Jimquisition: A Game By Any Other Name

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A Game By Any Other Name

What effect does a game's name have on the quality of the actual software? According to some gamers, everything! The idea that a game is bad because its name places it into an existing series is rather rife in the community, with recent Silent Hill and Devil May Cry entries providing a fertile bed of misguided anger.

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Your problem is stupid people who judge a game by its name before they get the actual release itself? That's gonna take a while to fix.

In all seriousness, it is worth remembering that a game is about how users experience it as well as the game itself. If "gun shooter guy" released this year is a great game, but its successor, "gun shooter guy 2" is terrible, it'll feel all the worse for the unconscious and constant comparison. Yes, it doesn't make any logical sense to compare them, but it's something that'll inevitably happen and is so worth considering.

Jimmy , I fucking hate the intro song , please change it

The problem with many franchises, especially those will long suffering and loyal fanbases, is that people begin to too narrowly define what makes a games in the series ). To be honest publishers are a little to blame here, often shoe-horing an unrelated game into a series for name recognition (Halo-Wars anyone?). Honestly a LOT of spinoff games do suck BUT the example you have here is of a community very obviously just vomiting hate on a new and different idea.

You know if people are going to bitch so much about modern Silent Hill games sucking donkey dicks then maybe they should give new ideas a shot?

I don't dislike the new Dante because he doesn't look exactly like the old Dante, I dislike the new Dante because new Dante is FUCKING UGLY. I don't think that makes it a bad game but like trying to open a banana blindfolded, it's just not visually a pealing.

Also, Inb4 Nazi jokes

Your "just like in Moulin Rouge" comment made me laugh hysterically. Thanks for that!

"THank Godwin's Law for me!"


I was ready to disagree with Jim on this, but he makes some good points. The only major contention I have is that naming something after a series is sometimes a bad idea solely because it impacts the market.

Also, the new Dante looks like a douche, but my opinion of the game is not swayed by that. The game doesn't look all that appealing but I will probably get it if enough people like it. He'll still look stupid, however.

Great video, Jim. I just have one small complaint...

If that was a direct sequel to The Fifth Element, why aren't you running around in a wife-beater with a shaved head, blasting aliens and fucking Milla Jovovich? I demand answers!

Thank You Jim another good video as usual, I was hoping you would address this issue as I love Devil May Cry and i'm looking forward to DMC, but the insane fan purists are really starting to annoy me with their crys of RUINED FOREVER just because Dante doesn't have white hair anymore and no matter how much you tried to reason with them, they don't listen and apparently I'm not a true fan in their eyes.

Thank God for you sir

In regards to DMC I agree that calling it crap based on the way 'Dante' looks is stupid but I still think it will be crap. Based on the trailers I have seen 'Dante' sounds like a 12 year old who just lernt the word Fuck and while the combat does look stylish it seems to be a lot slower.

I also have no faith in Ninja Theroy as I have never enjoyed a game made by them and they seem to be run by a complete douche bag. They say that the game is set in a parallel universe but that was obviously pulled out of their arse once they saw the fanboy backlash.

But as Jim has pointed out there are many retards out there who claim a game is crap based purly on what it is called or if their favorite character happens to have a different haircut to the last game and all I can say about them is that natural selection has some power lifting to do.

Gotta say Jim, I disagree... To a point. As far as I'm concerned, the entire point of a series of games is so that people know what to expect and can become attached to a setting without worrying that it'll change into something they hate/don't enjoy. That can be massively disappointing. As far as personal experiences go, I think Breath of Fire: Dragon Quarter is a pretty good roguelike, but when I first played it the game made me feel horrible. I love the other Breath of Fire games, BoF3 having been the game that made me fall in love with RPGs, and I'd been really looking forward to a new one. Expectations do alter your experience. And setting expectations is, from this consumers perspective, the point of brands.

In addition, even spin-off games can change the way you perceive titles in the main series. Art style is usually minor as far as this goes, but by making a Silenthill game, even a spin-off, a combat heavy dungeon crawler where all the classic monsters have stats, you demystify and sap the horror from other titles. Now, the degree that people take this tends to be pretty stupid, but I see a reason for people to be upset. If you want an drastically different game in tone, style, and gameplay, you should probably be attaching it to an original IP, because if you draw heavily from what that already exists but change that much, you will be altering future experiences fans have with the setting.

Interesting way to look at it Jim. Judge something on its quality, and not surface things like just the looks or name.

Hmmm.....Why does that sound so familiar?

Any way, hope ya get better. I didn't really hear much of a difference with your voice, but I didn't really notice when Yahtzee got sick/got a new mic and everyone else thought he was on death's door or something.

Am I the only one that was hoping Jim had some word on a 5th Element sequel?

I love spin-offs. It's a way for IPs to do all sorts of different things without risking alienating the fans of the actual games. Some of the best games I've ever played were spin-offs.

the Paper Mario/Mario and Luigi games
Mario Kart
the Persona series
Final Fantasy Tactics
Megaman X/Battle Network/ZX/Legends/Whatever

I wonder what it would have been like if these games were coming out today with gamers' current mentality...

And yeah. 4:00 onward is a nice summary of a big contributor to the "stagnation of game series": the fact that gamers complain whenever someone does try to do something different. And a nice counter-argument.

I'm not a fan of the silent hill series or dmc.

While I have to agree that hating a game just because it's different from it's predecessors is stupid, I have to say that it doesn't seem that dmc gets hate just because it looks different.
From what I've heard about the 2 games you mentioned the silent hill game is somehow connected to the silent hill series, but dmc is a game that doesn't seem to have any relationship with previous games. It plays in a different world, dante is a different character.

Both games should get a chance to shine, but dmc doesn't seem to be a spinoff, it looks like a different game that got the dmc name to increase sales.

It happens to often that a known name is put on a game just to increase sales and that caused an immediate defense stance in the community when a game looks like that.

Definitely agree with this. Now if only we can get the game INDUSTRY to listen as well since some of them seem to suffer a bit from sequelitis (and not the awesome videos by Egoraptor either) and want to do same ol' same ol' with their series rather than branch out and try something different in the same series like with the new SH and DMC.

I used to think like that when Nuts and Bolts came out, but then I realized that I would never have touched it if it wasn't called Banjo Kazooie, and I fucking loved that game.

P.S. So pumped for DmC even if it has the stupidest acronym in gaming history and some bad character design.

I think what people mean is that if the developers weren't working under the rule and lore constraints of an already existing universe then the developers would excel instead of throwing in [Plot element from first game].

I believe it somewhat because some games just plain suck because they tried to cram in past elements into an otherwise different game and it feels very unnatural and I get the sense that the Developers just wish they were making something else.

That Silent Hill game looks good to me though. Not scary in the least, but fun.

Play what you enjoy. To hell with the whiners. Move on with life.

I HATE people who think a series is ruined FOREVER if it changes anything.

etc etc etc.

Some change is bad yes, but a lot of the time people go WAY to far.

The problem with certain of these titles is that they create an expectation, especially if they're horror games. And in regards to Silent Hill, the issue isn't "it's called Silent Hill" or even "it's being developed by Americans", but that the new games can't create an identity of their own. They're constantly calling back to the actuall good SH games by putting in Pyramid Head and the sexy nurses with a mentallity that just screams, "Look, look, see, it's still Silent Hill." That footage you showed during this episode of this new SH entry again featured Pyramid Head lumbering around, and I just can't help but sigh at the sight of him.

Resident Evil 4 was a huge departure, but it stood on it's own two feet and formed its own unique identity. And because of this it's one of the best games ever made.

And the new Devil May Cry is going to be shit untill proven good since Ninja Theory is developing it, and they couldn't create good gameplay mechanics to save their lives.

I'm not so sure the Fallout 3 complaint was that it was different per se, just that it went from a story focused RPG to a shooting focused RPG.

It would be the next Killzone going from good first person shooter into crappy third person shooter... But good exploration.

The name of a game is important because of what we expect that game to be, we expect silent hill games to be scary or at least attempt to be scary, we expect cod games to be full of set pieces and first person shooting, we expect... well we hope that xcom games would be strategy games and not just more first person shooters.

I agree completely.

That aren't any true collectathons left. And that game was the standard for collecathons!!!!
Because of the wide open level design and the really good controls for just walking around as banjo I have reason to believe that game was started as a true successor to banjo tooie. Playing nuts and bolts is just torture because makes me wish I could be playing the unmade banjo threeie instead.

Somehow I think JonTron would disagree with Jim's example of Banjo Kazooie Nuts n Bolts lol.

I'm generally all for spin offs and new ideas myself but past experiences have taught me that most of the time drastic changes = bad game so I'm always skeptical at best. I was with DMC despite actually being a fan of Ninja Theory's past titles but upon seeing sufficient gameplay footage I was fine with the game because it does look like a bundle of fun. That said their was absolutely no guarantee NT weren't going to fuck it up.

Max Payne 3 Jim? Forgot about that?

Kitsune Hunter:
Thank You Jim another good video as usual, I was hoping you would address this issue as I love Devil May Cry and i'm looking forward to DMC, but the insane fan purists are really starting to annoy me with their crys of RUINED FOREVER just because Dante doesn't have white hair anymore and no matter how much you tried to reason with them, they don't listen and apparently I'm not a true fan in their eyes.

Thank God for you sir

I like the new look, to be honest. Sure, original Dante will always have a place in my heart, but the new one seems kinda cool. There's not many characters who can pull off a frat boy douchebag persona, but he seems to.

We've got a number of games provoking this reaction. Devil May Cry and Silent Hill for one, but Metal Gear Rising has also been getting this reaction, to a lesser extent though. As for direct games that aren't said to be spin offs, there are still plenty of modern examples, with recent grumbly man Max Payne getting a similar reaction of "It's a great game, but not a great Max Payne game." Brothers in Arms is also getting this treatment from fans in that one, single, alone trailer that came out and the game was never heard from again.

It's funny, I'm playing Alan Wake's American Nightmare on Steam sales, and this game couldn't be more different in tone from Alan Wake. Alan Wake was tense and atmospheric, with dread around every corner that some yokel will come around telling you about the local fauna in a demented voice while brandishing an axe. American Nightmare is so goofy, camp and over-the-top that I think that my brain exploded by the time I crashed a satellite down from space by listening to Kasabian and flickering some lights. Despite this change in tone, I'm loving the game, and see no reason to call the game out on it. It's a spin off, it's different and it's great.

Got to take this into moderation though. Change can be good and bad, and we mustn't be afraid to call them out when the change is bad. If things change for the bad, everyone must know about it. Everyone. That way no-one will be able to justify copying that game.

Calumon: And that's how internet people justify screaming about things they don't like.

Well, but, here's a question. Would we have gotten the "truer-to-its-roots" Firaxis XCom game if reaction to the FPS 2K XCom hadn't a) been fairly critical and b) shown that there was still a strong fanbase for the original, top-down strategy bits and all?

Yeah, I agree, rabid fanbases can be quite unreasonable. And in the case of Silent Hill, at this point, I rather feel they can do whatever they want to the [email protected]#$%r, a corpse is beyond hurting. But particularly with certain genre shifts, one can reasonably ask if something is lost. When something like Syndicate is dropped, bounces twice, and lays still, it becomes a real question if the executives who greenlight major games aren't going to say both "Well, let's never visit that world again" and "I guess the fanbase for Syndicate-style games isn't what the market research had suggested". Never mind that they didn't actually make what players of the original would qualify as a "Syndicate-style game"; it's the genre they abandoned that's likely to take the hit, not FPSs.

I readily admit I was overly worried about Fallout 3 myself, but my concerns had more to do with Bethesda seeming not to have a good record for grasping the myriad ways players might approach a problem than the change from third-person semi-turn-based to first-person. I was glad to largely be wrong on that account. (Largely. The Pitt DLC reminded me how irritatingly "strain everything down to a minimal number of paths" Bethesda can get at its worst.)

Am I the only one who doesn't have a problem with the Silent Hill HD Collection? Did I just happen to pick up the one copy in the whole world that wasn't a complete mess? It seems fine to me.

Maybe my standards are just low...

I'm okay with devs making different games but then they should sell them under different names. If I went and bought something called "sausage" and instead receive a vegetable, that's not ok with me. Unless they make it really, *really* obvious, I suppose.

You were so wrong from the begining of the video.
And to add insult to injury: Godwin's Law.

I HATE people who think a series is ruined FOREVER if it changes anything.

etc etc etc.

Some change is bad yes, but a lot of the time people go WAY to far.

Well they werent wrong about DA 2 :P

Granted DA 2 didnt suck because it had a voiced PC, just the whole game was crap lol

I pretty much agree.
I LOVED Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. A departure from "normal" series but it was a great little spin-off title. One which I enjoyed a lot more than the more recent Tomb Raider games. It felt like a Tomb Raider without being one in terms of perspective and in the way you play it. It kept all the little nuances that make a game feel like a Tomb Raider but in a whole new package.

Also, I haven't quite understood the rage of having Dante's hair brown. (nor really the decision to change it unless there's an important and telling story arc which explains/justifies it) because the game is obviously still going to be typical DMC game.

Syndicate on the other hand was stupid. With no plans to resurrect the original franchise, it couldn't be called a spin-off and bar the odd weapons the FPS only used the name of the original to lure people to it. It used no game mechanics or ideas from the original game. It used nothing from the old game to it's advantage.
If it had been called something else, no one would have been the wiser about it's "origins". They turned that franchise in to something massively run-on-the-mill and average. The reasons for it being glaringly obvious and I'm sort of happy it didn't really work well for them. (except for the dev studio lay-offs. That sucked). I'm glad they didn't get the message: Take old games name. Turn it into a typical FPS because "that's what sells". Mindless FPS buying sheep will buy. Profit.
Now that was weak.

You know what video this reminds me of? Metroid: Other M. It's not a spin-off, and it's a disgrace to everything previously established about the Metroid series.

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