Some time ago the wonderful Jim Sterling did a video titled "A game by any other name" as part of his "Jimquisition" video series.
The basic Idea in the video was "why get upset if a game shares the name of your favorite series/franchise but is totally different?" mainly regards to reboots and spin offs.
At first this seems counter intuitive and completely against the common "view" that's shared within the forums and comments of the Internet.
"WHHHHAAAAT???....you mean I shouldn't care when they go and fuck up my favorite series by turning it into a first person shooter???"
but then, when you think about it. From a logical standpoint it's actually not such an insane Idea, if its a spin off or reboot then its more or less supposed to be seen as a separate entity....if it just has the name the.....well whatís in a name? Things get a bit more grey when your talking about direct sequels, but even then its not always a bad thing
it could be a great game in of itself and if its not or just nor you thing then it doesnít affect the originals (like really glad they never made a Terminator 3 or did any more Alien films after the 2nd one)
but it is understandable, thereís something horribly rage inducing about having something you love changed or even butchered to have "mass apeal"
with their COD and their Facebook and their...."Skrillex"
but anyway, change doesn't always have to be a bad thing. Like Fallout 3
in my first blog post I pointed out the flaws in Fallout 3 but I do actually like the game. Before FO3 I was only really vaguely familiar with the original Fallout series, they were turn based RPG's known for their unique world and quirky sense of humor
Actually...I think this might be Fallout 2
when it came to FO3...oh boy...was there nerd rage and bile.."TURN my precious game into a FPS!!?? HOW DAAAAAARE THEY!!!"
now I will admit FO3 is by no means perfect
-it plays fast and loose with the lore
-it takes itself a little too seriously at times
-it has a terrible approach to moral choices
-it suffers from Bethesda blandness
BUT that said I loved it at the time..I absolutely loved the world of Fallout and for all its flaws FO3 introduced me to that
and then Fallout New Vegas happened
I got spurs..that jingle jangle jingle....*jingle jangle*
and I honestly think that game is kind of amazing in its scope and what it manages to achieve with what they had. And fans to say its "closer" to the original Fallout in spirit
but that said I imagine people still hate it purely because its a "FPS' and its not turn based...well good thing for those people is that Wasteland 2 is coming out
my point is FO3 introduced the world of fallout to a new audience, it brought it out of obscurity and Fallout NV probably would not exist were it not for the sucess of FO3. Unlike Fallout tactics, Fallout: Brotherhood of steel and an original third game that turned into vaporware....
The fact is alot of people enjoyed those games... I ask hardcore "fans"....is that such a bad thing?
Or take something like Dead Space
Unlike others I am actually cautiously optimistic about Dead Space 3....Dead Spaceís strength was never in being genuinely scary. This is probably the scariest moment in the entire game
RISE AND SHIIIIIIIINE!!!!!!
But it did have a fantastic atmosphere and franticly creative combat. It did have you panicking as you tried to get away from the necromorphs while down to your last 3 shots...
I admit Dead Space 2 was a little short and its tacked on multiplayer was....tacked on, but it was still an awesome experience and an improvement over dead space 1 (in certain ways). The focus on action was a good thing....and a game that takes place on a ship overrun with horrors has never looked so gorgeous.
Despite the whore mongering wankery of EA (HERPA DERP! we must sell 5 million copies! we also must be above 90 in Meta critic....where is our call of duty!? its not fiar!!!)
this is EA.....
In spite of that I think the team behind Dead Space is actually good, and should hopefully be able to deliver a great game.Taking the game and putting it on a planet doesnít have to ruin it and even co-op is not such an insane Idea,since in Dead Space 2 Isaac was not alone.Even focusing more on shooting isnít a death sentence in terms of being uniquely Dead Space (I am kind of pissed however that your co-op buddy isn't ellie..I mean come on!) Even if it is different (and even if the difference isnít for the right reasons) itís not game over yet.
Or the new Devil May cry game...I know nothing about Devil may cry except for the fact that people hate the new Date (for the reboot) with a passion
And I think wow......Dante looks like such a wanker......but old Dante even more so because of his stupid "Anime" look (yes thatís right. I think new Dante looks like less of a wanker)
HOWEVER....I get it... you don't have to be a fan to understand why people don't like the new Dante, its rather obvious
And finally Tomb raider.....granted I think the controversy is more due to the...."thing" in the trailer. Personally I think it was a big overreaction and I am actually really hopeful for the reboot, I think this is a direction that needs to be taken, actually trying to get us to empathies with a character rather than look at her tits.
Anyway, repeating what I said earlier...what if the new DMC game turned out to be really good?
Or what if they made a Mass Effect spin off FPS and it was a really really good game?
Is it right to say they are "crap" without any exaggeration? I mean its one thing to not like a game because itís not your thing but to think its bad only because itís different? Perhaps if we took a step back and accepted it we wouldnít need to have so much nerd rage
And this is where it all falls apart
Ok, step back for a second...itís the late 90's and the Nintendo 64 is all the rage..Whats one awesome groundbreaking game? Super Mario 64?...HA NO!!! Fuck Mario
ITíS BANJO KAZOOIE!
from a much more innocent and crazy time...
Banjo Kazooie is insanely awesome, from where Rare still had it (seriously Rare were awesome) itís much like Mario 64 with flatforming..Puzzles and collecting things. Banjo was a bear, a laid back type of guy. His best friend was kazooie, a tomboy bird (tom bird?) with a smart mouth and a fiery temperament; together they made an awesome team
wha?...hey Kazooie!, hold this while while I rub my face in the grass texture
Even for the crude graphics of 64 is had an awesome art style (or at least evidence of one) the worlds were colorful and creative, the humor was subtle and funny, the characters lovable and memorable, and the general concept ingenious
So then...fast forward, Rare gets bought my Microsoft....and this happens
I'm sighing so hard it hurts right now
ok..where do I start. well letís start with the obvious
now I hate to criticize art direction or style, thatís mainly subjective and all about the look they are going for even if it may not be to the personal taste of the viewer
but Kazooie looks like a drag queen!......maybe itís to make it more obvious that she's a girl, but that was part of her charm, she's a tom-bird! its ok that you can't tell...her original incarnation was cute...but this? this is freaking terrifying!
and Banjo? well he's not as bad but his eyes are still too small and his overall shape is blocky....why?
I mean itís just frustrating when they have the technology to make them look like they were originally intended
and they come up with that...I think the in-game sprites in the originals look better.
but thatís really nothing compared to the main problem...the absolute 50 ton straw that has not only broken the camels back but split it in too
whats Banjo Kazooie 3 about?...uhhh..wait no...its "Banjo Kazooie: Nuts'n Bolts"?....ok what does that mean?
VECHECLES FOR EVERYONE!!!
words cannot describe.....
quck question...whatís your favorite game of all time?...does it involve vehicles? what if your favorite game had vehicles in it?...was that your favorite part? does anyone enjoy vehicles?....well of course! lots of people enjoy vehicles!....and lots people are wakers too
..ok, seriously now. The main focus of Banjo Kazooie:NB is building and driving around in vehicles...as learning that wasnít bad enough itís the way they implement it that adds an extra layer of sting. Basically they smash through the fourth wall where a TV man tells you "gamers these days donít want to collect things!. they want to shoot things! ..therefore vehicles!!" itís downright depressing
no! fuck you TV man! you clearly have no Idea what I want!
Banjo Kazooie was never Lord of the rings in its approach to the grand adventure but this crap woth LOG (Lord of Games, the TV man) is really too much. it sucks all the life out of it
at this point I could make a joke about turning it into a first person shooter.....but oh wait. THEY ALREADY DID
in Banjo Tooie there are levels that involve First person shooting (bird shooting?) you could play against your friends in four player.....you could all play as all the characters....like a Jinjo because those guys are small and fast...or if you didn't feel like being fair send out one of those tiny clockwork suicide bomber birds to take out your opponent
it was awesome
so we have a situation where they could have rebooted the thing into a FPS and it would have made more sense...
again, the vehicle thing not only baffles me because I don't like it...but mainly because I just do not understand where they were going with it. If they were trying to go for mass appeal then "vehicle construction" doesnít seem like an insanely popular genre, even when the game was released
or were they going for the nostalgia sell? well the intro might say so trying to remind us about how cool the banjo kazooie games used to be...except that Idea goes right out the fucking window at the first mention of vehicles (seriously!? vehicles?) the fans are already pissed off
so who is this game for?......kids...thatís all I can think of...and kids are not exactly the biggest market for Videogames...especially not on the Xbox. I'm not saying they shouldn't market games to kids, in fact itís a shame there arenít as many kid friendly games out there. But you don't have to change the game to market it to kids.
I donít think I mind changing the game...in a perfect world they wouldn't, but lets say they did, the one thing I remember about banjo kazooie is not collecting things...its the world and the action
what if it was an action game like god of war? (game play wise) where the focus is on combat and combos I probably would be totally cool with that, or an adventure game like uncharted? yeah I know the fans would still be pissed...but running around with banjo and kazooie as our playable characters is the main thing. the most important thing...and they fucked it up
but then according to Wikipedia the game didn't sell all that badly. so I guess the jokes on me
and this problem is my point .On one hand I understand and accept that fans sometimes need to chill the fuck out and itís not the end of the world if their favorite series goes in a different direction. On the other hand
Kazooie wonder's where it all went so wrong.....
I can't exactly subscribe to the "chill out" Idea only when it suits me (like in the case of Fallout) but I also cannot and will not accept Nuts and bolts as anything other than a great big middle finger pointed at everything I liked about Banjo Kazooie
even though I do honestly think at least some of my points are valid beyond pure nostalgia, but the fact remains that I'm a big old hypocrite...this is a logical problem I can't work out
but then. I guess opinions are opinions, neither right nor wrong...and has non biased and accepting as you try to be you still have biases and preference
and now honestly I actually don't like criticizing fans (even if that's what I've been doing this whole post) and that's actually because of the Mass Effect 3 fiasco.....to feel so strongly about something only to be shot down with "whiney, bitchey, entitled" is frustrating
but whatís downright rage inducing is when some asshole says something along the lines of "you only didn't like the ending because your a triple double whiny entitled fan and it wasnít sunshine and rainbows!"
I didnít like the ending because it wasn't happy enough?.....no, please donít make up bullshit reasons, at least try and understand before you argue
that's why as easy as it is for me to say
"ok...seriously your upset over the new Dante? youíre upset because Dante looks slightly less of a white haired wanker than he did before? oh right! Devil May Cry was SUCH a master piece and Dante was such a serious character with all the depth on complexity of a novel. GOD FORBID they do anything to change that"
and I'll be honest. I can't help but think that. but you know what? I don't care about Devil May Cry. I donít know anything about Devil may cry...I'm really not in a position to say anything about Devil May Cry because "I don't get it" so I'm quite happy to not talk about it and I wont jump into any argument about DMC believing what I said is a valid statement. It's ok...you don't have to tell me why the new Dante sucks...I "do" and "don't" get it at the same time
if that makes sense...
there something else important I haven't mentioned until now, and itís something Jim Didn't mention in his video
there is a reason that old time fans do care, and its all because of the name, because that Reboot or radically different sequel means that you may not get the game you knew and love...in fact you may never get it again...but its there, in name only, and that may be worse than not having a sequel at all
because this "thing" you donít recognize is a constant reminder of what could have been, a constant reminder of something you love taken away from you and turned into something you hate
like you once had this brief but passionate relationship with a guy you honestly thought you were in love with, everything was perfect....but he had to go away. and when he returned he looked like this
and he likes Skrillex
the fact is if someone falls in love with this new Skrillex loving heroin addict person then that's not wrong or bad... that's love, itís a beautiful thing, he's not your guy anymore but you have to accept it
just like I have to accept the fact that some people provably played and enjoyed Banjo Kazooie nuts and bolts, maybe even got introduced the series that way.
and you never know... maybe one day a bunch of the right people will get together on Kickstarter or some future equivalent and make that niche game you've been missing for so long