Give Me A Hot Take About Video Games


Skyrim’s brand of ‘you can level up everything and do all things’ makes all the choices devoid of meaning.

Immersive sims where you can either enter the secret room if you have ‘strength skill level x’ or ‘hacking skill y’ were interesting 20 years ago, but the lack of improvement to the formula feels dated, and much like the Skyrim approach feels vapid.

I don’t know if that’s a hot take, but with the thread closing, I couldn’t risk taking it to my grave.


“It’s just poorly disguised corridors” is sub-highschool level criticism. It’s a perfectly acceptable structure, people literally buy games on the promise of them being a series of corridors. If you’ve a problem with that structure it’s usually because you’ve a problem with the core gameplay that guides you through those corridors that you can’t articulate.


Was that aimed in my direction? Because the quotation marks around something I didn’t say leaves me a bit confused. I have no problem with the level designs of immersive sims.


the only good post in this thread


oh nah, no direction, mostly it’s a sentiment that’s come out around Kingdom Hearts 3. Plus a lot of the games I’ve been njoying of late have had the same thing leveled at them.


My bad. Guess I’m projecting my guilt for my little-elaborated take.


Sonic Mania is probably the best Sonic game post-Mega Drive, but it’s also by far the most boring. The Sonic brand in 2019 should absolutely be about doing stupid shit like giving him a sword or having player-created characters more than about aping the stuff they did three decades ago. Sure the games are barely playable but at least they provide a memorable experience.


Super Metroid and Symphony of the Night are obviously very important, but they’re also both really clumsy and not that great compared to the games they inspired.


Dark Souls 2 is the best Dark Souls. It’s the Darkest of souls whilst being the Dankest of Souls.

The Pursuer comes back, look! You have to fight him several times. Best Dark Souls.

[The earth beneath our feet shatters in two, everyone instantly fall asleeps from the hottest of takes about video games only to awaken after a blissful 1000 years of slumber]

Should have closed this thread earlier.




I mean, given that the crack epidemic was an overblown fever dream from White America about those “degenerate minorities”, all the while their kids were doing blow, Wohl might be so wrong he’s right?


Games crit is in dire need of voices pointed at sound design. There have been way too many narrative-heavy games that shoot their own tone in the foot because the sound’s mixed bad or just missing as a cut corner. Half of Telltale’s library ended up with this, it’s a constant issue for Bioware that makes me personally associate them with the phrase “awkward storytelling” even at the best of times, but more pointedly the lack of focus on it in any crit means a lot of indies either ignore it or don’t have the resources to hone it.

There’s lots of talented sound design in the medium already, obviously, but it’s taken entirely for granted and seemingly separated as “the thing the people over in the corner do” in the public conscience.


This is only extremely tangentally related to gaming podcasts, and maybe not even a hot take, but whateves this thread closes in like 3 hours. Live Podcasts are bad and unlistenable. Not because of the uneven Audio, but because every single host just decides to up their humor level by x3 to try and entertain the audience. Therefore its just a cacophony of jokey jokes and snark and boy is it hard to get through.


I think, from a pragmatic perspective, there’s a financial argument for difficulty in gameplay being important for games in particular: I can experience every other part of Celeste (the art, music, dialogue, plot structure etc) without actually engaging in its mechanics, because people stream games on the internet.
The only bit of Celeste I have to actually decide to pay money to experience is the gameplay.
If Celeste is trying to tell me a narrative as a game, and not just as a movie of someone else playing a game, then the way in which its difficulty relates to its narrative is definitely important. (And this is why I think this is a problem for Celeste and not for, say, Shovel Knight. Shovel Knight is too hard for me too, but the story doesn’t depend on the idea that “persistence / overcoming your issues / learning selfactualisation by coming to terms with yourself and conquering a challenge” is a thing. Celeste explicitly wants to mirror the player’s experience with Celeste’s… which also means that we can talk about if it’s possible to make it too easy and lose something.)


Don’t forget the ever awkward audience question sections! I’m all for answering pre-written questions but hearing regular folks step up to the mic to banter with the podcasters is pure cringe fuel for me.


Shadow Tower is the best Souls game.

Fiddly obscure stats and skills in RPGs are actually great and we need more of them.

BioWare got away with writing the same bland story and remixes of the same 8 bland characters in bland settings for nearly two decades because their games are more socially acceptable to play than dating sims.

Nostalgia is not as influential as people believe it is, that’s just marketing talking.


Yep that is exactly the point I also bail on every GDC video.


Telltale’s best series is Strong Bad’s Cool Game For Attractive People. (Or MAYBE Tales From The Borderlands)


Can I modify this to be “competitive multiplayer”? Because Soulsborne combat has never felt good when you fight people who are fully capable of pressing B when you swing your giant weapon for a full second. Also, covenants don’t make a lick of sense outside of [enter Souls wiki of your choosing].

But helping people out with bosses and writing silly things on the ground has always been fun for me. And a major plus of the design is with having real-time affirmations that I’m not alone in getting crushed by this boss or w/e is blocking progress at that moment.


I can understand that, but I think that very much comes down to an individual person’s desire to experience those parts of a game, and ultimately I just want there to be options available to people who might want to experience those things in-game but feel the game is too difficult for them to enjoy. There’s also the possibility that a game as a whole might not be too difficult for someone, but a specific level or part gives them trouble (I’ve had a friend mention turning on assist mode for the Celestial Resort because they could just not get the rhythm of the timing puzzles down, but not needing it for any other part of the game).

In the end, I think where I rest on this issue is that, if someone actively declines the opportunity to play a game as it was built, but still wants to experience parts of it in something other than a stream or video, I want them to have that option. I don’t think that option being there inherently denigrates the game for anyone who doesn’t want to use it, and I think players should have the right to choose a “lesser” experience if they prefer.