Do I stand alone in my belief that on-line gaming has gone too far? Having grown up in the Nintendo (and by that I mean NES, not the company) I have always been kind of partial to games that are self contained. Don't get me wrong I thoroughly enjoy a good multiplayer game, but really only when it's played with people in the same room I'm in. I have tried the on-line gaming experience; I wouldn't feel as though I could judge something I haven't given my best effort (and that is verified by a level 40+ character in WOW, and lots of time spent in other games in differing genres). I just don't like the experience. And I have no argument against purely on-line games, after all it's the only reason you would play the game in the first place. My real problem lies with games that have the on-line aspect in addition to the "normal" game play (Halo 2 and 3 I'm looking at you).
If I'm going to throw down against an opponent I take much more pleasure in seeing the look of defeat on their face when I crush them. Trash talk is so much more fun when done in person. Plus it gets to be excessive when done on-line, people loose the sense of responsibility when complete and total anonymity is involved. That's the basic problem with the internet, otherwise nice people become complete jerks when granted anonymity.
The reason I find it necessary to bring my opinion to light now is what appears to me to be a recent trend in video games. That is more and more games are coming out as either on-line only, or with severely butchered console action in favor of the on-line aspects. Case in point Halo, while the first was a great game that had a terrific balance of personal play and on-line the other two games were disturbingly short so that more on-line aspect could be crammed in. This bothers me, the games are terrific but if I'm going to spend next-gen cash on a game I want to be able to go at it for longer than 15 hours of storyline game time. Not to mention the inability to unlock all of the achievements in my 360 games due to the fact I don't want to go at the game on-line, but that's a rant for a different time and place.
As in all other media when a game is played with others it is more about the shared experience than it is about the game played, or the movie watched, or the roller coaster ridden. A comedy flick is by far funnier when you can share that experience with another directly. The same can be said for video games. I just don't get as excited when I accomplish something difficult with the aide of someone halfway across the globe as I do when I'm playing with a buddy in the same local. I'm not saying that on-line game play detracts from the game; I'm just saying the game, and the resulting achievement, is better when shared with someone in the same room.
I know that more and more games with have on-line aspects built into them. And that I may have to once again venture into that realm to achieve what I'd like. I just hope that the regular game, the off-line version, doesn't suffer too greatly so that this secondary aspect of the game can be developed.