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Old 01-28-2013, 07:20 AM   #56
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 2,414

Gamertag: LifeExpectancy

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I agree with much of what's been said here. I think 'veteran' gamers are at the stage where we only have one ear up our ass rather than our whole head. A couple thoughts:

Mirror's Edge and Dishonored should be mandatory content for any 360 owner. You should be forced to play and complete each of their campaigns before your xbox gets 'unlocked' and is allowed to play new games. They are two of the most unique, well made titles on the 360, period.

Halo is definately in its golden years and we can only hope it ends with Halo 6. As much as I love the series it is time to move on. Unfortunately, IIRC domain registrations and papers have already been filed for Halo 7, 8, and 9. Maybe we won't get there, maybe we will.... but it's a scary thought.

Regarding the industry as a whole and lack of innovation: A lot of innovation is taking place on XBLA. Warp is a fantastic game and showcases what happens when you keep production costs down and open the doors to creativity. I think a larger issue at hand is the overall trend to "dumb down" everything in society, and video games becoming less innovative and such is just a by product of that. Take twitter for example. People are getting to the point that if you can't say what you want to say in 250 characters or less, they have no interest in listening to you. When I pull out my 1200-page fantasy fiction book at work, I get looks like I'm crazy, and this is from college educated nurses with at least a 2-year if not 4-year degree!

To keep these attention-span deprived masses coming back for more, devs keep trying to make games more and more "accessible". In my opinion, this essentially means they are trying to make the games easier and more capable of pick-up-and-play, with no learning curve or skill curve whatsoever.

Look at little kids participating in group sports. They are now given 'participation' trophies. It used to be that if you won, you got a trophy, and if you lost, you didn't. Society is so afraid to negatively impact little Johnny that everyone has to have a trophy/ribbon/whatever. So we're teaching kids at a young age that it's not about the result, but rather that you tried. So when Johnny grows up and plays a truly HARD video game (aka not 'accessible'), he hates it because it doesn't reward him merely for his effort. The game might not even be truly difficult; it just might have a learning curve that takes more than 10 minutes to get the ins and outs of. Johnny goes and tells all his friends game X sucks, and having not even played it, they pass on this falsehood.

Mirror's Edge is a great example of this. The game itself is not truly difficult per se. Doing all the speed runs and time trials can be brain-racking, but for most gamers that isn't an issue because they aren't completionists and you can get through the game just fine without worrying about those specific achievements. The game itself can be played and enjoyed on even a moderate skill level. However, it DOES have a learning curve and it does take more than 10 minutes to get adept enough at it that you're not falling on your face every time you make a big jump. This is the type of game that many younger gamers today, raised on a diet of 'participation medals' and 'accessible' games, would immediately despise for challenging them beyond the most basic of levels.

So despite its innovation, Mirror's Edge never sold very well because it wasn't 'accessible' enough for the masses. If it had come out 10 or 15 years ago when a good challenge was still seen as a positive thing, and we weren't rewarding mediocrity at the alarming rate we do today, it would've sold better in my opinion.

You can see this trend carried over directly in the changes made with Halo 4. I truly don't believe they were trying to be innovative with the changes to the multiplayer. I think they were trying to make it more accessible to ensure that it moved copies. They had a chance to innovate with Spartan Ops, although a cinematic cut scene wrapped around what was essentially 'kill all the enemies' objectives wasn't very far on the innovative end of the spectrum. Given that they had all these armor abilities and such at their disposal, it would've been much better if they required co-op teamwork with various players doing various roles. For instance you could have multiple switches that had to be pressed simultaneously; one placed behind invincible enemies that one player needs to stealth past with active camo, one placed up on a ridge only accessible via jetpack, and a 3rd and possibly 4th placed elsewhere behind enemy lines that have to be broken through via direct or air assaults. Instead we got 'kill everything in sight' missions which felt like slow-paced but unchallenging firefight more than anything else. I like it well enough, but the more I think about it, the less innovative I think it is.

I'm rambling now I think so I'll stop... but that's my take on all this for what it's worth.
Landed on exactly 500,000/500,000gs with exactly 18500 achievements and exactly 500 games. All 100% including DLC. Was going hard the first half of January to reach that goal! Finished it on 1-19-2016. Final achievement: Completion Serenity in Nero.

Last edited by lifeexpectancy; 01-28-2013 at 07:26 AM.
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