some part of the mechanics. Someone once told me they couldn't even touch CL again because it was too clunky, then immediately compared to DMC4's running and jumping speed. But for me CL controls just fine. It can't be both, therefore someone has to be wrong.

Is it possible to be so accustomed to a 'clunky' game that you don't experience it at all? Perception? I'm not too sure. But considering I play games with way faster movement like Okami and Nier, and can easily go back to CL with no issue, leads me to believe this is not the case.

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25 Re: Depth in Action games and games in general on Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:15 am

Salvaged is a bad word, Bemo lives in a world of exceptions. Every DMC title is gold, but if we talk about Itsuno's favorite DMC title he goes of to "lalala I can't hear you" land. It is actually quite funny.

To answer your questions:

1. If I don't need to use it, why should I use it.
A hard question, but there's many options. Some abilities don't show their true purpose until you take others away. An example is the kick moveset from Ryu in NGB. Pointless by itself, but if you're doing certain handicap runs their high stagger suddenly make a world of difference. Others play into more situational needs or aren't visibily good until higher levels of play. Some might say God of War is just SST, until you notice that that fight that took you 3 minutes to clear was beating in less than 20 seconds by a player that used grabs and launchers that you considered 'pointless'.


2. What is clunky
Personally I don't think there's a set definition for this, but I always see it as "slower than I hoped it would be". You go into a game with certain expectations and if those aren't met, it is clunky in the eyes of many. I think CL got this a lot because of the DMC comparison so they expected rapid weapon switching, jump cancels and more, but got a more methodical action title. Thus: clunky. Same for God of War, it isn't clunky, but if you go in expecting Bayonetta's speed it sure as well will seem that way.

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26 Re: Depth in Action games and games in general on Sat Sep 29, 2018 11:40 am

Birdman


Moderator
I guess question 1 also relates to that whole dominant strategy argument. You'll remember it from the boards recently. If something is OP or simply gets the job done, why bother with anything else?

This is fine, but many actually judge a game based on this, often ignoring that their favorites do the same thing.

I could list all kinds of things I don't ever need to do in CL unless I want to. Guilt assist Badbh knockdown loop, using Guilt's assist as a counter+dodge, passive mode ever, any risky counter hit, any of the methods of removing a Rudo Garia's shield, any legion that isn't as powerful as another. The list goes on.

People just don't want to experiment at all.

As for question 2, you're right.
To me, I would define clunky as a game where it's difficult to actually move the character, not their speed. And again, what the game throws at you must also be taken into account.

Like what if NG's nastiest invaded Onimusha? A pretty slow game comparatively, but not clunky when you look at what the game throws at you. NG enemies would make Onimusha character look like slowest, worst controlling characters ever seen.

Off the top of my head, the only game I can think of right this second, is Project Altered Beast. The game with no dodging and hideous recovery on every move getting you hit often. It's clunky because of awful design and you aren't given the tools to properly avoid damage.

I also see the term 'clunky' ascribed to any game with tank controls.

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27 Re: Depth in Action games and games in general on Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:05 pm

In regards to the clunky movement, that is again up to the player I feel. I never had a feeling of clunky'ness in titles like Onimusha and Resident Evil anymore because I got used to the controls. Sure it is weird at first, but once you get used to it you are very mobile and can avoid everything. 

Same with MGS, I personally hate it but people can do all sorts of cool things with it. I'd call that more of a 'movement-learning curve' if anything.

Like if stuff is unresponsive that's another thing entirely, but I feel that "clunky" is the same as "has weight" and "respsonive" and of course "depth" in that people just throw them around without actually having a clue what they're thinking.

The dominant strategy argument is a hard one, you can make the point of 'fun', but also that mixing it up can reduce the boredom and add the joy of 'playing with your food' (styleshit). Some games build around this for instance Yakuza Zero has clear 'best' heat actions, but makes a heat action weaker per time used within one fight. You can also make the 'best way' insanely hard. Royal Guard in DMC3 is the dominant strategy, but very risky and difficult for some users.

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28 Re: Depth in Action games and games in general on Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:11 pm

Birdman


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'movement-learning curve'
I find it's this most of the time. This or people whose egos took a hit when they got destroyed and have to blame something.

This becomes more evident when you provide a large group that had no issue with the controls or movement. Either the issue doesn't exist, or you just need to learn. But we know how people do with learning anything in games these days.

Actually there's something to think about. Clunky controls Vs. clunky design. Are they separate or linked? Altered Beast's controls are fine, but the design is garbage (huge recovery/no cancels).

Or Gun Valkyrie. Some of the hardest controls I've yet seen, but what actually happens in the game is fine.

I don't know the case for every accused game, but from what I've played and am extremely good at (let's go with CL for this example), only one person/side can be right in my view (me of course), because it's not clunky to me. Everything is working just fine. Furthermore, I play, or have played, extensively, all the so called non-clunky games like Bayo or whatever, and when I come back to CL nothing has changed. That's how you know right there.



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29 Re: Depth in Action games and games in general on Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:11 am

It can be hard to do. I remember I felt like a boss in Bayonetta only to have Sigma2 curvestomp me, and I blamed the game. Your ego can take a big hit since you assume X does Y, but suddenly it does Z because the game is different than what you're used to. Once you get used to both, both work.

I think sometimes it is also about accepting that some things don't work. For instance, attacking a boss during his get-up animation in Fist of the Northstar is suicide, as they are programmed to automatically dodge behind you and punish you for your hubris. Now you can keep attacking them while they get up and keep getting punished for it, calling the game 'clunky' and 'bad'. Or you can accept it is the way it is, and play around it.

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30 Re: Depth in Action games and games in general on Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:19 pm

Birdman


Moderator
Actually there's something to think about. Clunky controls Vs. clunky design. Are they separate or linked? Altered Beast's controls are fine, but the design is garbage (huge recovery/no cancels).
What I said here, this ties into the enemies. Due to the bad design (no cancels or dodging) you can't properly evade damage and have to play weirdly. Even then it's largely impossible to avoid damage. This means all enemies have the advantage, but only because of bad design that makes you essentially slower than them. That's what I would define as clunky. When you arent given the tools to deal with enemies without taking a huge beating.

Imagine if in DMC 5, all forms of dodging and i-frames were completely removed but left all the enemies exactly the same. Put NG in this scenario as well.

Most if the games, in my experience that have been accused of being clunky, all have means of completely avoiding damage. You aren't inferior to your enemies yet they still pose a threat. The game simply having a slower run speed than DMC3 or whatever isnt clunky.

Sadly you get this from action genre fans as much as you do trolls.

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