What? Am I insane? I prefer those 2D black and white simple games over the epicness of Metal Gear Solid or the sheer realism of Full Spectrum warrior? Never!
No, it's true. Tetris, the classic game in which you assort falling shapes so they form lines at the bottom of the screen, a full line scoring points and fading away to allow more on-screen room; Pong, the simple game where you take control of a small rectangle and must return a 'ball' (white square on the screen) to your opposing rectangle with the aim being to get it past them and score points, kinda like tennis.
But why? Why prefer these simple, repetitive games over games of mass proportion and depth like Final Fantasy 10? One simple reason. They are fun.
It would seem the obvious reason to play a game, fun. And that is exactly what Pong and Tetris were. Simple games that were totally irrelevant to the world around them, that just allowed a means of quiet entertainment for a while, a kind of means of escapism of simple fun. And what makes them better than todays games? I have two examples to give, Final Fantasy X and Full Spectrum Warrior.
Technically Final Fantasy X isn't realistic as it's set in a fantasy world but the idea is that the world it creates is realistic so I think you can let me get away with it. Final Fantasy X, then, is not a game. It's an experience, in the same way a film is, and this comparison to films is highly relevant considering Final Fantasy X revolves 95% around its storyline and progressing in the tale.
But think back to the reasons I played Pong and Tetris - simple fun. Name one moment of FFX that is simple fun? Don't get it confused with engaging moments in the storyline, because whilst they do hold your attention they aren't fun , more... interesting. Some people might try and argue that the battles are fun - no, they aren't. Again, they hold the interest and require thought and deliver a feeling of satisfaction upon your success, but they aren't fun. Other people might argue that the mini-games are fun. Er, since when was Blitzball fun? I agree in the case of Final Fantasy 9 the cards game was simple, rewarding fun, so maybe there are exceptions to the rule.
Second example, Full Spectrum Warrior. It's so realistic you might actually convince yourself that you were once in the war and spend your retirement years lecturing uninteresed grandkids about it, but is it fun? Again, it's an engaging experience, but there's no element of fun.
But why is this such a bad thing? Sure, it's not all fun, but maybe it's just cool to immerse yourself in these worlds? True yeah, this is a solid point, in fact this counts for the same reason that people watch films or read books and in fact may help video-games become a respected franchise if they are on the same level as books and films. And I'm not saying I don't benefit either. One of my favourite game/experiences ever is ICO (PS2), and that game was totally an experience. There was no element of simple fun, but it delivered warmth and a storyline you really cared about. I also really love Final Fantasy 10, one of the games I used as an example against these type of games.
Well, the reason I bought it up is not because I haven't benefitted from the new style of 'games'/experiences, but just because I miss the old games. The last truly gamey game I bought was the wonderful Bishi Bashi Special, and I've had that since like 2000 so it's been 4 years cold turkey and I'm not so happy. There are examples of fun games that get released, the example that sprang to mind when i typed this was, strangely, Big Mutha Truckers, but these are all average titles that don't deliver the quick, simple fun of Pong.
The thing is, with Final Fantasy, Metal Gear Solid, Legend of Zelda, etc etc etc, you have to totally engage your brain into it, you have to concentrate on it, and when you get at that point it starts to affect you. You start to care about the game and the characters - I know I'm not the only one who was saddened by Aeris dying in Final Fantasy 7. And this is all wonderful, it's a beautiful thing, it's just with games like this getting all the sales and popularity, there's never any room for simple fun games, and I'm starting to think I may never see a simple, fun game be released ever again.
> Nintendo really does believe that gaming should always be fun and
> they follow through with their games.
That's one of Nintendo's great qualities and hopefully they'll carry that on into the future.
Both the classics (the Super Mario Worlds) and the newer ones (kart, golf, tennis, soccer etc) really emphasize on fun. The graphics aren't trying to be realistic but they do the job perfectly. They are happy graphics and they add a bit to the gameplay. And the gameplay is all about fun too - with power-ups, simple controls and lively animation.
Nintendo really does believe that gaming should always be fun and they follow through with their games.
I love great games like Half Life 2, Pro Evo 5 and once in a while some good Final Fantasy. But I rarely have time these days to sit down for 2-3 hours straight and play a game. I'd usually just pick up my DS or sit down at the Gamecube and put something on for half an hour. Then I can get back to reality and responsibility, nice and happy.
Worst has to be colin mcrae rally.
> i gotta admit i like the old games better. the gameplay was so much
> more than waht you get today. sure the graphics were lacking but they
> were so much more special. i had the original tetris when it came out
> and it kept me occupied for about a year, i was about 5 at the time
> but i liked it. NES and SNES games particularly took my fancy. the
> same games have now become 3D platinum sellers but i prefered them
> back in the day. games like final fantasy I (mystic quest), time,
> zelda and super metroid. i do like the new games but they just seem
> to lack what the old games had
Put simply - older games have gameplay, most new ones don't. Graphics are nice yes but poor gameplay equals a poor game where as poor graphics but good gameplay equals a good game.
Imagine a Tiger Woods that looked real. It'd be awesome. We're almost there, I think. Look at Republic Commando.. even half way through development, it looks awesome. Half Life 2. Halo 2. All these games are building on encouraging people to make better games.
Having said that. With Technology comes improvements. Graphically, Audiably, Physically.
But in certain genres, it's different. I'd bawk at a realistic Mario game, where Mario get's annoyed at dying fighting Bob-Ombs and swears at Princess Peach and gives up trying to save her because she's getting funky with Luigi... After eating magic mushrooms. Blue Ones. With stars on.
Anyway... I like Splinter Cell 2. And Black Arrow. But also Mario and Fable and HALO, and Evo 4.
[fancy-neon-glowing-text] Game [/fancy-neon-glowing-text]
> buy, buy, buy.