Indie AAA (The Jimquisition)

http://www.patreon.com/jimquisition
http://sharkrobot.com/collections/Jimquisition-merch

You want a positive Jimquisition? You want praise? You don’t want to hear about microtransactions for a week?

Just so happens we had something prepped. The Jim giveth as much The Jim taketh, good friends.

Let’s look at Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and delight in the success that could prove a game changer.

Bonus Content: Fuck Konami News

Chris Topher
Member

I dont want hellblade but ill buy it because of this as we all need to save gaming from aaa.

I should say that zero dawn was bloody good though…

Chris Topher
Member
Amazing jim. It’s a shame that people will claim you didb this because you felt bad after nearly sinking the holy grail of gaming with youre 1/10 but i think you realised what you did and this video is another clear demonstration that you’ve made up for that and more…and many might argue you made the right choice at the time as it caused them to fix it. I hate the way gaming has become. It’s sick and sad. Destiny 2 is a perfect example of a great game which is suffering under the weight of aaa. Titanfall 2 improved… Read more »
Xion Eternum
Member
Xion Eternum

Would’ve been better if the plaque was either #FucKonami or just FucKonami, but it stands on its own I suppose.

Scott C Stewart
Member

how to lose you loyal fan base by 2k

eljueta
Member

Good one Jim, see? How does that feel?

SadOldGuy
Member

Unfortunately all of the crap of AAA publishers make me worry about the NieR IP, which Square Enix now considers a “franchise” after NieR: Automata selling over two million copies. I am glad the mad genius Yoko Taro has gotten recognition but worry that Square Enix is going to fill the next game with microtransactions.

Alexey
Member

These japanese games never had an ounce of soul to begin with, adding micro-transactions wouldn’t make it that much worse. Commercialism and exploitation constitute the core of the japanese media.

Sleepy Will
Member
Sleepy Will

Don’t be absurd

Anton
Member
Anton

Alexey enjoys stupid statements and downvotes.

Chris Topher
Member

Lol you do understand that it’s only because of Japanese companies that we have a gaming industry and you do understand that it is the West and America who have introduced all the shit thats killing gaming which jim hates.

MuddyScarecrow
Member
Another way Hellblade could be good for the industry is that (and I could be wrong here) I don’t think it’s meant to start a franchise. From everything I’ve heard about it it seems to be very self contained and only has one story to tell. Which is something the industry sorely needs to learn: that not every goddamn game needs to be a huge franchise cow to be milked dry. Watch_Dogs did this so horribly that I didn’t even feel like I was playing a game. I felt like I was playing a trailer where the game was promising… Read more »
Nitrium
Member

Hellblade is definitely a one off. I found the quality of the game very good over-all, but it is slightly horrific and I personally wouldn’t describe the experience it offers as “enjoyable”. I actually made excuses for myself to NOT play it, because the numerous traumas that Senua is forced to endure is hard to watch (let alone play through).

machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

I thought Watch Dogs was really damn good, I absolutely felt like I was playing a game, I think it did the sequel set-up right, it didn’t have a blatant cliff-hanger unlike some games I could name(*cough* Alien Isolation *cough*) but it teased enough to make me want more.

MuddyScarecrow
Member

We’ve talked about this before, machine. And in fact I was expecting you to give this exact reply. Your experience isn’t mine and vice versa. I’m glad you liked it. Thrilled in fact that somebody saw something I couldn’t. But I just don’t share that thrill. You’re right though. The ending to Isolation was bullshit.

machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

Yes and with Sega considering it’s sales disappointing, who knows if we will ever get a sequel to it? In general I don’t like cliffhanger endings in games/movies/TV shows.

Chris
Member

The ending to Watch_Dogs was literally him giving a speech about how he was basically a super hero now and was going to watch over Chicago after having a conversation with Dead_Sec about how they were going to be keeping an eye on him. It was a blatant sequel hook, the fact that they didn’t follow through with it doesn’t change the fact that they very, very clearly wanted to set up a franchise. The whole story was an origin story for a character they were trying to make ‘iconic.’

Anton
Member
Anton

There was a character? I just saw the iconic talking hat. Sounded kinda like a generic pissed-off white dude.

drownedsummer
Member
drownedsummer

Which character? The only one I paid attention to was the one voiced by Aaron Douglas.

Chris
Member

Honestly Watch_Dogs 1 would have been a thousand times better if they had just committed to the ‘iconic hat’ thing and just made a floating cap the protagonist.

Nitrium
Member

Wait Alien Isolation had a cliffhanger? I thought the ending was pretty clear myself, albeit nihilistic (i.e. the classic “everybody dies”).

machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

Amanda Ripley gets found at the end while unconscious and floating in space, so yeah definite sequel hook there.

Chris Topher
Member

This.

Dj_Ziio
Member
Dj_Ziio
Larian Studios is another great example of a developer that has been able to make a great experience without AAA budget. Kickstarter was how they got a large portion of the money for their productions, and the players were a big part of suggesting how to make D:OS 2 better than its predecessor. Currently sitting with a 94 on metacritic, I’m pretty sure its the highest rated game of the year as of this posting. Adding voices to the game was an afterthought and a gift from the producers that wasn’t planned and wasn’t budgeted but, seriously, adds a great… Read more »
Kirk Hammer
Member
Kirk Hammer

I can’t believe that it’s taken me this long to realise that the NBA and Wrestling games have 2K in the title because they’re published *by* 2K. Bloody hell.

Anton
Member
Anton

Wait… does that mean they also caused Y2K?

*desperately scrambles for tinfoil hat*

MuddyScarecrow
Member

I mean the 2K logo is literally in the games’ titles. XD

machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

I think Homefront Revolution is a good game and not “awful shit” at all.

Jiryn
Member
Jiryn

We all have our own tastes and preferences.

Chris
Member

Good for you.

machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

Yes good for me indeed.

drownedsummer
Member
drownedsummer

You don’t need to mention this every time it gets brought up. You’re also in a minority opinion there as there are very clearly valid reasons other people believe it is accursed.

Anton
Member
Anton

There’s also nothing wrong with liking a shit game, just have the self-awareness to realize that things can still be shit despite you liking them.

Nitrium
Member

Exactly. Just call it a “guilty pleasure” ;-).

machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

I never liked that term, because it implies you should feel bad for liking something, well I don’t feel bad at all for liking things like the Transformers films.

drownedsummer
Member
drownedsummer

But it is is perfectly acceptable to enjoy something which at the same time you are very aware that it is not a quality product. I watched the American Death Note adaptation over the weekend. It wasn’t good but I still enjoyed a lot of it.

machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

I’ve seen a number of critics give it good reviews though.

drownedsummer
Member
drownedsummer

Sure and how do they fit into the overall scheme of things in terms of the wider viewpoint of how that game is viewed?

machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

Just because you don’t agree with me on something does not automatically mean that it is “shit” though.

Chris
Member

It isn’t shit because he doesn’t agree with you. It’s shit because it’s buggy and broken and was either poorly made, rushed out the door by a greedy publisher or quite likely both.

machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

Lots of games that get positive reviews were broken on launch though, Alien Isolation is the glitchiest game i’ve ever played and it’s generally considered a good game.

So yeah I think Homefront Revolution is a good game that was well made that suffered from a very troubled development history(the game got bounced from publisher to publisher, it’s a miracle it even came out at all).

drownedsummer
Member
drownedsummer

Homefront Revolution is not though as it is considered to be an exceptionally poor game where the majority viewpoint is that it is an exceptionally poor game. There might be occasional positive review for it but those are a drop in the ocean against the wider viewpoint of that game.

But as I mentioned above you don’t need to state this every time something you like is criticized Michael.

Justin McDaniel
Admin

Hey, machine_dirty? Please do not keep posting the same comment repeatedly if it’s grabbed by moderation for some reason. Just wait until I approve it, and then it will appear. Sometimes moderation will just grab things for no reason, but it’ll get fixed soon enough.

machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

Sorry my bad, usually it seems as though certain words trigger moderation, so there were a few times where I experimented by changing a word or two in my posts and that fixed it.

drownedsummer
Member
drownedsummer

True but you’re also making that point regarding a game where the general consensus is that the game is terrible. It isn’t say Fallout 4 or Skyrim for example, which have their critics but are generally seen as good games.

Jiryn
Member
Jiryn

I’m actually glad to see the full sized experiences being released at lower price points.

Along with HellBlade, Sonic Forces is releasing at a price point of $39.99 WITH free DLC contant right out the gate (Shadow), and Hidden Agenda (the follow up to Until Dawn) is set at a modest and awesome $19.99.

It just goes to show that you don’t need a $60 price point, or AAA Publishers to release an awesome, quality game.

Anton
Member
Anton

….but…..but…. how do these sub-$60 games developers afford to make all those multiplayer skins we so sorely need?!?!?! It’s impossible, I tell you!

Jiryn
Member
Jiryn

I actually chuckled at your reply.
Yep, and why do they need Microtransactions when they have all these licensed deals and mechandising rights which should be more than enough to fund more games.. but nope
As Jim said it’s ALL THE MONEY or it’s not financially viable or successful.

Anton
Member
Anton

Nonsense! The publisher is your friend! The microtransactions are there to save you time…. because actually playing the game would be bad. Instead, let’s spend money to not play the game that we spent $60+ to play. Makes perfect sense.

Nitrium
Member

I’ve also been hearing a lot of good things about ECHO, which I think is a $25 game(?). Anyone here tried it?

Jiryn
Member
Jiryn

I’m curious about Observer.

Nitrium
Member

I bought Observer on a whim (almost did the same with Echo too), but Divinity: Original Sin II is eating up ALL of my free time.

MuddyScarecrow
Member
While I personally have no interest in playing Hellblade I absolutely hope it ushers in a new era where good games can be good games without having their content cut up and drug to the digital corners of the digital Earth where we need to seek them out like we’re fucking Indiana Jones or Lara goddamn Croft. As much as I love Samus Returns my blood is still boiling at a gentle simmer that an entire difficulty mode has been gated off behind a piece of plastic I have to pay a double digit price for. And I still have… Read more »
machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

I personally dug FUSE, though I am curious what it’s original version would’ve been like.

We still do get the occasional mid-tier game like Ghost Warrior 3, Re-Core, the Surge, and Technomancer.

drownedsummer
Member
drownedsummer

Can Spiders really be described as a mid-tier developer?

machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

I would say so, their games aren’t really AAA since they don’t have nearly as much mainstream presence that say COD, Destiny and Battlefield all have(you aren’t likely to see commercials or ads for them outside of Gamestop TV). Same with City Interactive, their games tend to fly under the radar as they have a small buy loyal enough fanbase to keep them going.

drownedsummer
Member
drownedsummer

Having played several I would personally describe Spiders as an indie developer and not really a mid-tier developer.

Nitrium
Member

He didn’t say mid-tier “developer” but mid-tier “game”. I think that’s accurate.

Amy
Member

Anyone who has played a God Eater game or a Devil May Cry will know that AAA isn’t even a good score. Its all about the S, SS or the SSS! So AAA industry, your level score sucks, might want to practice a bit…

ArtSolopov
Member

*Sensible chuckle*

Arella Jardin
Member
Arella Jardin
A few minor nitpicks. But first, I want to clarify, I want more mid-tier games, and I agree that publishers’ “all or nothing” approach harms developers. — It’s weird to hear people crow about the obsoletion of retailers and laud digital only distribution, when just 4 years ago, the gaming community had a collective aneurism when MS tried to push always online and kill used games. I hated what MS did, too, and I’m glad they reversed everything, but let’s be honest. Digital distribution requires internet connection, which cuts out people without internet, or a bad connection. And you can’t… Read more »
Aotrs Commander
Member
Aotrs Commander
Regarding needing a conncection to the internet… It has to be said, in the UK, at least, the internet is increasingly becoming as vital to have as a car or a phone for everyday life, let alone for hobbies. It is something you *can* get by without, but it’s increasingly diffiult. (I’m not sure that actually know anyone personally who DOESN’T have an internet connection of some sort, including my grandmother in her 90s.) So, I have to say, to some extent, the world is changing to the point that to do, well, not even computers, but more or less… Read more »
machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

I don’t use public transport, I just drive to my local Gamestop which is convenient since it’s near my grandmothers house, which I have to go to a couple of times a week in order to pick up her mail so I can deliver it to her in the nursing home she’s in.

Steam actually forces you to be online in order to go into offline mode, which is baffling in how asinine ti is.

drownedsummer
Member
drownedsummer

I think you may mean the visibility of the online status of your account, which is different from running Steam in an offline capacity.

machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

I’ve tried to run Steam offline when my internet was off and it didn’t work.

drownedsummer
Member
drownedsummer

Odd but you should still be able to access the installed portion of your library when Steam is offline.

machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

Nope couldn’t do that either.

drownedsummer
Member
drownedsummer

Really? The Play button in your Steam Library is just a shortcut to the exe file.

machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

Steam wouldn’t even load up period whenever my internet was off.

drownedsummer
Member
drownedsummer

If an application fails to load that isn’t necessarily an issue with Steam and all of those games are on your hard drive and can be accessed without use of Steam at all.

Anton
Member
Anton
People have been re-conditioned to prefer digital over the last decade or so, because games are no longer fixed entities. Back in the “good old days” before XBL and PSN were standard, games would be recorded to disk, and that would be it. Having the disk used to mean that you had a finalized version of the game. These days, games are fluid; they’re constantly being patched, altered, and expanded upon. Having a disk now means having a horribly obsoleted version that isn’t even guaranteed to run properly, because these days development continues after a game goes “Gold”, and the… Read more »
machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

Not necessarily, disks can get patched too ya know.

drownedsummer
Member
drownedsummer

They can’t due to being read-only static data. A patch can be download onto the device running that disc which interacts with the data on the disc. The content on the disc, however, will be the same as it was on the day of purchase though.

Anton
Member
Anton

What if I, like, literally sew a patch over the disk?

Jiryn
Member
Jiryn

They SOMETIMES will re-release a disc based game with all the updated on disc.. but this is rare, and not really the standard.
Instead you just gotta download all the updates.. hell some “Complete” editions are just the original disc, with a DLC code card in box.

Jiryn
Member
Jiryn

Not to mention the disc doesn’t guarantee you get the finished game anymore.
There are many games that were/are not finished when it is printed and you have to download the rest.. or to save space on the disc, they make you download the rest.
Rare Replay only has 11 of the like 50gb on the disc.. you have to down load all the disc based games that are included with RR.
Tony Hawk 5 only has the first level on disc..
etcetc.

Anton
Member
Anton

I remember buying a physical Half-Life 2 for a friend’s birthday gift, at Gamestop.

The box was empty, and there was nothing but a steam code inside. The plastic was intentionally made thicker to trick you into thinking it weighed the same as a disk and old-school manual.

machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

Yeah Valve pretty much killed the used games market on PC, always had a bit of a grudge against them for doing that.

I once got Half Life 2 from Ebay on PC not knowing it only contained a Steam code, so I said “screw it” and just played the game on 360 instead via the Orange Box.

Chris
Member

You sure showed them by….still buying their game and supporting them even when you were mad at their business practices. Good work! This is how we end up with the industry we have now.

Bonus points since you almost certainly bought that game at Gamestop so you not only supported Valve in order to protest their business practices but also supported the cancerous leech on the gaming industry that is why the ‘AAA’ publishers are still insistent on fixing prices at 60 bucks and pushing pre-order culture.

machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

I bought HL 2 on PC used on Ebay dumbass, so no I actually didn’t support Valve, bet you feel pretty goddamn stupid for prematurely running your mouth now don’t you?

also I actually bought the Orange Box from Target(and it was on clearance), not Gamestop.

Chris
Member

I was referencing the Orange Box purchase. Your purchase of the first game on Ebay likely only helped the thieves who shop lifted the copy to put it up there, like most merchandise on Ebay and Amazon marketplaces that is for sale at less than retail prices by large ‘sellers.’

machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

No it didn’t, not EVERYTHING on Ebay is stolen believe it or not.

KeekingItReal
Member

It’s not physical, but at least Hellblade has a GoG version. So that’s at least something.

ArtSolopov
Member

1. There’s a difference between “Download and run disconnected” and “you have to be ALWAYS ONLINE”
2. Watch Jim’s episode “Why PC gaming gets away with it”.

Greene Scott
Member
Greene Scott

… I’ve just realized how confusing my post is… Whoops

Sleepy Will
Member
Sleepy Will
It is a little – I’m not sure you deserved the downvotes though. Basically, if someone is going to insult you based on your preferences, they are not worth listening too, they probably need to do a good deal of growing up, at least their internet persona does. You didn’t like the deception, and you didn’t buy the game. Fair enough if you ask me, but to then try to suggest that “You are this, you should do that or you must like the other” is just a dumb attempt to get that little endorphin rush we are all so… Read more »
Greene Scott
Member
Greene Scott
One problem I’m having though is the elitism and nastiness that’s coming from some news media and fans, same thing that happens with indie darling like Jim has mentioned in the past but I’ve been finding way more nastier. Hellbade is just a game that does not interest me, as someone with mental disabilities and issues, I always feel uncomfortable when games taut how they show what it’s “really” like, and like Polygon brought up, nearly always screw this up because they present us as all weak, pathetic and implies issues like that are the same for everyone which is… Read more »
machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

As someone with autism myself, I do not believe that films like Rain Man are “Dangerous” or anything like that and I don’t think Mass Effect handled mental disability poorly at all(considering ME is set in the future, i’m going to give it a pass on the whole drugs and curing thing) I think Bioware are “awful” people at all and I do not believe the Overlord DLC was “Ableist” in the least(to me ableist is something like using “autistic” as a direct insult, which I see a lot of people do on Reddit).

Anton
Member
Anton

I’m gonna do something crazy and actually agree with you there. ME’s treatment of autism in Overlord is cliched, shallow, and adds nothing to the conversation… but it’s not “ableist”. It just depicts autism at the absolute most surface level of general understanding, saying nothing good or bad. There’s just a victim character, and he happens to be autistic. His brother is an abusive dickwad. Literally the whole plot of the expansion.

Anton
Member
Anton
I’ve read that Polygon article. I appreciate the author sharing her thoughts, but I disagree with her point. It’s entitled in that it expects the game to match her exact experiences, and it is incorrect in its oversimplified evaluation that the protag is displaying one-dimensional weakness due to her condition. No, Hellblade does not represent most people’s mental illnesses…. because everyone’s experience is unique, and there is no all-encompassing mental health simulator that will cater to everyone equally. It’s impossible, due both to the vast variety of possible cases, and the fact that it’s presented in a video game. There… Read more »
Greene Scott
Member
Greene Scott
I’m sorry but I disagree about the mechanic, I don’t like being lied to like that and it can potentially open up for devs to be more brazen with their lies about what is in there games. I’m sorry I don’t want that repeated and I don’t like the mentality that you need to be deceiving like that make the game better, players should be able to enjoy it or find it stressful regardless. And also thanks for saying that people like me and the author of the Polygon article are bad people because we don’t like the portrayal in… Read more »
Anton
Member
Anton
I’m not saying you shouldn’t speak up – I explicitly started with the statement that I appreciated the author starting the conversation. I actually want to have that conversation, and I want more games like Hellblade that do their honest best to address mental illness. You, on the other hand, seem ok to dismiss the game without playing it, because your pre-conceptions told you it’s ok to do so. I have no idea when you thought I said that you’re “bad people”, or that you should “shut up”. I respect your right to an opinion and am interested in it,… Read more »
Greene Scott
Member
Greene Scott

I didn’t just see the word lie and dismissed it, after I found out about it I decided to research it because the initial info at the time was confusing. After watching lets plays, reading tons of articles (which is where I saw all the elitism I brought up in my initial comment) I decided that I didn’t like the mechanic and feel it’s ultimately bad, same with with the stuff about the games depiction with mental health.

Sorry about the antagonism in my earlier comment, you were right to call that out.

Anton
Member
Anton
I guess I just don’t get that. It’s such as small detail, and I do genuinely believe that it works in favor of the person playing it. You’ve said you think it’s bad, but HOW is it bad? In my mind, there are two ways that the “lie” plays out: 1) You read a lot of internet articles and find out ahead of time that the game lied and there is no permadeath mechanic. I would argue that you’ve spoiled part of the game for yourself – and that’s fully on you – but at that point, the lie ceases… Read more »
Greene Scott
Member
Greene Scott
With the mechanic, I don’t like being lied to like that, never had, both in real-life and in fiction. I find it to be a cheap way of making suspense and in the case of this, I don’t think it needed it, it should be able to build that dread from the fights, tone and environment. Alien Isolation is a good comparison here, I’m aware about the dull mind thing the dev with the Alien, but at no point did they lie about that and made it clear if you stayed in one place, she will find you and it… Read more »
Anton
Member
Anton
I see what you’re saying as far as the lie and the slippery slope to worse lies, but I think that we need to separate this case from other dev/publisher abuses, like microtransactions. The thing here is, this particular lie is a purely artistic decision. It does nothing for sales, or marketing, and if anything, it would have discouraged game sales had it not been debunked, because people tend to shy away from permadeath. This is NOT consumer exploitation. If it was, there would be legitimate legal grounds to sue the developer; this is also why I’m not too worried… Read more »
Greene Scott
Member
Greene Scott

Plus in the case, I’m not exactly well off and have other things I need to spend my money on like Uni supplies and books which means I’m very particular when I buy games to make sure this is something I will like, I will explore new thing which is why I watch Jimpressions, but game like this being deceiving about a mechanic that for me can be the difference in a buy or not is not helpful.

Deena
Member
Deena
A lot of the “deception” Ninja Theory supposedly committed was blown way out of proportion around launch, though. When all’s said and done, we’re talking about one instance where the game claims to have a mechanic it doesn’t actually have, as a way of creating more tension during combat sequences. Why is that such a sticking point considering you *don’t* lose progress? As for you feeling insulted for your opinions… well, part of the problem in video game discourse is that ignorance is often treated as a virtue, and people feel like they’re entitled to not only value misinformation but… Read more »
Greene Scott
Member
Greene Scott

I wasn’t saying Mass Effect 2 Overlord DLC did that, I said Mass Effect did that and in those two case, from the novels Ascension and Deception and Mass Effect 2 and the character of Jack due to the connections to those two novels.

Also for me, yes that deception was a deal breaker, I don’t like being deceived like that and I don’t want more game devs to stuff like that, regardless of whether it’s there to make tension.

Also thanks for calling me ignorant because I have different opinions to you on a game.

Deena
Member
Deena
I say again: note the difference in discourse here. You are saying things that *are factually not true* and treating them as “different opinions”. You specifically called out Overlord for its supposed ableism when David Archer’s depiction has nothing to do with the novels – which, considering the whole controversy around the fourth book, have very little to do with what you can reliably attribute to the franchise or BioWare. You claim, off a Polygon article, that Senua is portrayed as a pathetic character – the slightest bit of research, twenty or thirty minutes of YouTube footage, would have shown… Read more »
machine_dirty
Guest
machine_dirty

Yeah TotalBiscuit wasn’t a fan of Hellblade doing that either, and some people found the constant voices in the background in Hellblade too annoying to put up with.

Sperium3000
Member

Fuck 2K games. Carry on.

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