Because we don’t argue enough around here, I just thought I’d throw this one out there. I genuinely get the sense that some people kind of want games (and all media?) to be bad or to find the bad in them rather than approaching them from a position of enjoying them and looking for what’s good.
After some 40 years of videogames, I still come into pretty much every single title with a sense of wonder at what I’m about to play. Maybe I’m an outlier that way? Sure, it’s become rare that something has me flipping my lid with amazement like games did so often in the '80s and '90s when tech advances combined with great game design could seriously knock you out cold, but I’m still very excited to jump into something new.
A poll seems relevant…
Glass half full
Glass half empty
The SB option which means you’re voting for half empty.
Honestly, games at launch are so expensive these days that I always approach with optimism because, dang it, I want my money to have been worth it.
That said, I’m a much more discerning buyer because of that fact, so normally if I do decide to spend money on it, it’s likely I’ve researched it or have a history with the series, so I’m more likely to enjoy it anyway.
I go into media I choose to consume very positively, generally speaking. But I have an extremely heavy-handed filter over what media I consume, because there’s so much of it I know I’d immediately dislike (see, for instance, difficult videogames like Dark Souls, sad and dark movies like Joker, or books that aren’t about elves or laser guns, like Moby Dick).
But if it’s a property I choose and look forward to engaging with, it turns out I’m a pretty good predictor of my own preferences, and usually have exactly the blast I was hoping to, unless life itself somehow gets in the way.
I’m always hoping this game/movie/book/tv show is going to amazing. When it’s a genre of game I don’t like, I’m usually hoping that this will be the Braid or the Rayman Origins that will convert me into a lover of the genre.
Though to be fair, I usually try to suss that out by reading forum posts first. Especially from people that love the game. Dave Long has seduced me into making several purchases into genres I don’t like, in the hopes that THIS time I’ll become converted.
It depends on the game but, broadly, I don’t buy it and find time to play it if I’m not hopeful about it. The rare exception is a thing I bought, then heard credibly bad things about before I got around to playing it “just to see.”
If we are talking about games that we’re already excited for, or have heard really good things about so checked out and looked at reviews and/or watched someone playing them on a stream or a dev video or YouTube or what not, then half-full as I would have a good sense if I’d like it or not. I’m rarely surprised by a game being good or bad, since I do my due dilligence.
But when I’m surprised one way or the other, and it still happens, I am generally pleasantly surprised by how cool something is, or how much more I’m enjoying it, than the other way around.
I want to be positive and I think initially I usually am, but my problem is that it doesn’t take much to disappoint me. So those first couple hours are usually - this is cool! Then I start getting annoyed at some implementation detail, and then I find another thing, and my opinion sours. It is difficult to focus on what the game does right at that point, so I don’t keep my high opinion for long in many cases.
That is why it is so awesome when I play a game like Control and think it is great the entire time through. There is usually a handful of games per year like this, such as Slay the Spire, or The Witcher 3 - but not many games reach this elite group for me.
I can’t imagine anyone going into a game they choose to play wanting to dislike it.
I honestly don’t get this. I remember paying $60 at launch for the next Wing Commander. Strike Commander might even have been $70. Most titles were $50-$60 at release. These days most brand new titles can be found for under $40, especially with launch day sales.
I’m all about just kicking back and enjoying the ride. I’m NOT highly critical of my entertainment in general…which some people might find to be a flaw, but it works in my favor; I’m easy to entertain. I work hard, and I work a lot, and I have four kids, and when I sit down to watch a show or a movie or play a game (these things happen rarely enough) I just sit back and enjoy it.
A lot of people around here watch A LOT of movies and play A LOT of games. Many of them are professional reviewers of said content, even. In developing critical skills, it seems to…take some of the sparkle out of it for them. They become so accustomed digging in and analyzing, breaking it down into components, that they seem to lose some of the enjoyment. Or so it seems to me. But maybe I’m just too easy to please. :-)
And of course I don’t mean that as an attack or criticism of anybody here. Just something I’ve kind of observed and have been thinking about some lately, and it kinda seemed relevant to the question here.