I had a very interesting, but brief conversation with my good friend Kenny [who is also the very first person to subscribe to The Bottom Tier, making him very important as a person!], and we were talking about gaming, as we oft do. Gaming, and weird videos on Youtube, anyway. We were specifically talking about Starcraft 1’s remake. I said that Blizzard had officially run out of ideas, because now they’re remaking SC1, when SC2 is still available and being played [but it isn’t as good as the original. Sorry guys.]. He said that Starcraft 2 sucks, but so does WoW. I disagreed, that I don’t think WoW sucks, but it hasn’t really in terested me over the last year or so. I come back for an expansion, but for reasons other than money [but money is also a factor], I lost interest and would stop playing the game. Kenny’s response was that that makes it suck, because “If a video game is boring, it isn’t performing it’s only function for existence”. This gave me pause, because I had not considered it before. It has tons of content, but after 13 years it ought to. Does that mean World of Warcraft sucks? I’m not so sure. So this brings me to my next thought:
“What makes a video game suck?” Is being boring simply enough? What one person thinks is boring is definitely not going to be the case for everyone. Example: I think the Banjo, Spyro, collect-a-thon games are dreadful, boring dreck. I can’t stand playing them. When they were coming out, becoming popular, I was playing FFVI, VII, Breath of Fire III, epic roleplaying games with vast stories, hidden secrets, and required grinding of their own kind. Not finding trinkets, but exploring dungeons. That was fun to me. Not playing a cartoon dragon, platform jumping. My preferred platforming is within a Metroidvania. If I’m going to be collecting stuff, I want it to help my journey; for it to be useful. A conversation me and my Grandmother have had over the past… Hell, decade or so, has been “Popular vs. Good”. World of Warcraft pulls in millions a year I’m sure in subscriptions, buying game tokens, mounts, et cetera. But does that make it good? Does that make it not suck? It makes it popular, sure, but I don’t think Popular and Good are the same. That’s another piece for another time though.
I’m in the camp that all games in one manner or another, are art. Even appalling, terrible ones are definitely art. Art invokes a response, it’s not always a good one. So I ask again, what makes a video game suck? I really think that’s up to the person who buys/plays it. But for me? What is the most important thing to me? I don’t want my games to be a damn chore to play. I play games for a living; that’s why I’m here now. And I love MMOs. I appreciate having to work for being powerful, but when it becomes something I must do every day, and must do the exact same thing all the time, every day. . . That’s when it starts to suck. So I guess Kenny is ultimately right. Or at least, I agree with his opinion. When a game becomes tedious, bothersome, it’s no longer a game. Hell, I even enjoy hardcore raiding to a point. Not to the point where I have to spend all day farming, just for a few hours of raiding. Other criteria include: a good, gripping story. Characters I’m emotionally vested in. This is why I love EarthBound so much. The main cast isn’t very deep, but literally everyone else in the world is. It’s a satirical look at not only modern RPG tropes, but also gaming at large.
What about you guys? What makes a game no longer fun? What makes it start to suck?