Well, nothing much to say here. I got into gaming when I was 1 1/2 years old (seriously, my dad has photos of me attempting to play Pitfall! on the Atari 2600), and I haven't stopped since. The first game I remember beating was The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, which is also probably the source of my raving Zelda fanboyism. Ever since I was little I've allied myself on the Nintendo side, but that hasn't stopped me from enjoying the other fruits of the gaming tree. My Sega Genesis, Atari, PS3, and gaming rig can all attest to that. Basically I'm probably one of the biggest gamers you'll ever meet.
I'm also a MASSIVE advocate for games to be recognized as an art form, so much so that I taught a Video Game Appreciation class at my high-school, I hope to one day become a reviewer myself so I can finally get paid for doing what I love.
Cheesy title aside, I want you to know right off the bat this is not an upbeat blog. I am very, very upset after the first round of announcements given at Comic Con today. One I was especially not happy with, was Capcom.
You all know by now about Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. Some of you are ecstatic, an updated version of one of the most anticipated games in history. I'm glad for you, because I'm stuck seeing it as the final betrayal of a company I once loved to the same degree as Nintendo., and I fucking love Nintendo.
But now? Now all I see is a company focused on grabbing as much cash from our wallets as possible. Now I'm not an idiot. I know that a company's number one goal, despite how it may seem to others, is to make money. But there's making money, and then there's outright preying on your fans. I can't help but feel this situation is the latter.
First, a little context. Marvel vs Capcom 3 released on February 15th of this year to over a decade of anticipation. As of this writing, the game is barely in its fifth month on the market. In four months time it will be obsolete.
So much awesomeness... that never got it's chance
Think about that for a moment, a game is being updated before its first year on the market has come to a close. Some people are willing to accept that? I don't want to sound pompous, but really? Not only that, everything they're adding is either stuff that could've been DLC or should have been in the game in the first place. For God's sake spectator mode still isn't implemented into vanilla MvC3 yet. We know they can do it too, because it's being included in the Ultimate edition. Not to mention the new modes. No one can look me in the eye and honestly tell me they thought MvC3 was a full game, completely finished and ready to be sold for 60 bucks. However I was willing to look past that caveat, because I felt that I would easily get more than enough time out of the game to justify my purchase.
I barely have 20 hours logged into it, and I've owned it almost since it launched.
There's simply just... nothing to do. I'm left feeling like I paid 60 bucks for a beta test, and now that feeling is confirmed. I did pay for a beta test. And it hurts. I'm not lying when I say that I felt devastated when I read about the announcement. I felt like I was stabbed in the back by Capcom, and it really did cause a lot of inner distress. I know it sounds stupid to many of you, but they were a major part of my childhood. I can vividly remember throwing my first Hadoken in Street Fighter II, or the realization of having to play through Super Ghouls and Ghosts a second time just to get the real ending. I remember fighting robot monkeys with Strider, and getting the piss scared out of me by Resident Evil. Seeing them do this, it made me realize, this is not the company I loved as a kid.
not worth 60 bucks
I supported Capcom through most of this generation, and I didn't blink an eye when Super Street Fighter IV came out. Why? I'm not entirely sure but while thinking I came up with this reason, I could just be BS'ing myself but I'm going to roll with it. I think the reason that SSFIV didn't cause these same feelings in me was because Street Fighter IV seemed to be an already complete game, and I hadn't felt like I wasted 60 dollars on it. Not to mention it was about a year or so apart from each other. Does it make sense? That's subjective and you can determine that in the comments, but that's what I came to. Even Arcade Edition I didn't absolutely despise. Sure, I felt it should've been cheaper, but aside from that I wasn't upset with how they handled it.
This is different though. This was a betrayal not only to me, but gamers in general. The sad thing is I know that this game is going to sell. Now don't read that thinking I'm going to be mad at everyone who buys this game, I'm not. Some of you may not have a problem with this, and that's your prerogative. However I can't help but think that Capcom will walk away from this none the wiser, and try to do it again. That's why I've come to a decision I never thought I would. I am hereby boycotting Capcom. I have resolved to not buy any more of their games new. Will this have any effect? Probably not, if I'm the only one doing it. However I don't want you all to read this and feel it suddenly became a recruitment letter. I'm simply recounting how much this announcement upset me.
I'm going to miss you Capcom, I hope you come back soon.
I love my Wii. It's easily my favorite platform to play games on, and while it has it's problems like every other platform, they don't stop it from being such a blast to play. However, I was recently asked to take a look at the video game industry for a class assignment, and that's what prompted me to write this blog. Look at today's market in games and you see that the market is overcrowded with one genre: shooters. Now don't get me wrong, I love my shooters: Killzone, Halo Reach, Timesplitters, etc... All great games, but one can't deny that the market is over-saturated with them. Why is this though? Why did this generation suddenly give more credence to shooters than ever before? Simple, this is the age of High Definition graphics. Gaming has come so far in the past 40 years, some AAA games take more money to make then some movies. When you're making games that cost upwards of tens of millions of dollars, you're going to want to play it safe. So what do you do? You release a shooter, because if it's good enough to garner the attention of just a wee bit of positive press, then you're likely to be in business. This is where the Wii comes in, some people have belied Nintendo for leaving HD out of the Wii's capabilities. However this is why the Wii is so important, it serves to be a shelter for other developers to release games on at a price that is nowhere near as large as your Mass Effects or Heavy Rains.
Let's face facts people, if our industry continues the way it is, we aren't going to be much better off then the film industry is. Releasing mounds of generic crap every month in an attempt to turn a profit and get good reviews. Sure, great games will still be made, but it's going to be so rare that developers won't even bother attempting to go that extra mile. It's a sad state of affairs, consider Lair. Factor 5 was a great studio, pumping out tons of classics. When the PS3 came out, they were there at launch with Lair. They sank so much money into that project that the entire company was essentially betting on this one game to succeed...
I'm sorry, I was distracted by the sheer amount of badass
And luckily it did, Lair went on to spawn a multimillion dollar franchise and Factor 5 became one of the most heralded studios of all-
Oh no wait... it failed and sunk the entire company, costing hundreds of people their jobs and forcing Factor 5 to close its doors after 20+ years of game development.
You deserved a better send off you magnificent bastard...
And that right there is why things need to change. Words cannot convey how distraught I was when the Unreal 4 Engine was unveiled. More money will be poured into graphics technology, game companies will attempt to push past that 1080p benchmark that's been set for the last 6 years in search of a new, more beautiful (and far more expensive) frontier. Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that it's wrong to want to continue pushing the industry forward, Hell, most entertainment advances in recent years directly owe video games for pushing that envelope. Same goes for any type of human interface devices, video games helped popularize specific, extremely functional designs. However, there comes a point where the industry just needs to take a break. A flame that burns twice as bright lasts half as long, the same is true for the video game industry. If it doesn't take a break from advancing forward, the entire thing is just going to collapse.
Again, this is why the Wii is such an important oddity amongst gaming today. In an age where games are continuing to look more and more realistic, here comes the Wii in all its 480p glory. It's success can almost directly be contributed to two things, it's control method, and its price. It was an attractive product at launch, no one really wanted to spend 300-600 bucks on a video console when Nintendo had such a cheap product. As of now it has attracted around 86 million purchases. Think about that. 86 million people in the world own a Wii. That's a huge number, and while its not the largest install base (that STILL belongs to the Playstation 2 from two-chucklefucking-thousand), it's a freaking massive one. Because of this, a developer can put a game on the Wii and hope for MASSIVE success at a significantly lower production cost. Now yes, this is the reasoning behind many creators of shovel-ware games; however, it still remains true for the small time developer.
Then why aren't they selling?
Did you play it? No? Sucks for you, bro.
We have some AMAZING games on the Wii that absolutely NO ONE, I have EVER met has even heard of. Little King's Story, Muramasa, Zack and Wiki, Klonoa, the list goes on.
There's one main reason, they're overshadowed by the AAA games on the other consoles. Advertising costs a lot of money, and when you have multimillion dollar ad campaigns for games like Portal 2 or Black Ops, you can't really hope that your game is going to remain in someones head after they see an ad for games like those. And this is a real shame, because if games like these were supported, maybe the industry would be in a better state.
I hate to make it seem all doom-and-gloom, because it's not. There is plenty of time for the industry to fix itself. However, it's really reliant on whether it decides to take that break sometime very soon. As I stated before, not doing so could have drastic consequences on our beloved hobby. So to all of you who own a Wii, I ask you, support the platforms obscure games. Go download Lost Winds, pay attention to the small time games that come out and give them their due. The Wii is more important than many of you believe, and it needs to be treated as such.