Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Why I Don't Really Play Video Games Anymore OR The Problem With Modern Gaming

I'll come up with five or so games that I've played fairly recently:

Star Trek: Starfleet Command II - 2000
Star Trek: Starfleet Command III - 2002
Diable II: Lord of Destruction - 2001
The Killing Floor - 2009
Bioshock- 2007

And the newest of those is actually a mod of a game that was made in 2004 (Unreal Tournament).  In this entry, I'll illustrate why, and (hopefully) at the same time point out what's wrong with modern gaming.

1). I Don't Have the Money OR Fuck $60 Games and Subscription Fees.

I remember when new games were only $30.  Now they're double that and they offer you even less.  (Fuck I feel old saying that.)  I also remember when MMORPGs didn't force you to pay exorbitant subscription fees, or when single player games didn't mandate a constant internet connection to track achievements (more on them later).  I also remember when games had replay value, which is why I have 65 hours into TKF and probably around 20,000 (conservative estimate) into Diablo II and haven't touched Bioshock (admittedly a great game) in a year.

2). I Suck at Games OR Learning Curves are Too Steep

Console games lost me when they introduced two joysticks.  At that point it just became easier to just go outside and find substitutes for sports and FPS games.  (Or break out the N64.)  The whole point of gaming for a lot of people is because they're too shitty at those things in real life.  Now consoles want to introduce an insane amount of commands and combos that is a hundred times harder than building muscle memory playing a sport.  What the hell?

3). I Don't Have the Time or Attention Span Anymore

This one's just personal.  I don't have the desire to put in the effort to level a MMORPG character or to continually play a shooter so I can match up with the rich twelve year olds that can play all day every day.  The great thing about the games I play is that missions are short and I can generally save whenever I want or quit in the middle of something without feeling like I just destroyed a major operation.

4). Games Gave Enough Options So That Most Players Could Find Something They Were Good At

I hope hardcore X-Box enthusiasts know that Halo basically neutered FPS gaming in way oversimplifying the weaponry.  Perfect Dark (64) has close to 100 weapons.  Even if you suck at video games you can probably find something that suits you well.  The first Halo game had about ten and they were the most watered down options, assault rifle, pistol, rocket launcher, shotgun, sniper rifle, and a few alien weapons of no creativity.  It's like playing a Mario Kart game where all you can use is green shells.  Is it too much to ask for some proximity mines?

5). Over Emphasis on Graphics

This one's kind of obvious and you can gripe about it to some degree with every game since the very first Nintendo.  I get that developers want to show off how real they can make things look, but there's a reason no subsequent Bond game has been able to touch Goldeneye.  Gameplay matters.

1 comment:

  1. If you like PC Gaming, I cannot recommend Steam highly enough. The sales on games are fantastic and often that $60 game can be picked up on steam for under $20 a year after release. The Indie gaming scene on PC is amazing too. Simple, good games available in the Humble Indie Bundle at a pay-what-you-want pricing. There are a lot of outstanding, cheap games out there if you're willing to look a bit beyond what is advertised at you. Minecraft is currently one of my favorites, to a point that I set up my own server to play with friends (Currently down pending release of new version). Hit me up on twitter if you're interested in a recommendation (@RITBeast)