The Nostalgic Generation (?)

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by malakian, May 8, 2008.

  1. malakian

    malakian Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Messages:
    7,625
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, it's something I've been thinking about for a while. I thought of writing a long diatribe for a vox pop but thought a discussion in my favourite forum would be more fruitful as it's a topic I'm sure you've all got some opinion on.

    Call this a GTA IV topic if you will, because it's got me thinking. This gaming generation is perpetually looking backwards. The majority of big titles are a few releases into the series (halo 3, GTA IV, DMC4, Oblivion etc). Of course we've got gems like mass effect, but even the so called defining games (bioshock) are effectively looking like remakes (that example particularly).

    It's not this generation isn't moving forward in terms of technology, but it seems that creativity has utterly stagnated. Every previous generation has had groundbreaking titles introducing real game play steps forward. Essentially, things you've never seen before rather than things you've seen before in nicer graphics.

    The wii for all its alleged revolutionary game play is just making old technology fun (remember the nes zapper, anyone? Oh look it's small and white now) and accessible to teenage girls.

    So my question to you is this: Do you disagree? If so, why so? And if you do agree, what would you say the reason for all this recycling and stagnation is? Mass market potential of gaming being drilled like middle eastern oil, or a genuine loss of inspiration within the world of game creation?
     
    #1
  2. JCD

    JCD Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2006
    Messages:
    5,066
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would indeed agree, a truly outstanding game hasn't been made in years. I think the problem is not so much lack of creativity as it is with publishers only funding games that will appeal to as large a market as possible thusly maxing out profits, yet leading most games to be "dumbed down." They want to stick to the tried and true formulas, ignoring the plethora of great ideas yet to be exploited.

    The simple fact is, huge companies run the gaming industry now, whereas in the "golden age" of gaming, games were mostly created by small groups of talented individuals who were primarily making games that were fun, games that they could be proud of and enjoy playing themselves. As clichéd as this sounds, money is what's killing the industry.

    I suppose a great example of this is the recent success of flash and indie games, small but innovative and fun games made by single people, or small groups. They may not have big budgets, but they do have heart and it's obvious that lot's of care and attention are put into most of them. Not to mention that many of them have incredibly deep meanings (see Passage and Gravitation). And let's not forget that they're free too, a big plus.

    I suppose longing for the past is never usually a good thing, but I think I'll make an exception in this case.
     
    #2
  3. Caped_Crusader

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Messages:
    469
    Likes Received:
    0
    That's exactly how I feel and not only about games, but movies and music also. Today, it's all about money and profit. But do we really want to see "Terminator 4" or yet another comic book film? Even Gwyneth Paltrow admitted that she did "Iron Man" only for a quick buck and if she and other great actors like Jeff Bridges or Kevin Spacey are forced to do the same thing, monotonously reading lines in "oh-so-original" superhero movies, then forget it - it just looks ridiculous to me.

    And it's been a very long time since I've played a game that really impressed me. GTA4 is not a disappointment by any means, but we all know it's more of the same, only in a prettier, next generation package. I've played it for a week now and it's still fun which says a lot, because I'll get bored of games very quickly now, usually in 1-2 days and I'll never finish them.

    Weird how I can hardly sit still and watch a movie for 2 hours too. Maybe it's lack of good stuff or I'm simply getting older, therefore getting more and more difficult to impress.
     
    #3
  4. BigZell2020

    BigZell2020 Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    759
    Likes Received:
    0
    I pray MGS4 will rectify this situation and introduce something mind-blowing to the series.
     
    #4
  5. Amnesiac

    Amnesiac Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    2,290
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree, Alex. Faster and faster is the gap between crappy movies and crappy games becoming less apparent. I used to think video games and movies were opposites like that, with gaming sequels becoming exponentially better, and movie sequels being as bunk as they ever were. It seems the entertainment industry is slowly absorbing gaming as it becomes more popular to the masses. The result? Shitty games based on every blockbuster, and B-movie scripts being formed into horrible games instead of movies. Though, I still believe we've got the creativity and singularity that gaming needs, it's just harder to find these days.

    Too many sharks in the water can make it hard to see all the prettyful dolphins :(
     
    #5
  6. LinksOcarina

    LinksOcarina Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    0
    The creativity has been siphoned for a while now, mainly thanks to fast cash ins for sequels. That is how money is made in gaming at this point, and that is what the corporate systems pretty much care about.

    Gaming is going through growing pains that movies and music went through, the difference is that movies and music have not been as successful in surviving these growing pains. Yeah we have a few good movies, but 9/10 movies are at best average. Granted I don't expect every movie to wow me, be it a drama or a comedy, but we need movies that are deeper than paper thin characters in oddball situations or impossible stunts.

    The point though is that games as an artform are slowly becoming obsolete. Games like Bioshock, Psychonauts, No More Heroes, Dragon Beyond Good and Evil, Zack and Wiki, Stubbs the Zombie, etc. are being knocked down by the blockbusters like Final Fantasy, Mario and Halo. Few games are breaking the form, guitar Hero and Rock Band being some exceptions, and even now THEY are mainstream enough to be referenced in pop culture.

    There is some hope, and I see in the Nintendo Wii, Boom Blox just game out and it is real good, and later we have De Blob, Deadly Creatures and a few other titles that look strong for the system. So games as some sort of quirky artform will be alive for a while, but they will never be as popular as the blockbusters in the end, and as the blockbusters get the glory, the underrated graveyard grows larger.
     
    #6
  7. crazycracker22

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,518
    Likes Received:
    0
    If I could take one word out of the dictionary, it would be nostalgia. No I don't care to elaborate.
     
    #7
  8. malakian

    malakian Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Messages:
    7,625
    Likes Received:
    0
    But isn't that the problem? Too much serialisation of anything that can be a market success?
     
    #8
  9. Icepick

    Icepick Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2002
    Messages:
    11,255
    Likes Received:
    0
    You raise an interesting and valid point, but you have to wonder after all of the years of gaming, how original can one be, without at least being inspired by other video games ideas

    For example, all turn based RPG's can be boiled down to the exact same gameplay mechanics, some add a new tweak here and there, but for the most part adding another one into that genre, no matter how flashy, is beating a dead horse, case in point Lost Odyssey

    Theres been a few gems here and there, I'd point out dead rising as being original, but the issue is, to be original now adays is to venture far out into unkown waters, and with gaming being the big money industry it is, it's a wiser business decision to play it safe and mediocre, than to become revolutionary and sink.

    Moreover, we, or I think at least, represent a smaller niche of the gaming community, before it was just us, the hardcore gaming group, as much as I hate the term hardcore, but we wont be cattered to anymore. More and more "casual" gamers are picking up these games, one only has to look at how well Halo, and Oblivion sold. Oblivion especially, while no doubt a great game, it was clearly dumbed down from Morrowind, and the controls made specifically for consoles, a major gripe from long term fans of the series

    I'm curious to see how Fallout 3 handles the move to next gen, and if it can be innovative
     
    #9
  10. LinksOcarina

    LinksOcarina Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2005
    Messages:
    12,038
    Likes Received:
    0
    this is spurring me to write a vox pop entry on it, so expect one in the coming weeks....two parts, maybe.
     
    #10
  11. malakian

    malakian Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2002
    Messages:
    7,625
    Likes Received:
    0
    ^hey! That's plagiarism, I had that idea if you read! :(
     
    #11
  12. Wes

    Wes Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    Messages:
    2,746
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think once we made the jump from 2D to 3D there was nothing more to do except improve on the graphics every year.

    Everyone loved the pretty colours on the SNES and the improved sound quality. However it was the N64 that truly blew everyone's minds as Mario could now roam freely in a 3D enviroment. Since then, all we've done is made the games look and sound better but we're still working in the same world of gaming.

    You can say Mario Galaxy is an entirely new form of gameplay but it's still within the 3D world. Now I know there really isn't much else you can do in terms of working in a next dimension, but that's why gaming feels so stale to us. It's cause we've been in the 3D world for 10 years,
     
    #12
  13. vinkrukken

    vinkrukken Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    0
    The problem with the gaming industry is, that over the years it has been more and more about the money, and less about game developing and gaming as a passion. Back between 10 and 20 years ago, most game developers were passionate gamers, and wanted to make games so other people could enjoy gaming as they did themselves. Today its almost all about the money.

    Its kinda like sports. You start to play, lets say, football. In the start you play it because its fun, and if you get passionate about it, you keep playing it. Then maybe one day you get the chance to be a professional football player, and you think, why not, i get to do my passion for a living. For some people its a passion that you as a bonus get paid for. But most people will over the years forget why they began to play football, and end up only thinking about the money. And thats were football stops being a sport and a passion, and becomes an industry.

    What im saying is, as long as your main motivation is money, you aim for what you know will sell, instead of thinking out of the box so you can make ground breaking, innovative games.
     
    #13
  14. Hoomfie

    Hoomfie Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Messages:
    349
    Likes Received:
    0
    Personally, I like the point and click adventure games - especially the old LucasArts ones. Take Sam and Max, Grim Fandango and the Monkey Island series for example. They were games that truly let the developers express their vision artistically and were possibly the most creative in terms of story and style.

    Alas, they also died out when the gaming industry made the shift towards mass marketing and profitability. Adventure games became a niche market, so publishers were unwilling to spend the dollars to make games that only sold to a small crowd of people. (I thank God for companies like Telltale Games who are reviving the genre)

    However, as games cost more and more to make, we must accept the inevitability that businesses will only make games that will sell the most copies. So instead of seeing leaps and bounds in innovation, we see stale, unoriginal games with claims of revolutionary gameplay, but are ultimately rehashes of previous material - they fit to the "tried and true" formula, so corporations (*cough*EA*cough*) make them.

    I don't think it's impossible for true creativity to shine through the swamp of grey, though. Indie game developers still exist, and they are the true "artists" in terms of game developing. It is exponentially harder for them to survive in today's industry, so that is why we only see sporadic fits of creativity. I also think that even with all the reference material available, devs can still strive to be individual - just look at the movies industry. Despite all its bland, uninspired sequel-fests and blockbuster titles, there are still a few movies every now and then that are original and deep, and this industry is around 100 years old! In the grand scheme, gaming is still in its infancy (but if the film industry is anything to go by, we don't have much to look forward to...) so there are some glimmers of hope out there on the horizon.

    Someone should start a boycott of all crappy games, and send a message to the gaming community with our most powerful weapon - our money! (One can hope....or is that dream?)

    Anyway, I think I just rehashed the collective opinion everyone here, but that's my take on the whole issue.
     
    #14

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice