supern0va9 / Member

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Reflections - Mainstream Versus Lesser Known Titles

When I buy a game, I'm hoping I get an edge of my seat experience. I want the game to be original, exciting, new, fresh. A game that I can't put down, much like a good book. What I hope not to get is something rehashed and "improved", something boring and already done dozens of times. That's what I got when I bought Far Cry 3 and Resident Evil 6. The former debuted to rave reviews... I have yet to see it receive less than a 9 from any critic. While the game kept me interested for some time, it quickly became repetitive, the story boring and plain. I realized I was playing an FPS/RPG that I've played many times before, and witnessing a storyline that was not very original or exciting.

So after putting down Far Cry, I had hoped Resident Evil may fulfill my need for an edge of your seat gaming experience. One of my favorite franchises as a teen, I felt that once RE4 hit the series had become a cash cow and the story would never be resolved. However, I put my trust into the RE name and figured maybe the series got it's heart back and the new type of gameplay promised by it's developers would renew my interest. I was wrong. I chored my way through Leon's storyline, only enjoying myself when a friend picked up the role of Helena for the middle part of the story. Afterwards, we found ourselves increasingly frustrated by a never ending boss battle that quickly became boring and ridiculously long. After beating it and receiving an unsatisfying ending, I took on Chris' storyline, but halfway into Chapter 3 found myself not caring about completing the story.

I soon found myself trading both games in at Gamestop, without completing them. Both being fairly new, they had good value. Throw in a Gamestop special of 50% extra credit towards pre-owned titles, and I had enough to pick up three used games. I decided to go with three titles that slipped a bit under the radar and didn't get much press: Yakuza Dead Souls, Silent Hill: Downpour, and Resonance of Fate. Much to my surprise, I found myself entralled by all three games. Despite being a Yakuza fan, Dead Souls was something I had dismissed due to it seeming a bit unusual, as well as the zombie genre being a bit beaten into the ground. I ignored Downpour due to my lack of familiarity with Silent Hill and recalling a review score of 7. Resonance of Fate I had never even heard of. All three have so far kept me away from the dreadful feeling of knowing I'm bored with a game. I'll save my gushing for my reviews.;)

This experience begs the question: Is it better to put your trust in well-reputed and known franchises and game titles, or go for something a bit unexpected and less popular? Less popular doesn't always mean bad, but spending money on a known title is supposed to guarantee you quality and some fun. Yet, the gaming world works in mysterious ways. Perhaps the gaming industry has become a bit like the music industry, where you have some artists selling millions of albums, those sales being supported by their flashy looks and tabloid excapades, yet if you want to find real quality you need to look at the artists more focused on music and not celebrity. The same goes for gaming. You can buy what everyone else is talking about, or you can do some digging of your own and find your very own special gem.