What Makes a Good Video Game?

I am a huge video game fan. I love to play them, and I love to write about them. But this is a topic that many people argue over and over and over again. There is going to be more than one person debating whether graphics make a game better, or gameplay, but there is sub-information to back them up.

1. Graphics
What would a video game be without graphics? Sure you think if a game has great graphics it is going to be a hit. WRONG! I have argued this many times, and will argue it again. Graphics do not make up a video game. You can have the top of the line graphics, and still be a flop. Any new generation gaming console, can produce the graphics, it is just up to the publishers, and developers to whether they want to spunk it up with gameplay, and a nice storyline. 128 bits is the current console graphics power, and that is very strong, but without the proper storyline, and the gameplay, graphics really aren’t much more than a pretty thing to watch.

2. Gameplay
YES! Probably what makes a video game what it is. Without gameplay what would you have? Well you would have the graphics, but that’s about it. Gameplay is the coup de grace, and I will explain why. When you play a video game, and you start it off, you try out all of the buttons, and what the main character can do. That’s all gravy, but you want to see what other characters can do. Communication with Non Player Characters or NPC’s is gameplay. If they could make a game that could exactly be like real life, than that would be the perfect game, but obviously they can’t. They can make a game that goes on for a very long time though, and I say when you have that kind of space, why not use it to it’s best potential. Normally in a video game you have a hero trying to save a land, or a princess, etc. While you’re doing that, why not add extras, like mini games, or multiple conversations between other characters. That is what makes a game fun to play. Along with the graphics you can expect a very good time, and an extended amount of time to complete the entire game. That is why gameplay makes a video game what it is.

3. Sound
Sound is probably second in the “What makes a good video game?”, and the main reason is without sound the game would just get boring. You want to hear what you are doing, like a sword slash, or a call for help, etc. Let alone the sound effects you want to hear the background music. Final Fantasy and Zelda are good examples of it’s background music. You can literally buy the CDs to those games, and just listen to the music over and over again. I know I bought them and listen to them all the time. You have your basic midi background music, which can be pretty to listen too, but I like to hear real life symphony in a video game. Final Fantasy uses true MP3s, which are real music files. When I am reviewing a video game, I look for the entire package, because once I start the game, I already see what I see in graphics. I want to see more of a whole, not a quarter or half. Music introduces a huge part to the video game world, so after you read this, you will probably if not already listen to the music, and see what I am talking about.

4. Replay Value
Replay value is an interesting part of a video game, and of course cannot exist in every video game. Replay value is after the game has been completed how well will it play after? Sports games, and fighting style games, probably use Replay Value the best. You also have games like Mario Party, etc, which use Replay value to a high point. Usually when you complete a game like Mario, you finish it, and that is it. That is not true. When I play SNES (Super Nintendo), I can play the Super Mario games over and over again, just because I find them fun to play, and there are multiplayer features. Speaking of Multiplayer, that adds to the replay value, since multiplayer is against your friends or the internet. I don’t look for replay value as much as the others, but I still factor it in, when I rate a video game.

5. Overall Value
As I said before if everything fits in to place, the game will be perfect. Final Fantasy is pretty close to perfect in my opinion, as they feature graphics, sound, gameplay, even replay value. Certain games have an easier time advising this overall value… IE. Sports games. Sports have no end, and can be played again and again, so it really doesn’t get boring. The Madden series have an unbelievable fan base, and the graphics are amazing so that scores points, along with it’s great controls. Sound is also perfected in Madden, so overall value can be found in every type of game, whether it be RPG, or Sports. Just remember the top 4 necessities when buying a video game. Graphics, Gameplay, Sound, and Replay Value. Whenever you read a review, you see this all the time, so make it a part of your life.

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