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I'm Not Seeing A Lack Of Quality Or Innovation This Generation

I've never been a big complainer. As this is a hobby that's supposed to be fun, I can't comprehend the desire to be such a debbie downer. Yeah, totally old-school term. So?

The point is that I'm just not seeing the need to complain very much this generation. It's easy to point to a ton of sequels and a perceived glut of shooters (which really isn't even true, if you look at what releases in any given month) but the reality is that neither quality nor innovation has suffered too heavily over the past five or six years. In fact, I see plenty of evidence to the contrary.

Sure, my beloved JRPG genre has sort of fallen off the charts in my estimation and is in dire need of a resurrection, and the flagship JRPG franchise - Final Fantasy - seems to be leading the downward spiral of that sub-genre. But besides that, look at what we have: There are superior exclusive titles on every platform, fantastic multiplatform epic adventures, and plenty of innovation and originality thanks to the downloadable realm where we can also find old-school goodness that no longer exists in the big-budget realm. Developers like Thatgamecompany and games like Rainbow Moon keep me coming back to digital.

And really, if you're complaining after getting all these great games, you either have way too much time on your hands are you're way too hard to please. I wonder if all these complainers even like playing video games. Seems to me they have a problem with just about everything and if you have so many issues, maybe you should find a new hobby. For those who simply enjoy playing, I fail to see how all this criticism is warranted. Is there any particular reason people have to see all the negatives and focus so heavily on them? Where's the fun in that? Can't they just say, "Oh yeah, that game is awesome" without there being some sort of caveat?

Sometimes I think that those who call themselves "truly hardcore" (or some such elitist term) just aren't very happy individuals. If you look at what has released this generation and the vast variety of what is available, from the smallest downloadable game to the biggest multimillion-dollar production, and you're still disappointed, I say find something new to do with your spare time. 'Cuz clearly, you'll never be satisfied.

Tags: video games, gaming industry, gamers, gaming culture

1/7/2013 11:21:56 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (26 posts)

MartyRules
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 @ 12:34:58 AM
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People are to hung up on the nostalgic factor in everything to see the progress and overlook

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Temjin001
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 @ 12:38:45 AM
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I agree that this generation has offered up incredible games but I don't expect gamers to take everything with smiles and no fuss, even from those who probably spend too much time gaming.

I feel for the guys who have bemoaned the westernization of eastern genres, annualization redundancy, multiplayer encroachment in areas that need none, false representation of the facts, and the concerns over the market, like used game debates and such. But I do hope that most gamers do at least enjoy games more than they spend complaining about them. I'd imagine those who are negative people probably aren't very happy no matter where they spend their time.

So while I like this entertainment to be mostly positive and objectively assessed, I like interpreting the criticism and complaints as well.

but then again, I don't really hang in places where lots of complaining happens. I'm sure that stuff is out there. I just haven't gone looking for it.

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xenris
Wednesday, January 09, 2013 @ 9:41:45 AM

Amen

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Snaaaake
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 @ 12:59:35 AM
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Well, if you look at the market, FPS with no innovation here and there and innovative games may not be little but it sure is outnumbered greatly, especially when innovative titles always shows up in digital form only.
Besides, I think we have enough of it in the form of the mainstream titles:
Have you ever played anything like Assassin's Creed before?
Have you ever played anything like Mirror's Edge before?
Have you ever played anything like MGS4 before?
Have you ever played anything like Dishonored before?
Hell, I don't even need to mention titles like Heavy Rain, Walking Dead, LBP, Demon's Souls, Batman AA&AC etc.
And then there's the tiny jewels like Flow, Flower, Journey, Limbo, Shank etc.
I'm not complaining the lack of innovation though, I'm complaining that my wallet hurts if I'm gonna play every game I wanna play.

You want real innovation!!?!?!!? JUST PLAY COD BECAUSE IT'S INNOVATIVE FOR NOT BEING INNOVATIVE!!!!! *sarcasm*

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Axe99
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 @ 1:32:12 AM
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Totally agree - we've had a huge range of great gaming experiences this generation, with plenty of innovation. It'd be like complaining there's no innovation in cinema and then citing a few Hollywood mainstream blockbusters as evidence, and turning a blind eye to everything else that was going on in cinema.

Gravity Rush is my latest 'wow, this is a new and interesting way of doing this kind of game' game - a new (ish - I just don't have the time/money to play everything on release, nor would I want to), innovative and relatively big-budget interactive experience.

In fact, the only experiences this gen that made me unhappy were the Wii (the controller just gave me the irrates) and Dark Souls (I don't know why, I know its great, but for me it was more a matter of grate), and in both cases I gave them a bit of a push just to check I wasn't missing something, then let them go and focussed on other games I enjoyed.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 @ 1:57:26 AM
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Gaming has never been better.
There's more interesting characters and fantastic stories being told today than there ever has been. The productions have never been better.

But gaming has also changed. Cause with the new opportunities the entire medium has changed from something that essentially held pretty repetitive activities by nature and had to be quite hard to last, to something where the story is beginning to be more important than the activity.

And I don't only think of story-centric games like Heavy Rain and LA Noire now, but also more "traditional" games: It's the story that pushes you forward, not the action. The story has become the reward.

But this is where the indie games have such an important place in todays gaming world. There we find the classic, call it "repetitive" if you like, gameplay of yesteryear. The indie scene really do fill out a gap.
So to those who complain, I think you really are just looking in the wrong places. Cause fact of the matter is, the indie games of today are right up there with the production qualities of the major releases of yesteryear!


Last edited by Beamboom on 1/8/2013 2:06:09 AM

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Sunni_Boi
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 @ 1:57:34 AM
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Plain and simple.......Im not ready for the next gen, but i will accept it!

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Kiryu
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 @ 2:33:13 AM
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Lack of Quality from Capcom. PS2 had plenty of great original Capcom games,it looks like this generation they are working with western studios more. The Old Japanese innovation is missing this gen from Capcom.

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Vivi_Gamer
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 @ 3:07:39 AM
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I won't lie, in comparison to the last gen I can certainly see it. Whenever I have heard innovation this gen it usually refers to bad things - DLC, Online focused gameplay, Silly motion gimmicks or Independent games. It is never a word used for the single player experience within games. If anything the only word I hear today is 'linear' and most of the time I hear it, it happens to be from someone who expects every game to be structured like Skyrim. Which I personally thanks they aren't as I like my games to have some focus.

But as far as quality goes, I think I am a little biased as all of my favourite genres have took a deep tumble this gen. J-RPG's are practically none existent. Same goes for the platfroming genre - as ever since Ratchet & Clank appeared guns a priority. Then there is the horror genre, which as gone far too close to become just grizzly action games - I am not just speaking on Resident Evil. I look at my PS3 collection and overall I don't feel it reflects the games I favour, most of them are 3rd/1st person shooters. which some I like, but unlike my PS2 selection it does not take up 80% of the console library.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 @ 3:56:27 AM

I disagree! Where else has there been real innovation, but in single player games? LA noire and Heavy Rain being the prime examples, and both being properly credited for it too, but also plenty other games has brought something new, or improvements of the old.

It really is not as bad as people want to believe!

Last edited by Beamboom on 1/8/2013 4:04:32 AM

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Vivi_Gamer
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 @ 2:03:13 PM

I love both of them titles, easily two of my favourite this gen. As for Heavy Rain being Innovative, maybe in a sense of controlling the QTE's but in structure we all really had Quantic Dreams Fahrenheit. As for L.A. Noire - I'd agree with that, though many have just slapped it down as typical R* game with added dective elements, but to me I found it groundbreaking in more ways then just for its expressions.

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Lawless SXE
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 @ 5:20:02 AM
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I always do a double take when people mention 'fun' relative to gaming. This is because I don't typically play games to have fun in the sense that I tend to view that word. There are some games that are unadulterated like LBP and Majin and th Forsaken Kingdom where you sit there with a goofy smile on your face pretty much the whole way through, but that isn't primarily the reason that I play. To me, it's more for the experiences that the medium has to offer, which is exactly the same reason that I read and usually watch films. It's a little bit odd, I think.

Anyway, more directly to the point, the article is pretty near to the bullseye. Even in the retail sector you can find some really innovative and interesting games; you just have to look away from the AAA offerings. And it's true that quality isn't universal, even among games that are very similar, but that's the way things must be. As for innovation, it's important to remember that it is far safer to do it through iteration, rather than Quantic Dream's way of going about things and starting over from scratch every time. Sure, it backfired time and again when developers take steps down the wrong road (in the eyes of fans), but that's inevitable.

It isn't difficult to find issue with even the best game if you're really looking for it, but it's rather easy to overlook them in most cases. That being said, I wouldn't necessarily agree that serial complainers need to find a new hobby, but it'd be good if they could just shut the hell up once in a while about the disappointments of the latest AAA release and just accept it warts-'n'-all.

I feel incoherent.

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Excelsior1
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 @ 6:54:26 AM
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There has been plenty of variety and many great games this generation and it keeps gettiing better and better. My biggest complaint has got to be multiplats titles tending to underperform on the PS3. It's been an ongoing problem that's never been dealt with to my satisfaction. While the situation has improved developers like Bethesda Games always make sure multiplats are an issue on the PS3 and they still can't get a game to run properly on thet PS3. Hello over there at Bethesda!! You have had seven freaking years to learn how to make a game work on the PS3!!

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___________
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 @ 6:58:52 AM
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thats a joke right?
as david cage even said, look at E3 last year EVERYTHING was either a sequel, or a new IP of a genre that has been done 100000 times before!
i could count the amount of innovative new concepts from this gen on a single hand!
ONLY game this gen that was truly different and brought something totally new to the industry was heavy rain!
thats it, 1 game for 6+ years of "progress"!
how pathetic!!!!!


Last edited by ___________ on 1/8/2013 7:00:12 AM

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Killa Tequilla
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 @ 8:08:21 AM
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How is this gen innovative? Like 99.9% of the games still have you kill with guns. Sure there are few games out there I can think of like Heavy Rain or LBP that are truly innovative but the rest is just the same crap, different color. Not that I have too much of problem with it.

We need something truly innovative, something that doesn't make you fetch, kill, come back, kill and mission complete. It's like that for every mission on every game. Every single game has you killing something or someone.

Games always have us either use something to stop someone from destroying something OR having us reach somewhere to destroy something. At the end of the game we have either saved our species, the day, a planet or the galaxy, or we have escaped an organization trying to kill an individual or individuals.

You guys might see it differently, but to my eyes, im doing the same thing over and over and over again. Not that I have too much of a problem with it.

Last edited by Killa Tequilla on 1/8/2013 8:11:16 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 @ 10:23:23 AM

You're not making much sense. At least we HAVE Heavy Rain and LBP now (and by the way, there are a lot more examples; you're not listing nearly enough of them). In past generations, it was even more restrictive and limited. Hell, go back to the golden age and the only games there WERE had guns and fighting, with the exception of some classic Nintendo games (that we still have, by the way).

What you're saying is somewhat true but it has always been that way. This generation is the FIRST generation where we've been exploring different concepts. I mean, Journey just won Game of the Year at many major sources and that is something quite significant. That would never have happened in past eras because we didn't HAVE games like that.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 @ 12:48:40 PM

Innovation can just mean a unique mechanic or a new mix of old styles as in Darksiders.

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Killa Tequilla
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 @ 2:07:11 PM

Well, I guess what you say is true Ben. Maybe new technology = more innovation.

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Ludicrous_Liam
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 @ 9:00:00 AM
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Honestly, it's been the best generation for gaming. I know some of you guys were born into different generations and will see that era as a better one, but...common. MGS4, LBP, Uncharted, Killzone...these kinda games don't come along very often, especially not in one generation (and they all came out during the 2008-2009 period aswell).

I agree though that the past year has been a bit...meh. Thank god for the return of naughty dog in the form of The Last Of Us and Rockstar in GTA5, lol. And though I'm not too hot about Beyond or the new GOW, they still have the potential to be great. Last year, I'm sorry but I didn't see anything that I could forsee as being one of the 'greats' of gaming...like, in the slightest.

I don't get the fixation on being 'innovative' either; a game doesn't need to be innovative, rather inspiring. I suppose you could argue they are one in the same, but while the games I mentioned earlier weren't massively innovative - the ideas have all been tried before - they are massively inspiring.


Last edited by Ludicrous_Liam on 1/8/2013 9:02:03 AM

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CrusaderForever
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 @ 10:05:01 AM
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It's true a lot of people complain over every little detail. I have been very pleased with the fun "Games" I have played this generation. It's not like there haven't been good games with great ideas. Games that have made us all feel a certain way. Games that have us thinking about them when you are not gaming. Also games that make you think about yourself and how you are doing in your life presently. We have seen "Gaming" turn into the #1 media money maker during this gen.

There have been some great ideas in innovation as well. We have the following:
Touch controls
Accelerometer controls
Motion controls
Sound Immersion
Graphics Immersion
Creative options from LBP
Great story telling is still a major player
The Vita/Tablet themselves are a great innovation
The complainers are very hard to please and will continue to cry about every little detail. Ben is right though, I know there a lot of gamers that are just to hard to please. They expect the coming of Christ during every play through. I am just glad I can game and get enjoyment out of it. Not to mention "Gaming" isn't life it's just a past time. Thankfully I will be able to enjoy Ni No Kuni without expecting a cure for cancer.

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RICHIECOQUI
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 @ 10:35:36 AM
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last year i finish playing skyrim so i started to clean out my closet in the bottom drawer i found a copy of ps1 Koudelka a rpg game!! So i played it for a while the difference between skyrim and is Koudelka remarkable!! How games progress tech wise is stunning!!

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Dustinwp
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 @ 10:50:38 AM
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The only complaint I have about games this generation is over the beating my wallet is taking. There are way too many quality games! It seems to me people are just whiners because there is a plethora of fantastic games to choose from. Unless your strictly an RPG fan.....then your just SOL.

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CrusaderForever
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 @ 12:32:00 PM

^THIS!

My #1 complaint for this gen is the number of high quality D1P games available. I make ok money and support my family like I should. But I cannot financially keep up with the industry right now. Ni No Kuni is a D1P and I already have the money in my PSN wallet. However, Dead Space 3, Bioshock Infinite, The God of War Ascension, Last of Us, Tomb Raider and many others are not for sure D1P. Now The Last of Us is a ways out and will more than likely be a D1P. But I am not sure about the others due to my finances. My money has to go else where this year. Seriously it's an awesome problem to have! Just goes to show you how healthy gaming is!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 @ 12:46:28 PM
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Eh, aside from blank line, I think most of us just enjoy discussing games and get wild. Are we all REALLY super anal about the things we rant over on the internet? Probably not. It's just that we are passionate about the hobby and employ a bit of hyperbole to make these discussions fun.

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xenris
Wednesday, January 09, 2013 @ 10:07:24 AM
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I would say my disappointment this gen comes from the fact that the innovative games don't sell as well as the carbon copies do.

ME1, The Witcher 2, Binary Domain, Dragons Dogma, Journey, Metro 2033, Dark Souls, Bioshock and many more were all incredible games and I think that some of my favourite games of all time came out this gen, except MGS3 and Kingdom Hearts :P

As far as complaining my only real complaint this gen is some DLC practices and the corporate influences I have seen on some franchise or in general the need for publishers to have to keep increasing profits year after year. I feel the two are closely connected. While I might voice these complaints its not like it keeps me up at night.

When I play a game where I don't notice any lack of polish or some crazy plot hole that I have no idea how the devs overlooked THAT is how I know I am playing a great game and those are the games I search for now. Which happen to be indy games regardless of platform.

I think "complaining" is a good thing because it promotes change, and helps keep the devs and the industry from stagnating. The complaining just needs to be constructive is all.

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ricksterj
Thursday, January 10, 2013 @ 11:43:17 AM
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For "how old" this console is there shouldn't be a lack of quality; innovation who cares?

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