Lately in the gaming industry,there's a sentiment that's becoming more common amongst developers,publishers and gamers and that sentiment is that originality in video gaming has died in place of generic FPSes.From Pokemon Black/White director Junichi Masuda commenting that the homogenity of gaming is worrying to several videos on YouTube ranting about the death of creativity for the sake of military shooters,more and more people are saying that soon,all of gaming will be a big gray sludge because no-one's doing anything new anymore.
You may think that I agree with this but I actually don't;if anything,I think originality has a better chance in the industry today than it's had in a long time.I'll get to why I think originality can succeed today later on but I need to explain my thoughts on originality in gaming first and how I came to the conclusion I'll mention later on.
I started thinking about originality while browsing my YouTube inbox and was reading messages.One of the messages was from a YouTube reviewer named gexup and I remember asking him something along the lines of what he thought of gaming today and one thing he said in the reply that stood out to me was ''To be quite honnest, I am disappointed with this gen's console because they really lack creativity, originality, and awesomeness compared to the last gen before it (GC, PS2, Xbox).''
And this got me thinking about the state of the industry and how it seems that it's nothing but FPSes all over.But when I think about it,it's not true.The truth is originality is still around in gaming today;you just have to look hard for it.And the here's the thing;it's always been like this in gaming,hell every form of media.
Back in the 90's,games like Rocket:Robot on Wheels and Mystical Ninja starring Goemon on the N64 sold poorly because everyone was buying the latest Mario or movie tie-in.In the early 80's,the now critically-acclaimed Vectrex was buried under all the Atari 2600/Intellivision rip-offs.If you want a more recent example,does anyone remember how horribly Beyond Good and Evil and XIII sold in November 2003?
Anyway,my point is that original games will always get buried under the more popular games,no matter what generation it is or whatever circumstances have occured to change the industry.However,why do so many people think everything's just bland nowadays? It may be a side-effect of nostalgia,if you ask me.You see,most of us become more cynical about the way the world works in certain areas while believing that everything was much better when we were younger.This applies to all aspects of life and it affects gaming in particular.
We all believe that originality couldn't have been in a better state only a few years ago when really it was probably just the same as it is now except the most popular genre at the moment has changed.People only seem to think that things have become worse due to the increasing exposure of games like Call of Duty and Battlefield and seem to think that those are the only games anyone makes nowadays when really,the military shooters take up about 5% of the hundreds of games developed and released per year.
If you still don't believe,let me show you 15 original games from this generation:
-Darksiders:Wrath of War
-El Shaddai:Ascension of the Metatron
-Enslaved:Oddysey to the West
-Rythym Thief and the Emperor's Treasure
-Prince of Perisa 2008
And that's just a small fraction of the hundreds of original,creative games seen in the industry today.
But before I continue,what is 'originality' to begin with in terms of gaming? I've asked a few people this and the answer varies from person to person.Some say simply not trying to copy the success of another popular game(several SM64 clones say hi) while others think it only matters when it relates to how a developer makes a game and how it appears in a game.It's rather hard to explain and everyone's welcome to their own view on it.In fact tell me what you think originality is since there's no real objective answer in this case.
However,if you do believe that nothing is original anymore in gaming,there's one big reason for this:every gamer on the planet.Not the ''casual'' gamers like most would believe but the ''hardcore'' gamers.Tell me,how many original games have you bought on launch day? I imagine the number for most of you would be quite small,me included.I bought games like Sonic Generations and DBZ:Ultimate Tenkaichi on launch day because I love those franchises.I didn't buy Enslaved:Oddysey to the West or Bayonetta when they first came out because,while I was interested in them,I wasn't sure if they were going to be any good.
We might think that we always bought creative,interesting games like Psychonauts or Okami when they came out but it's likely that we just bought the latest game in a long-running franchise or games based on cartoons we loved watching as kids.We can rant all we like about the state of the industry but it doesn't matter if we do what's most important and speak with our wallets.If you truly want original games to survive,you have to buy original games when they come out instead of waiting until the price comes down.I understand that many don't have the money to afford both original and franchise games so whenever you have to decide between the two,consider this;which will keep selling copies when you don't buy it?
Finally,I'm now going to explain why I think originality has a better chance today in gaming than it's had in a long time with 3 words:digital downloadable services.Look up the best selling games on XBLA or PSN and see how many of them are original titles.The number in this case is quite huge with games like Journey,Limbo,Braid and so forth frequently breaking records for the best selling game on their service.This is because the games are much cheaper and they are shared equally amongst the franchise games instead of being outweighed by the franchises(as is the case with mose game shops).
Development costs are lower and publishers don't take as big of a risk as they would if they were making retail titles so they have more confidence in their products.Original,creative games finally have the chance to shine unlike before and don't run the risk of ruining their developers.
Maybe things will get worse,maybe better for originality in the gaming industry in a few years from now but I believe that originality hasn't had a better time in the limelight in video gaming.Thanks for reading.
A couple of days ago,I decided to write a very brief post on my feelings about
Psychonauts,which to sum it up briefly was [i][b]''I hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate
hate hate Psychonauts!''[/i][/b]
I uploaded it to the Community Blogs simply to see how people would react and to be fair,it
did just seem like I was just trolling everyone so now allow me to explain why I hate
Psychonauts.Really,the game is just average but I hate it simply because of how everyone
else has pretty much ruined it for me by going on about how utterly fantastic it is.
You might be thinking I hate it for the infamous Meat Circus level(since this was actually a
comment that someone made on the original post) and while I did give up at the Meat
Circus,that isn't why I hate Psychonauts.My patience for the damn game just reached its limit
by this point and I simply gave up.It was annoying,true,but nowhere near as annoying as
some of the other levels in the game(I'm probably the only man alive who hates the
Godzilla/Kaiju parody level).
On the subject of the Kaiju level,this was something about the game which majorly annoyed
me.Whenever the game tried to do something besides platforming like the Napoleon level or
the Milkman level,it just ended up falling flat on its arse and just made things worse for me
due to being so utterly frustrating.I don't understand why Double Fine decided to try add
variety considering that the platforming was actually pretty good.
A lot of the time,the variety they added just felt broken and rather untested in my eyes.It
made things very dull,the framerate would go down all the damn time and I constantly
backtrack/look up guides on the internet to find out what the damn hell I was meant to do.
(this was made by a studio headed up by a man who helped make Monkey Island after all)
But that's not even the worst bit of the game.Oh no,that would have to go to the undeniably
frustrating,plain evil combat.Jesus Christ,if there's a more awful,bloody annoying combat
system in a 3D platformer,I've yet to meet it.You constantly get gang-raped by those damn
censors,run out of ammo and end up dying all the frigging time.Did anyone else go insane
trying to open the castle gates in the Napoleon level because of this?
Some of you will probably be telling me that I should enjoy Psychonauts for the effort gone
into making this,the interesting story and memorable characters and the huge amount of
creativity seen throughout even if the gameplay has issues and isn't up to scratch when
compared to other 3D platformers.And while you can look past the flaws,I can't.To me,it
doesn't matter if the story was written by the finest writers in existence,if the graphics and
music is utterly stunning to witness,if the amount of creativity and originality is beyond
startling if the game behind it all wasn't worth a damn.
If you enjoy the game for all it means for you,I'm actually quite jealous of you.You heard me
right.When I bought Psychonauts,I wanted to love it like everyone else does.I heard no end
of the constant praise it got from the public and the internet and I wanted to believe it was
true.That's why I bought the game after 4 and a half years of hearing about it.However,I just
can't love it like the rest of you.
No matter how much I tried,I couldn't let go of the problems I had with the gameplay.It's quite
depressing,actually,knowing that I can't love,or even like,what's widely considered to be one
of the best 3D platformers made in the last decade.My expectations were simply too high and
that's why I hate Psychonauts.It's a game I wanted to love but I never can;it's something that
I can only call average;it's something where I believed all the praise given to it.Maybe I am just butthurt over this but it's still depressing for me.
In any case,I'll be signing out and the rest of you just keep enjoying Psychonauts.
I just want to make this short and clear for those that have complaining about this since the E3 2012 trailer but it's really simple:Splinter Cell:Blacklist is going to have stealth in it even though there isn't any stealth in the damn trailer!
It's like with the announcement trailer for the 2012 SSX game;it looked dark but in reality,the game was just like any other SSX game,just in HD.The same goes for Blacklist;just because there isn't stealth in the trailer doesn't mean there won't be any in the whole game.UbiSoft just wanted to excite the people at E3 and clearly,stealth might not have been the best thing to focus on.
However,the Splinter Cell series has always been about stealth so why would UbiSoft remove the main thing the franchise had always been about?! Good lord,some people see one trailer for a game and think they know everything about it already.Well,that's all I have to say for today.
While most of the controversy has passed by now,there's still quite a lot to talk about when it comes to the infamous ending of Mass Effect 3.Most,if not all,of the internet already knows how the ending went so I won't repeat the synopsis that everyone else has already given by now so I'll just get to the point of this article.I'm aware that there will be very divided opinions when it comes to what I'm going to say since I'm going to defend the people who are complaining about the ending.
You heard me right.I'm not defending the ending of ME3 or BioWare but those that have started campaigns to try change the ending of the game or at least voiced their dissatisfaction at the ending.I realize that this is hugely ironic since I made a video on YouTube last year where I defended the at the time despised Skylanders:Spyro's Adventure from the thousands of criticisms that it had gotten before release (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76Trwro6_Ww is you want to check it out) and someone will call me out on it but I'll try explain why I'm defending the complainers this time around.
Defending them from what,you may ask? Well,just those who take their criticism of the ending as bullcrap and call them entitled,little crybabies.Believe me,I'm very well aware that there are many gamers who cry at the drop of a hat nowadays(just look at the infamous Sonic 4 whingefest that ensued when it was announced) so I can understand why some are so sick of gamers complaining about everything but I think the gamers have the right to complain about the ending.
This is because 1.the game's actually been out for sometime so people have had a chance to see what things are like instead of complaining about a game they haven't played yet like many times before and 2.from what I understand,people seem to greatly enjoy the game and only take issue with the ending.But then you have articles on magazines or websites like 360 Gamer and Click stamping on the criticisms and making them look as infantile as anything that's come before.
And if they can back this up,then fine but the only defense that I've ever seen for BioWare or the ending is that ''it was BioWare's creative decision to make the ending like this'' and I'm sorry but that's an awful excuse since as many people can tell you,just because one has the right to do something doesn't mean it's the right thing to do;BioWare could have made the ending to be more than what it ended up being but instead people are defending the terrible ending as it is.
(EDIT:Originally,I gave an example of how stupid the ''they have to right to do so'' excuse was but then I realized that it was a terrible,no,offensive example so I've decided delete it since the above paragraph explains it well enough)
And for those who call out the complainers for thinking that BioWare owed them something,the truth is BioWare actually did owe them at least decent ending.For more than half a decade,fans all over the world waited to see if every decision they made would impact the ending in a meaningful way like BioWare constantly claimed.They spent upwards of 180 dollars for the trilogy,spent dozens of hours of gamplay in a Star Wars-like galaxy and going through the story multiple times in each game to see how much things would change if they did things differently.
They discussed over various forums as to what the ending of ME3 would be like according to their decisions.They believed BioWare's claims and when the final,long-awaited ending consisted of a God Child and a choice of 3 differently coloured explosions that were barely impacted by any decision you made and then a bloody advertisement for more DLC,gamers have the right,no,they deserve to be pissed at what has to be one of the biggest lies in any industry.And no,they didn't want a happy ending like some people believe;they wanted the ending to be impacted by every decision they made like BioWare said.
I don't care about Mass Effect in the slightest but even I can understand why fans are so angry at BioWare for their bullshit.I mean people always complain about terrible/controversial plots or endings in TV shows or movies(coughNeonGenesisEvangelioncough),so why shouldn't gamers have the right to complain about the plot/ending without being slammed by someone who can't see where fans are coming from?
All I have left to say really is that the next time gamers complain about an ending they didn't like and you think they're being stupid,try see things from their perspective and understand where they're coming from before you call them out on it.
I was just studying last night(great way to start the article) when I realized that it's been a long time since we've had a Sonic TV show,be it anime or cartoon or anything else.And this got me thinking that if another Sonic show was made,what would it be like?
So I've decided to ask you guys this;if you could make a Sonic show,how would you go about it? Who would be the main characters;would you try adapt any stories from the games and so on.I'm aware that some of you will probably say Season 3 of SatAM so you can suggest what show you'd do a continuation of,as well as what new show you'd like to see.
Since I'm asking this,I may as well say what I'd like to see.I'd like to see either a Gaiden series,where characters would get an episode or two dedicated to them with no over-arching plot,or a show based on Team Chaotix(you know you want it too).That's all I have to say on things really so I'll leave the rest to you guys.
For my 10th blog,I'm here today to talk about a topic that I'm sure won't bring in a massive shitstorm.Furries.Or,if you ask most uninformed people,this(www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIBU-DaJJOk).I know that I'm on the verge of getting killed by a million people just for bringing it up but I'm not going to rant on furry haters or furries in general.Instead,I'm going to do what I honestly thought would've been done by now and just make an explanation article about furries.
What are they;what are their interests;are they really kinky weirdos like TV and most furry-haters believe? Jump in and find out.
So,removing all pre-conceptions about furries and anything else you know about them for a minute,what is a furry? Basically,a furry is someone who has a significant interest in animals from fictional media,particularly of the anthropormorphic,or humanlike,variety.And if you want examples of anthro animals,there's an insanely long list but a few famous examples would be Sonic the Hedgehog,Star Fox,Looney Tunes,Animals of Farthing Wood,several billion Disney movies(particularly Robin Hood),Sly Cooper and so on.
The topic of furries is one of those topics with a simple idea that can be expressed in a million ways and that's where things get complicated.I'm not going to list every single possible way but only mention the most common examples.Guess what the most common one is.Sex?Nope,I'll tell you what it is.Fan art!
This is what a very large majority of furries do;they draw art depicting their favourite anthro characters or write fan-fics about them.Most furries also represent themselves as anthros on the internet,or fursonas;some cosplay as their favourite characters;others dress up in furry costumes and go to furry conventions with their friends.This is all most of them do.There are other things furries do and I'm just giving the cliff notes here but that's it.
And in case you're wondering,yes I'm a furry but considering the pictures I use a lot of the time to represent myself off-screen in my YouTube videos and the fact that I spend some of my spare time drawing terrible MS Paint fan-art and uploading it on deviantART.Why else would I end up giving an informed opinion on the topic?
However,I'm not done yet as we still have to adress the common myths of the fandom.First off is the myth that all furries are 'kiny weirdos'.Unfortunately,I have to admit there are some people in the fandom who are like this but the same goes for every other fandom or fanbase on the planet.Go on,pick any fanbase/fandom and I'll find one or two perverted people.Bronies,Avatar fans,Ace Attorney fans;they all have them.And in every case,they're only a small group of people in a demographic covering millions and the same goes for furries.
Only a few people are like this and it's ludicrous to assume that all furries are kinky weirdos just because you read just one erotic Sonadow slash fic.So.......why is it the media and a lot of people think furries are kinky weirdos? Well,I've got a 2 theories for why that's the case.My first theory is that it's much easier to find porn for an anthro animal franchise on the internet than it is for a non-anthro franchise.
And I don't mean intentionally,I mean just looking up Sonic the Hedgehog on Yahoo! images and finding a disturbingly realistic Playboy rendition of Amy Rose.And since there's a lot of erotic furry fan-art,people get the idea that all furries are like this.My second theory is that it's the easiest aspect of furries to make fun of.Be honest,if the writers of American Dad showed as furries as being like most other people,even though it's true,they wouldn't be able to get a joke out of it.
It's not right,true but if we had to stop making jokes just because people get offended by them,then we'd have to say goodbye to the concept of stereotyping altogether because that's what most of these jokes really are.And I may as well answer another question about this topic.Specifically the idea that the weirdos are the only people in the fandom who sexually fantasize about anthropormorphic animals.They're not;as seen in various surveys,a large majority of the furries who took them admitted to having at least a small sexual attraction towards anthros.
And since I admitted that I'm a furry,yes I won't deny it.I'm a bit turned on by anthros myself.Don't know why I find Sally Acorn hotter than Emma Watson but I do.Doesn't mean I'll actually show my sexual fantasies to the internet since people's eyes would probably burn from the horror...what was I talking about again? Oh whatever.Anyways,basically not all furries are kinky weirdos and just because a large majority are turned on by anthros doesn't mean they're completely perverted.
But before I go,I've got one more thing to say and that's to those who get offended by the jokes.I'll probably sound like a huge dick saying this but I have 2 words for you:
I'll admit that a lot of these jokes are unfair,ignorant and/or very inaccurate but like before every demographic in the world has to put up with this.Again,it's stereotyping;taking an odd,ridiculous or bizarre quirk that someone or a group has and exaggerating it until that's all anyone sees for the point of comedy.
It's seen throughout the whole world everyday.For example,the typical media view of a gay person is an excessively flamboyant person who speaks with a lisp and thinks exclusively of cock and balls.Many people think goths and emos are the exact same thing.And of course,my home country,good ol' Ireland,where everyone is either a leprechaun or a drunkard who lives a world stuck in the early 1900's or whenever Darby O'Gil and the Little People took place that consists of endless green fields and the smell of pure Guiness and Irish sewage.
It happens all the time and most people,outside of the really insecure ones,don't complain about it unless the person making the joke is intending to offend someone.When the writers of American Dad made that infamous joke,I highly doubt they were intending to harm anyone;all they wanted was a laugh and while you have the right to be offended by someone,the very least you can do is appreciate the joke if you do actually find it funny anyways and just laugh with it.
That's all I have to say on things really so if you'll excuse me,I'm going to look up Sonourge porn since that's what all furries do!