Warning: This post contains whining and complaining. Read at your own risk.
I’ve been noticing something lately. I don’t know if it’s just me or what, but I haven’t been very excited about new games lately. Or new consoles. My love of video games is as strong as ever, but I have realized that I can pass by the game store or the electronics section of the Best Buy with much more ease now than in the past. I used to be excited to check out the new games and see what I could get next when I save up enough money or the next holiday comes along. I used to be able to think up a whole list of games I wanted. And now, not so much. I look forward to “Rayman Legends” and the next “Final Fantasy XIII” games (even though a lot of people don’t seem to like those, I find them to be delightful). I also wait and hope that someday the series I used to love will actually come out with good games again. Or games at all.
Partly, I’m simply satisfied with what I currently have. I’ve amassed a nice collection of games, and there are still some I haven’t played yet or that I can replay. But, once I’ve gone through those, I know I’ll want new ones, and it’s getting harder and harder to find games that look any good. (Much of the games that look interesting are rated M, too, which I don’t often play. I really considered “Bioshock”, but then I heard it had gratuitous violence, and I decided to pass up on that.) Like I said, there used to be a lot of games that looked great. And now I go through the game store and find nothing that catches my interest. Occasionally a game comes out from a series I like, and I buy it, but that has become quite rare, and most games I haven’t heard of look less than appealing. (What’s with all the dancing and singing games? And fishing? And I swear I saw an M&M’s game once.)
And the consoles, too. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting pretty sick of getting new consoles all the time. It used to be exciting because each console would be better than the one before it. In terms of just Nintendo, the N64 had much better graphics than the SNES. The GameCube had better graphics still, and it had a rumble pack added to the controllers. Fancy. Then, the Wii got better graphics (while still falling behind its competitors, though, as usual). And the Wiimote was fun for a time. It was new and different. But, at this point, new consoles aren’t different enough from the previous ones to make me excited anymore. For example, I am satisfied with the graphics now. Nintendo consoles could use some improvement, but XBox and PlayStation consoles have such good graphics now, they can’t improve that much more.
So why am I paying several hundred dollars for another console that isn’t much different from what I already have? Because that’s the only way to play the new games. And there are fewer and fewer good games, so I have to decide if I want to spend $300 or more or whatever (I haven’t a clue of the prices of the new consoles, as I’ve had no desire to check) just to buy maybe a few “Halo” games for XBox or a couple of “Ratchet and Clank” games for PlayStation. (Not to mention each game is now $10 more than in the past. You could always wait for the price to go down, but lately, games only last a month in the game store before you can’t find it anymore, for whatever reason. And I’d rather not buy used if I don’t need to because I’ve bought enough cracked and otherwise damaged disks, including one that had coffee or some other beverage spilled on it. Thanks for checking games before you buy them, game store. And then the store tells me they don’t buy cracked disks. Then, why have I gotten several? From YOUR store?! Is some “FFXIII-2”paradox occurring in this location? Huh? Is that what you’re telling me?) Ahem, there are still games I look forward to, but it gets hard to justify paying that much for only a few games, no matter how good they may be.
And really, why all the new consoles? I know they want more money, but why did this even start in the first place? Video games are one of the only things where nothing is compatible with anything else. And they refuse to make consoles backwards compatible, so when you buy the new ones, you still must keep the old ones. I am fortunate my consoles have been lasting long periods of time, but I am seriously running out of room. My TV stand is filled, and it’s good my TV’s smaller, so a console can fit next to it. I may need to fill the room with tables to put more consoles on, as my closet can’t fit many more, either.
Seriously, though, I never thought of it until recently, but what is it about us needing to buy different consoles for different games? You want “Halo”, buy an XBox. You want “Mario”, buy something from Nintendo. You want “Ratchet and Clank”, buy a PlayStation. Most other things aren’t like that. Imagine needing a certain brand of DVD player (or blu-ray, if you prefer) to watch “Star Wars” movies, another brand of DVD player to watch movies made by Tim Burton, and a third brand of DVD player to watch TV shows on DVD. It would get ridiculous, wouldn’t it? Maybe I’m being naïve, but can’t we ever just have just one single machine for playing video games? Can’t that be in our future someday? My DVD player plays all my DVD’s, including those released years before and years after the DVD player was made. My VCR (yes, I still have one) plays all my VHS tapes. My computer has the miraculous ability to read all my CD’s and DVD’s. And yet I need half a dozen consoles to play all my games.
Though, I suppose I should look on the bright side. It takes so darn long for new games of my favorite series to come out, I really could skip consoles, couldn’t I? “The Legend of Zelda” series alone has gone from games coming out every two years back during the N64 time period to coming out once every five years. A new “Zelda” game came out a year and a half ago, so I’ve got a good three and a half years left, at least. Maybe I can just skip the Wii U. I’ll just get the…I don’t even know what logically comes after that.
Okay, sorry for the rant. This is something that’s been bothering me lately, and I noticed it even more when I found myself near the game store not long ago with no desire whatsoever to go inside. I love my games, but it’s hard to find more games I’ll love. There are still really great games out there, but they come out so infrequently and are getting swallowed up by the sheer amount of, well, not as fantastic games. And the way the new consoles are, it’s rather a hassle keeping up. I’m just tired of it all. Very tired. Who else is getting disheartened by it all?
A Raving Duck