I'm sure that on multiple occasions, I vowed to never play Super Meat Boy again for as long as I live... but it was free on PS+ so what the hell. I've long suspected that I was actually being shafted by the d-pad on the 360 controller, but never really seriously considered it because, you know, blaming the controller and all that, but switching to the DS4 has made one hell of a difference.
Whenever I see selfie-sticks, all I can think about is how easy it'd be to discreetly take upskirt or other creeper photos with one. You'd think someone at gawker would have raised a fuss about that by now.
For what it's worth, a lot of what you're saying totally mirrors my experience with the game as well. Bosses were Events in Dark Souls, they were things you'd talk about with other players, or describe to people when trying to explain to them how cool the game is. In Bloodborne, they just feel indulgent. Every time you think the game is about to open up, you're funnelled into a boss room. (you will eventually be able to recognize when you're about to hit a boss, if not already), and the bosses themselves are neither as spectacular, nor as creative.
It's a misnomer alright. It misnomes all up in dat bitch. But talking about how a game makes us "feel" is it's own misnomeration. We don't need critics to share their feelings with us, they do way the hell too much of that already. I want to know about states of mind. Patterns of decision making, and how it's trained and affected by games. I mean, sure, Portal has some well written characters and funny moments, but it also forces you to think about space and distance in ways that fundamentally go against the natural world as we currently understand it. A dumb critic will probably say something like "it made me feel smart," without ever thinking harder about the underpinning mental processes that took place to get them to that point, but when you separate the medium from the content, pushing the player to go through those mental processes are an inherent characteristic of video games as an information medium. The funny story and likeable characters make it compelling, but pushing the player to stretch their minds beyond the boundaries of Euclidean Space is what makes it art. At least in my view... and that's using an example that people will at least acknowledge. As much as I hate Braid as a game, if anyone tells you that it's "obviously about the atomic bomb," feel free to laugh at them for how far they've missed the point. The reason I shit so freely on Ludonarrative Dissonance is because using it as a blanket criticism equally misses the point. If you want to focus on the goods and bads of the story, fine. If you want to point out where the story and gameplay are at odds with each other, that's also fine, and hey, maybe it did distract you from the story and spoil that aspect of the experience. But at the end of the day, a shooter with regenerating health and checkpoints is going to have a better chance of communicating to it's audience than a shooter where you die after one hit and can't play the game ever again, even if the latter would make for a more believable and possibly more compelling story. Unless a game is no more than a vehicle for telling a story, then LD simply doesn't matter, and even sometimes if it is. The work is still able to communicate even if suspension of disbelief is broken. My issue with game critics is that they treat the disconnect between gameplay and story as some kind of cardinal sin. Somehow, the part where you get to play the game is an encroachment on the purity of the game's artistic vision. My issue with Phil Owen specifically, is that he actually uses dissonance between gameplay and story as an example of why games are a failure as an artistic medium in the first place. Anyway, that's my Mcluhanesque rant for the night. Sorry if I sound angry or agitated. I'm not. It's just hard to get this stuff out without rambling sometimes.
I pretty much agree entirely with Mojo on this. A lot of critics seem to view games as a story delivery device, and the act of actually participating in it is only relevant insofar as it affects the outcome of the story. Hence the concept of "ludo-narrative dissonance" becoming a thing people actually take seriously while simultaneously rubbing one out over the fact that The Gone Home developers actually looked into how many episodes of the X-files you could fit on a VHS tape to ensure verisimilitude in their story game. Like I said before, video games are great at inducing states of mind in the player. You want to make a game that expresses what it's like to have anxiety? Don't write some melodramatic story about a person with anxiety... make the player feel anxious.
If we're adding things for an update wishlist, I'd like a difficulty setting between Normal and Expert, because the disparity between them seems to keep widening. Normal is too easy, and Expert has gone off the deep end.