41: Guilty Pleasures

Recorded 23 May 2010. Sinan Kubba and Jeffrey Matulef are joined by special guests Brad Gallaway of GameCritics and the Brainy Gamer, Michael Abbott, to talk about guilty pleasures in gaming.

5 Responses to “41: Guilty Pleasures”
  1. Chi Kong Lui says:

    While listening and enjoying the discussion, I felt the need to stick up for the Pokemon series and its perceived lack of innovation. On the surface, Pokemon is about collecting, training and battling squads of Pokemon. At its heart, Pokemon is strategically as sophistcated as a game of chess and requires the complex skills of managing a sports club like in FIFA or Madden. Does the game of chess need to innovate? Does the game of football need to change? Some games have a complexity and elegance to them that doesn’t require major innovation and I believe Pokemon deserves that distinction. To categorize Pokemon as a basic JRPG that is simply addictive because of its rewards is missing a large part of its appeal and art.

  2. Chi Kong Lui says:

    Also agree with Jeff on the re-playability of beat-em’ ups, which was echoed by Warren Spector’s speech at E3 Epic Mickey demo about “play style matters.” Beat-em’ ups is one of my favorite genres because it gives the player the option to express themselves. I can recall playing River City Ransom and Double Dragon over and over again, because I enjoyed being able to decide exactly how many elbows and kicks I wanted to use after grappling an opponent to take them out. I know it doesn’t sound like much today, but back then, it meant a lot and the concept still holds true.

  3. Absolutely. Technos Japan is one of my favorite development studios of all time for their beat-em-ups. Those particular elements and more all add to the greatness of the genre.

  4. Eileen Revela Inzauto says:

    I totally enjoyed the “Guilty Pleasures” conversation. There are a few comments that struck me as possibly being worthy of further exploration. Concerning MONSTER HUNTERS and the unruly controls, the comments “I just couldn’t face them” and that the controls are imprecise led me to thinking, “isn’t that how it sometimes is in real life?” I found the use of the word “hooks” and the expression “have their hooks in me”, also the reference to video games as being “addicting” rather than enticing. fulfilling or satisfying, disturbing. The use of the word “guilty” implies that by performing any particular action, one is somehow depleted or that one’s self or public image is somehow tainted or potentially disappointing. I think guilt suggests that you “know better”, but go ahead and indulge yourself anyway. which, done in excess, is potentially damaging. The practice of playing “brainless games” is fascinating, since I believe childhood is filled with playing them and may explain the allure of those games. Also, one is comfortable playing familiar games with predictable consequences and endings. And finally, once you are faced with having to “budget” your time, you simply may not be able to “afford” to “spend” real time playing games (and being “productive” (ugh) and, as in other areas in life, if you misappropriate your time you may end up suffering in a variety of ways. A great conversation. Keep it going. Thanks.

  5. Smoking Hamster says:

    Nice discussion. Concerning the Zelda series – I have gone off it too in recent years, but not due to reusing of ideas. I have been put off by motion controls/stylus use. I have enjoyed 3D Dot Heroes than Nintendo’s recent efforts as it feels like an old school Zelda.

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