As Christmas approaches many anticipated gamers will have big name titles on their wish list. These games typically sell well over the Christmas, but they also seem to be under increasing scrutiny from both critics and fans. The problem? Many games of today seem to be far too similar to previous titles; so is this loophole a major issue or are there positive repercussions?
Recently I hit my fifth review here at YARS, so in reflection I decided to look back at all my past reviews to see how far I’d come. There were many things noticed: my reviews had a smoother flow, they were structurally organized and had overall increased in quality since I first began.
However, there was one common theme that I noticed throughout my reviews- my endless moaning about games being far too similar to past titles. This is no doubt an issue that every gamer has come across before in any genre of game and there is absolutely no doubting the fact that it is a hotly debated issue. It probably doesn’t help that the majority of my reviews are on Mario games (infamous for repetition) but even as I started to write a review on Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask I noticed that I was still referring to it being far too similar to previous titles. So is there any hope for a games series? Previously I have written about games developers being forced to work on the same series over and over so this comes under the same theme. It all boils down to one basic issue- money. If a games series becomes popular it’s obvious that a developer will want to stick with it and make big bucks.
I don’t need to mention specifics, any seasoned gamer will know them. The money nowadays is off the scale as well; a “popular” yet endlessly criticized FPS series has sold over 100 million copies as of 2011 and is infamous for its DLC. Perhaps a bigger games market isn’t such a welcome premise… This wouldn’t become a problem but games of today are seemly shunned out with absolute minimum time and effort spent perfecting them. Online doesn’t help either; if there is lack of content or a glitch then you can just patch the game to death or release some overpriced DLC. It seems the problems of a rushed game are too simple to solve.
Of course this doesn’t cover every game that is released onto the modern market. Every now and there does come a golden egg, a perfectly well crafted and time spent masterpiece, but they seem to be getting rarer and rarer. In fact it seems that the more obscure a series is the higher quality the game is. These developers seem to (generally) be willing to spend more time intricately tweaking a game to perfection rather than just chucking it out onto the market. But even then they run the risk of losing old habits if their series does gain popularity, so it does seem as if the whole predicament is a vicious circle.
Alternatively, it could be seen as a good thing. Instead of making the games market linear and samey it encourages others to try and make a well crafted game for the masses. Hell there is enough Call of Duty hate out there to practically run your own games market! It is certainly a challenge worth taking up while the reward would be more than worth the while… Maybe I’m looking into this too deeply.
There doesn’t seem to be any major lack of enjoyment from playing a particularly rushed game, nor do I seem to stop buying them! It’s because of the size of the gaming market that these games are getting rushed out onto the shelves, but this increased audience also leads to there being more choice. Don’t like Call of Duty? Then play Battlefield; dislike Mario? Have a look at Little Big Planet; repulsed by Metroid (well frankly I’d be repulsed by you)? Perhaps try out Mass Effect.
You see? As much as I or anybody else can complain about these kinds of games, we can’t complain that there aren’t other choices. Still, it would be nice to stop moaning about repetition for once…