This, at least, is the premise of what I´m going on about in the following text. I just stumbled over a bunch of postings in some videogame board, and I simply have to touch on this topic, once and for all.
Video games for the current home console systems are NOT great. They absolutely pale in comparison with last generation of games and the generations before. You cannot say that publicly, though, because it´ll result in two outcomes: Either, you´ll be called nostalgic, wearing rose-tinted glasses. Them saying that past games actually aren´t as great in reality, just become that in your mind. OR you´ll get replies like “oh well, you grew out of gaming, time for a break”. Don´t mess with me!
No matter which of the three systems I look at, their predecessors were better. Nintendo currently is using a “release two games per year“-policy that´s just not working. How great were the GameCube-days when we got Starfox Adventures, Eternal Darkness and Mario Sunshine all within the same month. Microsoft had some unique games like Gun Valkyrie, Phantom Dust or sequels to SEGA-franchises, combined with a lot of western games, that weren´t that common back then. And Sony…, well, they were market leader with the PS2 and had so many quirky, interesting games.
What makes me SO angry (yeah, taking the internet serious) is that EVERY single “promising” game is hyped into “AAA”, whatever “AAA” means. There´s so much shit, especially on both of the HD-systems, that get´s called “AAA” just because if has gorgous visuals or is exclusive to one of the two systems. And on Wii, a game is only “AAA” when it´s a super big Nintendo-franchise OR a well-known 3rd-party franchise. I´m so sick of people saying “Wii has no games”, and going on about how Super Mario Galaxy is the only game they liked…when they are too lazy or too biased to inform themselves about what the Wii´s library actually has to offer.
WHAT HAPPENED, i ask all of you. When finally two of the console manufacturers offer a hardware structure where multi platform titles are normal, it seems that all the console war-crap has totally gotten out of hand. Shitty racing-, hack’n slay- or fps-games are called “AAA” and people that think different are badmouthed and trolled. You know what? I want a games industry where gaming is supposed to be fun, again. “Again“, because that is what it all was about once in the past. The term “AAA”, websites like Metacritic or Gamerankings, and sensationalist gaming-outlets like 1UP.com, Gamespot or Kotaku, permanently stir things up. Without any reason. And stupid-as-fuck fanboys have nothing better to do than to jump at all that shit and start console war-stuff again. Then pseudo-neutral people talk out of their ass from above and, while seemingly being better, try to do the same as the non-disguised fanboys. It´s sickening. And all that because you cannot say “no, this game is not great” anymore.
If a game is “not great”, then it´s destined to be answered by a fanboy with “it´s just not your cup of tea”. And thus, another crappy title is justified to be called “AAA”, when all it has going for it is its exclusivity status. Whoah, Punch-Out! Wii is so great! No, it´s not. It´s multiplayer sucks and the singleplayer is way too hard and linear and gets old fast. Motor Storm is so great, go play it! No, I won´t! It´s just number #34322555 of yet another shitty racing game. Fable 2 is so great, it´s like Zelda but better! No, it´s not! All characters are missing character, and all the “simulation stuff” is totally unattached to the rest of the game. My wife just now divorced from me? Doesn´t matter, I´ll get another one!
You see, this is one big rant, i know. But all that “AAA”-stuff and all that hype-stuff just ruins the gaming industry. Back in the days, “AAA”-games (still, whatever AAA means, sigh) were titles like Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Half Life or Final Fantasy. And today? Crap like New Super Mario Bros. Wii, InFamous or Bayonetta. The first one will be yet another 2D-Mario, the latter two are or will be forgotten two weeks after their release. Those three “AAA-games” from the past that I mentioned are talked about even to this day, though. Something cannot be right, right?
For all the reasons why this is the way it is, it doesn´t matter. What matters is the fact that gaming is becoming worse and worse. And the only way to change something is to accept that. It absolutely doesn´t help when fanboys or pseudo-neutralists keep explaning why certain games ARE great. If I, or you, or you, or you, find a certain game to be horrible, lacking in various ways, then chances are that you´re right (that´s if you´re generally interested in that respective title´s genre, of course). In past times, if people were told that a game they like sucks, they´d answer “well, I like it, even if not everyone likes it as well”. Now, the answer is “you´re wrong and your taste in game sucks and you´re just trolling, gtfo!”. For example, I´m really interested in Valhalla Knights: Eldar Saga for Wii. I think it looks promising in a lot of ways. But do I think that everyone should acknowledge it as an arbitrary “AAA-game”? No, i do not. I realize that this game has specific appeals to specific kinds of gamers. And that´s it.
To conclude this rather epic rant: I know that I mixed two topics into one. First being the quality of games, second being the behavior of gamers themselves. But both tag along. On one hand, you have games getting worse, repeating the same concepts over and over again, and on the other hand, you have gamers that defend such games, and start with their annoying “AAA”-hype-thingy. To make long matters short: Play what you´re interested in, not what other´s make you believe to be interested in. I got Fire Emblem Wii just yesterday, and damn, it´s such a great game.
OR, considering the newest chapter of the Naruto-manga series: Don´t be a Masashi Kishimoto. Don´t fuck up what you loved for so long.