<b>Following in the footsteps of featured DToid writer <a href=http://www.destructoid.com/elephant/index.phtml?a=1334>Reverend Anthony</a>, I will explore many of the nitpicky reasons as to why gaming as a entertainment medium is failing and what we need to see and accept for gaming to recover and be respectable again.</b>
First I'd like to clear some things up. I'd like to apologize for the multitude of errors in my first post. It was written in haste as I had a fit of insomnia. Not only for spelling and grammar errors but in my review for TMNT RS. I had noted that it sucked because it had no relation to the SNES version and I had thought that either due to rights or just plain lazyness that the whole technodrome level and bonus stages were omitted. Turns out it is a remake of the actual arcade game and not the SNES version. Since the SNES version was the only version I played, I had assumed that was what was being re-HD'd. Due to my lack of research, I did give it some bad remarks and ... they still remain. Even after finding out it is a remake, there is very little gameplay value in the game - even going after all achievements. I'd wait for it to drop to 500 MS for an actual purchase for those that are interested. But for 800 MS, it was not worth it.
With that out of the way, I'd like to comment on this video:
For those that want the cliff notes of this video, his viewpoint is that most modern action games put the player in a position of empowerment either right then and there or have them grow to the point where they are in a position to demolish everything in their path. While on the other hand, he is seeing a lack of dis empowered characters that could give the same amount of satisfaction as if the player were in a position of empowerment.
This is definitely a subject that I feel could dug further within the gaming dev community but I feel that this subject is more seen as a gaming "event" rather than a complete whole of a gaming. What I mean by that, is that the examples he give are just specific tidbits of gameplay that shine out of a heaping mess that is the rest of this action gaming "empowerment". Such examples are the ones he gives in the video, the beginning part of Half-Life 2 is a good example I can think of as well. But to actually have a full (lets say 8+ hour game) built on this would be too much of a trial and error game.
Looking at the example of Call of Cthulu, we see him at the first part of the video get to the point of locking some doors but having the townspeople break through the doors and kill him; having him to continue. While this first attempt was probably heart pounding and exhilarating, unless the building was randomly generated, it would seem that it would turn into a frustrating puzzle of "what door needs to be locked first before moving on". I can tell you that having run through the first part of Half-Life 2, having the combine solders follow me up on the roof shooting at me, squad cars pull in below me, lighting me up as a raced across the roof was a fantastic part of that game. But after that, its easily dismissible.
So it becomes whether or not these types of dis-empowerment can be duplicated for the game or just have that instance(s) be well developed as possible to provide that never forgettable experience that was stated by Anthony in the video. I think that the request he makes of seeing more of these characters developed is not unreasonable. But to have them be actual longer games would be very difficult, especially given that it will not be up to the triple A developers to give us such a title. The funny part being is that Mirrors Edge would be the only game that got us close to that point and it didn't work. Even being shot at and somewhat chased, I still felt like I had the upper hand with my speed. It doesn't help either that most of the police stood in place and shot you rather than actually give you a good chase either.
To end, I really hate games that level the enemies as you level up in any area (TES Oblivion I am looking at you). If there is a game where you work to the point to find all of the badass weaponry, armor and skills to wipe out the starting town you are in, make it somewhat do-able to do rather than having the level 1 wolves you fought 10+ hours ago to be near your level of power. I get great satisfaction to be able to use my hard work to potentially destroy a low level town. It's not a good method and there is no explanation as to why this is the case. Botched gameplay design in my opinion that could have been redone.
It is good that this empowerment subject was brought up because I never really looked at most action games in such a way. I feel we need more people like Anthony to bring up these subjects as they are good discussion material and will hopefully get some other devs listening and hopefully changing the games we play in the future - rather than hardware cycles and sequels.