Why am I being such a Debbie Downer?

Why? Because I love video games, that’s why, and over the last couple of years I’ve become increasingly upset with the direction that the industry is taking. These days, I find myself dreading that my favorite hobby will sink so far into douchebaggery and corporate bullshit that it will cease producing the kind of games that I like altogether.

Now, I’m not a complete moron. I know that the ’80s and ’90s weren’t some magical time where corporate greed and unscrupulous marketing didn’t exist, and we all lived in a utopia where everyone involved in video game development actually CARED about the consumer and the artistic merit of their medium…

…but it was better than this, goddamnit.

Soaring game budgets, DLC, “casual gaming”, cover systems, yearly installments, mergers, GameStop, Activision, motion controls, Tetsuya Nomura, “next-gen” graphics, Kotaku, “special editions”…

…it’s all just a swirling vortex of BULLSHIT being sucked down the drain, leaving behind all traces of artistry, originality, innocence and simplicity.

It’s not just nostalgia. I honestly have a more difficult time finding games I like these days, and that’s a problem I NEVER had until this console generation. I can’t open a gaming news site without being instantly depressed by some executive’s marketing jargon or some developer’s explanation for why his five hour, bloom-lit, brown-paletted game about a bald space marine is a fucking revolutionary masterpiece.

So now you get to hear about it, if you want. I know you probably don’t agree with me. If the things I say offend you, or you think I’m an idiot, you don’t have to read any more than you want to…

…but if you share my pain, and if you’ve had enough, feel free to take some time and join me in a hearty “FUCK YOU” to the rejects ruining our fun.

Thanks.

32 Responses to Why am I being such a Debbie Downer?

  1. E says:

    Agreed!! You forgot to mention ‘iPhone / Mobile Gaming’… I mean, who the FUCK wants to play Street Fighter 4 on the damn iPhone or any FUCKING phone…

  2. So so so so SO SO true. I can’t believe video game journalists are making such a big deal about it and covering it so much. IT’S A JOKE.

    Thank you for reminding me of how irritating that is. I may have to write a post about it pretty soon.

  3. adam says:

    I agree with alot of the stuff your saying, especially about the part trying to find a good game through a whole lot of garbage.. But i do think there are some really good games being made today.. MGS4 was well written and a superb game..Artistically i would say that Bioshock is one of my top favorites because it has so much depth during and even after the game.. But in a way i know where your coming from and still agree that these classics are great, dont be too discouraged because the art is coming back slowly

  4. Karnöffel says:

    Adam, I would say that MGS4 is a complete parody of the term ”videogame”. It’s permeated with ridiculously long cutscenes filled with pseudo-philosophical, anti-war drivel that has been repeated throughout the series. I found it quite humorous that I spent more time watching the ”game” rather than actually playing it.

  5. posttransit says:

    I feel as though I am on the same wavelength as you.

    That said, I’m curious about your thoughts on Vanillaware (I already see that you like Treasure, so that’s awesome.)

  6. I hear you loud and clear dude.

    I hate all this bullshit where they slap on the lastest FPS engine, pace them in some different brown paletted map, and call it the next revolutionary game. I’m a huge Zelda fan, and even I know that Twilight Princess’s graphics didn’t make it revolutionary. In fact, it wasn’t revolutionary. I give it only a 6/10.

    To set a new standard, it takes something that is truly different and captures people’s imaginations. But another Call of Duty rehash doesn’t cut it. Another Halo doesn’t cut it. Another Mass effect doesn’t cut it. Another FPS in general doesn’t cut it. FPS games have been done to death.

    Zelda and Mario and Metroid on the other hand have managed to be different from their predecessors. I mean, Windwaker isn’t just the same hyrule as OoT, and you didn’t fight Ganon in the same way. And you didn’t explore the world the same in both games. Zelda, Mario, and Metroid have at least shown us newer and better ways to play with the old characters we know and love, instead of just slapping on the latest graphics and calling it revolutionary.

    Zelda: Majora’s Mask is still my favorite game to date.

  7. Mark Gilmour says:

    I am in wholehearted agreement but it’s the way of everything unfortunately. Most TV is garbage aimed at morons too. If something is successful you can guarantee that those who see money to be made in a trend will squeeze every last drop out of that concept until everyone finally gets bored of it or the next big thing comes along. I actually preferred it when FPS were basically story-less action fests (I still fire up Doom on occasion) without some feeble overblown cinematic storyline tacked on to the end of it. As awesome as the original Half Life was, I can’t help but feel ambivalent about the countless clones it has spawned.

  8. somedude says:

    FUCK YOU SHITTY GAME DEVS

    thanks.

    • Mark Ludwigs-Christoff says:

      I chime in on that!!! And like to add this: We need to stop buying games, that do not have a 2-3 day UNLIMITED trial built-in. The publishers/devs need to earn our money not the other way around. This ‘victorian’ attitude, that corps like Ubisoft or EA showcase needs to stop immediately. And yes corp greed was always there, but off late EA has swallowed so many devs, that nowadays ONLY money counts and since they are all rubbish(with one or two exceptions a year perhaps)it has really gone overboard! Prior to digital distribution people did pirate software to not be burnt. We need to find a LEGAL way of getting of the same point, where devs actually put in effort to create an experince again. Not just another fucking sequel. I think 2-3 day trials would make this happen.

  9. Glenn says:

    I’ve felt the same way since about the start of this generation of consoles. At least with embedded devices, like the iPhone, I get something like Mage Guantlet to distract me from how modern game design is leading the industry into the same territory as other popular mediums such as music and movies.

    The early 2000s were the peek of the industry to me, great game design married with good tech; right before the tech became the focus over everything else. The mid to latter 90s was an era I will always revisit as my favorite though.

  10. Eric says:

    Hey, nice rant. Most people don’t have the guts to question mainstream games nowadays so props. Ever since the 90’s, gaming has become truly the “cool” thing to do–everyone is into it (even adults). Now big money is involved and devs can’t afford to take chances. And if they keep producing the same exact games every year, well…what are we going to do about it? Just not play games anymore? No, we’ll buy it anyway.

    I liked games from the 80’s/90’s because they did more with less. Developers took more chances. They didn’t rely heavily on technology or super production values to bail them out. Nowadays, you can drop DLC and post-release patches like that so producers just get lazy like that. So yeah, that’s my two cents.

  11. Minami says:

    I’ve complately given up on buying new games . The only choices available are First Person Shooter army games or silly Kinect games . I’m totally sick of it . I’m also sick of the false hype when people pretend to be excited and looking forward to another Halo called Halo 4 even though there’s been about ten of them . At the moment my Xbox is nothing more than my DVD player .

  12. iMissSNES says:

    Nothing to say other than I COMPLETELY agree. So few games released in the past 5 or six years have really WOWed me. Okami, Shadow of the Colossus, Eternal Sonata, Xenoblade, Rayman Origins, but still, if I were to think of great games from the NES to the SNES or Saturn era, I could ramble on and on. So much of a game’s budget today is spent on looking ultra flashy and realistic and I hate it. I miss games that had originality and charm and meaning. Best of luck with this blog, friend.

  13. Jaded X. Gamer says:

    Modern games are so depressingly boring that I’ve decided to stop bitching about them on my worthless blog and go back to writing awful science fiction like I used to.

    • I feel much the same. That’s most of the reason why I haven’t written anything here in a couple months. I just look at something like this year’s E3 and think “What can I possibly say about this?” It’s so, so depressing and insulting I don’t even know how to approach it. Sadly I can’t fall back on writing bad sci-fi like yourself. Godspeed.

  14. lololololroflmyassoffhahahaha says:

    You’re a fucking idiot. i like old games, but that doesnt mean new games are shit. ffs mate.

    Soaring game budgets, DLC, “casual gaming”, cover systems, yearly installments, mergers, GameStop, Activision, motion controls, Tetsuya Nomura, “next-gen” graphics, Kotaku, “special editions”…

    What????? giving the players more to do?
    some people really enjoy video games, and they love that sort of stuff.
    go back to your old pixel shit games cunt.

    • Mark Ludwigs-Christoff says:

      Your average IQ score would rank you somewhere between corporate slug and publisher cockroach. Also your insulting attitude is second to none mate. And to enlighten you and give you a serve of your own medicine: WE ALL LIKE video games, but since the average lowlife fucker (like you) play games and care shit all about quality, us who like INTELLIGENT entertainment, are left in the rain. Folks like you are the cause and consequence mate.

  15. People who think this way blow my mind.

    I doubt I could ever understand it.

    /shrug

  16. Abstract Daddy says:

    I’ve been feeling this way for a few years now. I think it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that we are just getting older and our nostalgia for older games is blinding us, but I strongly oppose this idea. I’m not an idiot, I DID enjoy videogames more when I was a kid and I know this. But over the past few years (I’m 25 now) I’ve played my share of newer games and older games. There were some older ones I didn’t like and some newer ones I did, but overall there was a trend for me to enjoy the older ones more. Now the interesting thing is WHY is this happening? WHAT is the difference? It’s hard to sum up in a few words, but if I tried, I’d say it’s because videogame developers seem to have lost their understanding of what makes games fun. I could go into specifics but I don’t feel like it, so I’ll leave it at that.

  17. This blog has huge potential. Please update it.

    I mean every single fucking release of Halo and Cod is the same mechanism over and over. How about the excitement and replayability, the innovation MGS 1 2 3 brought? How about the different courses of Chrono Trigger?

    Everything is just regurgitation these days

  18. SethCronin says:

    This blog holds the very truth! In addition to the space marine shooter bullshit, you forgot to mention the same old RPG fantasy games.

  19. Chuck says:

    I agree. Today’s games are movies where every now and then you get to press a button and pretend you’re the one controlling the action (which you totally AREN’T). That’s why I just play the old 80’s and 90’s games on emulators of the old consoles. Nowadays they occasionally make a good game, but mainly I’m content with the old stuff, which by the way is a lot. If you consider NES, SNES, Genesis, PC Engine, Game Boy (Advance), Playstation, and other, you have more great games than you’ll ever be able to play in a lifetime.

  20. Anoynyme says:

    I agree, good arguments.
    By the way, if anyone is interested, buy far cry 1, its a great singleplayer game imo, cool jurrasic park/ half life theme especially mid game

  21. peonybloomer says:

    AMEN.
    To me a lot of modern games are just dripping into “indie”, “shovelware”, or “tripahl A gaems”. Where is the “in the middle”, the stuff that game companies used to make in the past. Nintendo sucks ass, Squeemish is gone, Japanese RPGs are dead (died in the late 2000s) while western RPGs are massive cutscenes of high generational technologically awesome grafixs. Then the rest of the market is saturated with FPS games, badly designed management games and other terrible genres that should last only 1 year. Then the “movie games”. I like to call them, “movie games” because they garner so much attention and are kind of cookie cutter. So all we have left is gimmicky glittery crap, lasers, guns, big dudes and cutscenes.

    Well at least I’m discovering the oldies…

  22. CT says:

    As consumers of games it is our sole duty to stop buying garbage. Everyone repeat after me, “I refuse to support mediocre games ever again.” Got it? Good. 😀

    • At the same time, a cheap garbage indie game could be a poorly executed good idea. Maybe they should be supported to be given the chance to become a good developer. Few people are good on the first try; sometimes even companies can mess up (Morrowind was a mess of bugs but it was a great game).

  23. Modern VideoGames sucks

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