Monday, November 15, 2010

Our Habits Might Kill Video Games!!

After years of playing video games, I've seen a lot of trends that have been beaten to death. I can vaguely recall some of the Pac-Man clones that reared their heads in the early 80s, and from there I vividly remember the knockoffs of Super Mario Bros., Mega Man, Zelda, and Street Fighter 2. I have also noticed an alarming trend in video games, but something that definitely didn't start in video games. A general lack of creativity has become par for the course, and many gamers are gullible enough to go along with it at every turn. There are very few original concepts in gaming to begin with, but our "fear anything we don't understand" mindsets have made it quite difficult to push a game that can be considered new or original in the slightest to the masses out of fear. Fear that their project will be pushed under the rug by retailers who are only selling the latest First Person Shooter or cartoon cash in. I can remember the last game I saw truly try something different, Mirror's Edge. At that point in video game history, there had never been a platformer where every moment of gameplay was in the first person. It didn't exactly go off without a hitch, but it was a solid game, and it was a step towards some semblance of innovation. 2005's Shadow of the Colossus wasn't a necessarily original concept, but it was executed in an original fashion. Super Mario Galaxy had some elements of Toejam and Earl thrown into it's core gameplay, but we didn't care because the experience felt new. Now, by no means am I beating up on the video game industry or those who buy games because in the end we are all creatures of habit. We like the familiarity that that annual copy of NCAA, Smackdown vs. Raw, or Call Of Duty provides. Most of us don't want to admit that Vanquish is a lot like Gears of War, which in turn wouldn't exist if it wasn't for Killswitch, and we will take to message boards spewing hate to defend our games. I'm just as guilty as anybody else of being a creature of habit when it comes to games. Remember folks, my favorite video game series since I got a NES has been Castlevania, and with the exception of a few games in the series, I currently own 11 games in that series, and if I had a GBA, DS, and PSP, it would be more. I'm by no means saying do away with the games you enjoy playing, but I am saying, break up the monotony. Put something out of the ordinary on your gamefly queue, try dabbling in a new genre of game every now and then. There's a reason why the variety we saw in video game stores when we were younger is long gone, and it's all our fault.

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