Sessler's Soapbox: Changing the Game is a Good Thing

Posted: August 10, 2010
Sessler's Soapbox: Changing the Game is a Good Thing
Adam uses Madden NFL 11 as an example how some innovations can anger the gaming community, even if they're for the better.

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  • Wrathofsauron

    adam's going bald :-P

    Posted: August 11, 2010 3:43 PM
  • SolomonGrundy

    I agree with Adam. But I also think the venom comes from the fact it's a Madden title. I've always felt people were more apt to pounce on any perceived weakness from the franchise because of the licensing deal from the NFL. When 2K3 was out, that was a change in console football games many people welcomed. It was then quickly taken away.

    Then after a few years of people feeling Madden was basically the same game re-realeased every year. They began trying to add some flair to the game, mix it up a bit. But I think a lot of the less casual gamers still have a high degree of skepticism about anything different from the Madden Franchise.

    I think the change in game play is better received from a completely seperate title rather than a well established flagship of a franchise.

    People have an expectation right or wrong that what they enjoyed before from Madden will come about again. The feeling that the "change" could be more along the lines of taking a Corvette and throwing a 4 cylinder in it. Leaving fans to think, what are my options if it is broken or clunky or unentertaining? What pro football game will I turn to? The answer being...Madden as there is nothing else.

    In conclusion I think some hardcore football gamers feel pigeon holed from the start into getting behind this one title. If they feel the formula is working and it's suddenly remixed fairly heavily, it's a relapse back to 2K3 or other instances where what they liked was deemed not worthy and left with no alternative solution, other than to complain on the internet.

    P.S. As far as Cole and his new look. I'm surprised that unlike the Comic Book commnuity people are so defensive about how the character looks from one game to the next. Perhaps it's preemtive strike incase Infamous 2 turns out like Prince of Persia Warrior Within. hmm.

    Posted: August 11, 2010 10:36 AM
  • 1nitial_D

    with this new madden gameflow it think it opens up the game to people all around the world. People can learn about football and enjoy it.

    With Cole's new look I love but I wasn't a big fan of his new voice. We need something else.

    Posted: August 11, 2010 9:57 AM
  • Matches Malone

    I think it's the same mentality that leads to console wars. The train of thought goes: I am the best; the way I do it is the best; what I have is the best; and everyone else sucks. With that approach is it really all that surprising that this kind of "hating" is everywhere within the gaming world?

    Posted: August 11, 2010 9:46 AM
  • kings_legacy

    Change can be good and reinvent a game or as the possibility have ruining game. I think when change still sticks with what the core value of what made that game great the game can grow see RE series to RE4. Its when they stray from the core of what the series great and you get a Tomb Raider angel of darkness game instead of that awesome sequel you have been waiting 3 years for is what people fear most of change.

    Posted: August 11, 2010 9:29 AM
  • Benn43

    I just think that much of the negative feelings and outlandish remarks that people could associate with the "gamer" these days is just the by-product of a few, extremists who think they are 100% right and if the developers or other gamers don't go along with their opinion then they can (insert favorite string of expletives here). With most groups in life that get a bad representation, it is the actions of the few extremists that give the overall group a bad rep. and it's really not fair to those who are not like the jerks that are rude to everyone, or, as in the case here, who accept that change is something that happens, whether they like it or not.

    Posted: August 11, 2010 8:48 AM
  • hayseman

    People are scared of change. Even if the changes may directly benefit them, they are still against it. The stupidity that is expressed by people when you represent a new idea to an old formula is amazing. But yet the thing I don't understand is why some changes to certain franchises gets all this hate and changes to other franchises gets the nod of approval??? I mean why isn't anyone complaining that Samus can speak? Or why didn't anyone complain when RE4 went for the over the shoulder view instead of the traditional fixed camera position? I dunno.

    But yet this fear of change is not only in the game industry but in this country in general. I mean anything that the government is trying to do to better the system gets this huge resistance. Like the healthcare reform or alternative energy methods (i.e. wind turbines) and so forth.

    But the real scary thing about this attitude towards change is what you said in the movie. It will kill the innovation of gaming. From a historical standpoint this same attitude and also the sin of Sloth killed the Roman Empire. A lot of people don't realize the fact that the reason why the Romans rose to glory was the fact that they were so innovative (i.e. roads, aqueducts, the political system, military tactics, and so forth.) Then they just went stagnate and got so dependent on what they have already achieved that they didn't bother to innovate any more (Which allowed a crazy nomadic band called the Huns to come in and kick their ass.).

    But anyway I believe that the game industry should keep on pushing the envelope forward regardless of what these idiots who doesn't like change say. The most disturbing trend I see in games these days is the remake trend that is going on. At first it was cool but now every old game in the 80s and 90s is getting a face lift. Does this mean that people are running out of ideas to the point that they think the best way to be successful is to remake old games that were moderately successful a decade or two ago? I remember watching an interview five years ago at the GDC with an veteran game designer. He said to the reporter that the thing that really worries him about the new upcoming game designers is that their ideas are based off of other people's ideas (mainly movies or games from their childhood.) instead of getting their ideas from life experiences. This to me is a HUGE red flag because it really shows the lack of creative thinking that is starting to take root in the industry. And you can see this in the current games being produced today... (if you look closely).

    This thinking of change being a bad thing could be the disease that could creep into the industry and destroy it. So this should be addressed or it could be the ruin.

    Change/Innovation is Good.
    Change/Innovation is Good.
    Change/Innovation is Good.
    (keep on repeating this to yourselves.)

    Posted: August 11, 2010 8:47 AM
  • diskjokk76

    In regard to Madden, Adam, I couldn't have said it better myself. I'm not nearly as talented as you in putting my ideas into writing, but your Soapbox is exactly how I have felt as I combed through all the Gameflow "hate" comments about Madden 11.

    I consider myself a pretty good Madden player with some knowledge about X's and O's. I had to work at it, but it took me years to understand a lot of the plays buried in Madden. Now that Gameflow is available, does someone like me need to use this option when I play Madden? Probably not. However, someone like Adam can turn on the option for Gameflow and maybe really enjoy playing the game for the first time since the series has been around. Is this a bad thing? I don't think so.

    Hardcore Madden gamers, please hear this, "You can turn Gameflow off if you don't need to use it." It doesn't get any simpler than that.

    Now I do agree with a previous poster that mentioned there are some things about Madden that us hardcore gamers would like to see changed (someone please do something about this old and outdated Franchise mode), but personally, I like the addition of Gameflow. It means that I can play people like Adam online who haven't played that game before and have a blast doing it.

    Posted: August 11, 2010 8:31 AM
  • Nightshade386

    I don't think Gameflow is my issue with Madden. I probably won't use it much because I know what my own strengths are better the computer does. I think the bigger issue is that they made it really hard to make defensive adjustments on the fly. This wouldn't be such a big deal if the defensive line actually lined up properly based on the offensive play being called instead of simply centering up with the O-line. But especially with unbalanced formations, the fact it seems to take longer to make the adjustment and the fact the CPU snaps the ball so much earlier REALLY puts the defense at a disadvantage.

    Posted: August 11, 2010 7:44 AM
  • Atari_Prime

    I liked the new Cole look in inFamous.

    And I also think change is good whether we like it or not (ponder that one for a bit kiddies).

    With regard to Madden, I'm an NFL 2K fan. I always thought it was a better game and I think the lack of competition against Madden because of the whole exclusive licensing of the NFL stifles competition and short changes the players.

    Posted: August 11, 2010 7:04 AM
  • GamerNx

    I agree with you on this adam, however, just to play devils advocate, when you pay 60 dollars per game these days and they change a game for the worse in the eyes of the fan base(C&C4) then there might be a reason to be slightly upset, granted they could just not purchase the game, however if it is the next installment in the series and replaces the first, then you are kind of SOL.

    Posted: August 11, 2010 6:57 AM
  • Ahavnes

    Damn, spot on. But I have to say, this fear and or hatred of change isn't just a gamer problem, it's an American problem. I mean, look at what's happened to poor Obama. He expands health care and puts a regulatory watchdog on Wall St. and he's then equated to Hitler!

    America just isn't as opened minded or as liberal as say the Europeans or Canadians, rather it's become a vanguard of the status quo and anyone who believes in progress or change is deemed unamerican. I think it's actually this ultra conservative mentality that really needs to change, in both the gaming community and America as a whole.

    Posted: August 11, 2010 6:43 AM
  • DikDik_Swish

    Cole's character redesign in Infamous 2 is like the "Darren Effect" on Bewtiched (let's see if any younguns here get that reference) ... It's like they hired a new "actor" to portray the character, without any explantion as to WHY he looks different. It's just weird, unsettling, and (in a twisted way) a little lazy on the part of the writers/producers.

    If it's the same character, then you would expect him/her to look somewhat like the older version (barring aging, hairline, and other "real-world" changes that can occur in between stories) ... That's my explanation, anyway.

    Posted: August 11, 2010 6:38 AM

    you're not wrong, but I hate the way you lump Halo in with Madden and the casual market. It does have a huge casual fanbase, but the Hardcore love it too, in a way that NFL, or CoD fans can't really appreciate, what with all the novels and comics and backstory. There's a genuine love for the franchise and I think it's a disservice to Bungie and to the fans to just cast it aside as so much trash. CoD, however, is a fun game, but doesn't go above and beyond the way Halo does, so use that for your comparison instead.

    Posted: August 11, 2010 4:13 AM
  • zenmastersamuraimonk

    i dont think that people were complaining that cole was different i think that the compliants came from the fact the new cole looked like a huge douchebag

    Posted: August 11, 2010 3:34 AM
  • RandyMercer

    This has to be one of my favorite Soapboxes so far. Personally because Sessler touched on what I thought was a ridiculous hatred of change (I couldn't think of a better word or term). But I'm talking about Cole, I loved the new look, had no problem with it whats-o-ever but what annoyed me was the "fans" of inFAMOUS they didn't even give the New Cole a chance, they just outright condemned him stating he looks "gay," "generic," "cliche" " like a Nathan Drake clone" and "he looks nothing like Cole from inFAMOUS 1".

    What also made me pretty upset was also that some of them didn't even take time to consider maybe Sucker Punch wanted Cole to look like this but didn't know how execute correctly. All that did was show me that even if they are a "fan" of something, they are easily broken and are quick to jump on the whine wagon.No one said anything about the old Cole and now it's "OMG, why did they change Cole's look inFAMOUS 2 is screwed," it was a pathetic display of non-creative thinking if you ask me. Close minded people just annoy me, I'm sorry for ranting.

    Posted: August 11, 2010 1:33 AM
  • naughtydoggus

    I feel that a lot of gamers were definately overreacting to Cole's new design. I just feel that if they gave Sucker Punch the time, Coles new look would have probably explained itself in the context of the story they wanted to tell. I actually found it kind of intreaguing that they opened up the game with Cole losing the fight with the beast, and fleeing Empire City to seek more powers somewhere more lively. It's way more interesting than the protagonist just getting even more dark and broding (like what every other second instalment of a game or movie seems to do.)

    Posted: August 11, 2010 1:00 AM
  • Darkstorn

    This is the best soapbox you've ever done, Adam. It is highly disturbing to go onto, say, N4G and see fanboys becoming enraged over Cole's personality change. I thought gamers were supposed to be savvy to the future, not clinging to the past like some sort of aging survivalist.

    Posted: August 10, 2010 10:54 PM
  • Darkstorn

    This is the best soapbox you've ever done, Adam. It is highly disturbing to go onto, say, N4G and see fanboys becoming enraged over Cole's personality change. I thought gamers were supposed to be savvy to the future, not clinging to the past like some sort of aging survivalist.

    Posted: August 10, 2010 10:53 PM
  • eternal_rorschach

    As far as Infamous 2 I would also PREFER that Cole be close to the orignal guy from the first game although I'm glad that they got rid of his overly gravel voice.

    It's a matter of does the changes improve something or is it change just to change. In the matter of how Cole looks while I like the seconed character model better than the one in the first game, but changing it just for the sake of change is stupid because nothing improved. Sucker Punch seems to have added many changes to improve the game but the apperance of a character is one of the elements that helps us to pull ourselves into the universe of a game and to associate a game with it's sequel.Yes people have a habit of going too far with their complaints but changing how Cole looks so drastically was a misstep on the part of Sucker Punch.

    Now Look at Mass Effect 1 vs Mass Effect 2. The changes done to ME2 did nothing but improve the game. They added depth to the combat system, trimmed unnessary fat from the skill and inventory systems, improved squad commands, and improved the action by adding more shooter elements like location damage. The changes to ME2 added to the game. Looking at the game flow mechanic might make Madden 11 the first sports title that I have bought in six years, again change when the changes benfit the games.

    Posted: August 10, 2010 10:36 PM