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Forums - Microsoft Discussion - MS to do the "Halo, Gears, Forza" formula again?

Veknoid_Outcast said:
Angelus said:

Well let's put scores aside then, and just say that the games generally receive more positively written reviews than negative ones. I mean we can say Meta isn't always the best way to judge games, and I'd agree with that even, but if the general consensus of reviewers isn't what we want to use to determine whether or not a game is objectively leaning towards low or high quality, what do we want to use? We just pick and choose, who's right, and who's wrong?

I think we just have to keep objectivity entirely out of the equation. 

Metacritic is a fine way to measure the critical consensus, but it's a poor way to judge objective greatness. Each individual score carries with it the weight of an individual's gaming predilections.

If we're talking about greatness, sure. That tends to be far more subjective. I'm simply talking about quality. It's pretty easy to say whether or not something is quality. At least I tend to think so. There are lots of things I don't like for various reasons, but I can still say with confidence that many of them are quality products.

Last edited by Angelus - on 31 May 2018

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Angelus said:
Veknoid_Outcast said:

I think we just have to keep objectivity entirely out of the equation. 

Metacritic is a fine way to measure the critical consensus, but it's a poor way to judge objective greatness. Each individual score carries with it the weight of an individual's gaming predilections.

If we're talking about greatness, sure. That tends to be far more objective. I'm simply talking about quality. It's pretty easy to say whether or not something is quality. At least I tend to think so. There are lots of things I don't like for various reasons, but I can still say with confidence that many of them are quality products.

I sort of see "greatness" and "quality" the same way.

Now, I agree that you can measure certain things scientifically. Digital Foundry makes a living based on that. 

But apart from frame rate and textures and lighting effects, can can you made a convincing case for objective video game quality? Some people like easy games; some prefer difficult ones. Online multiplayer is essential for many reviewers; for others its an afterthought. Complex menus and button inputs are off-putting for some, and immersive for others. Gameplay, by its definition, is a very personal, subjective thing -- it's how we as players interact with the rules of the game.



Veknoid_Outcast said:
Angelus said:

If we're talking about greatness, sure. That tends to be far more objective. I'm simply talking about quality. It's pretty easy to say whether or not something is quality. At least I tend to think so. There are lots of things I don't like for various reasons, but I can still say with confidence that many of them are quality products.

I sort of see "greatness" and "quality" the same way.

Now, I agree that you can measure certain things scientifically. Digital Foundry makes a living based on that. 

But apart from frame rate and textures and lighting effects, can can you made a convincing case for objective video game quality? Some people like easy games; some prefer difficult ones. Online multiplayer is essential for many reviewers; for others its an afterthought. Complex menus and button inputs are off-putting for some, and immersive for others. Gameplay, by its definition, is a very personal, subjective thing -- it's how we as players interact with the rules of the game.

First off, that was a typo in my post there, meant subjective, but I think you got it.

And ya, I do absolutely think one can make a convincing case for the objective quality of a video, regardless of tastes. For starters, how are the production values? Visual design, sound design, etc. How do those match up to similar games, in the same genre? Does the game perform well on a technical level? Then, in terms of the gameplay, you're absolutely right that we all have (very) different ideas of what constitutes fun gameplay, but....does the game execute the intended gameplay well? Again, how does it stack up to similar gameplay in it's competitors? There are lots of very easy, objective ways to determine quality.



Angelus said:
Veknoid_Outcast said:

I sort of see "greatness" and "quality" the same way.

Now, I agree that you can measure certain things scientifically. Digital Foundry makes a living based on that. 

But apart from frame rate and textures and lighting effects, can can you made a convincing case for objective video game quality? Some people like easy games; some prefer difficult ones. Online multiplayer is essential for many reviewers; for others its an afterthought. Complex menus and button inputs are off-putting for some, and immersive for others. Gameplay, by its definition, is a very personal, subjective thing -- it's how we as players interact with the rules of the game.

First off, that was a typo in my post there, meant subjective, but I think you got it.

And ya, I do absolutely think one can make a convincing case for the objective quality of a video, regardless of tastes. For starters, how are the production values? Visual design, sound design, etc. How do those match up to similar games, in the same genre? Does the game perform well on a technical level? Then, in terms of the gameplay, you're absolutely right that we all have (very) different ideas of what constitutes fun gameplay, but....does the game execute the intended gameplay well? Again, how does it stack up to similar gameplay in it's competitors? There are lots of very easy, objective ways to determine quality.

What if you find the soundtrack grating, and I find it mesmerizing? What if the realistic art style works wonders for you, and leaves me cold? What if I don't mind settling for 30 FPS and for you it's 60 FPS or bust? Which one of us is right? There's a big difference between the objective "this soundtrack was composed by Mr. X and played with A,B, and C instruments" and "this soundtrack is pure poetry and elevates the game from a rental to a must-buy." Surely you see the difference between a cold, objective presentation of facts and a deeply personal, emotional analysis?

You suggest measuring quality gameplay by stacking it up to similar gameplay in competing games? Well, to get there you'd have to assume some objective, quantifiable baseline, when, again, it's just your personal preferences, this time spread across multiple games.



Veknoid_Outcast said:
Angelus said:

First off, that was a typo in my post there, meant subjective, but I think you got it.

And ya, I do absolutely think one can make a convincing case for the objective quality of a video, regardless of tastes. For starters, how are the production values? Visual design, sound design, etc. How do those match up to similar games, in the same genre? Does the game perform well on a technical level? Then, in terms of the gameplay, you're absolutely right that we all have (very) different ideas of what constitutes fun gameplay, but....does the game execute the intended gameplay well? Again, how does it stack up to similar gameplay in it's competitors? There are lots of very easy, objective ways to determine quality.

What if you find the soundtrack grating, and I find it mesmerizing? What if the realistic art style works wonders for you, and leaves me cold? What if I don't mind settling for 30 FPS and for you it's 60 FPS or bust? Which one of us is right? There's a big difference between the objective "this soundtrack was composed by Mr. X and played with A,B, and C instruments" and "this soundtrack is pure poetry and elevates the game from a rental to a must-buy." Surely you see the difference between a cold, objective presentation of facts and a deeply personal, emotional analysis?

You suggest measuring quality gameplay by stacking it up to similar gameplay in competing games? Well, to get there you'd have to assume some objective, quantifiable baseline, when, again, it's just your personal preferences, this time spread across multiple games.

I get where you're coming from, but some basic assumptions simply have to be made, otherwise we could never rate ANY piece of entertainment. Everyone writing previews, reviews, etc, for them would be wasting their time, because nothing they said would have any objective merit to help anyone get any wiser as to whether that piece of entertainment is more worthy of their time than others, beyond telling them whether it falls into a genre or style they like. I'd like to think that despite people's many differences, there's certain baselines we can acknowledge as being executed well or poorly, regardless of how strongly they resonate with us on a personal level. Maybe that's just me though.

Edit: I'll do your FPS example real quick, because what you're referencing again here is preference. Some people might be have issues with 30FPS, and others may not, sure….but does the game give you whatever FPS it's settled on at a consistent clip? Is the performance steady, or does it go all over the place? These are things I can use to judge the quality, even if my personal ideal is something other than what's presented.

Last edited by Angelus - on 31 May 2018

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zkp said:
LudicrousSpeed said:

Nothing wrong with more quality games being made.

Quality?

Yes? Say what you want about the games, I don’t care much for Gears or Halo anymore but they’re still well made and well received games.



Angelus said:
Veknoid_Outcast said:

What if you find the soundtrack grating, and I find it mesmerizing? What if the realistic art style works wonders for you, and leaves me cold? What if I don't mind settling for 30 FPS and for you it's 60 FPS or bust? Which one of us is right? There's a big difference between the objective "this soundtrack was composed by Mr. X and played with A,B, and C instruments" and "this soundtrack is pure poetry and elevates the game from a rental to a must-buy." Surely you see the difference between a cold, objective presentation of facts and a deeply personal, emotional analysis?

You suggest measuring quality gameplay by stacking it up to similar gameplay in competing games? Well, to get there you'd have to assume some objective, quantifiable baseline, when, again, it's just your personal preferences, this time spread across multiple games.

I get where you're coming from, but some basic assumptions simply have to be made, otherwise we could never rate ANY piece of entertainment. Everyone writing previews, reviews, etc, for them would be wasting their time, because nothing they said would have any objective merit to help anyone get any wiser as to whether that piece of entertainment is more worthy of their time than others, beyond telling them whether it falls into a genre or style they like. I'd like to think that despite people's many differences, there's certain baselines we can acknowledge as being executed well or poorly, regardless of how strongly they resonate with us on a personal level. Maybe that's just me though.

If you're saying there are commonly-understood standards in the games industry -- a shared language, so to speak -- then, yes, I agree. 

That's not objectivity though; it's consensus.



Those are their bread and butter, like Super Mario, Zelda, Mario Kart, and Smash are for Nintendo. But MS needs to have more on their plate. Nintendo and Sony's first-party offerings are a full meal, while MS is relatively lacking in appetizers, side dishes, and desserts.

I'm hungry now...



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In accordance to the VGC forum rules, §8.5, I hereby exercise my right to demand to be left alone regarding the subject of the effects of the pandemic on video game sales (i.e., "COVID bump").

Veknoid_Outcast said:
Angelus said:

I get where you're coming from, but some basic assumptions simply have to be made, otherwise we could never rate ANY piece of entertainment. Everyone writing previews, reviews, etc, for them would be wasting their time, because nothing they said would have any objective merit to help anyone get any wiser as to whether that piece of entertainment is more worthy of their time than others, beyond telling them whether it falls into a genre or style they like. I'd like to think that despite people's many differences, there's certain baselines we can acknowledge as being executed well or poorly, regardless of how strongly they resonate with us on a personal level. Maybe that's just me though.

If you're saying there are commonly-understood standards in the games industry -- a shared language, so to speak -- then, yes, I agree. 

That's not objectivity though; it's consensus.

So, if you really believe what you're arguing to me here, you couldn't personally recognize anything as being a quality product, if you don't enjoy it on a personal level? Or you could, but despite your personal opinion being unfavorable in terms of whether or not it's right for you, you still wouldn't say your recommendation of it for others is based on any objective qualities you boiled down in your review?

I mean that's fair enough if that's your take, I suppose. I just view it differently. We wouldn't be able to understand what does or doesn't resonate with people if there weren't specific identifiers of various qualities to make us recognize that. Anyway, I'll leave it that here, because this discussion doesn't really have much to do with topic of the thread, but I'd be happy to continue it in PM form if you'd like.



Looking forward to Horizon 4. The next Gears should be good still haven't played 4 and not really interested in Halo. Also looking forward for more info about the second Microsoft game Playground Games is working on besides the Horizon games hopefully there is some more news about that soon.