the Pastors eye
7/19/12 at 10:30 AM 0 Comments

The State of Video Games Today

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I’m classically trained. I mean the real classics: Atari, ColecoVision, Commodore 64, and the NES. Games like Pac-Man, Dig Dug, Summer Olympics, Mario Bros, Contra, Double Dragon and Mike Tyson’s Punch Out shaped my childhood. This was the inspiration behind my interest in technology, and I owe a large part of my career success to a lifetime interest in wanting to know how electronics work to those early linear focused video games of the 80s and 90s. I know I’m not alone on this, there are thousands of us that can still tell you what Up Up, Down Down, B, A, Select, Start does and just as many of us that knows there’s no such character as Sheng Long in Street Fighter 2 because we spent hours trying to unlock him.

But gamers like us are being left in the dust. Excuse the rhyme, it’s unintentional… but the point is made, In an effort to make games more like blockbuster movies, the entire industry has been broken down into genres, and the most profitable genres, such as First Person Shooters fill the shelves of our local video games store. I mean how many Call of Duty, Rainbow Six type games can there be?

Not saying that there’s anything wrong with those games, but see things from my perspective for a moment. I work. Not just work, but I work hard, a lot of hours in a week. It’s a choice I made when I chose not be a programmer and decided I was best fit in the area of information security. I love my job, but a lot of times it can be stressful. When I was given strict orders by a friend of mine to find an outlet, or source of entertainment to help alleviate myself, I bought a Playstation 3. It’s an amazing piece of hardware, great graphics, short loading times, and it even plays Blu-Ray. It’s the ultimate experience in home entertainment….well maybe it’s second, behind sex. but… you get the picture. The PS3 is awesome, and I thought that going back to that childhood experience of playing video games would be a great stress reliever. I could pop in a game, play for an hour, have some small but exciting achievements, and turn it off to play another day.

But… have changed. Every single game wants to be a mix of Call of Duty, Resident Evil, Need For Speed, and Grand Theft Auto rolled all into one. What ever happened to the simple games like Super Dodge Ball. The premise was simple. Pick up the ball and smack your opponent on the head with it. GREAT FUN! This day in age, every damn game has to have soldiers and zombies. Mega Man was great, he had guns, but you didn’t need to be a LTJG to enjoy him, you just had to shoot the guys that came at you for a few levels. Double Dragon was even more exciting, all you needed was a controller and two buttons and you had an entire story made up of kicking ass until you finished. THAT’S MY TYPE OF GAMING. There are only a few types of games that have stayed true to that formula, games like Dynasty Warriors for example. Grab a sword, and kill everybody in the way. —Sorry Shooter fans, but it’s a lot more fun to slice a guys head off than shoot him. But games like this consistently get reviewed poorly on websites like Don’t get me wrong, I like the website, and enjoy reading a their reviews. But a lot of personal bias goes into ANY review, problem is, when you’re considered an authority on a subject, your opinion matters. And we see the result of that opinion in the lack of “hack and slash” and “beat-em up” games on our store shelves.

It’s sad, because I used to be a Touchdown Throwing, Princess Saving, Alien blasting, gamer. Now….it takes me months to finish one game, because it’s jam-packed full of side missions and other stuff you have to do in order to get the full story. I respect the reasoning behind lengthy games with side missions etc. But I also wish that developers would respect gamers like me. I don’t have time to play through every Riddler question in Batman Arkham City. But let me see all the secrets and videos, that come with those missions. I mean seriously, doesn’t my 60 dollars matter as much as the college kid?

Ranting aside there are still some good games out there: I love almost everything Rockstar does especially Red Dead Redemption. Other cool games that I’ve played recently include: Catherine, Warriors: Legend of Troy, and the aforementioned Batman: Arkham City.

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