One comment on “Episode 68 – News Bloopers

  1. I’m pretty sure Matt actually doesn’t like video games and Jeff knows what’s up with video games. From the perspective of a student of game design, the narrative told by a game’s mechanics is much more important than conventional story found in other mediums. Games are best when the mechanics are compelling to the player, regardless of the story. That’s what’s important and different about video games as a medium. If the game part of the game isn’t great, then it might as well be a movie. I would rather play Tetris for another 300 hours than play through any of The Last Of Us again. This is because while the presentation and writing of TLoU is really quite excellent, the actual game is pretty mediocre. Meanwhile, Tetris has no writing but is one of the best designed games of all time. Matt’s argument that the mechanics become boring and the story is the only thing compelling him forward is actually favorable to Jeff’s case against JRPGs, as the reason the mechanics become dull is typically due to less interesting game design, while strong mechanics and design around those mechanics will continue to hold the player’s interest throughout. If Jeff’s argument is that JRPGs aren’t mechanically interesting enough to hold his interest and Matt’s argument is that the story is important to be the compelling factor in the face of getting bored with the mechanics, Matt is actually just backing up Jeff’s assertion that JRPGs aren’t that fun. Jeff likes video games if they’re interesting mechanically regardless of the involvement of story, while Matt apparently just wants story and doesn’t really care if the game part is particularly good as long as the story is good enough. Jeff’s right, Matt’s wrong, there’s a reason game designers will much more often talk about story-light games with good mechanics and design like Mario, Zelda, Tetris, DOOM, Metroid/Castlevania, and (more and more these days) Dark Souls as inspirations instead of Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest or whatever.

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