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Do minigames add anything to a game?


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This is based on me playing Yakuza 0 recently, that game has just endless minigames - Mahjong, Hanafuda, Fishing, Karaoke, Dancing, Pool, Darts, Scalextric, Outrun, Space Harrier, UFO catchers, Telephone dating, a Cabaret version of Root Beer Tapper, a Cookie Clicker style property management thing, like three different types of Combat Challenges, etc.

 

And yet, I didn't think they added anything to the experience.  I kind of gave them all an initial try, and saw them as a bit of a timesink that would give me some cash, but would detract from the time I have to spend actually getting on with the game and turned my nose up at them. It's a game about being a mafioso, playing Scalextric isn't really a part of the appeal, is it?

 

The last time I can remember getting into a minigame was Fishing in Ocarina of Time, which is probably also the only important one for being singlehandedly responsible for the prevalence of fishing as a side activity in gaming today, and that's from 1998.

 

Does anyone actually play minigames?

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54 minutes ago, RubberJohnny said:

The last time I can remember getting into a minigame was Fishing in Ocarina of Time, which is probably also the only important one for being singlehandedly responsible for the prevalence of fishing as a side activity in gaming today, and that's from 1998.

The popularity of OoT certainly lead to more fishing mini games but the fishing in Breath of Fire 3 came out a year before and was better. (As far as this nonsense goes anyway.)

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I think gambling in games where your in-game money feels as though it has value are good, and where the game-within-a-game is an established classic. For example, Poker in RDR and Far Cry 3 actually felt like they had stakes if you were trying to short-cut your way to an expensive new gun. I also liked playing all the casino games in San Andreas. 

 

Other than that, no. 

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The mini games in Mario 64 DS made it for me, it was otherwise a poor port hampered by inadequate controls, but those minigames all based around the touch screen were excellent and at the time unlike anything I'd ever played. 

 

But generally, no, I prefer it when they don't hide behind the main the game. I prefer them in stuff like Warioware or Mario Party where they are the game.

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I think it depends on how many there are. With Yakuza 0, it was overwhelming so you just try each one and move on to the next, before getting on with the game.

 

I’ve felt the same thing with Red Dead Redemption 2. Does there need to be so much stuff you can do (Dominoes is really really dull and so is the knife game)? Strangely, it puts me off even trying with minivans that might be half-decent. 

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The World Ends With You had Tin Pin Slammer, a game where your metal pins slide around an arena and have to force the opponents' pins off the edge. You point your pin in a direction and try to get it to bump into opposing pins, but you also have a limited number of special moves that can instantly stun the pins and make it easier to bump them off the edge. These pins were items you collected naturally throughout the main story - as well as enabling special abilities during battles in the main game, each one also had specific Tin Pin Slammer stats. You only play a few games as part of the main story, but then after the credits roll...

 

Spoiler

...Another Day sees your character entering a TIn Pin Slammer tournament, and you practically spend the duration of this entire bonus story playing matches. :D 

 

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4 hours ago, Mike1812 said:

Pipemania in Spider-Man was a bit of a chore. The rest of the game was great though so I'll let them off. 

 

Edit: I just thought, it's 2018. We've gone past that, surely?

 

I love Pipemania mini games!

 

There was an essay somewhere that posited that the shooting in Bioshock got in the way of the real meat of the game, the Pipemania style hacking sections.

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11 hours ago, RubberJohnny said:

And yet, I didn't think they added anything to the experience.  I kind of gave them all an initial try, and saw them as a bit of a timesink that would give me some cash, but would detract from the time I have to spend actually getting on with the game and turned my nose up at them. It's a game about being a mafioso, playing Scalextric isn't really a part of the appeal, is it?

I would say it is. For me at least. It's not just a game about being a mafioso, but about the oppositions it creates by bringing that world together with the consumerist boom of the 80s - serious-frivolous, tradition-modernity, responsibility-pleasure. The enjoyment comes from the absurdity of balancing the two, and how the characters bring their Yakuza sensibilities to these crazy new fads. If you can't get anything from Kiryu's intense celebration after thrashing a young child at Scalextric, then I'm not sure what the appeal is. As a straight mafia game I didn't think it offered all that much.

 

Anyway, to answer the question, certainly those card games in FFVIII and FFIX. I completely avoided Gwent though, because there's too much to do in that game already.

 

And monkey target and monkey bowling of course.

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A trend for these responses is most of them are very old - presumably when you were young and had limited money for games but loads of time and had to wring everything out?

 

Gwent and Triple Triad are good honourable mentions, I'd establish the latter as responsible for the trend of card minigames in RPGs

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Gwent’s always been the one mini game that completely absorbed my time. I didn’t really touch it on my first run through, but after discovering a fair few missions in the game that a knowledge of Gwent really does help, I gave it a try.

 

And I’m now hopelessly devoted to it.

 

 

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13 hours ago, RubberJohnny said:

This is based on me playing Yakuza 0 recently, that game has just endless minigames - Mahjong, Hanafuda, Fishing, Karaoke, Dancing, Pool, Darts, Scalextric, Outrun, Space Harrier, UFO catchers, Telephone dating, a Cabaret version of Root Beer Tapper, a Cookie Clicker style property management thing, like three different types of Combat Challenges, etc.

 

And yet, I didn't think they added anything to the experience.  I kind of gave them all an initial try, and saw them as a bit of a timesink that would give me some cash, but would detract from the time I have to spend actually getting on with the game and turned my nose up at them. It's a game about being a mafioso, playing Scalextric isn't really a part of the appeal, is it?

 

The last time I can remember getting into a minigame was Fishing in Ocarina of Time, which is probably also the only important one for being singlehandedly responsible for the prevalence of fishing as a side activity in gaming today, and that's from 1998.

 

Does anyone actually play minigames?

 

I dunno, overall I get what you're saying and mostly agree, but the minigames in Yakuza 0 definitely added to the role playing vibe for me. Strutting around the city late at night and slinking your way into a late night pool bar to hustle a few frames whilst listening to cheesy cocktail lounge muzak added a lot of atmosphere for me, ditto darts. I actually went a bought a full price pool game because of Yakuza but didn't enjoy it as much. Really enjoyed the telephone dating and Scalextric, too. 

 

In Rockstar games though the minigames were always something I avoided, they always seemed like fluff/filler and had even worse controls than the main game. 

 

Specialstage1.png

 

Would this be classed as a minigame or a special stage? Either way, pretty great at the time.

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13 hours ago, RubberJohnny said:

playing Scalextric isn't really a part of the appeal, is it?

 

Of course it is. Yakuza without the mini game silliness to offset the po-faced melodrama is a Yakuza I don’t want to play. Besides the tonal relief that they provide, that cabaret club side game in Zero was fucking crack.

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Did I dream it, actually the more I think about it the more ridiculous it sounds so I probably did, wasn't there a fighting game, can't even remember the format that if you completed it to the fullest you unlocked a bowling game?

 

The card game in Final Fantasy 9, Fishing in almost anything with fishing. 

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