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Author Topic: Game genres too strict?  (Read 205 times)
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The Rocketman
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« on: January 22, 2013, 11:44:29 AM »

I recently read a fantastic interview with Jake Solomon, (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/01/15/firaxis-jake-solomon-post-mortems-xcom-part-two/), where he said this about flight simulators (and RTS games):

"Itís trite to point out things like flight simulators, but I think RTSs are the exact same way, they become so distilled because the people making them are so fucking hardcore that they become distilled, and distilled again/ Like I used to love Age of Kings, itís one of my favourite games of all time, but RTSs for me became harder and harder to playÖ"

This really resonated with me. In the beginning of this great hobby, I played all kinds of games, as long as it was good. This included flight sims, RTS'es and racing games. These are genres I no longer play, because they've become - just like Jake Solomon says - too hardcore.

Nowadays, it seems that you expect flight sims to either be arcadey, or completely realistic. I liked the middleground better actually. The same with a lot of other genres.

Have we forgotten the fact that games are played to have fun, and are we bashing games because of missing features? Diablo 3 is a fine example as well, a lot of you seem to be really disappointed with the game, because it doesn't live up to your expectations. But if you see it for what it is, you can see that it's just a very well-made game, but it does break with the previous Diablo-games.

Maybe we've become too critical? Maybe there are just too many good games nowadays... But I'm getting sidetracked here.

Most of you must feel the same, no? This place is full of 1st generation gamers, and we all like to look back to the 90's full of nostalgia...
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Bullwinkle
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2013, 01:38:41 PM »

I agree to a point, but a trend that I've been happy with in gaming is that they've become easier, as a whole.  I know a lot of us older gamers gripe about that, saying, "In my day, if you died, that's it!  You started over.  Didn't matter that you'd poured 12 hours into it in one session or that you'd missed a final exam.  If you wanted to say you got to the end of Super Xtreme Plumber Jumper 2: The Magical Castle of Hats, you started the damned thing over, and we liked it that way.  Now get off my lawn." 

But I didn't like it that way.  At least now that I look back I can say that.  Some of it is that I have less time now, so the easier gameplay makes a difference there, but honestly, I just like playing the games.  I'm not in it to show off my mad skillz. 

Reviewers now a days seem to have that difficulty nostalgia even more.  I've seen many a game seemingly get a higher score due to it's being extremely challenging.  I try to stay away from those, usually (but not always - I've had a lot of fun with uber-difficult games, too: Dark Souls, I'm looking at you).

However, that is more of a generalization of games as a whole.  I do see that certain categories have been heading down the path where they're being made for the committed, hardcore gamer.  They're being made for Korea, basically.  I understand that, too, as that's where the money is for these niche categories.  Of course, by making the games catered to the hardcore set, you've made them niche.  So it's a never ending cycle.

I just had a discussion about this with a friend of mine who is into boardgames big time.  Boardgaming is going through something of a renaissance right now (look at the newly expanded sections at B&N and Target if you don't believe me or the upcoming Celebrity Game Night on NBC).  He was a little nervous about the masses getting into his hobby.  And there are negatives, to be sure.  The casual side of boardgaming is definitely ramping up.  But the benefit is that more money is being spent, so the production quality is going up.  And a lot of work is being done making the uber-complicated games more approachable.  Now, some might call this "dumbing down", but it's really just about streamlining and simplifying.  And it's already lead to some amazing games and whole new genres, even.  The nice thing is, the stupidly complicated games are still going to come, too, and they will also benefit from all the work that's being done.  In the end, when the wave is starting to drop, we'll be left with a lot of progress being made and it'll be a good starting point for the future.

Part of me suspects that's where we are with video games now.
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That's like blaming owls because I suck at making analogies.
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