Hey there fellas! It's been a while since I've last written something in this blog or in Game Spot for that matter.
Truth is I'm currently finishing a major on International Relations, so it's become rather difficult to do something else apart from studying and tending to projects left by obnoxious teachers, or writing papers that won't be read and so on...
Few people have read my blog (apart from me and some friends I think no one else has), then why do I write? Sadly I can only make silly conjectures, perhaps it is a form of therapy to let out some stress, or most likely it's because I'm an egotistical bastard who loves reading his own words, in any case if someone else is reading this I'd like to thank you for giving me a precious moment of your time and I want to apologize if you read this and want to perform all of Saw's torture games on me, but are unable to.
I won't bore you with the details of how I was introduced to the world of videogames, nor will I tell you my sad record as a gamer. Suffice it to say, videogames have evolved in terms on technical skills, storytelling, music, etc. Truly, many people -such as myself- consider them a new form of art, since good games tend to leave an everlasting mark in our lives, or just a good memory that will put a smile in our faces when we recall it. This happened to me when I played The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time in a convenience store. I remember it was at the late stages when you are playing as an adult Link in a very hostile Hyrule.
The game really claimed my attention and made me go out of the way to get my parents to buy me one and, since I was young I got away with it and I have to say that Zelda was the only N64 game I still cherish above all others. It allowed me to escape the loneliness of being the only son of my parents, it allowed me to build my own fantasies in that world. I really felt like Link and became involved in the story. Everything in that game, from the music, to the cinematics, characters and landscape are still enough to bring bittersweet feelings regarding the state of actual gaming.
Games nowadays are -mostly- technological wonders, the graphics, sound and voice acting have really improved and, have helped in making games more and more immersive. Actually some games are more fun than any Hollywood blockbuster, just to make a comparison: The Rock is a great action film, but I felt the same degree of adrenaline when I played CoD: MW; Paranormal Activity scared the living $@# out of me, but it didn't managed to leave me in a state of perpetual fear like the first time I played Silent Hill alone in my room with no other light, than that of the television set.
Most games are now just interactive movies, or an endless repetition of the same thing (CoD anyone?). They manage to entertain most of us, but we end up thinking of them as movies, they do no longer provide the entertainment they used to have.
I understand that in our free market world profit means everything and if you don't make a decent profit, you are bound to disappear or be eaten by a larger fish, sadly that is the world we live in.
Now we see DLC that are embedded within the game, meaning they were developed at the same time, so you end up giving aproximately $10 apart from the usual $60 a retail game costs. Most of these DLC are pieces of crap or complete rip offs (ehem, Oblivion horse armor). Games have also gone from a standard of quality to quantity, if not, how can you explain the yearly release of the most popular franchises? Most of them offer nothing new and people end up buying them just to complete their collections, or because they are trendy.
Games have become a luxury, that much is certain. With rumors about the next PS and Xbox preventing us from playing borrowed or used games, we can bear witness to the money milking industry that has been born. Microtransaction are fast becoming the rule, not the exception. Pay to win is now a reality, add a multiplayer component so we can release maps and charge consumers a bit more, no innovation needed. Destroy or merge studios to save costs and fire more people, so the remaining ones have to work on a very tight schedule and present the consumer a disappointing final product.
Now it has even come to "e-sports", personally I can't consider videogames a "sport", eventhough it requires a high degree of skill and perception to be a pro in a video game. This e-sport faucet turns videogames into a job, a very demanding job, thus the original purpose of escaping from a reality a little while has been all but lost.
This rant could go on and on, I tried to make my views short in order to prevent me from destroying my keyboard, or bore you, my dear reader, to death.
Making a game like Metal Gear Solid must be pretty difficult, and in truth, it is more a movie that a game. But it makes you feel involved. Putting yourself in the shoes of Ezio (ACII) and traveling with him to uncover the truth and exact divine punishment on those who deserve it, makes you feel involved. Having the ability to make moral choices that affect the whole story, makes you feel involved.
Nowadays the norm is competitive gaming, don't care how don't care why, just add some multiplayer. And while this isn't necessarily bad, it leaves developers with the task of adding a component that wasn't -in some cases- needed to what could've been a great story. That's why people are turning more and more towards independent games.
What I've written has been voiced by many people (they actually have written something worth reading), but we are the final consumers, sadly if you are into economics then you know your consumer money doesn't really spell much for a large corporation whose main revenue comes from investors and share-holders. But that consumer money really matters to small, independent developers.
I think it is best to study and learn from the past, use the lessons that can be taught, discard what's not needed, but still place great importance on quality over quantity. I'm almost sure my gamer days will be over with my PS3 and X360.
Please feel free to comment, flame, troll or post your links to quality porn sites. (English is not my mother tongue, sorry for any an all grammar mistakes or spelling mistakes).