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Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
That's a good take! Though it does make me wonder then what makes it seperate something like Max Payne 3 from Bayonetta in that 'genre' way, or even something like Crackdown or Saint's Row (though albeit those are more shooters).

But I do like your take on it, articles on the site are pretty fluid so I tend to edit them a lot based on reactions and feedback. Might add that snippit of yours if you don't mind it!

Also, the website has a new video-banner haha!
https://stinger-magazine.com/

https://stinger.actieforum.com

KSubzero1000

KSubzero1000
C-Rank
@Royta/Raeng wrote:That's a good take! Though it does make me wonder then what makes it seperate something like Max Payne 3 from Bayonetta in that 'genre' way, or even something like Crackdown or Saint's Row (though albeit those are more shooters).

Yeah, I would refer to those as third-person shooters and sandbox TPSs, respectively. But I understand that it's not a watertight definition. I had people asking if Dark Souls and Splinter Cell would fall under that umbrella in that same comment chain, but those aren't action games to begin with. There was also someone accusing me of peddling pseudo-intellectual bullshit, but that's YouTube for you.

It's just my way of categorizing "pure" melee action games. Action RPGs and Action-Adventure are separate categories in my eyes.

Add away if you think it might be of any interest to readers. Smile

Birdman


Moderator
I just can't understand the character part.

Looking at your description Ksub, I just wind up with more questions.

They may all have personality reflected in the combat to a degree, but then you have games where there's no connection yet they all still have the same action game core.


5does


C-Rank
@KSubzero1000 wrote:Hm... I don't really agree that "the term “character” doesn’t change anything". Personally, I prefer to refer to the genre as either Character Action or simply Action games these days. I left a comment on TGB's video on the same subject last year that might shed some light onto why I feel this way:

My interpretation of the "character action" label is that the personality of the main character is reflected in the game's combat system. Dante is a cocky and charismatic dude, and DMC's combat is all about style and creativity. Bayonetta is a nimble and sexually provocative version of Dante, and Bayo's combat is a more evasive version of DMC with lots of suggestive imagery. Ryu is a taciturn and disciplined master of his craft, and Ninja Gaiden is all about efficiency and quick decision-making. Kratos is an unrefined brute, and GoW's combat is rooted in rough and primitive destruction. Gene is... Gene, and God Hand is... God Hand. Etc.

But hey, genre labels are always fluid and subjective, so your interpretation is as good as mine. Action Hack & Slash is perfectly comprehensible. Smile

I've made similar posts before with a similar line of thought, the only difference is that it was more in line with the importance of a iconic character having strong traits to define their series gameplay instead of relating it to the character action label.

This is the most recent one I remember making on the subject.
https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/boards/241018-devil-may-cry-5/77598250?page=9

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
Of all people 5Does, I expected you to at least conform to the "50 post per page" people on Gamefaqs. For shame! To that note, I changed the article a bit with the feedback here! I switched some tables around, added a few parts around the "character action" part etc. Felt that was good feedback!

https://stinger.actieforum.com

5does


C-Rank
I like making my stay on gamefaqs as cancerous as possible, gives good inspiration for replies over there.

Also good article, I find it funny that a lot of people are so fixated on labeling everything and separating games instead of using genres and subgenres to help them find more games they might like.

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
New quick piece: https://stinger-magazine.com/side-stories/how-to-play-ninja-gaidens-hurricane-packs/

Complete overview, including files, on how to play the Hurricane Packs of Ninja Gaiden. Took a while to find all the correct notes and references and compile them together. Also hosted the files on my own site's server, incase all those megaupload links etc drop dead one day.

https://stinger.actieforum.com

hedfone

hedfone
A-Rank
Thank you so much for preserving this. One day I will want to play through the game with the intercept move, but I have a lot of NG2 to master first before I even touch Black. It brings me peace of mind that it is STILL possible, though a pain in the ass.

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
Cheers, I really hope others can enjoy it in the future when the time comes. It is such a shame it is so hard to get, but I hope that this makes it a little easier for some!

https://stinger.actieforum.com

Gregorinho

Gregorinho
B-Rank
Good article Raeng, i'm quite big on game preservation as we seem to be moving closer to an all-digital and license driven era so it's great to see an effort at preserving some action game history.

Also, I might be well behind the times here but when was the animated banner added?! It looks fantastic!

Nadster


A-Rank
I really liked that article. I think I will consider using mods one day. I do wish that games are easier to find though. Rising Zan and the original Dynasty Warriors for example. I only saw both of them once and that was it.

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
Awesome, spread it around if you know anyone that wants to try the Hurricane Packs out!

@Greg
Yeah man, the banner is still pretty new! I'm going to redo it in the future to make it 'fit' better, but really happy with how it looks! Glad you like it!
I'm also pretty scared where this is going to go. The Wiishop closed a few months back, and it won't be 5-10 years before PS3 and X360's online stores are going to vanish for good. People keep praising Digital Only in that it saves the enviroment, but it is also a disaster for preservation.

@Nadster
Really depends on where you live. Rising Zan is like 10 bucks in the Netherlands. 40 in EU. Worth the investment though, it really is a piece of gaming history.

https://stinger.actieforum.com

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
There we go, a complete analysis on ranking systems in action games. This was absolutely nuts to unravel and took me multiple months of research and writing. It ended up being the first article that actually gets two pages to split it up to make it easier to read. Hope people like it!

https://stinger-magazine.com/article/ranking-systems/
https://stinger-magazine.com/article/ranking-systems/2/

https://stinger.actieforum.com

Birdman


Moderator
Nice.

I read this at work but couldn't reply. Now I forgot what I wanted to say so I'm just going to go by what I remember reading.

I think no matter what, you get railroaded into a certain playstyle no matter which ranking type you have.

There are some, as you noted, that offer some level of freedom in how you go about it, but are still very limited.

Do you think, in the case of the games like MGR where you can get by taking damage so long as you succeed in other areas, is more a fallback than any kind of actual ranking style? Getting hit is never really intentional so the player would aspire to improve right? I guess what I'm trying to say is, ultimately it's going to boil down.

>Rewards
They don't hurt, but personally the extra play time and mechanical value is all I need.

>Rank insult
I don't think people should take these letters too seriously. If you aren't going for ranks it shouldn't bother you. You aren't aiming for anything.

>overall
I don't mind ranking systems, but I won't lie, there are some shitty ones. Still, they offer a different way of looking at things, meaning more play time and possibility of uncovering tech.

There are some though, that I'll never bother with as they suck so hard I don't care what comes of them like DMC5 with its forced character selection.



Last edited by Birdman on Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:38 pm; edited 1 time in total

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
Good notes! I agree railroading into a playstyle will always be there, to some extent, but some ranking systems do push more in one direction or another. I ran out of time and space, but the Metal Gear Solid ranking system is pretty interesting that every 'rank' demands a different playstyle, requiring you to see everything the game has to offer if you want to collect all the game's Titles. Same goes with Splinter Cell Blacklists ranking system.

> Getting hit is never really intentional so the player would aspire to improve right?
I'm feeling more and more that getting hit isn't a metric in how good a player is. Ninja Gaiden II is all about getting hit and keeping on going, same with Space Marine. Yet if you watch No Damage runs of those games they are dull, uninspired and very cheesy.
That said, I did note I believe that these 'versatile' ranking systems can make the ranks lose some value, since everyone can get them even if they are bad.

> rewards
Very personal I feel. I love it, but don't need it either. Some will never touch a mode i.e. Vanquish's God Hard, without a trophy as reward. Which is fine I feel.

> rank insult
You'd be surprised. It was a pretty hot topic in games like Hitman: Absolution and L.A. Noire at the time, which were very mainstream. Both games constantly blasted players with onscreen -1000 points if they behaved badly or a stinky D-rank after completing a case. Lots of players found this demotivating to the point of switching the game off.

https://stinger.actieforum.com

Birdman


Moderator
>MGS codenames
Good example with MGS, though would it be fair to say you're still limited within those codenames?

That reminds, Haunting Ground had 10+ 'playtypes' which are essentially the same as codenames. Have a look.
https://capcomdemento.fandom.com/wiki/Play_Types

>damage
Yeah, but surely those types you mentioned are rare, right? In the majority of games, you make every effort to not get hit (speaking strictly of action games).



Last edited by Birdman on Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:39 pm; edited 1 time in total

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
> codenames
Good point, but on the other hand each code-name is a totally different playstyle. So while it is strict, the game itself is versatile...ish. Those play-types are very similar I agree, good stuff!

> Damage
True, you got me there.

https://stinger.actieforum.com

Birdman


Moderator
I almost totally forgot those HĢ ones even existed. Speaking of awful rankings, some were just a pain to get while others added a new dimension.

When I first played it was so difficult until I got how the stalker mechanics worked. I was so surprised to find you could actually KO them and loot them for items.

Ones like Scream Queen and the one for playing 20 hours were pretty bad. I think the only one I didn't do was the 20 hour play time one because once you get 100% completion there's only really speed running to do. Since that required a new file I may have played hundreds of hours but not a second added to the save file.

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
Still, it is better I feel than aiming for just one playstyle. RE2make for instance only ever rewards time+savecount. Basically turning the game into a speedrunners only affair. HG at least mixes it up.

https://stinger.actieforum.com

Birdman


Moderator
Yeah that's true.

And even within the constraints of those 'codenames' you have some small variation, though eventually you'll still boil it down to the most optimal method. But that's after the journeys of multiple players and who knows what someone could come up with in the future.

Like in HG, for the KOs play-type, if you were good at avoiding damage and could control Hewie well, and position him properly, you could KO a stalker like that. Or you could collect as many alchemy items (throwables and traps) and use those for the KO. Another method is to unlock everything which gives you some nice equips, like the powder boots which make small explosions every time you kick for some serious damage (regular kick doesn't do shit for damage), as well as other equips that lower panic and damage, so you can get to a point where you can confront and take down a stalker with Fiona alone. How about a combination of all of the above? Then there's the special costume with the gun which is sorta hard to aim but really strong.

Speed running is more an optional challenge BUT some games have it built in. I find the built in ones are quite easy though, but they always end up as a regular speedrun situation where players try to destroy the time as much as possible. I spent years running HG. There are still a few tricks I came up with that no one knows but I cant record old consoles yet.



Last edited by Birdman on Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:42 pm; edited 1 time in total

Gregorinho

Gregorinho
B-Rank
Great article Raeng, very enjoyable read!

@Royta/Raeng wrote:> Getting hit is never really intentional so the player would aspire to improve right?
I'm feeling more and more that getting hit isn't a metric in how good a player is. Ninja Gaiden II is all about getting hit and keeping on going, same with Space Marine. Yet if you watch No Damage runs of those games they are dull, uninspired and very cheesy.
That said, I did note I believe that these 'versatile' ranking systems can make the ranks lose some value, since everyone can get them even if they are bad.

That's quite interesting - I think i'd have to disagree and argue it's quite a big contributing factor in deciding whether a player is "good" or not (although it's definitely not the only thing).

When I see S-Rank/Pure Platinum/Whatever playthroughs of action games, I appreciate players who take no damage in a mission. It always makes me think of my own gameplay, and i'm often a culprit of getting too carried away in trying to cause damage that I don't think enough about defending. I think the best players are able to land efficient or creative offence (depending on the game) while always being mindful of what attacks enemies are going to do and how they're going to avoid them.

It's not the only factor though. I could pick any boss from any game, learn all of their moves and then spend 10 minutes dedicated solely to successfully dodging their attacks, but that wouldn't really make me a "good" player. It's interesting though that developers seem to think that it makes a good player as many ranking systems expect you not to take damage. If you look at DMCs 3 through 5, the requirements for achieving the top rank get less strict as they go on. They're all Itsuno's titles, so I wonder what changed his mind over time?

Nadster


A-Rank
Great article! I didn't think that Golden Axe was the first game to have a ranking system. Maybe there should be an option for allowing item usage. After all, it makes me question the point of items if they downgrade the rank.

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
Birdman

Now you're more talking just general experience with a game and advanced tactics, which is more a knowledge thing in my book. Speedrunning can be forced, like with Metroid or Resident Evil's rankings relying mostly on it, practically birthing the scene as players were for the first time enticed to really beat games fast (since it was in the game).

Greg

I think no-damage is a really easy metric to feel, and show, that you're good. But in most games it also leads to very boring videos and playstyles. Most SSS-rank runs of DMC3 are quite boring to sit through as a result, since not a lot of risks are taken. Often it takes the eye away from the real details i.e. great spacing, smart move-usage etc. Granted this is very dependant on a game I agree. In Shinobi for instance, getting hit is just dumb.

I think, and this is pure speculation, that it is a hold-over from the arcades. Their influences still rule, and back then most attacks killed you in one-hit. Beating a game in one coin (noted as 1cc (one coin clear)) was a huge accomplishment and a show of skill and knowledge. I think that just transfered over to here.

Nadster

Thanks man! About Golden Axe, I searched high and low and it was the absolute first one I could find that used them in gameplay. In the post-script notes I mention some other titles that used letter systems early on plus some origins to it, but as far as I could find Golden Axe was the first. Do you have any insight in which one would be?

https://stinger.actieforum.com

Nadster


A-Rank
Can't say I do. Especially when the release dates only show the year.

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
Which games are you thinking off then? Maybe I can dig something further!

https://stinger.actieforum.com

Nadster


A-Rank
Nothing really. I tried to find some of the old games that could have a ranking system but I can't find any. I can give you this link though. https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GameplayGrading

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
Yeah I used that list too! The earliest title on there I could find was Golden Axe. Then did some more searching and I couldn't find a title that had it before it.

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Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
https://stinger-magazine.com/article/the-force-unleashed/

New article, this time on The Force Unleashed! Fun game I'd say!

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Nadster


A-Rank
It was a fun game! Good article! Did you know that Starkiller was in SoulCalibur 4? That game came out before The Force Unleashed!

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
I remember that yeah, but didn't know it was before the official game's release! What did you think of TFU? Did you play its sequel?

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Nadster


A-Rank
I mentioned that I enjoyed the two games. Yeah I thought that those two were really fun. I thought that they were great.

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
https://stinger-magazine.com/article/dantes-inferno/

New piece, this time on Dante's Inferno. Really interesting game overall, but also a lot of miss-steps along the way I'm sad to say. Anyone here play this one before :)?

https://stinger.actieforum.com

Nadster


A-Rank
As of this post I haven't read it and I was considering getting Dante's Inferno.

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
If you can get it cheap, it's worth the dive. Not too long, fantastic art-style, decent story. Gameplay is fine, but won't stand the test of time I feel or keep you interested for multiple playthroughs.

https://stinger.actieforum.com

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
Latest article!
https://stinger-magazine.com/article/classic-doom/

Mostly an insight into Classic Doom and what Action Games can learn from it!

https://stinger.actieforum.com

Gregorinho

Gregorinho
B-Rank
Had a read on the train to work this morning, really enjoyed it! I really enjoy classic DOOM, I think I'd still consider it my favorite single player FPS.

Have you heard of Decino on YouTube? He does great content on 100% mission playthroughs and videos on the behind-the-scenes elements of the gameplay systems.

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
Glad to hear it man! I have DOOM in really high standings as well. Fantastic game. Most shocking thing for me was the map comparison. When I was drawing the DMCV map I thought....nawh...really? Is ... this it? Fuck me. And I grabbed the most complicated one...

And yeah Decino actually lives really - really - close to my home. He's Dutch as well. I've considered reaching out to him.

https://stinger.actieforum.com

Gregorinho

Gregorinho
B-Rank
That was surprising for me too. Your note about the level design for 3rd person action games is spot on - missions are basically a series of "arenas" connected by pieces of string. There is little, if any, thought given to how the gameplay could be improved by intriguing level designs.

Based on his accent I had a feeling he may have been Dutch, but didn't want to assume Razz were you thinking of reaching out to him regarding your article or to mention Stinger to him? Either way, it'd be good to hear from him, he clearly has a very broad understanding of the game.

EDIT: Speak of the devil - here's a great new video from him today!

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
I originally wanted to reach out to him and see if he would like to do a co-operative video or something, based on this article. But I ended up wanting to just finish the article (it had been nearly 2 months since the last one!). I'd also like to just meet up with him, or interview him. He sounds like a great dude! But I'm not sure how to contact him, perhaps his e-mail. I'll give it a whirl!

https://stinger.actieforum.com

TheFirmament1

TheFirmament1
B-Rank
Great writeup as usual Roy. Like you, I would really enjoy fully interconnected levels packed with secrets like Ninja Gaiden Black!

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin

https://stinger.actieforum.com

TheFirmament1

TheFirmament1
B-Rank
Alrighty then, let's get to posting this on other forums. You know what? I'm gonna post this on GAF as well. Why not, after all?

Oh, and obligatory "I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS"

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
Yeah this one took...longer than expected haha. But I'm happy with it! Now to do some snack articles and interviews before diving into Razor's Edge haha!
Did you like the article? Any notes on it?

https://stinger.actieforum.com

TheFirmament1

TheFirmament1
B-Rank
You mention history repeating itself with Razor's Edge, what with Ninja Gaiden starting, and ending on a Nintendo platform.

Copy-pasting what I said on the posts that I made for your writeup:

History kind of repeated itself with God of War 2018, where a lot of action game fans thought that it was setting a bad precedent for future action games, what with turning a video-gamey franchise into a more "cinematic" one about "humanizing" the iconic protagonist.

Great read!

vert1

vert1
D-Rank
Looks good from a mechanical standpoint. You could add your thoughts on the aesthetic changes going from the bold colors and vibrant colors of the Ninja Gaiden NES trilogy to Ninja Gaiden 3 [360][PS3][Wii U]; i.e., the dullness (or ugliness) of the experience of mashing more to kill enemies is further effected by the drab setting, which is a product of the aforementioned "Real is Brown" era aesthetic.

Article typos:
"–there" needs a space between the hyphen and word 'there'.
The company is 'PlatinumGames' (no space between words).
"holywood-like sector" should be written 'Hollywood-like'.
"WiiU" should be written as 'Wii U'.

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
There was originally a section regarding the game's art direction, but I ended up cutting it due to it getting longer and longer. The only thing left over from this is the post-script mention of the themesong and menu, as well as the short blurp on Ryu's new outfit. While I felt that the game was more greyish brown than usual, it still had the same look and feel as NGB and NGII in my opinion. Lots of dark colors, low contrast. It does really lack a City of Water stage though, something that spices it up.

Cheers for the typos. Going to kick my editor in his balls.

https://stinger.actieforum.com

Nadster


A-Rank
Well that's one way of losing an editor XD. Anyway I loved it. It made me smile here and there. I didn't know that Steel on Bone was random. Oh yeah, and wasn't Razor's Edge released later on the PS3 and the 360?

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
I hope at least someone got a chuckle out of a chapter being called "focus" with the banner being Momiji's rack and Ryu looking at them. Focus Ryu! Focus!

Steel on Bone was mostly randomized, there were some ways of getting it to work semi-reliably, but that's far too dangerous in a game this difficult. And yeah Razor's Edge got a PS3/X360 release around 6 months later.

https://stinger.actieforum.com

Royta/Raeng

Royta/Raeng
Admin
https://stinger-magazine.com/article/ninja-gaiden-3-razors-edge/

And there we go. The entire series reviewed. Quite the experience I must say.

https://stinger.actieforum.com

Infinity_Divide

Infinity_Divide
A-Rank
Fantastic write up, man. Really informational for someone who has limited knowledge of the game. It seems like such a strange title, like a good Frankenstein sort of creation where parts were inserted that don’t quite make sense, as you pointed out. Also seems like a disappointing, but hopeful, ending to the series.

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