Topic: Does a Game Have to Have Fun Gameplay?

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To put it simply, do you think must a game focus primarily on providing a fun gameplay experience?

Ask me this a year ago and I would've said yes, but since playing some games like Fez, Flower, and To the Moon, I honestly don't know why I ever thought that. I mean, Portal was one of my favorite games even back then, and I enjoyed that more for the experience - the humor, story, and atmosphere - than the gameplay, which main consisted of tutorials for roughly 90% of the game. And a lot of my favorite games I remember more than just the gameplay. Ratchet & Clank are just as funny as they are fun, and even surprisingly emotional at times. Metroid Prime's atmosphere is top notch, perfectly delivering the feeling of being alone in a hostile environment. It's story, uniquely delivered mostly though scan logs, was great as well, accenting the gameplay and atmosphere perfectly.

Then there are games like Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil, even Solatorobo at times, games which had gameplay that I found counter-intuitive and difficult to enjoy, yet still I greatly enjoyed them - MGS for it's interesting, twist-filled story, RE for its atmosphere, and Solatorobo for its Everything that wasn't the gameplay. Even games like Gravity Rush I'm willing to put up with and forgive its naunces for its interesting presentation, story, characters, and atmosphere.

All of this has led me to believe that there's far more to games than simply its gameplay, and I'm finding that I'm appreciating games that can do these other aspects well instead of just focusing on whether or not it's "fun". These games can be just as interesting and memorable for me, if not moreso, than a game that's simply fun and nothing else. It's interesting to feel the impact of a game that's striving to appeal to your emotions, rather than just trying to entertain, at least in my opinion.

But enough about me, I made this thread because I'm interested what you guys have to say about the subject. Should a game only be "fun", or should a game be enjoyed for other reasons as well?

Edited on by CanisWolfred

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Yes. My number one rule: I have to have fun! If I don't find the game fun, I won't play it.
Also, "Replayability is king", and "Good graphics do not a good game make". Together, this forms my gaming philosophy.

Edited on by sugarpixel

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I played through all of Fragile Dreams and didn't regret it.

I'd say the answer is clearly "no".

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How would you play a game if you don't have fun playing it?

"No one said you could touch."


I can dig a good story, but the game is worthless to me if I don't have fun playing it. The nature of the fun can be many different things however.

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I have an idea... Why don't we just play the games we like instead of discussing random stuff about them

Are 3rd/FPS shooters way too browny/greeny/grey?



I don't consider reading books or watching a show to be "fun", but I enjoy them. So no, a game doesn't necessarily need to be "fun" to be enjoyable.

Edited on by TysonOfTime

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Essentially, yes. Fun was the main concept back in the old days(as well as challenge may I add). And for me, gaming is a hobby, a nice pass time when I've got nothing else to do, and if the game isn't fun or thrilling in anyway, then I lose all sense in the point of even playing.
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Most of the time yes, but I think a game can have meaningful experience instead as well. So no, it isn't an absolute requirement.

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@CanisWolfred I would compare games like Papers Please and To the Moon to movies like Requiem for a dream and Grave of the Fireflies, you don't watch/play them for fun, you play/watch them for the story, the characters, the meaning, the symbolism etc. Some may not like those movies, or those games, but they are some of their respective industries greatest works.



Of course, it's always up to the individual gamer to determine how much they're willing to deal with at the expense of gameplay that they don't necessarily find enjoyable by itself, but I think the most important thing is to get some sort of satisfaction from a game, which isn't always the same thing to me as "fun".

Visual novels and adventure games aren't necessarily "fun" in the sense that there's much in the way of what we usually think of as gameplay (and sometimes what is there, even in the best of them, can be frustratingly obtuse), but I can still derive an enormous amount of positive stimulation from them if they have compelling plots, interesting characters and/or a good sense of humor.

And it doesn't even have to be a great story that makes up for shortcomings in a game's gameplay; sometimes an arresting visual style, an immersive atmosphere or an amazing soundtrack can make up for flaws in other areas of the game's design, and make the experience worth your time.

Ideally, you want a game that can pull off the complete package (fun gameplay mechanics, great story, great characters, great music, great sound design, great graphics, great art style, perfect pacing, polished design, something that makes you want to keep playing even after the credits roll, etc.), but so few games truly manage to accomplish that, and everyone's definition of what each of those even are is so subjective anyway, that I personally don't think it's worth fretting too much if certain elements aren't always up to snuff - even if that's the "gameplay" part, sometimes.

As long as I feel like I'm getting something out of the experience, it's worth my time.

Edited on by RevolverLink

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"Fun" is subjective, some people enjoy good stories, some enjoy hard puzzles, others enjoy challenges that stretch the limits. Every game will be fun to someone, if you enjoyed playing a game for any reason then it's fun for you. i love Xenosaga's stories, for instance, but can't stand the gameplay of the second and third ones, so that game is fun to me, even if I did not enjoy the gameplay for 2/3rds of it. Final Fantasy XII has a rather over done story, not much to it, but the gameplay is excellent, the game was genuinely fun for me even though it lacked a decent story. Thing is, "fun" means you enjoy playing it, not a specific aspect. Gameplay is one aspect, storyline is another, mechanics are another, control scheme is another, there are a lot of aspects, some games do not have them all either, but if one aspect is fun to you, the game is, by proxy, fun.

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Yes a game has to be fun.. for multiple reasons..

It needs to be bearable... I loved for instance.. the atmosphere and setting to Dino Crisis... but.... I hated the game play.. as thus the game got ignored.. and eventually was to be sold.. (It was stolen from me when someone broke into my house).. if a game has bad game play.. and it is not fun.. it becomes a pain, boring, and unbearable, as thus unplayable... (since the game play being bad is also not fun)

Another game that is a good example of this is Marvel ultimate Alliance 2 for the DS.. now a comic book game in general is right up my alley.. and by all rights.. I should enjoy it.. based off the idea.. that I love the characters and the setting etc. etc./// However.. the game play was not fun.. and thus the game got sold..

Fun Game play adds value to the game... if a game is fun.. it makes you want to revisit it later.. to want to play it again.. as thus adding replay value to the game and making the game more of a value... and at 60 bucks a whack this is very important...

If I played a game just for the atmosphere... the setting.. the story or any other reason.. it would be a done in one game... and would just get ignored after that one time...there is no sense in that... I also believe that this is why more gamers now in days buy there games at cheaper prices.. or just have Gamefly.. with each passing generation there is more and more done in ones.. then actual classics you want to play over and over again.. anymore if I run into a game that has a good story.. but bad game play.. well.. there is a You Tube channel for that... so I don't have to punish myself with terrible games.. who's only redeeming value is the story..

Edited on by Relias

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I read the topic and my first thought was, "Um, duh, that's the point of games." Then I read your post and I realized... I'm a hypocrite. I enjoy some games not because they're "fun" but because of the story. I mean, I love games with great gameplay, but I've enjoyed games that aren't necessarily fun to play. As a writer, I can't help but enjoy good stories. And, to a lesser extent, atmosphere. I don't enjoy FPS games in the slightest. Then I try Resident Evil 4 and I'm hooked. Sure, it's a survival horror, but the gameplay is an FPS. The atmosphere was what I loved, the terror of having a chainsaw wielding psycho run at me, the shock when he slices through my neck like butter... Del Lago, El Gigante... And don't even get me started with the blind, clawed dudes. My point is, I hate some genres like FPS games, I don't have fun playing them, but I can really enjoy even games I wouldn't otherwise like thanks to other factors like story.

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The silly thing is, when I start playing a game, I usually enjoy it, no matter what. The only exception to that was Spectrobes, which a friend gave to me for free. While I was playing it, I just kept thinking "I really wish I was playing Pokémon instead". Which, you guessed it, I find a lot more "fun".

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As long as a game emit a feeling you enjoy to have, it's a good game.
You like a tough challenge like Dark Souls, that's great, and a more transparent view of fun.
You like to be wowed by an art style, and a vibe like Journey, a game can do that, and there's no problem with it
Virtue's Last Reward has an enticing feeling that is only produced by the dialogue, not fun, yet it still creates a feeling I enjoy and go back to

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Resident Evil 4 had a good story? now I'm confused... I thought that game was more about the repetitive FPS style gameplay and exploding heads with a suplex or karate kicks to be honest



my point of view is that it's all "fun" but I guess the right word might be "enjoyable". a game must be appealing to those who play no need to be "fun" but it must be enjoyed by those who play. many competitive games aren't fun anymore but they are enjoyable so are games with a deep and dark story. in the end if there's a point in the game that make people like, "fun" can pretty much disappear(I'd rather not disappear with fun to tell the truth)
but in the end isn't it all some kind of fun?

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999 and Zero Escape weren't particularly "fun," but I loved those games. So I guess my answer is no.

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@ShadJV You now FPS stands for First-Person Shooter right? Resident Evil isn't an FPS as it's in the third person. It would be a TPS. (Third-person shooter.)

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