The Monthly Question: May 2017

Video games are very subjective. There are numerous genres and mechanics. There will always be something that people find fault with. There will always be people that only see certain brands with blinders on.

In the end, we are all a little crazy with how passionate we are about video games and how much time we spend arguing over them. It’s our love for video games and the desire to see them at their greatest that drives us to be this way.

To shine on some of the different opinions in video games, I asked the PS Nation writers:

What viewpoint that is commonly held do you disagree with?
Sam Jividen (PSN ID: SinfoniaSam)
Okay, I’ve got one. It’s not that anyone is happy about it, it’s just been going on for so long that it’s come to be expected.

Micro-transactions in fully paid games are the worst. I’m totally cool with free-to-play games, and there are many awesome titles that fit that description that are hugely successful and enjoyable experiences.

Where I tend to get annoyed is when a “AAA” game shoehorns this economy into their title. The most recent example for me that comes to mind is WATCH_DOGS 2. One of the FIRST things they walk you through in the tutorial is how to spend money in the store to buy clothing and other unlockables. Really!? Before I even get into the story or core gameplay you’re going to proudly let me know of this “feature”?

What happened to me getting the entire experience for my $60? Ubisoft is particularly guilty, but they sure as hell aren’t alone in this. For me, the excuse that “it doesn’t affect the gameplay” is nonsense. It wouldn’t be offered and wouldn’t be bought if it didn’t enhance the game in some way. Whether that be access to a special weapon, or purely aesthetic horse armor, you’re creating an environment of “haves” and “have-nots” based purely on how much extra cash is plopped down. For a paid game, the only way players should get a certain level of superiority is by playing the game and gettin’ güd.

Andy Richardson (PSN ID: andyscout)
I think Valkyria Chronicles 2 gets a worse rep than it deserves. I’ve seen a lot of hate for the game, mostly centered around the general change in tone from the first – going from the ravages of war to ‘lol school setting’ – and the limitations of being on the PSP. While there’s certainly some truth to it, I think a lot of people took only a surface level look at the game, compared it to the original, and wrote it off.

While the story does start off as silly school shenanigans, eventually shit goes south and it gets very involved in the Civil War erupting in the country. And while the PSP does limit the mechanics of the game, it’s amazing how much they managed to do with that.

In some ways, thanks to the smaller map sizes and the way there are multiple small maps in each encounter, they were actually able to include more content in the game by remixing the number and layout of the small maps. I rather liked how the character progression was more personalized and how weapon selection felt more impactful than the first game.

I don’t think it holds up to the original, but it’s a fine game in its own right that seems to get dumped on because of comparisons to the original Valkyria Chronicles.

Rey Barrera (PSN ID: sindred)
Let the hate mail begin. Despite being completely open to the fact that it is indeed an “option” in almost all video games, I cannot stand non-inverted Y axis controls. I understand that on a PC “up is up” for mouse pointer aiming, but on a joystick that just doesn’t make sense to me.

Unfortunately there are even some games that actually omit inverted Y controls, like the PS3 Ninja Turtles game, and I had to stop playing them because I didn’t want to unlearn something that was ingrained into my instincts.

For a brief moment, close your eyes and pretend that you are in an airplane, or jet, or spaceship. Now pretend that you are holding joystick in your hands. Now “pull” the airplane up. What are you doing with your joystick? Pulling it down, right? Thank you! I realize that a first person shooter is not a flight simulator, but because your perspective is changing the same way it would in a flight simulator, I cannot, for the life of me, understand how people can play non-inverted.

Ben Palmer (PSN ID: CNPalmer)
So, I think I’ll be on the fringe with this one, but the idea that the newer genre of games dubbed “walking simulators” are boring and pretentious is ludicrous to me. I think the core mechanic isn’t gameplay or controls in these games, the storytelling is the major component that perhaps everyone looks past because there isn’t action or drama involved.

I absolutely loved Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture and Dear Esther. For me it was about the experience more than the motions, and the scenery used throughout both games is absolutely gorgeous. I think it takes a certain individual to truly accept and appreciate this kind of game more so for the story and emotional journey than the gameplay and mechanics.

Chazz Harrington (PSN ID: ChazzH69)
There seems to be a popular misconception that indie games are not good and not worthy of your time or money. This infuriates me, as there are countless so-called “indie” games that deserve extremely high praise. Not only that, it seems absurd to discount a game just because of the size of the team that made it and the smaller development costs involved. When it comes to game development, size doesn’t matter.

Furthermore, many indie developers help out on a variety of big-budget Triple-A titles, with many things or parts of a game being outsourced due to the massive scale of these huge games. I should also mention that almost every studio starts small and either grows or is bought by a larger development studio or publisher. Most games would not be around today if it weren’t for the small indie studios of my childhood.

Just look at DMA Design. It started as a four-person studio and slowly expanded and was bought several times eventually becoming one of the most recognized studios in the world after a name change. During those early years, they made some absolute classics including Grand Theft Auto, and the rest is history. So, could people please stop moaning about indie developers and just enjoy the games?

Michael Cwick (PSN ID: The1stMJC)
Now while I hope this isn’t considered a “popular” trend I have noticed it more and more lately.

I am absolutely sick of the notion that if a game stars a female or minority lead it gets labeled a “SJW” game. If you are unfamiliar with what “SJW” stands for, it means “social justice warrior” and is often used to discredit a game.

It is mostly used by insecure dudes that are too uncomfortable with the idea of playing a non-male, non-white main character. So instead of just ignoring it, they feel like they need to make a fuss in a comment section and say that the developers are trying to cram a social agenda down their throats. The people that throw the term around rarely have a real argument and just use the term as a blanket insult.

I don’t understand why people are like this and it bothers me every time I see someone write off a game or movie because it doesn’t meet their political views. Just let a game exist. If you don’t like the content, move on and stop trying to turn everything into a political discussion.

Your Turn
These are gaming opinions that we disagree with. How about yours? Tell us in the PS Nation Forums.

Thanks as always to John Payant for editing.

Written by Matt Engelbart

Matt Engelbart

I love all things video games. When I am not gaming I am watching the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals, BBQing, and reading.

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