Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rant 5: The Decline Of Video Games

Now I've been playing games since I was little and Ive noticed lost of things with gaming. As the years have progressed games have changed, some changes making the games better while others drag gaming down.

As I mentioned in my Retro Review of Halo, FPS's since Halo seem to be based on it as it's major guide line which has resulted in bland shooters being pumped out like sewage onto retailers shelves but this is one example of many key factors dragging gaming down.
Old characters in new styles is one of my most hated and to accompany it is it's friend return to old style and screw with everything that made it work, I'm looking at you Sega and Nintendo! Both Sonic and Mario have always been at their best in 2D, not to say Super Mario 64 is bad but 2D Mario games in the past were a hell of a lot better. Mario's new 2D side scroller "New Super Mario Bros. Wii" is a great example of sticking their d*** in a delicious chocolate cake. The game has 4 players on screen at once with nothing to separate them so there's both a cluster of players making it difficult to work out which one you are and someone will always fall behind making everyone else angry. Sega's Sonic Unleashed tried and failed at bring Sonic back to 2D by making it only a very small amount of 2D amongst a ton of 3D and map navigation and the list keeps going on with the mistakes Sega made.
The rise of better and better graphic contribute a huge chunk to the decline of video games by sacrificing gameplay, story and depth for pretty, realistic graphics that make paying $AU99.95-119.95 for a game not worth it... that's the main reason I hate the lack of RPG's because they are the only games with depth anymore.
Casual gamers are also a main contributor because they lower the standards of games for every hardcore gamer and developers make all their games to suit everyone instead of those of us who need challenges and enjoyment for long periods of time.
Multimedia has also brought down gaming because people want more out of their consoles and this has made game consoles weaker by being multifunction... granted I like how my PS3 plays blu ray but if it was just for gaming, the games performance would be a lot better.
Motion controllers are now ruining games by forcing skilled gamers into the same realm as non gamers and casual gamers on the premise of fun... waggling a remote like your directing traffic is not fun! Gaming is not meant to be exhausting, it's supposed to be fun and relaxing!
Quick Time Events are another pet peeve of mine! It works in some games like God Of War but developer are making games of of these like the upcoming Heavy Rain. QTE's are annoying and work in GOW because of the adrenaline rush you get while fighting but in a game like Wet it's just annoying and isn't needed.
Online multiplayer has unlike most things has done both brought up and declined gaming, it's brought it up with players having the ability to interact with other players around the world and some people learn more about other cultures this way. One the opposite side of the coin it promotes anti social behaviour causing some games to only have online multiplayer and worst of all is obsession with a virtual world... *cough* World Of Warcraft *cough*. Believe it or not I've lost 3 friends thanks to WOW and that's bad... very bad.
The reduced amount of arcades and arcade exclusive game is a big factor because some people like me loved going out with friends or family to arcades to play the games there and get out of the house for a few hours.Now this IS console gamers fault admittedly but arcades were the best way to get friends into gaming and gave people a great weekend activity.
Realism is probably on the top of the list when it comes to the decling of video games because realism ruins the fantasy of games by giving you stuff you see everyday. Gran Turismo's real driving simulator ruined racing games with real driving, car damage ruined the Need For Speed franchise, photo realistic graphics ruined shooter & fighters and spawned controversy in gaming (Mortal Kombats fault there!)
Movie game tie ins have helped a lot with developers making games from movies and having them be nothing like the movies or having nothing to do with the movies! Which ruins peoples opinions on games as a whole.
And last but certainly not least is the cost of games. America complains about paying $US50 for a game while in other regions like Australia and the Europe are paying 1.5x to 2x the amount they pay and we whinge less on average because we don't know the prices other counties pay or we import to save money... yeah in PAL territories it's cheaper to import, funny huh? And we only get half the game the NTSC region gets and in Australia we even miss out on games that Europe even gets and we pay the most for games out of any country in the world. Because of the price of games less games are sold which makes developers lazy when making games incase their game tanks and nobody likes it. If games were like $US30-40 then more games would sell but it's the console companies who screwed up there with that one.

I probably missed some other problems that are causing a decline of video game quality but if you think I missed some important ones just leave a comment. I'll look into what you suggest and see if it is a major one and add it to the list with your name credited to it.

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