I find as I have gotten older my amount of free time to play video games has gotten smaller. So why did all these kids who grew up playing the same games decide to make their new games so much longer. Now I don’t want to get off on a rant here but I’ve started sticking to my retro games because I don’t know if I have the sixty hours needed to get some blond haired pretty boy from the train station he was sleeping in to the highway out of town. Which as we all know is the end of the first game of five to be released episodically over the next three video game consoles.
I’m not saying I don’t enjoy a good story driven game, but now it seems if anything is going to come out it’s one of two options. Either it’s an overly produced hand holding slog in what is essentially a 40 hour tutorial for multiplayer, or we get something that can’t decide if it wants to be a pitch for a Netflix series or be so purposefully vague you spend two hours playing the game then two weeks watching lore videos on YouTube just to figure out what you just did. Ofcourse that is ignoring the flood of almost unplayable titles shoveled to every digital storefront out there. Then when a good game does actually come out I’ll miss it because who would have guessed the twenty dollar game with a second edition Dungeons and Dragons cover art was the next must play. Where as my new copy of Cyberpunk is equal parts rushed programming and rushed script writing. Games have become more hit or miss than ever just with very few ways to try before you buy. No more rentals or borrowing a game from a friend. Instead it’s a two hour refund policy. A policy that guarantees an hour and a half of tutorials and cutscenes with thirty minutes button remapping and setting fiddling. I’m beginning to think that at this point I spend more time asking myself if I’ll be willing to play something more than if I’d like it. So suddenly I end up spending four hundred hours running fetch quests for animals I only tolerate because I want their glamour shot photos.
I’m just honestly sick of hearing people my dislike of a game is misplaced because “it’s about the story not the gameplay”. Sorry but that’s uh, that’s books. Books are the medium that is about the story first and foremost. Sure games can have a compelling story. Who doesn’t enjoy knowing why they are slaughtering everything in their path? Justification is important. Just when the gameplay takes a backseat, or worse gets the QTE treatment, I’d rather just watch someone else play it. The issue I’m having is games are a hot mess of different grabbaggy elements from anything that sold well a year or two before this game came out. Thank god I get a crafting system in every game I play now. It’s awesome that apparently not every character can jump, but they all know how to build stuff on the fly with some rope, some wood, and half a handgun they found on a corpse. I love crafting, and also mining actually. Just maybe in Harvest Moon, or Story of Seasons as it likes to be called now, my farmer who can barely maintain his scooter shouldn’t have the ability to make industrial furnaces from the junk around his house?
I don’t think I’m asking for to much. I just want a clear concise vision for a unique and original game from a series I am familiar with. A series I have gotten tired of but will refuse any changes made to it actually being what I wanted. That is until the next game is announced to be going back to the classics. Now don’t get me wrong I’ll buy almost every video game from a series I have the first one in. So they know I want more of it, just not what they are making. So I’ll just keep buying them until they get it right. That will show them whose boss. Because all these years of buying games that failed to deliver what I wanted clearly means I know what games to get. Because let’s be honest with each other. We never were that good at picking up games. We were just easier at forgetting the shit we bought. It’s hard lose a Steam game behind the couch. You can’t sell your eShop download to your friend for five bux and a Big Mac you are stuck with it. Not to mention your trophy list that syncs to every new PlayStation you pick up. Permanently displaying the garbage you sat through like a childhood chore list. Almost never getting all the way checked off, but you get a new game anyway.
Yeah that’s right, that’s mine. One percent of the game played and I had to talk myself out of buying Battlefront 2. Several times if I’m being honest. Listen I’m all for buying what you want because you want it. In fact I’m willing to bet over the years I bought and gave up on more games than any one of you even played. Not saying that as some sort of pathetic brag on my back catalog. Rather saying impulse purchases are what keeps gaming interesting. So ya know at the end of the day the big solution to all of this. The easiest way to pick up new games without disappointment is rather simple. Set your personal benchmarks of what you reasonably expect from your games. Then go back and make a list of games you personally have played that meet it. The biggest thing is to avoid going to the big brand reviewers. Dipping into those sites and videos will only expose you to a level of brain washing that would make the writer of The Manchurian Candidate would be impressed.
Yeah I know, I’m just as guilty of it as any of them. The difference is I am not basing my views on brand deals and securing early review copies. My views come from me feeling entitled to spouting off several times a week about what I like. My opinions might be myopic to what I enjoyed and the reviews are for the games I can afford. That being said I make as many bad decisions as everyone else. So next time someone tries convincing you we need yet another remake of The Last of Us or trying to say Secret of Evermore is overrated just remember that person probably also picked up six games last year that you wouldn’t even redeem from a Humble Bundle. Not to say reviews are useless. Please stick around I need the validation. Just maybe realize nobody ever has or ever will have a full proof way to pick good video games. Unless you know how to use bit torrent. As soon as money is involved things change. Either buying it or being paid to play it you have changed your expectations. Play a great game for $20 then buy a terrible one for $60 and you will immediately get more upset than when your significant other pulls into Wendy’s drive thru. So if video games won’t change the fact they feel like changing everything up every two titles then maybe you should just change how upset it makes you.
If a game has been in development for two console generations then it’s safe to assume it will play like a PS2 game with not one, but two crafting systems. The point to all this I guess would be I can’t keep judging new games, even from the same series, by the games that came before it. Sure it’s easy and it makes sense to try comparing Mario Odessy to Super Mario Bros. 3. Just we all have been doing that for decades now and it’s gotten us nowhere. If the gaming landscape won’t change maybe it’s time we change instead. Ofcourse that’s just my opion, and it comes from a guy who is going to keep comparing new Final Fantasy games to the GBA port of FF6. So you do you, and don’t let others make you feel bad for what you like, and you damn sure better not let them make you feel bad for what you don’t.
You still here after all that? Wanna maybe hit up our Discord and tell me how you pick games? Possibly maybe join our Patreon to help fund the site and our YouTube channel? Well if you are in a position to help we’d love it, and if not we love you anyway.