Okay let me help those people who think gaming is at a all time low ATM 1987- non pc gamers had two choices. Some lame sports game or final fantasy 1 ( ff1 won of course ) 2012- console gaming is amazing, we have multiple genres with in depth immersion online play; and no more wondering if a spiked rat is a shower back scratcher
This, of course, is bull**bleep**: rose tinting at its finest, selective attention, or just plain ignorance.
Now don't get me wrong, I have my share of complaints about certain games, as obviously not every game created is a gem. But this has always been the case - every gaming system has a relatively small number of great games, a bunch of mediocre filler, and then some absolute crap. This is true of everything from the 2600 and Intellivision through the SNES/Genesis and on to the last several generations. The same is also true of copycat genres, where right now people like to point at Call of Duty for ruining gaming. Has Call of Duty's success resulted in a sea of me-too gritty first person clones? Sure. There are easily more generic shooters this generation than there ever have been before, from your Medal of Honors to your Homefronts and MAGs and on the sci-fi side, Killzone to Resistance and more.
Is this game to blame for the downfall of gaming as we know it?
I don't like the series but good on people if they buy and play something they enjoy.
This is not a new phenomenon. Do people forget past generations? The PS2 had a sea of weak JRPGs and character action games. The PS1 was also a dumping ground for RPGs. And the SNES and Genesis and even NES suffered from crappy platformer overload to a degree that makes Call of Duty seem saintlike in comparison.
The one area where I will concede gaming could use some work is with nickel and diming, from DLC (amount, pricing, and release schedules) to online passes and preorder bonuses. On the other hand, I don't miss aspects of previous generations - insanely high pricing on cartridge based systems ($120 Chrono Trigger, anyone?) and a much longer period of time for prices to fall, for one.
Yes, DLC could use some work.
Right now gamers benefit hugely from quick price drops - some more than others as I know there are many people who like to buy games on release day whether they play them immediately or not. But $20 drops within a month are common, $40 off not unheard of and other than the odd Nintendo or Blizzard game you won't see any game still at full price a year after it releases, if it can even last six months. Preorder price deals are just as easy to score, whether it's ten bucks off or twenty bucks off, either in gift cards or full on instant credit. Gaming's never been this inexpensive.
There are also two (or more) price tiers that result in a huge variety of gaming genres - on the PS3 and 360 we have PSN and XBLA releases in the $5-$15 range, smaller games that can afford to be more experimental. The 360 also has its indie scene, which while lacking some of the quality of the fantastic PC indie library certainly makes up for it in variety. These are not full fledged $60 retail titles, of course, but the type of people who whine in those threads don't seem like the ones to care whether they're playing a big name AAA budget game or some crazy and original proof of concept some guy made in his basement during the evenings for a year. And the sheer number of these indie games and their variety is mind-boggling.
The Indie scene is more vibrant and more varied than any past generation.
It's that variety that makes me completely question anyone who longs so loudly for past years. There are so many under the radar releases that if anyone who's into a particular genre cannot find new games, they simply aren't looking. Even the JRPG, which has seen a massive decline in popularity (and quality) in the past generation, is still alive and well on the DS and PSP, mostly through a sea of generic grind-happy stuff. But I get the sense it's that type of archaic throwback that would appeal to those who complain most. The 'purist' gamer, maybe, the Japan-centric ones who automatically view anything developed in the west with disdain, as the complaint threads almost always link the Call of Duty decline with western gaming's influence.
Links to the past are easier than they've ever been before, too. Competent to great emulators exist for almost every platform you can think of, from smoothing out PS1 graphics to playing Wii games at 1080p. Good old Games and other digital distribution services on the PC make it easy (and cheap) to pick up some of the classics. Steam sales toss out games at rock bottom prices. And even on the mobile side iOS is home to some great ports of handheld games from Plants vs Zombies to Phoenix Wright that don't suffer from a lack of buttons.
Sure, I complain a lot about the games I play. I complain because I love gaming and I'd like to see certain mistakes corrected. I like discussion. And I love the current crop of games we've got - the last few years have served up some of the most enjoyable gaming experiences I've ever had, whether we're talking sim-style racing in Forza 4, a weird blend of Zelda and twin stick shooter in The Binding of Isaac, old school tough platforming in VVVVVV, WRPG near perfection in The Witcher 2, 3D platforming bliss in the Mario Galaxies, and I could keep going on because this generation is a goddamn goldmine.
I just feel sorry for those people who cannot see or refuse to see that. They're missing out a ton of great games for the sake of stubbornness or ignorance.
I'm one of those from the Atari 2600/NES/SNES area. Back in the day, you played game, now you experience the game ... I don't know where that came from.
When you bought a game, you got everything ... now you have DLC day1, or future DLC, pre-order bonus ( which are also avalaible as a DLC for other to pay for it ... ) ... I remeber not so long ago in a Tekken game you could unlock many caracter by playing the game ... now ? you have to pay for them.
Also my biggest problem with this generation is : they remove in-game unlockable and put DLC. It seriously removes a lot of fun in many game.
Games are longer now and all ... but a lot of them are shallow ( even AAA game ) the only way to make you play the game again is by selling you DLC. Not so long ago once you finished the game, you unlock something and if you try something hard the game gave you something ... now ? a Trophy/Acheivement or you have to pay for that bonus.
Just think Resident Evil ... you got weapons for finishing the game, finish it under X hours and you got something nicer ... you didn't save some cool will be avalaible. Nothing of that exist anymore.
Gaming is far better today, though i'm not really happy with this year. 2012 started out ok, but now... meh. Anyway yes! Gaming is better today. It's true that COD is a causal virus to gaming... the game that made Killzone 3 want to go the casual way.... -_-.... but there are still plenty of great games, and hardcore too. Vanquish is a perfect example or a great hardcore third person shooter, and for online you got... yeah the one in my avatar :). Recently i enjoyed the hell out of Max Payne 3... i loved MP1, but MP3 is way better than any of the old ones! Dead Space, Mass Effect, Uncharted... The Last of Us... yea i rather be playing this gen than last.
The indie scene and mobile platforms are definitely fueling a wave of games that are basically reimaginings and updates of classic games done in a similar style. The guys who made Breath of Death and Serious Sam: The Random Encounter (and the third episode of Penny Arcade's Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness) have the JRPG covered with beautiful renditions of NES RPGs, Jamestown is very much a 16/32 bit shmup, and Wizorb has an 8 bit style but is a unique sort of blend of arkanoid.
Great comments, everyone, I only wish threads on the forums got this level of insight from everyone.
What you wrote here reminds me of when I was in Cal 2 and someone asked if it was difficult to come up with new ideas for doctoral degree thesis because there is so many people in the field and my teacher replied back that no, its easier because as people come up with newer and newer incite, there is more to work with. Thats what I read from this and I agree. In the past games were fun but when there is 2 systems Atari and Nintendo (probably more but who cares about the obscure) or even 90's with a couple systems there was only so much that could be made with the technology and only a few avenues of gameplay have been explored. Now, we have games like call of duty which open up new pathways of gameplay; or cellphones which allow more "retro" games; or even people taking a game and almost duplicating it just to test out new technology (sound, 3d, etc). The less systems on the market or game systems to play with, the ability to make new and exciting things is very limited.
I agree, you have some great points. I really hate it when old-school gamers (NES, SNES era) complain about how today's games are all the same and boring. I love old games but some people just have to get out of the 1990s.
I half agree, half disagree. I agree that gaming, in general, is better than it's ever been. On average, games are more playable are better executed than they used to be. It's unheard of to come across a game these days that is so horrible, it's downright unplayable. I know, I know, some of us are quite dramatic and think almost everything we don't like is "unplayable" but realistically that doesn't much exist anymore. It used to be a real threat. Some games used to be so pointlessly difficult, they gave birth to cheat codes. Cheat codes didn't come about because they were fun, whimsical, and stimulated discussion, they were born out of a quick fix to horrid game design. We are better off then we used to be, that's for sure.
On the the other hand, modern business practices are unethical. Games are shifting to "nickle n' dime" style service models, compromising both value and quality. DRM, DLC, premium memberships, pre-order bonuses, etc. I've tooted this horn before, but it's hurting everything. We need to establish a code of conduct, some practical blasted ethics on how games should be monetized. It was easy before, someone makes a game, they sell it to you, if you like it, you buy more of their games. Now, I can't even come up with a quick comparison to that it's so complicated and obtuse. You, uh, pre-order a game to get the extra-special secret dungeon and character. Then, since you bought a new copy, you activate the online pass so you can actually access what you just "bought", and those filthy used game shoppers "didn't". Then you buy the right to experience the on-disc DLC so you can get another dungeon and character. I know I'm being terribly cynical, and this isn't really the norm just yet, but I give it a few years at most. Even Nintendo caved to priced DLC, there are no fortresses left. So in conclusion, the games are better than ever, the business model is worse than ever. That, and I think there was a cultural shift in our relationship and expectations towards games that has not worked in our favor.
@Angryduck67 While I agree with your assessment of the industry today, I definitely disagree with some of your assessments of older games especially with the cheat codes. Your assessment seems like it assumes that the game design was simply thrown together with no actual thought and cheat codes were the savior in case people got pissed off. That is just not the case.
Cheat codes or secrets or whatever were in games to add variety and replay value and it added a dose of fun. There are plenty of games that had great design that had cheat codes. Not to mention in game secrets. That was simply fascinating.
In a way, gaming is better than ever because I doubt any single person here has played every single great game out right now. As time goes by, libraries for each system continue to grow, further increasing the possibilities of playing amazing games, and that's one reason every gamer should own each console. "There's nothing good to play." That is a sign of a lazy gamer who can't take five minutes to do a search on a gaming website, or even go into a recommendation thread in a forum. I do understand why some people feel gaming is becoming worse, though. When you see hardcore franchises like Final Fantasy get streamlined and dumbed down (as much as I loved FFXIII, it was nothing but push-you-along) and games being butchered and sold piece by piece by DLC, it does present some valid concerns.
Without actually taking the time to look back at this moment in time, I can't say if gaming is better than ever. You raise some good points that I definitely agree with but I believe the biggest problem with the game industry right now is its loss of "purity."
You're right when you say there were a lot of platforming games back in the early days. Platforming was todays FPS but to my remembrance, there were not very many yearly releases and the ripoffs of other games were not marketed hard and were mediocre or trash anyway. There was that definite bandwagon mentality to make money but I guess because the video game audience was so small, it was harder to do because people only played "the good stuff."
I think it comes down to marketing also. The games we are tired of get marketed to a greater level and the people who do not play a variety of games get burned out because all they see is what is marketed and either do not look for other games or are scared to play the ones that are not marketed. I definitely think that is part of the problem.
@sirkibble2 Yeah, marketing it definitely part of the overexposure of certain genres - Spec Ops most recently. Videogame sites push those games first due to the advertising budgets and if we get some crumbs about indie games or smaller genres we should consider ourselves lucky. It's come to the point where most of my news and game reviews get filtered through forums and podcasts, where there's less emphasis on the latest Call of Duty clone and more on the weird sort of games that keep my faith in gaming alive.
I just feel scared at times that videogames are going to go the direction that cartoons did. Does anyone remember cartoons from the 90's? You can name so many... but then they became so many that they started becoming generic and forgettable. I just don't want that to happen to videogames... Who knows, maybe I just grew up or something... But that can't be true because I still enjoy playing the classics, and often times I enjoy it more than when I pick up a similar title from the current generation! I dunno, I just feel the older titles had a kind of aggressive "I dare you to pick me up and play me" kind of feel to them that the new titles simply can't because they're so big...
@system3142 Its right for you to be scared of that happening because its happened before and if things don't change it can happen again. I think though that they have enough capacity and ability with games that though one may seem close to another, there is slight differences that make you want to still buy another unlike when the crash of the early 80's hit and one Atari game seemed like another or the end of the NES which seemed like they were just churning out clone games in the early 90's because of Nintendo's dominance until Sega got strong.
It's not so much that older games were better it's just that back in the day sort of 15-20 years ago, there wasn't anywhere near as much money involved in making games so developers could take more risks. These days, the big developers have so much money (millions of pounds/dollars) behind the development of their latest game that they scared to take a risk in case it doesn't work, or people just don't like it, and that more often than not, leads to redundancies which of course is something nobody wants! I mean I'm still waiting for an FPS game which is going to be as good as DOOM, I've still not found one and I still play DOOM a lot and not because I'm looking at it through rose tinted glasses. I play it a lot because it has some of the best gameplay ever seen in a video game!
There is some truly great modern games out there your right, but so often they have blatantly stolen ideas from COD or some other great game that any sense of originality has gone, and even if they try to be original or different, no one buys them (deadly premonition, Heavy Rain etc and yes I know Heavy Rain is a great game but it didn't sell fantastically well when it released). Indie games are the future of the industry! I for one love Indie games and am constantly buying them, not just from XBLIG channel but also from indiecity and desura - in fact I would recommend buying a game called Thomas Was Alone as it's just a fantastic game, it's one of the best indie games I've played in a while.
Everyone out there should at least check out the indie games channel on the Xbox and maybe if you see a game you like the look of, buy it. It'll only cost you $1/£1 which is nothing. You may be surprised at the quality and brilliance of the games.
On the consoles,XBLA used to be king, but the tides have turned and now I find myself using PSN titles inbetween my major retail purchases on PCWiiPS360. Steam of course, bests the consoles, and I find indie bundles and deals at sites like GOG.
Of course, with DRM and DD comes the problems of not being able to resell/collect/trade, so I do love my retail games.
As far as people overlooking great games, it happens every gen. I have heard so many times people playing last gen games later like Okami, Shadow of the Colossus, Halo, Pikmin, etc. I guess they didn't realize the variety was always there, you just had to look for it.