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Special I had a good experience from a bad quality video game

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Judit Llordés
@juditllordés
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A few days ago I started Disaster Report 4. Of all the myriads of great games I had paused, however, I realized that the one I wanted to play, that I wanted to finish, was the only one that wasn't worth finishing. So I asked myself ... when is a video game really good?

But I believe that, before I can answer you, I need to tell everything that led me to that question, from the beginning.



So make the popcorn, sit in the nearest chair and let me tell my story. Today I will be that sailor who, between spitting and insults, tells you about the incredible adventures he lived when he was younger, because trust me, it's a story to tell.

Antithesis - "Do you know that I really want to play it?"

Before leaving, however, let me make some clarifications. First of all: Yes, this time I will not really tell the whole story, so no one will ever read it all (- like last time).


To learn more:
The Persona experience for a person who has never played Persona

But, yes, even in this case we are talking about my personal experience, because in the end all the big thoughts arise from the stupidest things. I started Disaster Report 4 by accident, without expecting anything.

As I have already told you in other articles, the games that you enjoy the most are those that you play without prejudice, that you play just for; The ones you play for fun, really though. If you remember, in the last piece on Persona, what I criticized myself the most was the fact that I continued to play according to my prejudices.



This time, however, the urge to play came simply from watching others play this game that I knew practically nothing about.

I thought 'You know I really want to play it?'

It hadn't happened to me for a long time and, driven by a natural desire and my stupidity, I turned on Steam and bought it. Nothing more, nothing less. No musical interlude, just like that, for the strength of my simple love for video games.

Thesis - A bad game from which I could not tear myself away

The next day, I went there and started playing it. I could never have expected what would happen from that point forward.

First, it didn't take long to understand several things about the game. For example, in a couple of hours I realized that the title was extremely woody, poorly optimized and generally bad in the technical sector.

Yet… I loved playing it. For the many choices that the game forced me to make, I felt alone in the middle of that earthquake city, jumping between buildings and talking to the most bizarre individuals.

There was another thing, then, that took me most of all. Writing Disaster Report 4 is one of the craziest I've ever seen. There are continuous changes of scenarios, which completely overturn the tone of the narrative, with sad moments followed by comic and completely surreal scenes.



Then I finally understood the charm of the game, its intrinsic beauty, which existed without caring about everything around it. Of course, it smelled very much of Japan, with its oddities and absurdities, but… I couldn't get away from it.

The Making - A bittersweet experience

For several days, I continued to play Disaster Report 4, even shrinking like a rag after long, uninterrupted sections. I had a lot of standing games, but that was the only one I wanted to continue.

And at that point I realized that I had had a good experience from a bad title

Disaster Report 4 is a bad game. It is boring at times, woody, slow, born old and anchored in the past. He is disrespectful of his origins in the saga and is on balance mediocre due to his continued inconsistency. Crap.

Still, I've had a good experience with it. I couldn't get tired of it, I couldn't stop playing it, getting to the new level. At one point, I even paused a meeting between friends just to play it.

Up to that point I doubted my passion for video games. All the last few games I've played, minus Persona 4, which I've already talked about, have made me lose faith.


Ma a game of 6, mediocre in all its aspects and poorly maintained like an abandoned shack, it made me want to play video games again.


"When is a video game good?"

When is a video game considered beautiful? When the giochinipertutti.it site tells me that it is done well? Or, there is more; is there something different and complex?

From the little story I have told you, you should have understood that it is something we should think about. Because, instead of playing triple A in turn, I wanted to finish a game that I objectively believe (- and here the great boss Pietro will kill me -) mediocre?

I think we have to distinguish between the quality of a game and the experience it can give. It is not a simple question of “it's an inspired title”, nor of creative or artistic freedom or beauty. In short, a video game is beautiful when it is beautiful.

Someone can enjoy Death Stranding because it hit the right chords, someone else appreciates the new The Last of Us II because it made him move. For me, there's Disaster Report 4. Why… is that a lot Japanese? (…I think?).

The Neverhood is another similar title that I finished in this period, which despite the years continues to strike for its incredible soul

The point is, I think we forgot that a videogame is not just a bunch of numbers or a gallery for new jaw-breaking graphics. If you really don't want to say it's art, at least admit that there is more than just technical quality. So let's stop treating them like that.

A video game becomes beautiful when it is beautiful for the one who plays it

If there is one thing I love about video games it is that they are a deeply personal experience. While in cinema, literature or other mediums you simply have - partial - freedom on the interpretation of the work, video games are ... something you command.

Link doesn't move forward unless you press "up arrow", and while it's not always complete freedom (see Detroit: Become Human or other dear Cage games), there's always something you need to do to keep the game going.


To learn more:
Detroit Become Human and Me, Robot: never break the rules of robotics

In my opinion, Disaster Report 4 is the emblem of this concept. As I explained earlier, it is a game in which you have a lot of choice over any decision of the protagonist, and often, even if they have no implications in the gameplay, they greatly increase the immersion in the title. You enjoy it because you really feel part of the experience.

For the same reason, you can enjoy any game differently, you can have good experiences that come not only from its quality, how long it lasts or how big the maps you will be exploring, but from different reasons, sometimes. also strange.

Indeed, I'll tell you more: in the right hands Final Fantasy XV can become a lot of fun fishing game (also in VR!).

A video game is beautiful in the right hands.

Even if it has shortcomings, even if it is done with the feet, it can entertain, or at least give a good experience ... so beautiful to take someone to write an article about it, criticizing the approach to the whole medium.

How and when to say that a game is good

Precisely for all that I have said, I wonder why, when we recommend a game, we refer only to more "objective" criteria; because traditional printing still it is tied to criteria that mean nothing e they count for nothing to anyone.

You don't like a game because "the new engine has good collisions", or because "the game is very inspired", but because you enjoyed it, you had a good time, it lifted you from a bad period, it made you reflect.

And that's why when I talk about games I hate talking about the game itself. Because it makes no sense and nobody cares ... I prefer to talk aboutexperience, of everything around. Which is, after all, what Holygamerz does everything. Let's talk about the video game, we don't judge games.

And that's why even a shit game can give me sleepless nights.

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