Took a small vacation of being an adult. Didn't work.

Cajun Chicken

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The age of innocence of Playstation is almost over

This is a little controversial blog for PS3 fans. I've put this under the 'Playstation Family' because I honestly believe the age off innocence is almost over on PS3. Wherever this is a good thing or not I'm not sure.

I'm talking about the same stuff that I usually rally about, the constant disappearance of pick up and play platformers and action adventures that all ages can play on Playstation systems. I've made this point about the platformer dying a slow death over and over again and this is more or less an update on the situation.
 I type this because I am uncertain if we are about to witness 'the last Ratchet and Clank' game on PS3 and possibly the last in the series. I have roughly 2 weeks to find this out by playing through ACiT due to living in the United Kingdom and having to wait a few weeks after US date.

Anyway, back to the state of innocence; I believe that a strong part of the Playstation brand was the fact that there were 'kiddy' games which adults could also play too, right back to the original Crash Bandicoot to Medievil, Spyro, Ape Escape and then moving onto the PS2 with Jak and Daxter, Ratchet and Clank and the Sly series. The Playstation and PS2 had this brilliant split between child friendly platformer franchises and adult games, such as Resident Evil, MGS, Tomb Raider and the like.
Still to this day, the PS3 is missing this. Another strong point is the fact all the developers that were making these innocent games are moving into making much more mature games, they are developing games for those who followed the original franchises they made before.

Naughty Dog has made the most natural progression in the choice of franchises and style, hopping from the ultra 'Looney Tunes' look of Crash Bandicoot, the decieving Cortex in Crash 2 pretending to save the world and reverting back to no morals in the later games to the more anime and manga inspired Jak and Daxter, then jumping to a more rundown and darker scenario even getting near to a Mad Max type scenario; this was the first point that Naughty Dog started 'maturing' with the audience, I honestly prefered this 'band of friends' angle which ND introduced from Jak 2 onwards. Uncharted as a franchise is nearly ND all grown up with the guns from Jak, the running sequences from Crash and the band of friends from Jak. The recent Uncharted 2 moved ND into dabbling with much darker plotlines, without any spoilers it still becomes debatable if Nathan Drake is a hero at the end of the game but the game still feels 'comfortable'.

Last gen Insomniac dabbled with an experiment to make the Ratchet franchise darker with Ratchet Gladiatior/Deadlocked, I honestly liked the action in this game, but this was Insomniac getting ready to get mature after the cutesy as heck Spyro series and gradually making Ratchet and Clank more and more about invasions, threats and blowing things up without a care making it completely the opposite of the earlier games in the Spyro franchise.
 In fact it is quoted somewhere where Ted Price, CEO of Insomniac mentioned that he believed that the Ratchet games were more violent than most people discredit them to be, because kids are playing games where they shoot and shoot endless lifeforms but in a 'saturday morning cartoon' manner (If I could find this quote, it would be here). Insomniac then creeped into being more mature with Resistance Fall of Man, which right from the beginning looked like a very dark alternate WW2 game, if you look at some elements in Resistance, you can see that parts like giant robot spiders were actually developed from parts in Ratchet Gladiator/Deadlocked. Since then Insomniac has been hopping back and forth from the dark world of Resistance to the bright cartoon world of Ratchet and Clank.
 Is this pattern about to end? I honestly think that despite how hard Insomniac try, I think becoming 'fully mature' like Naughty Dog would be a BAD thing. Naughty Dog can do that, fact is, in the quality and design aspect, nobody can fault that the Ratchet series have a lot more care put into them. Why do you think that Ratchet is still being made by the same developer on the PS3 after 4 games already of the PS2, they obviously CARE about this jokey cartoony innocence which nobody makes anymore. Insomniac dumping the action/adventure genre would be a devestating blow and in true honesty, I find that Insomniac have struggled with Resistance as a franchise already, perhaps they can pull it back up with Resistance 3.
 Another issue with Insomniac is that they are fantastically experienced in developing cartoon inspired worlds, in fact the worlds they create in the Ratchet series are ofter awe inspiring. You can't say the same about Resistance, I can't say that either Resistance games looked amazing, they looked on par what Bungie was creating and it's obvious that Insomniac struggle with realism, they still struggle with the correct narrative in order to tell the Resistance franchise as a whole and it seems like they didn't even like their own lead character for the main PS3 games as seen from Resistance 2. In short, Insomniac going down the mature route after Ratchet and Clank would be a very, very bad day for Playstation. Also those who want Insomniac to 'have the Killzone 2 engine for Resistance 3' are hypocrites, these guys make games from scratch including the engines, imagine how annoyed Insomniac are when they're being told by their fans that they should use middleware for their created games.

With Sucker Punch, they've also started creeping out into the boundaries of making mature games with Infamous, and believe me, Infamous is a great game and a much smoother jump than Insomniac had from Ratchet to Resistance. The game does look great and the style and story telling is appropriate after the cel shaded Sly trilogy (which I have not actually played). Before Infamous, Sucker Punch was nothing more than a blip on my radar, I tried a demo of the first Sly, but didn't like the gameplay, Infamous however; is great. I now see Sucker Punch as another Naughty Dog and probably Sony's new specialist open world game developers. But again, can they go back from this new gained mature audience?

So over the years, Sony have discarded and just stopped franchises such as Crash Bandicoot, Spyro, Ape Escape, Medievil (never even had a trilogy, despite both games being well recieved), Sly (and except from the upcoming PSP and PS2 game) Jak and Daxter and soon, we may be saying goodbye for ever or perhaps the rest of this gen to Ratchet and Clank. But we do have the newcomer Little Big Planet, but it's not exactly like those old action/adventure games, is it?

So look at the biggest mascot of the Playstation family now; who is the biggest mascot of the system. Kratos. God of War is now the leading franchise and that too is about to end (or at least Kratos' story). Sure, it's great that all these developers have matured with us, but doesn't anyone want the choice of having a split between mature games and the fun, innocent platformer?

So my point of this blog is; First parties and second parties are moving on, although good, it is equally as bad, for example, will you feel safe buying a 12 year old kid Uncharted or Infamous despite all the shooting. dark issues and morals? You can't have your cake and eat it on the Playstation anymore and I honestly believe that Sony going mature all the way for the determinable future is a very bad thing to happen.

Where can Naughty Dog go after Uncharted? Can they actually go any more deeper with the next franchise than Uncharted without losing the comfort of the Naughty Dog narrative and style?

Is Insomniac moving to mature games for the determinable future a good idea? Or is platformers/action adventures their forte?

Should Sucker Punch stick with the gritty look of Infamous or go a little brighter down the line again? Is Infamous 2 going to be even more deeper in moral and issues than Infamous and become even less of a game you would feel that you shouldn't let a kid play alone without supervision?

So these are my questions and my view of things; Is it healthy for this to all happen? Just look at the variety and ages of fans whom play Ratchet and Clank, does Sony really want to get rid of that audience and should Sony should be thinking about getting some new first parties and developers if these developers are going to stick getting more and more mature each franchise on each Playstation system?

Your views below please!

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Darkeyes2914d ago

This gen Sony seems to be targeting the mature audience more... Games like Heavy Rain, GOW3, TLG all seem to have a mature story telling coat over them. I feel a majority of this is due to the 360. It's mainly due to this 'Hardcore' image that the 360 established when the PS3 was launched (mainly founded by the launch of 1st Gears) and Sony also wanted a piece of it. It was touted to have the best hardware and so it obviously set a goal to display it... But display it with hardcore games and not kiddy games. Thus we are seeing a barrage of hardcore games like KZ2, R1/2 and many more upcoming. Not that they absolutely have ditched casuals, with LBP and now eyepet.... But still this gen emphasis is more on hardcore than ever before.

This gen the war is between the PS3 and the 360, forget the Wii as it's far away out of reach. So both are trying to trump each other by their own games which showcase hollywood style story telling and gameplay. Sadly, the casual genre has found a new home and that is the Wii.

If the PS3 like every other gen would have been on top, then we would see more games, but ATM making currently it seems more logical to take the hardcore way as it's less riskier. Plus another major factor is multi-player online... It's really hard to incorporate this in casual games and as we know, this affects sales which can be really bad in times of recession. Games like GOW & R & C will sell on single player aspect only since they are established, but don't expect a new IP with no online to get much recognition if not from a big studio. Hopefully this changes in the future. Nice read anyways.

HolyOrangeCows2914d ago

But at least they're branching out a little with games like LBP and Modnation racers.

kwicksandz2914d ago

Some of your paragraphs seems a bit long, which makes it hard to read.

i would argue the PS brands innocence was gone by the launch of the ps3. Sony has been trying to ape the success of western devs rather than stick with the genres and brands that made them a success.

Perhaps the decline in popularity of JRPGS and platformers has lead to this but surely there is still a market for a sly cooper ps3 game. I know id much prefer it over another samey open world superhero game.

Tony P2914d ago

I don't mind the paragraphs at all since it's all pointed and not just long for the sake of long. Which incidentally makes it an infinitely better read than many of the blogs that make the front page as news.

Edit: That was supposed to be a reply...

Jinxstar2913d ago

Cajun. I've always been a fan of your blogs as you have mine. That being said... EDIT BRO!

Now. Here is the thing. ND, Insomniac, Sucker punch and Santa monica seem to be your big names. While Santa Monica(God of War studio) have been mainly known of late for God of war the other 3 have been around a long time and as such have "Grown up" with their fan base. I mean look at other mediums that have done the same. Take Detective comics #17 where you first meet Batman. A very warm and hearty character. Now look at more recent Batman comics like All Star batman where he is a vicious character. Themes like rape and death are in these comics as relevant stories and Robin crushes Green Lanterns throat and batman gives him an emergency tracheostomy... If Insomnaic or whoever were still making Spyro or Crash they would probably be broke and out of business because... Well Spyro was good for it's time but anymore the fans of the old franchises are now adults.

Sony's lead developers are providing fans what they want and truth be told most PS3 owners are adults and there are a TON of games for kids and or families. I mean Buzz quiz junior, LBP, Eye Pet, Star Wars the old republic, Disney's:Sing it, Critter Crunch, Madagascar Kartz, Cars, Wall-E, G-Force, Bomberman, harry potter are all games that... Some are exclusive and many are not but can all be seen as either "Kids" or "Family" games. Even things like Uno and Wheel of Fortune can be played by kids...

Truth is the Market now a days for Adults is on the PS3 and 360. Kids markets are on the Wii. hence all the BS about "Motion controls" by both companies. The younger market is a big part and if sony really can convince people of the "It only does everything" marketing that kicks ass right now then they have a great chance of getting many of the younger audience in. That being said what sells the most on the HD consoles? Call of Duty, GTA and more adult games. Thats the market and if the 1st and second party studios aren't behind that they will fall to the wayside. here's praying Eat Sleep Play do something really awesome (I WANT TWISTED METAL!!!)

Also 1 more thing I would like to say. Just because GOW3 is finishing the story arc doesn't in anyway mean it's finishing the franchise. Chains of olympus was a FANTASTIC game and Prequels or spin offs will make their way if GOW3 sells what it deserves, without a doubt. Just like how Halo 3 was supposed to "Finish the fight" it really didn't. Neither will GOW3 until the next best thing comes along. Even then it will still be awesome. Only when we get "Kratos kart racing" will we know the franchise is good. At that turning point you know it's dead and the milk train is drying up.

In conclusion. Sony's driving forces of late are HD movies and Blu rays and more adult oriented games. Sony and MS will try and make a splash in the "Motion" market to try and get kids and families more enticed but... truth is the big things of late are Rock band/GH and other things like that for the masses. Also the DLC trains on those are serious business... Peripherals, Motion and trivia are about the extent of decent selling kids games these days. Hannah Montana and stuff like that is not their focus and shouldn't be...

Cajun Chicken2912d ago

Yeah, it is badly edited looking at it now. I just had to get it down really, sent it for approval late at night. Despite the bad editing (which is probably a lot better than some articles which get posted up here), I still think it has a good point though.

Jinxstar2912d ago

For sure bro. =D I enjoyed it anyway.

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