Every gaming generation has its trends, some better than others. This generation’s PlayStation 3 has been radically different to past PlayStation consoles mainly due to its substantial jump in graphical firepower and integrated online support. While we’ve seen plenty of first-person shooters and action games in the past few years, there are a few genres that seem to have dropped off the map. So what is it that this generation has been missing?
Good games are fun but great games are influential. Cool Boarders and SSX had both qualities, and even people who knew next to nothing about snowboarding going in found each game exciting to play either alone or with a friend. Driving a car through city streets at 150 miles per hour is one thing, but shredding a beautiful snow-packed summit with nothing but your legs and a board is special. Unlike previous generations, we’ve seen only a couple of snowboard games over a half-decade period, with each leaving much to be desired.
What gives us hope: SSX
4. Survival Horror
Resident Evil and Silent Hill were nightmare inducing despite their blocky last-generation graphics, so it’s quite perplexing just how neither series has capitalized on more powerful hardware. Dead Space and its successor, Dead Space 2, stand alone this generation, and even though both were strong titles, they didn’t deliver the style of horror that fans of the genre have become accustomed to. Where’s the gloomy mist, haunted school, and bizarre viruses that have turned humanity upside-down? Everyone could use a good scare every once in a while to remind them just how fragile life in the virtual world is.
What gives us hope: The Last of Us
Stealth games have always been rare, but this generation has only compounded the fact. Tenchu is nowhere to be seen, and we’ve only had a single console Metal Gear title come out since 2006 which was less stealth-centric than previous releases. Sure, many consumers would prefer the brute “in your face” nature of most shooters, but stealth titles are always a great break from the monotony, and what’s cooler than a highly-trained professional sneaking through the shadows?
What gives us hope: Hitman: Absolution
2. Vehicular Combat
How can you beat driving around in a rusty old car armed with napalm and missiles? You can’t. Vehicular Combat games make for some of the most enjoyable multiplayer experiences, as we witnessed with Vigilante 8 and Twisted Metal: Black. With online features being a major addition to the PlayStation 3, now would be a great time to release a game for the genre. Having over a dozen players driving around at breakneck speeds firing at each other has a lot of potential, and just like competitive fighting games, it’s always a blast to try out all of the characters and find which weapon-equipped vehicle suits your play style.
What gives us hope: Twisted Metal (PS3)
1. Japanese Role-Playing
This one’s a bit more complex. There have been a few great Japanese RPGs released this generation, but they haven’t been localized for North American or European audiences. As a result, most, if not all, of the noteworthy RPGs on the PlayStation 3 are either Western RPGs like Mass Effect, or Action RPGs like Dark Souls. Where’s this generation’s Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VII, or Dark Cloud 2? Can you imagine a huge detailed sandbox-style world with charming characters and an engrossing story? It’s a lot to ask for, but with how many people are looking for that same formula, there’s a huge market left untapped.
What gives us hope: Final Fantasy Versus XIII
Let us know what you think of our list and be sure to post your personal choices as well in the comments below.