Miyamoto: Modern Action Games Are Just Too Challenging
Although this is more on the Nintendo side of news, the comments in question are relevant for all gamers.
Action games can be overly demanding. Some of the notoriously difficult titles include the Ninja Gaiden games, certain entries in the Devil May Cry franchise, and this year's Bayonetta; all of which will tax most players to the max. But Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto told the New Yorker (via the Official Nintendo Magazine) that such challenges don't necessarily translate to "fun."
"A lot of the so-called 'action games' are not made that way. All the time, players are forced to do their utmost. If they are challenged to the limit, is it really fun for them?"
Miyamoto would rather provide the player with a variety of different things; diverse forms of simpler entertainment, even if it means repetition.
"You are constantly providing the players with a new challenge, but at the same time providing them with some stages or some occasions where they can simply, repeatedly, do something again and again. And that itself can be a joy.
It's about enjoying something. I used to draw cartoons. I'd just show them to some of my friends, expecting that they were going to appreciate them, that they were going to enjoy reading them. And I haven't changed a bit about that. When I'm making video games today, I want people to be entertained. I am always thinking, How are people going to enjoy playing the games we are making today? And as long as I can enjoy something other people can enjoy it, too."
What do you say? Personally, I agree and disagree. I used to get great satisfaction from beating a game like Ninja Gaiden or Devil May Cry 3 but even then, it felt like too much of a chore. These days, I shy away from the overly difficult because as Miyamoto said, it's not exactly fun for everyone.
But at the same time, I think most all long-time gamers have noticed that games have gotten shorter and easier over time. They've been forced to adapt to an ever-growing mainstream crowd that wants to be able to finish the adventure; they're not interested in killing themselves like we used to do at the arcades. I do like the fact that I can finish most any game I buy, but I don't like this ongoing Nintendo implication that games have to appeal to everyone in the entire family to be "good."
Haven't bought the 100% kiddie mentality for some time, guys. A video game doesn't have to be too hard, true, but it also doesn't necessarily have to look like one of those cartoons you always drew, Miyamoto.
12/14/2010 9:58:02 AM Ben Dutka