Adventure Games on the Rebound? We Can Only Hope

It’s official. I’ve been bitten by the adventure gaming bug. Yes, I know, I’m about ten years too late, but in the month of January, we have seen not one, but TWO adventure games come out for the DS. You have the awesome Phoenix Wright: Justice for All, and the excellent noir crime-drama Hotel Dusk: Room 215 from Cing. I bought them both and have been thoroughly enjoying myself.

And I think the bug has bitten another gamer on the net: a journalist by the name of Scott Nixon of Gamasutra. He has even written an article on the subject, asking for a rebirth of the once great genre, with an update to some of its outdated gameplay conventions (enough pixel-hunting!). It’s a great read for fans of the nearly dead genre, and I humbly suggest checking it out, courtesy of Gamasutra.

Mr. Nixon says that Nintendo needs to get on the ball with the genre, suggesting they start by paving the way for profitability and viability with it on consoles, specifically with the Wii.

But then I did some sleuthing, and guess who does, in fact, have a game coming out for the Wii later this year? That’s right, Cing, the same developer of Trace Memory and the previously-mentioned Hotel Dusk. Some may call my bluff, saying Cing has said next to nothing on their next project, but with the track record they have (which also includes an adventure game for the PS2 named The Glass Rose), you make some assumptions.

I get tingly all over just thinking about it. Cing has done an awesome job of using the DS and its innovative control features, and you have to wonder how crazy their next game controls with the wii-mote.

And after hearing how popular Hotel Dusk has been with the gaming community (most say it has been sold out since release), it looks like the the tide is turning for adventure games. We’ve even seen this same scenario with the original Phoenix Wright last year, prompting a second printing from Capcom.

If developers can come up with a way to stop that annoying “stop and go” game design, I really think adventure games can become a stable and profitable form of expression in the video game medium. But gamers need to do their part, as well.

Yes, this means actually buying these games. Don’t pussy out; at least give them a try. Just because a game doesn’t have the name “Mario” in it does not mean it sucks. Buy Hotel Dusk and you’ll see what I mean. I haven’t seen more “10’s” for a game since Ocarina of Time.

6 thoughts on “Adventure Games on the Rebound? We Can Only Hope”

  1. grim fandango is an outstanding game.  im right at the end of full throtte now.  its good, but it definitely no GF. 

  2. Since you are talking about adventure games, you need to mention Dreamfall somewhere.  Just anywhere in the article, really.  It doesn’t even need to be a complete sentence.  Just insert "Dreamfall" in any random spot, that should do it.

  3. i’m going to arbitrarily consider myself a knowledgeable source on adventure games. i completely agree about dreamfall, as well as the previous game (from the same dev) the longest journey. the problem is (as matt described) if you came late to adventure games it is very difficult to catch up, since there are so many games that have come out in the genre in the past 20 years. sierra and lucas arts both made hundreds of hours worth of games someone would have to play before they could take part in a discussion among hardcore adventure gamers.

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