Everyone likes to bitch and moan about shit they played a thousand years ago being remade to today's technology. Remakes after remakes, sequel after sequel. Playing video games used to be an underground thing back in the 90s; Either you played games or you didn't, simple as that. There were no such things as "casual" gamers and "hardcore" gamers. Blasphemy, is what I call it. Video games have tremendously received a lot more double-edged praise over the past 10 or so years, but really only to expand their audience. Unless video games are a trend in today's minimalist society(yeah I said it), alongside stupid shit like iPods, Blackberries and whatever else the fuck morons are buying subconsciously because "it's the hottest thing", video games won't last very long. Why? Companies are focusing more on mainstream ideas and focusing on HD technology. Motherfuckers wanted better graphics, well look, we have them, but in sacrifice longer development times and one or POSSIBLE two iterations of a game per console. We're talking about how back in 16-bit days Square used to churn out RPGs on the SNES like butter. Now due to HD compromising and production standards, we get a possible ONE or TWO good games from them, mixed in with a bunch of half-assed attempts at a game. When we first saw the next-generation hardware, followed by "target renderings" and "bullshots", we were fooled that our favorite games we knew and love would be "totally awesome" in high definition. Man, were we proven wrong. I would say that the last golden age of gaming exists in the 128-bit era with the Playstation 2, GameCube and Xbox. Development times were shorter, and no one was really about "remaking" anything or rebooting franchises, per se. We've come to the age of gaming where everyone's running out of ideas, rehashing old game blueprints because saying "X game from 1970 something would look good right about now, we could make money off of it" is a totally great idea. Before the flames come, I do know that the media works like that. We see it all the time in movies and television shows, but in video games you can only do it so much without it getting old and stale.
The Nintendo DSi is a prime example of this. Now I love Nintendo, they've done a lot of great things but made a lot of mistakes in the past. The Nintendo DS is a great handheld and I don't believe there will ever be another one to surpass it[cue PSP fanboys], however the DSi is just a waste of time and money. Not saying it's a bad handheld, but 40 bucks for a marginal upgrade? Really? They could have at least made the screens widescreen or something. The online DSi shop looks a mess, the cameras really aren't needed, and the web browser still sucks ass. There's a larger screen, and better button firm, but that's about it. Nintendo should've went back to the cutting room floor with this, unless you don't already own a DS, there's no point of buying one. It's even become a thing with Nintendo, where they have to follow stupid trends such as this now. Now, thanks to the iPod Touch and PSP, they believe they NEED to have a handheld with multimedia capabilities. What happened to their motto of just being about games, and not about the latter?
Over the past few years, with every original idea comes about 10 sequels and remakes and reboots. I can name a lot of great original games, that game companies that are cult classics but due to the mainstream audience not accepting them, will never see the light of day ever again. Games such as Okami and Eternal Darkness come to mind. Rehashing a video game is like rehashing a good movie; it was great the first time until you see the remake and realize how many faults the original had, but because the rehash doesn't capture the spirit of the original, you enjoy the remake but have mixed feelings towards it, and despite the gap in production quality over the years, you would prefer the original.
Now don't get me wrong, there are SOME games that do deserve to be remade for today's generation. But once again, our standards are set too high these days. When the first trailer for Devil May Cry 4 was shown, everyone was stoked. When the final product came out, it was disappointing and doesn't even come close to holding a candle to 1 and 3. What is the missing substance here? Are development studios taking HD for granted and skimping out on the actual gameplay, using the illusion of "better graphics equals everything"? Or is it because we've played it all before, but now it's just under a fresh coat of paint?
Nostalgia ensues on a lot, and I've come to realize a lot of people are replaying classic consoles again such as the Dreamcast, PS2, Sega Saturn and SNES. Although it's quite sad that we've come so far in technology in gaming that we have to take a step back to play the games we really enjoy, even for a brief moment. The Wii's Virtual Console alone is a selling point. If my Wii weren't broken right now, despite me owning a 360, I could easily slide into a 20 hour session of Super Mario World or A Link to the Past right now. No questions asked. 2D never ages, but 3D will always age. I wonder what's up with that?
I suppose to close this off I'm just going to say it's really difficult to get excited about games anymore. Action Game 7 or Remake of a Remake 3 just doesn't cut it. They were cool back in the day, but now everyone is doing it. Whenever I see originality that isn't just a trend, I will be there.