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Default Bioshock 2 - Review @ GameBanshee

March 1st, 2010, 16:34
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Overly harsh review, most likely based on anti-casual-market bias - which I can easily sympathise with.
Not anti-casual, at least not at its core, more that from the angle of an RPG site BioShock 2 doesn't add anything to BioShock 1; the RPG elements are the same, the plasma overload is even worse (so weaker RPG design), the story is inferior. It's a better shooter, but GameBanshee just has little reason to care for that.

Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
Makes me wonder what they would have been able to accomplish if they had skipped the multiplayer game.
Multiplayer was done by a separate studio. It did not affect singleplayer development directly.
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March 1st, 2010, 16:42
Not anti-casual, at least not at its core, more that from the angle of an RPG site BioShock 2 doesn't add anything to BioShock 1; the RPG elements are the same, the plasma overload is even worse (so weaker RPG design), the story is inferior. It's a better shooter, but GameBanshee just has little reason to care for that.
I don't know what you care about, but reviewing a shooter expecting an RPG strikes me as silly.

Again, I don't think it was a fair review - and it struck me as being overtly biased. Not that there's anything wrong with that, and as you say your site apparently doesn't care for what it actually is - but I personally don't understand the logic behind biased reviews.

I was severely disappointed by the original Bioshock myself, expecting some kind of evolution from System Shock 2. But I'd still rate it ~8/10 - because it's a pretty decent shooter with an incredible atmosphere. I can't really expect a business to cater to the minority - as that'd be unreasonable of me.

But whatever floats your boat
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March 1st, 2010, 17:16
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I don't know what you care about, but reviewing a shooter expecting an RPG strikes me as silly.

Again, I don't think it was a fair review - and it struck me as being overtly biased. Not that there's anything wrong with that, and as you say your site apparently doesn't care for what it actually is - but I personally don't understand the logic behind biased reviews.

I was severely disappointed by the original Bioshock myself, expecting some kind of evolution from System Shock 2. But I'd still rate it ~8/10 - because it's a pretty decent shooter with an incredible atmosphere. I can't really expect a business to cater to the minority - as that'd be unreasonable of me.

But whatever floats your boat
Unlike the game studio, it was a review that catered to the minority… I find it refreshing that there are at least a couple review sites with different views/opinions and weigh games based on the aforementioned. BS2 may not be "RPG" in nature, but it can and should be reviewed by someone with an intimate knowledge of RPG elements.

Personally, If I want to play a shooter, I'm going to fire up the ole PS3 and load up MW2 to play online with my mates. I really shouldn't comment on BS2 since I haven't played it(doubt I will), but at first glance it appears painfully derivative.
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March 1st, 2010, 17:23
Originally Posted by MasterKromm View Post
Unlike the game studio, it was a review that catered to the minority… I find it refreshing that there are at least a couple review sites with different views/opinions and weigh games based on the aforementioned. BS2 may not be "RPG" in nature, but it can and should be reviewed by someone with an intimate knowledge of RPG elements.
Why should a game which is CLEARLY a shooter be reviewed as an RPG?

I might be able to understand if this was Bioshock 1 - because no one really knew what to expect.

But after BS - it should be plain for all to see that they never intended for it to be anything but a shooter, which Levine himself kept repeating during interviews.

But if it makes you happy to hear from an RPG fan that a shooter isn't an RPG - then I'm not going to stand in the way.

But it remains an illogical position - from where I'm sitting. To put it another way, I think it's superfluous.

Let's see if Bioshock 3 will be an RPG?

That's a joke
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March 1st, 2010, 17:39
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Why should a game which is CLEARLY a shooter be reviewed as an RPG?

I might be able to understand if this was Bioshock 1 - because no one really knew what to expect.

But after BS - it should be plain for all to see that they never intended for it to be anything but a shooter, which Levine himself kept repeating during interviews.

But if it makes you happy to hear from an RPG fan that a shooter isn't an RPG - then I'm not going to stand in the way.

But it remains an illogical position - from where I'm sitting. To put it another way, I think it's superfluous.

Let's see if Bioshock 3 will be an RPG?

That's a joke
I understand what you're saying, I just flat out reject it…

Perception and perspective, two very important aspects of human nature. One always influences the other. The consummate RPG fan will see things in a shooter that an action/shooter fan would not. Your dismissal of his review is unwarranted, it is also predicated on the assumption that games are solely/entirely categorical in their nature/genre.

Your argument can be described as follows, It is not illogical to judge a shooter on it's non-shooter elements/merits.

Have you ever decried poor combat, AI, textures, area design/layout ect in an RPG? After all, those are not essential RPG elements.
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March 1st, 2010, 17:47
Originally Posted by Thaurin View Post

As for the comparison with Bioshock 2, there are also plenty of choices to make in Mass Effect that affect the way you play.

- The team mates that you take with you
- The weapons configuration that you take with you
- The upgrades you buy
- How you upgrade your powers and those of your team mates
- Doing the loyalty missions of your team mates, unlocking a new power for them
I know this is pointless and should just shutup, but for some reason , I keep feeling I need to make myself clear. I have taken all of these things into consideration and am not ignoring them. I simply feel one can argue effectively that for the most part, there is not much difference between these two games in any of these respects.

I played at at the harder difficulty levels, and I can't see how the selection of teammates made a material effect on gameplay, still basically a shooter and the experience was still basically the same. Maybe, one could argue that it may make it a tactical shooter, but not exactly a hardcore one. Not really sure what this has do with making it more of rpg regardless.

As far as the other things you mentioned, everyone who plays the game gets exactly the same thing and gets the same experience. Weapon loadouts don't matter, as you simply pick the best weapon you can carry in each class. Everyone gets the same upgrades if they click on every obvious interactive point and grinds the mining minigame. Only things that differ are class weapon restrictions and which heavy weapon you choose. You can switch loadouts to much more meaningful effect in BS2 and also need to choose which weapon upgrades to get and when. So don't get how this makes it more meaningful a choice in ME2.

Sure you get to select which powers to upgrade, but everyone gets all powers and eventually maxes them, with only gradual increase in effectiveness along the way. Same thing with team mates, but to an even lesser degree. Everyone completes loyalty missions (as these are at least 1/3 of the gameplay) so those powers are given. You do get to select a unique power, but its either a passive one or an active one that shares a cooldown timer with others. So it is still largely, hide, shoot, activate power x, hide shoot, shoot, shoot. Sure you can throw in a tell companion a to hide, shoot from here and occasionally activate power x, but IMO its still just a shooter and character/team development choices don't really have a material affect on gameplay.

Can you realistically say, that you are going to play ME2 through again? Do you really expect that the game will be that much of a different experience, if you do? I have no desire to replay Bioshock 2 after finishing it for the same reason I have no desire to replay ME2. It was a fun shooter with a good story, but the experience isn't really going to change next time through, regardless of which "choices" I make.
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March 1st, 2010, 17:49
Originally Posted by MasterKromm View Post
I understand what you're saying, I just flat out reject it…

Perception and perspective, two very important aspects of human nature. One always influences the other. The consummate RPG fan will see things in a shooter that an action/shooter fan would not. Your dismissal of his review is unwarranted, it is also predicated on the assumption that games are solely/entirely categorical in their nature/genre.

Your argument can be described as follows, It is not illogical to judge a shooter on it's non-shooter elements/merits.

Have you ever decried poor combat, AI, textures, area design/layout ect in an RPG? After all, those are not essential RPG elements.
I'm not dismissing the review, I'm calling it superfluous.

Yes, it's illogical to judge a shooter on its non-shooter elements. Why? Because it's a shooter. If the shooter elements work well, it's a good shooter.

The problem with the review, is that it's based on the lingering assumption that the Bioshock games are action/rpgs - like their predecessors. That was a natural assumption when Bioshock was released. It's illogical and blind at this point.

Certainly, you can mention the non-shooter elements and you can conclude that it's not a good RPG. Just like I could go watch a comedy/romance and say it's a lousy horror film. That's what I would call superfluous as well.

It can hardly be anymore logical than that.

If you fail to understand this logic, it's not my concern. Reject away, but please don't assume it means anything to me.
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March 1st, 2010, 18:02
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I'm not dismissing the review, I'm calling it superfluous.
And you assume there's a difference, awe how dillusional of you…

Yes, it's illogical to judge a shooter on its non-shooter elements. Why? Because it's a shooter. If the shooter elements work well, it's a good shooter.

The problem with the review, is that it's based on the lingering assumption that the Bioshock games are action/rpgs - like their predecessors. That was a natural assumption when Bioshock was released. It's illogical and blind at this point.

Certainly, you can mention the non-shooter elements and you can conclude that it's not a good RPG. Just like I could go watch a comedy/romance and say it's a lousy horror film. That's what I would call superfluous as well.
Hmmm, yes yes black and white, yadda yadda. Saying the same thing over and over again only makes it sound more right in your own head…

It can hardly be anymore logical than that.

If you fail to understand this logic, it's not my concern. Reject away, but please don't assume it means anything to me.
Yes, I fail to see the logic in calling the views superfluous on what I thought was a forum called RPGwatch…

You mention "logic" quite a bit, however that in and of itself does not make your argument any more sound.
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March 1st, 2010, 18:04
MasterKromm

I'm not sure what you're hoping to achieve by saying I'm wrong without anything to back it up - but I think it's safe to say you're not making an impression.
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March 1st, 2010, 18:09
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
MasterKromm

I'm not sure what you're hoping to achieve by saying I'm wrong without anything to back it up - but I think it's safe to say you're not making an impression.
No offense, but the same could said for you… I only stated my opinion in objection to your own. If you wish to expand on your position I will gladly do the same. However, it would most likely devolve into an argument over semantics…
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March 1st, 2010, 18:12
Originally Posted by MasterKromm View Post
No offense, but the same could said for you… I only stated my opinion in objection to your own. If you wish to expand on your position I will gladly do the same. However, it would most likely devolve into an argument over semantics…
Well, I can't agree - as I explained why I disagreed, and you merely went into "you're wrong" mode in your following post.

But to be honest, it's not something I invest anything in - and I'll live without either of us expanding our positions
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March 1st, 2010, 18:36
Played the game and it's fun. Not great or even as good as Bio1, but still not that bad. If your in the mood for a retro 50 motif and are willing suspend belief then the game is pretty damn fun.

Despite all my rage.
I'm still just a rat in a cage.
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March 1st, 2010, 18:48
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Well, I can't agree - as I explained why I disagreed, and you merely went into "you're wrong" mode in your following post.
Um no, you simply reiterated what you had stated before. But I'll apologize for my similarly childish response.

But to be honest, it's not something I invest anything in - and I'll live without either of us expanding our positions
I can live with that, as I care little for Bioshock.
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March 1st, 2010, 18:54
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I don't know what you care about, but reviewing a shooter expecting an RPG strikes me as silly.
I didn't review it expecting an RPG, it is just that it's quality as a shooter is significantly less relevant to GB than the quality of its story, setting and RPG elements. That is why in the conclusion I mention it is a good shooter explicitly, it's just that this is not an element I have any reason to expand upon in the review. If I were writing for one of the other sites I write for, like I dunno, GamerNode, the message would have been the same (better shooter, inferior story), it would just have been highlighted differently.

If you're saying "GameBanshee shouldn't be following BioShock 2 at all" then yes, there's a lot to say for that. But we did.
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March 1st, 2010, 18:59
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
I didn't review it expecting an RPG, it is just that it's quality as a shooter is significantly less relevant to GB than the quality of its story, setting and RPG elements. That is why in the conclusion I mention it is a good shooter explicitly, it's just that this is not an element I have any reason to expand upon in the review. If I were writing for one of the other sites I write for, like I dunno, GamerNode, the message would have been the same (better shooter, inferior story), it would just have been highlighted differently.
I understood that the first time.

Again, I don't understand why you're reviewing a shooter - if you're not interesting in the genre.

The same way I wouldn't expect you to review Modern Warfare 2 and call it an excellent RPG.

It doesn't make sense to me at all.

It's INCREDIBLY obvious that a pure shooter isn't going to appeal much to pure RPG fans - and the first Bioshock established that it was, indeed, a pure shooter.

But again, it's not really important.

I just find it illogical and the review unnecessary. It's like calling water wet, as in no surprise

If you're saying "GameBanshee shouldn't be following BioShock 2 at all" then yes, there's a lot to say for that. But we did.
I'm saying why WOULD you?

So, why did you?
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March 1st, 2010, 19:03
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
Again, I don't understand why you're reviewing a shooter - if you're not interesting in the genre.
It's not as obvious as you seem to think it is. A lot of people were curious to see if BioShock 2 would take a step back or forward in RPG elements, and I addressed that question. And users have asked, just the other day in fact, whether or not BioShock 2 is "worth it" for RPG fans. It's "obvious" to you and me because we follow games more indepth, it's not necessarily that obvious for all our readers.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I just find it illogical and the review unnecessary. It's like calling water wet, as in no surprise
Now you're making it sound as if all the review does is say "there are no RPG elements it sucks!" That's unfair. My complaints about the story, my notes on the atmosphere being solid, my liking of the polished multiplayer aspect, those are all just as valid for FPS as for RPG gamers.

Hell, how much of the article is actually purely of interest for RPG gamers rather than a general complaint on game design? Sure, the focus on story and narrative structure comes from the site's RPG background, but that doesn't mean it's only of interest to RPG gamers.
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March 1st, 2010, 19:18
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
It's not as obvious as you seem to think it is. A lot of people were curious to see if BioShock 2 would take a step back or forward in RPG elements, and I addressed that question. And users have asked, just the other day in fact, whether or not BioShock 2 is "worth it" for RPG fans. It's "obvious" to you and me because we follow games more indepth, it's not necessarily that obvious for all our readers.
My primary "issue" - if we call it that, is that you're basically criticising the game for being exactly what it's trying to be.

You're an RPG fan, and your readers are likely RPG fans - and yet you review a game marketed as a pure shooter, and a sequel to a pure shooter - and you're basically calling it a bad game overall - based on the limited and poor RPG aspects.

If you, instead, said it's a decent shooter (or whatever) - but as an RPG or to RPG fans, it's pretty bad. THEN I'd consider it fair.

I know you're "hinting" at something like that, but it's pretty obvious that your primary objective is to criticise a shallow game for being shallow, even though the genre as a whole is shallow in those terms. That's unfair - or at least redundant.

The review smacks of the lingering disappointment with Bioshock - and the review strikes me as biased. You don't like the way the industry is going? Neither do I - no surprise. But you're beating a dead horse by calling a shooter a shooter and making it out to be a bad thing.

Could I be wrong? Sure. Can I prove it? Nope.

But that's what it reads like to me.

Now you're making it sound as if all the review does is say "there are no RPG elements it sucks!" That's unfair. My complaints about the story, my notes on the atmosphere being solid, my liking of the polished multiplayer aspect, those are all just as valid for FPS as for RPG gamers.
No, I'm saying you're making an overall judgment of a shooter - based on the limited RPG elements. The story, superficial as you may think it is (and I agree) is still AT LEAST above average for a shooter.

Hell, how much of the article is actually purely of interest for RPG gamers rather than a general complaint on game design? Sure, the focus on story and narrative structure comes from the site's RPG background, but that doesn't mean it's only of interest to RPG gamers.
If you say so, I wouldn't know.
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March 1st, 2010, 19:20
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
Now you're making it sound as if all the review does is say "there are no RPG elements it sucks!" That's unfair. My complaints about the story, my notes on the atmosphere being solid, my liking of the polished multiplayer aspect, those are all just as valid for FPS as for RPG gamers.

Hell, how much of the article is actually purely of interest for RPG gamers rather than a general complaint on game design? Sure, the focus on story and narrative structure comes from the site's RPG background, but that doesn't mean it's only of interest to RPG gamers.
I agree, I find the term pure shooter or pure RPG a misnomer… It is my opinion that for any game to be considered truly great it has to be dynamic - thus there are plenty of shared characteristics across all genres. To name a few: atmosphere, story, game mechanics, AI ect are just as important to a SP RPG as they are to a SP shooter.

It is true, those who prefer RPGs may even put more weight on story/plot and subsequent continuity as opposed to someone who just likes shooting things… But why is that illogical?!? In the context of games sharing certain aspects/traits across all genres it is not illogical as preferences always differ. *EDIT* In other words the reviewer did a service to his target audience. Why should the size of said audience preclude them from having certain preferences/tastes or critical opinions?(rhetorical)
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March 1st, 2010, 20:45
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
and you're basically calling it a bad game overall - based on the limited and poor RPG aspects.
I'm sorry, but this is just not true. My overall criticism of the game is not based on its limited and poor RPG aspects at all. If it was, your criticism would be valid. Please point me to which point of my criticism are completely dependent on expectations of playing an RPG. Poor story, poor narrative structure, technical bugs, aging graphics, DRM heavy, great atmosphere and music, repetitive level design, overly low challenge level, competent multiplayer. I don't see any of those judgements being RPG-dependent. Again, the focus on story and narrative structure comes from our background, but how is it RPG-specific?

Since you're ascribing intent to me, let me return the favour by saying I can't help but feel you're tagging an attitude to me that is not actually apparent from my review, but is just something that annoys you in general.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
If you, instead, said it's a decent shooter (or whatever) - but as an RPG or to RPG fans, it's pretty bad.
You mean like this?
Yes, the gameplay tweaks improve the shooting action, and it is unquestionably a better shooter than its predecessor. But the game suffers under having no evolution in the RPG elements, repetitive level design hurting the fun, and a terrible story dragging along throughout.

Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
I know you're "hinting" at something like that, but it's pretty obvious that your primary objective is to criticise a shallow game for being shallow, even though the genre as a whole is shallow in those terms.
BioShock 1 and BioShock 2 were both supposed to be "deep" shooter. I feel they both failed at their storytelling to some extent, and I criticize that. Where did I criticize the gameplay for being shallow? Flawed, certainly, like the repetitive grind-like actions, but shallow?
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March 1st, 2010, 20:59
Originally Posted by Brother None View Post
I'm sorry, but this is just not true. My overall criticism of the game is not based on its limited and poor RPG aspects at all. If it was, your criticism would be valid. Please point me to which point of my criticism are completely dependent on expectations of playing an RPG. Poor story, poor narrative structure, technical bugs, aging graphics, DRM heavy, great atmosphere and music, repetitive level design, overly low challenge level, competent multiplayer. I don't see any of those judgements being RPG-dependent. Again, the focus on story and narrative structure comes from our background, but how is it RPG-specific?
Again, I have no intention of trying to prove my impression - because it can't be proven.

You're bringing up examples that can't be argued - because they're based on taste.

But if you think Bioshock 2 has repetitive level design, poor narrative structure, aging graphics, and poor story - then I have to ask myself what kind of shooter you're used to playing.

It's not that those aspects are inherently RPG elements, but that those aspects are expected to be different in an RPG - and a greater depth is expected in an RPG.

Since you're ascribing intent to me, let me return the favour by saying I can't help but feel you're tagging an attitude to me that is not actually apparent from my review, but is just something that annoys you in general.
It doesn't annoy me.

I pointed out something that struck me as illogical and superfluous - and that's the extent of it.

You mean like this?
Yes, the gameplay tweaks improve the shooting action, and it is unquestionably a better shooter than its predecessor. But the game suffers under having no evolution in the RPG elements, repetitive level design hurting the fun, and a terrible story dragging along throughout.
Yes EXACTLY like that.

You're completely undermining the primary aspect of the entire game. You're shrugging it off like a shooter being a better shooter than an already good shooter is no big deal, and that the lack of RPG evolution and "repetitive" level design as well as terrible story is making the game bad.

It's completely unreasonable in terms of the genre we're dealing with.

BioShock 1 and BioShock 2 were both supposed to be "deep" shooter. I feel they both failed at their storytelling to some extent, and I criticize that. Where did I criticize the gameplay for being shallow? Flawed, certainly, like the repetitive grind-like actions, but shallow?
No, not the gameplay.

The game.

You're saying the game is shallow - because of the things we've been talking about.

Guess what, that's what shooters ARE - they're shallow.

That's why RPG fans like you and I generally don't care for them.
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