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Author Topic: Why we game (Okami related)  (Read 1680 times)
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Gratch
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« on: September 23, 2006, 02:59:55 AM »

I put in about 6 hours into Okami tonight, and had somewhat of an epiphany while I was playing. I probably should have put this in the Okami impressions thread, but it goes a little further than that.  Let me wax gamer-philosophical here for a moment...

In all honesty, games like Okami are why I still play video games.  I've become a bitter, jaded gamer and after countless 'meh' gaming experiences, I sometimes wonder if maybe the hobby has passed me by.  I can probably count the times I've been truly amazed by a game in the last 10 years on two hands.  It seems to happen less and less often as I get older, and those truly great gaming moments become fewer and farther between.  However, there are the rare occasions when my passion for gaming is reignited.  It happened to me while playing Beyond Good & Evil, it happened the first time I look down a Colossus, it happened the first time I played 'Ziggy Stardust' in Guitar Hero, it happened when I watched the sun rise over a lake in Oblivion...and it has happened again tonight.  One of those rare moments when I can grin a childlike grin from ear-to-ear, completely immerse myself in something incredible for a short time, and I can forget all about the day-to-day crap for a few hours.

As gamers, we gladly sift through mountains of crap to find the the rare, few, nuggets of solid gold.  While our definitions of a great game certainly differ, it's these rare games that make suffering through crappy sequels, uninspired gameplay, lack of innovation, Jack Thompson nonsense, fanboy rantings, and all the "50 Cent:  Bulletproof" games worth it.  When a game truly comes together - creativity, talent, originality, story-telling - and just clicks with you it is an amazing feeling.

To me, Okami deserves every bit of the stellar reviews it's receiving.  Simply put:  If you have a PS2, you owe it to yourself to at least try this game.  Maybe it won't click with you the way it did for me.  Maybe you're not as jaded as I have become.  But this one is truly something special and deserves not to be missed.

Game on, fellas.  Game on...
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Hrothgar
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« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2006, 04:35:29 AM »

Aren't four of your five examples from the past year's worth of gaming?  Maybe it's not so much trends in gaming.  Maybe you've finally figured out how to pick good games. :slywink:

Seriously, I think gaming just keeps getting better.  Sure there's more crap out there, but there's also a ton more help to choose the best games.  I think the best of gaming keeps getting better.  Hopefully that trend continues.
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« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2006, 05:33:02 AM »

hehheh - an okami gushing thread, & i didn't even have to start it...

people look for different things in games - challenge, excitement, relaxation, whatever. more than anything else, what i look for in games is heart, a kind of nebulous quality that encompasses things like originality, personality, depth, humanity, humor, and vision. while there are a number of games that contain a number of these elements, in varying amounts, which i've played and greatly enjoyed, there've been only a handful that, to me, have pretty much maxed out the scale on all of them. and okami's definitely, for me, that kind of game...

i'm not so sure games like okami are why i still play video games - like i said, there's lots of stuff out there that's amusing/entertaining enough for me to spend some time & have some fun with. but every medium, like literature & films, will every once in a while give birth to certain works that seem to make much of everything else pale in comparison. it's not that the other stuff's necessarily junk (tho much of it is), it's just that some stuff is so damn good it almost transcends the medium itself - it bursts out of the page or screen, buries itself inside you, & becomes a part of you. & i really like it when i run across stuff like that, & am therefore deeply in debt to clover for okami...

gush on!...
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« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2006, 06:38:05 AM »

Gratch, I've definitely become more discriminating as I've gotten older. I think the reason for this is equal parts burnout, time deficiency, and the realization that my REAL life was passing me by. In my closet I had over 150 games that I purchased but never got a chance to play. There actually came a point recently when I found myself stressing and purposely speeding through a game so that I could move on to the next one in my backlog. At that point I knew that it was time to re-evaluate my gaming habits:

-30 of those games fell into a mediocre category (Project:Snowblind, Evil Genius, Praetorians, C&C Generals, Europa Universalis 2 etc) and I packed them into a box and will probably just toss them out or sell the whole lot on e-bay for $20 or $30 dollars.

-Another 9 games don't play on Windows XP, so those get eliminated. I'm not about to hassle with compatibility issues.

-Some of my mediocre console titles got sent to Amazon or traded in at EB.

There are just too many consoles and too many titles coming out to even bother playing something that is not highly enjoyable. For me, gaming lost some of its magic simply because I was diluted my time with mediocre games or excellent titles that simply didn't hold my interest. But I felt compelled to play them because I spent my valuable money on them. Luckily I've broken that habit.

I'm pleased to see that you're finding several new releases to be so enjoyable.
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TheMissingLink
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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2006, 11:57:51 PM »

After staring longingly at Okami, knowing it's probably my GOTY, but not having enough time to dedicate to the game in one sitting, I plugged a nice hour and a half into the game.

Okami is beautiful.  And amazing.

New Tom Clancy games and sports games are just fine and dandy, but when something this outstanding comes along, it really brightens my spirts knowing that there are creative, original games being designed.
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WinoMcCougarstein
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« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2006, 12:08:07 AM »

Quote from: TheMissingLink on December 04, 2006, 11:57:51 PM

New Tom Clancy games and sports games are just fine and dandy, but when something this outstanding comes along, it really brightens my spirts knowing that there are creative, original games being designed.

The only thing creative and original about Okami is the art style.  The rest is just a Zelda clone.  A good Zelda clone, but a Zelda clone none-the-less  icon_lol

Of course I'm not 100% serious and Okami is a great game in its own right, I just wish I could get back into it without feeling bored.

And I totally agree that it is a great great great feeling when something so great and refreshing comes along.  It makes me feel like I did when I first picked up an NES controller and played Mario.  Or the first time I played Mario 64 at a demo kiosk and being blown away.  Or the first time I fired up the PS2 and decided to keep it instead of selling it on Ebay.  I'd take 5 original games a year over the mainstream reproduced sports/Tom Clancy reruns any day.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2006, 02:39:00 PM by GatorFavre » Logged

Farscry
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« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2006, 12:23:22 AM »

Games that have hit those kinds of awesome moments for me in recent years:

Final Fantasy XII
Viva Pinata
Guitar Hero
Oblivion & Morrowind
Dragon Quest 8
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Metroid Prime
World of Warcraft (mostly the beginning moments for me for the first month or so)
Gran Turismo 3

I can't think of any others off the top of my head, but I've had lots of those moments. icon_smile
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TheMissingLink
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« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2006, 01:17:46 AM »

I haven't played a lot of Zelda games, but has any Zelda had anything like the celestial brush?  I know you were able to control like, a wand in the Wind Waker, but that was in only four directions.

I love the way the brush feels in Okami.  It makes me feel all artsy biggrin  I spent about 20 minutes making a sweet Imp mask!

In the last year or so, Shadow of the Colossus and Metal Gear Solid 3 have definitely given me that feeling where the game isn't made up of commands comprised of digits and stuff like that.  Too often do I get this feeling like the game has no soul, that it's just a video game - I love it when games get me involved emotionally.
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WinoMcCougarstein
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« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2006, 01:21:27 AM »

Quote from: TheMissingLink on December 05, 2006, 01:17:46 AM

I haven't played a lot of Zelda games, but has any Zelda had anything like the celestial brush?  I know you were able to control like, a wand in the Wind Waker, but that was in only four directions.

No, because you can swing a sword and throw bombs in real time without having to essentially pause the game and draw a circle in a frustrating manner.
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rrmorton
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« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2006, 02:50:22 AM »

Count me in with all the gushers. Okami is one hell of a special game.
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« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2006, 02:57:13 AM »

Quote from: TheMissingLink on December 05, 2006, 01:17:46 AM


I love the way the brush feels in Okami.  It makes me feel all artsy biggrin  I spent about 20 minutes making a sweet Imp mask!



LOL so did I!
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TheMissingLink
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« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2006, 03:31:43 AM »

Quote from: GatorFavre on December 05, 2006, 01:21:27 AM

Quote from: TheMissingLink on December 05, 2006, 01:17:46 AM

I haven't played a lot of Zelda games, but has any Zelda had anything like the celestial brush?  I know you were able to control like, a wand in the Wind Waker, but that was in only four directions.

No, because you can swing a sword and throw bombs in real time without having to essentially pause the game and draw a circle in a frustrating manner.

Frustrating?  No.  Intuitive and fun?  Yes.
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WinoMcCougarstein
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« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2006, 03:38:27 AM »

Quote from: TheMissingLink on December 05, 2006, 03:31:43 AM

Quote from: GatorFavre on December 05, 2006, 01:21:27 AM

Quote from: TheMissingLink on December 05, 2006, 01:17:46 AM

I haven't played a lot of Zelda games, but has any Zelda had anything like the celestial brush?  I know you were able to control like, a wand in the Wind Waker, but that was in only four directions.

No, because you can swing a sword and throw bombs in real time without having to essentially pause the game and draw a circle in a frustrating manner.

Frustrating?  No.  Intuitive and fun?  Yes.

Your telling me you've never once got frustrated while drawing a circle, or other shape for that matter, in this game?  Maybe it is because I cant stand the PS2 controller anymore.  It just isnt that fun to me.  If I wanted to draw shitty circles I could open MS Paint.  Not trying to put anyone down for liking this game, just voicing my own opinion on it. 
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TheMissingLink
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« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2006, 03:41:13 AM »

I really only have problems with cherry bombs.  And if I don't get it once, I just draw it again, a little slower, and with a better stem slywink
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« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2006, 01:05:52 PM »

<sigh> This game left me feeling cold. I SO wanted to love it but...I didn't.  icon_frown

Maybe I'll continue the adventure in the future.
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« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2006, 06:05:27 PM »

Quote from: Dante Rising on September 23, 2006, 06:38:05 AM

Gratch, I've definitely become more discriminating as I've gotten older. I think the reason for this is equal parts burnout, time deficiency, and the realization that my REAL life was passing me by. In my closet I had over 150 games that I purchased but never got a chance to play. There actually came a point recently when I found myself stressing and purposely speeding through a game so that I could move on to the next one in my backlog. At that point I knew that it was time to re-evaluate my gaming habits

*snip*

Dante, I have recently (within the last six months) experienced this exact same thing and couldn't have explained it better myself. I have reduced my gaming library by at LEAST 50% since then and cannot even begin to describe how much better I feel because of it. I'm actually enjoying my games again!
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« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2006, 06:28:34 PM »

Quote from: fyedaddy on December 05, 2006, 06:05:27 PM

Quote from: Dante Rising on September 23, 2006, 06:38:05 AM

Gratch, I've definitely become more discriminating as I've gotten older. I think the reason for this is equal parts burnout, time deficiency, and the realization that my REAL life was passing me by. In my closet I had over 150 games that I purchased but never got a chance to play. There actually came a point recently when I found myself stressing and purposely speeding through a game so that I could move on to the next one in my backlog. At that point I knew that it was time to re-evaluate my gaming habits

*snip*

Dante, I have recently (within the last six months) experienced this exact same thing and couldn't have explained it better myself. I have reduced my gaming library by at LEAST 50% since then and cannot even begin to describe how much better I feel because of it. I'm actually enjoying my games again!

I am considering doing this myself.
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Gratch
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« Reply #17 on: December 05, 2006, 07:22:24 PM »

Quote from: ATB on December 05, 2006, 01:05:52 PM

<sigh> This game left me feeling cold. I SO wanted to love it but...I didn't.  icon_frown

Maybe I'll continue the adventure in the future.

If it makes you feel any better, after my gushing opinion on Okami, I completely burned out on it about 25 hours in.  Not the typical slow burnout of "Man, this game is getting a little stale", but rather a complete drop-off-a-cliff burnout of sitting down one night and realizing I simply didn't have any more interest in playing.  I still think it was a fantastic game and stand by my original comments, but they tried to make it way too long which ended up causing me not to finish it.

I think Dante does bring up a good point.  My main cause of burnout with games is that something else is always grabbing my attention.  If a game starts to flag at all, I tend to ditch it and move on.  I just need to start ignoring new game hype and just stick with things I like.  Thankfully, my current 55+ hours into FFXII hasn't started to slow at all, so I might actually finish it!   icon_smile
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