Author Topic: Rambling about video games  (Read 996 times)

« on: November 09, 2003, 07:13:42 PM »
Greetings All:

A little about myself and my background with video games:  I do consider myself to be what some people may call a video game veteran.  I will shamelessly admit: I am 24 years old and I have been playing video games for about 21 years in total.

Oh what a nasty habit it was, when I was just a little kid.  I skipped 94 days of school in Jr. High, just to play video games.  I took frequent trips to the pool hall: which was just down the street from my house.  Many times: my sisters ex and I would go there: spending upwards of $35 at a time in the little arcade.  It was a good-sized arcade; it had about 14 machines or so.   My sisters ex (who was 9 years older then myself.) would make deals with me.  He would take me to the arcade, only if I got good marks in school that day.  We went to that arcade allot.  Always spending more then we were aloud to (And this was back in the 80'ss, when the **** things took quarters.)  I eventually got to go and **** away my parent’s money anway, regardless if I paid attention at school or not.  Everybody always though I was too sweet to be bad........Hahaha!  I can still get away with to this day.  :P

I've owned a large number of video game systems over the years.  I can actually remember the first computer my family ever owned: it was a vic-20, and the first game I ever played was called Shamus.  I don't know if anybody has ever heard of it; it was a simple game: little guy runs around a maze: shoots things and picks up keys.  That was probably back around 1982, ahh memories.

Since playing that very first game, I have owned a number of systems and computers (with the exception of a couple of recent ones.)

I've noticed quite a few things about video games over the past few years that I find to be..... Disappointing, to say the least.

You'll have to excuse my getting cynical.

Before I drop the hammer, let me first express something about the new technology and they video games that are created using it.

I recently got into a debate with my dad about the content of video games, and how it can sometimes be pushed too far.  I was searching the intenet, looking over a list of games, currently banned by the ESRB.  The debate started when I mentioned about a simulated sexual assault scene in a game called: Phantasmagoria.  The scene takes place at the beginning of the game, when the main character is attacked by a poltergeist, while asleep.  The cut-scene shows brief nudity and isn't very long.

I myself didn't actually get to play the game, but my cousin owned it and told me about it.  It was supposed to be the scariest game ever made: developed by Sierra and 7 CD's long.  Alas, I never got to play it.  The game was banned for that one scene and also: it's violent content.  The sequel was also banned for it's violent content.  Doesn't that make you wanna just run out and get it, just to see what the big hoopla is all about?  Yeah I know, me too.  The same is true for a game called Harvester, which had a ban put on it for a lot of it's general content, My brother first told me about this game: he said that the player can play as a number of serial killers.  "What sick twisted mind came up with that idea?" I wondered.  How appealing though.  I thoroughly looked into this game, but have been unable to find a copy.  F.Y.I the story id actually about a man named Steve, who wakes up in a small town and knows that something strange is going on.  The only thing he remembers is his name, and his fiancé: Stephanie.  Steve eventually learns that the entire town folk are all part pf a murderous cult, which meet up at "the lodge."  Steve has to get into the lodge, and stop the cults activities.  But to do this: he must earn a member ship by doing stuff.  From, scratching somebody's car, to killing somebody.  ****, doesn't that sound interesting?

Phew!  Sorry I kinda got off topic there.

Anyway, I was talking to my dad about this, which sparked a debate   My father stated that he thought such content didn't belong in video games, because video games were just games and games should be for kids.

I countered: Saying that the content is a part of the story, and in an adventure game like Harvester or Phantasmagoria is probably vital to the plot.  This is why games have rating systems.  It's just a shame that some dumb kid may take it seriously, and decide to imitate it.  I myself do not agree with parents who blame the media for some of the violence that kids do.  Some would and certainly could argue with that: but this is how I feel about the matter.  It is a parent’s job to instill good morals and values into their children, not to use T.V. movies or video games as a baby sitter.  I grew up watching ninja movies, Rambo, Rocky, and Conan, things like that, and I was taught and knew better then to go out and imitate what I saw.
I also don't agree with the Government doing certain things: like when an artist is restricted because of something they expressed.  Or them taking toy guns out of stores, because they feel it is a deterrent for youth violence.  I had all kinds of toy weapons when I was a kid.  That doesn't make any sense to me.  God forbid they would do anything about the real guns.

My next argument was that some of the modern games are more like a movie or good book.  My father loves to read, and I said to him: "If much of the content was taken out of a mystery pr adventure novel: that would take away from the story itself.

Some of the new video games are as good as any novel or movie.  The Metal Gear games come to mind, I love the story and characters in Metal Gear.  The voice over acting, and plot, combined with the other elements, make for an intense and in-depth story, which is easy to get into and is thoroughly enjoyable.

Unfortunately, very few of the newer games are so well done.

Now comes the cynicism:

That's right, it's hammer time.  One of the first CD systems I ever played was the 3DO.  I played a few different games for it: I didn't get to play it for very long, because it belonged to my brother.  The games that I did play for it were actually allot of fun.  A few that come to mind are: Dragons Lair, Need 4 Speed, Road Rash and some fighting game, that I can't remember the name of.  I had fun playing with them, because a lot of the games were two-player simultaneous.

I bought a few more systems after that: waiting to see the new adventure and RPG games that I could get.  The majority of these types of games (for the newer high-tech systems anyway.) I find, aren’t that great.  One of the worst systems I have ever had was the Sega Saturn.  Almost all the games I played for it were awful.  The only one I really liked was an action/platform game called Mr. Bones.  That is one of my all time favourites actually.  The newer games seem to emphasize more on graphics and game play, rather them storyline or and fun.  I hate that.  I hate playing a game that makes so many claims, but is over before I've had a chance to enjoy it.  The simplicity of allot of games, is ridiculous. I find allot of them boring and straightforward.  The old school games were simple too, but somehow: they seemed more fun.  The new games, most of them are hardly even worth buying, because they're done two days after you take them from the box.  Devil May Cry 2 comes to mind.  Nice graphics, nice music, fun to play.  It 's actually one of the best games I've played in awhile.  The problem is: that I got it on September 26th, in the afternoon and by the next morning: I already finished it, twice.  The God**** thing costs me 50 bucks!  It was far too easy.  It since in it's box now: I'm too bored with it to play it anymore.  Maybe it's just me?  After playing games for so long: I know what to look for and what to do.  I also find that, many times: games don't live up to the hype.  Fatal Frame is a good example:  I like scary stuff. And I heard that this was the scariest game ever.  It took me awhile to find it; but I eventually did and I bought it.  What a piece of crap!  I found the game annoying more then anything.  Ghosts repeating the same thing over and over again.  Near the end: I was so bored: I barely wanted to play it anymore.  It is another game that sits in my room, while it's case collects dust.

Don't get me wrong; there are games that I do enjoy, like wrestling or vice city or two player sports games.  Seldom am I ever impressed by the new stuff though.  Graphics really don't impress me.

Yes, I do play video games still.  I can go without doing it for long periods of time now though.  I was once very addicted to video games and would spend hours playing them.  Now I don't have to and don't want to either.

The new games are more fun to play with friends, because the one player adventure/survival horror lacks challenge.  However, I am very much looking forward to the next Metal Gear Solid. the next chapter in the story looks  and sounds very good.  I still play old arcade and console games on my computer.

They have something the newer ones lack.  Perhaps it is just nostalgia?  It is very difficult for me to come down on the indsutry; I've made a couple of small games myself, without an understanding of math, this is really, really difficult to do.  I only got so far before the formulas got to complex for me.  If only I'd learned algebra in Junior high.

A lot of the next generation games, lack something that the older ones had.


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« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2003, 07:33:07 PM »

*LD gets hit with a trout.*
"Hello Kitty is cool, but I like Keroppi the best."