"Revolutionary" Gaming

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  • Xensor 5 Oct 2007 17:47:05 1,053 posts
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    So over the months since the 360,PS3 and Wii have been released, i've read lots of bluster on here and other places about whether certain games and controllers are revolutionary, phrases like "The Real Next Gen", "Emergent Gameplay" etc, all this marketing faff designing to hide, imho of course, the simple truth, gaming hasn't really gone anywhere in the last decade. Production values have shot up, audio and visuals have been refined, the hype-machine polished til it gleams but when was the last time you said, "i've never seen or played anything like this, ever."?

    When you cut away all the bulky cutscenes, homo-erotic machismo, cutesy japaneseness and general clutter from all modern games, how many actual different types of games are there? and more importantly, how many of them are truly new? I'll throw together a list and some thoughts, please add if i miss anything :)

    Shooters - This covers FPS's, shoot-em up's, basically firing bullets/lasers/fireballs at a collection of pixels for a reward of other pixels, points, and bigger bullets/lasers/fireballs. Asteroids, Wolfenstein etc, as old as gaming itself.

    Sports - Football, Tennis, Ice Hockey etc. I remember having some crappy console in the pre- zx spectrum days that was as basic as they came but allowed me to pretend i was playing a ball game of some description. Also as old as gaming and no amount of flashy ronaldinho step-overs can change that :)

    Platformers - Mario. Nuff said.

    Beat'em ups Who remembers playing the orginal Street Fighter arcade machine with the gigantic pressure-senstive buttons? Or that golden oldie Karate Champ with the dual joysticks? I wonder where Sony stole their dualshock ideas from? :)

    RPG's - Ok lets be brutally honest here, since the days of Final Fantasy 1 (east) and Bard's Tale (west), what's been revolutionary, whats been just refinement and a load more storage space? And multiplayer RPG's (i.e. D&D etc) pre-date your WoW's and EQ's by a good 30 years.

    Driving - Could easily be classed as a type of Sports Sim and besides there's been a billion of them! Even Gran Turismo, the PS1 original and by far the biggest step forward in driving realism at that point in time, was only a refinement allowed by the technology of the time.

    Strategy - A slightly newer genre of gaming but still as old as the Spectrum. Ok so not that new then :p And lets not even talk about board games!

    Rythym Action - Ah now this is probably the newest form of gaming and arguably the last true revolution in gaming but they've been around since at least the early 90's iirc.

    Puzzle Games - Tetris. The best thing to come out of Soviet Russia since Sputnik.

    Controllers - The Wimote is a cross between a tv remote and a mouse. The Dualshock is a bunch of ideas stolen from arcade machines. The Sixaxis is a rushed tack-on. The analogue stick (N64, PS2/3, Xbox) is again refined arcade technology.

    Heh the more i think about it, the more it seems the arcades were the true hotbed of creative gamemaking :) But they've all died a death under the groaning weight of console gaming.

    I think the point i'm trying to make under all this prattling on is that people sold on the idea that PS3/Xbox360/Wii are truly next generation consoles are sorely mistaken. They may have multi-core CPU's, power-sucking GPU's, 7.1 audio etc but they do nothing fundamental different from the Atari 2600, the ZX Spectrum, that dirty old arcade machine in your local chipshop, and until people stop squabbling over the minutae and look all the big players in the eye and demand something new, truly groundbreaking, gaming will be condemned to rehashed classics and polished old turds. And nothing else.

    /inserts 2 cent into thread
  • NewYork 5 Oct 2007 17:50:56 24,835 posts
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    Party games? (Raving Rabbids, Warioware, Mario Party, Bishi Bashi, etc.)
  • Deleted user 5 October 2007 17:54:42
    Xensor wrote:
    Heh the more i think about it, the more it seems the arcades were the true hotbed of creative gamemaking :) But SEGA died.
    Fixxored
  • reddevil93 5 Oct 2007 17:56:21 11,942 posts
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    Online Gaming.

  • Xensor 5 Oct 2007 18:02:34 1,053 posts
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    IMHO it's arguable that party games are simply multi-player puzzle games :) I think online gaming is an evolution simply because it means playing the same game as someone else, just they are a lot further away than sitting next to you :) But are either of them a true revolution?
  • reddevil93 5 Oct 2007 18:05:26 11,942 posts
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    Xensor wrote:
    IMHO it's arguable that party games are simply multi-player puzzle games :) I think online gaming is an evolution simply because it means playing the same game as someone else, just they are a lot further away than sitting next to you :) But are either of them a true revolution?

    Who here would have thought you could play against someone in Japan from the comfort of your own living room ten years ago?

  • Deleted user 5 October 2007 18:05:32
    A party game is just a bunch of mostly bad cheap arcade games on one disc really. Instead of paying in 20p supplements you pay 40 up front.
  • NewYork 5 Oct 2007 18:09:55 24,835 posts
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    YOGA GAMES.
  • Xensor 5 Oct 2007 18:41:38 1,053 posts
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    Some good points Ahab, but i will say i'm not really moaning about there being only 2 types of books so to speak, more that there's far too much labelling of a slight tweak of 1 type of book as "a new revolution in gameplay" etc.

    Second Life is hardly a game imho but if i was to classify it, then it's an RPG type game - you create an avatar, you collect stuff through whatever mechanic they've implemented, you interact with the locals be they PC's or NPC's. A generalisation for sure but valid i think :)

    Sandbox games can be classed as multtiple-genre games, doing them all decently but the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. Driving, shooting, platforming, RPG elements etc, all wrapped up in a shiny easy-to-use package :)

    Community participation is not new to be fair (mods were coming out for Doom ages ago) but can be classed as revolutionary as it gave the players as much power over the game as the developers. Certainly worth a debate :)
  • abdallah 5 Oct 2007 19:05:21 246 posts
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    No place for simulations? MS flight simulator and the likes.

    In a way the old days seemed to offer a lot more invention than games do today. Today every game is basically one of the genres from your list.
    Genres weren't defined as well back in the old days as they are now, so a lot of very odd games came to be.
  • steoc4 5 Oct 2007 19:06:02 1,664 posts
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    In fairness that's a lot of different genres listed and games can't be expected to create new genres constantly. Do you complain that everything in the cinema is about conflict or love or whatever over and over? How many genres of film are there that didn't exist 30 years ago? Same could be said for books too. And you list sports games as not really changing, do you complain every four years that the Olympics is just like it was last time?

    I think gamers have been spoilt by growing up with an artform in its infancy, where there was a huge blank canvas and so many new things to try. Now, with things maturing, it is obvious that completely new ground is going to be covered less often, but that doesn't make it less worthwhile. I'll take a game that's really good over a game that's really original.

    There's been plenty of exciting developments in recent years. I mean, my most recent purchase was FIFA. Sports game. You kick a ball. However, when you turn on the game, you're greeted by a regularly updated podcasts where presenters talk about recent developments and prevalent tactics in online games, aswell as having a ticker running along the bottom showing you this evening's UEFA cup results. You can then go and play a match against your friend on the other side of the Atlantic if you so wish. And if you score a really impressive goal? At a press of a button you can have it automatically uploaded from your console to EAs website where anyone with a PC can watch it. That's more of a leap forward in Football games in the last two years than you'd get in a decade of TV coverage.

    That's just an example of a boring genre. There are many more examples of how games are constantly improving, it's just that it's lots of little improvements rather than breaking completely new ground.
  • Deleted user 5 October 2007 19:27:02
    Considering that there's only meant to be about 4 different narratives and 7 different conversations I think that there might be one of two too many catagories there.

    As far as I can see you can split it down as:

    me

    me vs it

    me vs you

    us vs the other

    us
  • Deleted user 5 October 2007 19:45:39
    Well the thread was beginning to turn in semantics over sub-genres, so I figured that we needed a bit of pompus authority around here. :)
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