Monday, January 25, 2010


For a game to be AAA, must it be great in all categories, or can it be a D level game in some respects but absolutely nail an aspect or three that you find particularly important for a certain genre and have the game be AAA?

I ask this because lately I have found myself having to defend myself for considering Bayonetta to be a AAA, 9.5/10 type game. People get so miffed, and proceed to tell me I am crazy, etc. It usually boils down to the narrative, character, music, shit like that, but what I always explain is that for me, a hack n slash game needs 3 things and 3 things only: excellent combat, challenge, and good boss fights.

Competent level design helps, as does adequate pacing, but boss fights, combat and challenge are the most important things to me, at the outright exclusion of the others.

So for me, Bayonetta completely meets and destroys my expectations for a hack n slash game. The combat is sublime, the bosses are incredible, it's decently challenging (although hard could be harder, I'm hoping IC Mode is a lot harder) and the level design is actually spectacular, not just competent.

This is why Ninja Gaiden Black is my favourite game:

AMAZING combat
Hard as fuck (at least at first, and on Master Ninja)
Amazingly balanced
Spectacular AI
Ridiculously good boss designs, save for a few
Good level design with some light adventure elements
Excellent pacing

And yet, all others can see is the bad camera (btw, it is bad, I agree, however, the camera is completely workable once you learn to utilize audio cues, Ryu's tracking abilities, and the Right trigger, but I digress) weak and cliched story, cliched dialogue, paper thin characters, and ''it's too hard!''

I acknowledge all of that (except for the last thing) but it doesn't matter. Not because I am not a discerning gamer, but because I am overwhelmed by how good the rest is, and to me, I ask: who cares about the story and characters? It's a hack n slash game! It's all about the combat!

I might expect more from an RPG, an adventure or a survival horror game, but even then I can excuse certain things.

Am I alone in this, or do you, reader, do this as well? Do you excuse some bad things if the rest is good enough and not let it affect the games status or do you expect ''the total package'' no matter what?

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