In which every new game sucks despite the fact I still regularly pre-order games…
I quite like games. How about you? Like I mean really like games? The kind of intense love for the medium that causes hideous side effects such as a condition that prevents me from closing my eyes without seeing Tetris blocks tumbling to the bottom of my psychologically manufactured screen that I apparently have lodged into my eye lids. Other problems caused by my love of videogames include Empty Wallet Syndrome and not having a girlfriend. But they rock, huh? Like really rock. And just like everything else I like, I hate the fact they suck now.
That’s a pretty stupid statement because that isn’t actually my true opinion but I do feel like they’ve got less good. Or maybe I just mean that they don’t tailor to my tastes as much anymore?
My top 3 genres: Platformers, Fighters and RPGs. This generation has hardly been the best for those. This generation has been amazing though if you like BULLETS AND GUNS AND DYING PEOPLE AND LOOK AT ALL THE DEATH AND THE BULLETS OMG A TANK SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT DIE DIE DIE. Heh. I especially have no interest in shooters that try to accurately emulate war. They’re much worse than the space marine/alien/zombie ones. Why? Well, you know what? War sucks. Why would I want to play as a guy fighting a war? That doesn’t sound very fun. That’s where soldier simulators differ from other simulators for me. Take something like FIFA. I can understand wanting to play Football. It’s something that very few people can do at a high level. How many of you are going to play in the FA Cup Final? Probably very few… FIFA allows you to do that. Football is also something people find fun. Whereas, although most people won’t enter the army (although, y’know, most of you could), I’m not sure you could consider it fun to get shot at repeatedly in difficult conditions that could mess with your mental health. It’s like if someone created a simulation of eating raw chicken. You can all do it anyway and it’s ridiculously unpleasant.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I played (and continue to play) the shit out of Halo Reach. And a couple of other shooters too. But I remember when I played Halo 3 and was blown away. It was pretty much my first shooter (pretty much, if we want to get technical I played quite a bit of Red Faction 2) and I enjoyed it a-lot. It’s a great game. I bought it because I’d heard praise for the series. That was the only reason. I didn’t regret buying it either but now there are so many shooters available (or atleast more of them come to my attention) that if I hear of a new one, I automatically struggle to care. My default position is ‘meh, it’s just another gun game’. I’m probably never going to discover another shooter series I love as much as the Halo series (which is one of my favourite series) or whatever because when I see an advert for one or read an article about one or someone tells me about one, I switch off. I don’t care. Oh you get to run around shooting things? Sounds cool… zzzz…
And the grey and the brown and the grey and the brown and the grey. So you want your shooter to be gritty? To do this, you seem to have just taken any essence of a colourful visual experience and systematically drained the fun out of it. Gaming is very visual. If your environment looks boring then a sizeable chunk of your game is already boring. Do you want me to care less? As I said, I love Halo. Why? It’s bloody colourful and it’s fun and the environment and physics and weapons and characters and aliens and have all been nailed. It’s not at all boring. It’s fun. It’s not particularly gritty. It’s err… fun again. That’s why I play games… for fun. Not to play through a game that accurately recreates some distant war zone.
So basically, I may play your shooter game if it’s about zombies, aliens or something else cool that I’ll never get to do provided it’s set in a cool environment that I think is somewhat enjoyable. Although I may just ignore it anyway because your game is in an over saturated genre. But if your game is a military shooter then I’ll pass.
I’ve been pretty negative so here is some positive stuff…
My top ten favourite videogames this generation are (in no particular order and excluding remakes like the awesome Ocarina of Time 3D): both Super Mario Galaxy games, Xenoblade Chronicles, Mario Kart Wii, Professor Layton and the Curious Village, Donkey Kong Country Returns, Pokemon White, Halo Reach, Portal and Halo 3.
The Galaxy games are perhaps the best examples of Nintendo ‘magic’ ever. They ooze fun, gameplay ideas and just pure creativity. If you haven’t played them, play them. If you played them and didn’t like them then get yourself sectioned under the mental health act. Xenoblade Chronicles is how to make an RPG. It takes what you’d expect from the genre and makes it better, it takes what you like about the genre and makes it better and, best of all, it does away with the worst aspects of the genre. A fantastic environment with plenty of stuff to keep you busy. Mario Kart Wii is a Mario Kart game and Mario Kart is pretty fun innit. Layton is a fantastic blend of puzzles, storytelling and charm. If you haven’t played one and just wrote them off as something for old people and Mums then you’re a massive idiot. It’s one of the best new franchises of recent times. Donkey Kong Country Returns is a classic hard-as-nails 2D platformer from the awesome Retro Studios. Fun throughout and challenging, it’s a top game. Pokemon White is a fantastic Pokemon game with more focus on plot and even more to do once you’ve beaten the league. Halo Reach & 3 are two games that sold me on online multiplayer. I’ve sunk so much time into the online modes on those games. And Portal joins Tetris and Pokemon Red as a god tier example of gameplay for me.
So after that rambly shitfest of a first proper post, I think my blog has finally arrived properly. I’m gunna talk about app games and difficulty levels in some future post (I was gunna fit it in this one but man, it’s long and filled with typos already). Thanks for reading!