I just wanted to address one thing before I begin my hot, muggy, and otherwise, miserable Sunday afternoon. More and more often I'm finding indie game developers speak on behalf of the current gaming trend and how it's steering towards "pointless killing" and blaming the developers for "treating the players like morons". Now I only put those two statements in quotations because those two arguments have been repeated numerous times. I completely and wholeheartedly agree with these statements on most fronts, but at the same time I think some of these developers have taken a beautiful vision, and turned on their fellow brethren and basically said, "Okay, you guys aren't mature enough anymore, we're not friends."
, well hate is a strong word...yeah okay, I pretty much hate all the repetitive space marine, World War X, elves, dwarves, and goblins games and any other setting that's been beaten so many times that I just couldn't care less about them anymore. This doesn't mean that I think all games should be some "spiritual, uplifting, emotional ride" and if you end up killing an enemy then it instantly amounts to some variation of a senseless killing game. I believe we, as gamers and developers, should use a teeny bit more creative juices in making our games. Take a look at Earthbound, No More Heroes, and Beyond Good & Evil. Those games didn't break any huge genre boundaries, they didn't address huge emotional issues, and they weren't even meant to be taken too seriously, but they were a hell of a lot of fun and had interesting characters, designs, and stories. Earthbound was in the midst of about eight trillion other RPGs of it's time on the SNES and because it's lighthearted, "boy with a bat" theme, it totally stood out in my heart. In no other game....well RPG, heh, have I beaten snakes, rats, and gang members from The Sharks with a baseball bat, frying pan, and bottle rockets. Instead of walking through lavish castles and dungeons, I was waltzing through a freakin' mall! It was this huge breath of fresh air and, to this day, Earthbound is one of my favorite games.
The main point I want to get across is that games originally were essentially based on the enjoyment it brought kids, adults, families, whatever and occasionally there was definitely a sense of competitive sport thrown into the mix (ie. high scores). I say we should like games for whatever reason that appeals to us, the players. Just because there are a thousand Gears of War, Call of Duty, and God of War ripoffs, doesn't mean our entire industry is one huge failure. If you like being a space marine, go ahead and kill some aliens (just don't ask me to play with you, I'd rather rot in hell, heh, sorry guys.). Get this, I was reading an article about a game developer who doesn't even like games anymore because of the route it's going down. That is pretty absurd and I think he's one fellow who has taken this, "indie game revolution" and turned it sour by pointing too many fingers and taking himself a tad too serious. We've made some huge advances in our games and I hate to see people push it too much. We're still young in our generation of gaming, let us get older, wiser, and more comfortable with our medium. Things will get "better" and more "emotionally evocative". I recently played through Heavenly Sword and though it lacks a long, deep story with meanings and emotional rides, it looks gorgeous, the few characters that are in the story are very unique, and the boss battle at the end was freakin' amazing! Also, a good chunk of the game is spent fighting baddies who are harder to kill then just one quick swing of the blade because of the "stance" system, and the story doesn't really get boring because of it's brevity and the amount of nonstop action that's going down. Overall, I loved it. It's not trying to be Braid. I'm okay with that, even though there are parts in Heavenly Sword that were a bit emotional and thought-provoking like when Nariko realizes that, "once you accept death, you're free." I thought that was pretty neat.
I'm just afraid the indie developers are becoming a little too spiteful as a whole. Obviously not everyone is, but from what I've seen, it's becoming a trend. I actually almost succumbed to that mindset not long ago. I started playing all these extremely emotional indie games and began to resent other games. I realized that when all is said and done, sometimes I just like to have fun. Sometimes I just want to look at Travis Touchdown and be like, "Damn, even though he's a a walking hard-on who eats, sleeps, and breathes Asian girls in cat ears, he's still the coolest guy ever
Case and point: yes, there is a good chunk of games that we've seen eighty other times, and yes, I don't like seeing them on store shelves either, but I think games are sometimes taken too seriously. I don't just
want a shit ton of Flowers, Braids, and Today I Die's, I'd like a whole canvas of games that I can enjoy for whatever reason I find at the time. I love games for a plethora of reasons like their stories, characters, zany and twisted themes, the way I can escape the real world for a long gaming session, total social gatherings, nostalgia, anything. Isn't that what's so amazing about games? No other medium is so versatile. Sure you can watch a movie with someone, but you can't interact and alter the other persons experience. In the end...can't we all just get along? read