All About Gumpo
So i've been a gamer for about twenty years now, playing on consoles as far back as the APF Imagination Machine. Having been around for over a decade of gaming before it was trendy or cool, and in fact downright looked down upon by many people, I'm somewhat left out in the cold by the recent direction most game publishers and developers have chosen to follow.
Take a look back on the past few years biggest blockbuster titles, and what do you see? I'd say about 90% of the big money games were first person shooters and/or big franchise sequels. Really, what made Halo 2 so special? It was the sequel to an okay first person shooter that just happened to become really popular with casual gamers, because it was easy to just pick up and play. And what made Rainbow Six Vegas so great? Basically the same thing; there certainly wasn't any of the old Rainbow Six to be had - no planning phase whatsoever, and little tactical thought about what you were doing - mostly just run and gun. Then you've got the franchise sequels, games like Tony Hawk, WWE Smackdown, and Need For Speed. What do they really do to switch up their titles from year to year? Change around some maps, maybe update their roster / car lists, and rehash, for the most part, the game play of the originals. While there may be a new feature thrown in here and there, for the most part, the core game play remains unchanged.
What am i getting at here?
I'm angry that publishers are constantly targeting games to "mainstream" gamers. That is to say, the "New" gamers - Not the ones who have been playing for decades, but rather the ones who never got into it back in the day, and are only just now starting to play. For the most part, these people have short attention spans and want fast paced action and rewards without having to really do anything, they don't want to think or sit around and learn the back-story of a game, they just want to hop in and frag some demons.
Now normally these people wouldn't bother me, but I've come to realize that developers are starting to lower the quality of their games to make their publishers happy because their game is now more appealing to the mass audience. Take Bioshock for example. Designed by a lot of the same guys behind System Shock 2, Bioshock devolved from a FPS/RPG hybrid with slow paced thoughtful gameplay to a straight up FPS, fast paced with almost non stop action. Now don't get me wrong, Bioshock was a good game, but compared to the game it was derived from, it was an utter failure in my mind. It was dumbed down and "console-ified" to appeal to a mass audience. And appealing to the mass audience isn't appealing to a hardcore gamer like me.
I want more games like Deus Ex.
I want more games like Fahrenheit.
I want more games like S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Shadow of Chernobyl.
I want more games like Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines.
I want more games like Gothic 3.
I want more games like Two Worlds.
I want more games like X-Com: Apocalypse.
I want more games like Monkey Island.
I want more games that try to be a little innovative and think outside the box!
Now I'm not totally pessimistic; Spore will be out within a year, and it looks wonderfully different from everything else. Junction Point Studios, lead by Warren Spector, the man behind System Shock 2 and Deus Ex, among other innovative titles, is well on their way to releasing their first title, which has been in development for quite some time, and will likely be equally as innovative. Lord British, the guy behind Ultime Online, is trying to redefine the MMORPG with Tabula Rasa...
But the list shouldn't have stopped so abruptly. Where have all the REAL games gone? And the REAL gamers who played them?
Am i the only one who is getting a little disgruntled by the lack of innovation in most games? Am I the only one who wants more than generic first person shooter after generic first person shooter? Or am i just overreacting and getting all cranky because game developers insist on loading all their pc games with dozens of copy protection schemes that make it virtually impossible to play games conveniently without swapping discs non stop.... but you know what, that is a rant for another day.
I'm going to go get a pizza, and maybe play some Civilization IV. At least Sid Meier still knows how to make a quality title.
Well since it's been like a year i figured i'd throw something down here for the heck of it. Yup, im still alive. And No, no planes hit anything today that i know of. Woo. Let's have cake.
I got into the spirit to write reviews again, so if i can correctly remember the games i have played recently, i should be throwing up a lot of reviews soon. Speaking of which - why did they change the rating system? I want all the sliders back!
Eh, more later?
26Aug 06A double blogging today. Long time since i've done one of these, i figured it was about time.
First off, i'd like to state that from now on im my game reviews, im going to be taking copy protection into account when reviewing a game. Why? Well, i like to be able to make a virtual image of my games with programs like Alcohol or Virtual CD so i dont have to rummage through original physical discs when i play games. Since a lot of games are making it harder and harder for me to do that, and some even put crazy software on my computer that tells me i have to uninstall those programs, i figure games that do mean things like that deserve to have a few points taken off their total scores. I'd like to request that anyone else who frequently reviews games do the same thing, because copy protection past the form of simple cd checks is worthless.
Next, i'd like to brag a bit about my high speed internet connection. (Hopefully this will give someone a little more insight into their cable modem internet access)
For about a decade now - literally since Cable modems were first available, i've had one. I actually have one of the first Linksys cable modems made - and its lasted me this whole time. Years ago my local providor got bought out by Comcast, and i currently have their 8mb down 768kb up service. (Fairly inexpensive if you have their basic cable as well. - maybe twice as expensive as DSL but many times faster.)
For years i'd been regularly running speed tests getting download speeds of around 4,700kbps down and 300kbps up.
I had recently upgraded from 6mb down to 8mb down, and noticed no download speed increase - but that was okay, because i had twice the download speed. Somewhere along the line a glitch on comcast's end messed things up, and long story short, i ended up buying a new modem even though the problem was on their end. Well, part of the problem.
Now that i have a new DOCSIS 2.0 cable modem (Linksys' newest cable modem model, BEFCMU10 i beleive.) i get truely astronomical download speeds. Im talking over 20,000kbps. over 20mbps! DSL just cant touch that.
Why am i posting about that? Well, besides wanting to brag just a little bit more, i want to encourage everyone that has an old DOCSIS 1.0 modem to upgrade to a new 1.1 / 2.0 modem. It will likely get you serious performance increases. (Assuming you have a cable provider that is using the DOCSIS 1.1 or 2.0 standards - Comcast is using 1.1, and im fairly sure most Cable internet subscribers are now under their umbrella.)
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