Console Arcade fun & the decay of an industry

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by Maphusio, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. Maphusio

    Maphusio Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Sep 25, 2004
    Ever since the Wii the PS3 and 360 have been chomping at the bit to get their own casual games up to snuff. I've downloaded almost every demo that seemed entertaining to me and a few have endeared themselves to me a bit; but, nothing, nothing can beat out the remake of Space Invaders (Space Invaders Extreme)!

    I've had a blast with allot of the arcade / casual games on both the PS3 and 360 more so than any official console game of late. Unfortunately, this begs the question, "Am I getting too old for video gaming?"

    Are video games just not as intriguing as they used to be? Or maybe their quality has degraded causing me to lose interest. I suppose I could be somehow, growing out of them (scary thought). It seems more often than not, I find myself purchasing a new game I thought would be the bees knee and I wind up only playing the game for a day or two.

    Sure there are a few bright shining stars illuminating the way to a better gaming universe, I just find those few and far in between. Mass Effect 2 nears release, SC II and DiabloIII as well. Somehow, these few glimmers of hope are not enough reassurance that there will be others that really grab my attention.

    What about all of you? Is anyone else experiencing the same depression over console and or computer games as of late? Are my expectations just set too high?
  2. Crni Vuk

    Crni Vuk M4A3 Oldfag oTO Orderite

    Nov 25, 2008
    I have not bought any new hardware or games in the last 4 years. I dont see a reason in updating my machine when the games I enjoy still run on it and there are no new games that are worth the upgrade.

    I will buy at one point a completely new computer, but only if the gaming market again gets some sense and starts to make not only games filled with graphic and pure awesome visuals but as well some meaningfull content in form of story, verismilitude or actualy just anything that makes sense and gets not explained by the "but its cool!" factor.

    I have no issue with brainless shooters or such similar games that give you a fast fun. But I dont want every game to be that way, and I already had more then enough fun with it when I played Doom 1/2, Duke Nukem and Blood or Quacke. I still play today from time to time Unreal or anything similar. But just like you dont want to eat every day at MC Donalds, you sometimes want a very well made meal, and what really bothers me today is when they sell a cheap burger with cheese as filet mignon. Like Oblivion as RPG for example. Thx god one can borrow most games today either from a shop or friends so they do not get any money from me for just trying the game out.
  3. lugaru

    lugaru Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Mar 9, 2009
    In my opinion games have not gotten much better or worse but they have most certainly changed, as has music and cinema. When things change way past our tastes, then we lose interest. Some people have flexible tastes and they find it easy to keep up with changing times, others either bow out gracefully or celebrate their own past experiences to the exclusion of everyone elses. Think of the guy who loves 90's punk but does not get what came before and thinks that what came after is dumb.

    Personally I'm just grateful that some new games feel like they where made for me, such as Left 4 Dead. I will admit to the fact that I have finished few games since the nintendo days, but then again I'm not 10 anymore, I cant spend all day trying to defeat a poorly designed boss in a game I hate because I have nothing else to do.
  4. Cimmerian Nights

    Cimmerian Nights So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Aug 20, 2004
    Same here.

    While I certainly see games improving graphicaly, I don't really see as much innovation as there was before.

    I think what is stifling innovation is the move towards making the gaming industry more like the movie industry. What I see is studios who go for the easy remake/clone/licensed IP/movie tie-in that's bound to rake in the cash over a genuinely innovative piece of work that would involve more risk.

    The only hope I see in gaming (and movies) is from the indy scene.

    I'm into RPGs and Wargames. I've slowly watched as these genres are becoming synonymous with FPS and RTS which as they get watered down for the mainstream gamer to the point that it defeats the purpose of even bothering to make a RPG of strategy game.

    It's sad really when you see landmark games like Jagged Alliance 2, Dune 2, Panzer General 2, Fallout and you think "wow gaming had come so far up to then, and it's been so many years since but nobody even tries to raise the bar." I'd love to see those games get topped, one-upped ad infinitum, instead we get inferior clones with better graphics.

    It's almost like watching things regress from a design standpoint, which given what came before with wretchedly inferior technology is an indictment of the greed and laziness of the modern gaming industry.
  5. Kilus

    Kilus Not Australian Orderite

    May 3, 2003
    Games are getting more expensive to make and there has never been more money around to make. I think these two things combine to form a trend where instead of gameplay/story development drives games it's the marketing departments and their total risk aversion.
  6. lasix9

    lasix9 First time out of the vault

    May 29, 2009
    Man, I really hate games these days.

    In response to Kilus, I absolutely agree. I heard GTA4 cost $100 mil. to make.

    $100 mil. for that piece of shit? Please.

    I still remember when gaming wasn't "mainstream". Granted, bad games will always exist. However, the ratio of quality games to pure unadulterated crap has shifted towards the latter of the two over the almost two decades I've been playing games.

    Seriously, makes me consider sports again sometimes.
  7. Maphusio

    Maphusio Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Sep 25, 2004
    I disagree with your example. While I could understand someones disappointment with certain aspects of GTA4; I can not abide by those that show such disdain for it.

    GTA4 and the series is the kind of innovative breakthrough that I think many of us seek in the industry. It may not be exactly what many are looking for but it is a far cry better than most of the competition.

    In the end, I think no matter you feelings towards it, you must recognize the quality craftsmanship that went into GTA4 and appreciate its boundary stretching nature. Most of all, appreciate the heart that was poured into it.
  8. lasix9

    lasix9 First time out of the vault

    May 29, 2009
    Really? I hardly consider it a "breakthrough". It plays like every other traditional third-person shooter I've played.

    Don't get me wrong. I don't hate all of GTA. I enjoyed 3 and Vice City, and even gave San Andreas a shot (worst of the 3 from the last generation in my opinion).

    Even though I may like it, it still isn't anything new, exciting or special. I like it, I just don't consider it a good game (or series really), regardless of how much time and effort they took to make it.

    Sorry, just how I see it.
  9. I_eat_supermutants

    I_eat_supermutants Vault Senior Citizen

    Feb 5, 2007
    $100 million seems kind of steep really. I mean most mainstream AAA titles cost a million at most. (Gears of War 2 cost roughly that). $100 million just seems like a stupid/exaggerated rumor. Besides GTA 4 was a great story. Better than other GTA games and was worth the play. I will admit when it first came out I wasn't impressed but then I started paying attention and was very impressed with what they did with it. It was worth the $60 price tag in the end and Lost and Damned was very good as well, or what I played of it. (Wasn't able to finish the the death of the x brick).

    I do find that though I do gravitate more towards the arcade/less hard core/less mainstream games just simply because they cater towards nostalgia. Mega Man 9 for example was a bold but brilliant move. Maybe it's just the 6 year old in me loving the idea that there is an entirely new game based on simple 8 bit mechanics. Who knows. If I had my Wii online I'd probably be ignoring my girlfriend and wouldn't be moving. I'd spend most of my money to relive my childhood just to have fun from a simpler time. So it very well may be age. I'm not old by any means but it's nice to relive my past for just a moment before reality kicks me in the balls.

    EDIT: A thought occurs. Isn't it odd that I complain that most modern games aren't hardcore enough but gravitate towards my more casual gaming roots. I must be a hypocrite. I must be one of those fellows stuck in the past. When I put Punch Out into that Wii and heard that Rocky style trumpet version of the Punch Out theme I lit up.

    EDIT2: [youtube][/youtube] To show you what I mean.
  10. Kilus

    Kilus Not Australian Orderite

    May 3, 2003
    I don't know how much Gears of War 2 cost but the first one cost $10 million and that's with no engine costs. GTA4 did cost $100 million.

    I personally didn't find GTA 4 special at all. Looks pretty but the gameplay isn't innovative and is in many way regressive on what previous GTAs have done. The story wasn't the worse thing in the world but the general mission design was.
  11. I_eat_supermutants

    I_eat_supermutants Vault Senior Citizen

    Feb 5, 2007
    My god have I been ingnorant....Just looked it up and forgive my stupid ignorance.
    Then again I doubted a few of my friends (the whole two that played Shenmue) that it cost $70 million to make....
    Jesus....That's alot of tender.
  12. Multidirectional

    Multidirectional Mildly Dipped

    Sep 12, 2008
    In some aspects GTA4 is the best of the series. Like driving, shooting and writing. For a game that consists mainly of driving and/or shooting, that's saying a lot. And innovation? I could give a fuck.. All I need from my games is that they would be well made. If it's well made "more of the same old", I'm perfectly happy with it. Plus how many more games do you know that do sandbox gameplay as well as GTA series? Usually they end up being empty pieces of shit like Far Cry 2 or Assasin's Creed.
    I just wish they wouldn't have come up with that terrible virtual friendship idea. It was enough with dating in San Andreas, they didn't need to take it further. But overall it's still a very good game. To call it a piece of shit? Please.. That just means you are one miserable motherfucker.
  13. Phil the Nuka-Cola Dude

    Phil the Nuka-Cola Dude Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Jul 9, 2004
    At least 9/10 of new games released are trash. Hell, that's probably being a bit too generous.

    With casual games you get what you pay for; a simple distraction that doesn't try to market itself as anything more.

    I've found myself falling back on old console games (snes/genesis/n64/psx) to bridge the gap between new releases that are actually playable.
  14. maximaz

    maximaz Sonny, I Watched the Vault Bein' Built!

    Apr 2, 2006
    Same here. I found that I get more enjoyment out of watching trailers for games or reading about them than I do out of playing them.

    I usually get excited about actually buying a game and can't wait to play it. Lately, that excitement only lasts for a couple of hours into the actual games, then I get tired of them. It could be because I know more about games and I don't get wowed as easy as I used to. Or, I could just be growing out of them.

    On the other hand, the last game I bought was L4D and I've been playing it to death for the past several weeks. Maybe the problem is with games afterall.
  15. Bofast

    Bofast Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Jan 26, 2006
    I doubt we are heading for anything like the time just before the video game industry crash in the early 80's (though we could probably need the industry to be shaken a bit back towards its roots), but I would definitely say that games nowadays have lost something they had before. I would guess it's due to the industry turning into a money-making business more and more, and losing the passion that gave the old games the life that they still have.

    I mean, I hardly know of any game released by established studios during since around 2000 that could compare to classics like Sonic 2, Super Mario Bros, Tie Fighter, Lords of the Realm (1 and 2), Civilization 2, the Space Quest series, Zelda: A Link to the Past, and so on...
    Some of them were very simple (I wouldn't call Sonic 2 very complex, for example), but they were well made and fun, something severely lacking in today's industry.
  16. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Admin Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Apr 3, 2003
    Almost all AAAs produced today average into the 20-25 million range. The upper tier is significantly higher, and GTA IV did in fact cost 100 million USD to make. Heck, the modest German niche RPG Drakensang had a starting budget of 2.5 million EUR, and it went over that AFAIK.

    The whole thing is insanely messed up. PC isn't a viable platform to exclusively release games on unless you're Valve or Blizzard (or The Sims), and consoles take a big chunk out of the profit margin on a per-unit-sold basis. The best way, economically, to resolve that is to focus on single, large titles rather than diverse, small ones.

    When people talk about consoles dumbing down the industry, it's this mechanic they're talking about. Consoles don't inherently dumb down anything, that's ridiculous, but their system of sales (in turn forced onto the console manufacturers because they sell their consoles near or under construction cost) forces publishers to look for the broadest audience possible. The path of least resistance to broadening audiences is simplifying gameplay. Ergo, we are where we are.

    The game industry looks a lot healthier than it is, tho'. It's a massive industry, but its whole system of profit margins is skewed. Because everyone AAA title needs to break a million sales just to break even, there is going to be a point where the bottom drops out. At the moment it is sustained by massive growth, but any economist can tell you that this is not a healthy long-term system of managing assets.

    It doesn't take a lot to tip the scales. The gaming industry is a fairly recession-proof industry because - like any entertainment and escapist industry - its numbers tend to trend upwards during (the beginning of) recessions, and it's a sign of how weak the industry is that even when numbers are still trending upwards, just trending upwards less, companies start collapsing.

    I saw the current banking crisis/recession coming a mile away, tho' I could not predict when it'd hit (me and a million other people with basic economic schooling could see the housing market in the US is wonky, and everyone with an Economy 101 course knows that spells trouble, don't let anyone tell you otherwise). I have a similar feeling about the game industry, though slightly less sure. It seems incredibly unhealthy, tho'

    In writing and characterization, certainly. It's driving and shooting are good, but not incredibly superior. But it's kind of bad at the whole sandbox thing. GTA: VC is probably still the best title of the 3D era (GTA II is kind of tied with it for best overall).
  17. I_eat_supermutants

    I_eat_supermutants Vault Senior Citizen

    Feb 5, 2007
    Yeah. I have already addmitted my stupid ignorance. I am really detached from the whole production part of gaming. As stated before I didn't believe people when they told me Shenmue was $70 million. I will do more research before I open my mouth.

    I guess I never really associated movie budgets with gaming as a whole cause the numbers are high for the quality of most games that come out. They are pretty substandard but the movie industry suffers from the same problems. High budgets with lots of glitter and very little substance.

    That's probably why I am mostly in disbelief. Shenmue didn't seem like a game that had $70 million poured into it and same goes to GTA 4. That's just to me though.
  18. Bofast

    Bofast Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Jan 26, 2006
    Well said (or written, whatever). At some point the gaming industry will probably hit some kind of roof where they can no longer grow like this, and the costs companies are taking on today will probably destroy many of them, especially the more shortsighted ones. Hopefully the first companies to fall will be the worst ones so we can finally get some more quality games back where focus is more on making games with substance than extremely costly graphics (though graphics are nice, they don't make a game good on their own) and marketing.

    It will be interesting to see what Sony and Microsoft decide to do in the future with their consoles. I think Nintendo is the only one actually making money on their hardware sales, the others might have to start doing that sooner or later, as well. I wouldn't be surprised if they had to wait even longer before launching new hardware so they could shrink the circuits and improve their manufacturing margins quite a bit.