Is Perfection Required?

Does a game need perfection to be great?

By Grayshadow, Posted 27 Oct 2013

Would you settle for second best, or do you thrive for excellence? Developers and publishers in the video game industry dedicate time and money to ensure that their product overshadows other games by showcasing an incredible story and amazing gameplay. However, not every category requires excellence. Some titles focus on certain principals that distinguish the game from other titles, despite having issues with certain mechanics. It’s possible for developers to create a title that is superb in specific categories like story or gameplay in order to negate the negative attributes.

Video Game, Perfection, Gaming, Beyond Two Souls, Outatom, Editorial
Lots of quick-time events, limited control, but excellent story

I recently played Beyond: Two Souls for a second time, and I became more aware of the issues that plagued Quantum Dream’s latest game. I was annoyed, having so little control over Jodie, relying mostly on quick-time events and basic button inputs. In certain situations I wished I could run, but was limited to walking, hoping Jodie's pace would speed up. Unless it was required, I wasn’t able to fully control any of the characters. Even with a spirit like Aiden who was capable of strangling someone, passing through walls or possessing people was given a leash. I could only utilize his powers when it was allowed. If this was any other game I would’ve been upset, but instead I plowed through the aggravating limitations to experience the story.

Beyond: Two Souls has an engaging story that is supported by fantastic voice-acting and a brilliant original soundtrack. These attributes didn’t cloak the annoyances I had to endure, but made them less of a chore. I wanted to see how my choices affected the story differently from my last playthrough, and although I had to again endure mandatory quick-time inputs, I wasn’t annoyed. Beyond: Two Souls wasn’t the most entertaining game to play, but it was an engaging, cinematic adventure, and that’s what made it worth playing multiple times. And Beyond: Two Souls isn’t the only game that overshadowed it’s poor concepts with other engaging attributes.

Video Game, Perfection, Gaming, Beyond Two Souls, Outatom, Editorial
Tawdry story but incredible gameplay

When Donkey Kong Country Returns was released in 2010 it used a similar principal. Using old-school mechanics, reviewers praised the developers at Retro Studios for delivering a nostalgic and challenging title. The story was simple; Donkey Kong attempts to retake possession of his stolen Bananas from the Tikis. It was a stale and tawdry reason for Donkey Kong’s adventure, but the core mechanics were so strong that this was easily overlooked. It didn’t need modern 3D environments or a spectacular story. Like Beyond: Two Souls, with its glaring gameplay shortcomings, Donkey Kong Country Returns has attributes that are strong enough, making these problems transparent issues.  

The recent Pokemon X and Y uses the same mechanics as the original Red and Blue versions. In 1998 I was collecting spiritual creatures, pitting them in battles, and gaining experience. The same core concept that has followed each Pokemon game since. Cosmetic changes, minor gameplay variations, and a new region altered the game but it was the still the same rock, paper, scissor system that I played in 1998. Despite this, I still had a lot of fun playing Pokemon Y because the mechanics were still as strong as they were in over 10 years ago.

Video Game, Perfection, Gaming, Beyond Two Souls, Outatom, Editorial
Collect them all again and again

It’s important to ensure that all functions required to make a game great are properly constructed. This doesn’t mean that the entire game has to be perfect. Some people may find Beyond: Two Souls frustrating due to the lack of control, Donkey Kong Country irritating because it was retro instead of modern, or Pokemon following the same mechanics. In the end, if certain attributes are magnificent we tend to ignore the more problematic issues. If a certain attribute is strong enough than the other shallow aspects became less significant.

Adam Siddiqui, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): PS3
Publisher(s): Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer(s): Quantic Dream
Genres: Adventure
Themes: Interactive Cinema
Release Date: 2013-10-08

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