Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

The Future: The Legend of the Future: The Link to the Past

7:00 PM on 01.17.2010 // True Axiom

[Editor's Note: We're not just a (rad) news site -- we also publish opinions/editorials from our community & employees like this one, though be aware it may not jive with the opinions of Destructoid as a whole, or how our moms raised us. Want to post your own article in response? Publish it now on our community blogs.]

As we human beings scamper vainly ahead of the spike-wheeled wagon known as progress, watching our compatriots rendered to some form of goo beneath its vicious rims, we sometimes look back. You know, to see if anyone dropped any nice loot. Someone might have had a jetpack, and not have known how to turn it on. I don't know, I'm not a doctor.

Occasionally, we look back for nostalgia's sake, even when we've been told to look at the future stop looking at the past STOP LOOKING AT THE PAST. Unfortunately, as we trek into the teens, it seems game developers are doing just that: looking forward and seeing the staples of the 90's instead of bold, new, substantial ideas.

It seems game developers in the teens seem more fascinated by remaking old ideas, be them good or bad, instead of pursuing new avenues of discourse. 2010 has already seen a “remake” of a seminal Castlevania game, to build off the momentum of last year's Mega Man and Contra revivals. There will be another Mega Man sequel in 8-bit style. There will be countless more remakes of old games, like NBA Jam, games no one has ever really wanted remade. And new retro games, like Dark Void: Not Graphically Intensive Edition, are being made because apparently gamers want regressive jump-shootathons.

But it's not just major studios doing this. Oh, we would be nonplussed if Capcom, if EA, if Activision were the only ones doing it, but we would accept it. But, alas, no. Adventure game developers seem content to pump out five thousand different skins of the same game, where you pixel hunt for items and then combine them in weird fashions; innovation is when you have a limited inventory to deal with, or you are given multiple paths through situations. Platformers seem to be stuck in emulating games like I Want to Be the Guy that provide ludicrously difficult challenges. While certainly, there are innovative games, there is far too much of the same. 

I mean, sure, I don't mind sequels to good games (I'm as excited about BioShock 2 as...well, probably one in five people who are quite skeptical, but that isn't because it's a sequel!), but I opened Destructoid yesterday and found that there will be a Killzone 2, a Resistance 3, an inFamous 2. Were any of these games so spectacular that they deserved immediate, stay the course sequels? This is not a dig on Sony, no, there are the same number on the 360, I'm sure (they just aren't as fresh in my mind). This sort of milking franchises is very much a modern thing. Look back to the Super Nintendo generation: franchises as “successful” as Resistance and inFamous weren't given the sequel treatment. No, they were taken out behind the chemical sheds and summarily put down, so fans could demand a mediocre sequel 10 years later (see: Commando, Bionic).

Not all of this retro-love is bad, of course. The Bit.Trip.Etc series has proven to be a wonderful combination of old game love and new game mechanics, combining inventive ideas with retro sights and sounds. Some number of V's (VVVVVVV) combines completely, utterly retro graphics with a game mechanic that has rarely been the central focus of a game's design. 3D Dot Heroes looks to do much the same thing (yes, surprisingly, I don't despise Dot Heroes, possibly because I feel like we're all in on the joke. Irony makes the heart grow fonder). And, of course, we have a game that I would assert helped significantly to spark this movement, Braid, which is itself a study in “new” ideas in game design coupled with a fairly retro aesthetic (wouldn't you know it, developers took the retro parts whole hog, and not the many other innovative ideas. Who would have thought?). Additionally, two of my most anticipated releases, Fez and The Adventures of P.B. Winterbottom, both cop a lot of retro elements in their presentation.

Moving into the future, it's evident we're looking squarely at the past. And while this is not inherently a bad thing (heck, most of the games I've cracked wise about are enjoyable), there's a certain level of stagnation of thought and idea. While this may certainly be evident in all these examples, there's one that stands a little bit above the rest: the return of 3D. Apparently, someone saw the Wii's successful use of motion controls, and thought they had to come up with their own “original” idea. 3D died out in the 1990's for a very good, very logical reason: it's stupid. It makes most people feel tremendously ill, it has no practical applications besides providing the appearance of depth (which is interesting technically, but I'm hard pressed to come up with many cool video game applications), and it's cost prohibitive for its minimal effect. And yet, someone in a suit has decided this is what the people really, desperately want, despite the gangs of people outside of his office with guns and knives, who are waving banners about how much they hate 3D and how they've kidnapped his wife and children and placed a bomb under his desk.

Naturally, 3D is different from retro games. People want retro games, though I'd wager not quite as much as they want new, exciting content. Publishers love retro games, because they can bang them out quickly and they usually make a profit, which is no doubt what the video game industry is about. They love sequels, because they're comparatively easy to develop compared to new titles and they usually sell better than their predecessors. They don't like new games, unless they're trying to rehabilitate their public image (and even then, their new games are probably exploitative properties based off of classic literature and stealing whole hog from years old franchises about gods in war). They're afraid of new games, because people don't buy new games.

If I have a point (and I probably have too many of them), it's this: support new, innovative games. There's no other way to tell companies to keep making them besides with pure profits (petitions, as saw, do very, very little). Sure, you'll get burned occasionally by games with more potential than playability, but you'll be shouting to the world, “Hey! I want more new ideas!” And the videogame gods will no doubt hear you.

True Axiom,
 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

FakePlasticTree avatarFakePlasticTree
Favorite demon in Shin Megami Tensei, eh? Oh, I got many but so I'll just pick one for now whom is a beast in the Persona series. Yoshitsune--Hassou Tobi, Heat Riser = Don't fear the REAPER!
Flegma avatarFlegma
Played half an hour of Last Story. Yay, British voices! But the absence of colours makes me want to play other games instead, especially in this greyscale season.
HeyItsDad avatarHeyItsDad
There's not even enough reviews out to give Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth a rating on Metacritic...what's up with this?
ooktar avatarooktar
Dat Booty.
ooktar avatarooktar
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
Just came across someone who tried to debate that people don't hate change - They hate BAD change - Ahahahahahahah!
Agent9 avatarAgent9
I miss Crash and Spyro. They had a fantastic trilogy on the ps1 and I loved every minute of it. Here's one of my favorite Spyro tracks, why not post one of your favorite tracks from wither of these great games.
Larxinostic avatarLarxinostic
Many thanks to a pal from time immemorial for his sneaky late birthday present to me of a digital Amazon gift card, which I promptly redeemed for this alluring beaut. Cheers! Viva la PS Vita~ [img][/img]
Parismio avatarParismio
So I played xcom eu last night to get that xcom hype back. Half hour ago I already lost my brother, my best friends and my dog. Its been a stressful evening.
Nick R P Green avatarNick R P Green
Asides from a last proof read and any final edits, the script for my final 2015 reflection video is now complete. I will see this through to its conclusion. There'll be a blog version as always and once it's done and over with, I'll finally update my bio!
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Gore Magala set complete! That only took like 15 or 16 tries!
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
I'm glad that the Amiibo stock situation got much better. Because Hasbro sure as hell didn't get the memo with their Marvel Legends figures. These two seem more elusive than a western Lucina Amiibo!
taterchimp avatartaterchimp
Yay, finally beat the Necrodancer!
Jinx 01 avatarJinx 01
The next time you're getting riled up about game news, politics, drama, etc. just step back and be like The Dude.
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
So #TeamCap or #TeamIronMan ?
Gundy avatarGundy
*Neps Internally*
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Seeing as how SMT is nowhere near as massively popular as Pokemon, this probably won't become a thing. Still, I'm curious about whoever's favorite demon/persona. Mine's probably Trumpeter! Without 'em, I would've never aced P4G on Very Hard.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Playing Tearaway Unfolded without glasses on makes it looks even prettier, gives it a glossy papercraft or almost dreamlike feel to it.
Parismio avatarParismio
eating cold pizza RN. i would warm it up but eeeeeeeeeehhhhh.
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -