No Right Explanation

No Right Explanation
Gameplay vs. Story

Firefilm | 24 Jan 2012 10:00
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Dan: Venomous slices? I have no idea what Chris is referring to, but rest assured, we are bestest friends and very often hold hands whilst we skip to a tune that is the gentle yet upbeat theme song to our perfect companionship.

Personally, I didn't expect the flood of comments to wash over us the way they did with this particular topic. I mean sure, we are awesome and anyone who watches our show is almost as, if not as awesome ... so any meaty topic we bring up is going to get just as protein-rich comments. It was simply a nice surprise.

As for points, it was a close one. First point went to Chris for mentioning that certain games only have a fan base due to their game mechanic. I for one can agree, and pull up Command and Conquer as an example. Look how great they did for every installment, and then look at the studio-bankrupting move they made with C&C4. Man, did they drop the ball on that one.

Second point hits Kyle for showing the double standard of story vs. gameplay. I can think of a certain yellow ball that eats other balls, ghosts, and sometimes fruit and pretzels that is one of the most popular games ever. Note that I said "Game." Now trying to think of a game that is nothing but story with the same level of notoriety ... my mind is more empty than the No Right Answer Kraft services table.

Third point went to Kyle for pointing out that a game needs a certain amount of mechanic in it to differentiate it from a movie. The issue to me is, unlike a movie, a game is a different experience for each person who plays it. Some game developers don't like that, and think of it as poor quality control. Like an overprotective parent doing the science project for their kid to ensure they get an A, certain studios put so much cut scenes in a game that it ceases to be a "Game" and drifts over to a CG movie with a few quick-time events.

Fourth point finds us back with Chris, and this one is a tricky one. Story that is so good, it covers up poor gameplay. This is something I am sure the more cash-laden studios figure is a shortcut. "Hey, if we just hire some movie writer like Giyermo Del Torrrrro (spelled wrong on purpose to drive home their stupidity,) then we can make a crap game and the peeps will still buy it. Right?" Wrong.

Kyle gets the fifth point on the basis that recent music-based games have caught on like crabs in a dormitory, and there is no story whatsoever. This goes back to that double-standard, of which there can be gameplay without story and it still qualifies as a game, but not vice-versa.

Chris gets a point during the drinking round, mostly because I hate Modern Warfare whatever and Call of Duty: Whatever edition. They keep releasing the same game, but with small tweaks and barely any improvements. What ever happened to huge leaps forward? Don't become Apple, you guys. I'm tired of Call of Duty 4S, just get to 5 already.

Kyle wins due to arcades. No one goes to an arcade, sees the Spy Hunter game, and gets excited that they might get a thrilling action secret agent story. No, they go because there is a steering wheel and a foot petal and a gear shift. Plus you can use the oil slick. Gameplay wins!

If you want to participate in the debate, head over to the No Right Answer Facebook page to lodge a formal complaint. Be sure to check out Chris and Kyle's podcast Media Sandwich too!

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