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Critical Hit: The Return of Casual Gaming

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Xtrafresh 13th December 2010, 09:03 Quote
Critical hit? It seems I missed the introduction. (badum tchhh).

Anyway, nice column, hope to see more of this!
yakyb 13th December 2010, 09:22 Quote
is kinect seen as casual Gaming?

i always thought casual meant breaking out Chime for an hour before you go to bed, or a quick half hour of tetris / bejeweled

not standing up in front of your TV waving your arms around doesn't seem very casual to me
V3ctor 13th December 2010, 09:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by yakyb
is kinect seen as casual Gaming?

I see it that way, I'm a pcgamer, my last console was a SEGA Genesis/ Dreamcast... If u look at the Kinect games, they're all casual, they are games for you to spend time with your friends and family, it's not something hardcore as a BFBC2 or a F1 2010 game. I too play some Braid, Bejeweled 3 (OMG its awesome), but Kinect is more casual gaming than that! :D

Bought it last wednesday, and that's an unbelievable ad-on... Just seeing your body move in the game is awesome, too bad that my body hurts alot, It's a great exercise platform :D
Krayzie_B.o.n.e. 13th December 2010, 09:57 Quote
As an Enthusiast PC Gamer I see casual gaming as the trend that's crippling gaming as a whole. With so many developers looking for the next 20 million units sold game, most games are becoming crap that cater to casual gamers and lack any innovation.

Casual gaming can be most Wii titles, Kinect, some Move games, Farmville, Black Ops, Portal and even the very well made Minecraft. The difference with Portal, Farmville and Minecraft versus crap like Black Ops and Kinect is the amount of innovation of the game versus copy and paste development.

I have no problem with casual gaming because every title can't be X3 Teran Conflict or Arma II and it's always fun to play casual games at work but I hate casual gaming that lacks creativity, innovation, and quality because it leads to lazy game development through-out the industry for example Medal of Honor was made to cash in on MW2 success but Medal of Honor was a blatant rush job that offered nothing to stand out from any other generic shooter except a different title.
Pete J 13th December 2010, 10:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krayzie_B.o.n.e.
As an Enthusiast PC Gamer I see casual gaming as the trend that's crippling gaming as a whole. With so many developers looking for the next 20 million units sold game, most games are becoming crap that cater to casual gamers and lack any innovation.
This is exactly what I think, though my reply would've used cursing and a lot of anger.
DarkFear 13th December 2010, 10:16 Quote
I kinda wish it would stay away...
AcidJiles 13th December 2010, 10:35 Quote
Not to be a argue a point that doesn't hugely matter but 1 Kinect sale is worth at least 2 Move sales if not more due to the requirement for multiple Move sales for multiplayer.
ChaosDefinesOrder 13th December 2010, 11:14 Quote
Well I for one don't give a crap about the casual games for "motion controllers", I'm much more interested to see what hardcore games are on the horizon that make proper use of the new controls. Such as Killzone's use of the Move, or what I hear Mass Effect 3 has planned for the star-map navigation with Kinect.

Personally my only experience so far with my housemate's Kinect has been "laggy and gimmicky", while my own PS3 with Move experience is limited to Resident Evil 5, which I practically couldn't play with SixAxis (I'm more of a PC gamer, so will never be used to aiming with a thumbstick!) yet feels MUCH better using the Move to aim, even if the buttons are the wrong way round...

Still, sod casual games, I wanna see what developers can REALLY do! I'm thinking more Metroid Prime than Wii Sports
Fizzban 13th December 2010, 11:49 Quote
These stupid motion things just end up flooding the market with fluffy games, taking away time and money from developing decent titles..bah.
Xtrafresh 13th December 2010, 11:57 Quote
The problem with casual gaming is that it was never properly defined, so as soon as it became succesful it also became a bandwagon that every trendwatcher and gamer and marketing analist and company is jumping on, afraid to be thelast one not doing it.
In that respect, casual gaming is to gaming what terrorism is to politics.

In my personal view, casual gaming is best described as a game that is casually made, and not aimed to be the next super-OMG game.
Bindibadgi 13th December 2010, 12:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krayzie_B.o.n.e.
As an Enthusiast PC Gamer I see casual gaming as the trend that's crippling gaming as a whole. With so many developers looking for the next 20 million units sold game, most games are becoming crap that cater to casual gamers and lack any innovation.

I like the Enthusiast PC gaming as much as the next guy on here, but do you really think the next Call of Duty or even a-n-other FPS is innovation? World of Warcraft expansion packs? CS people have played since 1997? These are "enthusiast" but there is nothing what-so-ever to do with innovation in them. Mass Effect - loved by all but hardly innovative. It's just got a deep universe (which, is awesome admittedly, but time consuming to develop).

Then there's also the indie scene that has recently produced some gems: World of Goo, Braid, Trine, Minecraft, Plants vs Zombies, Limbo etc. They aren't your typical "spend all night learning the map" enthusiast title for sure, but they are seriously fun and semi-casual because you can dip in and out without serious commitment.

Kinect, PS Move, Wii are innovations - it's a control mechanism an interaction that's never been done before and each has their own take on the subject. You're not limited to a controller or keyboard and mouse. Just because quite a few of the games are now similar, compared to the history of FPS, RTS or MMO: they are still in their infancy!

Long time 'gaming enthusiasts' see resources taken away from the core of what they love and that their mum now 'plays games', which leaves their once unique, quiet and quirky space invaded by a load of people who now want in because it's cool. The resentment is that we weathered the abuse about being gamers, before the abusers became gamers.

/devils advocate. (PS: This is not having a poke at Krayzie!)

Also, Sandy Bridge + AMD APUs are pretty much gonna cement casual gaming.
jrs77 13th December 2010, 13:27 Quote
Enthusiast gaming is territorial warfare in EvE Online.

Anything else is just casual gaming tbfh.
Woodspoon 13th December 2010, 14:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrs77
Enthusiast gaming is territorial warfare in EvE Online.

Anything else is just casual gaming tbfh.

He he, very true
It is a major timesink though, but I guess that's why it takes enthusiasm and commitment.

And the reason why most Wii's sit gathering dust is nothing to do with global recession, finances or any of that, it's because their crap for anything other than being dug out once or twice a year when all the "adults" get together, get drunk and fancy a giggle.
Wii sports was what sold it and thats what's killing it.
sotu1 13th December 2010, 15:05 Quote
Move for Killzone 3 is the closest I've seen to getting hardcore gamers involved. Still looks like a friggin bright light bulb on the end of a stick tho....can't we turn that off or hide it?
javaman 13th December 2010, 15:46 Quote
I was hoping ps3 would auto update games since it loves its pointless updates, for move support rather than re release. After all, that's all my ps 3 does these days is update. 1hr of gaming on it is 50mins of updates and 10mins of gaming! Consoles could last more than 3years with casual gamers. Wii proved graphics arn't everything. I can see them extending life as long as possible and milking hardware sales tho this could be a hail mary on that front. Next console release will make these accessories useless with no backwards compatibility which I wouldn't put past them (sony especially) to do.
With TES V getting a new engine this could be a sign of a new console on the way either that or they will follow crysis 2 idea of design for PC and dumb down for consoles. A few years of that would be fantastic especially since I can play anything just as well as a console on a £60 GPU.
SMIFFYDUDE 13th December 2010, 18:22 Quote
Bring back the days when saying you were a gamer was deeply embarrassing. Today saying i'm a pc gamer is only mildly uncomfortable.
sausages 13th December 2010, 23:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krayzie_B.o.n.e.
As an Enthusiast PC Gamer I see casual gaming as the trend that's crippling gaming as a whole. With so many developers looking for the next 20 million units sold game, most games are becoming crap that cater to casual gamers and lack any innovation.

I like the Enthusiast PC gaming as much as the next guy on here, but do you really think the next Call of Duty or even a-n-other FPS is innovation? World of Warcraft expansion packs? CS people have played since 1997? These are "enthusiast" but there is nothing what-so-ever to do with innovation in them. Mass Effect - loved by all but hardly innovative. It's just got a deep universe (which, is awesome admittedly, but time consuming to develop).

Then there's also the indie scene that has recently produced some gems: World of Goo, Braid, Trine, Minecraft, Plants vs Zombies, Limbo etc. They aren't your typical "spend all night learning the map" enthusiast title for sure, but they are seriously fun and semi-casual because you can dip in and out without serious commitment.

Kinect, PS Move, Wii are innovations - it's a control mechanism an interaction that's never been done before and each has their own take on the subject. You're not limited to a controller or keyboard and mouse. Just because quite a few of the games are now similar, compared to the history of FPS, RTS or MMO: they are still in their infancy!

Long time 'gaming enthusiasts' see resources taken away from the core of what they love and that their mum now 'plays games', which leaves their once unique, quiet and quirky space invaded by a load of people who now want in because it's cool. The resentment is that we weathered the abuse about being gamers, before the abusers became gamers.

/devils advocate. (PS: This is not having a poke at Krayzie!)

Also, Sandy Bridge + AMD APUs are pretty much gonna cement casual gaming.


I think you kind of missed the guy's point, it looks like you agree with him. The kind of person who likes X3 and Arma2 is most likely a proper hardcore gamer, and I doubt they would consider WoW and CoD as anything other than kind of dumbed down, mass produced games.

All he is saying is that casual gaming is fine as long as it's good. Like with Plants vs Zombies. It's very casual, can be played by anyone, in short sessions, and yet it's a really good game. It's challenging, it's clever, it's well made, it's original, it's creative, but it's all the things that casual gaming usually fails to be. Although I suppose most games fail to be that these days.

Personally I'm happy to see lots of casual games out there, I just don't like it when they come at the expense of less casual games, which is how it seems to be. Also, there's some kind of grey area between casual gaming and dumbed down gaming which is a little tedious to even bother going in to, but that is where I think the crux of this lies.
StoneyMahoney 14th December 2010, 14:56 Quote
I find arbitrarily dividing games into casual and hardcore categories distasteful. There's a fairly large middle ground of games that have casual reputations but with hidden depths.

I can't think of a better example than Pokemon right now. It's generally considered a kids game and is marketed as such but if you ever play competitively you'll find out it's just as deep as that cardboard crack called Magic: The Gathering (only it won't eat your wallet). In fact, I don't know of any other games that require you to handle formulae like this:

STAT = RoundDown((((IV + Base + ((Root of EV) / 8) + 50) * Level) / 50) + 10)

Learning what those variables are and how to manipulate them is key to squeezing every last ounce of performance out of the pokemon you train, yet all the core Pokemon games could still be beaten by my 10-year old niece who won't be able to even understand that formula for a good few years yet.

Some games are as casual or as hardcore as the player wants to make them. Try telling someone who can play expert tracks on Guitar Hero in performance mode or a DDR player who can do Paranoia on expert-double-mirror-stealth that they're casual gamers - they'll most likely kick the crap out of you.
Uxon 14th December 2010, 15:44 Quote
I don't mind a bit of casual gaming. I've got a gaming PC but also a Wii and I enjoy the odd round of guitar hero or something like every so often.
memeroot 14th December 2010, 21:00 Quote
to be honest I like the gizmo's more than the games
sausages 15th December 2010, 04:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by StoneyMahoney
I find arbitrarily dividing games into casual and hardcore categories distasteful. There's a fairly large middle ground of games that have casual reputations but with hidden depths.

I can't think of a better example than Pokemon right now. It's generally considered a kids game and is marketed as such but if you ever play competitively you'll find out it's just as deep as that cardboard crack called Magic: The Gathering (only it won't eat your wallet). In fact, I don't know of any other games that require you to handle formulae like this:

STAT = RoundDown((((IV + Base + ((Root of EV) / 8) + 50) * Level) / 50) + 10)

Learning what those variables are and how to manipulate them is key to squeezing every last ounce of performance out of the pokemon you train, yet all the core Pokemon games could still be beaten by my 10-year old niece who won't be able to even understand that formula for a good few years yet.

Some games are as casual or as hardcore as the player wants to make them. Try telling someone who can play expert tracks on Guitar Hero in performance mode or a DDR player who can do Paranoia on expert-double-mirror-stealth that they're casual gamers - they'll most likely kick the crap out of you.

Sounds like you have something against the word casual... like it's some kind of insult to you.

What we're talking about is the quality of games, whether they are casual or not. You are right that most people would consider Pokemon to be casual, until they found out how deep it actually is, but that's only what we are already saying.... Casual games can be great, and have depth. The problem are the ones that are the opposite to that - of which there are far too many.

And for what it's worth, there's not a single guitar hero player in this entire world who could kick the crap out of me.
nakchak 15th December 2010, 18:39 Quote
I think casual is the wrong word to use when describing most of these "casual" games, accessible on the other hand i think is much better.

Using the pokemon example its a very accessible game, as is wii sports, or any of the megadrive sonic games, nothing to confuse the player with simple to pick up hard to master.

Similar arguments exist when ever something was prohibitively technical for the masses to engage with, i.e. having to faff about with himem settings in dos to allocate all your ram to a game so that it would run, or having to unlock ur old school athlon/duron with metallic paint/pencil but now you can buy pre oc'd boxes have windows based apps for setting clock and timings and never have to do much more memory management than setting swap file sizes. Now u have *nix users arguing about the dumbing down of *nix failing to grasp that accessible = people with different mindsets can and will use it.

Casual gaming to me is time killing, accessible gaming on the other hand means ur nan/mum who ever can just pick it up and have a go and is that such a bad thing, admitadly when u have developers churning out crap to cater for all satisfy none then thats bad, but how is that any different from annother fifa or pro evo, i mean its still 22 men chasing a bag of air what else is there to add or perfect?
Xir 16th December 2010, 20:22 Quote
2 points
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
Mass Effect - loved by all but hardly innovative. It's just got a deep universe
That's how far we've come. The Mass effect universe isn't shallow, but it isn't that deep. Not compared to freespace/2/Eve/the X series/Starlancer/freelancer...

Second...nice bundles for WII? Where? Never even found a single bundle with everything included for two players...
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