Diminishing Quality

March 16th, 2011 -

Yoda

On Tuesday I went to the doctor for a physical. This was my first physical since … hmm, years ago. Now, as far as I’m concerned, a physical only gets worse in terms of what they do to you as you progress in age. The last time I went I had to undress entirely, go through several tests, turn my head and cough, urinate into a cup, etc. Too much info, I know. Whatever. This was done back in pediatrics years ago. So what kind of awful tests would I have to undergo this time?

Well, not much of anything, actually. In fact, the nurse actually did more in prepping me for the “physical” than the doctor did for the actual appointment. I went from my preconceived notions I had because of past experiences in pediatrics to: checking my ears, putting the stethoscope on the outside of my shirt, and saying “ahhh.” Seriously?

“You’re healthy for your age.”

But wait… my blood pressure looked high to me. The nurse even said…

“Nah, you’re fine. Better than fine. You’re up to date on everything and…”

Wait, can I get a cholesterol test? I haven’t had one since 2007, and I’ve been fasting.

“Nah, you don’t need it. And if you wanted one of those, you’d need to fast.”

…I did fast. I just told you that.

“You can’t eat or drink anything except for water. People typically do it over night.”

I haven’t eaten in 26 hours, and all I’ve drank in the past few days is water. That good enough?

“Well, you don’t need it… but if you insist.”

*face palm* (side note: I didn’t touch my face in real life. I had been touching dirty handles and hands in a hospital – gross) But honestly, am I wrong to think there is something wrong with this? Okay, okay, enough about doctors. I’m sure there are some good ones out there. I mean, I wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for doctors (surgeons). They saved my life once. Well, one instance, several times within that instance (despite the fact that two of the times were their fault). But this is a video game blog. How does this relate?

Well, let’s think about it. There is the obvious difference of graphics – they’re prettier. Cool, how does this affect my games? Well, if you are so desperate that you need to use a game for companionship, I suppose it helps make it more believable. Or if you want to escape your life, it’s easier to do that as well. Gameplay must’ve gotten better too then, right? Oh… oh right.

Chris's fap material

Yes, Chris is way too excited about this improvement.

I guess it only makes sense that if the first part of this post talked about things not being what you expected (although not necessarily a bad thing; it’s not like I wanted a homoerotic experience), the part about games would follow in suit.

Gameplay should’ve improved over the years, right? Well, you’d think. We are no longer restricted to just a joystick and a button – we have controllers with upwards of 15 buttons on them, with dual joysticks. We have controllers that sense motion, and games that are played by our body’s movement. There are even tech demos of games that are controlled by our eye movement. So has it gotten better?

Well, I suppose that’s more or less a personal opinion. Someone may love Adventure for the Atari more than any other game, but it’s hard to say something like God of War doesn’t control better. However, there is the problem of a game or genre that defines how controls should be, and then they never change. In the case of God of War, people complained that another game (Dante’s Inferno) was the exact same game with a new skin. What I find funny is how this game received so much flak, yet so many FPS games do the exact same thing. Modern Warfare was good; however, just because I enjoyed it the first time, that doesn’t mean I’ll enjoy it the next hundred. In some cases, the lack of diversity almost feels like devolution of the game genre. I’m hoping Brink is able to bring the diversity I seek (and yes, you Battlefield lovers, I look forward to the new BF too).

Brink

Final Fantasy used to be a game where you could explore the world at your discretion. Get an airship and go just about anywhere on the world map, even places you weren’t supposed go to yet. Yes, there was a linear storyline to follow, but they made it seem like there was more than one way of getting there. Fast forward to the most recent iteration (XIII), and you get a game that’s trying all sorts of new things which simplifies the game to: walk in a line, watch cut-scene, press ‘x’ to win. Literally. This game took out any real strategy, leveling up, or gameplay that I loved from previous entries of the series. Yes, I played it all the way through, and yes, it get’s better the further in you get… And yes, this game was one of the biggest disappointments of 2010 (I actually didn’t expect much) to most game critics.

What about the fun of games? Sure, I understand this is something that is totally based on opinion, and maybe I’m becoming a prude towards most games these days… But it seems like the main focus of games presently is to make them hyper-realistic, or a cash cow of some sort, and be this epically grandiose expedition, and somehow they forget to add the fun. That’s not to say games these days are not fun anymore. I still enjoy them, and some are as good as they’ve ever been. But sometimes it feels like a company is trying to do more than just make something people will enjoy, and forget the main purpose of it being called a game.

Last Guardian

The Last Guardian will show depth and gameplay, as done with Ico and Shadow of the Colossus.

I suppose everyone has expectations, and there’s no way anyone will ever be able to fulfill all of them. They just do what they think is right (what people will buy and play) and leave the creativity behind. Just because something is easy, that doesn’t mean it’s the best course of action. I hate doctors, and the fact that it was a joke was sort of pleasing, but overall not a good thing (what if I have cancer?). The same goes for games. You might like it, but it could’ve been a lot better if people working on it branched out and did something unique.

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