I maintain that if a game is undeniably fun, then your plot can be incredibly basic. Honestly, so many games nowadays are ruined by striving to have some sort of meaningful storytelling when all the game is really about is punching bad guys. Sometimes hitting bad guys is really enough, and any sort of attempt to weave some grand insight into the dark nature of man's inhumanity against man (or worse, some sort of life is worth living despite the harshness so don't give up! message) comes across pretty bleh. At the very least it's distracting, but at the worst it can completely ruin an otherwise perfectly fine game.

The point I'm trying to get to is that some game developers could learn something from Bad Dudes.

Bad Dudes is a classic Arcade beat-em up that was ported to the NES like any other classic Arcade Beat-em up. It's entire plot consists of two sentences showcased at the beginning of your adventure.

"The president has been kidnapped by ninjas. Are you a bad enough dude to rescue the president?"

That's it. There's never any talk about where these ninjas came from. How they got past Secret Service. What their ultimate endgame is. There's no character development for the Bad Dudes. I have no idea how they became Bad Dudes and why we as a country would trust such Bad Dudes to save our President. I've never known, but I didn't care then and I really don't care now.

I know all I need to. President's been kidnapped. Ninjas are involved. If I'm going to rescue him, I'm going to have to be one hell of a bad dude.

I'm not saying that I'm against games having stories; hell my greatest gaming experience is still the first time I played through Final Fantasy 7 and realizing games could actually pull off legitimate stories. My point is simply that not all games need to have grand plots, that sometimes less is more, and that it can be very easy to explain away things to the point of destruction.

I mean, would a heavier plot have made Bad Dude's ending any sweeter?

I seriously doubt it.

In short, more of this, less of that.

Posted by Kevin on 12:08 PM


Lauren said...

And I thought the SF2 ending with Zangief was hilarious. That ending may have beaten it for me.

(Now, everybody dance!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejJIILrrb0E )

Kevin said...

The Zangief ending is pretty fantastic, no question about it. Street Fighter 2 is another great example of not needing a lot of plot to have a lot of fun.

Course if you want plot+Street Fighter, I hear there are some movies that attempt to do just that...

Colure said...

I agree!!! Sometimes, it's not necessary to have a super intellectual, think all the time kind of game. Sometimes you just want a game where you can beat things up mindlessly and have fun doing it!

It's like movies. Sometimes it's okay to watch a movie that's all serious and dramatic and makes you re-examine life and all, but sometimes, you just want a sticky sweet romantic comedy that leaves you feeling unchanged as a human being but very content with the last 2 hours of your life :D

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