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What's the big deal about indies? - Destructoid




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Hey what's up guys my name is Michael Troina. Future GameInformer or IGN editor
I am a hardcore avid video game player, I love watching anime and reading manga.
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*note I don't mean to offend anyone with this blog

I must have missed the letter that Indie Games are the new big deal because apparently that's all people want these days. PS4 and Xbox One claims they will support indies, even going so far to make public announcements about them? The PS Vita has so many good indies; the Wii U doesn't? But, honestly the question is: Does it really matter? I've always enjoyed reading news or looking at some concept art or screenshots regarding Indie games though I've never felt the urge to buy one. And yet, I see in the comment sections how people can't wait to get this game etc; though sales numbers usually are pretty low (in overall terms not budget vs net gain value).

I consider myself a pretty big gamer, I go out and buy many games, play many games be it 1st, 2nd, 3rd party, AAA, etc. and of course beat these games all the way through (even force my way through sometimes). I enjoy the luxury of all the systems out (with the exception of X1 and PS4 for now, but more due to lack of desire vs want) and I don't find myself EVER wanting to buy an Indie game. The problem I see is first of all, Indie games are too much of a risk and offer little to no reward. To clarify, you spend usually $10-$15 on this game, with no proven history, and obviously come out with the outcome of the game being good or not good. From there on, the game will have no continuation (most likely) and/or once the game is done it is done. Other issues may be the games length or the most important issue: It isn't fun!



Now, this rule does apply to all games and there are tons of shitty high budget first/second party games. To throw a few off the list: Okami, Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Tales of Symphonia, etc. however, the risk in indies lie in the fact they are essentially gaming "food". What I mean by this is that food is a substance we use once, we consume it and that's it. Now, depending if the food was good or not we decide if we want to continue eating or going back to that food. With popular AAA games, there are games that make mistakes (Skyward Sword), but you know that they could do great things (Ocarina of Time) and have room for error to fix for the next title. With indies, you think of restaurant you had a bad experience at, the chances are you are never ever going back there, even at the begging of friends and family members who love the place and say you just had ONE bad time.

That's it though! It only takes one bad indie for most indies to be labeled terrible in the eyes of myself and many others. Why am I going to throw $10-$15 dollars for every little gamble when I know A- there are tons of well perceived games on the markets by trusted developers and B- there are series and games in which I enjoy and haven't played them all or want to replay them? This may be considered "playing it safe" but we are dealing with a consumer's finances and it is the worst feeling to go out and buy a game and have it be the worst thing you have ever played (looking at you: The Last of Us and Sonic Lost World). I own a Playstation Vita and you know how many "indie games" I own? ONE. PixelJunk Shooter, and that was because it was free and I wasn't ready to play P4G yet. Why would I play an indie game when I have great titles like: Uncharted, Persona 4 Golden, Tearaway, Y's Memories of Celceta, and overrated Dangan Ronpa. Does that mean I am using my Vita wrong? No, but if you look at the Vita and its low quality title library, you can see that indies are overrated and A- don't sell systems B- are in abundance on the PS Store C- aren't enticing enough.

I love cheap games and some of the indie titles come out pretty well, but we as the people and media have to stop overrating Indies like they are these hidden gems that everyone is missing out on, and promoting it more so than regular 2nd & 3rd party games. Every time I go on game sites I can see a ridiculous amount of coverage for some Indie title. Games like Mighty Number 9 and Child of Light, are not indie, their backing is huge and are developed behind famous studios and developers. Shovel Knight is a true Indie, in which I give my rare cap to, but it's a golden egg and more likely an aberration that a standing point.

Now, Colin from IGN wrote an article dismissing those who dismiss Indies (inception right there). I thought the piece was fantastic....well the beginning anyway where he tries to find what is the definition of an Indie. No one knows this and I had a discussion with a friend about an Indie is. You can't name it but you know what it is. That is the best and worst answer I can give; there are just games out there and you know its indie. These are mainly thrown into cheap $5-$20 games are by no-name developers, but simply put, in a joking manner, an indie is a Free PS+ game.

What bothers me about the article is his assertion of quantity over quality (though he use that argument in the reverse v. AAA games). He mentions it twice throughout the article and claims there are more quality indie titles than there are regular titles. At the end of his article Colin says, "people like me who have lost hundreds of hours to downloadable-only games on the console over the last eight months" only asserts his claim even more. While games may be free on PS4 (which right now is basically an IndieStation vs NetFliXbox) due to the PS4 having mandatory PS+ and you not actually spending money for the games being played, do not act like you bought and are supporting these indies which were basically included with your PS4. While for 2014 I cannot refute that claim of there being more quality indies vs games in a quantity standpoint, considering the low amount of releases that aren't DKCTF, Mario Kart 8, South Park, and a few others; the games I listed have a greater effect and overall quality standpoint than any indie.



Also, there is one thing that is not included in the bundles of indies everyone is playing. What about trophy percentage fanatics like myself? I don't have all the time in the world to play games, even though I play many 60+ hour JRPG's and these Free-To-Play and Indie games ruin a trophy percentage. I'm not saying everyone is like that (basically nuts like myself) but we don't want to play all these indies because then WE HAVE TO COMPLETE IT. I know there are many gamers who can just play a game and either just leave it be not beaten or not 90+ percentage in their games. Like, I cannot do that and I don't want to play 50 indies and lower my percentage rate and then devote myself full time to it.

How I really feel a little more...

The last paragraph you just read is also part of my true opinion, but this is more of the unorganized rant section. You want to know what I think about Indies? I hate them. Honestly, I will play them if someone got if for me as a gift and I can't say all of them are terrible but I hate the Indie genre and what is has done to gaming, it has become the App Store of games and I hate anything mobile. I FREAKING hate it . Blame the media, blame every mainstream-er, blame every non-gamer claiming they are, blame every 40 year old mom playing Candy Crush, it is just the way the genre has become exposed has left a sour taste in my mouth. Indies aren't like the new thing and the coolest thing, but it is literally being shoved down our throat. You go any comment and people are like "you don't play indies? You're missing out." In fact I am not, in a way I don't want to play a game inspired by a form of game I have already played in my past, with one little new twist! Look at GameInformer, their magazine only dedicates a page or two to indies, which I think is great and keeps me on top of them, although I skim them. I want an Indie like HyperLight Drifter but in no way no how am I saying they are worth spending your money more than other games on a market, that you like, missed, or want to try.

EDIT:

I think people are missing the point where it is not I hate all indie games, I just hate the way Indies are perceived by the media and the gaming market in general. You can read up to 5 articles providing information on a short indie game, and yet you can find no information on a game like Disgaea, One Piece, or non-Dynasty Warrior Gundam games. These middle ground games still exist and are in fact tons of fun to play and provide more value than most indies. The problem is, with no news coverage, these games do not sell well and then are not localized and I (along with other gamers) are affected. Look at Phoenix Wright 5 and Ace Attorney v. Professor Layton, due to poor sales we aren't even getting a boxed version, excluding the fact of Miles Edgeworth 2 never making it here. Indies are fine and all, but not the attention they receive or games worthy of attention; and food for thought although people "love" franchises I'm sure they haven't played all the games in a franchise, which provide DIFFERENT gameplay. So go out and buy the Mario Land games or Mega Man X or Mega Man Zero games and realize how much you missed playing home console only.

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Michael Troina plays games for his Twitch Channel EVERYDAY @ Troyfullbuster and his Youtube Channel: SuperNintenbros or YouTube Channel: TLMB Gaming that is only if you want to watch awesome and funny gaming videos with full walkthroughs, unboxings, and laughs! You can also find Mike and TLMB on Facebook or Mike and SNB on Facebook by liking the page! Thanks guys!



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