Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The problem with next-gen

Sometimes I miss the days of last-gen gaming. Quite frequently, actually. Why? Because while the last generation of gaming saw nothing but steps forward, the past three years of “next-gen” have provided many-a giant step backward. Or, if not backward, definately in the wrong direction. Here’s some of the biggest problems I see with modern gaming.

Shorter playtime: No, quantity does not equal quality. However, if I’m laying down sixty of my hard-earned dollars for a product, I’d appreciate as much of both qualities as possible. Eight hours seems to be the sweet spot for most titles these days and, sorry, but that’s about the point where everything starts to click and a good game really gets rolling. It feels like the majority of games I play these days end just as they’re getting started.

Multi-player required: At what point did it become a prerequisite to have multi-player or co-op included with every single game? If it’s missing, boards get flooded with people complaining about it, forcing offerings such as the half-assed Dark Sector multi-player (shudders) to be tacked on. If a game like Bioshock had co-op or multi-player, I dare say that would have ruined the experience. Some titles are meant to be a one-man journey and I’m scared of the day when such experiences will be a thing of the past. Online is great, but certain things can only be achieved via a one-on-one approach.

Patches and fixes: Call it lazy development. Call it pressure from the higher-ups to meet a deadline. Whatever the reason, this crap shouldn’t be allowed to fly. Last gen, if a game came out broken, that spelled doom for those attached to the project. This forced teams to do their damndest to insure the product hitting store shelves was as perfect and deserving of our dollars as possible. Nowadays, incomplete titles and broken products are coming out every week. The “don’t worry, we’ll fix it in a few weeks with a patch” mentality is completely wrong. Developers are betraying their consumers and I wish to hell the masses would answer back with their dollars.

Microtransactions: I bitched about this a while back but the problem has only gotten worse. If you want to offer extra content to a well-rounded, complete product to enhance or elongate my playtime, I’m fine with dropping a few more bones to support your effort. Having me pay for crap that should have been on the disc to begin with, especially shortly following the game’s release? No dice.

Fanboys: I guess these folks have always existed, but never have they been so idiotic and vocal. There is no $%^&ing console war other than the one waging in your pathetic little minds. If you dedicated half the time you spend trolling message boards to actually playing games, you might learn a thing or two about the hobby you claim to be a diehard fan of. Quality is quality no matter what system it appears on. Multiplatform means more people get to play a title and the developer might actually make enough cash to continue making games. Wii is not for children, 360 is not only for FPS fans and the PS3 isn’t dead in the water. If gamers as a whole want to be taken seriously, these tools posing as gamers have got to go.

Online idiocy: I could dedicate a full post to this one . Ignorance, plus a mic, plus anonymity apparently equals a racist, sexist, homophobic, profane mutant who needs to have the $#!^ slapped out of them. You don’t sound adult. You don’t sound cool. And I swear to Zuel, if you children try this crap in the real world, you’re likely to find your ass being handed to you on a platter. You’re pathetic and nobody want’s to hear the proof.

Dependency on reviews: I encourage everyone to actually read reviews. I know that sounds crazy, but you might take a lot more away from it that the grade or number following all those confusing words could ever tell you. I say we do away with grades and points and just start writing. Then, instead of “OMG, Gametime magazine gave Game A a 9.2 and Game B a 9.3, so Game B is clearly a better game,” people might start talking about what the review actually said.
***sorry about the picture. For some reason, it won't post any larger.


Anonymous said...

This was a great post! I really like the one about Fnaboys taking the time to look up the ins and outs of the hobby they claim to love. Very heartfelt ridicule, ideed.

-Ryan Winslett said...

Thankies. I could have made a single post out of each of these, but I figured the bitching would get out of hand.