Friday, September 18, 2009

Random Shots: Blinded By The Fun

  • If I've learned anything about the internet, it is this: there is no shortage of opinions and no two are alike. For instance, compare this review from Gamespy with this review from IGN, both about my jeu du jour, Champions Online. Both reviews bring up the same issues with the game. However the IGN reviewer was better able to overlook the problems and enjoy the game while the Gamespy reviewer was stymied by them.

  • Reading those two article, I couldn't help but wonder if I, too, was purposefully overlooking the game's problems just because I was having so much fun playing it. My own first impressions are almost devoid of criticism. Compare that to Syp's Pro and Con lists.

  • If someone called me a CO fanboy, I would be hard pressed to refute the claim. I am a fan of the game and I want to see it succeed. I agree with all the issues everyone is raising, but I don't really care. I'm having too much fun playing for that to get in my way. And I don't see why that's a bad thing.

  • The bad rap that fanboys get is well deserved. Some people love a thing so much that they defend it to irrational lengths. And in the process they make the object of their fandom seem all the more foolish. I hope that I never slip into those murky depths. However I sympathize with them, if not their methods. There is nothing wrong with loving something in spite of its faults.

  • But then earlier this year, I was similarly enamored with Free Realms. I wrote a clutch of posts, had a great time, and then I cancelled my subscription and haven't played since. I'm not going to be cancelling my CO subscription any time soon. (Lifetime, remember?) But I wonder what will be the reason I stop logging into Champions. Can I only be blinded by the fun for so long?

© 2009 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.
If you're reading this on a site other than Bullet Points, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. I've really grown to hate the term fanboy. I think it gets over used too much, and more generally now is used to describe anyone who disagrees with the speaker's own opinions.

    On the topic of fun and ignoring bad parts of a game, I consider that the mark of a good game or at least the novelty and I don't see anything wrong with that.

    Keep having fun with Champions, until it's not fun anymore and then move onto something else. Gaming shouldn't be a job.

    I feel like I should be using bullet points on my comments.

  2. There are some definite issues with CO, but it is fun. So I think it's ok to over look certain issues because of that.

    Eventually though Cryptic is going to need to not only keep fixing and tweaking, but start adding more substantial content as well.

    When I mean content, I am most certainly not talking about end game, which is needed, but I mean expanding the game horizontally. Adding more zones, more quests, and trying to flesh out the game some how so that it is not entirely quest driven.

    I haven't played much lately because of playing some new Xbox games, but I still like the game. But I am just not sure if I will play after my free time. That is why I will read about your adventures, it will fuel my desire to wear tights!!

  3. I think there is a difference between being a fan of a game and refusing to perceive any of it's shortcomings, or in MMOs refusing to question any of the decisions of the developers. The proportion of game fans that are able to have intelligent discussions about the shortcomings of their game of choice seems small on the internet.

    On the opposite end of the spectrum, and their population is apparently much larger, are those that dislike certain games and seemingly are unable to tell the difference between a fact and a personal opinion. "Different strokes for different folks" is but a meaningless collection of random words to these guys.

    My personal peeve is internet lurkers who hang out on message boards populated by fans of a given game and post on a daily basis that the game sucks. Not that they dislike the game because of features X, Y, and Z or lack of features A and B. Simply that the game sucks and anyone that claims to enjoy it is either a liar or knows too little of the genre to have an informed opinion.

    Some these guys are straight up trolls just trying to tweak folks out for giggles. But an awful lot of them seem to honestly believe what they write. It makes me doubt that humans will ever get past the stage of warring tribal factions.

  4. @ Blue Kae - I figure I'm okay loving Champions so long as I don't start arguing with people on their blogs or websites. Also, I do love bullet points, so go ahead. :)

    @ Jayedub - I think the recent poll (of which four of my five suggestions appeared!) is a good sign that Cryptic know they have to keep adding to the game. I agree that horizontal additions to the game are needed. Giving alts multiple paths to quest in would make rerolling in the game much more interesting.

    @ Yeebo - At work today, everyone in my department (about a hundred people) had to put up with a email debate about whether the Angels or Dodgers were the better team. So yeah, people love picking sides and they love shouting the other side down. In some ways, we never left the stone age.

  5. Angels or Dodgers, ugh, I say neither.