However, this weeks one-two punch of SF x Tekken and Mass Effect 3, two games that have soured me with their surrounding controversy, inspired me to scrawl this out, for therapy if nothing else. ME3 in particular has kind of been "ruined" for me. I can only associate that game now with all the BS about marketing, dlc, online passes and merchandise surrounding its release, this has been coupled with some bad stuff I've heard about the game's writing itself, to the point that I may just let the game go and put my gal Shepard into early retirement.
There is a lot to ingest in all the posts before mine but I had to address this paragraph as quickly as possible. OLUK, ignore it all. Mass Effect 3 is amazing. If you didn't give a crap about the writing being torn apart in the first two games (because believe me, they have been by people even more anal and wanting to troll everyone for enjoying shit than me) then it won't matter to you in 3. It certainly doesn't to me, and hell they didn't do the one thing I feared most than funnily enough, has been the source of almost all the whining; there's ***CENSORED*** (that'd already be too much of a spoiler for some )
. And that's all I'll say so I don't spoil anything more, but believe me, 95% of complaints have centred on that and not the few legitimate but ultimately nitpicking plot holes there are.
I hate to sound like I'm supporting the money grubbing companies but there are a few facts:
What can be considered a "complete" game is arbitrary. All games have had content cut during production.
Fans demanding a story or an idea in a game suits them over the producer is an oppression of creative expression.
Gamers now are a bunch of self entitled spoiled brats who don't even consider the practical realities of production and distribution and I also bet none of them have a clue about the practical realities of content creation as well. I once read a comment to the effect of "Anyone who makes content for purely expressive reasons should only release it for free". What FUCKING bullshit. I'll tell you the reason I write novels; it's about the only fucking form of expression that anyone can afford to do that for since I'm pretty poor. To do almost anything else, make a movie, make a comic, whatever, you need some form of investment and a lot of people can't afford to do it themselves. Some turn to ads online, others turn to publishers, and others turn to donations, but if you really think a game published by a company like EA is some how damaged goods creatively just because it's released to make money, seriously, go fuck yourselves.
Now I might actually read the rest of your post and the two below OLUK, and hopefully not every paragraph necessitates a response from me as long as this one, lol.
Games cost more
Factually onerous, games have never been cheaper, yet never been more expensive to produce. A lot of recent developments have been to try and make games profitable when they're operating on far tougher margins than they ever have before.
I remember when SNES games cost £70. In 1995. That's equal to what, $150 today, minimum?
*edit* here's my answers to the rest of the questions.
"Is gaming better or worse than you remember? How much do you think we have rose tinted glasses about the past?"
For me, it's mostly better, but mainly because of my tastes. One area that isn't like it used to be was multiplayer, as I have the same issues OLUK has where I used to find it incredibly easy to get people to play with back in the splitscreen days, now it feels like a hassle getting people to play online. But for games I play myself, the PS2 era through to now has been pretty awesome, a lot of choice we never used to have.
"How long have you been playing? Do you think your age is in any way a factor to your views?"
Since the early 90s. As such I have a healthy respect for the older designs of games but I never liked the finite lives/continues structure, and I'm actually glad that we're getting some games today with some of those old design cues that work without those elements that were annoying (see Bloodrayne Betrayal, Shank and Muramasa for examples)
"Do you think people overreact? should we just be enjoying what we have? or are we right to stand up and fight these issues that are raised?"
The only real legitimate way to fight is to keep that wallet buckled up. Anything else is moot. I will say again, I feel the last few years have been the best ones for games, but for the future... I'll get to that.
"If you think games have gone "wrong" then why? when did it happen or when did you notice it happening? Do you see it getting worse?"
The main thing that has gone wrong with games is the developmental cost hierarchy. We all want HD bloom filled 10 billion polygon multi-dozen millions of dollars budget games, and yet we also want these games to fit our idea of perfection; this, is, to put it bluntly, unrealistic. What we need is more indy development, and more companies like Double Fine finding ways to make a game directly for their audience. Support the PC method of games development, and when I say that, I don't mean the games that try to be as hi-tech as possible, because those are doing as much damage in the long run as their ilk on consoles.
What role has the internet played in gaming? Has it made things better or worse?
It's made choice, distribution and social connections better, but competitive communities, content delivery and fanbases worse.
"Can we fight these things? Is it a losing battle? Do you crack and pay for stuff that you'd rather not?"
Support Indy development, support developers making the games you want to see. They're there, but don't expect to find them on consoles much.
Are we "over-entitled" these days? Do you think we demand more than we actually deserve?
I guess I answered this one already.
"Are the politics actually ruining game releases for you? Have you found a great game you wanted being tainted by the arguments surrounding it?"
They did until I decided other people aren't really worth listening to on my own personal purchase decisions.
"Reboots, are they good bad, is there any real reason to play franchise games till the end anymore?"
Tough question; the Mortal Kombat reboot was well done, it played on nostalgia but also delivered a game that essentially breathed life into a dead series. I can't really think of a lot of other gaming examples so I kinda don't know, is the answer to that question.
"Difficulty, how do you like it, if companies arent rebooting things they are making less difficult is this good or a bad thing why?"
Games don't need to be difficult, they need to be fun. If they can be fun through being challenging, that's cool. But that's not as simple as making your game bullshit hard and calling it a day. That takes effort, effort you didn't see that much back in the day any more than you see it now.
Race, do you notice it in games? are there people like you in a lot of games? How does it make you feel, how do you think the people who arent represented as much feel?
I try not to let any of this affect me. I don't really have a comment to make, as I don't place importance on it.
"Story, a lot more games are having less and less of it to make room for on disc DLC or multi player features, do you think the stories are fine, do you give a shit or is it a lost cause?"
I feel I've played enough games as oh late with tonnes of story content, and I've enjoyed a lot of them.
"Replay, used to want to keep the games I really liked because they meant something to me, but now there are annual games coming out or gold versions, and it really makes me want to sell a game more than keep it, what about you?"
Doesn't apply to a lot of games I buy, generally speaking if I like a game enough, I'll keep it to replay one day.