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I started thinking about genres lately. I believe genre should be assessed by the experience the game provides or the reaction it intends to produce on the player. Unfortunately, a lot of games get classified as one genre or another because of their camera, art style and such superficial elements.

Is there a game you played that is commonly considered to belong to one genre, that you believe belongs to another?

I'll go first: the Yakuza series on the PS2 and PS3. It's a JRPG. From the long-winded cutscenes all the way to the random encounters, but because it has realistic looking characters in a realistic environment everyone dismisses it as Beat'em Up. It's specially annoying with that game because the people that say it's not a JRPG since it's too different, are usually the same ones that complain that JRPGs are all the same.
HAH. 95% of RPGs are just space invaders. And I can't stand platformers (or hidden object games) being called "adventure games".

But yeah, you meant slightly more subtle stuff (so I won't mention Assassin's Creed turning into Sim City).

Well, I always considered F117a and F19 to be submarine simulators. Because they are all about sneaking around, evading dopplers, keeping low profile... playing them felt closer to playing Silent Service than to playing Dogfights or FA18. That's why I liked F19 so much.

I also have some gripes with sleuth games. Okay, they are often honestly marketed as adventure games, but still, I expect some deduction and whodunit guessing, while they generally just provide standard fetch quests or "use banana on broken fan" puzzles. They're adventure games in the most classic sense.

But I've got this genre confusion most often with movies. I tend to classify as "westerns" all movies that correspond to their structures, of minimal society, relative isolation, uncluttered plots, clear-cut characters... Although, to be honest, in many cases they ARE adaptations of westerns (Outland, Precinct 13)...
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Telika: HAH. 95% of RPGs are just space invaders. And I can't stand platformers (or hidden object games) being called "adventure games".

But yeah, you meant slightly more subtle stuff (so I won't mention Assassin's Creed turning into Sim City).
I'm fine with people saying anything in my threads, it's just a matter of elaborating.
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Telika: I also have some gripes with sleuth games. Okay, they are often honestly marketed as adventure games, but still, I expect some deduction and whodunit guessing, while they generally just provide standard fetch quests or "use banana on broken fan" puzzles. They're adventure games in the most classic sense.
I never heard of sleuth games, just the traditional adventure games, which I want to like but I can never see the logic in half the game and end up bored just trying everything with everything else. Is there an actual good sleuth game you can recommend?

Also, it seems that we're the only ones with problems with the genres since no one else showed up on the thread.
I agree with Telika in regards to hidden object games. And it is not always all that easy to tell them apart from screenshots & descriptions alone. I've almost ended up buying hidden object games several times now, because I thought they were traditional adventure games.
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DaCostaBR: I never heard of sleuth games, just the traditional adventure games, which I want to like but I can never see the logic in half the game and end up bored just trying everything with everything else. Is there an actual good sleuth game you can recommend?
The "logic" in adventure games is variable - sometimes stupid, sometimes deliberately humorously absurd, sometimes quite practical and straightforward (but that easily makes for too easy games). "Randomly try everything on everything" is not the rule in every case, it's even considered as a flaw by modern adventure games critics.

As for sleuth games, it's not an official category. But when you play Sherlock Holmes, you precisely expect more deductive work (à la Ghorpm giveaway) and less "use wrench on dead fish".

Some Frogware "Holmes" games have some amount of deductive work, through end-of-chapter quizzes of sorts. But most of the gameplay is about combining random objects. The "Colonel's Bequest" and "Cruise for a Corpse" also had endgame questions, to see if you guessed who was the culprit, but there again, the meat of the game was classic point and click puzzles (plus arbitrary be-there-at-the-right-time conditions that you couldn't guess by yourself). So, for some reason, sleuthing games don't really exist, except as unkept implicit promises... Or I have still to play the right ones ("Last expresss" ? "Lost files of sherlock holmes" ?).

Oh, and sometimes, RPGs get close to this. But they just end up in quests to go talk to different people in a specific order, with no room for interpretative mistakes. "Inquisitor" makes is a somewhat central point, with limited success.

So, I'd say that I'll be happy the day it will become an actual genre in itself.
Just to clarify Yakuza is not a JRPG. Long cutscenes dont make a game JRPG (unless every game made in Japan and some western stuff is JRPG). Or if you mean that Yakuza is a Japanese game where you play the role of someone. then I can agree its a JRPG.
I dont have problem with so called wrong classification since games now are more of a mix borrowing from different types. Plus there are so many labels for the games now that its hard to decipher the real meaning.
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Telika:
Dont forget - many of the best "classic" westerns are adaptions of samurai movies and eastern lore. This only adds to the confusion!
The most memorable "sleuth"-type games I can think of are either non-PC games (such as the unofficial and sadly illegal English translation of the Super Famicom remake of Famicom Detective Club II, or the Phoenix Wright series for Nintendo DS) or in a niché genre (like Death Off the Cuff).

Maybe current mainstream technologies simply aren't suitable for such a genre.

Oh, and agreed so much on the hidden object/adventure game thing.
Post edited February 18, 2013 by drennan
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Sachys: Dont forget - many of the best "classic" westerns are adaptions of samurai movies and eastern lore. This only adds to the confusion!
Yes. Maybe, if I was japanese, I'd find that all these films (westerns, or western-like cop movies, sci-fi, etc) belong to the samourai film genre (next to star wars, heh)...
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danteveli: Just to clarify Yakuza is not a JRPG. Long cutscenes dont make a game JRPG (unless every game made in Japan and some western stuff is JRPG). Or if you mean that Yakuza is a Japanese game where you play the role of someone. then I can agree its a JRPG.
I dont have problem with so called wrong classification since games now are more of a mix borrowing from different types. Plus there are so many labels for the games now that its hard to decipher the real meaning.
Have you played it? It is very much a JRPG. I use the cutscene delivery as a humorous example but the entire game is built as one, the usual RPG town, the sidequests, the leveling up, the random encounters. I bet you'll say you can find these things in other genres, but put them all in the same place and what you get is a JRPG.

I haven't gotten around to playing it yet, but from what I've seem The Last Story has a lot of those same elements, and with its anime aesthetic it was immediately called a JRPG.
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Telika: snip
I'm sorry, I thought there might have been a genre I missed, like those escape the room games that I only found out about recently.

I played Sherlock Holmes vs Jack the Ripper, I did enjoy the game asking me to make the conclusions about the murderer at the end of each chapter, I'm currently playing The Awakened. As for straightforward, I did enjoy Gemini Rue and the way I could just shoot locks instead of looking for makeshift keys, etc.

I vividly remember playing The Shivah, also from WadjetEye games, most of it was pretty easy but deducing the password to a computer and how to defeat the final boss were the most satisfying things in the game, as with most adventure games for me, because indeed there were no physical puzzle being presented, it was just a matter of working things out im my head.
Post edited February 18, 2013 by DaCostaBR
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DaCostaBR: I started thinking about genres lately. I believe genre should be assessed by the experience the game provides or the reaction it intends to produce on the player. Unfortunately, a lot of games get classified as one genre or another because of their camera, art style and such superficial elements.

Is there a game you played that is commonly considered to belong to one genre, that you believe belongs to another?

I'll go first: the Yakuza series on the PS2 and PS3. It's a JRPG. From the long-winded cutscenes all the way to the random encounters, but because it has realistic looking characters in a realistic environment everyone dismisses it as Beat'em Up. It's specially annoying with that game because the people that say it's not a JRPG since it's too different, are usually the same ones that complain that JRPGs are all the same.
In this series Extra Credits also makes a compelling argument that the way we classify genres (mostly by mechanics) is horrible and leads to problems. The alternative is to figure out the reasons one might play a game (e.g. the reasons to play Mass Effect are decidedly different from something like Final Fantasy or Baldur's Gate).

http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/western-japanese-rpgs-part-1
http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/western-japanese-rpgs-part-2
http://www.penny-arcade.com/patv/episode/western-japanese-rpgs-part-3

Well worth watching if you like dissecting video games as much as I do.
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orcishgamer: snip
Thanks. I follow Extra Credits, it's part of what got me thinking about this.

How a game like Yakuza gets judged by it's art style, and the reason for me talking in another thread how "indie" is going the way of the "JRPG", where we end up with games like Journey receiving prizes for best indie game despite being published by Sony.
Post edited February 18, 2013 by DaCostaBR
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Telika:
I mean it quite literally - The Magnificent Seven was an adaption of The Seven Samurai (aided by AK himself), Yojimbo later became a Fistful of Dollars which Ak remade as Last Man Standing - the list goes on!
Post edited February 18, 2013 by Sachys
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Telika: And I can't stand platformers (or hidden object games) being called "adventure games".
This right here is my biggest peeve. The logic that makes these games adventure games can be used to make EVERY game an adventure game.
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danteveli: Just to clarify Yakuza is not a JRPG. Long cutscenes dont make a game JRPG (unless every game made in Japan and some western stuff is JRPG). Or if you mean that Yakuza is a Japanese game where you play the role of someone. then I can agree its a JRPG.
I dont have problem with so called wrong classification since games now are more of a mix borrowing from different types. Plus there are so many labels for the games now that its hard to decipher the real meaning.
Yakuza most definitely is a JRPG! It's so similar it actually surprised the hell out of me when I originally bought it. All the idiots I knew called it a Beat Em up... whilst it does that nicely the other 75% of the game is most definitely a JRPG.