Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The State of the Game: March 30, 2011

Hey peeps.

This is going to be a more or less regular weekly article unless I find something else major occurring that warrants a further analysis. I'll just go over most of the major gaming news for the week and give my two cents about them, along with the additional content I plan to post up here in the coming week.

Right now, the games on my playlist are Crysis 2, Lego Star Wars 3 and Batman Arkham Asylum, again. Look for articles on the first two within the week. I'm also playing Pokemon Black off and on and probably not nearly as often as I should if I have a hope to catch up to those I regularly talk to in my Skype group.

I downloaded the Beta test of Darkspore and I'm actually enjoying it more than I thought I would. It's relatively simplistic, but has the capacity to be much more and I'm looking forward to its launch. I am not afraid to admit that I purchased and even enjoyed the original Spore, and I'm actually really hoping that you have the same complete autonomy to alter your heroes, at least later on down the road from where I am in the beta.

I'm also playing WoW more than I have in the past. I've started leveling a priest in the hopes that I can get it to max level relatively quickly to help out my raid team. I'll tell you one thing, they're not joking when they say leveling a priest is a pain in the ass, especially if you're speccing into holy as you level instead of shadow.

Anyway, enough about current playing, let's look at the news.

The 3DS came out this week and frankly, I don't really care. Like a lot of people I saw Avatar in 3-D and that was probably the first and to date only movie to actually get 3-D right, plot issues aside. Subsequent movies I saw in 3-D were decidedly underwhelming and I haven't looked any more forward to 3-D gaming. Though I do like how they've made 3-D on the handheld possible without those obnoxious glasses. However, 3 words can describe why I won't be upgrading my DS Lite any time soon:

Metroid Zero Mission.

Until they relaunch several previous Game Boy Advanced games on DS, I won't give up my DS' GBA slot until the system decides to die on me. And given the handheld's legendary resilience, I don't see that happening.

I also see that EA has announced that they're hiring people for a new "revolutionary MMO", but what attracted my interest wasn't so much the claims, I've seen them all already and tend to dismiss them quickly, but the responses from people on Gamespot where I read the article.

I've noticed that gamers in general are becoming a lot more cynical and disillusioned with the gaming industry as of late, and this is coming from me. And it doesn't matter the company. Even Blizzard and Bioware aren't immune to these spatters of flame.

In all honesty, I think we as the consumer have partially brought this upon ourselves, whether because of our own overblown expectations, or because despite our better judgement we purchase games anyway. The million-copy sales of very meh games such as Call of Duty: Black Ops and Homefront are evidence enough of this. And the explosion of hate towards Bioware for Dragon Age 2 is another.

I think that we as gamers have somewhat started to lose touch with the reality of game design. What I mean by that is we demand perfect games that fit squarely into our exact realm of what we want in the game, but we don't want to wait for it. However, if a game takes too long, we as a community get angry that the game isn't coming out fast enough, however if it comes out too fast then we get angry that it wasn't developed longer.

And then no matter what we may think, and sometimes against our better judgment, we purchase these games anyway, thus telling the developers that we'll still pay money for the game, even if all they shoveled out was a half-formed piece of crap.

What's the solution to this, you may ask? It's unfortunately difficult to say. The best piece of advice for both your wallet and your sanity is to wait for the reviews and let others play through possibly terrible games for you before you spend your hard-earned money. Or, if you're more the stubborn type, spend your money for the game, but don't be too upset if the game isn't the Molyneaux-style genre-defining uber game you followed the hype and believed.

Agree? Disagree? E-mail me or leave a comment and I'll see about featuring it here!

Until next time, game on and take care.

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