I really want to be committed to Persona 5. I want to throw all my spare time into its 100+ hour story and lose myself in its characters and world. For the past month or so I’ve been trying, playing it on an off and whilst I am totally ready for things to get serious, it doesn’t feel like Persona 5 is as keen on the idea.
Hey guys! We did another one of these! A podcast! That you can listen to! With your ears! This time we are talking open world games, what makes them work, how they can fail, and why Final Fantasy XV is bad. Full show notes below the jump.
In our first guest feature, Jessy talks about why Gone Home and other story heavy games like it prove that there are experiences only games can create.
“Game feel” is a term I learnt not long ago but have become attached to when talking about my favourite games. It’s generally used as a term to mean the physical feeling you get when playing a video game. As Brendon Keogh explains in his reader on game feel: “the reason we really play a videogame is because it feels real good within our soft meaty body. Video games are a carnal pleasure”. This physical manifestation of the intangible world of a video game is important to our experience of the stories within them. The medium gives us an extra layer of bodily experience inside of the base textual aspects of any narrative. This marriage of a bodily experience and traditional storytelling is what makes video games a very effective avenue for rich and layered stories to be told in interesting and new ways.
Over the past month Nier: Automata has blown me away. A game that on it’s face is one where you hack robots to pieces in various fashion appeals to me, but I didn’t expect to be dragged into one of most interesting and memorable games I’d ever played. A true masterclass in story telling and emotional manipulation, by the time I had killed my way to the “true” ending, it had solidified its position as one of my favourite games of all time.
All games need a tutorial in some form, right? Teach the player the ropes, maybe throw in some simple early plot points; generally help the player settle in and ensure they don’t feel totally alienated right from the go. Unless you’re a Souls game I guess, in which case reverse all of the above.
I have spent the last year and a half slowly picking away at The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and now that I have finally sat down and finished it off I thought I’d take my time to collate my thoughts on why this game has been constantly on my mind for the last year and a half, even during the long periods between actually picking it up, and why it should be held up as the benchmark for open world games going forward.
It’s been a rough year, but one thing has stuck with me throughout: video games. So this is me metaphorically raising a glass to some of my highlights of the year, for being there for me when I needed them.