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Objectively good games that were disappointing due to context?

IFireflyl

Gold Member
This wouldn't be an issue if you understood and expressed that there is some difference between "best" and "favorite". You're the only one here trying to deal in absolutes, no one else has said they are 100% mutually exclusive in an absolute way. I never said that, I said what you said was very obviously wrong because of how you put it. And it is, it remains wrong.

It's very obvious that there is a difference there, both colloquially and definitively. The examples I've used, which you have specifically avoided directly responding to, illustrate that pretty clearly.
Yes, and you are wrong. That doesn't mean you have to like Shakespeare, but you failing to understand why and how Shakespeare is a great writer is your problem. This isn't about objective/subjective, this is about understanding. And that would be illustrated by the arguments in support of those statements, either "Shakespeare is bad" or "Shakespeare is good".

I'm not going to write a whole dissertation on why you are very clearly "objectively" wrong in your statement that he's not a good writer. I mean I could link some papers & projects by comp lit experts... but regardless of whether or not I take the time to do that, the only point that matters is that those two arguments/"opinions" are not equal when it comes to "best" because of the nature of understanding & expertise. "Best" means something. It doesn't mean it's 100% opposite of "favorite", or that it's 100% "objective"... that's not how language works. But it does mean there is a significant difference between those two things, generally speaking. I don't know how that isn't really obvious.

We are at an impasse. You don't understand what objectivity is. Period.
 

Ev1L AuRoN

Member
To me that would be Final Fantasy VII.

I played a bit of the SNES games via emulators before, but my first real introduction with the series was VIII and I frigging loved that game, despite its flaws. Then around 2000 or so, the internet became a thing for a lot of people including me, and everyone on there was raving about how 7 was so much better than 8 in every conceivable way. So obviously I bought a copy and started playing it with very high expectations.

What I got was a bunch of ugly pixels barely resembling anything recognizable in some neo-scifi setting whatever. Played for a few hours and quit. That was when I learned you should always go into a game as blind as you can. Hype will only lead to dissapointment, 100% of the times.

Now, years later I played it again and while it is still my least favorite of the PSX trio I can say it's a good game. Especially if you played it as a 13 year old in 1997. I mean, even the commercials alone were awesome. But when playing it after more recent games in the series it just didnt hold up. It would be as if you played the original Super Mario Bros. after SMB3.
Final Fantasy VII was fascinating when it came out. I remember everyone talking about how amazing the game visuals were, of course we didn't mean the blocky characters in the world traversal, but the beautiful animations and summons in the battle-mode, also the backgrounds are superb. Final Fantasy VIII is a lot better visually but it falls short in every other aspect IMHO.
 

IFireflyl

Gold Member
I do. Words don't only mean one thing. That's not how language works.

You are using it absolutely, and no one else here is, or was. That's the actual problem that is very clear to see.

Objectively only means one thing. You can't say "objectively" and mean "subjectively". They are contrary to each other. Shakespeare was not an objectively good writer. There are plenty of famous writers who despised his writing. Tolkien, Voltaire, Tolstoy, and more. They did not appreciate his writing.


George Orwell defended Shakespeare against Tolstoy's remarks, but even in his defense he stated that deciding if an artist is good or bad is impossible. These are not random Joe's from nowhere-ville. These are world renowned authors, and you're saying that they are objectively wrong for disliking Shakespeare's writing. That's an absolutely ridiculous assertion to make. Words have meaning, and you're trying to argue that all meaning is fluid. Solid can be liquid and liquid can be solid.

Objectively cannot be interchanged with subjectively. That's chaos.
 
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Objective cannot be interchanged with subjective. That's chaos.

No one is "interchanging" them. If you'd engage with my actual examples, you might understand that. But we know why you aren't doing that.

You were wrong to say best and favorite are the same thing, and you are wrong now by suggesting words only "mean" 1 thing absolutely. That is incorrect, that is not how language works; dictionaries are not proscriptive, they are descriptive.
 
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These are world renowned authors, and you're saying that they are objectively wrong for disliking Shakespeare's writing.

No, I didn't. Anyone can dislike anything for whatever reason they wish. I literally never said otherwise.

You can't even properly/accurately engage with these concepts. That's a problem.
 

IFireflyl

Gold Member
No, I didn't. Anyone can dislike anything for whatever reason they wish. I literally never said otherwise.

You can't even properly/accurately engage with these concepts. That's a problem.

I said that I don't think Shakespeare's writing is good. You said I was objectively wrong. If I am objectively wrong then so are the authors mentioned above. You can't tell me they aren't objectively wrong but I am when we have the same opinion on Shakespeare's writing. That makes zero sense.

No one is "interchanging" them. If you'd engage with my actual examples, you might understand that. But we know why you aren't doing that.

You were wrong to say best and favorite are the same thing, and you are wrong now by suggesting words only "mean" 1 thing absolutely. That is incorrect, that is not how language works; dictionaries are not proscriptive, they are descriptive.

Best and favorite aren't the same thing. I never said that they were. The problem is how they are defined and in what context. In the context of video games (what this topic is about) it is subjective whether you use best or favorite. Either way there is no clearly defined parameters for what is the "best". As I have said repeatedly, one person might think graphics are an important factor while someone else thinks that graphics are not an important factor. That means both people are using two different criteria for determining what "best" means, which means it is subjective. With no clearly defined parameters which ignore feelings and opinion there is absolutely no way that "best" can be objective.
 
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No they aren't -- at best, some games are a subset or off-shoot of another, more clearly categorical "art form".

The kinds of video games overwhelmingly talked about on boards like this are not part of an art form, they merely have many many artistic disciplines which contribute to them in an overall way and make them "artistic"... but things can be artistic without being their own unique "art form".

No art form has the win/loss component that video games have... games are games, they are not defined by their form but by the rules required to engage with them. There is no inability to "win" or "progress" inherent in a piece of art that is actually part of a defined "art form". Art forms do not have an inherent practicality the way games do.

Now, sometimes games are very artistic! In fact most modern games have a lot of "art" in them, and that art can be judged/appreciated, and furthermore we can even colloquially say that there is an "art" to making video games. But they are not a unique "art form", because "art form" is categorical and video games are overwhelmingly categorically set apart from ALL other unique "art forms".



No, they do not mean the same thing. Saying something is your favorite, you cannot possibly be wrong. It's purely your opinion. Saying something is "the best" requires an argument, and it most certainly can be wrong.

The lines may be fine, as they will be with just about any kind of analysis, but towards the extremes this becomes very clear: Batman v Superman is not in any way, shape, or form a "better" film than The Godfather. Someone who claims such a thing would be expressing an objectively incorrect statement. However, it is not incorrect for that same person to say Batman v Superman is their "favorite" movie of all time. They are perhaps clueless with horrible taste... but they are not wrong.

The difference between "favorite" & "best" is very clear -- one is solely about personal preference and the other is about analysis of the form, which requires an argument. And anyone who knows anything about the form relevant to this example (cinema) knows that there is no sufficient argument for how BvS is "better" than the Godfather. That said, I'm open to that argument if anyone wants to take a stab at it.
I actually agree with you. Video games are probably more comparable to cars than they are to a painting. A car can be beautiful and incorporate a lot of artistic elements that help contribute to its appeal. But at the end of the day the car needs to be good and objectively good at that. It needs to be able to drive well and handle on the road. It needs to not break down. If the car doesn't handle well and breaks down often, it's objectively bad. And that's how video games play if they are objectively bad. It's because they're hard to play and thus aren't a good game. Just as a car cannot be a good car if it doesn't handle well.

And there are many other ways games can be objectively good or bad based on things like bugs, unintuitive controls, poor controls, lag, etc.
 
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Yeah, I apologize, that is my mistake I thought you were the same person as the other guy -- you both have dark avatars and are seemingly on the same side of this debate.

Just know that all my responses in this thread are in the context of responding to someone. that said "best" and "favorite" are the same, and that judging games is "100% subjective".

I said that I don't think Shakespeare's writing is good. You said I was objectively wrong. If I am objectively wrong then so are the authors mentioned above. You can't tell me they aren't objectively wrong but I am when we have the same opinion on Shakespeare's writing. That makes zero sense.

Let's just drop the word objectively, because the way you're using words I think is a part of the problem here. We can make this more simple to get at what I'm trying to say, and you'll tell me if you disagree.

Tolstoy -- or you, for that matter -- may have a reason why he doesn't like reading Shakespeare. That may be different from the reason he considers Shakespeare to be a "bad" writer. Those things aren't necessarily the same, and they aren't necessarily equally valid just by virtue of the fact that they are opinions which are coming from the same source. What I'm trying to say is that the difference between an assessment of whether someone likes Shakespeare, or whether Shakespeare is a "good" writer is a very significant one. And one of them is more subjective than the other.

If you think Mark Twain being considered a "better" writer than Stephanie Meyer is purely down to subjectivity, or just a matter of people being convinced for whatever random historical reasoning, you are really failing to understand some key concepts that come to bear on these conversations.

But no one in here is saying that because other things matter when talking about what is "best", that means we should just be able to go down a template checklist for every single artistic comparison one could come up with & that will "objectively" tell us who the "better" writer is... no one is using language in that way. But by the same token, when you say objectivity only means 1 thing, and it can't apply in a more broad way which isn't completely mutually exclusive from subjectivity, that's just not how we use words! That's the impasse here, as far as I can tell.
 

Arthimura

Member
Dark Souls II.

Most of the community had not played Demon's Souls at the time and the only reference they had was Dark Souls, so they weren't open to anything different than Dark Souls. To make things worse, Dark Souls II got huge downgrades in it's graphics.

It might not be the best Soulsborne game (my favorites are Demon's Souls and Bloodborne), but I would say it's an objectively good game.
 
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Dark Souls II.

Most of the community had not played Demon's Souls at the time and the only reference they had was Dark Souls, so they weren't open to anything different than Dark Souls. To make things worse, Dark Souls II got huge downgrades in it's graphics.

It might not be the best Soulsborne game (my favorites are Demon's Souls and Bloodborne), but I would say it's an objectively good game.
I'd say it's the best Dark Souls game. I agree Demon's Souls and Bloodborne are both better.

Dark Souls 1 is the tale of two games. The first half is perfection. The second half felt like it was designed by amateurs.

Dark Souls 3 was good, but it tried too hard to make every section a tribute to previous games and lacked its own identity.
 

Cryio

Member
FEAR 2
FEAR 3
Dark Souls 2
Bioshock 2
Thief Deadly Shadows
Deus Ex Invisible War
Advent Rising
Resident Evil 6
DmC: Devil May Cry
Prince of Persia 2008
Splinter Cell Double Agent
Splinter Cell Conviction
Splinter Cell Blacklist
Batman Arkham Origins
Ryse - Son of Rome
 

IFireflyl

Gold Member
Let's just drop the word objectively, because the way you're using words I think is a part of the problem here.

My first post was that there are no objectively good games. I'm not going to drop the word objectively because it is the cornerstone of my thesis. Don't use the word incorrectly. There are no objectively good games. That is my entire point, and you cannot disprove it without using feelings/opinions.
 
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My first post was that there are no objectively good games. I'm not going to drop the word objectively because it is the cornerstone of my thesis. Don't use the word incorrectly. There are no objectively good games. That is my entire point, and you cannot disprove it without using feelings/opinions.

Ok, but my posts were only in service of my points, which are that "best" and "favorite" are very different and that there is more nuance to analysis than "this is 100% subjective". And you cannot disprove those points either... so we're kind of in the same boat, on some level.

Back on track to your specific point -- my bad for confusing you with the other person -- I would only ask the following:

1. Is every single argument that Halo is a better game than Fracture 100% subjective? And do those arguments, by nature of the fact that they aren't 100% objective, mean that the reverse argument/s have as much merit?

2. Are both the following statements equally "true"? Fracture is better than Halo and Halo is better than Fracture
 
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IFireflyl

Gold Member
Ok, but my posts were only in service of my points, which are that "best" and "favorite" are very different and that there is more nuance to analysis than "this is 100% subjective". And you cannot disprove those points either... so we're kind of in the same boat, on some level.

Back on track to your specific point -- my bad for confusing you with the other person -- I would only ask the following:

1. Is every single argument that Halo is a better game than Fracture 100% subjective? And do those arguments, by nature of the fact that they aren't 100% objective, mean that the reverse argument/s have as much merit?

2. Are both the following statements equally "true"? Fracture is better than Halo and Halo is better than Fracture

1. The question is too vague. I don't know every single argument so I have no way of knowing if the claim being made is subjective or objective. For example, one person might say that Halo is a better game than Fracture specifically in regards to loading times. If Halo has shorter loading times than Fracture then that would be an objective claim. But to say that Halo is an overall better game than Fracture because it has shorter loading times is subjective. You can measure the first claim. The second claim is an opinion based on a person's personal preferences. Just because that person thinks loading times are what determines that a game is better than another doesn't mean that another person is using the same criteria to determine when one game is better than another.

2. They can't both be true for the same person as that is a logical contradiction. Only one of those can be true for an individual. The first might be true for you, but the second might be true for someone else. That is because those claims are subjective depending on the feelings/opinions of the person who is making the claim.

Also, I can prove that best and favorite are subjective in the context of this discussion which is talking about a good/better/best video game. The only way that this can be objective is if we have clearly defined parameters for what determines that a game is good, and those parameters cannot be based on feelings or opinions. Something like art style is not quantifiable, but load times is quantifiable. We do not have a clearly defined measurement for what constitutes a "good" video game. Without that there is no way to know which games are good or bad (objectively speaking), which means we can't take the next step which is to determine which game is better than another. And "favorite" is definitely subjective as my favorite games are Final Fantasy VII, IX and X, but those are not everyone's favorite games.
 
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So "Mark Twain is a better author than Stephanie Meyer" has the same value as the statement "Stephanie Meyer is a better author than Mark Twain"? Because both are "subjective"?
 
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IFireflyl

Gold Member
So "Mark Twain is a better author than Stephanie Meyer" has exactly the same value as the statement "Stephanie Meyer is a better author than Mark Twain"? Because both are "subjective"?

Yes. There are people who loved the Twilight books and aren't at all interested in Mark Twain's books. They feel like Stephanie Meyer is a better writer. Personally, I hate Robert Jordan's writing in The Wheel of Time books. I think Tolkien was far and away a better writer. Some people disagree, and that's fine. It's their opinion.
 
So my 6 year old nephew wrote a short story... my sister's view of that story could be that it's better than Blood Meridian, and her kid is a better writer than Cormac McCarthy. And that's valid to you? That's just a valid as Harold Bloom's opinion that Blood Meridian is one of the best books ever written, both those statements are equally "correct", due to subjectivity?

Your point of view completely dismisses expertise, craftsmanship, and standards, on the most fundamental level.

There are people who loved the Twilight books...

People "love" lots of stuff. People love McDonald's, but that doesn't mean the they serve "better" food than a steakhouse which regularly plates up perfect medium-rare wagyu steaks just because somebody with a shitty palate who's favorite meal is a Big Mac thinks so.

Rarely am I this happy to agree to disagree... but thanks anyways for explaining yourself.
 
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1. The question is too vague. I don't know every single argument so I have no way of knowing if the claim being made is subjective or objective. For example, one person might say that Halo is a better game than Fracture specifically in regards to loading times. If Halo has shorter loading times than Fracture then that would be an objective claim. But to say that Halo is an overall better game than Fracture because it has shorter loading times is subjective. You can measure the first claim. The second claim is an opinion based on a person's personal preferences. Just because that person thinks loading times are what determines that a game is better than another doesn't mean that another person is using the same criteria to determine when one game is better than another.

2. They can't both be true for the same person as that is a logical contradiction. Only one of those can be true for an individual. The first might be true for you, but the second might be true for someone else. That is because those claims are subjective depending on the feelings/opinions of the person who is making the claim.

Also, I can prove that best and favorite are subjective in the context of this discussion which is talking about a good/better/best video game. The only way that this can be objective is if we have clearly defined parameters for what determines that a game is good, and those parameters cannot be based on feelings or opinions. Something like art style is not quantifiable, but load times is quantifiable. We do not have a clearly defined measurement for what constitutes a "good" video game. Without that there is no way to know which games are good or bad (objectively speaking), which means we can't take the next step which is to determine which game is better than another. And "favorite" is definitely subjective as my favorite games are Final Fantasy VII, IX and X, but those are not everyone's favorite games.
You're basing the objective quality of a game on its subjective perception of its parts. You can't do that. Games are the product of their entirety and can be objectively and subjectively viewed as good or bad. Objectively a game needs to abide by rules in order to be good. It has to play well. Subjectively you can both admire or admonish a game based on its traits.
 

IFireflyl

Gold Member
So my 6 year old nephew wrote a short story... my sister's view of that story could be that it's better than Blood Meridian, and her kid is a better writer than Cormac McCarthy. And that's valid to you? That's just a valid as Harold Bloom's opinion that Blood Meridian is one of the best books ever written, both those statements are equally "correct", due to subjectivity?

Your point of view completely dismisses expertise, craftsmanship, and standards, on the most fundamental level.

People "love" lots of stuff. People love McDonald's, but that doesn't mean the they serve "better" food than a steakhouse which regularly plates up perfect medium-rare wagyu steaks just because somebody with a shitty palate who's favorite meal is a Big Mac thinks so.

Rarely am I this happy to agree to disagree... but thanks anyways for explaining yourself.

You're willfully ignoring the fact that "better" and "best" in the scenarios you are describing are 100% dependent on an individual's personal feelings/opinions. If I am wrong then give me the objective standard for what constitutes good writing, and then tell me which literary work is objectively the best.

You're basing the objective quality of a game on its subjective perception of its parts. You can't do that. Games are the product of their entirety and can be objectively and subjectively viewed as good or bad. Objectively a game needs to abide by rules in order to be good. It has to play well. Subjectively you can both admire or admonish a game based on its traits.

I'm not doing anything at all actually. If you know the objective standard for what makes a game good then by all means share it. Once we know what is objectively good then we can get into "better" and "best".
 
You're willfully ignoring the fact that "better" and "best" in the scenarios you are describing are 100% dependent on an individual's personal feelings/opinions. If I am wrong then give me the objective standard for what constitutes good writing, and then tell me which literary work is objectively the best.



I'm not doing anything at all actually. If you know the objective standard for what makes a game good then by all means share it. Once we know what is objectively good then we can get into "better" and "best".
I have given you standards. Many things are objectively considered good based on their standards and quality. Same thing goes with games. Same thing goes with almost anything except for abstract art like you're talking about. I understand. If something doesn't have an intrinsic value, then it's quality can only be determined by people's perception. Yet there are a lot of things that require actual quality to exist and be good. Games are some of that.
 

IFireflyl

Gold Member
I have given you standards. Many things are objectively considered good based on their standards and quality. Same thing goes with games. Same thing goes with almost anything except for abstract art like you're talking about. I understand. If something doesn't have an intrinsic value, then it's quality can only be determined by people's perception. Yet there are a lot of things that require actual quality to exist and be good. Games are some of that.

Where are the standards? You have three posts in this thread, and in none of them did you provide specific criteria to measure if a game is good or bad.

Objectively means it is quantifiable and it is unbiased (not taking personal feelings or opinion into consideration). You can't say that many things are "objectively" considered good or bad based on standards and qualities and somehow think you've proven something. That's a cop-out. The only way that is possible is if the standards and qualities are defined and objective. I can't counter your point because you just hand-waved and said, "There are plenty of examples somewhere that I'm not going to actually provide." I asked you to provide the specific objective standards and qualities that determine if a video game is good. If you have it then provide it.
 
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No one is in here suggesting there is something as simple as a checklist that can be used to determine which piece of art is objectively better. But your claim that there is no measurement or standard which lends to a better overall argument supported by the evidence inherent in a subject, which can be seen as removed from personal bias or "favoritism" -- even in extreme cases like comparing McDonald's to The French Laundry, or Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to Twilight -- is ludicrous.

You want examples, but you can't engage with the most obvious of examples. I've given several, you've hand-waved them all away. You're saying the difference between Super Mario 64 and Bubsy 3D is merely that you liked one more. That's ridiculous, the difference is immense. And it's not just represented by that which is quantifiable, loading times & framerates... it's not JUST about purely subjective opinion. It's in level design, it's in the balance between character control & movesets, the way the user can use that moveset to navigate the world, it's in the representation of character evident through disciplines like animation & art design... and just because those things don't neatly fit onto a scantron like binary test questions, that doesn't mean it's all just a wash.
 
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PanzerAzel

Member
There are exactly zero objectively good games. "Good" is an entirely subjective term.
Can’t really agree with this.

In relation to a set goal, I think it’s perfectly possible (once that goal is determined) for objective metric to be measured in the quality of its attainment. In that, some things can be objectively superior to that set goal in its execution than something else operating within that same realm, regardless of how “good” someone would come to view it or prefer it. People can (and do) prefer garbage all the time, it doesn’t suddenly make it good solely by virtue of their subjective predilections.

Obviously the goal is subjectively set, so I’d agree there’s no abstract “good” or quality above that’s infused in a work (such as how theists view morality) and that ultimately it’s a subjective criteria and hence varies wildly from a case by case basis, but this whole “It’s all subjective, so nothing can be good or bad” narrative is nonsense, just like “opinions can’t be wrong because they’re subjective”. Yes, they can.

It‘s perfectly possible for something to be objectively superior or inferior when viewed with the context of a subjective determination.
 

IFireflyl

Gold Member
Can’t really agree with this.

In relation to a set goal, I think it’s perfectly possible (once that goal is determined) for objective metric to be measured in the quality of its attainment. In that, some things can be objectively superior to that set goal in its execution than something else operating within that same realm, regardless of how “good” someone would come to view it or prefer it. People can (and do) prefer garbage all the time, it doesn’t suddenly make it good solely by virtue of their subjective predilections.

Obviously the goal is subjectively set, so I’d agree there’s no abstract “good” or quality above that’s infused in a work (such as how theists view morality) and that ultimately it’s a subjective criteria and hence varies wildly from a case by case basis, but this whole “It’s all subjective, so nothing can be good or bad” narrative is nonsense, just like “opinions can’t be wrong because they’re subjective”. Yes, they can.

It‘s perfectly possible for something to be objectively superior or inferior when viewed with the context of a subjective determination.

But there isn't even an agreed upon subjective definition of what determines if a game is good. You're positing a hypothetical situation, but I'm talking about current reality.

No it's not. A game that doesn't work, or is bugged etc can be objectively bad and the reverse is true. Your personal experience has nothing to do with it.

Even if there could be an objectively bad game (it doesn't even run to be able to play it), there is no standardized criteria for determining if a game is good. Therefore, determining if a game is good is entirely subjective.
 

IFireflyl

Gold Member
But your claim that there is no measurement or standard which lends to a better overall argument supported by the evidence inherent in a subject, which can be seen as removed from personal bias or "favoritism" -- even in extreme cases like comparing McDonald's to The French Laundry, or Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to Twilight -- is ludicrous.

You're ignoring the definition of "objectively". Just stop. You literally cannot support your argument without ignoring the word that is the cornerstone of this discussion. In your previous posts you evem said that the word can have different meanings even though there is no other meaning of the word "objectively" to support your claim. Feel free to disagree with me all you want, but your problem is with the dictionary, not me.
 

darrylgorn

Member
But the impression of the player will be based on things you can measure if you have enough of a sample size, just as you can measure how people enjoy twitter versus facebook and why.

The better games are, the harder it is to claim why it's better than others as the reasons become more minuscule, but compared to worse games, you can easily measure how a game with better controls satisfies the brain better than one with bad controls. You can measure how stuff like how better responsiveness for example makes a game better than something that takes 2 seconds before it moves.

Yes, I would qualify the response time as objectively functional.
 

tassletine

Member
But there isn't even an agreed upon subjective definition of what determines if a game is good. You're positing a hypothetical situation, but I'm talking about current reality.



Even if there could be an objectively bad game (it doesn't even run to be able to play it), there is no standardized criteria for determining if a game is good. Therefore, determining if a game is good is entirely subjective.

I just gave you some criteria. You can dance around this, dictionaries and others opinions if you want. Doesn't make you correct.
The criteria is the game in relation to other games (which is how you sort good from bad in any system) NOT how they make you feel or any subjective opinion.

A bad game isn't a game you can't run it's a game that is poorly made.

For instance Skyrim on ps3 was bad. It's was extremely buggy, badly programmed and had a bug in it that meant the more you progressed the more the game slowed down until eventually it crashed.
That is objectively bad. You could say the same thing of Cyberpunk. I doubt the devs felt good about being sued by releasing an unfinished game. That was a bad outcome.

A good game would be Chess. It's stood the test of time, is almost infinitely deep, and is mechanically perfect.
But apparently, to you anyway, centuries of praise, millions of players and perfect mechanics aren't enough to be "good".

Luigi's mansion is a game with solid mechanics, good graphics and sound. It's an objectively good game.
That I didn't finish it because I got bored doesn't come into it because that could have just been my mood that week -- which is what this post is essentially about. How outside events can alter your perception of a game.

So rather than throwing straw dogs into the discussion try and sound oh so clever and above it all, why don't you just answer the question?
 
You're ignoring the definition of "objectively". Just stop. You literally cannot support your argument without ignoring the word that is the cornerstone of this discussion. In your previous posts you evem said that the word can have different meanings even though there is no other meaning of the word "objectively" to support your claim. Feel free to disagree with me all you want, but your problem is with the dictionary, not me.

Once again, the dictionary is not prescriptive -- it doesn't assign value to what words "mean" and how they are used. It is descriptive, it collects and tries to give a shorthand for how people use words. It does not contain the ultimate meaning, in all contexts, for each word that people use. For the last time, that's not how language works.
 
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Sosokrates

Gold Member
There are exactly zero objectively good games. "Good" is an entirely subjective term.

Im not sure about that.

The quality of the individual components of a game can be measured.

People dont like RDR2 or not like the type of game it is but theres not really an argument to support saying its "bad"
 

PanzerAzel

Member
But there isn't even an agreed upon subjective definition of what determines if a game is good. You're positing a hypothetical situation, but I'm talking about current reality.
You're conflating subjective preference with objective merit. Tastes vs. quality. They are different.

I‘m not using the term “good” as in speaking on preference or tastes towards art direction or music, but as in “competent” and “executed well”.

No, you didn't. What is the objective criteria that determines if a game is good or bad? List every criteria needed, and once it has been listed we can progress with this conversation.
I know you’re asking this rhetorically because you believe it unanswerable. The answers you seek are there, but you can’t ask them in broad generalities as if they apply to all equally……they don’t, they lie in the nuances and intricacies of the specific, and they’re beholdened to them. Give me the exact criteria of a specific design goal. What precisely does the designer want to achieve for that game? In the macro, and in the micro. Because that’s what I’d need to know before I could even begin to address the question. Let’s make it simpler: do you not agree that in designing something, that there are better ways to accomplish it than others? In architecture, an arch is a very effective and efficient way to support weight. Would it cease to be simply because someone subjectively disliked it? I understand this isn’t gaming, but the principle remains and can be extrapolated and applied to the technical aspects of a game’s creation all the same.

Again, when these aspects are designed to the set goal, certain criteria of that goal can absolutely be held to study and quantifiably measured to see how well done they are to achieving that goal to something else.
 

IFireflyl

Gold Member
Once again, the dictionary is not prescriptive -- it doesn't assign value to what words "mean" and how they are used. It is descriptive, it collects and tries to give a shorthand for how people use words. It does not contain the ultimate meaning, in all contexts, for each word that people use. For the last time, that's not how language works.

And again, you're saying that the meaning of words is fluid. Solid can mean liquid. Liquid can mean solid. It doesn't matter that these two things are opposed to each other like objective and subjective or opposed to each other. You're dismissing the meaning of the word objective because it doesn't fit your narrative. You're arguing that objective means subjective. That. Is. Chaos.

Im not sure about that.

The quality of the individual components of a game can be measured.

People dont like RDR2 or not like the type of game it is but theres not really an argument to support saying its "bad"

I've already stated in prior arguments (which you really don't need to go find, lol) that certain aspects such as load times are quantifiable. For example, load times, draw distance, et cetera. These are measurable criteria. But the problem is the OP just said, "What is an objectively good game" without providing any context for what objective criteria he's looking for.

There isn't an objective standard for which to judge games as good or bad. I think Red Dead Redemption 2 is absolutely awful. The storyline is bland. There's no real character development. The pacing is too slow. All of these things are subjective to me. Other people think Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the best games ever using the exact criteria that I used to say it's awful. That's because the criteria we generally use to judge games is subjective.

You're conflating subjective preference with objective merit. Tastes vs. quality. They are different.

I‘m not using the term “good” as in speaking on preference or tastes towards art direction or music, but as in “competent” and “executed well”.

But "competent" and "executed well" is still subjective. Does that mean that the game is bug free? Does it mean certain mechanics have to exist in the game? What defines a competent and well executed game? You're saying there is objective merit to what makes a game good. What is that objective criteria?

I know you’re asking this rhetorically because you believe it unanswerable. The answers you seek are there, but you can’t ask them in broad generalities as if they apply to all equally……they don’t, they lie in the nuances and intricacies of the specific, and they’re beholdened to them. Give me the exact criteria of a specific design goal. What precisely does the designer want to achieve for that game? In the macro, and in the micro. Because that’s what I’d need to know before I could even begin to address the question. Let’s make it simpler: do you not agree that in designing something, that there are better ways to accomplish it than others? In architecture, an arch is a very effective and efficient way to support weight. Would it cease to be simply because someone subjectively disliked it? I understand this isn’t gaming, but the principle remains and can be extrapolated and applied to the technical aspects of a game’s creation all the same.

Again, when these aspects are designed to the set goal, certain criteria of that goal can absolutely be held to study and quantifiably measured to see how well done they are to achieving that goal to something else.

This translates to, "If the game meets the developers vision/goal for what the end-peoduct should look like then it is a good game."
 

Sosokrates

Gold Member
And again, you're saying that the meaning of words is fluid. Solid can mean liquid. Liquid can mean solid. It doesn't matter that these two things are opposed to each other like objective and subjective or opposed to each other. You're dismissing the meaning of the word objective because it doesn't fit your narrative. You're arguing that objective means subjective. That. Is. Chaos.



I've already stated in prior arguments (which you really don't need to go find, lol) that certain aspects such as load times are quantifiable. For example, load times, draw distance, et cetera. These are measurable criteria. But the problem is the OP just said, "What is an objectively good game" without providing any context for what objective criteria he's looking for.

There isn't an objective standard for which to judge games as good or bad. I think Red Dead Redemption 2 is absolutely awful. The storyline is bland. There's no real character development. The pacing is too slow. All of these things are subjective to me. Other people think Red Dead Redemption 2 is one of the best games ever using the exact criteria that I used to say it's awful. That's because the criteria we generally use to judge games is subjective.



But "competent" and "executed well" is still subjective. Does that mean that the game is bug free? Does it mean certain mechanics have to exist in the game? What defines a competent and well executed game? You're saying there is objective merit to what makes a game good. What is that objective criteria?



This translates to, "If the game meets the developers vision/goal for what the end-peoduct should look like then it is a good game."

I mean if we went really deep on this I think we would find your thinking is flawed.
I mean what games do you like?
You say the story and pacing is bad in RDR2, well what do you consider good character development and good pacing?
What about the visuals, attention detail, Npc behaviour, mission variety, side quests, random events, sound design etc you are saying the game is awful based on only a few components.
 
And again, you're saying that the meaning of words is fluid. Solid can mean liquid. Liquid can mean solid. It doesn't matter that these two things are opposed to each other like objective and subjective or opposed to each other. You're dismissing the meaning of the word objective because it doesn't fit your narrative. You're arguing that objective means subjective. That. Is. Chaos.

It's not at all. Words can mean slightly different things in certain contexts, it is why you are basically the only one in here with this rigid understanding and usage for "objective". It doesn't mean only you understand what the word "means" -- it illustrates, very clearly to people who aren't you, that words don't only mean one absolute thing in all possible contexts. That's language.
 
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PanzerAzel

Member
But "competent" and "executed well" is still subjective. Does that mean that the game is bug free? Does it mean certain mechanics have to exist in the game? What defines a competent and well executed game? You're saying there is objective merit to what makes a game good. What is that objective criteria?
This isn't a debate about whether a game's creation or appeal is subjective, but about whether or not a game can be objectively good or bad. You can make that argument under the umbrella of subjectivity. You've not answered my question:

"Do you not agree that in designing something, that there are better ways to accomplish it than others? In architecture, an arch is a very effective and efficient way to support weight. Would it cease to be simply because someone subjectively disliked it?"

I'd appreciate to hear your perspective on this, as it gets to the core of what I'm arguing. If you can design something better than something else in a set determinant, then on what grounds can you discount its strengths on a subjective basis?
 
Where are the standards? You have three posts in this thread, and in none of them did you provide specific criteria to measure if a game is good or bad.

Objectively means it is quantifiable and it is unbiased (not taking personal feelings or opinion into consideration). You can't say that many things are "objectively" considered good or bad based on standards and qualities and somehow think you've proven something. That's a cop-out. The only way that is possible is if the standards and qualities are defined and objective. I can't counter your point because you just hand-waved and said, "There are plenty of examples somewhere that I'm not going to actually provide." I asked you to provide the specific objective standards and qualities that determine if a video game is good. If you have it then provide it.
Buggy software, poor controls, glitches, game crashes, lag, poor gameplay execution. I mentioned these in the first post.
 

IFireflyl

Gold Member
I mean if we went really deep on this I think we would find your thinking is flawed.
I mean what games do you like?
You say the story and pacing is bad in RDR2, well what do you consider good character development and good pacing?
What about the visuals, attention detail, Npc behaviour, mission variety, side quests, random events, sound design etc you are saying the game is awful based on only a few components.

You're asking irrelevant questions. What I find good doesn't matter. What I find bad not every finds bad, and they can use the exact same criteria as me to determine that something is good when I think it makes the same game bad. Heck, in this forum alone you have people arguing over whether 30 fps is still okay to use or if it needs to be thrown out. That is a part of visuals, and that's subjective.

It's not at all. Words can mean slightly different things in certain contexts, it is why you are basically the only one in here with this rigid understanding and usage for "objective". It doesn't mean only you understand what the word "means" -- it illustrates, very clearly to people who aren't you, that words don't only mean one absolute thing in all possible contexts. That's language.

I'm the only one arguing with you guys, but around 30 people or so liked my post that triggered you. So please don't act like I'm the only person who is thinking this way. What else does objectively mean then if it doesn't mean unbiased and without taking personal feelings/opinions into account? Literally every definition I have found is a variation of that exact criteria.

This isn't a debate about whether a game's creation or appeal is subjective, but about whether or not a game can be objectively good or bad. You can make that argument under the umbrella of subjectivity. You've not answered my question:

"Do you not agree that in designing something, that there are better ways to accomplish it than others? In architecture, an arch is a very effective and efficient way to support weight. Would it cease to be simply because someone subjectively disliked it?"

I'd appreciate to hear your perspective on this, as it gets to the core of what I'm arguing. If you can design something better than something else in a set determinant, then on what grounds can you discount its strengths on a subjective basis?

Game design is extremely broad, and not all aspects of game design are objective. I have already said that some aspects are quantifiable (such as loading times), which means that they can be objectively measured. Narrow your focus and ask me a specific question.

Buggy software, poor controls, glitches, game crashes, lag, poor gameplay execution. I mentioned these in the first post.

So literally the only defining criteria for if a game is good or bad is whether it is bug-free. That's a hot take.
 
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fart town usa

Gold Member
Code Veronica, seemed like a step back when compared to RE3. CV:X was even worse because it was bundled with the DMC demo, lol. The game felt like something out of the Bronze Age when compared to DMC. I was too dumb to realize that you need to use the lighter and to adjust TV settings to boost the atmosphere. I also didn't realize that Japan was going through a Tipper Gore/ESRB type thing and that's why they self-censored violent aspects of the game. Took me almost 2 decades to realize how great of a game that CV:X is. I was approaching it in the wrong manner.

Twilight Princess, it has great reviews but it somehow caught the brunt of all the Zelda complaints, and I feel like the complaints lobbed at TP only make sense if you ignore every Zelda game that came before it. (MM not included).

Too similar to OOT, I guess that's valid if you ignore that OOT is similar to ALTTP and that most Zelda games outside of BOTW/MM used ALTTP as a blueprint.

Game is ugly. Did you play a GCN game on a HD TV with composite cables? Of course it's going to look ugly. The graphics aspect also stems from the ridiculous flame war about people being upset about the change in art style and Nintendo trying to appeal to the West. I was out of the loop on all of that, bought TP day 1 and didn't know shit about the internet drama, I loved it. Never struck me as edgy or dark either, it was just a Zelda game that played like previous Zelda games, lol. There are plenty dark elements in all the Zelda games and let's be honest, MM is the darkest Zelda title, and it isn't even close.

Game takes forever to get going...Does it? You can easily sink 50+ hours into the game and still not 100% it. TP tells a fairly ambitious story when it comes to the Zelda franchise and the beginning quest is just character development. Zelda games always have the initial quest which is kinda like a tutorial before the game really opens up.

Wolf Link is pointless. If you don't explore the map then yea, you don't really need to use him but it's still an element of the game that is required when hunting for Poe Souls or underground caverns.

Hyrule Field is empty...but the sea in WW or Hyrule Field in OOT weren't empty? (I don't think any of those areas are empty).

Point being, TP gets the brunt of complaints but there's rarely context provided with how those complaints stack up to previous Zelda titles.
 
I'm the only one arguing with you guys, but around 30 people or so liked my post that triggered you. So please don't act like I'm the only person who is thinking this way. What else does objectively mean then if it doesn't mean unbiased and without taking personal feelings/opinions into account? Literally every definition I have found is a variation of that exact criteria.

No one is triggered.

Objective in this context and I'm using it here means appealing not to someone's personal subjective feelings or biases about a piece, but rather an argument formed based on an understanding of the principles of artistic composition and craftsmanship. This is part of the difference between "best" and "favorite" -- "best" will have to have an argument based on understandings and application of some of these concepts, whereas "favorite" will not. This is yet another categorical difference.

In terms of games, I already cited what some of those principles are, how they might apply to illustrate a more "objective" difference between Mario 64 & Bubsy 3D, and you ignored all that. Moreover, the fact that I could even bring up someone who prefers Bubsy 3D / Batman v Superman to Mario 64 / The Godfather should illustrate this for you clearly.

In terms of a film, since that was the other go-to example I was citing (which you also ignored), it refers to things like cinematography, story structure, characterization & actor performance, overall tone of the narrative, mis-en-scene & frame composition, and of course how these things are impacted by cinema's unique artistic identifier, editing.

None of this means that this is all objective meaning absolute or unflinching fact in the same way that a math equation is "objective". No one has ever said that, no one here thinks that. But your continued incorrect insistence that words can only have 1 definition is just wrong. And it poisons the well for any conversation which is going to be at all interested in / anchored in the grey areas of analysis and appreciation.
 
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So literally the only defining criteria for if a game is good or bad is whether it is bug-free. That's a hot take.
No, I believe there's many things that can make an objectively bad game, but considering that is one of them, it already stands to logically assume that objectively bad games exist. Unless you think a buggy unplayable game isn't objectively bad....
 

fart town usa

Gold Member
I'm going with Skyward Sword, because couch potatoes couldn't swing a Wii remote.
I've come around to SS but I really disliked it when it released.

I chalk it up to a lack of patience on my part and my goodwill towards Nintendo being completely gone. I've mentioned it in other threads but I revisited SS via the Wii U gamepad and that tiny screen really showcases the art style. Even though there are aspects of the game I really dislike, it has some of the best music in the whole franchise and some of the dungeons are fantastic. As far as the issues I have, most are applicable to previous Zelda titles but I do think the aiming not being done via IR was a huge mistake and the swimming controls are truly awful. Other than that it's a great game.
 

PanzerAzel

Member
Game design is extremely broad, and not all aspects of game design are objective. I have already said that some aspects are quantifiable (such as loading times), which means that they can be objectively measured. Narrow your focus and ask me a specific question.
I would ask of you the same, because I’m not the one going at people requesting of them the incredibly broad question of “what are the criteria of an objectively good game”? I already addressed that, which you ignored, only to immediately ask it over again. I think you know that’s an absurd line of argumentation, and it’s not an inquiry made in good faith. It holds no focus nor specificity.
 

Sosokrates

Gold Member
You're asking irrelevant questions. What I find good doesn't matter. What I find bad not every finds bad, and they can use the exact same criteria as me to determine that something is good when I think it makes the same game bad. Heck, in this forum alone you have people arguing over whether 30 fps is still okay to use or if it needs to be thrown out. That is a part of visuals, and that's subjective.



I'm the only one arguing with you guys, but around 30 people or so liked my post that triggered you. So please don't act like I'm the only person who is thinking this way. What else does objectively mean then if it doesn't mean unbiased and without taking personal feelings/opinions into account? Literally every definition I have found is a variation of that exact criteria.



Game design is extremely broad, and not all aspects of game design are objective. I have already said that some aspects are quantifiable (such as loading times), which means that they can be objectively measured. Narrow your focus and ask me a specific question.



So literally the only defining criteria for if a game is good or bad is whether it is bug-free. That's a hot take.

Going by that logic someone could think UE5 has bad visuals for the same reason someone thinks they are good..🤔
 

IFireflyl

Gold Member
No one is triggered.

Objective in this context and I'm using it here means appealing not to someone's personal subjective feelings or biases about a piece, but rather an argument formed based on an understanding of the principles of artistic composition and craftsmanship.

The principles of artistic composition and craftsmanship? I'll bite. What are the principles. We'll keep following this rabbit hole until we get to the end.

No, I believe there's many things that can make an objectively bad game, but considering that is one of them, it already stands to logically assume that objectively bad games exist. Unless you think a buggy unplayable game isn't objectively bad....

I asked for all of the criteria that determines if a game is "objectively" good or bad. You gave me a single criteria. If there is more to it then please list the rest of the criteria.

I would ask of you the same, because I’m not the one going at people requesting of them the incredibly broad question of “what are the criteria of an objectively good game”? I already addressed that, which you ignored, only to immediately ask it over again. I think you know that’s an absurd line of argumentation, and it’s not an inquiry made in good faith. It holds no focus nor specificity.

You're the one asserting that objectivity exists. It's up to you to prove this. I'm not going to give you examples to further your argument. You didn't give me the clear and objective criteria regarding how it is determined if a game is good or bad. Don't dance around this. Just give me the answer if you have it.

Going by that logic someone could think UE5 has bad visuals for the same reason someone thinks they are good..🤔

Someone could. How we perceive the world is subjective.
 
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