Monday, June 17, 2013

Why the Next Generation of Gaming is Going to SUCK.

Who will win the next round of console wars? Nobody, actually. 


After this year’s E3, I have to say that I’m not too impressed with what the next crop of gaming consoles are offering. In fact, from the looks of it, the next generation of console gaming might just be the most boring epoch yet, for several reasons.

First and foremost, there’s not really that much of a “gap” between the next-gen and this gen in my eyes. Seriously, you could show me footage of a newfangled PS4 game and footage of a game like “The Last of Us” side-by-side, and I really wouldn’t be able to tell you which one is “next generation.” If there’s a visual difference between that new “Call of Duty” game coming out on the Xbox One and the games that are already out on the 360, I genuinely can’t spot it.

Secondly, there are the games themselves. I watched both the Sony and Microsoft presentations, and if I didn’t know any better, a good 90 percent of the games coming out next gen are nothing more than really shiny, third-person shooting games with bad lip-dubbing and everybody talking like “Game of Thrones” characters. So yeah, it’s basically more of the same old, same old, only with WAY more ridiculous and self-indulgent melodrama thrown into the pot. More cut scenes, hoo-ray.

And then, there are the sequels, rehashes and re-dos, almost all of which are unnecessary. Internet warriors left and right like to chide the producers of quality year-in, year-out games like “Madden” and “Forza” for churning out the same material over and over again, but holy shit, when Nintendo does the exact same thing, who gives a fugg about originality all of a sudden? Not that there’s all that much to champion and celebrate regarding all of these “new” I.P.s, anyway…hope you like grandiloquent, self-important, SyFy-made-for-cable-original-quality-scripted “Halo” and “Mass Effect” wannabes, because that looks like ALL we’re going to be chowing down on until the Playstation5 comes out.

And then, there are the consoles themselves. Good lord, I don’t even know where to begin.

The XboxOne, in case you haven’t heard, will employ a lot of proprietary safeguards that some on the Internet find just mildly irksome. For one thing, game discs are more or less “locked” to individual units, so if you want to play a used game on your console…well, you’re screwed. The system also requires an “always online” component, which judging from the fate of games like “Diablo 3,” is the hardware design choice equivalent of sticking your junk into an aquarium filled with piranhas, and expecting nothing bad at all to happen. And also, the hardware’s killer app looks like it’s going to be a TV show, so yeah, I guess there’s not much else to say about that.

The Playstation4, which appears to resemble a Playstation2, only fatter, has none of the “security measures” that its next gen Microsoft competitor utilizes, so of course, the masses are already declaring the PS4 the presumptive victor of the console wars. Unfortunately, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the games being released on Sony’s next console are going to be any better than what the XboxOne is offering…in fact, outside of some really chintzy looking Square offerings (who, as we all know, can do online play like nobody’s business!), there really doesn’t seem to be much of a difference AT ALL between the software being hawked by both manufacturers. At the end of the day, the next gen wars may be decided by a choice between two fundamental evils…a ganky online service that may be down for weeks at a time and steals your credit card data, or a steady cloud-supported network that charges you for extra characters in “Killer Instinct.” Make your choice wisely, Internet.

This is what hardcore gaming looks like, because hardcore gaming looks like cats.

And then there’s Nintendo, a company supported by millions of hopeless fan boys the world over, whom got their collective panties in a bunch because the next “Smash Bros.” game -- which has been outsourced to a developer that’s been churning out pure fighting game shit for the last five years -- features Mega Man and that dude from “Animal Crossing” in it. As for the rest of Nintendo’s E3 line-up, it was LITERALLY nothing but the same old stuff: two Zelda re-dos, a “Super Mario Land” re-do, ANOTHER goddamn Pokemon re-do, a “Donkey Kong Country” re-do…would it really kill you motherfuggers to dream up a NEW intellectual property? Shit, a high-definition version of “Urban Champion,” at the least.

Long before this year’s E3, I decided that I was going to sit the next gen out, and after E3, I may not buy another gaming console ever again. Looking at the sheer shit being shat out by the Big 3 of gaming, I can’t help but wonder how the industry, once a wide-eyed, originality-driven culture of mirth and merriment, has turned into such a bloated, grandiose, money-sucking, soulless enterprise. So, you want me to pay 400 bucks to run around in grimy grey environments and shoot things in the head…again? No, that’s cool; I’d rather check out the backlog of Game Boy Color games out there, or even better, explore all the awesome Sega Master System games I missed out on way back when through the miracle of Flash-based emulation. Hell, we even have clone systems out there that let us play “Super Metroid,” “Gunstar Heroes” AND “Mega Man 3” on the same piece of hardware. Now why should I spend my hard-earned dough on experiences that are much more expensive, and nowhere near as fun?

As a through-and-through retro-gamer, a lot of new-wave gamers accuse me of being “blinded by nostalgia.” Well, after this year’s E3, I know for a FACT that what’s driving me towards pre-360 gaming isn’t wistful remembrances, but simply the notion that I don’t like video games that suck. Why throw all that money at online-centric games that are formulaic and full of themselves when I can trek back into the past and play more simplistic, more accessible, and generally more enjoyable games on the Saturn, the Neo Geo Pocket, the Amstrad, and the Nintendo 64 instead? Shit, there’s such a wealth of gaming options from the fifth console generation alone that I could easily occupy myself until the next, next Xboxes and Wiis get released.

So good luck with your XboxOnes and your PS4s and your Wii-Us and all of those utterly trite looking games that you’ll be charged an arm and a leg to play through once and never touch again. A good two or three years down the line, I might pick up a 3DS or a Vita, but I doubt it.

In the meantime, you’ll see me having a blast with all of those long-forgotten or never-experienced Game Gear gems, Neo-Geo CD mints and Atari 2600 classics. I’ll be having a hoot with my software, while all of you next gen gamers?  Looks like you have nothing to look forward to but disappointment after disappointment.

2 comments:

  1. The whole "all-in-one-entertainment" thing isn't necessarily a bad thing for the CASUAL fan. One device to do all the stuff that usually takes 3-4 boxes? Snap features that instantaneously let you multitask? Granted, we as gamers want, you know, GAMING consoles, but then again, that's not who Microsoft is pandering to with the Xbox One. Me, I'm playing the waiting game. I'll keep all my awesome games and my awesome console, and if the price goes down/some truly interesting experience comes down the line, I'll take a peek. As always, Condor tested, Condor approved!

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  2. I am not buying new consoles either...This is the first time in history when consoles have nothing to offer..AT ALL ! We get the same gameplay after 8 years and what is even more shocking we get the SAME GRAPHICS ! Consoles always were beasts when they were launched, no pc could match their power, this time they borrowed some low end processors from AMD, put it in a box, called it ps4/xbox one(I thought x-box one was actually..first x box) and they want to make lots of money with that junk box..Well, I wish all the best to MS and Sony guys, really, perhaps they are all good guys and they just want to make lots of money, I can understand that, but I honestly can't buy their shit boxes, sorry.

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