In the last two years, I’ve…ummm… uhhhhhhh.
Two years is one hell of a long time. Asking me to write about what’s changed in the last two years concerning video games is like asking me to recall the room in which I was born. Every console that we now call next-gen was released in that time frame, and we’re knee-deep in photo-realistic gameplay.
In some ways, I’m more willing to try crazy ideas, like Every Extend Extra Extreme and Drawn to Life. But at the same time, my tastes are becoming more defined. I now know that I would prefer a game with a cohesive storyline rather than awesome gameplay. That’s why I felt completely underwhelmed by Gears of War. It has great action, but there’s not enough context for me to enjoy myself. And that’s why I’ve become hopelessly attached to games like BioShock and Phoenix Wright. I want to play games with believable characters that join together to make an awesome story. Characters like Andrew Ryan and Miles Edgeworth will always be in my heart, while I’ve already forgotten what my high score in Geometry Wars is, or what the techniques to use to kill a Locust in Gears of War.
But as I said, I will always try new things. Games like Zack and Wiki and Elebits are great gaming experiences that went under most people’s radars, which is sad. The DS is a treasure trove of crazy gaming experiences, and I wish I had the money to play them all.
What has becoming troubling to me is what I feel about Nintendo. At this moment in time, I play my 360 more than any other system. It has everything I want, and I love Xbox Live and its focus on community. Nintendo, once again, has completely forgotten about the more tech-savvy consumers and basically locked out their online experience. After awhile, it gets annoying to see Nintendo make these kinds of mistakes over and over again. Yes, we know your surveys suggest that people want to play games and only games, but I must have missed that survey because I would love a system like the 360 or PS3 from Nintendo.
This is why I’m having trouble siding with them this generation. They’re doing things their own way, and those ways are not syncing up with my current wants and needs. At one point I brought only my PSP to work, without even thinking of bringing my DS. Why? Because I could watch movies, listen to music, and play games with one system. For all its faults, the PSP is still a great system for a guy like me. Just like the 360. I can watch HD-DVD’s, go online with games like Halo 3 and Lumines Live!, and voice-chat with my friend that lives half a state away.
And the kinds of games that the Wii has brought out are starting to churn my stomach. Even though I voted Wii Sports Game of the Year last year, I am disgusted at how much crappy mini-game focused software has been created in its wake. And they’re being completely justified when games like Carnival Games sell over a million copies without having a drop of marketing behind it. There are no games like BioShock or Assassin’s Creed coming out for the Wii, and I’m having trouble defending a company that wants my mom to play a game I can program myself.
I’m not going to sell my Wii or anything, as there will probably be one or two games that I will want to play at some point, but I don’t think I’m going to think of Nintendo as my “home base” when making games purchases anymore. And it’s sad for me to say this, as I have always had the utmost respect and appreciation for Nintendo, but I’m a different man from the one I was when games like Ocarina of Time and Super Mario 64 came out. I’ve changed; Nintendo hasn’t.