So bored……………………..

Retro Ramblings News

Im not sure about you but im bored, really bored with the current state of the gaming industry and what it has slowly become, lets say since the release of the latest generation of consoles. Just when you think a ray of light in the form of some kind of unique and conceptually different IP has broken through the glut of First Person Shooters, predictable adventure games, never-ending remakes and very poorly made renditions of popular sports like Rugby Union; it always turns out to be to good to be true.

I dont know where it all fell apart but i think it was somewhere around the time games made the transition to becomong more akin to Hollywood blockbusters, complete with the budgets, deadlines and constrictive hold on creativeness that comes along with the territory. Once you are answerable to a higher power so to speak, your entire approach to game production must change to become more focused on the finances, surely resulting in other departments having to suffer the consequences. I cant remember where I read it and trust me I googled for ages but it takes something in the vicinity of 100 staff, 2 years(maybe more), to produce 6 hours of gameplay. At $10000 per man month the development costs are 24 million alone. You can imagine it would be hard to find a publisher willing to pump anymore cash than that into any project, regardless of its reputation.

In fact, following on from such ‘masterpieces’ as Duke Nukem Forever, publishers would be wise to be weary regarding anything to do with remakes, sequels and spin-offs, especially those that havent had their names in the spotlight for over a decade. The problem with remaking a title 10 years later is that gaming has come so far in every aspect from graphics engines to motion control, that the remake looks and feels so different from the original it fails to appeal to its original fanbase. Looking at the new trailer for Oddworld I sincerley hope this not to be the case in this situation. I remember this games appeal to be its quirkiness and challenging puzzles, as well as having a truly immersive storyline that was somewhat disgusting yet addictive at the same time. Unfortunately not much coming out these days can be even remotely described by any of those words and pale in comparison.

In addition to this, many of these companies are trying to find success with games that were truly groundbreaking for their time. There is no denying the influence Duke Nukem as a game and character had on the industry, shaping the way for all the brutality that followed. The industry owes Duke many thanks, dont get me wrong, i just dont feel that his latest instalment did any form of justice to the franchise.

I guess the sad thing is, despite the countless hours amd millions spent in production, the ultra realistic graphics and geographically correct environments, despite the immersive storylines and disregarding the hype and preconceived ideas, current games on a whole are just not holding our interest. A recent study conducted by Raptr and backed up by reputable industry executives from companies such as Activision, Capcom and Konami has found that 90%, yes 90% of gamers who start playing a game will NEVER complete it, a finding that is not isolated either to unpopular games but encompasses AAA titles such as Game of the Year Red Dead Redemption.

There are valid contributing factors however to the dilemma, including an age shift that has seen the average age of the avid gamer player and buyer rise by over 10 years. As a flow on effect, the time gamers now have to play AAA rated console titles has been dramatically reduced, and combined with the plethora of other distracting and diluting media platforms, has contributed enormously to the situation. The other major contributor according to Keith Fuller of Activision is the multiplayer “monkey” on many players backs, with Fuller claiming he knows many people who never even load the single player campaigns.

Why so many gamers are looking to install homebrew and emulators on their consoles, giving them the ability to play old Sega, Nintendo, turbo graphx and other retro titles is no surprise. These games offered players a challenge and more importantly had extensive replay value. Think Golden Axe, Ghosts and Goblins, Sonic the Hedgehog and R-Type. I cant remember the last time a Shoot em up was released for any major console going as far back to the days of the Sega megadrive when Shoot em ups like Truxton were successful as stand alone titles rather than being incentives, add-ons or simple IOS ports. Furthermore, these games with with a sense of excitement and a touch of mystery that was paramount to their success. Personally I think the only company still coming close to producing games of this conceptual calibre are Nintendo, despite the fact they still rely a little too heavily on their old favourites Mario, Donkey Kong and Zelda.

Ok so before the flaming begins let me say a few more things. These are my opinions and I have been playing games since the days of Nintendos Game and Watches which i can honestly say are more enjoyable and challenging then many games I’ve played recently. To all of you mobile gamers who will argue the immense amount of new IP being shown across the various platforms, I agree with you, and applaud the efforts of these independent studios and developers, but still my response is blah blah blah. Its all excuses, these games are adding nothing to the gaming industry, merely following a lucrative trend, and when its all said and done none of them will be remembered for anything more than what they are, short lived expendable fads that will leave no impact on the industry at all. Yes they have made some people a lot of money and yes i would also do it if I could but that doesnt mean i have to agree with it, or cant see it for what it is.

So now onto a few games that are an exception to the rule and are excluded from being lumped into the same mediocre category as the majority of titles. In no particular order they are
1. The magnificent and twisted Portal 2. Despite some claims that its success is derived from its large female input into development, the game would have been popular had it been produced by a group of crack smoking monkeys. It wasnt hard for Portal 2 to stand out from the rest, I mean it didnt even have a “real gun”, which immediately sets it apart from 99.999999999% of the market. Portal 2 was a challenge and it also offered gamers something i believe is fundamental to success, the ability to perform tasks not available in real life situations, thus adding that element of the unknown to the mix.
2. While having a typical storyline, Dead Island is as far from a typical console game as you could get, combining arcade action with strategic choose your own adventure style play. Its hard to pick too many faults and despite is huge levels of violence (so much so i have a hard time wondering as to how the Australian classification board let this through and had the audacity to ban Mortal Kombat), it displays features such as the weapon mod and upgrade system that is not present in other titles.
3. I dont have much to say about Crysis 2, and i cant pinpoint what sets it apart from every other FPS that was released around it. I guess in the words of Dennis Denuto, the lawyer from the movie the Castle its the “vibe”, “the general feel”.
4. FIFA 11 – say no more
5. Super Mario Galaxy franchise, Super Paper Mario, New Super Mario, I think you get the general idea as to what im trying to say.
Of course there are more but it gets a little subjective so i wont go on and you get the idea that there are still some gems being produced amongst the colourless stones.

So I guess im done rambling, Im sure there will be many who disagree so before you get your knickers in a knot, Im old and bitter, I dont like getting my assed kicked online by people who spend all day lurking in corners waiting for you to spawn only to shoot you and giggle with glee in their mums basement. Im not looking for long-winded games, Im happy with their length, its the content I have an issue with. We’ve either seen it before in a better form or its so terribly executed we dont really want to see it at all. Heres crossing my fingers that new idea is just on the horizon as Im losing faith in lack lustre remakes, rehashed ideas and unoriginality oozing from every pore of the industry.

These are my own personal views and do not reflect in any way the views of the website nor those of any of the other editors on the site. Thanks for letting me express my own opinions. If you are going to comment I have a lot of respect for your own views and am happy to engage in intelligent conversation with you. Any flamers or those who can only express themselves through profanity will be ignored and comments deleted due to a lack of understanding and improper use of the english language.

Sydney Australia
enjoy gaming on all platforms music and have respect for all cultures and most beliefs

  • Cellophane Girl

    Why yes, you are old and bitter for sure.

    While I agree that there is a problem with games being rehashed and companies not wanting to take risks with new innovative games, I disagree that things in the gaming world as a whole are boring and stale.

    There are SO MANY indie developers and chances for them now. Take MineCraft as a prime example of this. This game is STILL in beta and it’s basically almost a whole new genre of game.

    You have to expand your horizons. Dig deep and take some risks when playing games.

    I think over all the internet is making people bored with everything in general. Not to mention things like when you where younger you would get a new game maybe on your birthday and Christmas if you were lucky. You Played that game to death, and you didn’t care if it was the same as some other game. You didn’t have the internet telling you what to like and what to buy.

    So what if people don’t “finish” their games? They play what they want of them, they might go back to them later. Like you said, people don’t have time to play now because of work and other obligations.

    Just look around, XBL Indie titles are a GREAT way to discover cool new games. They all have free trials, and they are cheap.

    Trust me, the “good old days” of gaming had just as many crappy games, and wasted money. I mean E.T. anyone?

    I’m sorry, I don’t mean to offend you, but this whole “article” is nothing but an uninspired and poorly thought out rant. I come to CC to read actual articles and learn information about games that are coming out.
    If you want to whine about how games suck and you don’t like playing online because children keep killing you and are generally jerks (tip for that, don’t play online or find a group of people that you like to play with), start a blog or a journal, or heck talk with friends about it.

    Overall I just really didn’t care for this “article”, and the long winded rambling you did. The formatting made me almost want to just pass it up because it’s a HUGE wall of text. Next time maybe try to break it up with photos, or just condense the size so it’s not so intimidating. I’d wager most people just pass this up entierly.

    Uh, better luck next time?
    And I hope you can find some games you enjoy soon.

  • Darren Resnekov

    no offence taken at all, you are entirely entitled to your own opinion. Im not saying the gaming industry is dead, just that not much thought goes into major titles. Indie developers are probably the only ones left bringing unique IP to the industry.
    What i am annoyed at is paying over $100 for games that have no substance. Maybe cheaper indie games are the way of the future, developers who can bring us concepts we havent seen rather than the same thing with slightly upgraded graphics.
    i guess its the same as most forms of entetainment these days in the sense that everything has been done before and some people refuse to move on.
    It is my opinion though, i stated pretty clearly it was my own views not that of the website, so i apologise if i offended you in any way, you can still enjoy all the articles here, maybe just stay away from mine as i tend to give my opinion. Saying that i welcome your opinion as well even if it differs vastly from my opinions. Writing gets pretty boring if you simply state the same facts as eveyone else.
    All your comments are intelligent and i dont disagree with anything you say, i have been meaning to have a look at minecraft and also a few wii titles so hopefully i will find something i enjoy

    • Cellophane Girl

      Well I think the problem with the big companies is that they are just that, big companies.
      They are in it to make money, so they want to play it safe and go with what they see works.
      That’s how Activision ran Guitar Hero into the ground.

      People who are developing the indie titles are in it for the love of games and to create new ideas (for the most part, there are some out there just creating shovel-ware to try to get some money).

      It is, like you said, the same with movies and other forms of entertainment. Most often the big companies are looking back to see what works and not innovating to see what could work. I don’t think it’s something that will change anytime soon.
      It’s up to us as consumers to shape the industry. Support indie developers that are doing amazing things and changing the landscape. 🙂

      With that said, sorry if I came off a little rude with my previous comment. I’m sick and in pain right now, so I’m totally miserable and I have a hard time thinking very clearly lol.

      You are entitled to your opinions, everyone is. I don’t begrudge anyone to speak what’s on their mind. Though I think it came across that way earlier. Like I said, sick + in pain, topped off with lack of sleep can do strange things to people. 😉

  • Wow.

  • DOUBLE WOW !!!! lol

  • Darren Resnekov

    you nailed it on the head in the first paragraph Cellophane girl “They are in it to make money, so they want to play it safe and go with what they see works.”
    its the same as movie studios not coming up with a devent storyline and taking a risk with a new idea when they can safely add to a big franchise and even if it everyone says it was bleh and dull they still go and see it
    i actually beleive that the big franchises like god of war, gears of war, call of duty etc are paramount to the industry, i just dont think they are putting any creative effort into them to differentiate them from simialr titles or even previous instalments.
    I also agree that Indie developers are in it for the love of gaming whihc is why i think we have seen many major industryy executives leave major compnaies to start smaller alternative studios and i wish them all the success they deserve.
    The industry, like any other needs to adapt to survive and i guess the move into more digital and mobile gaming is the way it has gone, what annoys me is it seems to have left a whole generation of gamers behind who dont quite fit into the model.
    With such a focus on multiplayer modes and online play, combined with dlc and add on packs, there is so little substance within the single player missions the retail price tags are totally unjustified. A few companies have tried different pricing strategies like with MX vx ATV but to no avail.
    I want a bit of the unknown in my games , not just to know i will be doing the same thing in the next level just with different guns. It is much harder in todays market with gamers demanding better graphics, faster frame rates and analysing every tiny aspect of your game, where before in the age of 2d side scrollers much more of an emphasis could be put on creativity i think as the graphics and music and voice overs etc were not so much of an issue.
    What these games like sonic and wonderboy gave was a huge amount of replay value, there were so many options, variations in levels and abilities and you never knew what was coming at you.
    Thanks for the reply and myself and all at the site hope you are feeling better soon and always value your comments

    • Cellophane Girl

      Well they play to the consumers, and consumers keep buying games like Call of Duty.
      Now Gears of War, that honestly seems pretty awesome to me. Of course I can’t play it because it makes me nauseated. But My husfriend loves it. He was telling me about some things that happen in the latest campaign and, man, that sounded like some really good writing. There is a pretty deep emotional storyline in the game.
      First person shooters aren’t for everyone though. I don’t care for most of them myself, because I do like a good storyline in my games, and I’m more about exploration in games and not just “run and gun”.
      And then of course there is Rock Band, which I adore, but Harmonix really seems to value their customers and take input and song suggestions from the customers. The weekly new DLC and the introduction of the RBN keeps the game fresh for me.

      Like I said before it’s a consumer driven market, and as much as you or I may not like these type of games, a vast majority of gamers do.
      A lot of really great and innovative games slip under the radar, and as a result don’t get the sales they should. That causes the companies to be more hesitant about funding the games.
      It’s sad, but that’s how it is.

      I don’t complain to much because there are still so many games for everyone out there. Some just take more searching to find. But it’s oh so worth it when you find it. 🙂

      And thanks. I’m sick 85% of the time anyway (well technically 100% of the time since I have a couple of chronic illnesses) but this is just one of those times when I’m sick in a way I’m not used to being sick so it’s affecting me worse. I don’t even feel like playing any games. THAT’S how sick I am. :/

  • Darren Resnekov

    sorry for spelling cant edit

    • Cellophane Girl

      That’s okay, I usually don’t even notice spelling mistakes.

      I feel you on the editing thing. I wish there was a way to edit comments on the site, or even delete your own comments (that way I could just delete and post a new edited comment).

      I often end up making replies to my own comments because I forget to say something in my comment.

  • Darren Resnekov

    yay for Cellophane girl, one of the most intelligent posters ive seen on any site
    we all wish you good health in whatever is ailing you, i cant imagine what you must be going through from the tone of your posts

    • Cellophane Girl

      Well I firmly believe that just because you have the anonymity of hiding behind a computer screen you shouldn’t act any different than you do in person. And I’m not an ignorant jerk, so I don’t put myself out there as one. 😉

      As for my health issues they mostly stem from being a Type 1 diabetic since I was 13. 16 years of that really wears out your body so everything is sort of falling apart. That and I’m Bipolar as well. Those are the two big issues with my health. But, hey, it could always be worse. At least the health issues I have are somewhat manageable. Plus being on disability affords me the luxury of playing video games whenever I want (at least when I’m not to ill to play).

      Sorry for rambling. I obviously do that a lot as you can probably tell from other comments I’ve left on the site.

      I appreciate your kind words and I really do apologize if I got out of hand with my initial comment. Like I said I was so sick and in pain that I really couldn’t think rationally.

      • Cellophane Girl

        Oh and you should REALLY check out minecraft. There are tons of interesting mods in the community to change the game play, and they are always updating to improve the game.
        It’s really a heck of a deal for $20. 🙂

        I always play on the “peaceful” setting so I don’t have to deal with fighting enemies. I find it soothing to gather resources and build things.

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