Monday, February 25, 2013

The Good Ol’ Days

I know I’m a Hardcore gamer. I hate Call of Duty (except the first 2) and I long for the old days when games were games. They weren’t a focus on graphics or how shiny everything could be. Or in the case of FPS, BLOOM of DOOM

I admit that I am biased to an extent. As much as I try my best to remove this when I look at new products, part of the reason why I write and why people continue to read is for my opinion. It’s going to be influenced by my history, my likes and dislikes, and personal preferences. And that is why people continue to come back and keep reading. 10,000 hits a month for an average is still pretty good. It may not be Gamasutra or Kotaku numbers, but for someone who’s doing this as a hobby, pouring my own money into buying games and time into researching stories, I think those are some nice numbers. So thank you to all of you that keep reading. You’re crazy, but that is a universal opinion. I know I’m a crazy gamer, but not certifiable.

Anyway, I wanted to spout off a personal opinion piece about what I miss about the old days of gaming. I am very much an old school gamer. I don’t deny this nor do I try to cover it up. I want to like the newer games being put out on the market. And yet they can never hold my attention. There is this great disconnect between what I want from a video game and what is being produced. I want a game with a story, memorable characters, dialogue that is intoxicating, game play that is enchanting that I can’t put down the controller.

The problem that I constantly run into is that I don’t see this in today’s games. If they are not a gimmick for using 3D technology, it’s a sequel/rehash of the same formulas over and over again. I tend to praise Final Fantasy a lot, not just as a fan-girl, but they are one of the few franchises that actually changes things up! Yes you might get some of the same tropes, but the developer is not afraid to try a new battle system, twist the characters, manipulate the story, and create new experiences with each game. And that’s what I’m not getting in today’s games.

Before people get up in arms that I don’t play new releases, I do borrow them from friends. After getting burned with my last few purchases (seriously God of War 3 was not worth the full retail price), I haven’t been inclined to buy things without trying them out first. Unless they are at a reasonable or super cheap price. See Mass Effect

Because yes, I have stated in previous posts that the last time I bought a game at a full retail price was a while ago. That doesn’t mean that I don’t play newer releases. Do I get bored of them? Yep. Pretty fast. I tried the last Hitman, Ninja Gaiden 3 for Wii-U (ugh, never thought I’d dislike a Gaiden), the latest Fifa, and Epic Mickey 2. They all came out within the least 2-3 months, so I’m not that far behind on the times. But the draw of the games to commit to a purchase just isn’t there. Stories are the same. Actions are not varied. I know the characters, the conflict, and the outcome before I press ‘Start.’

What happened to that pure innocence of the old days? Where you didn’t know what you were getting into until you got there. Even Mario and Legend of Zelda still hold onto those ideals. We know what to expect, but they can still manage to flip us on our heads and go “woah, I didn’t expect that.” And they still maintain their charm. That’s what I want in a game. A touch of the old mixed with the new. I think there is a lot of exploration and naiveté with early game development that we need to bring back into the sphere to reinvigorate creativity. As there is a beauty with simplicity, having that innocence of early video games brought out some amazing ideas. Today’s games could use more of that.

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