AAA gaming can suck a bag of dicks

In November of 2014, I picked up an indie title for 15 bucks that I got several hundred hours out of and am still playing to this day. I gleefully bought the DLC, knowing that because the developer had to pretty much rely on word of mouth and thus had to care about the end product, it would be worth my time and money. And it absolutely was!

In December of 2015, I picked up an indie title for 10 bucks that I got almost a hundred hours out, despite it being a story-driven single-player game. It touched my heart in a way few piece of media, interactive or otherwise, ever managed to. It was clearly made with care, by an indie dev who was making something they loved, and is rightfully held up as one of the best games of the year.

This month, I bought Street Fighter 5 on launch for 60€ and if I wasn’t so into the FGC and we didn’t have a vibrant local scene, I would have asked for a refund. It’s a glorified early access title with a ton of important features ripped out so that it could be ready to ship for tournament play early (not that this was noted on the storefront, mind you), it’s already offering a season pass for 30 bucks, and it’s generally fairly threadbare for a 60€ game. Even the features that are supposed to work are kind of a mess. The story mode is so threadbare as to virtually not exist, training mode is fine I guess, but online mode is plagued by disconnects and some of the worst lag handling I have ever seen (even mild lag spikes cause characters to teleport all over the screen), and I recently got a server disconnect… From LOCAL MULTIPLAYER. That’s right - I got booted from my offline match against an opponent sitting next to me on the couch because their servers crashed. This game was not so much “made with love” as “shat out on the steam storefront”.

And from what I hear, this isn’t even the most egregious case of what Jim Sterling is calling “Early AAAccess”.

I’m sorry, but in what universe is this okay? If this is how the AAA games industry does business, how the fuck do they still exist? How do they still sell games? I feel ashamed and duped - if I had known that this was the state SF5 would come out in, I would have waited for Super Street Fighter 5 (the fact I can already guarantee that that’s coming out as something other than DLC is depressing enough as it is), for when the game is actually finished, to buy it. And when I compare it to the purchases I’ve made recently in the indie realm - Isaac, Undertale, Risk of Rain, Pony Island… I’m done. No more AAA titles on launch. Ever. No more AAA titles before the “Game of the year” edition comes out, before the game has been out for long enough to have the bugs fixed (or the inferior port pulled from the steam storefront, or just abandoned there), before there’s some guarantee that I’m not wasting my money. If I want to play a AAA game, I’ll load up steam, find one of the countless somewhat older titles for 20 bucks, and buy that, before playing two hours of it, getting bored senseless and immediately going back to Risk of Rain. Looking at you, Assassin’s Creed.

Fucking christ. And I like SF5. There’s the spark of a really excellent fighter there, buried under all the insane AAA bullshit. It’s just a shame that the version we got was unfinished, buggy, has crappy netcode (Rising Thunder is free to play and had better netcode in alpha!), and more. :confused:

So, what were the two really good indie games you played?

Well hell, there’s your problem.

Glad you came around.

Why does this shit still happen? Because people are still willing to drop 60€ on AAA titles. Because of the names, the franchises, the devs, because OMG new shiny, whatever.

(Like you did.

Broken releases are nothing new; you know that, and yet up until now you’ve still been willing to buy them.)

Hopefully more people will wise up, and we’ll see a backlash. It’s started already in some ways–we’re seeing the beginning of an indie game golden age, as you’ve experienced. But I’m not holding my breath for the demise of the AAA title.

Interesting OP/username combo.

If you are a competitive gamer, you have less choice since other players will be getting good at the crappy buggy version while you take the high road.

Well hell, there’s your problem.

I don’t get your point, but it’s probably not worth getting I’d imagine. I’m sure whatever hobby you have looks stupid to somebody.

Yes, I’d like to know this too. Hundreds of hours of gameplay sounds like fun.

The Binding of Isaac (Wrath of the Lamb/Rebirth/Afterbirth/etc.), Risk of Rain, and Undertale are all great candidates - whereby the latter probably only has about 10-20 hours if you don’t get obsessively sucked into the world (though that 10-20 hours is pretty much all incredible).

Even moving away from typical “indie” games and moving to the “AA” market, it’s easy to find titles like Hearthstone and Rising Thunder that are free to Play and just downright awesome.

Other notable recent Indies:

Stardew Valley - a Harvest Moon type game currently topping sales charts and getting rave reviews
Darkest Dungeon - dungeoneering Rogue-ish sort of thing. I have 80 hours into this.
OH - and I should mention Path of Exile, a brainy aRPG, just this week released its latest expansion, Ascendancy along with the new Challenge League, Perandus League. I’ve been playing Path of Exile for years now and the game is in the best place it’s ever been. It’s completely free to play. Microtransactions are only for cosmetic stuff or inventory expansions.

And since I’m talking about Path of Exile, I should also mention Grim Dawn, which just came out. It’s another aRPG, from the guys who did Titan Quest. It’s very Titan Quest-like, with a neat added dimension called the Devotion system -

Pillars of Eternity - Old-School RPG goodness. The main game has been out for a while but the White March expansion was just completed.

All of these are available via Gog and Steam, of course, the Humble Store, individually or in various Bundles.

Indie games are where it’s at.

I should have mentioned Cities: Skylines, my current favorite citybuilder. It’s just recently released it’s latest expansion, Snowfall.

There’s a few good AAA titles around at the moment - Fallout 4 springs to mind; there’s an insane amount of stuff to do and I know a few people who still haven’t finished the main quest five months after the game game out; and that’s without .
the impending DLC.

XCOM 2 is also excellent if you’re looking for a good strategic title, and if you want to wander around a really cool world, explore stuff and hunt sabre tooth tigers then Far Cry Primal is a lot of fun too.

Word. Steam shows that I have just over 500 hours of play time on this game. Just don’t ask me to explain what the game is like, cuz I’ve had that conversation before and it usually goes really badly.
I’ll mention Don’t Starve, an open ended build & survive type game, which has a new version (Shipwrecked) in open testing right now.

I’ve spent a lifetime studying chess and I still suck at it.

I can’t keep up with gaming computer upgrades so I get older games that reviewed well for dirt cheap.

Just bought Thief II for $1.74!

I’ve been teaching my son (who’s now 7) to play. He hasn’t beat me yet! :smiley:

I’ve had a few close calls though, so I’m about to stop playing him and start teaching my daughter (who’s only 4).

I think my son was around 14 when he started beating me every game … last time I beat him was the Fischer variation of the Dragon Defense … boy, was he surprised.

This is turning out less ranty, and more, “let’s talk about cool games”-y, so I’m shifting it over to the Game Room.

Plus the next DLC pack is taking forever

There is still plenty of good AAA games. I’m still playing through Just Cause 3 and Fallout 4 on PS4. read reviews and don’t buy at launch is the answer.