Top 5 Videogame Cliches - Shotgun65 Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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Top 5 Videogame Cliches

We all know what a Cliché moment is. But for those who do not know,  is an expression, idea, or element of an artistic work which has become overused to the point of losing its original meaning, or effect, and even, to the point of being trite or irritating. I'm not saying that they are Irritating, but it is somewhat being trite. To me to an extent, I mean. I've played so many videogames through my entire gamer life, and I've seen this happen not just once, but a whole lot and constantly.

But videogame cliches aren't really annoying or bad, but we do expect them a whole lot in different videogames. Sometimes we get surprised, sometimes we expected it, but the idea has been done before, hence being overused and cliched. I let them slide if done right or in such a manner that it is quite unpredictable. Don't think that I don't like them or that I think that they are really annoying, but rather more to be expected than anything. Here are my top 5:

5- Men as Main Protagonist/Avatar Character

From the days of Super Mario Bros days to maybe even further back to now, most of the main characters portrayed in commercials and game covers are actually males. Even though nowadays we are seeing a rise of female characters(which I think is a good idea to start balancing both), we mostly just hear men as the biggest thing in games. Example: in games like Mass Effect or Skyrim, you have the option to make your character a male or a female. However, mostly all I hear and see is the talk of playthroughs of men as well as commercials with the male character. Sometimes I see the female commercials, but not as much/often as the male ones.

 

My biggest peeve with this cliché isn't that males are the most viewed in games, but rather that they are the "dominant" gender in most of these games. Most of these games, the females are actually weak and await for a male prince to come after her rescue. Master Chief has Cortana(Halo 3), the Dragonborn has whoever he decides as wife(usually ends up being a house wife, although some you can take her with you to battle like Lydia), Shepard has Ashley(IF you let her live. Most kill her anyways), etc. They are strong women, don't get me wrong, but usually the man is the rescuer, not the damsel in distress. Can't we see the opposite happen every now and then? We need more Female Characters.


 

4- Adults over the age of 18

Not like the Pokemon games or games like Earthbound or Mother, but we constantly see more adults take the role of main characters. This isn't to say that every kid needs to go on their own adventure, but the numbers where we see kids experience the great things of life is really lower than the latter. Sure, it is dangerous to take a kid into his own world, but come on... Link had one of the best experiences that a kid could ever experience, even though it was one where he had to kill a lot. But this is a videogame, let the creativity flow.

 

Before you wonder and say: "But adults usually have more of an experience than a kid's." This is true, however, this wasn't an exception to none other than Ness. He had one experience which was somewhat harsh, found a little bit of love, made some awesome friends(especially that Runaway Gang) and save the Earth and galaxy, plus the future and the Past. What about Chrono Trigger? I'm not too sure about Eternal Sonata, and I don't feel like mentioning Pokemon. It isn't something that bothers me, but it is a big cliché.


 

3- One/few/many Emotional Characters die

I'm not going to spoil any game about who and what character dies in what game or anything, but I'm sure that you have heard that certain games are really emotional. Games like Mass Effect, Gears of War and The Walking Dead game have this type of cliché. Who, what, where and how is up to you to find out and experience. But nevermind that. My point is that many games I've come across is that someone special or a key character dies or vanishes. It has happened a lot, and it is somewhat expected a lot. Not as often, but we expect as much.

My peeve isn't that it is done, but rather than at times you CAN TELL WHO'S THE TARGET! Somethimes it can be spoilers or rather obvious behavior and hints given in the game. Sometimes you can choose a person or whether not to do so, but someone dies no matter how hard you try. It happens, but it is something that immerses us in the story in the end. Still... it is a very cliché part of some games.

2- You're the Chosen One

Sometimes I really do wonder how did some character's fate just jumped out of nowhere to somewhat put this innocent character in a story that totally ruins his normal lifestyle. Maybe not ruin it, but imagine this: you on a watch tower of sorts besides the ocean, you hear your sister call out for you, that grandma wants to know where you're at. 3 minutes later, your sister gets kidnapped, you are to sail the seas, save her and then everything changes. You're not just saving your sister after that, but the world. Well, that was Link's story in Windwaker for the Gamecube.

 

My peeve is EXACTLY this. Characters that have no reason to or any motives to start saving the world and fate just happens to place them in a fable full of trials that test the wits and skills of said character. It's more like the developers just randomly chooses this character to dress like the hero of time and go into a journey while asking himself in the head: "How did life choose me to do this? I'm sure that there's a more skilled knight than me to do this". He does surpasses expectations though, which makes up for the fact that he was just another innocent bystander in fate's twisted book of plots.

But then again... sometimes the main character just jumps in and gets himself in a world full of trouble. Yes, I'm looking at you, Blue Dragon! 

 

 

1- You are the Good Guy

 

Despite games such as Fallout and others where you are the bad guy, most of the games are usually about you saving the world, a person, etc. A.K.A: You ARE the good guy and the hero. We hardly get to fit or play in the main antagonist's shoes, even if you are going to die in the end. Or you could have a "What If" ending that revolves around the main antagonist's success. It does sound like a story that you never want to see the end of, given the fact that this said character could die, but done correctly, I can see the story of the antagonist be one to be played. Maybe the way he rose up to be the main antagonist and such helps. 

 

But my peeve is simple: most of the time, the main antagonist's side of the story is never relevant to the player. I am not saying that I want to know WHY and the backstory of this main antagonist in all of my games, but Devs... you can at least try once or twice. It never hurts to see the evil side of the story. I mean, Sonic Adventure 2 Battle's Dark Story was SO OBVIOUSLY the antagonists side of the story and I loved it. Even though of what happened after that story, the antagonist's view of events is surely one that could increase the experience of the player. I'm just saying. 

 

 

Well, that concludes my list. I'll be back later, as I totally play some Dead Island and see what's all the commotion about. It took me a while to get into it, though.

I'm so going for Overtime right now!

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