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Servbot#36

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Everything posted by Servbot#36

  1. I'm not familiar with the remix itself but, in case it helps you search, I also definitely heard the first level theme from MM8 in there. And you were right on Frost Man's theme too.
  2. I wouldn't judge the series too harshly based on that particular one. The first few Gameboy games were pretty janky, that one especially. If you ever find yourself with a heart full of forgiveness and a day full of free time, I recommend you give the series another chance with one of the Legacy Collections. Anyway, I pretty strongly believe that there's no such thing as objective quality in art, and by extension, that people who try to say that a game is provably good or bad are full of it, so my opinion on those kinds of arguments is already that they're pointless from the outset. But even looking at it from the perspective of someone who thinks otherwise, I do think "You only like that because of nostalgia" is a pretty garbage argument. On top of being impossible to prove, it's unbelievably arrogant to tell someone that you understand their opinion better than they do. Ditto for the "not a real gamer" thing. It's just a slightly altered flavor of No True Scotsman for people who like to pretend that opinions somehow morph into facts if you're good enough at video games.
  3. I only recently noticed that in the second Sigma stage of Megaman X, each subsequent window shows the sky as a slightly different color, going from really early morning to dawn. Then when you go outside to fight Storm Eagle near the end of the stage, it's daytime. I thought that was really cool. Also the X-ray visor in Metroid Prime showing that Samus switches beams by changing the orientation of her fingers. It's extra cool because it makes those hand shaped symbols that represented them up until that point suddenly make sense.
  4. I think it's your priorities that really determine whether you'll fall out of gaming or not (for this reason anyway). The ones who just play them as a fun way to kill time or unwind are pretty unaffected by that I'd think. Nothing was ever meant to come of it in the first place. I can see how the ones who do things for the accomplishment of it would lose a lot of motivation as more practical ventures start showing up though. Anyway, I'm the type who just plays for fun rather than achievement, but I've felt my interest dwindling too as I got older. Not because I think it's a bad use of my time, I just don't feel like it as much. Every so often I'll still find a game or series that I really get into and sink all my free time into it, but it doesn't happen as much as it used to. It's a little worrying since nothing's really replaced it, I kind of just don't feel like doing anything a lot of the time. Might be symptomatic of something unrelated to gaming itself though.
  5. I've been playing Birthright and Conquest simultaneously and I gotta say I'm having a blast. I feel like this is the best the gameplay has ever been. Conquest is pulling no punches but I like how the difficulty really makes you develop strategies for each individual map instead of just making a few units overpowered enough to sweep everything. I'm only at chapter 18 right now and I've been barely scraping by just about every chapter so far. Birthright is a lot more relaxing, but I still feel challenged enough to be engaged. I'd say it's still pretty good if you just ignore the grinding tower. The game is still balanced around no grind runs so it's totally an option. Also maybe ignore Seth too, he's pretty OP for a Jeigan. Storywise, of course, there's nothing you'd need to play first since they're mostly unrelated. All the games between Sacred Stones and Awakening are still in the classic style without grinding or a world map though, and I'd say FE9 and 10 at least are worth trying if you can get your hands on them. But yeah, you seem like you'd prefer Conquest.
  6. True enough, I don't at all agree that having rules makes any difference. The only reason I've been arguing for their existence is that I think they're an element that, among all art forms I know at least, are unique to video games. You can't really discuss video games as art (or how "art games" fit into that) without discussing the rules as a creative aspect. I'm not saying Bardic's overall point was wrong, the worst I could say is that he used a less than perfect analogy. The rules in musical piece aren't an element of the piece itself, but the rules of video games are. A little pedantic maybe, but clarity is helpful in these discussions. That said I agree with everything else about arbitrarily breaking things down. There's not much to be gained from that when it ignores the interactions between the different facets, which are just as important to the package as the facets themselves.
  7. You know I had actually written them like that initially. But either way the distinction doesn't seem very important. Getting a point for a goal in any sport would be considered part of the rules I'd say, but it could be similarly worded as "make goals to win". The reason I changed it is because I felt like those are more pure forms of the rules. The actual Megaman cartridge isn't necessarily telling you not to touch the spikes, it just gives you some consequences and then leaves you to figure out that touching the spikes isn't productive. Well that's more of what BardicKnowledge was arguing (see his peanut butter example). You may want to take that up with him. Still, self evident or not, they're constraints on how you can or cannot interact with the game. Whether they were created or are just a logical consequence of the matter in question doesn't much change that you have to follow them. The distinction I was arguing was more about how they either contribute to the creation of the work or whether they're collectively a creative aspect of it. Anyway on the original topic I actually very much agree with Bardic. I think games have been art outside of the "art games", but even the walking simulators have unique things to offer. I've artistically appreciated some more simple, gameplay focused games (Fire Emblem, Mario RPG's, even Megaman), some more artistic games (Undertale), and even a walking simulator or two (Stanley Parable). Having more directions for the medium to explore is fine as far as I'm concerned. Not liking anything of a genre now doesn't mean someone won't one day create one I will, especially in those that are only just beginning to develop.
  8. I still think that's a little different. The rules you're talking about breaking here in the case of the Waltz aren't an element of the piece itself; they guided the production (the notes will all follow those rules) but they still only apply to the piece and the writer, not the audience. The audience only hears their output, even if following different rules ended up yielding a different piece. On the other hand with games, you're literally paying for rules that will apply to you. And those rules you can't break. You can make a mod, but once you do that you're not an audience anymore; you're a creator too. And if you play someone else's mod, you're just playing something else with different but similarly unbreakable rules. Granted, breaking either kind of rule will give you a different result, but changing just about anything about a piece of art will do that. I'm not saying there aren't rules to everything else (although they're all certainly up for interpretation), I'm just saying that the rules of a video game aren't the same. This example could potentially equivocate video games and the sheet music for Chopin's Waltz since they're essentially a set of rules to be followed, but that's not quite the same as comparing the music itself. Probably shouldn't speak for Outlaw, but I imagine his view would be that the sheet music isn't art either, just a set of directions for how to create it.
  9. Not that I at all share his position that they somehow nullify a game's status as art, but I think there's a difference between those rules and the ones Outlaw was talking about. The rules in a game (touching the spikes kills you, cherries give you 600 points, jumping on the flagpole takes you to the next level) aren't the same as the understood rules of playing a game (hold the controller, look at the screen, don't fall asleep). The latter generally applies to all games in the same way keeping your peanut butter away from the piano applies to most all performances, but the former is a creative element of the game (arguably the central one). The pianist didn't create the rules, s/he just followed them. So I wouldn't say they're an aspect of the performance itself. But Nintendo did decide that pits cause instant death and that's part of their final product. EDIT: Well damn. I was literally hovering over the submit button when the notification ding went off.
  10. I'm glad that that's actually the case here, I guess I've dealt with a few too many people who think otherwise that I've become a little pessimistic about these things. But alright then, good to know.
  11. Oh. The bolded "primitive" and "good" are a bit confusing to that end, but I get it. My point was that Pacman does have artistic value, not that you should personally should start appreciating it. But I'm as blind to it as you are, so in that case I guess I have nothing to argue.
  12. I personally don't find it very insightful either, but I don't know that "primitive" in the sense you're using it is even a bad thing. Maybe I'm wasting both our time by arguing this since I'm pretty far into the school of thought that art is entirely subjective and words like good or bad don't apply beyond one's personal experience, but even to someone who disagrees with that could still agree that there's more to art than complexity. Not that I'm thrilled about comparing them, but I believe you mentioned Undertale before, and I think it's at its core pretty simple. I found it incredibly poignant, but I wouldn't say there were any deep insights or themes. Granted, one of them was explicitly trying to evoke feeling and one couldn't have cared less, but that doesn't much matter to the individual appreciating it. The point is you don't need complexity to be moving, and at the end of the day complexity and insightfulness are relative terms anyway. I'm sure the hypothetical person who gets deeply moved by Pacman is pretty rare and more than likely doesn't exist, but whatever Pacman evokes in him/her is no less real no matter how primitive the game may be or how unintentional it was. And in that sense I would argue that it, and anything similarly primitive for that matter, are still art. Maybe not to the vast majority of us, but no art appeals to everyone. I have little to say to that first sentence on account of my aforementioned beliefs on the subjectivity of art, but I will admit that I agree with the rest. If I were trying to convince someone that games are art I wouldn't use Pacman either. But my reasoning is that, to the vast majority people, Pacman probably evokes nothing at all. I can't in good conscience say that makes it objectively worse as art (even if subjectively I couldn't care less about it), I would definitely say it lacks any sort of universal appeal on that level.
  13. ...Well Neblix kind of beat me to it here but this really doesn't prove anything. For one thing, making the claim that games are art does not mean that I am an artist. And the fact that I can't doesn't mean that it isn't an art. I mean I'm pretty sure I couldn't move you with a song I wrote or a picture I drew either, but that doesn't mean those aren't art. Worse, I'm sure you realize just how subjective that is? Personally, I know it may earn me the label of plebeian, but to be perfectly honest I've never felt anything artistic about architecture. I may have felt a building looked interesting, but I've never felt a thing from it. That doesn't mean I say it's not an art. But this particular discussion seems well enough wrapped up anyway. Just pointing out though, "If, without those things, it remains something that resembles a work that emotionally moves people in the same way that paintings, music and movies do, then you're right - rules really are art." sounds an awful lot like that "gives me the feels" remark earlier. But anyway, To be honest I actually think I would argue that even Pacman has artistic value. Partially because I believe that eliciting enjoyment isn't very different from eliciting any other emotion, but also just because of how subjective it all is. I can't claim that I've ever felt anything from it, but I think it's jumping the gun a bit to conclude that no one could, simple as it is. I mean I could see someone interpreting the constantly looping stage culminating in a nearly impossible to reach, literally impossible to beat final level as an allegory for the futility of life or something. But with or without that, I think art should be considered art based on its capacity to evoke those things, not necessarily in how in many people it actually does.
  14. Okay then, I'll phrase it as a statement instead of trying to get anything better out of you with questions: your definition is garbage. I've been trying to get you to expand on it since, right now, it's only saying that anything that has any quality current art doesn't have can't be art. And that assumes that everything that is or can be called art has been fully explored. It has no explanatory power either. Clearly there must be room for variety in art. Otherwise, what was to stop someone thousands of years ago from saying "music's not art, everything we have that's called art is visual. If it has sound it can't be art". You need to articulate WHY rules are a dealbreaker, and the only way you've justified that is by pointing to what we already have. If current art forms already included everything found in video games, this wouldn't be a discussion in the first place. The point of this discussion is whether we should expand upon what falls under the category because it has the essential characteristics of art. Saying they aren't art because they aren't already art isn't very convincing to that end.
  15. You listed two things they don't have. That's also not what the question asked. So is not having this one specific trait is the quintessential element of art? It's not as abstract but the point of a definition is to make it less so. Yours is clear cut and objective, I'll give it that, but a definition that can't explain why what it already considers to be arts are such is entirely useless for a discussion like this. If art is defined as art by virtue of not having the things that art doesn't have, of course nothing new can be added to the label. What I'm asking for is a definition based on WHAT ART HAS. Not what it doesn't. Anyone can tell you what currently accepted arts don't have, and yes, you have repeated that a good many times. The problem is that no one has been asking you to. We also don't need you to explain that you can win or lose in a game again, we got that too thanks. What would be nice is if you could actually address the features games are missing. As of right now, you've said (repeatedly) that games have rules and rules aren't in the art we acknowledge now. We get that and you can stop saying it. But you also keep making such claims as "Games lack important features shared universally among the other art forms". What I'm saying is that the former doesn't support the latter. You're saying what art doesn't have that games do. You haven't said a thing about what art does have and games don't. I'm aware I'm repeating myself here but that's because you keep ignoring everything I'm actually asking in favor of a bunch of things I'm not.
  16. Pretty sure he meant list the traits, not the art forms. I think you missed the point of the platypus example. You're using a negative trait to define them, in this case "has no rules", the same way one would otherwise use the trait "doesn't lay eggs" to define a mammal. Before they got classified as mammals, one could have used your exact same argument of "but none of the things we consider mammals have this trait" to deny it. The reason they're considered mammals now is because people looked at the traits they actually have. If it turns out that laying eggs doesn't preclude something from being a mammal, you would be better served arguing why rules do preclude something from being an art instead of just saying that nothing else has it. I think you started off trying to argue that but kind of left it behind at some point.
  17. ...I guess it would be pointless if we're just getting into a semantic argument about what the word means, but this still strikes me as a weird definition. About a hundred years ago, "EVERYTHING else we called art for thousands of years" didn't include filming, editing, or cinematography, but film has since become an art hasn't it? I'm not much of an expert on the history, but wasn't theatre (and by extension acting and all that) not considered an art before Shakespeare started turning heads for the same reasons too? It seems like you're saying "Because it has X, it can't be an art. Art hasn't had X in the past", and that kind of implies everything that can be art is already explored. I agree that we'd need a common definition to get anywhere, but it seems like yours is basically just "It doesn't have qualities that the things we already consider art don't have", and that's not a very productive one. I just can't get behind it. How did those become art in the first place then? I'm trying to talk about a concept, not a closed set. The reason I consider art just "something that evokes emotion, thought, or some other personal experience" is because that's what everything already considered art has in common. A definition like yours can't really be applied to anything new since the main criteria is that it's already an art. I think what you keep misunderstanding in these posts is that the impact isn't the same as what it would have been had those non-game components independently. The same way you won't get the same experience as the movie if you just listen to the soundtrack, then look at all the stills, then listen to all the dialogue. Yes they can be independent, but with art the whole is usually greater than the sum of its parts. And since the final product is different with the mechanics, they're clearly adding something. And, not that this adds anything to either of our arguments, but I'm not sure it would sound all that reasonable to anyone. In or out of context, the statement "If it has those things, it's not art" seems awfully arbitrary.
  18. Alright now I really liked Freedom Planet, but: 1) It's entirely subjective which is better, 2) Not everyone is in it for action alone, 3) I personally found Undertale more fun and waaay better story-wise. I can't tell how serious you're being here but you're not doing Freedom Planet any favors here.
  19. Well now I'm curious, what exactly do you consider art? And if it really is a "package deal" how does that not favor the argument? Those other assets on their own don't have the same effect, it's all contributing. Otherwise, how do you consider film an art? Isn't it the same kind of package deal? A bunch of separate art forms coming together to make a different whole? How are games not art when adding the mechanics gives you a different product? You're going to need to explain how the word "play" somehow changes that. And again, you still haven't acknowledged the bit about how mechanics aren't solely for fairness or challenge. It's pretty much the crux of your argument that the mechanics themselves have nothing to do with creativity so you might want to start with that. Neblix is right. The chili is the art, the act of eating it is the means of appreciating it. Much like how Beethoven's music is art, the act of listening to it isn't. You just used a bad example. This really doesn't help your case you know. Trivializing the argument doesn't make you any more right. Personally I think almost anything can be art considering how subjective it is, and at the end of the day art only matters to the person experiencing it anyway. High class has nothing to do with it; the kind of people who can only respect it if it is are exactly the kind of pretentious dicks whose opinions I don't care about. I'm only still here because I absolutely still haven't been convinced by your logic and because I'm curious what other people think.
  20. If anything I would argue that example works against your point. Again, ignoring what I said earlier about rules and mechanics existing for more than just fairness and challenge (which you never responded to by the way), this is a clear case of them adding something unique to the whole. The mechanics could serve the challenge purpose without the story, but the assumption you're still making here is that that's all they're doing. In this case, the perma-death is combining with the characters and story to create a sense of responsibility for the characters you've already come to like and care about. It's your fault if they die and that creates some feelings of guilt and regret if they actually do. That's something that, without the "game" aspect, couldn't happen. If it's evoking emotions and creating a unique personal experience in a way that couldn't be done the same way in another medium without the mechanics, how is it not an art form? And I'll reiterate that earlier point, the mechanics strive to be fair and challenging, but those are just a means to an end. They're trying to evoke something, usually enjoyment but sometimes other emotions/impressions. Fairness and challenge don't evoke anything on their own, they're there because it's hard to have fun when something's too easy or unfair. You can easily have a fair, challenging game that's no fun at all, but it's very difficult to make an enjoyable game without fairness or challenge. And in the case of "art games" where something other than simple enjoyment is the primary goal, fairness and challenge aren't always necessary anymore. But if the interactivity contributes anything at all, they're still games.
  21. Perhaps that was a bad example. I'll leave the debate over whether balance is really objective for another day. My main point was that the end output of all these rules is fun. They're trying to be fair, yes, but the fairness is only there because unfairness tends to detract from enjoyment. Fairness isn't fun on its own; I could think of a million games that are undeniably "fair" or "challenging", but that in itself doesn't mean anyone would want to play them. Unless you want to say that creating fun is a science or that the mechanics really have nothing to do with how fun it is, the rules have to be more than logic alone. Even working under the assumption that there actually is a true balance and Capcom is just repeatedly trying (and failing) to achieve it, the rules had to come from somewhere. You can't take nothing, add logic, and get a game. Even if we ignore the creativity found in the concept of a guy shooting fire out of his hands, the fact that Ryu can throw a projectile in the first place took some creativity just to come up with, no matter how simple it sounds now. And if all the mechanics aspire to is fairness, why even have more than one character? You can't get more fair than a mirror match. Every character's moveset is an attempt to make a new playstyle that's in some way unique and interesting. And that takes creativity. Otherwise there would be no point to adding them since it just complicates balancing to near impossible levels. Also, yeah it kind of is arbitrary. Where you draw the lines is ultimately up to you. You can say the "game" part of the game is nothing more than the zeroes and ones and everything else is extra fluff on top of it, but in the same way someone could say the Mona Lisa is just a lot of lines on some canvas. If you break anything down as far as it goes it won't ever seem very impressive. You have to look at it a little more holistically for it to look like art. Even if the mechanics were just trivially creative, wouldn't you say they add quite a bit to the feeling like a karate master while playing the game? Perhaps Street Fighter isn't the best example of that but you understand the point.
  22. I dunno, I'm not sure we can consider the actual "game" part of a game to be born entirely out of logic. If it were really a science like that, wouldn't there be objectively optimal mechanics then? There would be no need for different kinds of games if logic was all you needed. We'd just be working toward the one perfect game. But to use your own example, if Street Fighter's mechanics are just a matter of logic, why are none of them truly balanced? If it was just a matter of fair or unfair, there shouldn't be much trouble. But fair and unfair and fun and unfun aren't objective, so there can't be a purely logical way of creating them. Besides, there's more to a game than just its mechanics; the concept of any game, like a fighter or an adventure game, had to involve at least some creativity to come up with. The way I see it, the rules are in place to make the people playing the game have fun. And fun isn't quantifiable or objective, it's just something that's felt. So there must be more that goes into it than just logic. If something that's made to evoke emotions or thought is art, why can't something that's made to evoke fun be? Anyway I don't think either are valueless. At the end of the day, what you get out of a game is the experience of playing it. How much it values fun and gameplay (which I consider equal as far as artiness is concerned) versus things like symbolism and emotion doesn't make it more or less of a piece of art, just different. But honestly I think there's not much point in trying to assert games as art or not. If the point of art is to be experienced, and your experience is limited to you and you alone, other people's aren't really important. Personally I think it's cool when the emotional aspects are really connected with the game aspects; I really liked that in Undertale. It's now among my favorite games of all time. But if other people prefer the gameplay to be minimal, just a medium to see all the other artistic stuff, no one can tell them they're wrong.
  23. Yeah I'd say probably a coincidence. I mean unless I'm missing something, there are only seven possible layouts for a 31 day month, right? Looking through the next year, we're going to have 31 day months that start on every other day before we hit December 2016. Also this upcoming October would match that calendar too. The calendar had to start somewhere.
  24. I don't really think about what I consider that much honestly. Pretty much if it's got some sort of system in which you get stronger by fighting and/or have some customization over how your character develops, I'd consider it an RPG. But there's definitely no objective criteria or anything, so all the arguments over whether or not Zelda is one will never get anywhere. It's pretty much another "Are esports actual sports" thing. It's interesting to see how everyones' definitions are different though.
  25. I don't particularly like it, but it doesn't bother me too much. The stores are acting on their own, right? If management wants to not sell it, that's ultimately their decision. Besides, it doesn't seem as much of a "You shouldn't be playing this" as it is a "We don't want to be associated with this". And I can see why they wouldn't want to be. To me it's essentially the same as a bookstore not carrying hardcore erotica. It already happens but it doesn't make me worried that censorship is taking over books. But if the journalists are saying that it's good because we shouldn't be exposing our society to such things, that's a little worrying. But since it's just gaming press, I probably won't lose any sleep over it.
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