Saturday, September 24, 2011

A few thoughts on gaming.

i know this blog is supposed to be about Dungeons and Dragons but I think I'll derail myself a bit and talk briefly on my views on the gaming industry as a whole. I think I'll start with how the gaming industry has affected me.

The first thing I want to share is my first time really and truly "gaming" long ago, at age 5 I was introduced into the yugioh card game. my brother picked up a starter deck and we began trying to figure out why we were the only ones running dark magician (in my day it had 0 support). After looking into things, we discovered that we each had our own play styles and needed different decks to suit our needs (this is indeed going somewhere) my brother Dusting chose a straight up beat-your-face-in-with-a-stick strategy involving goblin attack force, slate warrior and cards like that. I however preferred a warrior rush maximizing the capabilities of Marauding Captain, The A. Forces, and Command Knight. after a while we became quite amazing at the game and won tournaments all over with our nigh unmatched skill (I even beat a cheating opponent knowing he was cheating who had asked me before if I would cry if I lost since I was 5, after whooping his ass I asked him "you aren't going to cry right?") but before long word spread of our success and some jealous douche decided to take us down by stealing all of our cards (by now we were playing Magic the Gathering, yugioh, and Marvel Vs.) and so I needed a new time waster, hence the need to purchase a game known as Diablo 2.

In Diablo I played as a sorceress and was quite good at the game, blasting diablo himself with jets of ice and summoned creatures became so routine that we eventually needed a new game, this time it was starcraft. the same happened, we played it out and got a new game; Oblivion, and here's where the cycle ends. I LOVED oblivion and hope skyrim is just as good if not even better. Oblivion was a great game and still is, this swords and sorcery RPG had us me playing scads of different characters, each of them set up differently and none of them ever even touching on the main story line. Until one fateful day when our X box got the dreaded red rings of death. we saved the memory drive, sold it for scrap, and bought a PS 2. on this we spent many long hours playing DBZ budokai tenkaichi 3, castlevania symphony of the night, X men apocalypse... thing (can't remember the name) and other games, none of them reaching anywhere near the level of enjoyment I attained with oblivion. then came Fallout 3. arguably one of Bethesda's most popular games, but even it lacked a certain.... vibe that Oblivion gave me. i played it only long enough to escape the vault and then never touched it again. I think this was because my brother's room was "forbidden territory" at this point and I never got the chance to fall in love with this post-apocalyptic wasteland the way I fell in love with the magic of oblivion. I fell away from video gaming and began my life as a flash game nomad, wandering the websites in search of great porn games and flitting away as a bee flies to the next flower in search of nectar. I rediscovered yugioh at the best and worst of times; best because they had finally developed a new play-style: the synchro, and worst because any deck worth playing cost a minimum 3K. I stayed with friends and soon I was seen as one of the top dogs, an opponent who could worm his way out of any situation with the barest of cards; in reality, i was near the bottom of the proverbial food chain. after learning this the hard way (entering a tournament with a warrior deck i used when I was 5) I abandoned it and sought out new games, this time borderlands, Saint's row 2, and Mass Effect 2. I played them all and beat the last 2 to find that, while they were all fun, they still could not fill the oblivion left in my heart by oblivion's departure, so I bought oblivion, after a single day it was gone as well as my Xbox and my brother's games, taken to las Vegas, where it broke and was sold for scrap. and so it was that I needed another new game, something open, infinite, and ever changing. I needed *pause for dramatic effect* Minecraft. I discovered it just after the nether had been implemented and caught it just in time to buy it for only 10 euros. Immediately I saw its beauty, the endless possibilities, the stories waiting to be written, The Nyan cats that needed building. I set out, pick in hand, to build a grand city, and build I did. I toiled until beta, then I toiled some more. If I wasn't playing Minecraft I was watching X or coestar or the yogscast play minecraft (or hoping squee would) and loving every second of it. then tradgedy struck. X abandoned Minecraft and left me wondering. shortly after his departure I began to feel the same things I felt when oblivion left me; a longing to return, hope for a new game, and the need to pee. only one of those could I alleviate. I played Minecraft for updates then and hoped something could bring back the manic joy I felt when I first saw the game. but it was to no avail. Minecraft was all but gone, multiplayer brought some of it back but it was buggy, there was a griefer, and with old 1.7.3's release my server spontaneously combusted. I was left a simple you-tuber, spending my time in between X's vids, squee, coestar, and Freeman's mind. all but gone from the gaming community. with DND and Minecraft I hope to forge a link back into the gamer's world but I don't think it will be enough. my fingers are crossed that on 11/11/11 I can discover my love once more. and now my actual thoughts on the gaming industry

quite frankly, there is so much work needed everywhere. everything is just, as hootchute put it, "a re-skin of another game leeching off of its popularity" with only a few scattered exceptions, every shooter is the same, every puzzler is the same, and every "RPG" is the same. think about it; how much difference is there between the core mechanic of Halo and COD? you run around shooting people with a variety of weapons, beat the campaign once, then only ever play multiplayer which is fine. If that's what you like I don't blame you, there's a certain sense of satisfaction you get when you chop someone in half on gears of war. Thing is, I absolutely love games like Mass Effect 2. where character development is encouraged just as much as statistical development. Fable 2 touched on this with the end option, being evil but then sparing your sister was my first end game and I still think it's the most enjoyable. But oblivion barely hit this note and I still loved it. why? in a word: replayability.

replayability, the single most discouraged thing in gaming. honestly, when was the last time you had a game for even 2 years and still loved it? those games are few and far between. why? the all mighty green dollar. If you love that game so much, why buy the next one? you haven't ever explored that forest so why task yourself with exploring skyrim? it's simple fact, if you have something that lasts for 10 years you won't buy a new one for 10 years, if you have something that lasts for 1 year, you'll buy a new one in a year. It's especially prevalent with the "big daddy's" of gaming: COD, Halo, Final Fantasy and the like. they say that there will only be one more Halo game that is complete bullshit and you know it, they will NEVER stop milking that cash cow for all it's worth. Halo will be around for my grandchildren to play unless we nuke ourselves to death first (and in all likelihood we will, so then they'll just have to stick with fallout). we have come to an age where everything, not just games, are made to make the most money, not by being the best, but by SEEMING to be the best. you will buy any COD game they make, even if it's just the old one with new guns (like the last 50 have been) and love it, I don't know what people are complaining about with MW3, you should have said you don't want more COD at COD 2. and Final Fantasy, phht, must I explain that one?

so, in all honesty, I hate the gaming industry, but then again I hate most industry, it's all corrupt and scheming, so don't be surprised when you can't find this blog or me for a few months. I'll be in some brainwashing facility (heavily sarcastic, I'm not THAT kind of crazy person). however, something can be said for the rare light in these trying times, Bethesda has been my favorite gaming corporation for the longest time and remains a shining example of whet used to be, you make a game so that people love it and want more, not so that they wear it out and HAVE to buy more, and a few indie developers such as Mojang and Nitrome also represent what I find to be the last fortresses of good in this chasm we find ourselves in today.

I hope you enjoyed what I wrote and think about the type I have thoughtfully written. please note I am a counter culturalist and if I were to say any of these opinions to my principal, I'd be in a mental hospital in a heartbeat (you think I'm kidding, she literally said "either you will become like us, or we will send you away" to the school this year). this will be one of the few non-DMD posts I will make and will also be one of the longest, goodnight all. choc out.

1 comment:

  1. please, dear readers, ignore my terrible speeling on this post.