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The Billion Dollar Game

What’s the game of the moment? Ask anyone this question and the answer will probably be Grand Theft Auto V.

Rockstar is well known for bringing us quality material in the past years and they delivered again with GTA V.

In all the “specialized press” you see high review scores, describing this game as a masterpiece. Is it? After going through the offline mode I must say it’s an excellent game: Fun, addictive, with tons of stuff to do but is it perfect, like everyone acclaims? My response is no.

Rockstar’s attention to detail is admirable; in fact, they are probably the best when it comes to tiny things that make the game realistic. From the top of my head, for example losing GPS signal when entering a tunnel. Do you always want realistic? Sometimes that can become a bit boring: Do we need the missions where we have to exercise yoga? These kinds of missions just take away the pace of the game and make it lose momentum, which is a shame.

On the positive side, GTA V delivers what the audiences wanted (or expected). It takes full potential of the HD consoles and pushes the graphics high and gives us the opportunity to explore a huge map with tons of stuff to do, even if you don’t want to play the main story and just do side missions, wander around, make a carnage somewhere, rob, kill, get a haircut, anything you want to do, you just do it in GTA V.

The game is solid, the story is entertaining even with some clichés background stories for the characters: the ghetto guy that feels he’s more intelligent than is companions and wants to climb up the crime ladder, the guy who got out of the game but is forced back into it and (my favorite) the insane guy who just acts randomly as he wishes. These are all trademarks of the GTA series and that we look for in a GTA game, that’s why we all have so much fun.

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Moving away from the Living room?

There is one simple reason why GTA misses perfection: The lack of local multiplayer!!!! Rockstar put some much effort into a unparalleled online experience (which I haven’t tested yet but will soon), and completely forgot that the must fun we have playing video games is with a mate, sitting side by side. If this were possible in GTA, imagine the reunions among people to go on carnage in Los Santos city, or do the missions side by side with a friend of yours. In a multimillion-dollar budget game, with so many opportunities and options, it’s a shame that a basic idea like this was left out. Sometimes the simplest options are the best, and for me before going on a buggy online experience (I tried to get in the first two days but failed due to server problems), you must have a solid local multiplayer experience and GTA has all the elements necessary: You even have missions where you have to switch between characters so why not have a partner on those missions?! It’s a shame, and for me that reason is enough to fail perfection. To reach perfection, 10 or more years ago, the game had to have innovation and be almost flawless. GTA, in my opinion, fails in that area and they are close, real close to perfection. Maybe when we have a solid online experience and a local multiplayer I will have to say: It seems that at this point, there is not much you can do to make it better. That’s when the game will be a masterpiece.

For now, I will just continue have tons of fun, by myself or with other virtual players hoping that the servers will not crash.

Game Analysis

I Wish I Were the Moon

The simplicity of this game hides its complexity. The game shows a small boy on the moon and a girl daydreaming of having the boy’s love. The designers want to show us that our decisions can affect the outcome of a relationship, as in many games; the choices you make sometimes will affect the ending. It can be happy or sad, alone or with company, the designers make the players chose what will be the outcome to this small interaction and show us that sometimes life can be cruel and you are left alone and other times you accomplish your dreams. The characters looked cute and were nicely crafted and the music fit perfectly in this slow paced, calm and peaceful game but with a nice message behind it. They make us feel certain tranquility with this game, which is transmitted by the music, the nice background or the sound of the harp (you will have to finish a certain ending to hear this). This game was certainly a very nice surprise.

Don’t **** your pants

This game was incredible, I found myself trying to find all the endings for this hilarious game, with such simplicity the designers make us laugh and understand that any task, as simple as going to the toilet, can have obstacles like PULLING a door, which was ridiculous, I couldn’t-t open the door at first so I just took off the pants and defecated on the floor. It was a nice combination of old school text games and pixelated graphics. This game shows us that even a game as simple as this one can give us a sense of achievement, did you feel pride when you finally understood the steps to go to the toilet properly? I did, and found myself wanting to find all the possible solutions to the problem. This is a nice message too, no problem is unsolvable, and if you can’t open the door, just do it there. This makes us understand that sometimes the simplest task can be transformed in a mind game and makes us think about something that should be instinctive. When you go to the toilet, and it’s closed, do you do it on the floor? You knock, or pull the door. These designers made us think and took a logical approach to something as simple and instinctive as going to the toilet. It was clever and funny.

These two games show the power of imagination and how we can, with a simple background and one or two characters make several endings and even have that sense of achievement gamers look for in a game! On one side we have the emotional content of the couple and the other we have the comedy of a bald guy trying not to shit his pants. These two games show that designers can be powerful in the sense that can create an amazing experience with little material; it all comes from the mind and how far we can stretch your imagination. If someone told you: Make a game with two characters, a moon and a bird that flies around, what would you pull off? These games made me think outside the box and I’m really glad that they are pushing our imaginations further and we are extending our boundaries.

Thank you for reading,

Goncalo Pereira

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