Wubba lubba dub dub!


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I've really enjoyed this generation because of the games.

There have been many bad things about this generation. Online passes, DLC exploitation, the birth of the absurd microtransaction, the decline of once great developers like Square and Capcom and the rise to prominence of the fanboy mentality. However there is one thing that for me has made these things bearable. The games.

I've played a lot of games in the last 7 or so years, as i'm sure many people on N4G have. Some of them have been absolutely abysmal. Ride to Hell, Turning Point, Mindjack to name a few, but I don't want to talk about them. I want to talk about the shear amount of brilliant games this generation has seen (and I am aware the games I may place here may not be to everyone's taste).

I mean this year alone I can barely remember the amount of high quality titles I have played and genuinely enjoyed, and I am not a gamer to criticise, I am a gamer as it is my passion and I love the medium. I want to enjoy.

There are games this year that obviously stick out. The three main ones being TLOU, Bioshock Infinite and GTA5. There has been so much more than that though. Tomb Raider, Ni No Kuni, Injustice, Grid 2, Beyond Two Souls, Metro Last Light, The Wolf Among Us, Outlast, Shadowrun, Divinity Dragon Commander, State of Decay, SC Blacklist, and after it was fixed with many patches Rome 2. These are just some of the great experiences I have had in one year. And i'm currently playing Arkham Origins and GT6 is on the horizon. I'm sure i've missed some as well so feel free to add them.

If you look back through this generation as it has grown we have had some stone cold classics release. Red Dead Redemption is probably the best open world title ever made. Whether you love or hate Skyrim it was a great place to be and explore for the first time. The entirety of The Uncharted series and God of War 3. Killzone 2. The Left for Dead series, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Lost Odyssey, Infamous, Fallout 3 and New Vegas, Dishonored, Borderlands, Assassin's Creed, Dead Space, Arkham Asylum, Spec Ops The Line, the rebirth of XCOM, Deus Ex HR, The Witcher 2, Dark/Demon's Souls, Dragon's Dogma. I mean this list could go on and on and on and I could be here all night.

As I said, I play games for enjoyment and I feel I have been spoiled this generation. I have had some of the best experiences I have ever had with the medium and it has been so nice to watch the games grow. There have been misteps, no denying that, but as a whole games are stronger than they have ever been. Lesson's have been learnt and implemented and I think this generation was only the beginning. It was genesis if you will, and that isn't taking anything away from the older eras, it is just I feel games have come further in this generation than they have in previous ones.

I can't wait to see what comes next from the medium I love but I expect it will surprise many, including myself.

Long live gaming. I think it is only going to get stronger.

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zerocrossing1671d ago (Edited 1671d ago )

It's funny, I enjoyed this generation a lot less than previous ones because of the games... Don't get me wrong though, there were some really amazing games to come out this gen (MGS-4, TLOU and Dark Souls to name a few) but as you said we also saw the gradual decline of many once great developers (Capcom, SquareEnix, for example) and the rise of AAA development and focus on "mass appeal" led to coockie-cutter game development and many disapointments.

I just hope this coming gen will be an improvement.

Roccetarius1671d ago

Something tells me that won't be the case, so you could say, that i have little trust in the industry.

Pintheshadows1671d ago (Edited 1671d ago )

'the rise of AAA development and focus on "mass appeal"'

No doubt that was huge huge issue but I think that is a symptom of Call of Duty's success and the greed of the bigger publishing houses. For a while all developers wanted to do was ape Call of Duty. Look at money sinks like Homefront which I think was the defining factor in the fall of THQ and one of the worst games this gen. 4 hours. Unacceptable.

I feel like this gen my favourite games have come from unlikely sources, developers ready to step up, new IP's, and smaller developers. Games I don't consider fitting into the AAA bracket (a term i'm sure you'll agree is horrible and to me says a committee of suits is calling the shots).

Whilst I can't deny what you say about AAA game development preventing a lot of games for reaching their full potential I also see many publishers allowing developers to achieve their vision. Add to that the freedom that Indie devs have and you get some real gems.

Even with some titles labelled 'AAA' I see an expert level of crafting and understanding of what makes a game.

For example, I consider the Far Cry IP to be huge (as do many others) and 3 impressed me considering it was from Ubisoft, a publisher who for me is slightly checkered this generation. I feel the creators were allowed the time to craft the game they wanted and it was truly a pleasure to play. It was what all those CoD clones should have been aiming for. Something more. Something immersive, open, challenging, fun, and with emergent gameplay. For me it is currently the pinnacle of what an FPS can and should be. It shows the way forward, it lays the framework for the next gen.

I didn't even include it in the article.

Another game I forgot is LA Noire. Very much a marmite game much like Heavy Rain I felt that it was brave. It had massive flaws no doubt. The open world was unnecessary, but along with TWD it showed that adventure games didn't have to die. They could evolve into something beautiful.

I just see this gen as setting up so much for the future of gaming. More so than any previous generation. The frameworks for the future have been laid here and I cannot wait to see where they lead.

I thought I would add as well in terms of 'mass appeal' I think you can appeal to both parts of the audience by carefully planning what you are going to do. If a game has a simplified mode for beginners, but then has the traditional mode a gamer is used to along with the uber ultra mega hard difficulties and it offers a challenge I don't see the issue.

However, if you start stripping features from the core game to make it less daunting then that is a huge problem and is insulting. I think Hitman (I accidentally typed Hotman, Agent 47 isn't my type) Absolution got it right. Many focused on the fact that it had a 'see through walls to win mode' (something I am not a fan of) but it also offered purist mode which I jumped straight into as a fan of the Hitman series. It catered to everyone without having its guts entirely ripped out for the sake of accessibility. Sadly though some developers do not seem willing to take this approach and I think we as gamers are far to harsh on those that do. Introducing new fans to a franchise isn't a bad thing as long as the old guard are acknowledged to.

The game guiltiest of this crime for me was Dragon Age 2. Certainly not Bioware's finest moment and scarily not their biggest balls up this gen.

I realise this is tl;dr.

majiebeast1671d ago

Generic modern fps overload killed this gen for me. Still buying Killzone SF at launch though:P

Really hope Cerny's wish for PS1 variety on PS4 comes true, they are off to a great start with the indie support atleast lets hope AAA follows.

zerocrossing1671d ago

I compleatly agree. The thing is though I'm just burnt out on FPS's, so unless something truly incredable or fun and original comes out I'm just not all that intarested anymore :/

InMyOpinion1671d ago

This generation has been amazing. Especially the last 2 years.

To prove it here's a backlog of games I own and haven't had time to finish yet, because of other great games interrupting (hello Battlefield 3 and GTA 5):

Dark Souls
The Witcher 2
Deadly Premonition
Mass Effect 3 (the MP swept me away half through the campaign. Probably spent 50 hours on it alone)
Darksiders 2
GR: Future Soldier
Dragon's Dogma: DR
Borderlands 2
Prototype 2
Defiance (underrated MMORPG)
Spec Ops the line
Dead Space 2
State of Decay
Far Cry 3 Blood Dragon

And games that I have not yet bought but need to play include Skyrim, Bioshock Infinite, Tomb Raider, Batman Arkham Origins, Dead Rising Riptide (loved the first so...), Rayman Legends, Splinter Cell Blacklist, Assassin's Creed 3, GoW Judgement, etc etc.

Picnic1671d ago (Edited 1671d ago )

One of the main reasons this generation's been good compared to the last one is that the '2D, or slowly paced puzzle games are the past, fast 3D games are always the future' idea was blown away, even alongside the fact that the 3D games were faster than ever.
The seeds of this were sown in the last generation mainly on the Gamecube with the likes of Viewtiful Joe, the Paper Mario (2.5D) sequel.

There's been Rayman Legends / Origins, Castle of Illusion, Duck Tales. Obviously (to me), Quackshot would have been the best choice but would a HD, more 3D touch, improve on the Megadrive visuals? No, nor would it on World of Illusion. You can't make something that was polished to within an inch of its life in the first place better. Whatever you create in a remake is always on its own terms and, unless it's Resident Evil remake where it had early PS1 3D visuals to drastically improve on, it will probably come up lacking in some way.

At least they all serve to show that Epic Mickey is not everyone's idea of what makes an epic Disney / cartoony game.

This generation also saw the emergence of Telltale Games who resurrected the adventure game genre after Lucasarts declined to continue the tradition - Sam and Max, the Walking Dead, Tales of Monkey Island, The Wolf Among Us.

The 'downloadable game' (I don't say indie , some of the great ones are by the big studios) filled in the gaps felt by those still missing the spirit of both the 16 bit age and the kinds of artsy games that might previously have only been found on PC. The Unfinished Swan , Papo and Yo, Rain, Catherine, all unfairly put in shadow of the critical rush to praise Journey- it was Sony who most impressed. There were also multiformats The Cave and Limbo. The Xbox360 was definitely behind in this but they did get Super Meat Boy (thanks to no quickly shown interest on Sony's part in the game).
Then there's the fact that this generation, original Wii excepted, was in HD.
This generation smashed things in your face like never before. Not least Bioshock - it was like being smashed in the face with the art deco trappings of adventure games of old. You could actually enjoy the visuals and there were definitely scary parts but 'moral choices' proved to be a linear sideshow with no difference except at the end. Fable in the previous generation wasn't as cynical to make the consequences of moral choices quite so linear.

Bioshock Infinite may be dividing people along with the high praise but one thing's for sure with me - it may just be a glorified theme park with a rollercoaster but it still felt like MY theme park. A game that wholly welcomes you to some extent, even if it's only welcoming you with universal hate of your ideals. It can't be all that bad even if it does feel like a pretty, slightly less menacing, reworking of the original Bioshock.

Picnic1671d ago (Edited 1671d ago )

Sony got off to a slower start than usual with the PS3, thanks to its difficult to program Cell and broadly similar graphical competition from the Xbox360, where those who wished to be online console players had stayed or migrated, happy to pay Microsoft heavily for the privilege whilst the PSN got along just fine without charging anyone for online play unless they wanted games included on PS Plus. This fact, combined with the release of exclusive games such as Heavy Rain and Uncharted 2 and downloadable games made the second third/second half of the PS3s life quite sweet, if increasingly in love with its own story telling rather than your choice as a player e.g. Uncharted 3, Beyond : Two Souls.

Nintendo had mixed fortunes from the sales heights of the Wii, (which, whilst having some critically accclaimed games like Super Mario Galaxy, its huge sales compared to the N64 or Gamecube can only be attributed to being that season's gimmicks for many traditionally non-gamers) to the mid generation-style launch of the WiiU whose even best looking games like ZombiU didn't always woo critics for some reason although that may be the critics fault just because they remembered not liking Ubisoft's Red Steel. And then Nintendo made the decision to save one of their best games- Luigi's Mansion 2 - Dark Moon for the 3DS rather than the WiiU. A clear case of their handhelds killing the games supply to their main console.

The Xbox360 too found itself being caught up by the PS3 once it held back sequels in favour of family friendly Kinect games, very nice in their place but cannot be relied upon as a substitute against the likes of The Last of Us to give the Xbo360 lasting critical praise.

After all the battles, Sony comes out looking the most deserving entrant in to the next generation. And yet- Microsoft always manage to have launch titles that woo me. They get studios who are either at the height of their success - like Remedy - or who are looking to try a different visual style like Insomniac. I think Microsoft have been really underestimated by some who are merely looking to hate although I understand the hate towards the corporate launch presentation of the Xbox One where TV is supposed to be the future like this is 1955. Sony, meanwhile, are always more conservative-seeming at the start of a generation.

metalgod881671d ago

While I enjoyed a lot of the games, I noticed a trend I'm not really a fan of. I'm one of those gamers that grew up with the SNES and went on from there. I did play NES, but not nearly as much as the super nintendo. Difficulty is something I dearly love. But as this generation went on, games got easier, more straight forward. Obviously, there were some games that brought on the difficult full force and other games where you could do almost anything you wanted within the game. But, there were lots of games where the path was so straight forward, there was no point in even playing.

The first game that comes to mind is Final Fantasy XIII. I was so excited for that game. It was the game that made me buy a PS3. But it was probably the biggest disappointment I'd ever felt for such a hyped game. It was easy, mindless, too long, and didn't even feel like a game.

I hope that next-gen, we see games that challenge player and their mind.

But the end of this generation was pretty awesome.

Pintheshadows1671d ago

I can't disagree with you their. I grew on up the other side of the fence. The first console I had in my bedroom was a Mastersystem and then the Megadrive. Games have got easier as they have become more popular. Hard is my go to setting now otherwise I breeze through most games. To be fair though a lot of developers do include uber mega hard difficulties these days. I have been attempting to play TLOU on survivor, and that is very very hard. As is KZ2 on elite.

I noticed as well that there were a lot of games in this generation (Prototype being one) where you far to powerful. It made the game a cakewalk and it is something GTA5 suffers from as well.

I agree with you on FF13. I can't tell you how disappointed I was with it. It was an insult to the name Final Fantasy. I'm still amazed there are people who actually enjoyed it. It was so...simplistic.

As I said though in my bloggy thing though, i'm talking more about the experiences this gen has given me, but I do agree that games need to offer more of a challenge next gen. Here is hoping.

I also would like to add Max Payne 3 to my list.

metalgod881671d ago

Speaking of games that made you far too powerful, I'd like to add Saints Row IV to that list. It was fun for a while, but I just wanted to get through the main story so I wouldn't have to play it again.

But adding to your blog, there were definitely some extraordinary games this generation. And more importantly, I love all the added detail to the little things in games that don't necessarily add a lot, but are really cool to see. I think GTA V added the most subtle touches I've ever seen in a game. It's just amazing.

Skyrim sucked me in for weeks on end. Deadspace terrified more than any other game or movie. Little Big Planet showed me the true meaning of creation. Demon's/Dark Souls gave me the reassurance that hardcore gamers still exist. And The Last of Us told me a story I'll never forget.

With that said, I feel so lucky to have been able to experience all those games and share my opinions and thoughts with others who want to share theirs. It's been an amazing 6 or 7 years and I can't wait to see what we get next-gen.

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