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    jp's Gladius (PS2)

    [September 8, 2008 12:59:16 PM]
    A recent column in Edge magazine talked about how the decline in reading is purportedly due to the increase in time people spend playing videogames and watching television and movies. One of the reasons attributed (by the unnamed sources referred to in the column, not the by the columnist himself) is that people are increasingly becoming accustomed to the instant gratification that videogames provide. That puzzled me.

    I can imagine that someone who has only played arcade games (or hasn't played videogames in a long, long time) might believe that videogames provide players with experiences that are short and immediately gratifying. I'm also puzzled by what it is that instant gratification is supposed to mean. Is it the amount of time required to have a "complete" experience? If yes, then:

    Reading a book would be gratifying after, say, 720 minutes (12 hours). This would vary on the length of the book and how fast you read, but seems reasonable for most paperbacks.

    Listening to a CD album would be gratifying after 90 minutes.

    Watching a movie would be gratifying after 120 minutes.

    A TV show would be gratifying in 60 minutes.

    A videogame? Hmmm... probably sometime around 900 minutes for a "typical" single-player experience? (15 hours)

    I guess that part of the argument is that with other media you need more time to "get hooked" into the experience? So, maybe you get hooked on a book a third of the way through, whereas in videogames you're presumably hooked immediately?

    As anyone who has had any kind of experience with most modern videogames knows, videogames are far from "instantly gratifying". It takes a while to learn the controls, learn what you have to do in the game, learn what the game is about, and so on. Videogames have added barriers to the experience that other media don't. It is harder and takes longer to "get to the experience" as it where. Other media are far more immediate in this sense. No one, that I know of, is required to watch a 30 minute introduction before a movie that explains how to watch the movie you're about to see, right?

    And yes, I've been playing Gladius for a little over 9 hours and I still don't feel very gratified. :-(
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    [August 21, 2008 09:14:33 PM]
    I've played past the tutorial and have started playing what may be considered "the meat" of the game. I guess I still have mixed feelings about my experience so far. I know this game got very favorable reviews while also remembering that Sparrow's experience was also quite interesting.

    So far, I've been a little bit disappointed by the setting. I was expecting, as I feel the name implied, a historical (or "close" to historical) setting. The roman empire. However, the setting feels a lot more fantastical and medieval. I guess the medieval comes from the music, and the fantastical from the focus on the barbarians (in the campaign I'm playing, you can choose from two) and some mystical witches and sorcery. Now, it may be that the mystical/magical stuff is historically accurate (ie, the barbarians believed in this) but the effect it has had on my experience playing so far is that the game falls into the "oh, I've seen this before" fantasy. It doesn't seem roman enough, if that makes any sense.

    The other minor disappointment is that the individual matches seem to be quite short, leaving little room for tactics though potentially more room for strategy. I think I was expecting a more tactical experience with longer battles (and perhaps fewer of them over all). In order to make any kind of progress at all you have to fight 3-4 battles at least, which seems excessive.

    I still need to play a lot more in order to get a better feeling for the battle system and how important it is to configure your gladiators with the right skills and equipment. For now, I'm definitely feeling a little underwhelmed.
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    jp's Gladius (PS2)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Got Bored

    GameLog started on: Tuesday 12 August, 2008

    GameLog closed on: Tuesday 9 September, 2008

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    I guess I never got "sucked in" as it where. It's a functionally complete game, but it just didn't have that polish or spark to make it memorable to me.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstar

    Related Links

    See jp's page

    See info on Gladius

    More GameLogs
    other GameLogs for this Game
    1 : Gladius (PS2) by Sparrow (rating: 4)


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