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Has Next Gen Gaming Lived Up To Previous Gens? |

So far this gen has all been about motion control and/or pushing graphics to their fullest. While some games try to imitate life graphically, currently none has been able to draw you into the game world and make you connect with the character(s) emotionally.

Some have tried. Heavenly Sword and Metal Gear Solid 4 are a couple of examples. However, MGS4 failed in comparison to it’s predecessor MGS3. The ending to MGS3: Snake Eater had me talking for weeks.

I can remember my first play through of Final Fantasy 7. By the time I reached the end of the first disc, I was drawn into the story. Sephiroth had to pay for what he’d done to Aeris. Nothing was more important than finding Cloud after they became separated . So far this gen, there seem to be few rpgs or other genres that have come close to that kind of emotion.

The 1st and 3rd Devil May Cry games were all about action, but you actually cared to see Dante and Virgil beat each other up in the 3rd game. You wanted Dante to settle the score with his brother after their first encounter…or at least I did. 

On the bright side, there’s still Heavy Rain. HR seems to promise an emotional roller-coaster ride and realistic graphics at the same time. We’ll have to wait and see if it delivers.

I realize not everyone wants to get heavily involved in a story in video games. Most people are satisfied with killing as many zombies/aliens/and everything else that moves as they can. But the way I see it, if developers want to make games more realistic, then they need to reach beyond graphics.

  • No Kill Tayler

    I’m all for mindless games, but this gen has really been low on story heavy games.
    Metal Gear did draw me in, especially *spoiler when he went through the microwave radiation (is that right?). That made me say,”no snake noooo”, and I wasn’t a metal gear fan until that game.

    I can’t think of any others.

  • Darrin

    “So far this gen has all been about motion control and/or pushing graphics to their fullest”

    Motion control is one trend, but there are so many other trends this “generation” (or these past few years): downloadable games, DLC, smaller games, experimental games, retro games, achievement systems, elaborate “online services” for gamers, more multiplayer options, community created content, dramatic transformation of games journalism and coverage, physics, etc.

    I don’t think video games have ever been through such a period of intense change and probably will never do so again.

    The traditionally story-heavy games like Metal Gear and Final Fantasy have been somewhat light. Heavy Rain is an obvious upcoming story-heavy game. How about Fallout 3 and GTA 4 or Uncharted or Bioshock?

  • JimmyMagnum

    GTA has lost a lot of its charm though. I didn’t care much for its story either…

    Bioshock is good though, and they did a creative way of telling the story too. Fallout 3 is great as well. But yeah, there aren’t nearly as many story drivers as there usually are. So far this gen, the one that really pulls the emotional strings on any system is MGS4. We’ll have to wait and see what games like Heavy Rain, The Last Guardian, and Final Fantasy 13 will bring to the table.

  • riZe-

    Man you are so right. For me, story is EVERYTHING and as I play more and more games I realize how important a solid storyline is for a game. It has become the single most important quality a game could have, for me anyway. Games like Resistance and God of War draw me in because of their story and the twists and turns it puts you through. I just wish more developers would focus on storyline when creating their contributions to the gaming world. Square Enix is the king when it comes to storys, nobody compares AT ALL. That’s why their fanbase is so large, and that’s why they make the big bucks.

  • Pungyeon

    I hardly think that storyline plots is what makes a game good or bad for anyone. Nobody wants to play a broken game that has a great story.

    For example: Zelda Ocarina of Time. In my opinion the best game ever made. However, in all honesty, I think we all know the story was cheesy and could never make it as anything but a video game plot.

    to shorten my comment. I think it’s just missing the point, that games tend to have B (or even C) -line scripts, that just seem okey because their in a game.

  • JimmyMagnum

    I prefer games to have a good storyline as well as great gameplay. Yes, story games with no gameplay would be crap, and even games with a lot great gameplay and no storyline can be bad depending on the genre.

  • Uncharted was good but not great. GTA was a little weak to me. I’ve never played Bioshock so I can’t make a comment about that title.

    I forgot about Ico. That was a good example. As for SE, they’ve seem to have stumble a bit since FFXII on the story side of things.

    But that’s my opinion. I just miss a good old fashion epic story in games where I actually like the characters I’m playing.

  • King32

    Everbody who posted something about this comment all have good points. To me this gen has lived up to previous gens. For example you had games like tomb raider back then. ppl loved it, now you got uncharted which to me already blows tomb raider out the water. To make a long story short most of this gen games you cant be done on ps2 or xbox. they would play, look, or sound the same. but big ups to GTA:SA which to me is the best one cuz GTA 4 for some reason doesnt even come close to SA and that sad.

  • To Paraphrase Scarface.

    First you get the graphics, then you get the story.

    The best games of This generation haven’t even been started yet. Think how great Team ICO’s next game, after The Last Guardian, will be. Level 5 hasn’t even made an appearance yet. Where’s my Dark Cloud 3. The game space is getting richer, it’ll attract more talent. Give it time.

  • Jonaskin

    Dead Space had a great story, and as mentioned Bioshock, Fallout 3, Uncharted, and to an extent GTA4 all had good stories too. MGS4 was awesome but would have been confusing as hell if you weren’t already a fan of the series.

    Crossing my fingers for FFXIII, Kingdom Hearts 3, God of War 3, and Dragon Age: Origins. There’s some ones with major potential coming up pretty soon.

  • Mike

    PS2 was the best system ever so it would be impossible for anything this gen to live up to it. Beyond that obvious statement, I still don’t consider this hardware cycle to be nearly as good as the last one. System pricing, reliability, and capabilities have been horrible (you can figure which term applies to which system), and some genres are almost non-existent (what good 3D platformers have there been besides Ratchet & Mario Galaxy?).

    It is not for a lack of great games, 360 and PS3 have some absolute classics. Online gaming for consoles has matured greatly in a short amount of time, and console games are getting content extended the way PC games always have.

    But between the aforementioned problems, some horrible abuse of DLC, and too publishers trying to chase after a market that doesn’t care about their products, this gen could be a lot better.

    And as somebody that has paid attention to gaming journalism since I was about nine years old or so, the rise of horrendous sites like Kotaku and Destructoid isn’t having a particularly positive effect.

  • I agree 100% Mike.

  • JimmyMagnum

    in response to gaming journalism: it’s all about fanboyism now. There isn’t any actual news anymore, just a bunch of opinions thrown in (I blame that on the sudden explosion of blog sites :P) trying to pass off as a news story…

    But given those other facts, the 360 has reliability issues because Microsoft rushed itself into the current gen (I mean, the original XBox only had, literally, a 4 year lifespan and after the 360 came out, they stopped support for the original altogether) just to be first on the market, without really doing much R&D (if they adequately performed Quality Assurance on their own products, e shouldn’t have had the RROD issues) .

    Sony’s price was so high because it had a lot of new technology that hadn’t even necessarily been on the market for long. Let alone, proven itself in mainstream gaming and home entertainment (hence why it took a good 2-3 years before it caught on). The Wii is limited by it’s tech in terms of hardware, but even with the motion control, no one has really done anything outside of gimmicky games that warrant the term “shovelware”. Sure, it has a handful of good games, but, compared to its total software library, it’s a very small percentage.

    My biggest concern for this generation (as well as future generations) is with downloadable content and games. I feel on a lot of DLC, we’re totally getting gypped by some of these publishers with their astronomical prices on content that should have been free in the first place (RE5 anyone?).

    And with downloadable games, what if something happens to, say, your hard drive (though, they’re very reliable) or something happened to the system (and you run out of systems to download the content to). Would you then have to worry about having to repurchase that software? What if you purchase a lot of games and take up the capacity of the hard drive (though, at this state, that’s unlikely if you purchase an aftermarket drive, but think future generations as well).

    I still think physical form is the way to go, especially if you manage taking care of your discs pretty well (the blu-ray discs are pretty good with scratch protection, though). I also prefer physical, because there are tons of people like me who rent games before they buy them. Nice thing about GameFly is, you can purchase the game you rented at a discounted price. That also helps the publishers because then GameFly would buy another copy to replace yours.

    Sorry about getting into kind of a ranting mood there lol.