Game Philosophy Special: Rebuttals

Hey guys, it’s been a while.
And because some people actually were waiting for a new update (no idea why) I decided to start my first:


A special is where I do something a bit different than the usual Game Philosophy.
For example it’ll be something quite a lot bigger in scope than all the previous Game Philosophies, or I will cover a part of Game Design which I’d normally wouldn’t talk about.

With that said, for the first special I would like to do some rebuttals. And by that I mean I will give counter arguments to my own previous Game Philosophies.

See the thing with Game Design is the fact that the right and wrong answers aren’t so black and white. Maybe the things I talk about might make ME happy, but not everyone has the same opinion. And seeing how I don’t consider my words to be gospel (unless it’s to my clone army, but that’s another story) I decided to show how my previous Game Philosophies of course aren’t the answers to everything either.

1st topic: Reboots

Alright, in my first ever Game Philosophies I talked about reboots.

Thank you, I didn’t need to be reminded of that…

Actually they confirmed it’s going to be an alternate dimension which at the very least makes me happy the Dante I know will still be going strong while mr. Crackhead Dante will just have his own series. Which in itself is still kinda worrying if an actual series happens though.

But anyway, yeah reboots. I criticized that reboots practically seem to happen all the time for no good reason. However the idea that they will apparently start two Devil May Cry series actually made me think about why the appeal of reboots is so alluring.

The thing is, people love to redo the origin of a great character.
As an example look at Spider-man.

The main appeal is how Spider-man behind the mask is really just another person. He’s not like Batman who’s a rich guy, no he’s an everyday guy who’s got this new power and learns how with great power comes great responsibility.

However, think about HOW Spider-man got his powers:
He’s got bitten by a radioactive spider.

Yeah… nowadays we know what would happen if someone is exposed to radioactivity…

So what did they do with the movie? They switched the radioactive spider to a genetically manipulated spider.
See it works better and hey, it gives them a chance to redo the greatest fights of Spider-man. The whole thing with Green Goblin, the Symbiote Suit, the Sinister Six, etc.

Plus you’d be able to see all of them with the current technology.
I mean lets be honest, Spider-man the Animated Series kinda suffered from the fact that NOBODY WAS ALLOWED TO PUNCH!

So yeah, I still think reboots should be a last resort, but sometimes a reboot for no reason is able to bring us great retellings for the sake of it, and sometimes they’d even be better than the original.

2nd Topic: Sequels

Alright, when I talked about the traps sequels fall into, the first one I talked about is how some sequels tend to be a bit too in love with the main character.

However that has more to do with the fact that I don’t like story writers who have a bit of favoritism for their characters. Most of the time when you  dive into the backstory of a Main Character though, you do in fact understand them more and support them throughout the story more strongly.

Whether that should be done or not is the question. See, some characters are interesting because we DON’T know everything about them. And that’s the key part with why I personally think Ryu Hayabusa from Ninja Gaiden shouldn’t have too much backstory.

Please don’t give him a mother complex, Team Ninja…

But the thing is, sometimes it’s not so much the creators favoring the main character, but instead them seeing an opportunity to actually write a new story which has a more personal feel. People just have to realize that the moment you get to “the reason he became what he is” that pretty much is the most personal you can get. And by then they should keep it as it is and try something else for the next one.

The next trap I talked about was taking away subtlety, but when you try too hard to keep the subtleties, people in general will ask questions that will never get answered.

Personally I’d see that as the point where you’d have to decide to answer a question with an answer that in itself has it’s own subtleties. However that won’t always work. Eventually a story WILL get an answer to most questions.

Ever wondered how the Blair Witch looked like? Ta-da! Yeah… it’s not exactly scary anymore when you show it…

So am I saying there should never be an answer to a question? Well no, see the thing about subtlety is how the answer IS there, it just requires a bit of logic to actually get the answer. But the point is that you WILL have to answer stuff either way. And thus sometimes the best course of action is to simply answer it.

The last trap of sequels is trying to TOP the original.

I am a firm believer that a good sequel is a sequel which gives you a reason to watch the prequel again and the prequel makes you want to watch the sequel again. And the problem with some sequels is how they try to top the original in every way possible. The problem is, if done wrong, the viewer would not like the sequel and the prequel would be ruined too because some stuff of the sequel, in fact, downplayed it.

But of course a sequel would need to have SOMETHING better than the prequel. I mean it’s made at a later time and creators have the better technology to work on it.

Sometimes it’s the POINT that the character has grown so much he is able to beat anything which would’ve squashed him in the prequel. Sure if you want something realistic then nobody would actually grow so strong that they would easily beat someone who used to scrape the floor with him just 1 year ago, but we don’t need to stick to realism either.

You want realism? THIS is an everyday life for a realistic person:

Sometimes seeing the difference is in fact enough reason for people to watch the prequel in the first place. The point is that the conflict just shouldn’t suffer simply because the main character is stronger.

3rd and last topic for today: Shooters

The thing I criticized here is how shooters barely have a variety.
Well the reason for that is simple. People try to outdo eachother to show how they’re better at what they do.

And normally that wouldn’t be a problem if PEOPLE DIDN’T DO IT WAY TOO FREQUENTLY!

The problem in general is how people these days play it safe rather than try to be their own thing.

However, maybe that’s what they’re good at to begin with.
Maybe doing realism is what they’re best at.

I mean people in reality aren’t complete pussies either.

The problem isn’t really the fact everything is realistic, but the fact there is no variety.

However that’s the thing with the general gamers these days. Sometimes when people get together and want to play a game, they just want to shoot eachother. That’s it. And guess what, they are the big moneymakers.

So am I supposed to forgive the lack of variety because that brings bread on the creator’s table?

Well, yes and no.
Yes in the fact that a company is there to make money. As much as people would love to get into Game Design because of their creative ideas, they have to realize, they need to do it to make money. And that’s life. So catering to the general gamers, is really the best choice a company would be able to make.
No, however, in the fact that it doesn’t excuse creators to deny any ridiculously over-the-top ideas in their heads. I’m sure the general gamers in fact don’t care so much about the realism as they care about the simplicity. And simplicity isn’t always realistic.

Sometimes people just want to shoot other people with unrealistic weapons. Just give that to them.

However, realism in itself isn’t the problem. It’s the lack of variety in realism. And with that I mean the amount of brown… lots of brown.

Anyway, I hope you all liked this first special.
Leave a comment below if you got any ideas for topic for Game Philosophies, or maybe ideas for Specials.

Published by Huy Minh Le

Huy Minh Le is a Video Game Enthusiast, Movie Lover, Writer, Content Marketeer and regular TvTropes reader! His studies in Game Design, Art, and Writing has led to a very creative, yet analytical mind.

3 thoughts on “Game Philosophy Special: Rebuttals

  1. Very good! Sorry it took so long for me to read it, but good stuff. One thing I’ll point out is that I think that while having subtle answers is good, if things get too subtle, that’s bad.

    Anyway, hmm…maybe voice acting? I know that got a huge debate at Zelda Informer (and BrainScratchComms) over how modern games should just give in and pay for voice acting. I’d be interested in your opinions.


    1. I may get to voice acting later, but at the moment I don’t think I have the right knowledge to talk about it yet.

      Unlike some people, I want to actually know what I’m talking about :P

      Still, it’s a topic I’ll might get into later.


  2. When are you going to do a new Game Philosophy? Any idea what it’ll be about? I really like reading them :)


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