The Best Game
In every gaming discussion, one popular topic always comes up: best-ness. Go to the forums any day of the week and you’ll be sure to find at least three threads that talk about best graphics in a game, best ps3 game, best rpg of this generation, etc. It’s a very, very popular topic. I do not really understand the draw of the topic but it gets everyone talking and even if they’re flame baits, they end up having pages and pages of discussion.
To me, this is a bit disappointing cause I still can’t see this discussion as anything more than needless game comparisons. I can definitely understand why it’s exciting to pit all these games against one another to come to an agreement about which game is the winner and all, but claiming a certain game as a best in something makes everything feel much too arbitrary. In fact, these discussions get worse when people do indeed try to become arbitrary by brining in metacrictic scores and ign top 100’s and whatnot.
I know I’ve said something like this a millionth time now on my gamdpad but since I can argue that there is no one game that everyone can love, there surely is no such thing as the best game. Everyone’s tastes are so different that what may be best for one person may not be for another.
Even things that sound pretty objective such as best graphics is actually pretty subjective. Even when technically, Crysis is definitely the game that showcases this amazing graphics, I can argue that it’s not. You may think I’m crazy for doing so but I can do this by saying that to me, great graphics mean amazing performance (no lags, no frame rate stutters), extremely slick texture quality, and best possible resolution. If we’re going by this, Crysis loses to Wipeout HD. If we’re going by amazing facial expressions and extremely detailed character models and crazy particle effects, MGS4 takes the cake. And of course, if we’re going by overall graphics, well then, we’re gonna be all over the place, with pc elitists saying that console gamers should not even be discussing graphics and many people arguing for the importance of art style and whatnot. What we got here is nothing more than opinions and only opinions, thus proving that there can be no such thing as a game that has the best graphics.
Graphics is not the only example where best-ness cannot be proven. Best music? Best weapons? Best shooter of the year? All of it utterly fails. And like I said before, this is exactly why I hate VGAs of any kind. I’m sorry if that offends any of you users who make blogs of VGAs but that’s just how I see it. I know some of you take real effort to make your VGAs and I respect you for that, but I won’t read them cause I see the whole concept as pointless. And if you think that’s wrong of me, feel free to thumb this blog down or pm me or whatever. :)
Anywho, in conclusion, the best game of any kind does not and cannot exist. So let’s talk about things that actually can exist.
My Favorite Game
This is a hard one too especially since to pick one game out of so many amazing games that have come out in the past is an extremely, extremely hard task. I mean, ask me what my favorite PC game is and I won’t be able to give you an answer. I might be able to give you my list of top 10 favorite pc games but still, I won’t be able to do it. But this concept, unlike best-ness (I love using this non-word btw), is possible and makes total sense.
It makes sense because favorite-ness (yes, another non-word!) doesn’t imply that my word is the absolute and the only truth. If you say that my favorite FPS game is Duke Nukem 3D then I’m perfectly okay with that. I have no desire to argue against it but just an incentive to say what my favorite is. Favorite-ness shows that it’s an opinion and thus it doesn’t cause any conflicts.
And it’s also very possible. Sure me naming my favorite PC game is really really hard but I can definitely tell you what my favorite rts game is (Shogun: Total War), and even what my favorite game of the year is (MGS4).
Favorite-ness however is all too similar to best-ness. Even though it makes sense and the concept definitely can exist without being contradictory, it’s still pointless. It’s less of a game comparison, but it just doesn’t feel that important to say. If you love a game, then I think it’s simply enough to state that love instead of brining all this talk about favoriteness and whatnot.
So if the discussion of a favorite game is pointless, what is a similar topic that is pointful? (man, I’m making a lot of non-words today) And this is where my blog today becomes a bit controversial, not that it isn’t already.
The Perfect Game
The biggest controversy right off the bat of course is, does a perfect game exist? Moreove, can a perfect game even exist?
I would argue that it can and that it does, but only if it’s viewed like this: (1)flawlessness meaning no glitches and no bugs that hinder the experience (2)it couldn’t have been made better technically regarding the platform it’s released on and the time of its release, and (3) all its mechanics work as perfectly intended.
Considering these three things, it’s possible for what I would consider a perfect game to have some annoying design choices or even some things that could make the game better (as long as that something couldn’t be done because of hardware limitations or because it couldn’t be done at the time).
The controversial part about this deal is which part of the game we consider as couldn’t be done better. This is the subjective field about this matter. I would argue that Grand Theft Liberty City Story controls are perfect, that it couldn’t be done matter, especially regarding the limitations of PSP. It works and it doesn’t have any flaws so to me, it’s perfect. Of course, it definitely could have been better but only if it wasn’t for the PSP where two analog sticks and four shoulder buttons are possible. Whether I’m right or not about this is controversial but when it comes to perfectness, it’s something that can have very valid points on either side, which isn’t true for best-ness or even favorite-ness.
It also doesn’t single out one game. There can be multiple perfect games. When someone says the best game or the favorite game of a certain thing, he/she is limited to talking about only one game. For example, when someone talks about the best shooter or his/her favorite shooter, that talk can only be limited to one game. When it comes to perfectness however, it’s easy to talk about the perfect games in the shooter genre. This opens up the discussion to a whole new level.
When it’s opened up, this dicussion actually can become really important. When we’re talking about perfect games, while we do enter a realm of subjectivity on certain aspects, we’re also talking about the gaming industry as a whole, its great/lackluster past/present and its potential future. Talking about perfect games thus I feel can be really important and pointful. This discussion isn’t a simple and needless game comparison but an analysis and exploration of what games truly stand out as perfect to us.
The danger to this discussion is of course its arbitrariness. When I say that I think Metal Gear Solid is a perfect game overall, this shouldn’t ever mean that someone could have an opposing opinion about it. That is a very controversial statement. the disccusion should be about what makes Metal Gear Solid perfect (or flawed) and not about why it just totally isn’t perfect/flawed.
Overall though, I think talking about perfect games could make game discussions more important and more interesting than simply talking about the best games and the favorite games. In a Kwonsteinian world, The Perfect Game wins against the other two.