I wrote this a while back and thought I would post the article here. It has been updated and revised based upon one title alone. Sorry if it is considered a rant, because in all actuality that’s what it is. But I’m curious as to what people think.
I’ve been wondering this a very long time. Are games getting worse as time progresses? Are developers beginning to sacrifice two of the most important factors in a game, storyline and gameplay mechanics, for graphics? I’m 22 years old and have been gaming since I was 5 years old. When I think about it look at how much fun I used to have with the older games: Paperboy, TMNT, PacMan, Mario, etc. So simplistic yet are still a blast to play to this day. Then came the era of the PS1. I got one for a birthday and fell in love with RPG’s with one title alone, FFVII. I got FFVII and put so many hours into it it was ridiculous. Then after that was FF VIII. These two games are my all time favorite games. I can still play them to this day over and over again. Final Fantasy has been on a decline in my eyes since those came out. I own all of them, and have put countless hours into all of them and still consider a lot of them not that great of games. There were many other games I played on my PS1: Twisted Metal, Jet Moto, etc. The fact is back then I didn’t have that many games, but I was more than happy and played them all the time. Now are days I’m working and going to college and buy what I want, and I have a huge backlog of games I have yet to even play. I know I would probably enjoy them, but more and more games keep coming out that I want to play.
There are so many factors that are taking place here. Maybe I’m growing up and not enjoying games as much as I used to when I was younger. Maybe I’m not taking the time to enjoy my games because I keep buying more and don’t come to realize how good the games I already own really are. Maybe games really are declining. I’m not really sure what it is. Maybe it’s a combination of all of these things.
It’s just that I look at some of the games that are actually released now a days and I am almost disgusted at times. Back then games were much simpler, but to me at times much more fun. I am by no means saying the FF games were “simple”, but games just seemed to focus more on gameplay rather than making something look pretty. Graphics aren’t everything people. I would take a compelling storyline and great gameplay above graphics any day. An example of this in today’s releases would be Lair. I was so looking forward to this, but the controls threw me off and took me forever to even be able to use. Still to this day I can barely play it. It has a great story, great graphics, but terrible controls in my opinion. How can you make using the sixaxis mandatory on something like that? That is absolutely crazy. I know some people disagree with me, but this all just my opinion. Everyone is entitled to theirs. But in my eyes even though the analog patch has been released I seem to have lost all interest in this game. I tried to play the game again, but I just couldn’t play it.
I still find myself coming back to my games that I grew up playing and still have as much fun as I did playing a game such as GTAIV. Don’t get me wrong GTAIV is by far one of my favorite games now and definitely my favorite in the series. Best storyline, graphics, and gameplay by far in the series. But in my eyes the simplicity of the earlier games are what makes them masterpieces. The way that games like FFVII and VIII drew the gamer in without the need for beautiful in game graphics proved how powerful that story actually was. I felt and still feel connected to the characters in most early RPG’s that I played. But when it came to a game like Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion there just seemed to be a “Bigger is better” mentality. I don’t agree with that. I felt no connection and found the story kind of bland in the game.
I still enjoy the masterpieces that have been released over the past years. Such as Resistance: Fall of Man, GTAIV, Mass Effect (except that damn buggy), Lost Odyssey, Call of Duty 4, Uncharted, etc.
I’m just worried that I don’t seem to enjoy games as much as I did when I was younger. Although I still enjoy the earlier games that I come back to. I wonder if kids now a days will be the same when they are older. They will sit back and remember their Halo, Resistance, Ratchet and Clank days and say that games just don’t compare to back then, kind of like I am saying right now. Even though graphics are prettier now by far they just don’t feel the same to me at times.
So everybody tell me what you think. Am I the only one going through this? If not, how are you experiencing this gaming regression and how is it affecting you? If you disagree, let me know and why you feel that way.
Also as an update for this rant I now think that Lost Odyssey is a prime example of a close to perfect game. It is definitely in my top favorite games of all time. It just did everything right. All the mechanics were there that made the game damn near perfect in my eyes. The gameplay, story, graphics were all phenomenal. This game may not have sold that well but it is definitely a solid title. It may have single handedly re instituted my faith in the current state of gaming.