In a strange and stunning turn of events, I was nominated for another award recently by Red Metal over at Extra Life Reviews. While I gather my thoughts on some more games, work on my piece for the Games That Define Us collaboration, and piece together some more collection gushing, I thought it could be fun to respond to this!
As usual, I want to give a special thanks to the person who sent this my way. Red Metal’s been around since this blog started, and his blog has been a bit of an inspiration for me and how I’ve been working to improve on 3PStart here. He also just recently put up another piece in his series on The Legend of Zelda series (this one on Breath of the Wild which I’m still reading through), and he always offers up interesting background information and cool insights on the games he writes about. Head on over and check out his stuff- once you’re done here, of course!
With that said, onward to the always thought-provoking questions!
- Have you ever watched a critically acclaimed show only to feel it didn’t live up to the hype?I don’t know about “critically acclaimed” but I do know that friends have tried to get me into shows that they really enjoyed that I just couldn’t get into. I don’t watch a ton of TV, so it’s usually Netflix shows- most notably recent being Altered Carbon, which I thought was interesting but I haven’t seen the reason to be as hyped about it as my friends have been.
- After truly getting into the medium and observing the many times film critics failed to see eye-to-eye with fans, I’ve come down to the conclusion that the former faction could stand to improve themselves. How do you think they should go about doing that?In the grand scheme of things- and I feel like this goes back to some of the more classic critics rather than folks looking for hits on YouTube- I think there’s a lack of subjectivity that I’ve seen drag down a lot of reviews. My favorite reviews that I’ve read or watched seem to include a healthy mix of personal bias and objective analysis, whereas what few established critics I’ve read recently just seem to stick to the objective as best as they can. Films are art, and I think subjectivity is important in critiquing them well. That said, I have plenty to say about fans, too, but that’s for another answer in another time.
- What is the most obscure album in your collection?I don’t have a ton of albums, to be fair, so it’s probably something video game related. While the album may not be obscure, the closest I have to a unique item is my copy of 10,000 Maniacs’ ‘Love Among the Ruins’ that I had signed by the band years ago.
- What film do you consider “So bad it’s good”?This is a tough one. My gut instinct is to go with Sleepaway Camp, which I love and think needs to get more credit but overall, it definitely traverses the “bad to good” gap.
- What do you think the ideal length of a game should be?If we’re talking in general, I think the ideal length is about 10-15 hours. It warrants enough time for exploration and can be beaten in a week or two if someone can sit down and play it a few nights a week. If we get into the realm of RPGs, between 30-50 hours. Length of content is sometimes confused for the quality of content and quite a few RPGs I’ve played in recent years go on about 10-20 hours longer than they really need to.
- Have you ever cleared a game while traveling abroad?Sadly, I have yet to travel abroad. Looks like I have a new goal!
- What is your favorite decade in films?
While I historically love the 1980s, I’d probably have to go with the 90s. There were so many fundamentally important films that I experienced from that decade (and the early 2000s) from horror, teen comedies, drama- it may have been Day-Glo covered and steeped in slang, but it was definitely my favorite span cinematically.
- What game do you feel doesn’t get enough credit?I want to stick to my retro guns here and step out of my usual answers to say that I think Zelda II: The Adventures of Link deserves more credit. Is it a perfect game? No. Did it go steps beyond its predecessor and try to experiment with new mechanics and an expansive world that felt immersive and interesting? Totally. Most of the people I see write about it, though, tend to talk about what an outlier and how it’s not as good as the rest of the series (which is then translated into ‘not a good game’).
- What lesson do you think film fans could learn from gamers?
I honestly haven’t seen as many film fans voicing opinions aside from not wanting to see spoilers or the really large scale ones that seem to surround Star Wars and a number of other large titles. Sadly, both sides have some pretty terrible habits, and they really do operate in pretty much the same fashion across the board. I may have to take a hard pass on this one. I think both groups have certain lessons to learn.
- What good work do you feel had a negative impact on its respective medium?
Hard hitting questions on this one! Okay, so it’s tough for me to answer this well since I play a lot of games and watch a lot of movies that kind of fall square in the middle of “good reviews” and not “great and influential”. For now, I’m going to settle on Scream. It’s one of my favorite horror movies and honestly, it single-handedly resurrected the slasher and horror genre (I should probably tack an “in my opinion” on that) and part of that was the self-referential and a bit too clever manner in which it was written. This became the trend for the time and while plenty of movies handled this well- mostly by Kevin Williamson’s hand anyway- a lot of other films tried hard to emulate what Scream did. While they were passable at the time, going back to watch a lot of those films are cringeworthy. A solid amount of them have failed to hold up over time. Yes, I also realize this contradicts another answer above. It was this or explain why I think Final Fantasy VII is a terrible comparison point for turn-based RPGs. While I’m up for a discussion on that, I had to choose something and this one was easier to articulate.
- What bad work do you feel had a positive impact on its respective medium?
Well, I think I’m going to harken back to my recent post on Hydlide. It paved the way for some great works in the action RPG and open-world gaming spheres, but the influence this game had on series like Ys, Halo, Skyrim, and many others far outshines the actual quality of the game itself. Thus, my answers are complete. Once again, thanks a bunch to Red Metal for the nod. Per my normal M.O. at this point, rather than nominate folks as I know I’ll be nominating nearly everyone that Red Metal did, I’m putting forth a Question to the Masses:
I’m a huge mythology and story buff. What is a piece of mythos or a story element in a game that you wish had been more fleshed out?
I’ll be happy to post my answer in the comments below, but if you’d like to answer, feel free to chat me up in the comments or over on Twitter!
Have a great week, everyone, and thanks for everything that you do!
– Matt (a.k.a. The3rdPlayer)