March 18, 2010

Is It Just Me?--when you think a "good game" blows.

Surprisingly I'm starting to get some free time back, which will hopefully bring me back to blogging more often (miss you internet people!), but that also means I get to play more games.

Every Sunday I try to set up a LAN game with the Boyfriend and our other friend.  We have some games that we do like playing a lot, but we try to branch out.  For a while we were addicted to Supreme Commander, in fact we still are because that game rules.  Any game that I can have fun with when the bots are kicking my ass gets points in my book.  Anyway, we decided to that we should try to do some shooting fun to take a break from meticulous micro-managing.  So we got ourselves Borderlands.

I was definitely excited for Borderlands, mostly because I love co-op campaigns.  Left 4 Dead was getting a bit repetitive so we hadn't done that in a while.  And we put in Borderlands and we started the first level.

And we all collectively decided it stunk.

Now, I admit I should give it another go after the first couple of missions, but the aiming system seemed counter-intuitive to me, and there wasn't a lot of stuff to grasp on interest-wise.  We all kind of didnt' like the way it played and just said screw it after my computer crashed.  My computer is a bit needy.

Yet there are all these great reviews and I know other people who LOVED this game.  Sure, it's not revolutionary, but people do find it enjoyable, very enjoyable in fact.  I had to start thinking, after a point, is it really just me?  Is there something wrong with me that I don't like a game?

Inherently, I want to say no.  An opinion is an opinion--you don't need "logic" or "statistics" to know how you feel and react to something.  But at the same time when your opinion is in the minority and you are a self-reflective person, you start to wonder if your sensibilities are out of whack.

This happens with the Boyfriend all the time when it comes to games.  Or should I say has happened, but he's got a good balance going on that I will explain.  He has a "niche" of sorts when it comes to what games he appreciates.  Specifically story and exploration are his big selling points.  If the game accomplishes both effectively and enjoyably, he's in.  But a lot of game developers out there just aren't as into that kind of game.  They know it's easy enough to sell a game where story is a minimal excuse for kicking ass.  Action and graphics take precedent in a lot of the market over immersive storytelling or exploration.  Is there something wrong with the Boyfriend?

Nope.  He just says "okay, that's your opinion, I'm going to play this game that satisfies my requirements now, thank you."  And he knows he's not alone since games like that keep on getting made.  Somebody, or should I say a significant group of people, are looking for a similar experience, and therefore the Boyfriend will be able to find what he wants on the market.

You can probably guess that I am going to say that there's nothing wrong with me disliking Borderlands now.  And it's true.  Mass appeal doesn't mean it appeals to you.  It means it appeals to most of everyone else.  That's something that Boderlands has.  Sure, it's still a smarter game that a lot of the other stuff out there, and I'm willing to play stuff that is purely just mass-produced buckets of money for game publishers.  Sometimes I seriously just want to kick serious ass, so I pick up an action game and do just that.  Or usually fail horribly at kicking ass, as the case may be.

Is this really something that needs to be brought to the gaming public's attention?  Nah, I find most adults I'm willing to converse with have no problem accepting that I have an opinion.

I'll let you know if I change my mind about Borderlands.

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