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Pound for pound I enjoy indie games more than AAA titles

M1chl

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I enjoyed some AAA games but I would say I enjoyed AA games like Valkyria Chronicles 4 more than most AAA games.
AA games basically dying due to influx of indie shovelware this gen, created environment where only AAA games stand out, but they do come out not that often. Here is hope that AA games it's return.
 
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dilbag

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AA games are the sweet spot for me I am finding.... a lot of AAA games just seem to lack something behind them in towards world.
 

teezzy

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Indies from Steam are fun to play on my laptop. If it can run on an Intel HD 4400, then I'll check it out. Feels like its own little niche console after a certain point. I dig it.

With that said, I cant wait to get my main rig running again. I miss my RTX 2070 🍆🍆🍑
 
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DadEggs

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I think I enjoy more indie games....but the AA/AAA games that I do enjoy, I enjoy to a greater extent.

so lets say for every 5 indie games I enjoy there are 2 AA/AAA games I enjoy.

now those 5 indie games enjoyment level average is maybe 85%

but those 2 AA/AAA games enjoyment level average is maybe 98%
 
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DragoonKain

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With Star Citizen now getting near 300 million and still looking like a tech demo rather than anything else, I don't quite understand what "indie" means in 2020. They are all just different games.


Isn't that by Epic? If they are indie, then valve is also indie I guess?
I thought it was chair entertainment. Maybe they’re like a small branch of epic games, I don’t know.
 

Javthusiast

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I am the total opposite. The whole indie craze, with the exception of some here and there from time to time, leaves me completely cold and I much rather play big aaa games.
 

synchronicity

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I just love variety in gaming. Indies/AAA, genre, era. I get the best gaming experience by mixing things up.
 

mrBarrelNut

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I would love to love indie games but I rarely do.

I guess it's because I mostly enjoy FPS games, and indie games tend to be anything but. But still, I have tried/bough platformers from indie and smaller devs (like that newest Yooka-Laylee game) but I just don't enjoy those like I enjoyed Rayman Legends for example. And neither do my kids.
 

anthraticus

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Tend to favour indie games to massive AAA ones nowadays. I just find them to be much more interesting, focusing on a certain mechanic or theme instead of trying to do it all. On top of that as I've gotten older, indie games are just much better suited to my schedule and don't overstay their welcome.
Exactly. They specialize in certain areas, and you get and can explore deeper and more complex mechanics, systems, ect.....just pertaining to that particular sub genre or whatever.

Meanwhile, take a AAA game like Skyrim, which tries to have this really wide scope, having you do all these different things, which sounds cool, but everything is so shallow and uninteresting it wears out it's welcome really FAST.
 

namekuseijin

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indies can be refreshing. I like the original ideas or genre mashups they come up with, or just old style gaming reimagined in myriads of ways... in VR they are the ones actually codifying the vocabulary and idiom of interactive spacial environments, not the big studios.
 

bitbydeath

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Axiom Verge
SOMA
Hollow Knight
Celeste
Limbo
Inside
The Witness
The Talos Principle(not sure if it's Indie)
Ori 1 and 2(not sure if technically Indie)
Guacamelee 1 and 2
Shadow Complex
Shovel Knight
The Swapper
Braid

Just to name some.

No Binding of Isaac?
 

lastmessiah

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I would love to love indie games but I rarely do.

I guess it's because I mostly enjoy FPS games, and indie games tend to be anything but. But still, I have tried/bough platformers from indie and smaller devs (like that newest Yooka-Laylee game) but I just don't enjoy those like I enjoyed Rayman Legends for example. And neither do my kids.

There are plenty of indie FPS. My favorite is Insurgency.
 

bitbydeath

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Never played it. Don't think I even heard of it.

I highly recommend it.
I’ve put thousands of hours into it.
No one match is the same as what you pickup that changes your firepower is random.




And it has some twisted humour.
 
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Danjin44

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I would say they are more AA games I enjoy than AAA games.
 
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I think most AAA titles just chasing the trend and ignoring the creative ideas especially companies like Ubisoft with their games being the most copy pasted and bland experiences out there doesn’t help either.

Indie Games still have the old spirit within them. They are more art than most AAA games. Creativity is also a lot better, AAA games are afraid of taking risk nowadays.
 

anthraticus

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The problem with indies is the good-to-bad ratio.

For every good indie game, there are 10000000000 garbage ones.
Not much of a problem at all when you can avoid the crap and just play the good stuff.
 
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Stiflers Mom

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I remember when in the late eighties (let's say 1988), "AAA games" were as diverse as being:

* Maniac Mansion (Point'n Click)
* Bard's Tale 2 (W RPG in "1rst person")
* Last Ninja (action Adventure)
* Guild of Thieves (Text Adventure with nice graphic images)
* Wizball (Action shooter with interesting upgrade mechanics)

These days AAA is a Hollywood looking dude or girl walking through a realistic landscape in 3rd person view and shooting or chopping some people. And it's either open world or a straight corridor.

I am so tired of these games.
 
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sol_bad

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I remember when in the late eighties (let's say 1988), "AAA games" were as diverse as being:

* Maniac Mansion (Point'n Click)
* Bard's Tale 2 (W RPG in "1rst person")
* Last Ninja (action Adventure)
* Guild of Thieves (Text Adventure with nice graphic images)
* Wizball (Action shooter with interesting upgrade mechanics)

These days AAA is a Hollywood looking dude or girl walking through a realistic landscape in 3rd person view and shooting or chopping some people. And it's either open world or a straight corridor.

I am so tired of these games.

In all honesty, I don't think you can think of games from the 80's and early 90's as "AAA games". Until the PS1/N64/Saturn days a huge majority of games were made in small groups or "in a garage". They were essentially indies and indie games have been with us for 35+ years. If anyone loves 8 and 16 bit games than of course they will love indies as they are today. The variety of genres you mention about can still be found now, they just aren't AAA experiences, just like they were not AAA experiences back in the day.

If we didn't have the introduction of AAA games, our hobby wouldn't have grown as much as it has. And some people would be fine with that, I'd be fine (in theory) with playing 8 and 16 bit style games for the rest of my life personally, for example. As much as I love 8/16 bit style games though, I couldn't live without AAA games as they are some of the best experiences I have ever had. I could do with less Ubisoft style games though and hope Insomniac get their shit together with the next Spider-Man games side quests.

One thing I do find funny though is how people say that AAA games don't take risks. In all honesty, neither do indie games. There isn't much to be found in new indie games that can't be found in similar 8/16 bit games in the past.
 

Stiflers Mom

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In all honesty, I don't think you can think of games from the 80's and early 90's as "AAA games". Until the PS1/N64/Saturn days a huge majority of games were made in small groups or "in a garage". They were essentially indies and indie games have been with us for 35+ years. If anyone loves 8 and 16 bit games than of course they will love indies as they are today. The variety of genres you mention about can still be found now, they just aren't AAA experiences, just like they were not AAA experiences back in the day.

If we didn't have the introduction of AAA games, our hobby wouldn't have grown as much as it has. And some people would be fine with that, I'd be fine (in theory) with playing 8 and 16 bit style games for the rest of my life personally, for example. As much as I love 8/16 bit style games though, I couldn't live without AAA games as they are some of the best experiences I have ever had. I could do with less Ubisoft style games though and hope Insomniac get their shit together with the next Spider-Man games side quests.

One thing I do find funny though is how people say that AAA games don't take risks. In all honesty, neither do indie games. There isn't much to be found in new indie games that can't be found in similar 8/16 bit games in the past.
Depends on how you define "AAA".
For me it's the biggest hitters back then with over the norm production values that were a cut above the rest.

Games now cost more than ten times to produce than ten years ago.
Does that mean that games which were deemed "AAA" ten years ago are not "AAA" anymore, just because that goal post moved?
 

anthraticus

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One thing I do find funny though is how people say that AAA games don't take risks. In all honesty, neither do indie games. There isn't much to be found in new indie games that can't be found in similar 8/16 bit games in the past.

For the most part the 'risks' they take (if you wanna call it that) are just making more 'specialized' type games, catering to certain fans & niches...

...as opposed to AAA making the kind of stuff that appeals to everybody from pre teens to grandmas.
 
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marcincz

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No one mentioned Firewatch and Oxenfree? My fav. indie titles.
Besides:
Papers, please, Superhot, SkyForce Anniversary, Little Nightmares
 
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Lux R7

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Inquisitor is one of the best rpgs i ever played. Indies can be amazing.

 
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Guilty_AI

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I would love to love indie games but I rarely do.

I guess it's because I mostly enjoy FPS games, and indie games tend to be anything but. But still, I have tried/bough platformers from indie and smaller devs (like that newest Yooka-Laylee game) but I just don't enjoy those like I enjoyed Rayman Legends for example. And neither do my kids.
Eh, i've seen plenty of fps indie games. This year alone i played three, that were Black Mesa, EYE Divine Cybermancy and Deep Rock Galactic.
 

GV82

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Looking forward to Hitman 3. First of the new games with IO on their own.

should be up there with the best Indie gameS then imo.
 

b0uncyfr0

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I have to admit, for the past 2 years i've been thoroughly enjoying non triple AAA games. Especially because you can crank the fps up really high unlike modern/more gfx heavy games and enjoy reduced input lag and even more efx.

Playing hollow knight / Ori at 250 fps with cranked up efx is just awesome.
 

ROMhack

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One thing I like is that they're shorter. I really don't want to play more than 2 30+ hour games per year.

Ain't got time for it.
 

DrJohnGalt

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I agree with the OP and others, I'm really diggin' the indies lately. That's not to say there aren't any good AAA games, because I do enjoy a lot of those as well. But so many AAA seem to become annual titles and after a sequel or two really lose the magic that made them great. Sure, the games may technically and visually improve each year, but at some point the "fun" feels corporate and not organic, kinda like it's run thru a focus group. And especially lately, an extremely woke focus group ready to sanitize everything.

A few reasons I enjoy indies (all subjective) are: the retro look and play of some of them, the scaled down gameplay (most don't seem bogged down with obscure minutiae), the right-to-the-point narrative, the shorter play times, and of course the more affordable prices. I'd rather buy four decent indies than one regular price AAA. Many indies seem to have a charm that AAA don't.
 
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I'm kinda in the same boat...indie titles have just been more fun and challenging..AAA games over the last couple years feel like they enjoy showing off the tech/graphics more than focusing on dope game play, challenging puzzles, and fun all around experiences.

I seriously think my favorite game of this generation might be Katana Zero....man i've beat it multiple times and I'm just really addicted to that game.

The writing, art style, combat, and atmosphere of the game are on another level...and the music is ridiculous too
 

Humdinger

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The trouble with indies, for me, is finding ones that I like. People praise the originality of indies, but so many of them seem very similar to me (all the 2-D platformers, for example). I find that I have to wade through piles and piles of games I don't want to find a few gems.

I have found them. Journey, Oxenfree, Firewatch, Inside, Gris -- these were good experiences, some of them great. But the amount of dross that I have to wade through, to find them. Indies generally get very little publicity, so it's hard to find the ones that really stand out. I consult "best of" lists, but even there, most of the games just aren't to my taste. There is the occasional find, but it often feels like looking for a needle in a haystack.

I started this gen very optimistic about indies, but as the generation wore on, I became disenchanted. There are some good ones out there, but they seem very few and far between, to me. YMMV, of course.
 

ROMhack

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The trouble with indies, for me, is finding ones that I like. People praise the originality of indies, but so many of them seem very similar to me (all the 2-D platformers, for example). I find that I have to wade through piles and piles of games I don't want to find a few gems.

I have found them. Journey, Oxenfree, Firewatch, Inside, Gris -- these were good experiences, some of them great. But the amount of dross that I have to wade through, to find them. Indies generally get very little publicity, so it's hard to find the ones that really stand out. I consult "best of" lists, but even there, most of the games just aren't to my taste. There is the occasional find, but it often feels like looking for a needle in a haystack.

I started this gen very optimistic about indies, but as the generation wore on, I became disenchanted. There are some good ones out there, but they seem very few and far between, to me. YMMV, of course.

Indies seem to come and go a lot. At the start of this gen we saw loads of interesting ones but recently the market has become a bit saturated with metroidvanias.

I did at one stage try to get a thread going about it but was too lazy to keep it updated: https://www.neogaf.com/threads/the-indie-hangout.1480045/
 
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Aion002

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I am the opposite.

Give me triple A, high budget games or give me nothing!

When I was a kid I kinda liked video games.... Until I played Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy VII, those were the games that made me fall in love with video games!

I also love mid budget games like Nioh (that for Koei standards it's high budget).... But that's the breaking point to me. After that I really don't care that much... I might play them... But eh...

I am not bashing low budget and indie games... I am just saying that for me they are fine, but if higher budget games were gone my love for the industry would be gone with it. However, thanks to Sony and Nintendo I don't think that will ever be an issue.
 
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Shai-Tan

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I’ve been wading through vr games lately, mostly made by small developers and many are just bad in a way that would never happen with higher budget. I like the many good indie games I play however the appeal to it is it’s filling a genre or sub-genre niche that higher budget productions isn’t filling well. Lower budget does increase experimentation in a good way but it doesn’t solve the problem of a lot of mediocre copy cats following the latest hit. I played like 30 card based combat games in the last five years. Only a handful are good and several of the better ones were bigger budget than typical indie despite low barriers to entry.
 
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Naked Lunch

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Only a handful of indie games are any good - and they're almost never as good as the retro games they are trying to emulate. You are better off just playing the classics.

Now as for AAA - they are usually 100% trash. :)
 

ClanOfNone

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Binding of Issac
Dead Cells
Enter the Gungeon
Hades
Slay the Spire
Spelunky
and lately, Monster Train

I have sunk hundreds of hours into these titles, some of them across multiple platforms. Witcher 3 and dlc weighed in around 80 hours for me.
I definitely buy more indy stuff than I do big releases. Roguelike or "lites" if you prefer, went from an unknown to my favorite genre.
 

Bolivar687

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I feel like the quality in both indie and AAA has generally declined over the course of this gen.
 

GymWolf

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Hades was legit more fun than 90% of triple A games i played in the last 3-4 years.
 

ZZZZ

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I just played Troubleshooter, a korean X-com game, i loved it. Put 150h on it. I'm thinking about making a thread about it, will see.
 

Yams

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So many great games being mentioned. I'm going to have to try some of the games I've missed. You guys have great taste.

My personal list looks like this.
Inside
Hollow Knight
Shovel Knight
Braid
The Witness
Celeste
Dead Cells
FTL
Slay the Spire
Papers Please
Hotline Miami
Gaucamelee

And... Return to the Obra Dinn, which is easily my favourite game in recent memory.
 

OutRun88

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I feel you. Granted I do thoroughly enjoy AAA titles.

To me, Indie games embody the essence of what gaming used to be about.
 

Greedings

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Don't know about pound-for-pound, but I often find myself getting disappointed by AAA games. Whether I get bored with the bloat, or find it lacking challenge, I don't know, there's usually some problem which kills it for me.

AA or Indie usually keep me going for a long time. They also have problems, but I often manage to overlook small issues because of the feeling in general.