Hello everyone! As of right now I am in my first week of university and will unfortunately have little time for any hardcore gaming. What this means is you are probably gonna get some talk about tiny indie games I play or my thoughts on gaming or something of the like, this post falls into the latter.
I have been gaming for a long time, longer than I care to remember. When I got my first 3D Console I was psyched. All these new series and all the new things they could do with the horsepower of the systems amazed me. But as I got older I started to become much more jaded about the hobby I love so much. In the length of time I have been gaming I have seen a lot. So much that not much excites me anymore. A lot of what I play are just rehashed ideas that I have played time and time again. Every now and than though I play a game. A game that is like a lot of other games but has that one little extra thing that makes it unique. This could be a story point, the atmosphere, game play element, anything really that makes me stop and relies that games are still an art worth defending. Lucky for me, these games usually become franchises, But unfortunately we live in a capitalist society which means they usually go on one game to long.
I did not have a PS1 when Metal Gear Solid came out. But from screen shots in Game Pro I knew I wanted one. But I was a Nintendo fanboy back then and asked for a N64 for Christmas when that came out and I’d like to see you try to explain to your parents the difference between them when you’re 7. So I had to wait, a whole year in fact, to even physically see the game played. When I finally found a PS1 under my tree I had a copy of Monster Rancher(Mom saw me watching it on TV), Final Fantasy 7(Dad saw me playing 3 when I was younger) And The game whose ads I had glued to my fridge MGS. I played this game hardcore, I loved sneaking and shooting. The story was something I had never seen before, it was so deep, complex an thought provoking(I was like 10 guys!). Everything about this game was awesome. so years later when MGS2 game out I basically shit my pants. I went out and bought it, From the opening cinematic I knew I held gold. I played that game over and over, I wrote a small paper on the story later for high school, I got all the dog tags, found all the secrets. I never got why people were so mad about it. The character switch to me was a great story line change and at that age I had no clue what any of it actually meant, I just knew it was the most intriguing story I had ever played. Than came 3, so much excitement and so much let down. Everything about 3 screamed of trying to hard, It wasn’t a bad game by far, just nowhere close to 2. And this is what I find always happens to my favorite franchises.
I cannot honestly remember a time where a game after the second one stood out in my mind as a pure gem. Usually a second game is amazing, they take what I loved from the first one and add a couple elements to make it stand out. Games like Resident Evil 2, Silent Hill 2, F.E.A.R. 2, Assassins Creed 2. All these games took what I loved and made it that much greater. Unless a game completely changes styles every time like Final Fantasy it’s hard to continue past a second try. What do you do when you reach perfection? In my opinion you should give up. If people like the story they will buy novels and comics. Either that or keep the same game formula and just add a little bit, but that’s never what happens. For a third game they usually take a lot of the great away or add way to much. In San Andreas(Because I count GTA3 as the start of a new series of GTA games) they made the world so massive that it took 15 minutes to drive from one side of the map to the other. They added more flying parts, and even a stupid RC plane mission that wound up costing me the use of my desk. They tried to hard and wound up losing all the goofy fun I had in Vice City. This is something I have come to accept as a fact and, as a gamer, a curse. I know I am going to buy a game because it has a favored franchise’s name on it. I do this because in my heart I have this deep hope that maybe this one will be the best even though my head is telling me to look at history and accept that it won’t. I do the same with movies, with novels, pretty much everything. I am a nerd, and my fandoms consume my life and my money. Companies know this and leach off it.
But what can I do. I am a gamer, I am a pop culture geek, I am an anime nerd. This is the lifestyle I have chosen and this is the oppression we must deal with. Here is hoping that the new Metal Gear game will be the best thing I ever play!