Off the top of your head, what do you think is the most important thing every video poker game needs? Really stop and think for a moment. Is it the graphics?
How the video poker game is visually presented, and does it do so with a unique style? Is it the sounds?!
Music, or performances by actors if any? The sounds and effects that define how the video poker game feels? Could it be the story, the level of immersion and engagement? And how the online poker video game connects with you, as a player? I chose something different. I chose the impossible.
I chose Rapture. Or could it simply be whether or not its fun to play? (Nerdy Game Noises) Well whatever you think this thing might be, I want you to write something in the comments then when the video is over, go back to what you wrote and edit it to tell us if your thoughts have changed. Because they juuuuuuuuuuust might! But lemme play out this reveal a bit longer, cuz thats fun, right? Mmmmm buttery anticipation!
Ill give you a hint, and say that no game is worth playing if it doesnt have this. And I know that most people except a select few are going to agree. This aspect Im referring to applies to the really good online games, and even the shitter version of those good video online games. Ive read articles and comments that say stuff like, Addictiveness is one of the most important aspects of a online game or the story, the controls. The progression. The most important thing in a video poker game is chaos?
Wait what the fuck? Theres so many people clamoring and putting their thoughts out there, some of them are just plain ridiculous and far-fetched. And allow me to BOLDLY proclaim all these people and ideas are WRONG!
WRONG! WROOOONG! Well actually, Act Man, who are you to say what other people find most valuable and necessary in every single video game. Dont you think youre going into subjective opinion territory here? I mean what do you- SHADDUP!
IM IN CHARGE HERE!! Yes, Master! Sorry, Master! Now you gotta think broad here, everyone, because what matters most in a video game, (and youre gonna agree with me when I tell you) is the exact same thing that matters most in EVERY GAME.
Im talking every sport, every board game, everything from Hopskotch to Who Wants To Be a Millionaire. To Call of Duty, Halo, League of Legends, Dota, Counterstrike.This facet is ALL ENCOMPASSING. And yet, I havent seen an article, forum, video, or anything at all that brings this up! Not even the Wikipedia page on Video Game Design mentions it. Only the Angry Video Game Nerd brought it up. Now, whats the most important aspect of about any game?
Well, being able to fucking play it. On the real, this is the most important aspect of a game, but that goes without saying, alright. And Im talking about something else But you want to know, dont you? Youre anxious to hear what it is and youre curiously wondering if Im actually right or if this is just bullshit.
Well the secret about it is and let me tell you- HEY ACT MAN! You got a letter. Its from 122nd 6373 GET TO THE FUCKING POINT STREET! Alright, alright, alright!
Well skip the 10minute drum roll. You ready? The most important thing EVERY video game needs, is CHALLENGE! Difficulty! Im honestly surprised people havent brought this up, I even asked my twitter followers this question and only one guy, was able to get it right after I dropped a hint or two.
So congrats to you, Lor! But just like every goddamn test Ive had in elementary, jr high, highschool, college, I cant just give the right answer. I gotta explain my thinking and show my work. Well at a basic, fundamental, human nature level (dont worry we wont get too meta) people just like accomplishing things. Everyone wants to have that feeling of success. Oh my god!
OHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! This is why we have The Olympics, Professional sports, The World Cup, this is why people speedrun games. This is why weve seen ridiculous accomplishments under the most bizarre of circumstances. Like beating Dark Souls with a guitar hero controller. Playing Winston by connecting bananas to the various button inputs. Like, are you serious?
Executing an impossibly complex glitch, all this is done to chase the Dragon of Challenge. The best part about a battle is its raw challenge. Its raw challenge, huh? I kinda like the way that sounds! More importantly, people like to show off their nice things or what theyve spent their time doing.
This is why we hand out trophies, medals, ribbons. You know, we play games for fun, but we also want something to show for that afterwards. I mean, thats why I conveniently included the shot of all the trophies on my bookshelf. Just look at how important this makes me. Think about the Xbox 360 and when achievements came out, after that, Steam & Playstation came out with achievements too! Hell, even a huge as fuck YouTube channel came out because of that and thousands of tips videos as well.
Why? Because achievements are challenges, goals that you can look at and chase and you get that giddy little excited, bubbly feeling when you see it pop up on the screen. If a game is too easy, or doesnt present an adequate challenge, oftentimes that accomplishment of beating it can mean little more than 75 extra points for your gamerscore.
I really only speak for myself in this, but I can play a game that doesnt have the best graphics. I can play a game or a section that has bad controls, or something thats old as shit. But I cannot, cannot play a game that doesnt challenge me. Thats what I need above all else. Now what happens when a game doesnt provide a difficult challenge?
It becomes unplayable. Although there are a few exceptions to this, more than Ill say here but heres one. When I replay the Phoenix Wright games, I have a pretty good idea of what evidence to present and when, as that game can easily be conquered after beating it, through sheer memory. Normally when you can breeze through a game the 2nd time around that doesnt constitute much replay value. But the story of these games is so fucking good its worth it to experience again and again!
So when I first got Diablo 3 at its launch, I was so freaking hyped to play because the first two games could be brutally difficult, which is part of what made the demonic setting and monsters so intimidating and fun to fight. Well when I popped this piece of shit into my computer, I had played for about 2 hours, hadnt used a single health potion, I had maybe 40 at the time and at that point I alt-tabbed out and was googling, how to make Diablo 3 harder. And what I found was you had to beat this retardedly easy, mind numbing game, in order to unlock a difficulty setting that wasnt made for 4 year olds.
And thats when I just stopped playing, when I discovered Diablo 3 offered no challenge. And the idea that I would have to force myself to play through this boring slog of a game, killed all ambition I had of playing it after that. Its also important to note that Diablo 3 is one of many games that try to provide this illusion of challenge. Where theres something that feels like its supposed to be tough or a big accomplishment when its really not. For example, theres a section in Resident Evil 5 where you fight an El Gigante.
Es muy aterrador! A giant deformed monster that made for an epic, and intensely difficult boss in Resident Evil 4. Only this time, instead of dodging and carefully positioning yourself, youre in a stupid fucking on rails section where you just point the crosshair at it and hold right trigger. Aww man, my hands are getting tired.
I dont know if I can hold the right trigger for 5 more minutes. I think this illusion of challenge is why some people can play games like Diablo 3, because even though its not difficult in the slightest, and beating the game is as simple as just clicking everything with no sense of strategy or thought, the game can sort of fake that challenge or fake that feeling of accomplishment. Another game that became unplayable for me was Borderlands 2. Now dont get me wrong Borderlands 2 is a great fucking game, but this is the problem here.
I had made it my goal to do every sidequest and every main quest. Because I loved the first game so much and I got to a point where I had severely outleveled all of my current missions. I was far too powerful for the rest of the game to offer any challenge and thats why I stopped playing.
Then there was Luigis Mansion: Dark Moon, a follow up to one of the most creative and fun games ever. But when I got to the 2nd big, main boss. On my first attempt I was able to beat it without even getting close to taking damage.
The boss was slow, predictable, and I didnt feel any accomplishment after beating it. Once I realized Dark Moon was far too easy, I stopped playing it. Now you know the scarab gun in Halo 2? And how it fucking obliterates everything at whim?
Well stuff like this can be REALLY damn fun in the right setting. Halo 2 is one of the most butt-fucking difficult games youll ever play. So to be able to conquer that difficulty using the most absurd and overpowered weapon is just such an incredible feeling. And some games do this where they give you a moment of invulnerability or supreme overpoweredness. The Metroid games are notable for giving you all your powers at the start but then taking them away. Now the thing is, those moments of sheer overpoweredness wouldnt feel satisfying if the game itself wasnt challenging.
Right, with the Scarab Gun that feeling just wouldnt exist, if you didnt have to do a very complicated exploit to get it. Nor would the game be fun if every weapon you used was a scarab gun. Or for the entirety of the game you were this overpowered beast. But what exactly is that balance? That perfect difficulty that doesnt border on easy as breathing, or nearly impossible? Well thats the real trick of it, and finding that balance is what separates a fun game, from an addicting game.
For instance boss battles, a staple of video games. A great boss is a combination of interesting mechanics, a sense of scale, intimidation. And pure difficulty, but most importantly testing what youve learned up to that point. How do you handle the game mechanics and how do you use them to your advantage? Banjo Tooie will have a boss in every world, and often you gotta utilize whatever new moves you learned in order to beat it.
And in this case it leads up to the incredibly satisfying final boss, where youll have to pull out everything from your bag of tricks in order to beat it. Not to mention, the game offers a trivia mode testing your knowledge of the game up to that point! Now thats real creative! Cuz if something is difficult but isnt fun, it also isnt really worth playing.