Thursday, September 12, 2013

Oh You Silly Top 10

They laugh normally after the forced laughing.

I typically take Top 10, 20, 25, 100 Lists with a grain of salt. Everyone has their preferences and dislikes that they are entitled to their own opinion. It doesn’t stop me from perusing them and coming to my own conclusions.

So when I saw this list from WhatCulture (which has been trying to be very persistent in breaking into gaming articles) about 10 gaming franchises that were destroyed by a single in-game moment, yep I was curious. I clicked. And then I laughed. Maybe a little too out loud. Because some of these suggestions are absolutely ridiculous. It’s difficult to tie one moment or one particular kink of a game as the end-all, be-all to kill off a franchise. So yeah. I laughed loud. Here’s the list:

10. Final Fantasy Voice Acting (Starting with the FFX scene of Tidus and Yuna laughing).
9. Resident Evil Co-Op Mode (RE5)
8. Tony Hawk Pro Skater Peripheral (2009’s Ride)
7. Gran Turismo rehashing PS2 Models (GT5)
6. Dino Crisis, Removing Regina (DC3)
5. Perfect Dark and developing the games over multiple platforms.
4. Guitar Hero with Market Saturation
3. Need for Speed and Annual Releases
2. Sonic going 3D (Sonic Adventure, 1998)
1. Mass Effect and the final ending (ME3)

Did you laugh too? Please tell me you laughed. I mean this list is just…obnoxious and short-sighted. Almost like the ramblings of a ticked off fan boy. The best way I can sum up this list is that it’s very narrow-minded. It’s taking one aspect of a game or franchise and blowing it out of proportions. And in many of these cases, the series are going strong. Hell the following of fans for Mass Effect is still an amazing force, in spite of the original ME3 ending. People still buy Sonic games. The only one that I may give some validity too is the Guitar Hero series, but that’s it.

Because I think some of these need to be addressed, I’m going to break it down. Final Fantasy and voice acting. FFX was the root of this on said WhatCulture writer’s list, most notably the laughing scene between Tidus and Yuna. For ANYONE who has played the game, yes the scene is awful. But you know what? It was intended to be that way. The point of the scene was to get Yuna to look at the brighter side of life and just laugh away her troubles, even if she needs to force herself to do it. So you have about a minute of really obnoxious laughing, followed by a fit of realistic, joyous laughter. Most people seem to forget about the latter. The realistic laughing was enjoyable and...real. And the franchise has been going strong since then. It’s freekin’ Final Fantasy. It’s going to be around for a while. And by the way, by saying John DiMaggio contributed to the bad voice acting is a sin. You called out Bender. It’s on.

Resident Evil 5’s co-op was a great addition to the franchise. In fact, I played the hell out of the game having a second person join me on the adventures. It prompted me to get the Gold Edition on top of it. Is the story a bit meh? Sure. But co-op was not the end of the series. If anything, it helped enhance it knowing that I didn’t have to fight the sick zombie hoard alone.

Perfect Dark is a series that was a great idea during a terrible time frame. The original release was on the N64, the sequel on the Xbox. Why? Bad timing. The original game was released in 200 when the N64 was still a big deal, but was in the early stages of waning. By the time development began on the second game, the landscape changed. People were moving to discs, and the content for PD2 was not friendly enough to be on Nintendo’s new system, which was not going to be out for another year, which would have caused additional game delays. So Rare decided it was best to release on a console that was out, that was popular, and would best represent the game. And while the game itself is good, too many loyal Nintendo loyalists weren’t willing to make the Xbox jump to play this one title. If Perfect Dark had waited that extra year for the Wii release, to the dismay of fans needing a fix, it could be a different story entirely. But cross-culture platform games is not unfamiliar. Final Fantasy for example is the notorious leader. From Nintendo to Sony to Microsoft. It’s still doing quite nicely.

Silly lists can be great, but this one seems like a fan boy crying about little things that really didn’t affect the series as a whole.

The one I do agree with is Guitar Hero. That series really saturated the market. And they rightfully did so. The music craze died out about as fast as it came in, and they capitalized on the moment. The downside is that we aren’t getting a chance to continue experiencing the new innovations to the musical game. Because things were rushed and put out for mass consumption asap the new content is not only more difficult to put out, but the public is less willing to buy. People still play Guitar Hero and Rock Band. There are still band parties and it’s still a lot of fun. But until we hit that point of nostalgia for the product, we won’t see a resurgence.

My two cents. Lists can be fun, but you need to learn to separate facts and reality from fanboyism. Time to come up with my own list!


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