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Overrated Goose Game


DoctorEncore
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I got around to playing Untitled Goose Game this past week and I was quite let down. It's really not that fun or funny. I mean, it's cool to chase little kids and honk at unsuspecting people for 15 minutes, but the bare bones puzzles and terrible AI gets kind of boring after an hour.

I think part of the problem is that I set my expectations too high, but when the game is making pretty much every Best of 2019 list and even a few Best of 2010s lists, expectations soar. I'm not sure what I thought the game would be, but I was pretty sure it was gonna be awesome. But it's not. It's just a quirky little game with a few amusing scenarios.

I've noticed this has become an annoying trend in the 2010s. That is, an indie game gets insanely good reviews and I play it to find the gameplay, story, and execution are mediocre at best. I'm not against indies. In fact, I try to fit one in between every big budget game as a bit of a pallette cleanser for the cookie cutter AAA fare. I've played enough of them to know they can be amazing; Celeste is one of the best games I've ever played! But my list of overrated indies is growing at a quicker pace than my list of those that get it right. Games like Goose Game, Axiom Verge, Limbo/Inside, Dear Esther, Owlboy, Dust are endlessly disappointing. The list goes on and on.

Anyways, I played Goose Game through the Xbox Game Pass so I didn't pay with anything but my time. That being said, I'm getting kind of tired of critical consensus failing me.

Anyone else play it? Thoughts on indies in general? Are the gaming press giving them a free pass when it comes to quality? Am I asking too much?

Edited by DoctorEncore
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I'm with you on Untitled Goose Game. It seems like a novelty at best, and would never hold my attention for more than ten minutes. It's what I'd call a non-game game; just aimless and quirky interactive scenarios. Not my cup of tea.

Axiom Verge and Celeste were both amazing in my books. So great indie titles sure do exist.

 

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I haven't played it because I had this same fear. My list mostly overlaps yours. Axiom Verge, Owlboy, Limbo, Inside... I couldn't get into any of those. (Oddly, I also didn't like Celeste). And it's not that I'm just not into indie games - I adored Dead Cells for instance. But yeah, Goose Game just seemed like a riff on the ol' Goat Game thing of like "here's a silly premise. Go do something." I don't know. Didn't seem too exciting to me.

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Administrator · Posted
9 hours ago, Reed Rothchild said:

Depends on the game I guess.  Dead Cells and Darkest Dungeon are amazing, Celeste and Flinthook are great, I dig Gungeon and Issac, Axiom Verge was good not great, Mercenary Kings is a huge waste of time, etc.

Man, fuck Mercenary Kings.

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Damn, never thought I'd see anyone dislike Owlboy I loved that game even if the ending was odd I had a lot of fun with it. 
Anyway, I have played Goose and for the most part I liked it but I think it needed some more depth as its a real short game once you know what to do, I just liked it as I could terrorize people but that novelty did wear off after some time. 

As for some of my favs (in random order) Owlboy, Dead Cells, Devil Engine, Isaac, Meatboy, Celeste, Gungeon, and Shovel Knight 

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Playing through Untitled Goose Game with my 4-year-old daughter made the entire experience many times better.  It would not normally be my kind of game but I really enjoyed it.

The indie space reminds me a lot of gaming in the '80s and '90s where developers are going in more imaginative directions, trying out things and seeing what sticks.  With that in mind, there are bound to be a lot of "critical darlings" that just don't resonate with everyone and that's fine.  My example is Hollow Knight.  It gets universally praised and mentioned often as the best Metroidvania game in years and all that, and I thought it was just okay.  I sunk a lot of time into it too almost out of duty and it just never hit that gear for me.  And that's okay!  Figuring out, and for folks our age, refining your own tastes is part of maturing.

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12 minutes ago, MuNKeY said:

Damn, never thought I'd see anyone dislike Owlboy

In my case, I just didn't dig the controls. Shrug.

Hollow Knight I've not checked out mainly because I don't like the look of the artstyle. Superficial, I know. But like I said, I loved Dead Cells - which I think is sort of similar gameplay-wise.

Shovel Knight is a solid example of a really good recent indie game. I guess ultimately, I think there's a TON of games coming out of the indie space right now. And some I think are great, and others I don't. But there's definitely some that get uber-hyped by gaming press that I don't really "get." On the flip, some are games I've loved and only discovered because of said uber-hype.

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16 minutes ago, noiseredux said:

Hollow Knight I've not checked out mainly because I don't like the look of the artstyle. Superficial, I know.

Considering all of Hollow Knight's qualities are superficial, that's not an unmerited stance.

It plays well enough, but it's pretty unoriginal and feels like a ton of other games, but the way it presents itself in terms of world building, style, mood, characters, and so on is really extremely well made. I wouldn't make any preconceptions about it though, you really have to experience it in action.

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39 minutes ago, arnpoly said:

Playing through Untitled Goose Game with my 4-year-old daughter made the entire experience many times better.  It would not normally be my kind of game but I really enjoyed it.

The indie space reminds me a lot of gaming in the '80s and '90s where developers are going in more imaginative directions, trying out things and seeing what sticks.  With that in mind, there are bound to be a lot of "critical darlings" that just don't resonate with everyone and that's fine.  My example is Hollow Knight.  It gets universally praised and mentioned often as the best Metroidvania game in years and all that, and I thought it was just okay.  I sunk a lot of time into it too almost out of duty and it just never hit that gear for me.  And that's okay!  Figuring out, and for folks our age, refining your own tastes is part of maturing.

Yes! Playing with my 3 year old son was by far my favorite part about it. He was very very entertained as I tortured the little boy playing with his soccer ball.

I played a bit of Hollow Knight and also was not blown away. I do plan to go back to it though. The big one for me that I felt guilty about not enjoying was Axiom Verge. Everyone says it's amazing, but I felt it was kind of generic.

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44 minutes ago, guitarzombie said:

I def wanna play the Goose Game because of the novelty but its $20, so i've been hesitant cuz that seems like too much.  Although I find complaining about a game you played for free amusing haha

I mean, technically I paid for it by paying for Game Pass. I just paid very very little. My bigger frustration is the time I'll never get back. But I'm picking up what you're putting down and I definitely would NOT recommend paying $20 for it.

Edited by DoctorEncore
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I did play it, and while I thought it to be okay, the whole thing is over in like 3-4 hours. Seems like a good idea that never really went anywhere.

Celeste and The Messenger have been the two absolute highlights for me, and Bloodstained: CotM prior to that. I haven't done Shovel Knight yet, but I want to.

I played Minit through game pass and had a good time, but not something I'll revisit.

Ziggurat is an older one that I adored, sunk like 40 hours into that. It's the only roguelite that I've tried and clicked with.

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The Untitled Goose Game seems harmless to me. It does what it sets out to do, and plays it safe by not going beyond what it is, and what it is to me is so obvious that it doesn't exceed any of my expectations. 

So why does it have so many accolades? Maybe it's the simple graphics, short gameplay so it won't wear out it's welcome, cute goose who's also a a-hole... whatever the reason, it's giving something to the player that most games don't have while at the same time, it doesn't give what most games gives either. It's overrated because it's unconventional and for that it seems to stand out a bit. Doesn't make the game "good" or "bad", but imo just average. 

As far as indie devs, every one is different. Being an indie dev myself, I can't speak for everyone, but not being backed financially or being told how things need to be done by a corporation gives that developer more reign to experiment or creatively try things out a little more unconventionally than their standard-setting counterparts. 

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12 hours ago, DoctorEncore said:

I've noticed this has become an annoying trend in the 2010s. That is, an indie game gets insanely good reviews and I play it to find the gameplay, story, and execution are mediocre at best. I'm not against indies. In fact, I try to fit one in between every big budget game as a bit of a pallette cleanser for the cookie cutter AAA fare. I've played enough of them to know they can be amazing; Celeste is one of the best games I've ever played! But my list of overrated indies is growing at a quicker pace than my list of those that get it right. Games like Goose Game, Axiom Verge, Limbo/Inside, Dear Esther, Owlboy, Dust are endlessly disappointing. The list goes on and on.

Completely agree here. I see legions of fans become completely obsessed with games - notably indie games - these days. I have been disappointed by believing the hype of many games but what I do now is to wait a while before playing it and let the hype die down first. I bought into Untitled Goose game after the hype died a bit and yea it's pretty fun. Nothing revolutionary but a bit humorous and entertaining, though as you pointed out, gets a bit boring after a while, so I can only play it in short doses.

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I enjoyed Untitled Goose Game but don't see it being worth the asking price.  $9.99 would be perfect. Instead I tell people it's fun and you should check it out on sale.  Like Journey, I enjoyed it but will never touch it again.  I agree about people praising this game too hevaily. It seems like an internet meme got a little too big. 

Indies can be great but it's almost worth waiting 6 months for people's perception to change. Then you can start to hear about the negatives and the positive.  Too many get touted as the next greatest thing.  Indie isn't new and we don't need to act amazed everytime a decent game releases.

Edited by zeppelin03
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13 hours ago, DoctorEncore said:

Games like Goose Game, Axiom Verge, Limbo/Inside, Dear Esther, Owlboy, Dust are endlessly disappointing. The list goes on and on.

 

I'm definitely curious what you didn't like about Limbo or Inside since those are some of my favorite games period in recent years.  I'm also curious how much of each game you played.  I'm not asking because I want to berate you if you didn't play them long.  I'm just genuinely curious.  

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36 minutes ago, TDIRunner said:

I'm definitely curious what you didn't like about Limbo or Inside since those are some of my favorite games period in recent years.  I'm also curious how much of each game you played.  I'm not asking because I want to berate you if you didn't play them long.  I'm just genuinely curious.  

I played them both to completion within a year of release. I just felt like they were too simplistic and even a bit boring. They have a nice atmosphere and are successful at conveying emotion without words, but that's really all they have going for them. I didn't hate them per se, but I didn't think they lived up to their potential. They are as close to a 2D walking simulator as it gets.

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3 minutes ago, DoctorEncore said:

I played them both to completion within a year of release. I just felt like they were too simplistic and even a bit boring. They have a nice atmosphere and are successful at conveying emotion without words, but that's really all they have going for them. I didn't hate them per se, but I didn't think they lived up to their potential. They are as close to a 2D walking simulator as it gets.

To each their own I guess.  I can understand if they are too simplistic or short for some, but they are FAR from a walking simulator.  Based on the last sentence, the window of games you enjoy must completely outside the scope of indie games.  

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19 minutes ago, TDIRunner said:

To each their own I guess.  I can understand if they are too simplistic or short for some, but they are FAR from a walking simulator.  Based on the last sentence, the window of games you enjoy must completely outside the scope of indie games.  

Well that statement is just not true. But you're entitled to your opinion.

Regarding Limbo/Inside, can you name another 2D game with less action, more linearity, or easier puzzles? I call them walking simulators because the "puzzles" are about as simplistic as possible. Inside even went to great lengths to artificially extend it's length with all the backtracking for the mind-control portions.

But that's just my opinion. If you love those games, then you should enjoy them and sing their praises. I just don't think they are particularly good and I wouldn't recommend them to anyone.

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18 hours ago, DoctorEncore said:

I think part of the problem is that I set my expectations too high, but when the game is making pretty much every Best of 2019 list and even a few Best of 2010s lists, expectations soar. I'm not sure what I thought the game would be, but I was pretty sure it was gonna be awesome. But it's not. It's just a quirky little game with a few amusing scenarios.

I've noticed this has become an annoying trend in the 2010s. That is, an indie game gets insanely good reviews and I play it to find the gameplay, story, and execution are mediocre at best. I'm not against indies. In fact, I try to fit one in between every big budget game as a bit of a pallette cleanser for the cookie cutter AAA fare. I've played enough of them to know they can be amazing; Celeste is one of the best games I've ever played! But my list of overrated indies is growing at a quicker pace than my list of those that get it right. Games like Goose Game, Axiom Verge, Limbo/Inside, Dear Esther, Owlboy, Dust are endlessly disappointing. The list goes on and on.

 

If you want a good game that doesn't disappoint, check out Wargroove. Excellent spiritual successor to advance wars.

Edited by Makar
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