We have lost appreciation for good art design and graphical fidelity along with the ability to enjoy a great story time and time again. I sat at home today and played through another round of Final Fantasy XIII-2 and realized at that instant we have reached a point where graphics are no longer the determining factor in games. As I sit in awe at “Academia -500 AF”, which is one of the final locations in Sarah and Lightening long adventure to save the world once again from imminent destruction, I wonder to my self does the next generation of consoles really matter yet?
Never have I ever been able to drool at the amount of design that went into putting this world together only to have the vast majority of gamers slam it for its unoriginality. I mean, have most of you even given the game a chance. This game is worth so much, not just from a technical point of view but also from its unique art style and presentation. Not many games can immerse you graphically. We spend so much time complaining how difficult and impossible games of the past were to beat and master but when the mechanics of a game become simplified we then complain about how unoriginal something has become. While the name Final Fantasy has been used to death the games have always kept things fresh. Not like “Call of Duty or God of War” where it’s just more of the same with a fresh code of paint. I mean literally.
I can’t help but wonder how it is games like Panzer Dragoon Orta, Shenmue 2, Nier and even Mirrors Edge never gained the respect they deserved. But if one thinks about it, it all makes sense. Gamers of today do not want a challenge, they do not want to think, they do not want to read, hell they do not even want to play. Most gamers want their hands to be held, they want a ride filled with excitement where they do not have to figure things out. “Most” gamers of today are made of “stupid”!
After playing Tomb Raider, Bioshock Infinite and even the latest Injustice I realized that games no longer want us to think. I mean common what the bollocks is this. I have to sit through a tutorial about how to play a fighting game. One of the allures of past fighting games was the ability to figure things out. But if I have to sit through a tutorial about how to walk and jump than I know something is wrong with people today. But anyway I am loosing track. Where was I. Oh yes Final Fantasy but more precisely Japanese games.
While we do not like to admit it most Japanese games will force you to think things through at some point, if they have not been westernized that is. Games like ICO, Zone of Enders, Yakuza Kenzan & 5, Binary Domain and Last Story. Games that actually require you to think, read, analyze and reason. While some western games like Heavy Rain, the original Bioshock and IL 2 Sturmovik Birds of Prey do require the above mentioned qualities many games today do not.
I for one hope that the next generation of games does bring back qualities that enable us think, read, and reason without holding our hands. Bring back games that will kick my ass, games that I never finish but always go back to for the joy of doing so, games that will be engrained in my memory eternally and games that will cause me to actually use my creative side. My imagination!