by JewWario on May 8, 2012 · 9 comments
in: The Pipeline
J-Dub and RAZMA bring back the Pipeline for a discussion about ‘Smart’ Games. What are they talking about?
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Tags: jdub jewwario ycpt razma myst call of duty gran turismo pokemon
You hit the nail on the head by mentioning PC.
Basically if you want “smart” games you get a PC. RTSs, CRPGs, Roguelikes, Simulators, etc. All live on here.
For this reason I’ve never really been a console gamer. I’ve owned a few and like some of the retro console stuff but I’m a PC gamer at heart.
Forgot to mention some titles. Off the top of my head: The Tropico series (Not to mention other city sim games), the Jagged Alliance series, The Witcher (If you’re playing on hard and don’t plan far in advance you are 7 kinds of dead), Fallout 1 & 2, Frozen Synapse, Arma (May look like just another shooter but it’s complex simulation means a single bullet could kill you), IL-2 Sturmovik, DCS: A-10C Warthog (If you can operate the plane in this game, you can operate it in real life. Every switch, button and level is simulated down to even the tiniest detail), Baldur’s Gate, Planescape, Arcanum, Spacechem, Unreal World, Syndicate (The 1993 original, not the shitty shooter), Deus Ex, …
You know what I think that’s enough. There’s plenty more but I’ve listed enough already :P
Also I’ll add Adventure games as another PC centric “smart” genre.
Though I liked “999″, it’s hard for me to categorise it as “smart”: the decisions don’t necessarily take you to expected results, and the story, though deep, is kind of too straightforward. I must concede that it’s probably the smartest game I know in the “visual novel” genre, but putting it up there with “Myst” and “Shadow of the Colossus”? Too far a stretch.
As for my examples, I’ve always been a PC gamer, and I’ve always gravitated towards graphic adventure games, which are by definition your typical “smart game”. Most of the rest of the games, I find them either lacking in the gameplay department (older ones) or way too dumbed down for my taste (newer ones). There are some exceptions, though: Resident Evil 1 & 2, Evil Genius, System Shock, Fallout… All of them pretty old, I know. Nowadays, the only games that make me think are a few of the “open world” ones, if only because it’s not always clear where should I go at a certain point (Arkham Asylum, for instance), but other than that, I tend to settle for something that doesn’t bore me. My favourite games that don’t require thinking? God of War 1 & 2, hands down. Mindless satisfaction at its finest.
i not always a big fan of what indie game creators have to say since they can be rather pretentious and ego centric, but yeah i can partly agree with what he has to say. while i do enjoy a popcorn flick game like Vanquish and bayonetta from time to time. i do really like a game that has fully fleshed out and smart mechanics. a great story narrative driven (Castlevania Lords of Shadow or Asura’s Wrath), or just subtly driven (Journey) is also a bonus.
i wish there was more investment going into the story in genres like the shooter since most shooters these days have cornball and not very investment worthy stories that you could tell was there to fill the 60 dollar price tag. recently shooters have been getting better with story telling like Uncharted, ME, RDR, Binary Domain, and The Darkness franchise have pushed the bar to where the single player story SHOULD MATTER when making a shooter.
i want to add more, but id fill up an entire page so ill save it for another pipeline thing lol good video
Handheld games, though typically made to be played in bits and pieces, often can be categorized as ‘smart’. The World Ends With You requires multitasking during battle (unless you prefer to allow the computer to control your partner, which males 100% completion absolutely impossible), keeping track which pins you’re wearing for what location or trying to evolve with which method, and requires you to at least be around other DS players to make the most of the Mingle function. Similar examples include Contact (also requires simultaneous character management), Dragon Warrior/Quest Monsters games (similar to Pokemon, but the Gameboy Color versions require more micromanagement of monster moods, breeding, the monster farm,and move sets), and the Advance Wars series for the GBA and DS.
Sorry, have to disagree with 999. The puzzles are just brain dead stupid and there’s like maybe 9 or 10 of them. You’re required to “solve” the same puzzles over and over again as you replay it to get the real ending. By the 3rd or 4th play through, my brain already shut down and was just skipping through the monotony hoping to stumble into something new.
some of my favorite smart games are: Murder dective games like Hotel Dusk, and ace attorney. As well as some of the older games like zelda: link to the past.
I hear what you’re saying about games being smart but
dismissing COD out of hand is stupid. The single player may be pretty simple,
but you miss the entire point of FPS genre. It is the multiplayer that is the
meat. I also noticed none of the games you mentioned are multiplayer other than
GT, which most people I know play alone. Do you even play competitive games?
The level of intelligence it takes to understand your own individual level of
skill and adopting the tactics to use (e.g. run and gun, camper, trap setter, etc…)
and to use these tactics well is far from stupid. Stupid would be running at
everyone and shooting, which relies on reflexes, not smarts. When entering a
room what angle you face when entering the room is determined by the layout of the
room. Weapon and perk selection are map dependent. After enough time playing
you begin to see the flow of the map, if you are intelligent, start seeing
chokepoints or areas where the average person would never go. Not because the
areas are useless areas but because the average person moves from cover A to B
and therefore is situated to exit the room out door 1 not 2. It is in
generalizing the thinking process of others that makes multiplayer games in
general so complex. The same goes for fighting games, which I suppose some
would say are stupid because all you do is fight one person in a small area, but
when you understand karas, option selects and frame data then you have some
fighting game knowledge. Now most people don’t take it seriously but that does
not mean the game itself is simple. It seems smart has a very limited use to
some people. Either mature story or lack of hand holding tutorials seem to be
the go to definition. Yes I am sick of being explained basic control and
extremely similar goals in every game but some people are playing this type of
game for the first time and need an explanation; developers are trying to be inclusive.
I could be biased against dating sims, visual novels or classic JRPG’s ( go buy
Rain Slick Precipice 3 my favorite game at the moment, its on Steam) and say
they offer so little choice, interaction, and/or challenge they are not smart
enough. Different games are smart for different reasons I guess is my point.