Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Video Game Series We're Tired Of

Assassin Dog, Ready For Boredom!
Now this is a good topic. One that I’m going to share and repeat. Video game series that gamers no longer like!

This was less about the “audience/reader” participation as it was the writer saying “well I don’t play this anymore, I play this.” But on the grand scale of things, there are a few series out there that have been dying off and a number of us have lost interest in.

Sonic the Hedgehog, for example. He was king during my childhood. The Sega Genesis was always thought of as the cool system when compared to the NES and SNES. Only the awesome kids got one. It had 32 bit graphics. Holy crap! There was always this war between Sonic and Mario. Honestly I think it was all made up by the gaming magazines at that time. “Who’s going to win this holiday cycle? Sega or Nintendo?”

Even Papery, we love Mario.
Ultimately, Sega faltered after trying to keep up with the change in audience. Now it’s a small shell of it’s former self, licensing out everything that it can to other publishers. Sonic’s image has tried to stick with “I’m cool and fast and blue!” Which was fine for the early 90’s but it hasn’t held. And when they tried to remake him to be more “hip” it was just…sad. At least Mario and Nintendo stuck to their image. It’s the same Mario. He hasn’t changed a bit. And that’s probably why we still love the plumber. With a Mario game you know what you’re going to get.

So many this shouldn’t be an article about what’s died out because of the change in times, but what’s popular now but a lot of us are sick of. Because I still hold a soft spot for Sonic, even if the new games suck. A lot. When I pull down the Genesis, I’m always popping in Sonic 3 first. So for me, I still find enjoyment in the series.

You know what I feel gamers are starting to turn against? Call of Duty.

I know. It’s another series I rag on quite a bit.

But I’m not alone on this! Dave LeClair equates it to Guitar Hero, where it was on top of its game as the best music series ever, and then died out because of its repetitive nature. CoD is no different. It’s been the same game for the last 4 ‘titles’, with very small scenic changes. Maybe you got a new gun, but really, what’s there to brag about?

“But the games keep selling out.” I’m not saying everyone is bored with the series, but a number of people are at that point, or are on their way. Most people are still buying because that’s all that’s being offered. The options are limited and when given a choice, they’re going to go with a series that has proven to work. Eventually though, they’ll stop playing because it gets really boring. Like Guitar Hero and Rock Band have been. You know what to expect. There’s nothing new.

At least with Mario it’s changed up some. He has new powers, he goes on different adventures and new stories. Same plumber but with new content.

Or how about the Halo series? I know a number of people are looking forward to #4, but the spin-offs have held some mixed reactions. A Command and Conquer rip-off and a dummed down FPS were not exactly the titles fans were wanting to tie them over. There are a few fans that have been turned off from the franchise because of it.

Let’s try a non-FPS. Civilization. I think for a number of us that series has ran its course. The concept of building up your empire, reliving moments in history or creating your own, was fun. The recent variations and expansions really haven’t offered much else other then re-washing the first few games and giving it a shinier package. There are some die-hard Civ fans who still play to this day. But when was the last time you remember actually caring about the game to go out and buy it? I have Civ 3 and it’s been years since I last played it. It was fun, sure, but the appeal is long gone.

When you look at something like SimCity, that’s something I will always go back to when I need a retro-game. Why? I’m not entirely certain. Maybe it’s the ease of use and you can choose to make it challenging at your own leisure. Or it could be the silliness of the options available, from destroying your city with aliens to making it fit in the hole of a volcano. There’s a timeless feel to SimCity that keeps drawing us back that we’ll never get bored with it.

What else are gamers tired of?

Well not necessarily a series but a developer. BioWare has been hit hard lately. A number of people that I’ve spoken with have been really unhappy with the way things have been handled on their last set of releases, Dragon Age 2, Mass Effect 3, and The Old Republic. While they’re retroactively going through and fixing things and providing the ‘real’ content, fans have been leaving in droves. People are sick of BioWare.

I still blame EA. Even since they bought the team, their policies have taken over.

Obviously there is no one right answer to this question. I name a series and someone will pop up and say “hey, I still play that!” Clearly there will never be one series that everyone on the world is tired of playing. But it’s obvious that some things are needing to change or face the bellows of death like Guitar Hero.

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