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What Is Fun?

March 17, 2008

Is it more fun to play a new game just because it’s newer? In my experience that’s not the case. Let’s look at some games I’ve mentioned in the past. Jade Empire, Folklore, and Genji are some games I mentioned before. Jade Empire was way more fun than Folklore because it was more immersive and fulfilling than Folklore even though Folklore is newer and the graphics are better. Folklore is comparative to Genji because they’re both from the same company, but while Genji was frustrating and unbalanced Folklore was well balanced and had an even curve of difficulty from beginning to end. Even though logic seems to dictate a newer game for a newer system is going to be more fun than an older game for an older system that’s not always the case. I think people think that way because a game today should have learned from all the past mistakes of other games and also have the best presentation to date, but presentation doesn’t equal fun, and people don’t always learn from the mistakes of the past. So what makes a game fun then? I think the core of any fun game is achievement and progression. For instance I’m playing the Soul Blazer series right now. When I first started Soul Blazer I was like this game is junk it’s old why am I playing this, but I gave it a shot and I’m glad I did. It’s really well balanced. there’s a teleport at the first, middle, and end of every dungeon. There’s an easy way to save. Dying doesn’t cost you your progress and the best part is through the course of playing the game you rebuild a world. There will be a place that starts out in ruins and as you release things from the darkness you build up cities every where you go. That’s the underlying theme of the Soul Blazer series; rebuilding a lost world some how and it’s fun. I can see all my achievements and progession come to life and it doesn’t matter that it’s a 17 year old game. It’s just plain fun to always be progressing and achieving. I haven’t played a game as good as Soul Blazer in quite some time. I like Soul Blazer for the same reason I like Bioshock  or Jade Empire or Zuma or SSX. They’re all completely different games but the core element of progression and achievement are the same in each one and that’s what I want the Atomsplit game to be like whether your into beating your high score with your favorite character or unlocking the other characters and goodies or both. I want the game to be a fun experience of achieving and progressing.

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