It really seems impossible to stop these people. And they are churning out this shit at such a rate, that in order to keep trashing them we'd have to turn reviewing "indie" trash into a full-time job. It really boggles the mind how much time, money and effort is going into this by-now gigantic 2D "indie" scene, the long term result of which is that not a single one of these games, not a single title that comes out of this scene, will ever be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with the great games of the past (or even with mediocre ones!), never mind surpass them. And everyone else in the industry besides us is doing their utmost to make sure that this will never change.
It just mirrors the official, professional market in that regard, doesn't it? And wait a couple of years onwards.
I don't see a close equivalence with the professional market. There are some similarities (the general lack of difficulty and dumbing down, for example), but you still get stuff like Senjou no Valkyria, Operation Darkness, Far Cry 2, Vanquish and Bayonetta that move things forward. In the "indie" market, there seems to be no moving forward whatsoever.
The closest parallel I can see, is with the European (mainly British) home computer scene in the 80's and early '90s (and specifically the action genres). Countless games that are practically unplayable now -- though still better than the "indie" trash (except if my memory is being too kind on the former...)
I was talking in a general sense -- we don't get new amateur pieces which can touch the quality of the great games of the past much like we don't get new professional pieces which can do that, either. And the examples you gave seem to confirm it, even if the comparison there has to be much more... abstract.
I don't think you're being too kind on the European action games for the 8-bit/16-bit computers. They were horrid from the mechanics perspective (many of them even had to be played with a keyboard, so what could you expect), but they were (many times, though just in the early days) conceptually almost as great as the Japanese arcades they were trying to mimic and got amazing settings and scenography, making of any random theme something cool to experience. This personality just can't be found in the modern amateur scene from the West since they don't put even half the work into it nor have the talent, to begin with.
I was talking in a general sense -- we don't get new amateur pieces which can touch the quality of the great games of the past much like we don't get new professional pieces which can do that, either.
To stay with the genres that you like, Operation Darkness is among the best SRPGs I've ever played, and in many respects trounces even the better Fire Emblems and Langrissers, and it's a 2007 game on the Xbox 360. Goku Makaimura is probably the best in the series, at least mechanically, and that Hard Corps game seems to be on the same level. It's true that in the 2D action genres the new stuff usually can't compare, but those are not all the genres that exist. Progress now happens in the 3D genres, for the same reason that painting has stagnated and movies and videogames is where the action's at.
And the examples you gave seem to confirm it, even if the comparison there has to be much more... abstract.
They do nothing of the sort. They are some of the best videogames I've ever played, Recap, and I'll explain why at length in my upcoming reviews.
But at least we can agree on the Western amateur scene, which actually isn't amateur at all, but whatever. I guess we have to call them something (I vote for "bunglers).
To make my position crystal clear, if given a choice between saving Far Cry 2 or the entire history of 2D games, the 2D stuff would all go in the trash without a second's hesitation, just as I'd trash all the paintings ever made to save a Heat, a Blade Runner or a Dark Knight. That doesn't mean I can't appreciate the primitive stuff -- it is part of the amazing depth and breadth of my tastes and aesthetic sensibilities that I can -- but the utter superiority of the advanced stuff has to be recognized, if not by everyone then at least by the highest arbiters of taste, otherwise we might as well agree with the artfags that progress in art is impossible and go back to cave paintings or splattered canvases.
That is not to say that I expect you to agree to this. But it would at least be a good idea for you to realize what my position is, simply for the purposes of whatever discussions we might have on this or related topics.
So now you know, people: "2-D games" are primitive because we now have "3-D genres" with their analog control wonderness and first-person perspectives which finally! make you feel as the freaking protagonist from your favorite, worth-a-thousand-paintings B-movie.
I'm sure you also expected me not to refrain myself from replying with something along those lines, so there it is.
Recap, just in case you care, the reason you prefer games with scene development, as you call it, over stuff like Asteroids, and then again 16-bit games over 8-bit games, are exactly the same reasons that make me prefer 3D games over 2D ones. So the stuff you posted, about B-movies and the like, apply also to your favorite games. I can even quote you from this thread:
"amazing settings and scenography"
That was in reference to some childishly crap 2D eurotrash art, and to the accompanying C-movie plots.
Just in case you care to know how you look when you talk about stuff like this, you look exactly like Ebert when he's scribbling stupidities to justify his hatred of videogames, and the resentment he feels at his favorite art being superseded. Every little pseudo-argument, and I mean EVERY SINGLE ONE, that is being constructed in order to support its author's incapacity, appears, to those who do not share that incapacity, retarded. So the best thing for Ebert to do would simply to remain silent...
I am not saying you should be too. I am just trying to explain to you how the situation looks like from where I am standing. And as it happens, I have 2,500 years of science and culture standing right here with me.
Last edited by icycalm (18-02-2012 19:45:47)
Icycalm, keep that shit for your own forum, thankyouverymuch. If you want to attempt to explain why real-time polygons, three-dimensional mechanics in a two-dimensional medium, and analog control pads or control systems based on non-gaming interfaces are "utterly superior" to bitmap-based graphics, pure 2-D mechanics, and digital controls, go ahead. But gratuitous insults which lead the discussion nowhere won't be tolerated even from you. Just in case you care.
The reason I prefer 16-bit games over 8-bit ones, or games with scene development over stuff without it is, essentially, an aesthetics subject. A plain matter of beauty. Of pleasing my eyes. It has nothing to do with how well the game makes me feel as its stupid protagonist --neither how well the game makes of me its actual protagonist-- nor the virtual tangibleness of its world. As I told you once, I don't give a shit about immersion in my action games. Not that kind, anyway.
Icycalm, keep that shit for your own forum, thankyouverymuch. ... gratuitous insults which lead the discussion nowhere won't be tolerated even from you.
There's not a single gratuitous comment in any of my posts in this thread. If the substantiation that I offered is not enough for you, ask for more and I will provide it. As to your level of tolerance of my ideas and arguments, it has nothing to do with me, and you will of course take any action you deem necessary, whenever you deem it so.
If you want to attempt to explain why real-time polygons, three-dimensional mechanics in a two-dimensional medium, and analog control pads or control systems based on non-gaming interfaces are "utterly superior" to bitmap-based graphics, pure 2-D mechanics, and digital controls, go ahead.
I already have: because they are more immersive, i.e. as I have explained at length in my Genealogy (even just the parts of it that have been published on the internet so far), artistically superior. And I mean, besides all that (which is all there is, and all there needs to be, but perhaps some humor might help you see the ridiculousness of your position anyway), if you think that a retarded childish little 2D bitmap, or some variation of fucking Tetris or whatever (which is what all the 2D action genres boil down to in the end), or a fucking arcade stick or whatever, are the ULTIMATE POSSIBLE ACHIEVEMENTS OF DIGITAL ENTERTAINMENT, and that the purpose of the entire history of digital technology as it pertains to art had been achieved with these pathetic little developments, you are out of your fucking mind. Even if we put behind us all the theory and all the science and all the art, and just simply put a screen from Super Mario World or whatever (to demonstrate the graphics), and an arcade stick on a couple of pedestals and write beneath them: THE PINNACLES OF DIGITAL ART, we'd have even THE PEDESTALS THEMSELVES LAUGHING AT US, dude. The absurdity of your position is so obvious the moment we leave some early-90's obsessive's dedicated gaming room and go out into the street and get some goddamn air, that no arguments at all would be required to prove any of my points (quite aside from the fact that I HAVE ALL OF THEM WHILE YOU HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING). Like, for reals dude. If you seriously think that the pinnacle of art is The Super Shinobi or Strider or whatever, you seriously need some goddamn air. Nor can you escape from this implication by hiding yourself inside the term "videogames" and claiming that art and videogames are two separate things, because that dichotomy has already been demolished in my Genealogy. Art and videogames are EXACTLY THE SAME THING, and as I explain in my article on Set Theory (and as you should be able to grasp without even reading it), videogames are basically a superset of all previous (and in fact even future) artforms. So if you say that some random 2D childish little game is the pinnacle of videogames you are saying it is the pinnacle of art, and no amount of muddling the waters or backpedalling can obscure that retarded insinuation.
The reason I prefer 16-bit games over 8-bit ones, or games with scene development over stuff without it is, essentially, an aesthetics subject.
As if all my writings weren't about aesthetics, lol.
A plain matter of beauty. Of pleasing my eyes.
There's nothing "plain" about beauty, Recap. It is an extremely complicated subject, and our understanding and pursuit of it hinges on an immense level to all the rules and guidelines art theorists like me have been expounding for millennia. The retort that "that is simply what I like" belongs on gamefaqs: at the level of art theory and criticism it is merely an ignorant childish gesture. And I am telling you why games with stage progression (i.e. scene development) "please your eyes" -- instead of having a game be a single glorified stage (however beautiful) -- because real life has scene development, which is why therefore it's more immersive.
It has nothing to do with how well the game makes me feel as its stupid protagonist --neither how well the game makes of me its actual protagonist-- nor the virtual tangibleness of its world.
It has everything to do with exactly those things, and your denial of this obvious simple fact is merely your way of attacking the theory which you can see eventually, in the long run, and from a higher viewpoint, denies the superiority (and therefore ultimately the relevance) of your tastes.
As I told you once, I don't give a shit about immersion in my action games. Not that kind, anyway.
There's only one kind of immersion, and as far as 2D Japanese games go you are a downright ADDICT of it.
Last edited by icycalm (19-02-2012 19:38:43)
lol I just noticed these:
If you want to attempt to explain why real-time polygons, three-dimensional mechanics in a two-dimensional medium
As far as OUR EYES are concerned, EVERYTHING is "two-dimensional"; there's no material difference between a computer screen or a view of the (real?) Grand Canyon. Check this out:
And I mean, dude, you like belt-scrollers lol, which compared to 3D brawlers are unplayable, lol, precisely because they are supposed to be played with arcade sticks. I am even embarrassed at having to point these things out to you, man, but you keep giving me reasons to.
and analog control pads or control systems based on non-gaming interfaces
You seriously think that there are such things as "gaming interfaces"? As opposed to what? Says who? Are you religious or something? You think when Moses came back from the mountain he brought back with him an arcade stick on a pedestal engraved by god with the words "GAMING INTERFACE"? I have news for you, Recap, ANYTHING CAN BECOME A GAMING INTERFACE AS LONG AS THE HUMAN BEINGS WHO MANUFACTURED IT DEEM IT TO BE SO. Arcade sticks are made of the same metal and plastic components as racing wheels, light guns and analog controllers. As long as the device is being used for a game IT IS A GAMING INTERFACE, just as the keyboard and mouse are in Civilization (the greatest strategy game ever, fyi).
And again, I feel pathetic even pointing these things out, man. Like BEING FORCED to point them out. This is supposed to be a FUCKING SERIOUS SITE ABOUT VIDEOGAMES, not some goddamn retard home! Get a grip on yourself for fuck's sake!
Last edited by icycalm (19-02-2012 21:08:08)
So now you know, people: art is games, video-games are about "immersion" and not challenge, stage progression is better than one single stage because it mimics real life, keyboards were conceived as gaming interfaces.
Banned so that I can save some patience.
There are plenty are superb Western indie games, its just that you guys focus on the dumbass indie hipster shit.
Dwarf Fortress is monumental and one of the most satisfying simulation/management games ever once its learned. The games by Illwinter are amongst the best war games out there (I've been following the company since the 90's) and stuff with the newer 'sandbox' style game designs inspired by Minecraft are quite good too (though I really cant stand minecraft itself). For instance, Project Zomboid is still quite rough at the moment but judging from vids of the next version its really gonna be something entertaining. The city building/dungeon keeper hybrid 'Towns' is also another game with incredible potential.
Oh, I also must point out that I think Heaven Variant looks awesome and has a great atmosphere. Looks like they are totally inspired by the recent animation Redline in trying to create a very colorful and 80's style theme. The actual mechanics are obviously taken from Einhander and the analogue control doesn't sound good, but whatever its not like I'm looking forward to a shooting game like this anyway, but if I do eventually check it out it would totally be just to see if they maintain this momentum with the presentation aspects.
I don't believe they're "plenty", but I'm sure there're exceptions. A generalization -- that is what I do.
As for Heaven Variant, I'm fine for now with how it looks and the art direction (not so sure about the Redline inspiration, though -- it's more 90's than 70's or 80's, if you ask me), and that's the only reason I posted it here. But the control system is such a lame decision --especially with that claim of going back to the arcade days-- that nothing really good can be expected from it. They're not Natsume, after all.
What evades me is what exactly do you have against old-type horizontal-scrolling shooting games.
Nothing against horizontal shooting games, I just meant that I wouldn't really be highly anticipating it due to the mechanics, but the presentation still has me interested in trying it.
The Redline inspiration is in relation to the high energy atmosphere with the colorful city setting, the voice overs, and especially the music.