I love this fuckin game!

After playing through Borderlands 2 and failing hopelessly to destroy Teramorphesizer or w/e the hell it’s name is, I’ve been considering selling the damn thing. It’s just not fun anymore. It’s probably the most skinnerian console game I’ve ever played, and I feel my initial praise was impulsive. Whatever joy I found before hand has been sucked away like a vampire to the nuts. I find myself literally grinding for better gear, and grinding fucks whatever entertainment value this game has. All the solutions I look for on the internet require me to buy shit I don’t have/ And life’s too short to be bled dry.

I had to take a look at my BS3 collection just to count on hand how many games from each genre I currently had and see what I could sell. I didn’t realize I had bought so many fighting games. Why the hell do I still have VF5 in my collection!? I thought I sold SC4.

I’ve only got one racing game, one FPS/RPG hybrid, couple of broad action games (can’t call Ratchet or Sonic platformers).

MK9
SC4
VF5
KOF13
SFxT (for research)
Injustice ( or… at least until I find that damn ultimate version)
MVC2
DOA5U
Bloody Roar 2
Playstation All-Stars

Goddamn… I had to explain to someone just why I have so many fighting games on deck when all you do is “fight”. It’s not really difficult to figure out why. Whoopin nigga’s asses is always enjoyable. If I asked someone why people enjoy constantly busting a cap in someone’s ass in COD or whatever, the explanations would be endless.

Fighting games (to me, at least) have infinite replay value. There’s something alluring about having so many characters to choose from and having different methods of whoopin ass.

And easy peep shows!

Figuring out how all these different characters work and coming up with new ways to bust someone’s ass is always a delight. For those that aren’t into fighting games, this would be pretty difficult to understand. On the outside, they would see “just fighting all day”. Generally speaking, though, this is all I really need to enjoy the game. The fighting is fun, it’s fast paced, and is visually pleasing. That’s all there is to replay value.

I think Borderlands 2 helped me realize just how fucked up modern gaming is. When all is said and done, you’re gonna be more burnt out than satisfied, and a lot of my BS3 collection is filled with games I am completely burnt out from. Aside from my fighting games and Ratchet titles, there isn’t a single game I’d bother returning to. BL2 is going right into that list. That said, half my collection has no replay value to speak of. Rayman legends with it’s fetch quest nonsense, Sonic Racing Transformed with that godawful World Tour mode, Bayonetta with it’s idiotic blood tears/record labels for useless weapons, Dynasty Warrior Gundam with it’s esoteric objectives of unlocking new but samey missions… see, that’s the real problem with all these games. Where replay value is shoved into what is essentially a shopping list of mindless tasks for you to complete. Not something you actually enjoy. Why? Just to unlock the extra features. This is confused as some sort of “replay value” when all it does is fuel one’s OCD for 100% completion.  Because once you do complete it 100%, what more do you want out of the game? You’ve done “everything”. Was the game at least fun for you?

If you were to read some of the moronic reviews these days, you’d see “Replay Value” as some sort of category that lists all the different modes and “hidden secrets” the game might have for you to go through. That’s not replay value. That’s “reasons to replay the game”. Replay value is the value that YOU yourself find in replaying the game, not some loony extras the game might have for you to enjoy. Replay Value is something that comes after you’ve possibly burned through content. The replay value you find in a game comes exclusively from it’s fun factor. “Extras” don’t equate to fun factor. Looking through gallery items of concept art or interviews are not “fun”. Notoriously placed waypoints to reach just to complete a pointless quest is not fun. What replay value is there to be had?

If one were to explain the Replay Value of online shooters such as Call of Duty, it might be something along the lines of it’s competitive atmosphere. The screaming bastards waiting for you to destroy them, blasting everything to bits, that kind of shit. Not some extra features, whatever those games contain.

It’s hard to believe for young people (and nerds), but games prior to the 64-bit days had infinite replay value due to the nature of the games. They were well-designed, first and foremost, but they were designed from an Arcade centric standpoint. Arcade centric games aren’t a bunch of randomly jumbled “tasks and missions” for you to complete, you just have one goal and that is to get through the damn game. The only obstacles you have to worry about are the waves of evil bastards standing between you and glory. After all that, you get Super Mario 64 with the introduction of crappy “missions” to complete. The tides of game design shift to giving players several million objectives to complete, and have the nerve to call that “replay value”. It is probably the most ass-backwards thing about modern gaming.

Take for instance the simple aspect of “exploration” in video games. I’ve said in the past that exploration in games were fun in that they were scavenging for supplies by your own accord. You basically reward yourself by taking the initiative and breaking away from the main game to fetch some supplies for yourself, or 1ups, or just discovering a new, possibly safer passages. Super Mario Bros. was the most basic form in that you could discover warp pipes to get around a good chunk of the game without really putting in any work. Nowadays, you gotta find the “hidden secrets” in NSMB games just to discover a new level, why? In order to get 3 more coins and go one step closer to 100% completion. Finding the Star Coins in NSMB games are the most unfun parts. Likewise in the lums of Rayman games.

I’ve noticed more often that people enjoy games more when they don’t feel they need to really “do anything” besides play the game. You didn’t need to find all the Chaos Emeralds in Sonic games just to enjoy them, you didn’t need to collect all the Rush Parts in Mega Man 2 just to enjoy the game (only to compensate for being a pussy, but I digress), you didn’t need to complete any of the sidequests in Zelda games (still don’t, actually). The main game used to be all the fun wrapped in a nice package. Anything else you did was merely a bonus. But nowadays, you HAVE to go out of your way to enjoy the game by completing mindless missions as the main game no longer has meat or merit on it’s bones.

Fighting games are (most of the time) devoid of that bullshit. Just skip onto the ass-kicking, and we’re all fine with that. The only work you need is improving yo skillz. If you don’t wanna get ate up, you betta practice. I personally find it incredibly obnoxious, hypocritical and above all stupid that people can never “find time” to get good at a fighting game, but they’ll sit their fat asses in front of some goddamn RPG and go into a time sink to complete all the little jobs laid out for their asses just so they can spin the rat wheels to find better loot. Or goddamn AAA interactive movies that span 20 hours long and have no real gameplay beyond watching some douch bag angst about his dead daughter.

With game design rooted in several million “short-term goals” for the player to complete, REAL replay value is long gone. We’re treated to mini-exercises that are work to the players. Then people start wondering why there is a declining interest in video games. Why video game sales keep decreasing for years on end. It’s games like BL2 that make the player spin their fuckin wheels.

And this hurts me because BL2 was a pretty interesting and fun game when you start off. But once you get through story mode, it’s either spend more cash on DLC or suffer through lame story modes and missions over and over again. There is no value in that because once you’ve gone through the game once, there’s no other incentive. Like I said before, you’ve seen the contents of the game. You ain’t got nothin more than shitty weapons and gear, or pay out the ass for more levels and do it all over again. You’re gonna continue the same process you did in the main game.

Fighting games always seem to evolve the more you get into them, though. The more ins and outs you learn of the game, the more fun it gets. A fighting game like MK9 could give you loads and loads of “stuff” to do, but if the main game is not fun, it amounts to nothing. Take Super Smash Bros. Melee vs Brawl. Melee has a couple of adventure and arcade modes with their own little missions, but they ALL become irrelevant once you get accustomed to the main game. Brawl is very bloated in comparison. It has everything Melee has, just given a face lift along with a stage builder, playable demos, a boss rush and an actual story mode written by some Final Fantasy director or w/e. But Brawl is less fun than Melee due to inferior mechanics and physics. There’s less replay value in Brawl than there is in Melee. Likewise, Bloody Roar Primal Fury has more replay value (to me, I guess) than Soul Calibur 2 due to having a fighting system that does not benefit some random jackass mashing buttons. But SC2 has more “stuff” to do.

When your enjoyment of a game is dependent on secondary features and quests, there is no replay value, and it is unfortunate that video game developers and publishers have turned a blind eye to making the primary game the epitome of fun factor. You can’t really fuck this up with fighting games (often at least in the case of Soul Calibur 5) because developers at least understand that the actual fighting needs to be fun before thinking about any secondary BS. Tis why no one pays DOA any mind. This is another reason that I love Metal Gear Rising so much. Sure it has those little VR missions, but the main game is so mother fucking good, I don’t pay them any mind.

Suck it Raiden haters.

When I hear that for Sonic Boom, you have to “find all the additional secrets” just to get “more” out of the game, I know damn well there won’t be any replay value based off of that. They need to ask why people keep running back to Sonic CD even with a mildly updated port that changes nothing but physics and processing power. It ain’t to find the time stones or the Robo generators in the past, that’s for sure.

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