That’s right folks, are you ready for another round of depressing realities in this world of gaming? I hope so! Since you are all waiting for PS4’s ‘greatness’ to occur in 2015 or later, and what other excuse third parties are trying to find on not support the WiiU, you can read this to pass the time.
Reality #1: Game Journalists are absolutely terrible at their jobs and its becoming harder to weed good games from the bad.
My last two recent major reviews I gave above average scores to on PixlBit were The Wonderful 101 and DuckTales: Remastered. I’m totally down on both games, but the rest of the game journalism field was not. How, you ask? To give a general consensus so you, dear reader, don’t have to give clicks to terrible game journalists, Wonderful 101 was panned for being too complicated to play despite the fact previous Platinum (and Clover) titles were highly rated and had the same learning curve as the rest of them. Also, DuckTales: Remastered, a remake based on a 1989 NES game that could be beaten in under an hour on the highest difficulty… was too hard.
Now I have witnessed before game journalists not giving two shits about wanting to put in effort to learn how a game plays, but somehow I think it goes much deeper than that… have they just gotten worse at playing video games? You know, the things they have to report on and review to tell us, the consumer, if they are shit or not? If so, I wouldn’t be surprised. After all, besides indie titles and those made by Nintendo, what genres were most major retail releases? In fact, what did we exactly see most of the time at E3 this year?
Open-world adventures containing cover-shooting 95% of the time, first person shooters that are almost like rail shooters but you are given more control over your character, and third person shooters that are like first person shooters but with a different perspective. I have nothing against these genres, mind you, but if you read my second Depressing Realities post, you know I touched base on this little problem about copy-catting; namely copying the problems that plague one game and go into another. When you play the same game 90% of the time, it has got to be draining to your enjoyment.
Yet these games continue to get good to great scores… until you take a quick sneak pick at the MetaCritic pages to see the user scores. Now I ask you all take a look at the Watch_Dogs page. Notice how the game journalist scores are higher than the users? On top of consumers being extremely unhappy with UbiSoft downgrading the impressive visuals shown in 2012, its basically copies GTA and the ‘hacking’ portion, much hyped for the game, turned out to be bland and anal at best.
So why didn’t this reflect in the scores from journalists?
Publishers pay off reviews. Are you shocked? You shouldn’t be, its common fact and if you deny it as reality then there is something seriously wrong with you. For god sakes, a journalist got fired because he refused to give a good score to a terrible game. Yes, that whole Kane and Lynch debacle. While Jeff Gerstmann is an ass and Gamespot is freaking terrible at their work, when a publisher pays you off and basically forces you to review a terrible game well, your job security is non-existent.
Reality #2: The lack of Virtual Console games people want on WiiU (3DS included) may have a lot to do with either the property holders not giving the game rights to Nintendo, or the property holders no longer existing/under new non-Nintendo ownership.
Let’s get real; you want Nintendo to release all sorts of different games for the WiiU/3DS eShop. While it’s a good sign Nintendo is going to try to get back on track with Virtual Console releases, if hiring M2 is any indication as their work is good, its not as easy as most people think to get these games onto the eShop. Besides having to be re-programmed if they have seizure inducing flashing effects, or taking out things considered iffy to some people (the Twin Towers), and the fact Nintendo’s developers are extremely busy since hardly any third parties want to developer for both their console and handheld, there is also this: licensing issues.
For Nintendo to release a Virtual Console game, they have to actually attain the rights to said game from the company who owns it. While the NES and SNES have a vast library of quality games that were released in North America (and to an extent Europe), you have to ask yourself this question: “Do many of those publishers exist anymore?” To which I answer… kind of. Capcom and Konami are still alive, and Square Enix in and of itself is two whole publishers. Yet there are many many publishers who are no longer alive, making said acquisition of rights even more of a problem to get a hold of.
And if the publisher is still alive? Awesome! …Except when you combine “Nintendo” and “third party publisher” together, you know it’s a headache inducing cluster-fuck of bizarre wants and needs. Nintendo themselves have to get the license from the publisher, and its common knowledge these publishers actively try to not work with Nintendo under such petty means, unless of course its to save face (ie Capcom actually putting out Mega Man games faster on 3DS/WiiU then they did with the Wii).
Its been oft-demanded that Nintendo release Goldeneye 64 on the Virtual Console, something which has been damn near impossible to due for several reasons which I will get into. While Perfect Dark pretty much made Goldeneye 64 its bitch three years later on the same console, its still a fun game to play and pretty much set a standard to what first person shooters on consoles should be. Why can’t it be re-released, and why did we get that Goldencraig game instead?
The original Goldeneye 64 was funded and published by Nintendo. The developer, Rare, is now owned by Microsoft. The rights to Goldeneye and the Bond franchise in terms of video game adaptions is owned by Activision. Now, you may have heard that Microsoft and an outside developer (read: not Rare) planned to do an HD remaster similar to the Banjo games and Perfect Dark for Goldeneye. It was a bold plan; Nintendo could re-release the game on the Wii Virtual Console as well, but with one little problem: Microsoft wanted some of the sales, and Microsoft basically wanted Nintendo to let MS make money on a remaster of a game they funded and published on the Nintendo 64 back in 1997. When Nintendo said ‘no’, the internet raged at Nintendo, like they did with Bayonetta 2. Without realizing something.
Nintendo got the game made with their own pocket money back in 1997. Just like with Bayonetta 2, they are not, nor ever, going to allow a game they got made put onto another system for a competitor to make money off of. Its basic business sense.
Reality #3: Third party publishers, along with Sony and MS, have devised ways to control the way you play video games, yet nobody calls them out on it.
I touched based on the DRM controversy last year with my second Depressing Realities, and how it seemed like a valid reason the WiiU was getting third party games (along with the usual bullshit reasons). Granted, this touched the nerves of a few people because hey, Sony and MS don’t have DRM systems in place!
Correction, they do, you just don’t see it as DRM at first.
Over the last few years, major third party publishers have been hell-bent on tackling the notion of used games sales. When budgets getting larger because of pointless spending on things that don’t better a game, publishers need to get as much money as they can on a game’s first retail run, which also includes digital sales. Yet because of DLC practices, day one patches and online passes, less people are buying games at full prices. It also doesn’t help many of these games aren’t worth the full asking prices game journalists praise them for.
Microsoft’s DRM policies, to this day, destroyed the Xbox One’s reputation amongst other things. Would you consider it ironic that the same people who had no such problem with this are also the ones actively not supporting Nintendo? Before Titanfall, Xbone’s supposed killer-app, was released, it was learned the DRM policies was a deal with EA for MS to have exclusivity for the game. And despite Sony’s mockery of the policies at E3 2013 in regards to the PS4, they are not innocent in this whole affair. Ever though they said they wouldn’t use it, why are they are pushing a streaming based system instead of putting in backwards compatibility?
So you can buy the game they know you will pay them for. Those hard-earned dollars are not going to the independently owned used game store, they are going to Sony, and the publishers that wanted this. Hell, Xbone users better be prepared for Live Streaming to happen too, because like Sony they chose streaming service instead of backwards compatibility. On top of that, there is this bullshit:
I have to ask this simple question: why does this have to exist when gaming networks like PSN, Live, Nintendo Network and Steam exist? Third party publishers like EA and UbiSoft have made playing games with other people harder to do because you have to be logged into both your gaming network ID and theirs at the same time. It gets even worse when recent releases by UbiSoft, like Watch_Dogs, cannot be played unless you log-in to uPlay. Yes, you can’t play UbiSoft’s most recent multi-million dollar hype fest unless you log into their network. If it doesn’t work? Well too bad, you have to wait for it to work.
For Christ sakes, you people want Nintendo to work and money hat with them?! Why?!
You have arrived at the end of the third and definitely final piece in this series I started last year in July. I am not doing any more of this things because unlike most armchair analysts I am going to be playing and enjoying games while publishers and developers crash and burn. Oh, I forgot to mention Nintendo? I’m sure you will find the billionth article on Nintendo being doomed elsewhere.
Peace out guys.
7 thoughts on “Depressing Realities Ruining My Enjoyment Of Gaming”
Great article. This greed is killing the industry. What are your thoughts on Capcom’s situation? People are saying Nintendo should buy them, but I don’t agree. I think Nintendo should buy up enough of Capcom’s shares to have influence over their decisions and force them to make games for Wii U. That’s certainly a batter option than buying the entire company and inheriting their debt.
If I were to wrote an article similar to this one, I’d probably call it “Things that don’t ruin my enjoyment of gaming”. The article would probably be really short, because irrelevant things aside, the thing that keeps me coming back to games are, well, good games. How does one defines those? Who cares. I know which games I like, and that should be enough.
This, however, doesn’t change the fact that the industry has changed considerably. Being a not-so-old fart, I’ve been around long enough to see the gaming industry bloom, and become something for the masses, rather than for “nerds”, who spend their money on glorified calculators, rather than six keg parties full of easy girls.
Being older, or at least older than most of the internet, it seems, gives you some perspective. The transition from vectors and amazingly large pixels, to the countless polygons of today is something that, much like The Matrix, can’t be explained. You have to experience it to fully appreciate how far we’ve come. Still, the gaming industry of today feels like pretty much every other aspect of life. The time of rapid change is over. Now is the time of parking sensors and other gizmos in cars, that run on the exact same technology since the invention of a petrol engine. We’re in our comfort zone, and what we’re getting now is here to stay. The only thing that has really changed is the amount of bullshit that surrounds it all.
This is where I’d like to complain about the current state of affairs, but truth be told, I don’t even know where to begin. On one hand, we’re still getting new games and new consoles, but on the other, there are more things I don’t like and gladly bitch about, than there are things I’m looking forward to. Would you like to know which games I’m looking forward to at this particular moment? None. Why? Because I feel like I’m being fed the same thing, over and over again. The weird thing is, I firmly believe in “If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it”. This in itself would mean I should be excited about the upcoming Metal Gear Solid game, but I’m not. Sure, it does look nice, but I’ve been blown away once, twice, and thrice. The excitement well is dry, and has been for some time.
Right now I feel that I should prepare these rants beforehand, because at this moment, I have about a million things running through my head, and simply typing them up would make for a hard read. I congratulate you if you have made it this far, by the way. Let’s make it simple, then. I’ll just list every platform, and comment on what I think is wrong with it.
Xbox One – I don’t own it yet, so I won’t pan it, though I do feel Microsoft isn’t trying nearly hard enough to lure me in. When the console was announced, I thought it was a disaster, mainly because of the insane DRM scheme Microsoft has cooked up. People called them out, though, and some of it got fixed. Hell, they even got rid of the Kinect, so someone must either be listening, or, which is more likely, someone has started losing money over a gadget nobody wants nor needs. Still, Microsoft did manage to get me all excited about their Killer Instinct reboot, but a mere second later they have made me lose interest completely, once I found out the game is a digital release, and it’s basically still in active development, and we get to buy it one character at a time. I might be missing something, but this is how it looks to me now. I would still play the shit out of Sunset Overdrive, though, and I will, sooner or later.
PlayStation 4 – You have to give it to Sony. They do try. To make as much money as they can, that is. The fourth PlayStation is looking strong, but Sony has managed to screw up most of everything I really liked about the PS3. The first model, anyway. First of all, I really liked the fact that PlayStation 3 would let me to connect pretty much anything, as long as it had a USB cable. USB converter, connected to another USB converter, connected to a controller from whichever console? Sure. A keyboard? No problem. A mouse? Go right ahead. Those two you can even connect via Bluetooth. With my PlayStation 3 I’ve used Wii arcade sticks, PlayStation 1 & 2 controllers and other gadgets, controllers from a number of other consoles, including Sega Saturn, Sega Dreamcast, NES and Super NES, I’ve even connected a Bluetooth keyboard which I got with some Pokémon game for the DS, and it all worked. Flawlessly. What about PS4? Could I perhaps connect … NO! I couldn’t! Because we’re using space age controllers now, with blinking lights and touchy touch pads. And for this very reason, nothing else will work. On top of that, Sony doesn’t seem to care about the backwards compatibility any more, which is mostly because they want us to buy the games again and again. Why implement software emulation for PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PSP, PSN minis and other cross-platform digital releases, if you can stream them or sell them once again, as special digital titles for the PS4? The only reason Sony got rid of the PS2 backwards compatibility was so that they could sell PS2 games via PSN. And they did. Newer PS3 models are clearly capable of running PS2 games, since Sony is selling them, and no, they’re not coded from scratch, because no one would ever waste their time to bring games like G1 Jockey 4 or Strike Force Bowling to the PS3 if it was even slightly difficult.
Wii U – Unlike the majority of the internet, I really like the Wii U. I’ve had a lot of fun, and I appreciate the fact that it can play my Wii games, so that I don’t have to have every console ever sitting under my TV. Oh, wait … I have to keep my Wii around, in case I want to play GameCube games, because even though Wii U is clearly capable of running GameCube games, and the homebrew scene has the proof, Nintendo chose not to support this particular feature. But I get it. GameCube is old, and no one cares. Wait, what? GameCube controllers are coming back? And we’re getting a controller converter for the Wii U? And there’s talk of GameCube games possibly coming to the eShop? Oh, I get it. So I’ll just have to risk by blowing my Wii U up by softmodding it, because I’m sure as hell not paying again to play the games I already own. It was nice to see Nintendo finally get their shit together and create a combined account systems for their current platforms, but why would they even do that if Wii U and 3DS still stay as separate as they can be? If Sony did one thing right, it was the cross-buy. Some of their games I could play on my PSP, PS3 and Vita, and some of those will carry over to the PS4. This is how it’s done. Another World came out just recently, and if I choose to buy the PSN version, I can play it on pretty much everything. The Vita, PS3 and PS4. If I buy it for the Wii U, I can forget about getting the 3DS version for free, because why would I get it? I should buy it, because the 3DS version has the awesome 3D graphics, right? Wrong! It’s flat as a pancake, so why wouldn’t you give it to me if I already paid for it? How greedy can you be? PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale was a cross-buy title, granted you bought it physically for the PS3, or digitally on the PSN. Super Smash Bros. is coming to both consoles, but you can forget about getting a freebie. Also, what’s the point in having the demo section in the Wii U eShop, if there are no demos? Ever.
3DS – The lack of any type of cross-buy aside, Nintendo has clearly lost its touch when it comes to publishing interesting third party games. The DS library was filled to the brim with quirky and interesting games, which utilized the then new touch capabilities of the console. Now, I rarely see games that I really want to play. The problem is, I’m a bit too old for jRPGs, in which androgynous teens save the world yet again, while going on and on about the loss they’ve experienced and the sacrifices they’ve made. This means I don’t have a lot to choose from, if I’m looking for innovative gameplay, and if I want innovative 3D gameplay, I can simply forget it.
Vita – So it turns out, that Sony has given up on their handheld, and plans on making it a second screen for the PS4. It has already been said, that we shouldn’t expect any new first party titles. This is a real shame, since early games got me really excited about this platform. Seeing Uncharted run on such a small device, with those graphics, really is something. Too bad we won’t see it again, as everything suggests, that Killzone was Vita’s last big budget effort. Again, I’m not a fan of jRPGs nor Visual Novels [I did enjoy Time Hollow on the DS, though], so I’m stuck with crappy indies which I don’t care about. At all. Indie market is over-saturated, and is about to collapse in on itself.
Arcades – They’re dead, which bums me out. Well, they’re not DEAD dead, but neither Japan nor Vegas are on my way from work, so they’re dead to me.
Net Attitudes – If there’s anything I really hate, it’s looking for problems where they don’t exist, but that’s what seems to be the hottest thing right now. You have your feminists, who point out the obvious male dominance in games. You have your sexual minorities, demanding they should be included in every game ever. Why isn’t there an option to rescue Prince Zeldron instead of Princess Zelda? Why aren’t there any black characters in Mario Kart 8? The list goes on, and every little thing gets blown out of proportion. A while back we suddenly found out that Final Fight’s Poison is a transsexual. This led to a special GDC panel comprised of representatives of the LGBT community, discussing the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to representation, or lack thereof, of their respective groups. Too bad I’ve missed it. They must have talked about some important stuff. Soon enough, we’ll have coprophiles demanding turds on every menu of every in-game restaurants, because you know, equality and all that shit. Pun intended.
So yeah, it’s all going down the toilet, whether we want it, or not. Not that long ago people were outraged, when they found out DLC content was actually tiny key files, which unlocked what was already on the game disc. Some time later, Capcom sold us SFxTK, with half of the characters missing, and the press loved it. The game holds a score of over 80 on Metacritic, but user scores are a whole different story. I once tallied up all of the DLC content in this game, and while I don’t remember the exact number, I know it was enough to buy the game several times over. Now it’s the norm, because developers stuck with it, and people, instead of voting with their wallets, just had to have that +20 to strength armor, and that extra level, and those extra characters, which made up half of the game, and those pink short, and those shiny leather boots, and that new announcer voice, and so on.
This is my first comment here, and I feel that I made it count. All of this would probably make a much better, properly written up rant, but it’s 0:44, and I don’t care. Take it for what it is, and keep on gaming, in your VR headsets, with your Move controllers, in front of those motion sensing cameras.
To much comment, full of face melting awesomeness!!! *face melts*
That was very well put. I was thinking the EXACT same thing about GameCube games on the Wii U except I never had a GameCube, so all of those games would be new to me. I am actually hoping they add GC disk support, because I want to buy some physical GameCube games.
I’d rather people get the GCN classics that were over-looked at a easier price to swallow. Will they take of HDD space? Course.
Just buy a self-powered HDD, WiiU can use any one.
I’ll just break this down as the article is broken down as well:
Reality #1: Most reviewers (ALL of the big sites and YouTube personalities) are just paid shills today. They review what they’re expected to review with the rating that they’re expected to give it. The gaming media has become such a bought and paid for club that I doubt anyone could even get a job at one of the major sites who hasn’t already been vetted to ensure that they won’t threaten their livelihood by giving bad reviews to ‘certain’ games or systems. Ever read at the beginning of a review for a game where the reviewer stated outright that they didn’t like the system or type of game that they were about to review? Yeah, I remember reading a LOT of those types of reviews in regards to the Wii. I’ve never seen that happen with a Sony or MS game or system though.
There’s already too much proof that most reviews are biased and should be ignored but there’s nothing else out there and people need something to make them feel better about their purchases, whether or not ‘whatever’ was actually worth buying in the first place. It’s really sad and disgusting but people continue to support it out of fear or ignorance so what can you do? I already have all of the big name sites on my Do-Not-Click list and I detest YouTube. Not much else the average every day person can do sadly.
Reality #2: People really don’t understand how this works at all. Nintendo doesn’t have the rights to re-release every game that was ever released on one of their systems on future platforms. Sony and MS don’t have those kinds of agreements either. And since most 3rd parties refuse to even support the Wii U with basic ports that cost next to nothing (a million for a port of a major 3rd party game, according to UbiSoft, is nothing to most publishers) do people honestly think they’re going to put the money in to port over their VC games for the Wii U? It’s just not going to happen. And Nintendo isn’t going to eat the cost of porting them even if the rights owner would let them.
Sony would but that’s because they’re only interested in getting you to buy their hardware so they can nickle and dime you to death later. And as for MS, well, MS likes to pretend that their last system ceases to exist as soon as the next one is released. Or does no one remember how fast MS dropped the first XBox, and after only 4 years? Sega got their asses handed to them for cutting the Saturn off at 3 years but MS drops the XBox after 4 and everyone pretends it didn’t happen. In fact, the XBox is considered a huge success no matter that it lost billions of dollars that MS will never recoup. Strange, strange world we live in…
Reality #3: I think most people have simply given up on the idea of actually owning anything anymore. They’ve been conditioned by companies like Sony and MS to believe that actually owning something isn’t cool anymore. And Sony with their fake showing at E3 2013 where they said there was no DRM scheme in the PS4 like the XBone was going to support. Yeah, right. And then what happens? Shortly there after we find a developer actually deactivating software on the system without user consent or notification. I don’t understand how that wasn’t a HUGE and MASSIVE story, other than Sony’s bought a paid for media weren’t willing to bite the hand that feeds them. MS got thrown to the lions because the gaming media realized that to not denounce what they were doing would be absolute suicide for them. Gamers would have begun a mass exodus away from the major sites and that would have killed their profits. But covering it up when it happens as an ‘isolated incident’? Sure, they can do that.
The same thing as the spin in regards to EA charging for demos. Yeah, it was an accident. It was an accident that it happened when it did, not that they’re not planning it. What kind of accident puts a price tag of $4.99 on a demo? You know, a price that’s actually within the realm of reason? Why not the price of the full game? And how about all the attacks on Nintendo for not having a universal account system? So many people state they would buy a Wii U if only it had a universal account system. Why? So they can go over to a friends house, log in, and then wait 4-5 hours for a several gig game to download just to play for a few hours? And who are all these ‘friends’ people keep talking about? I thought everybody lived too far away from their friends which is why they attack every Nintendo game that doesn’t have a multitude of superfluous online modes?
What I’ve noticed over the years is that whatever Sony and MS are doing that Nintendo isn’t, that becomes the big weakness to attack Nintendo for. The N64 used carts so developers were stuck making ‘smaller’ games even though it was far more powerful than the PS1. The GC used mini DVDs, which AGAIN handicapped developers because multi-disk games were stupid and not going to cut it even though they were used extensively on the PS1. Oh, and it didn’t support online even though it used the same online system of BYOS (Bring Your Own Server) as the PS2 and PS3 did. The Wii was weaker than the PS360, even though the N64 and GC were FAR more powerful than Sony’s last two systems and the GC was pretty much on par with the XBox. I also noticed that developers had no problem releasing multi-disk games on the 360… Hmm… And now we come to the Wii U, which is too last gen even though there’s nothing on the PS4 or XBone that anyone objective would actually consider beyond their previous systems. Hell, most of the games announced today are cross-gen and being released on systems far weaker than the Wii U!
I was afraid that this would happen as soon as I started hearing rumors about Sony paying off Square with that film deal way back when (which is why FFVII ended up on the PS1 and NOT because of CDs as everyone loves to erroneously tout). We’ve reached an age where you can’t get games on your system unless you outright pay for them. It’s a horrendous situation where developers now make games that they know Sony and MS will give them kickbacks for and everything else is ignored. Already several developers have closed and even Sony has cut staff from their internal development studios and yet 3rd parties continue to support and encourage this stupidity. After last generation with so many studios closing down I don’t know how they’re expecting to continue down this path. And there’s no Wii this time to bail them out, which is probably why we’re seeing so many cross-gen and up-ports today even for games only a year or so old. Sony’s already admitted that as little as 30% of their internally developed games actually turn a profit so how would they expect anyone else to?
I know a lot of people are going to give me flack for saying this but it’s all because of Sony and MS. They’ve been extremely detrimental to gaming as a whole and they need to either change their business structure in regards to games or get out of gaming all together. Who started paying off developers? Sony. And then who joined in? MS. Who pushed an unsustainable future of HD games that caused numerous studios to shut down? Sony and MS. Who actually started this idea of selling a video game system as a loss leader?
A video games system… Really. A device that you only ever have to purchase a single game for (if it doesn’t already come with one) and nothing ever again. But people support it because they think they’re getting one over on old Sony and MS when actually they’re simply manipulating you. It’s gotten to the point where people think the Wii U is too expensive even though it’s much more powerful but doesn’t cost much more than a PS3 or a 360 at this point!
But I digress… WOW do I digress.
Guess I just needed to vent.
This comment tickled me pink so much.
And then a weird smiley face…
Should I be scared or terrified?