I picked option 5 on the top list. Atmosphere, to me, is the way a game combines all of its various elements to create an engaging experience; how the aesthetics, writing and even gameplay combine to drag the player into the game and actually make them eager to see what happens next. I don't worry if some elements aren't present, as long as I'm involved and don't feel I could get the same experience through another medium (e.g. book, movie). This might also explain my relationship with 'scary' games - I don't like playing them, but I often enjoy watching other people play because they have such compelling atmosphere. Additionally, I hold great appreciation for anything that shows me something I haven't seen before, or anything clever, or anything crafted with fine attention to detail. It's those little touches that really make a game great.
While I surely appreciate challenging/enjoyable gameplay (you do not
go on a year-long shmup binge if you don't), my standards for judging it are slightly different. As a rule, no
game, no matter how well designed, is going to be totally flawless, especially when you're a stickler for details. The flaws need not be crippling, or even a big deal, but over the years they will inevitably become a wee bit tiresome. Graphics and music, on the other hand, can quite easily be 'perfect' in the sense that they're good enough that they don't feel as though they need any improving. Not to mention the talent required to make them as such, which is worthy of immense respect, while with gameplay I always feel like I could improve it if only I could fiddle with a couple of numbers somewhere <_< Writing falls somewhere between the two, because again it's a very hard thing to do well, but it can still be fun even if it's technically wrong (e.g. Eggie drug back fuck). However, it does seem to be the part that gets botched most often, or that consistently makes games really terrible.
As for flaws... eh. I think what's happened/happening was largely inevitable, as video games became more mainstream, graphics more realistic and budgets/time constraints much easier to blow out. Most of my problems with eastern game development can be summed up as "animu bullshit", while with western development it's a mix of things like spaghettivision and DLC. These are mostly problems for big-name titles, obviously; indie games have their own bag of issues but are better on the whole, of course
My standards in general are pretty lenient, so when I really
dislike something it's because I absolutely can't feel a skerrick of happiness for any length of time. As an example, I enjoy pretty much every genre aside from arcade-style fighters, but as some of you probably know I nurse a particular soft spot for 90's-style JRPG's play Mystic Ark, which have done almost nothing but plummet in quality over the last decade. Feels bad man On a final note, I'll tie that into an issue that gets thrown around a bit regarding gameplay, which is that turn-based combat is outdated. I don't really agree
, and what I think a lot of people don't realise is that the limit on turn-based input is a human one and not a technological one. For non-chosen-ones, it's impossible to exhibit such a high degree of control over more than a single target at once, at least without a lot of repetition and memorisation. Maybe when games can tap into our subconscious that will change, but until then it still offers something that other styles of gameplay can't provide, eye-em-oh.
Edited by DoubleThink, 24 May 2012 - 03:21 PM.