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TIGSource ForumsPlayerGeneralTop 10 Best-Feeling Games?
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« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2007, 01:30:14 AM »

I'm too tired to discuss it now, but you have to do an entire chapter on sports games. EA vs. Visual Concepts vs. Konami (Winning Eleven). EA is flashy and fast and rubber bandy; while VC and Konami are methodical, weighty, and hard. Is anyone else here a sports game fan?
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« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2007, 01:50:47 AM »

I love the feel of those Capcom animation-driven games. People will say they're restrictive and stuff, but the more you play them the more you get to know exactly what will happen when you do a particular move.

I recently put many many hours in to Monster Hunter Freedom on the PSP. This game rocks! Seriously - if it only had infrastructure built in so it could be played as it was meant to be played, I would still be playing it today. It's not really possible to play through the whole thing in single player, but what a fantastic experience it was to try.

The animations are really well done, if you're using an improbably gigantic sword, it feels like it's improbably gigantic, it's really heavy, it takes time to throw the thing around and then when it hits it cuts right through stuff - or if it bounces off you really know about it.

When you commit to an animation/move you commit to it. You can't interrupt it, it just plays out, while you decide what to do next based on what happens while the animation is playing out. It's almost turn-based, but playing it out in real time feels fantastic to me.

Lost Planet has a similar play style, and I love that game as well.
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« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2007, 04:40:30 AM »

Adam: what you call "pointless fun" is what I call "the intrinsic/implicit joy of core game play". Definitely with you there. It's an important foundation for any game, and creates its own range of emotions which the rest of the game ought really to encourage and feed off of.

In no order (and attempting not to repeat anyone else's stuff):

Tie Fighter - That strange bank/roll you get when moving the mouse horizontally completely broke the feeling that you were just controlling simple variables like elite did (pitch or roll for each axis in that). The slightly complicated nature of the game made it feel more real, as if to say that real life can't be broken down into totally elegant rules (although... erm... it sorta can in a lot of cases Smiley )

Quake 2/3: I think both these games had fantastic movement, even if it was initially a bug. I mean, rocket jumping is one thing, but add strafe jumping and circle jumping to that, and you have a wonderful pallet for motion. And then in Quake 3 you get plasma skipping, too! I love the fact that a few whole mods (rocket olympics / defrag) have been dedicated to the movement of that game. Plenty of mods added movement abilities to the game - offhand grapplehooks made lithium really enjoyable since they let you move and fire independently.

Tribes: Skiing. Lovely. Again, unintentional.

Strider: Something about being able to transfer to so many surfaces makes me happy. It makes the world feel that much more tangible if your avatar is touching every surface, acknowledging it, rather than simply being stopped in mid air, frozen in a frame of animation, or worse, performing running cycles while not even moving. Also, sliding for a quick speed boost/attack is great.

Tenchu: The series needs a goddamn proper reboot. That initial feeling of freedom and exploration with a grapple hook which didn't care what surface you used it on, or where you wanted to go... flipping fantastic. The flipping was also fantastic. Controls are probably a bit dated now, but that grapple hook... oh man.

I can't remember the game, but I'm sure there's one where if you roll and then jump, you get a speed boost out of it. That was nice.

Hoop\/\/orld: Alright, I'm totally biased, but the early stages of the previous version of this had movement which was shaping up really nicely... somewhere between Mario 64 and N.

N: Can't ignore Raigan and Mare who seemed to have this natural understanding of motion. So many games take this approach of letting the animation dictate a humanoid character's speed and behaviour. In N, it feels like it was done the opposite way - their pseudo physics with its feeling of weight and inertia made you happy when you transferred built up speed into a huge wall run, and sad when you got fast enough to crater into the ground. Lovely balance of risk and reward, that.

JediKnight: had a few awkward movement modifiers (not exactly fun reaching up to F2 to do a force jump, and having force speed last a fixed amount of time felt weird, too) but I wanted to point it out as one of the few games where you can crater when hitting walls! Makes a lot of sense, really. More consisent. I'd rather not crater at all, and simply encourage smooth movement through positive re-enforcement, though.

Prince of Persia Classic: Actually, I mention this because of the recent XBLA update. I really HATE PoP's movement in terms of "Feel". There's the arguement that it's very realistic, because choosing to jump does involve readying ones' self and the lag inherent in that, and one is not always in control of ones' movement - if you're knocked off balance, you're out of control, right? I never really bought that argument: If you're knocked down, you can still choose how to fall, and possibly even right yourself. If you're making a jump... well, there's an infinite number of ways to jump - not just the way Jordan Mechner's brother did it once. That's the fundamental problem I have with a lot of finite state machine based animation - so many of the animations have no interactivity. Motion and choice are minimized to what the animators prescribed, and you're simply left waiting for windows to open for your tiny bandwidth of input. The mistakes you make are amplified as you wait for the prince to step one step after briefly fudging a movement on the joypad. The new XBLA version of PoP has done a lot to make the game more responsive - quicker animations, more transitions etc. All good stuff. Unfortunately, you can't "fix" this gameplay without fundamentally changing it. You can only really improve what's there. Ideally, I think you just want to make sure that for every state you give a player, they have some kind of control, even if it's limited. Example: in Hoop\/\/orld, when you were knocked back, you could still alter your direction... give the fall a bit of "english" as it were. If you mashed buttons, you could "snap out of it" mid air, going into a double jump, a bit like StreetFighter Alpha 3. Ofcourse, it's always hard to marry the ideals of realistic/smooth animation with responsive controls. PoP: Sands of Time does a lot to remedy this though...

Prince of Persia: Sands of Time: While this is still a finite state machine based animation system, and while very few of the moves have any "english" i.e. you can only really wall run in three discrete directions), I still felt great moving around in this game. The controls remained fairly responsive, not by breaking the animation (much) but by introducing loads and loads of transition opportunities within the animation. Wondering why the prince takes so many mini-steps in a wall run (apart from trying to seem a bit realistic)? Well, its because each step on the wall can transition out to a wall-jump animation, so the quicker the step, the quicker you could typically transfer into an alternate state without the transition looking broken. When you use a horizontal bar to swing around, you don't have to wait to circle the bar before you make a jump like you do in Tomb Raider legend, allowing you to speed through sections of the game. The level design was remarkably consistent in this first game, never leaving you too confused about your route once you learned the conventions of what you could and couldn't use for movement. Bit linear, but assassin's creed promises to remedy that. PoP:SoT proved to me that FSMA is not as fundamentally flawed as I thought.
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« Reply #23 on: July 06, 2007, 04:45:35 AM »


When you commit to an animation/move you commit to it. You can't interrupt it, it just plays out, while you decide what to do next based on what happens while the animation is playing out. It's almost turn-based, but playing it out in real time feels fantastic to me.

This is another case when FSMA can work: when the animation is a core part of the gameplay, and all these commitment times and wind-ups are factored into the balance of the game... the risk and reward of throwing a heavy wind up attack in something like Soul Calibur 2, for instance.

It's when animation is long for the sake of the animation that it doesn't make sense. It wasn't until recently that animators defining the reload times for weapons in FPS games was considered irredeemably bad design.
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« Reply #24 on: July 06, 2007, 11:28:23 AM »

Strider: Something about being able to transfer to so many surfaces makes me happy. It makes the world feel that much more tangible if your avatar is touching every surface, acknowledging it, rather than simply being stopped in mid air, frozen in a frame of animation, or worse, performing running cycles while not even moving. Also, sliding for a quick speed boost/attack is great.

Alec and I were just talking the other day about how Strider felt totally out of control a lot of the time.  The world around you collapses, bends, disappears, explodes, changes gravity, and you're doing all you can to grab onto whatever surface while you're progressing through.  It made moving Strider feel out-of-control, but on the other end of the spectrum, they gave you COMPLETE control over that sword.  No matter what, when you pressed that sword button, a sword slice came out.  You could time it, slam on it as fast as you could, whatever.  It didn't matter if you were landing, jumping, running, slipping, dropping, hooking onto something... they made sure you had the attack in control, most of the time.  Both of those things together made Strider feel very unique.
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« Reply #25 on: July 06, 2007, 11:37:45 AM »

I actually kinda like the jumping in strider, even though its pretty limited. I guess it felt deliberate / timed, like you had to really focus to get it right in certain situations.
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« Reply #26 on: July 06, 2007, 11:53:26 AM »

Is the deal with Strider's feel simply that it's context sensitive implicitly?

You can bolt yourself onto walls without much thought towards picking the action. Defender is an example of a game I'd say has a very rigid control structure (and a terrible button layout). A big, big, big part of what Jef Raskin had to say is that modes are bad.

Certainly a lot of feel (like Derek implied when mentioning GoW) is gonna be physics based; a big character should feel more like driving a tank than a smaller, more nimble character.

For example, in Splinter Cell the character "leans" into turns at full speed, sort of like a motorcycle. In Vampire Rain, even though the player is running very quickly, they turn on the spot cheaply without acknowledging the speed they're going. That ruins part of the feel. The lack of tuning on things like speeds, controls, joystick sensitivity and other attributes of control also make the game shit.

Even though SC2 has "slow" attacks, the animation and reaction are instantly starting after you hit the button. It doesn't seem like they're lagged at all; there's some kind of confirmation of your attack even if the actual damage hasn't been done yet.

GDNet had a discussion on this, I think JBourrie did it. He was talking about how 'verbs' impact the design of the game's interaction. Very interesting thread, I'll root it out.

Edit: JBourrie post
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« Reply #27 on: July 06, 2007, 12:18:18 PM »

Waverace 64:  Totally playable even today.  Perfect carving, and the ability to optimize the impact of waves on your top speed (if you bob in time with the crests).  I dislike the GameCube version--the scale is all wrong.

Rocket Jockey:  Completely intimidating learning curve.  Still, some amazing feels moments.  Tugging matches with other riders feel right, especially when something rips free.

Bionic Commando:  I haven't played this recently, and I don't plan to.  It probably plays like crap today.  But the memory is awesome!

Ski Stunt Simulator:  1-to-1 controls you can actually learn.  More info at Fun-Motion, of course:  http://www.fun-motion.com/physics-games/ski-stunt-simulator/

Die by the Sword:  1-to-1 controls you can't learn.  Not on the good side of the spectrum, but worth discovering why it failed.

FlatOut 2:  An arcade driving game that makes you feel like you're a much better driver than you are. (Fun-Motion link)

Lugaru: My favorite 3rd-person avatar game.  Good jumps, rolls, and responsive controls.  (Fun-Motion link)

Big Red Racing:  Haven't played in years, but I remember it as a great racing title with exaggerated physics and a variety of vehicles (hovercraft, car, etc).
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« Reply #28 on: July 06, 2007, 04:07:58 PM »

just want to second the Wave Race 64 vote there, I'd forgotten how absolutely new and good that game felt when it came out.  I still think they did the best job of really simulating a changing watery environment, and having it affect your racing...but not TOO much Wink  it was a little weird to play at first (as was mario64) but once i was over the initial weirdness i never wanted to go back...
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« Reply #29 on: July 07, 2007, 09:28:47 AM »

The Wipeout series has always had a special place in my heart for feeling good despite having rather floaty (har har har) ships.
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« Reply #30 on: July 07, 2007, 05:09:29 PM »

-I think the best feeling games are the ones that require a bit of practice to master them, and in this genre the Shinobi series are very good. Once you get used to your nija abilities you feel like the king of the world.
-Also Street fightr 2 and samourai showdown (for parrying)
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« Reply #31 on: July 10, 2007, 06:15:28 AM »

Strider: Something about being able to transfer to so many surfaces makes me happy. It makes the world feel that much more tangible if your avatar is touching every surface, acknowledging it, rather than simply being stopped in mid air, frozen in a frame of animation, or worse, performing running cycles while not even moving. Also, sliding for a quick speed boost/attack is great.

Alec and I were just talking the other day about how Strider felt totally out of control a lot of the time.  The world around you collapses, bends, disappears, explodes, changes gravity, and you're doing all you can to grab onto whatever surface while you're progressing through.  It made moving Strider feel out-of-control, but on the other end of the spectrum, they gave you COMPLETE control over that sword.  No matter what, when you pressed that sword button, a sword slice came out.  You could time it, slam on it as fast as you could, whatever.  It didn't matter if you were landing, jumping, running, slipping, dropping, hooking onto something... they made sure you had the attack in control, most of the time.  Both of those things together made Strider feel very unique.
tually, it's been a long while since i tried it, so i could be wrong there.
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« Reply #32 on: July 10, 2007, 11:38:45 AM »

Running a course in WipeOut without hitting any walls, sliding around every corner, gives a great feeling of fluidity.  Another similar 'hovership' game is Episode 1 Racer for N64 which I feel is somewhat underrated.
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