I Think Episodic Games Are Alright (A response to Mundane Matt)

There’s a YouTube personality that I have talked about on here and watch regularly.  His name is Mundane Matt.  He makes a lot of videos about gaming news, among other things.  He’s someone who I enjoy watching, but in a recent video of his, he had some thoughts about episodic games that actually struck me as a little bit…disagreeable.  I don’t agree with his perspective.  He was talking about the new remake to Final Fantasy VII, and the fact that it is being split into an episodic format.  He sees this as a bad thing, and while this is most definitely not my first pick, I think that it isn’t the worst thing, so long as they keep to a schedule.  I’ll let you all see his video, just for context, and then I’ll talk about it.

I very much think that I’m in some minority when it comes to gaming.  I really do.  Maybe it’s because I’m poor, and have been poor for all of my adult life, but honestly, when Matt talks about how so many gamers are going to be involved in so many games, I always feel like I am weird for being very selective of the games I play.  For example, I know for a fact that I will NEVER play The Division.  An MMO shooter is not what I am interested in.  I game for the story, not the competition.  I got no beef with people who do game for stuff like that.  To each his/her own.  But story is the thing that calls to me.  When it comes to that, I am a pretty patient guy.

Let me put it this way – the episodic game, Life is Strange, was my favorite game of this year.  Even with the STUPID ending that pissed me off, it still is a game that I got wrapped up in in a way that I haven’t gotten with many other games.  Most of that was due to the phenomenal voice-acting of the main characters, Max and Chloe.  But this game got my attention.  Did the fact that it was an episodic game deter me at all from enjoying it?  No.  Granted, I would have liked it if it was all at once, but I was still patient enough to be able to wait for the next episode, while replaying or playing some new stuff.  The story was that engaging, to me.

I think it’s Internet culture that gets us this need for instant gratification.  Not sure if it’s the fact that people get so excited about stuff.  My patience is a flexible animal, so long as what I have is worth something.  With Life is Strange, there were narrative options and things to play around with.  Sure, it would have been nice if the episodes were longer.  Or maybe have more areas to go.  But I was only paying $5 an episode.  For that price, getting something that wasn’t super long didn’t bother me.

With all that said, I will say that the fact that the remake to Final Fantasy VII is going to be episodic is a little concerning, if only because I am really nervous that this is going to be short and dumb.  I was hoping that this game would be bigger.  They talk about adding more to the story, so why make it episodic?  This seems counter-productive.  All the talk about the world of the game being bigger and us having more to explore makes me think that this game might be a little more ambitious than it means to be.  Or that Square Enix is unsure about this product.  Not to mention – how big is this game going to be?  Digital download games tend to take up a lot of space on one’s console.  So annoying that these consoles only have 500 gigs of space.  It should have been a terabyte, at least.  Especially with all the fantastic games that are coming out next year.

Anyway, got off-track.  As I was saying, if the game is good, and the episodic format doesn’t mean that I only will have an hour or two of gameplay before its done, then I am okay.  So long as the episodes aren’t released several months apart.  Within reason, I am able to accept a game that breaks itself up into parts, so long as the parts are good.  Good games is all it comes down to, with me.  Good games that keep my attention.  What is it about modern gaming that makes people think that that isn’t something that the general public could get in on?  Matt talks about all the inundation with AAA gaming ads. I don’t deal with much of that.  I don’t watch regular television.  I mostly watching YouTube.  I keep up with gaming events, and by following sites like Tech Raptor, I have heard about games that otherwise would have slipped off the radar.

In the meantime, the visuals of the Final Fantasy VII Remake look amazing.  The gameplay looks solid as fuck.  Everything about this tells me that it is going to be worth every penny.  But I will give the first episode a go, and if it doesn’t hold up, then I’ll walk.  Let that be on Square Enix.  But I do think that this is a bad choice, if only because I honestly don’t know how they could fit a story as big as this game in an episodic format.  However, I disagree with Matt’s thoughts about episodic games.  This episodic game gives me pause, but only because I am worried that the episodes won’t be worth the time.  This is a game that should be on disc, with all of what I am hoping is a MASSIVE wealth of content for us to explore.  If that means that we have to wait longer, so be it.  Just like with episodic games, I will wait for full games, if the content is worth the money.

Next move is yours, Square Enix.

Until next time, a quote,

“After you find out all the things that can go wrong, your life becomes less about living and more about waiting.” – Chuck Palahnuik

Peace out,

Maverick

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7 thoughts on “I Think Episodic Games Are Alright (A response to Mundane Matt)

    • That would be among my favorite games of all time, were it not for the STUPID ending to the series. No joke, it is ridiculous, with no only a ton of unanswered questions, but the “good” ending is a giant plothole. This game falls into the same category as Mass Effect – games that were set up for greatness, and both crashed at the finish line. But I still do like both of those series, even if they ended on a sour note.

      • Mmm, the ending felt really rushed, didn’t it? The ‘good’ ending could clearly never have gone well, because the tornado was clearly only the beginning. If the destruction of the town was the price of keeping Chloe alive for a week, then things would surely only get worse if they just went on a road trip around America.

      • That’s not even the plothole. The good ending, when you go back and let Chloe die, is Max changing time again! How did that stop the tornado?! It’s so ridiculous. Their rationalization for how that makes sense is ridiculous. The tornado was created by Max continually altering time. By going back, she was altering time again. Only this time, it was letting the person that, depending on your actions, she came to love die. And the tornado would have happened anyway. Nice work, Max.

      • Yeah, but by going back to the very moment that she first time-travelled, she’s returning to the timeline she was in to begin with, and undoing every choice she’s made so far. Of course, by doing that, basically every choice the player makes suddenly doesn’t matter, because they never happened, which is meh.

      • I don’t buy that. It’s still creating yet-another alternate timeline. That’s what made the tornado in the first place. Every time Max rewound time, she would move, but time would keep going. So this would be yet-another alternate timeline that she made, only this time with Chloe dead. By making it so that the tornado is caused by the alternate timelines smashing together, they have to somehow reconcile that Max creating yet-another timeline makes it so that what she did goes away. Nine kinds of ridiculous.

      • But then there was the big question – what was the power Max had? Where did it come from? What was the connection to Rachel Amber? Why did the power choose Max? A thousand and one questions that are clearly never going to be answered. But that’s why I decided to write out how I would have ended the series. Hopefully this makes it clearer. At least how I see it. https://lucien0maverick.wordpress.com/2015/10/21/how-i-would-have-ended-life-is-strange/

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