Edmonton Gamer

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Video Games Rant

Now it might just be me, but lately I have noticed that game developers are getting really lazy when
coming out with their new titles. Not only do I see a lot of blocky polygon'ish games coming out in
the near future, but I also notice that the level of realism we come to expect is very lacking.

Realism defined by www.dictionary.com is: The representation in art or literature of objects, actions, or social conditions as they actually are, without idealization or presentation in abstract form. I recently was perusing some articles on rally and racing games when I came across a not so stunning conclusion...REALISM IS A BIG FACTOR that often gets forgotten about! I see a lot of these new games coming out, emphasizing how stunning their graphics are and how amazing the gameplay is. That’s fine, they can emphasize what they want about their own game, but personally I have to see it to believe it. Now that we know what realism means, let’s break down games into their respective categories shall we.

Graphics: This alone can make or break a game nowadays. Stunning graphics or Poor Graphics can have a
detrimental effect on If or how long we are willing to play a certain game. Certainly if a game has
great graphics we are more willing to explore the depths of the game to see what is to come and to see
what else there is to traverse. A game with excellent graphics should leave you with the feeling that
you are somewhere else without having to worry about screen glitches or polygons. That being said, you can't expect to throw top notch graphics onto a boring game, because no one will continue playing it.

Realism: A great game leaves you with the feeling that you are somewhere else when in fact you have
not gone anywhere. This effect of simulated realism should be seamless, making the user feel that
they have entered another world. Realism can also be obtained by the "small things". For example in
the new Xpand Rally game coming out is a great example of how Graphics alone cannot make a great game.
When you think about it, without the little things there is nothing to make said game stand out from
the pack.

For example when looking at this game, the graphics are very nice, and the cars look real,
but you can't tell me that after ripping through a dirt track that there will be no mud on the car at
all... I mean that’s not very real at all. As simple a game as racing is, you need to understand that
we gamers have a need. This need is for REALITY because we are humans and we don’t like to get bored
with primitive games that put you to sleep. I would like to see a rally game where I can blow the
tires off my car, flip my car over so that the roof caves in, as well I would like to see my car
soaked in mud if I have been racing in mud all day. I don't think that's a whole lot to ask
considering how much they charge for PC games nowadays.

Difficulty: A good game should be challenging, yet based on the choice selected by the player. Great games should challenge you, yet they should not be so hard that it leaves you frustrated.
Great games are programmed so well that you will never get "stuck" which could be the case of many
of my gaming frustrations. I personally have played more than 200 games in my lifetime, so I know how games "work". It's plain to see how easy games are made nowadays, when clearly there is no creativeness on the programmers part anymore. Wouldn't it be nice to see a NEW game that no one has seen before? Yeah of course, but it won't happen, because programmers are robots.

Gameplay: A good game has to be fun to play leaving you with the feeling that you want to continue and
play more. A game that has poor graphics and poor realism that is very difficult can make you very
hesitant to play multiple times. This is often referred to as "replay value". In my opinion, the best games are the titles that can maintain a steady balance of all of the factors I've mentioned here today.

Multiplayer Capability: I may be biased on this subject, but I believe that all truly great games are
multiplayer compatible. Why do I think this? Well if you think about it, once you beat a single
player game, what makes you want to play it again? If said game does have a great balance of all the
elements listed above, then you might play it more than one time, but what’s the element that leaves
you wanting more? MULTIPLAYER. Without multiplayer compatibility, there is no sense of competition.
Multiplayer mode is definitely something that I ALWAYS look for when considering a new title nowadays.

Cost: A great game with a great balance of all the aspects above should run you about $55-65CDN (
depending whether or not there is additional fee's for online usage ). Now that games are switching
to DVD-Rom as opposed to the standard CD format, we will see the prices of games drop slightly, while
production of these games will increase. That being said, you will see a lot of companies that tend to release a title and then release add-on packs which must also be purchased. This to me seems a little extensive, considering we purchased the initial game and now we have to purchase add-on's? Bah!

Lastly...Name Brand: Great titles come from great publishers. Stick to the big names that haven't
disappointed in the past, they are sure to please. Chances are if you buy a game from a small-time
publisher you will find that they will not dazzle you by any means. That being said, I have had great luck with a few smaller titles, however it is quite a challenge to find these sometimes.

In conclusion, if you find yourself wanting to purchase a game in the near future, I would recommend
weighing in these aspects and asking yourself if it is really going to be worth it, or you might just
be setting yourself up for disaster.

Thanks for listening,

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