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nobinobita
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"Most viscerally satisfying games" , posted Thu 2 Jul 15:59:post reply

What are the most viscerally satisfying games you've played? They don't have to be the best games overall, just the ones that FEEL really good. It could even be just a single part of the game.

Here are some of my favorites:

-Third Strike: Amazing sense of weight and impact in every single action. The difference between a light attack and a heavy attack is very palpable. I think Makoto is my favorite character because it's just SO SATISFYING to connect with her moves. Also parrying feels incredible.

-Secret of Mana: This game has some of my favorite death animations. They added so much character to the game. Few things are as satisfying and charging up your spear, goring an owl and feeling it explode into a puff of feathers. Same goes for the dessicating bees and the goblins that explode into bones. So violent and cute at the same time!

-Ico: I haven't played it in several years, but I do remember the first time I took Yorda's hand it felt surprisingly convincing and intimate.

-Shooting dudes in Virtua Cop felt really good compared to other light gun games (especially the bullet spongey House of the Dead series--which was fun in a different way). Each shot felt powerful.

-Under Night In-Birth has a great sense of impact. Most anime looking fighters feel kind of light and sticky, like the characters are pulling their punches. UNIB feels quick and sharp because the game pauses after a character has finished their attack motion rather than at the apex of it like most fighters.

What are some of your favorites of the top of your heads?
(I'm currently designing some attack/hit/death animations and could use some suggestions for games to reference)






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[this message was edited by nobinobita on Thu 2 Jul 17:57]

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Loona
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"Re(1):Most viscerally satisfying games" , posted Thu 2 Jul 20:34post reply

Off the top of my head:

- the sound of KOing with a special or super in AoF - it has this really final and transcendental feel to it. Some KoFs brought it back, and IIRC Project X Zone uses soething similar for some of its attacks.

- Knocking someone out of the arena in Smash (been playing the 3DS version) - the cilyindrical explosions that feel the screen to make that KO as eloquent and visible as possible just feel damn good

- Something a bit different, but satisfying, that comes to mind is finishing, or at least knocking down an opponent in DoA5 while using Brad Wong with a move that ends with him lying on the floor intentionally looking all relaxed just feels good - he's like, "well, I'm done here, just gonna relax now", like the calm after the storm of your attack.


Roughly related, I recall seeing a video with Mike Z where he said that what really sells the impact of a hit is having it cause some screen shaking - that way it feels strong even if the move itself doesn't do that much damage.





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"Most viscerally satisfying Nobis" , posted Thu 2 Jul 23:04:post reply

Great topic! AAAAAAAAAAAIN'T THERE SOMEBODY WHO CAN STOP THIS FIGHTING MACHINE?!

Wander and the Colossus: Since you mentioned Ico, of course this has to come up. Naturally, the tactile feeling of climbing the colossi's fur or stone bodies is extremely satisfying, and the idiots who didn't like how it was hard to control the horse have probably either A) never ridden a horse or B) not developed an appreciation of how the resistance feels so "alive." Nothing is more satisfying than the feeling of your colossus-finding sword's light beam suddenly sharpening and delivering a force feedback THUMP when you are onto something...unless it's the feeling of actually hitting a colossus in its weak point. I feel bad for killing them, but when the tactile response is this good, they're just going to have to deal with it!

Street Fighter Zero 2/3: I think the sound effects and animation come together so perfectly to create a sense of impact in these games...I can feel in my hands right now how good it feels to connect Ken's firey fierce Shouryuuken, or even the dumb visceral joy of his level 3 13-hit Shinryuuken with the extra hits added if you mash.

Final Fantasy VIII: I bet you weren't expecting an RPG, but the first Final Fantasy to use force feedback has the most needless but fun little addition of being able to press the right trigger to fire Squall's gunblade as his attacks connect, both the regular and of course his near-fatal attacks, where light pulses through the target window at the exact point you hit it. I literally cannot imagine playing this game on a computer or something without dual shock.

Lunar~Eternal Blue: Among the many ways the 16-bit original outshines its 32-bit remake is the way the simple PCM sound effects resonate with the basic and special attacks, particulary the satisfying SPLAT that a critical hit makes, usually knocking an enemy across the field in a turn-based and range-based RPG. Final boss Zophar also explodes better than any RPG boss I know of before the highly combustible FFVIII bosses, though FFVI's BANG-BANG-burn up death sequence for bosses was pretty nice. (Bonus for you Nobi: this is the same Zophar design referencing the Buddha's Palm and Monkey King from the Saiyuuki that we e-mailed about one time.)

Final Fantasty Tactics: Despite adoring its music, I fell asleep after one hour of Tactics (or all strategy RPGs), but I love love love the pathetic-comical sound of when some poor guy gets wasted in battle.

GOD HAND: And of course, the king of all of this is the gloriously stupid-fun God Hand, where every punch feels better than any other game in its entirety.





人間はいつも私を驚かせてくれる。不思議なものだな、人間という存在は...

[this message was edited by Maou on Thu 2 Jul 23:17]

Spoon
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"Re(1):Most viscerally satisfying Nobis" , posted Fri 3 Jul 00:19post reply

quote:
God Hand


A very interesting thing to note is that there is a "high impact" sound in God Hand (any of the normal moves that send people flying or can bounce them off the wall in a juggle state, really, like the double palm strike, or the one inch punch) isn't just a generic really loud thumping sound, but has a high-pitched component riding on top of it, like some kind of adjusted cymbal crash. In a game that isn't as goofy.

It's a curious thing, but a lot of "big hits" in video-gamey Japanese games have this higher-pitched sweetener. I don't have an audio tech background so I'll have to ask an audio guy for what this is called. Notice how critical hits in tons of JRPGs/action RPGs, the fully charged Focus Attack in SF4, headshots on helmeted opponents in Counter-Strike... a lot of these satisfying "critical hits" feature this. And let's not forget Hokuto no Ken, which was full of high-pitched noises for deadly attacks. Splatoon does this when you land a direct hit with a Blaster or a fully charged OHKO shot.

-------

Screen shaking is a HUGE thing. The camera can sell things in ways that are unique. Wait, I think I was talking about the camera in another post? It's really, really worth studying the different camera shakes used in games. Bayonetta 2 doesn't have a huge diversity of camera shaking effects, but the thing to notice is how sharp they are: their short duration, relatively low displacement, but higher oscillation frequency. Indie game maker Vlambeer recognizes the importance of camera shake as well, but they have a very different approach to it with a diversity of camera shakes, as well as including some higher-displacement, lower-frequency ones. I thought that the old game Dual Saviour (Duel Saviour?) looked awesomely crunchy because of its hit-stop and screen-shake.

Another interesting one to compare is the original Doom and Brutal Doom, specifically for this idea of camera shake and "sharpness". In Doom, the weapons have these really big goofy gunflashes, and the entire animation of firing a single round is surprisingly long. Technology being what it was, they also didn't have transparency on these gun flashes. Compare firing a pistol in Brutal Doom to firing the pistol in original Doom. The addition of a screen-shake, the semi-automatic firing (as opposed to the fixed-rate firing of Doom), the quicker sound effect with more upper range, the faster animation with the faster muzzle flash, and the faster rate at which enemies flinch because you are able to hit them more rapidly which directly correlates to how fast you are hitting the button.

--------------

One camera trick which I both really like and worry about is the slow-motion. I know you aren't a fan of too-much tweening on character animations, but for most people having the video suddenly slow for a bit can totally help sell the impact. This is especially great if you maintain the same frame rate, but you're just making the time step smaller (so that all the particle effects and SFX are still very smooth). The worry is that this effect is easy to abuse, can feel disruptive of the action, and violence-porn-y.

-----------------

Screen flashes!

Splatoon does this really cool thing when you land a OHKO shot with a Blaster or a charged shot where the ENTIRE screen darkens, and this big white hit spark appears on the victim. Try it out in the weapon testing ground, you'll see it.

Fencing game Nidhogg makes the entire screen flash white for like a frame or two whenever a disarm happens.

Doom made the screen tint red for a duration proportional to the intensity of the damage you took. If the screen turned near-solid red for like half a second, you probably just ate a rocket. On the other hand, grunt bullets make the screen just flicker red.

-------------

I need to get to work lol





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"Re(1):Most viscerally satisfying games" , posted Fri 3 Jul 00:32:post reply

quote:
What are the most viscerally satisfying games you've played? They don't have to be the best games overall, just the ones that FEEL really good. It could even be just a single part of the game.

Here are some of my favorites:

-Third Strike: Amazing sense of weight and impact in every single action. The difference between a light attack and a heavy attack is very palpable. I think Makoto is my favorite character because it's just SO SATISFYING to connect with her moves. Also parrying feels incredible.

-Secret of Mana: This game has some of my favorite death animations. They added so much character to the game. Few things are as satisfying and charging up your spear, goring an owl and feeling it explode into a puff of feathers. Same goes for the dessicating bees and the goblins that explode into bones. So violent and cute at the same time!

-Ico: I haven't played it in several years, but I do remember the first time I took Yorda's hand it felt surprisingly convincing and intimate.

-Shooting dudes in Virtua Cop felt really good compared to other light gun games (especially the bullet spongey House of the Dead series--which was fun in a different way). Each shot felt powerful.

-Under Night In-Birth has a great sense of impact. Most anime looking fighters feel kind of light and sticky, like the characters are pulling their punches. UNIB feels quick an

-- Message too long, Autoquote has been Snipped --

Ikaruga - After the last shot you give to the stage boss, that sense of relieve and exhaustion after avoiding death countless of times while the stage boss is falling in destruction. Or should i say having multiple near death experiences! The final explosion of the stage boss gives that dramatic and kind of a slow motion feel to it like itís the end of the world coming right at you.

Killer 7 really gave me that mental insane feel that were based on the characters(or character) you played as. I think that is as cogent as i will be about that insane game! ha ha

I wish i can say more and think of other games since I have not played many games for a couple of years now. I agree with SFZ3. That final hit against the opponent is very memorable and has that final blow feel you have when winning an actual fight, haha!

KOF 97 had something similar like SFZ3, where you get a critical hit (it also displays on screen in text) and it pauses both players for a second. It was mainly done with Shingo. Not sure if many people noticed it, but it was there in KOf 97 before SFZ3 came out. I think it added a little extra in damage.

Rockman X4 will always be one of those games, like Ikaruga, and Streets of Rage 2, where you can still enjoy the for years to come. No flaws at all with that game except we wanted more! X5 and X6 did not gives us that.





Long Live!

[this message was edited by neo0r0chiaku on Fri 3 Jul 00:48]

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"Re(2):Most viscerally satisfying games" , posted Fri 3 Jul 05:53post reply

Hm... hard to answer. There are so many amazing games I was fortunate to play... well, let's see some of them:

- Street Fighter II: even decades after it was released, I still love the way it looks, the way it sounds and the way it plays - simple, yet with some layers of complexity.

- Donkey Kong Country 2: all three DKC games are great, but DKC2 stands out with its difficulty - challenging, but not frustrating -, graphics, music, the way how Diddy and Dixie play differently from each other, each one being important in certain parts of levels, plus the secrets.

- Killer Instinct: I remember I didn't want to play it at first, believing it was another MK ripoff (let's face it, there were a lot of them back then). What a foolish mistake: the gameplay is absolutely addictive, and every time you manage to do a long combo - or to "c-c-c-combo break" a long combo - it felt so satisfying. The soundtrack may be one of the best ones ever released in video game history (and fortunately the sequels are just as good), and I like how each character feels unique compared to the others - a huge advantage over its "inspiration", since MK characters were only differentiated by their special moves back then.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World - The Game: okay, Ubisoft got lazy with the DLC content, but it's still a refreshing beat'em up. For people who had previously read the comic book and/or watched the film, the amount of details is impressive, from character cameos to places and events. There is also the fun in gathering three friends to play, and the little homages to famous games, from Super Mario Bros. to the Street Fighter series (apparently even Streets of Rage got a homage in Wallace's ending, although it's really hard to tell if it's a homage or just laziness). It's a shame that Sony and Microsoft removed this game from their online stores.





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Maou
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"Re(1):Most viscerally satisfying Nobis" , posted Fri 3 Jul 06:11post reply

Dudes, what I think Nobi is looking for here is games that are fun in a visceral (tactile, physical, motion-based) way as opposed to just "fun." Games where there's a feeling of powerful impact from a punch, or physics and momentum that feel real like Mario 1 did, or that use camera and audio work in ways that let your senses "feel" the game in a way you wouldn't feel a film. Tim Rogers called it "sticky friction" one time and I believe it's apt.





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"Re(2):Most viscerally satisfying Nobis" , posted Fri 3 Jul 06:51post reply

The first image that jumped to my mind after reading the description was the EX pursuit of Anakaris in Savior.
First, it's a move that makes you move instantly, something that feels extremely good because Anakaris has basically no mobility. You feel smart and powerful using it, because the story that this move tells about Anakaris (because every animation in Vampire tells something about the character) is that he wasn't a big useless fatass, he was a majestic king that could have moved around super fast all along if he had wanted, but he just thought that was beneath him to fly around like some low-life Australian zombie peasant.
Then you impale your opponent with your butt-pyramid, which is always good.
But wait! Just when you thought things couldn't get better, Anakaris raises his hands to the sky... (dramatic pause of half a second...) and BAM, a huge sarcophagus falls out of nowhere to crush what remains of the opponent under the Pharaoh. The weight of the attack, the sound effect and the fact the sarcophagus takes half of the screen for no reason are all fantastic, but it's really that split second between Anakaris' first hit and the sarcophagus falling, when you know something AWESOME is coming, that makes it so incredibly good and makes me want to shout "YES" each time I do it.

Of course, God Hand is basically that, except for absolutely every move, non stop, for 5 levels.

I miss Capcom.





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"Re(3):Most viscerally satisfying Nobis" , posted Fri 3 Jul 13:36post reply

Now, a really fun question is this: what STGs have a really impactful feel? There are few genres which are as short on this as STGs, because things which engender it are liabilities in this style of game.

Among things which hurt it:
- tons of "popcorn" enemies (things which die in one hit)
- the player itself tends to die in one hit
- enemies in general do not go into hitstun states because that would stop them from pumping out bullets or moving along their pattern; enemies which do recoil from hits are usually exceptional ones
- few ways for the character to express itself through movement

So one standout in this category is Einhander (which I remember Nobi's mind being blown by when I revealed to him the true final boss of, which he never knew about for over a decade!). Things in the game are bigger and chunkier than in most STGs, and many of the larger enemies are animated with a bouncing sense of weight. A lot of the weapons have both limited ammo, semi-automatic fire, pulse dramatically with each shot (the Cannons! So good!), and enemies shudder with hits (the Vulcan! Try it on the first boss!) or die in unique ways to the hits rather than just going up in a puff. The weapons themselves dangle off the claw of your ship, and the angle changes with your flight, giving them a sense of physicality. The speed of the weapons varies dramatically, with the Vulcan being a near-hitscan weapon that has noticeable tracers, while the regular shots travel much more slowly (like "typical" STG bullets). I really can't say enough about how important it is for me for enemies to not go up in unsatisfying puffs! This really cheapens them and the player.

Border Down's regular enemies and regular weapons are not a standout. The graphics are not a standout. What is a standout is it's incredible beam weapon that you can get into DBZ-like clashes with bosses with, and when the boss moves that beam, you have to move to match it, and the slight deviations in the beam distance as you match it results in the clash point fluctuating visibly and directly with both your movements. It is huge and dramatic and when you overpower the boss's beam and send the huge glowing clash point into the boss it is awesome. Again, the same theme is repeated: things which can meet and respond to each other, that can shudder and recoil, that correlate strongly/directly to player movement/action, make a huge difference in feel.

Gigawing 2 on the Dreamcast is famous for its Item Volcanoes, but it's worth examining why it's so great. Gigawing 2, nice designs and big huge energy shields aside, still suffers all the problems I described above. But like so many STGs, it too slows down the game as the quantity of enemy bullets and things increases. Vitally, once you build the quantity of things on the screen to a certain point, the background transforms into a flashing blue dimensional portal (shotouts to MvC!), and EVERY ENEMY BULLET ON THE SCREEN TRANSFORMS INTO ONE OR MORE POINT ITEMS IN A MASSIVE FOUNTAIN OF ITEMS. As you greedily grab all these items, the frame rate speeds back up. So what happens is that the tension and danger build and build and build with time slowing further and further for you to savour this danger and uncertainty until it reaches a fever, overwhelming point, and then suddenly there is a gigantic burst of salvation and relief and a rush of freedom. It sounds pretty sexual when put that way, but that's exactly what's happening, and it creates an incredible sense of gravity and struggle and catharsis. It takes an established genre mechanic, slowdown under pressure, and uses that give dramatic feeling to the moment at which that pressure is released. Great stuff.





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"Re(4):Most viscerally satisfying Nobis" , posted Fri 3 Jul 23:04post reply

If there was any game that I played more for visceral pleasure than anything it would probably be Tenchu.

I mean, the SOUND. Oh my god have you heard the cutting sound effects in Tenchu? They sound lifted straight out of the foley studio of a 70's samurai movie (and probably were). So over-the-top. They're sharp and juicy and rich and meaty and just incredible when accompanying a kill. And that grappling hook! It starts off pedestrian enough when you connect with a roof but when you're being pulled towards it at a rapid pace, the rising ZZIIPP noise gives such a feeling of distance and velocity that I just want to keep grappling to the furthest point I can find.





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"Re(5):Most viscerally satisfying Nobis" , posted Sat 4 Jul 01:21post reply

quote:
If there was any game that I played more for visceral pleasure than anything it would probably be Tenchu.

The sound in Tenchu was just wonderful. I particularly liked how the blood in the first game hit the ground with noise that sounded like ball bearings bouncing off a cement floor. For a silent killer you made a huge racket.

One game that I enjoyed the experience of playing even though I didn't actually like it was Gunblade NY. The mounted arcade guns produced feedback when fired and they were positioned close enough together that it was possible for one player to shoot them both at the same time. Real-life duel wielding was utterly ludicrous but the relentless jackhammering of the double pumping recoil from the guns combined with the throbbing explosions from the games sub woofers made for an experience that requires a lot more sexual entendres to describe than your typical light gun game.





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"Re(6):Most viscerally satisfying Nobis" , posted Sat 4 Jul 08:29:post reply

quote:

Gunblade NY.



Whoa, I was totally going to say this earlier but I wondered if the haptic feedback would be cheating. The machine I played had just a ridiculous level of kick. I have to assume that this was adjusted by the operator, because after playing through the game my arms were actually sore the next day (I used only one gun) and the machine was busted/out of service within a week.

But a few other examples for me that don't rely on physically shaking up the player:

MGS Rising - Zandatsu. Just a super-satisfying sequence that feels great every time you do it, especially when you're grabbing multiple spines. Plus you get to express yourself with your slashes. Never gets old, never feels gimmicky, a truly great mechanic. I really want to see how they could evolve the zandatsu in the future.

Ryu ga Gotoku/Yakuza series - These guys have the absolute best quick time events. Heat Action is the best action! Initiating is totally up to the player. Audiovisual feedback lets you know when you need to hit a button, how long you have to do it, and when you've nailed the move. Even though you're not directly controlling the action, you feel totally connected to the insane violence that flows from your successful input.

SamSho - Man, lots of stuff. Liberal use of slowdown and great sound effects makes the heavy slashes feel extra meaty. I also especially love catching an opponent with Hanzo's dashing Mozu Otoshi/Shrike Drop, which transfers your momentum into a super-high leap that covers the entire length of the screen.

Samurai Gunn: Man does it feel good to kill people in this game! Nobody ever simply dies, they are utterly obliterated.

Street Fighter IV: This is more recent, but T. Hawk's Mexican Typhoon has such a great moment of connection when you palm the opponent's head like a basketball. I never get tired of it. I would feel bad not mentioning SNK grapplers after saying this though, so let me just say Clark's S.A.B. is just as good.

Like Iggy said Capcom offers too many visceral satisfactions to list. I could go on all day about Aliens vs Predator, fighting games in general, and even the original final fight. The one additional thing I'll say is that they really know how to sell the impact on charge moves, and I particularly love the charge moves that provide extra oomph if you release at the very apex of the charge (i.e., hold it too long and you won't get the maximum damage). Monster Hunter fans of course know what I'm talking about.

Treasure games also deserves props... Bangai-O for the mega missile attack, pretty great, and if anyone has never played Astro Boy: Omega Factor, I highly recommend it.

Also Crazy Taxi. And Sega Marine Fishing. And the feeling in Gargoyle's Quest when you stick to walls. Man, Sega and Capcom (and Platinum) are really great at this aren't they?





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[this message was edited by Mosquiton on Sat 4 Jul 10:56]

nobinobita
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"Re(7):Most viscerally satisfying Nobis" , posted Fri 17 Jul 18:02post reply

quote:

Gunblade NY.


Whoa, I was totally going to say this earlier but I wondered if the haptic feedback would be cheating. The machine I played had just a ridiculous level of kick. I have to assume that this was adjusted by the operator, because after playing through the game my arms were actually sore the next day (I used only one gun) and the machine was busted/out of service within a week.

But a few other examples for me that don't rely on physically shaking up the player:

MGS Rising - Zandatsu. Just a super-satisfying sequence that feels great every time you do it, especially when you're grabbing multiple spines. Plus you get to express yourself with your slashes. Never gets old, never feels gimmicky, a truly great mechanic. I really want to see how they could evolve the zandatsu in the future.

Ryu ga Gotoku/Yakuza series - These guys have the absolute best quick time events. Heat Action is the best action! Initiating is totally up to the player. Audiovisual feedback lets you know when you need to hit a button, how long you have to do it, and when you've nailed the move. Even though you're not directly controlling the action, you feel totally connected to the insane violence that flows from your successful input.

SamSho - Man, lots of stuff. Liberal use of slowdown and great sound effects makes the heavy slashes feel extra meaty. I also especially love catching an opponent with Hanzo's dashing Mozu Otoshi/Shrike Drop, which transfers your momentum int

-- Message too long, Autoquote has been Snipped --


Thank you all so much for the suggestions. They were really helpful!






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