Zero Punctuation: Sunset Overdrive - Trying Too Hard?

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Sunset Overdrive - Trying Too Hard?

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Sunset Overdrive.

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Much like with Hyrule Warriors, it seems like Yahtzee is just fulfilling Jim Sterling's predictions for what some people may experience playing the reviewed game, in this case Sunset Overdrive. That's getting a bit peculiar though Sterling wasn't being purposefully direct so there.

Still, I did get a Dead Rising vibe off the game which was predicted in the E3 2013 video, especially with the bears attached to bombs thing (if we all remember the Bear turrets from DR 2 and 3). I'm still looking forward to the game, though, because fun is fun.

Personally my problem is that the entire game is "wacky" and "hilarious", and because everything is "wacky", absolutely nothing is "wacky", and it becomes just as bland as the brown military shooters.

(Do note I only played like two hours and then got bored, I may be wrong)

Good to hear that you at least liked the gameplay, and I think I can look past the negative points of this game. I am hoping it gets a pc port like Ryse and DeadRising 3.

I think the "trying too hard" thing comes from the simple truth that the things that really are awesome are so good at it that they don't give the impression of trying. It doesn't mean they don't try, it just means you don't realize how much effort actually goes into it because they make it look natural. So, it's not so much that it's trying too hard, it's that it's trying so hard *and* failing.

Yeah, this is about what I've been hearing from others about the game.
Fun gameplay with some hiccups here and there, failing most of the time to be funny, and "Sorry, it's only for X-box One. ;p".

I do wish I could get it, but I guess I'll just have to hope the next one is muti-platform (and funnier), or just go play Saints Row 4 again. ;D

Good show, Yahtzee! I like the "couldn't make me laugh faces".

I really liked the video's opening, I don't know when the idea of trying to hard became an insult but I'd rather hang out with someone who was trying then an aloof cunt.

OT: Sunset Overdrive does seem like what you'd get if 90's gaming mascots found themselves in the modern day, spray the main character blue and he'd basically be Sonic.

Well, there goes my one incentive of even glancing at the XBone.

It seems games today are stuck between 2 extremes; It's either super grounded/serious, or totally wacky and over the top. The middle ground appears to be hard to find.

It seems a bit redundant for the video to have a Sunset Overdrive ad (both at the start and the end) but hey, what do I know?

What I'm getting from this review is, it's basically the game version of this:

(As an aside, there absolutely is such thing as trying too hard, especially when it comes to humour. A laboured joke is often worse than no joke at all.)

What do you think it means that the ad I had to watch before the vid was for Nissan cars and had some mid 30s guy telling me to go 'Fun myself'
I can't help but feel the universe was trying too hard.

And shame on Sunset Overdrive. It always looks a little too...eager to be here, but I was hoping for a Saints Row/Dead Rising hybrid. Shame

Evonisia:
Much like with Hyrule Warriors, it seems like Yahtzee is just fulfilling Jim Sterling's predictions for what some people may experience playing the reviewed game, in this case Sunset Overdrive. That's getting a bit peculiar though Sterling wasn't being purposefully direct so there.

Mind you, it seems that even Jim Sterling himself was experiencing what he predicted about Sunset Overdrive:

Jim F. Sterling, fils:
By never letting the player come down, the consistent fever pitch runs the risk of grinding a player down to the raw nerves, or at the very least desensitize the audience into not caring. At times I let swathes of the game's content wash over me, because there was no other way to process it than sit there and let Sunset's brand of humor beat you over the head.

I have no clue why people were excited for this. Nor do I understand why people were excited for stuff like Second son or Assassin's creed "Le France" edition. They've some how made sandbox superpower simulators mind numbingly boring and strangely identical despite a very different look to each.

Man. The wii u is a last gen console with a pointless ipad stapled to it, The xbone and Piss4 having no games, and the pc indie market increasingly being flooded with greenlit and kickstarted games that are mashups of minecraft, roguelikes, and anything else popular at the moment, all of which get to about 30% done and then stop updating. Gaming isn't in a good place right now.

Seriously if anyone ever says "trying to hard" without any irony around me, I'll probably go on a rant about "honestly people like you think scratching your ass takes too much effort you cunt."

I have been reviewing a lot of shitty fanfictions on a blog recently, and I never EVER say they try too hard. Opposite really. I mostly accuse them of not trying at all. I mean for fuck's sake THAT is a real criticism/insult.

Glad he at the very least said that the gameplay is fun, but I had a feeling the games "humor" might be the sticking point for Yahtzee.
Also, is it just me, or was the game trying for an "Irony" vibe, with some of it's lampshade hanging?

Captcha: Join the Millions. No, I won't and I don't want to.

I haven't played the game, but when I heard "4th wall breaking" it sounded like they were maybe trying to piggyback on the latest resurgent Deadpool hype.

So I guess my real question is, how do pouches figure into the gameplay in Sunset Overdrive?

RJ Dalton:
I think the "trying too hard" thing comes from the simple truth that the things that really are awesome are so good at it that they don't give the impression of trying. It doesn't mean they don't try, it just means you don't realize how much effort actually goes into it because they make it look natural. So, it's not so much that it's trying too hard, it's that it's trying so hard *and* failing.

Thing is even trying hard and failing can have merits. Lots of people have tried hard with complete sincerity and confidence. I interpreted Yahtzee's summary as "it's trying hard out of insecurity." It KNOWS it's not as good as it thinks it is, but tries to cover it up which only leads to people noticing its insecurities more.

Even accounting for everything said here I still can't think of a more compelling reason to buy a video game console.

So an evil corporation releases an extreme soft drink that turns people into mutants and that's our plot?

...Does anyone else remember Rampage: Total Destruction? Anyone? No...just me...okay then.

Roofstone:
Personally my problem is that the entire game is "wacky" and "hilarious", and because everything is "wacky", absolutely nothing is "wacky", and it becomes just as bland as the brown military shooters.

(Do note I only played like two hours and then got bored, I may be wrong)

It felt like the Wildstar trailers. Too self aware and wacky to the point where you face palmed. Let's compare Wildstar and Sunset Overdrive with . . . Farcry Blood dragon or the Team Fortress "Meet the . . ." videos. Both of them were funny as hell. Mainly because for all of the absurdity they played it straight.

Actually a good example of Sunset Overdrive is that Poochie episode from the Simpsons.

Wow that flagpole thing got me by surprise.

Interesting how Yahtzee mentioned sarcasm, some pop culture references, and fourth-wall-breaking as the starved "Third World" of comedy, when those are most of the vital organs of comedy news shows The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. And I still find them funny.

If you ask me, those three sources of comedy are the "Second World" or comedy, like Chinese manufacturers. They're easy to get a hold of, common, and work just fine for most people. Don't expect anything that sticks due to partially tragic context from them, though, like with "The Cake is a Lie" or "Ya Ya Ya, I am Lorde."

a

Blimey, between this and Sacred 3, it seems there is no quicker or Easier way of earning Yahtzee's Ire than making an unfunny "comedy" game.

If I want cheeky self-awareness, I'll just play the N64-era Rareware titles again, thanks.

I enjoyed it. That's, my two cents.

But what about the MEMEEEEEES

This is pretty much the impression I've gotten from their advertising campaign, including the ad they've been sticking before movie showings (thank yoooou, Regal.) "Yeah, let's have our supposedly edgy-snarky-youth mouthpiece say "awesomepocalypse" like it was something he came up with on the spot, rather than something that came out of a marketing meeting."

It's kind of a pity, because it sounds like there's the framework of a pretty fun game there if it wasn't trying so hard to sneer at, uh, itself.

Kyber:
But what about the MEMEEEEEES

Watch_Dogs also had internet memes. Throwing in memes isn't really helping anyone. Perhaps they should try having actual humor instead of going, lol, internetz the entire game.

silverleaf81:
It seems a bit redundant for the video to have a Sunset Overdrive ad (both at the start and the end) but hey, what do I know?

I didn't get an ad at the end, but that would have been hilarious. I love it when content that rips into a game gets sponsorship from it.

I fucking hate when games declare themselves to be funny when they're not. It has the same dialogue problem as Duke Nukem Forever, where the game just screams LOOK AT THIS AND LAUGH and there's not actually anything to laugh at, aside from how pathetically the developers failed.

I think "trying too hard" just means forced and insecure.

The kind of people who do something really over the top with an excruciating grin on their face that tells you they just want the moment to end but people haven't started laughing yet and there's a chance that if they stop now their might be an awkward silence and they'll lose their chance in the limelight and go back to being that guy in the corner that everyone has to double check the name of and could easily just disappear and no one would notice...

...I think I need to lie down.

Damn, this review really makes me want to play...
.
.
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Saint's Row 3 & 4...

Seriously, though, is this a surprise? Wasn't this pretty much evident from the trailers and such? Were people actually expecting this to not be an embarrassing disaster?

Perhaps it could be said that there is little fault in trying too hard. Perhaps the flaw lies in trying in the wrong way? Or perhaps trying too hard at not having to try very hard. Taking a shovelful of internet and throwing it down the mixer without some context powder usually won't work as well as it might sound on paper.

If anything, this game seemed to have not tried enough where it mattered the most.

For me, I think the writing is better than Saints Row 3/4 and I'm enjoying the gameplay a hell of a lot more. I'm really enjoying the hell out of the game.

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