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What has happened to the gaming scene?

View Poll Results: Do game developers need to step it up?
Yes! Most definitely! 38 51.35%
No. I'm content with where we're at. 19 25.68%
Maybe. We could throw some mudkips in there I suppose... 17 22.97%
Voters: 74. You may not vote on this poll
06-01-2010, 06:53 PM
#1
What has happened to the gaming scene?

It may just be me, but gaming seems to really have gone downhill lately. Not just in the app store; for most consoles too, but that's a whole new discussion to be started elsewhere. I'm noticing that the games being released for the iDevices as of late are stale upon arrival or just plain unoriginal.
Come on - how many zombie games do we really need? I see a new one being featured every week either in iTunes or on some website that specializes in pocket-sized gaming. It reminds me a lot of how Twilight ruined vampires for everone because (aside from the "sparkling in the sun" BS) it's constantly shoved in your face. We've got Zombie Farm, Zombieville, Plants vs Zombies, Zombie Smash, Zombie Pizza, Zombie Invasion, Zombie Infection, Zombie Attack, Biodefense: Zombie Outbreak, Zombie Shock, Alive 4-ever, Be Free or Die (which I beta tested to find out it was just as cheap as the rest), Zombieland (a poorly made shoot-em-up based off the movie), Zombie City, iZombie, Game of da Dead, Adventure of Guns n' Zombie (Oh, come on... this is just getting ridiculous now), and of cours the Resident Evil games. I'm really surprised "Zombies Ate My Neighbors" hasn't made the list. That would be the one to get my money. There's probably hundreds more, but I'd rather not humor myself and save a few hours.
I'm seeing too many rip-offs entering the gaming scene as well. You wouldn't believe the number of RPGs in the app store that are exactly the same when it comes to the plot, and even the graphics! Let's get a small list going: Zenonia, Inotia, Chaos Rings, Crystal Defenders (even though it's a tower game), Final Fantasy, etc. They're the same crap over and over again. Medieval setting. 3 or 4 characters. Turn based. Melee, archery, and magic are all used. I think you get the point, and I don't need to go into great detail of how the story-line usually goes (trek far and wide encountering monsters and random battles to retrieve something special and save the kingdom; hoorah). This is just a single example; I'm seeing clones of games everywhere, and it's getting rather annoying when I don't see original or maybe some new content coming to the app store.
Even when fresh ideas are presented, how long does it hold your interest? I remember when the game Pulse came out: I loved that it was a beat-based game with an all-original soundtrack, and I'll give it props for standing out enough to get 3 bucks from me (which I usually don't do for games I know little about). I enjoyed it for the first couple hours, and then I got bored because it was the saaaame thing over and over again. Good game developers don't make boring games!

I guess I can rant all day and night about it, but here's my question for you:
What games do you truly enjoy? What is that one game that still hasn't lost its luster? I'd even like to see you post your ideas on games that should be brought to the iDevices, even if they're non-existent.
I don't want to see Angry Birds, Minigore, Pocket God, Tilt to Live, or Doodle Jump. They've been a waste of money and I'll never follow the hype about them again.

Here's a list of what I personally treasure:
Cogs
Grand Theft Auto: China Town Wars
Ms. Pacman
Tap Tap Revenge
Urban Rivals
Words With Friends
06-01-2010, 07:00 PM
#2
I guess I'm a cheap & easy gamer because when it comes down to it; Angry Birds and Daredevil Dave are my "go to" games that I play above all else.

GameCenter: rich_952000
I'm generally active on Twitter concerning all things iOS, PS and Nintendo; Hit me up
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06-01-2010, 07:04 PM
#3
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,242
We meet again

GTA of course
Totemo
Drop7
Boulder Dash Rocks
Trixel
Sparkle
Hoggy
Swapper

If you like Cogs, try Toy Mechanic. There's a lite version if you want to try and I personally find it better than Cogs.
06-01-2010, 07:06 PM
#4
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,206
It isn't just you. Not exactly, anyway; it isn't that gaming is getting stale. It's been stale for years. You're only just noticing. Reams of clones? Yup. Been going on since the 80s. I remember walking into arcades in the early 80s and continuously finding some new Asian Pac-Man clone. I'm not exaggerating, either; there were literally dozens of them around various arcades, all different, yet all the same, many running on the same Pac Man hardware, just with changes in graphics and sound. That's only gotten worse over the years.

The App Store just makes this seem that much worse because it's easier to develop for, development cycles are shorter, and anyone and their dog can develop for the iPhone platform for as little as $100.

Fantasy games with the same plot? Nope. Nothing new under this sun either. Player A must (rescue female B | save town C | slay monster D) but can only do so by going on a journey to find (macguffin E | plot coupons F, G, H, I, and J). Said journey will involve fighting miscellaneous monsters and a series of progressively tougher bosses (each of which may give up a plot coupon, or the last of which will have or lead the way to the macguffin), and once complete, (female B | town C) will be saved or, either due to the recovery of of the macguffin or plot coupons, or because monster D was slain. And they lived happily ever after until the gratuitous sequel.

There aren't many original plots left. Just ask anyone in Hollywood.

So, congratulations: You're well on your way to becoming a jaded video gamer just like the rest of us old-timers.

[Relax with Galactic Chill] [Let me tell you a story.]
Currently working on: Music for Spirit Hunter Mineko
06-01-2010, 07:44 PM
#5
Joined: May 2010
Location: Channel 4 Newsroom
Posts: 420
I agree totally I think I even said a dozen times that there aren't really that many games on the app store with a fantastic story or gameplay and most are trying to cash in with zombie games and doodle this and that. And there are enough TD games to out number a small island yet there are really only a few good games....

What I'm saying is step up yo game devs!
06-01-2010, 07:49 PM
#6
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Perv, why do you care?
Posts: 1,807
Sorry, I've been gaming 30 years in 10 and I still find original stuff. It seems like what you're looking for is similarities, not differences.
06-01-2010, 08:00 PM
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by CassieTheChaoticCupcake View Post
You wouldn't believe the number of RPGs in the app store that are exactly the same when it comes to the plot, and even the graphics! Let's get a small list going: Zenonia, Inotia, Chaos Rings, Crystal Defenders (even though it's a tower game), Final Fantasy, etc. They're the same crap over and over again. Medieval setting. 3 or 4 characters. Turn based. Melee, archery, and magic are all used. I think you get the point, and I don't need to go into great detail of how the story-line usually goes (trek far and wide encountering monsters and random battles to retrieve something special and save the kingdom; hoorah).
Welcome to the SNES era of JRPGs.
06-01-2010, 08:19 PM
#8
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Hollywood, CA
Posts: 1,869
I completely disagree; I think it is a wonderful time to be a gamer. I am 35 y/o and my "heyday" was the 8-bit and 16-bit days, and it will never be as magical (in that way) as it was then - but there is still so much going on right now, and so much innovation and (healthy) competition in games, and on iPhone in particular right now (which is the topic I will concentrate on from here on out)

No bones about it, we are absolutely drowning in a sea of software. There's just so much product available right now, everything for almost literally a song. Until recently I've felt that the majority of it was garbage, but now I see quite a numerous amount of strong-quality software showing up fairly regularly. Does this mean a lot of these "quality" games are super-high production value, the likes of DS or PSP? Heck no. But they are incredibly affordable, a lot of them do look and sound quite good for the asking price, so many have online connectivity in some fashion or other, they are constantly being updated by developers and have active communities thriving within them.

I look at the iPhone as the new PS2, a sentiment which has been echoed by many others recently; it's not the strongest device tech-wise, but it's the one which has the most market penetration and therefore everyone's jumping onboard and trying to grab their own little piece of the ground. That's why you see so many genres being covered, while they all play 'king of the hill" with one another. The upside of this is, that no matter what kind of gamer you are, you are being catered to in some decent degree. Racing games, sports games, board games, action games, puzzle games, word games, boredom killers, games with sheep or pigs in them, even FPS or GTA games.. Again, there's a lot of "negligible quality" across much of it but every major genre is fairly well-represented at this point with something that's likely at least derivative, and at best innovative to some degree.

I look at the gaming culture's attitude as prof.. a year ago, most major game websites/forums would look down on the iPhone "oh there's no D-Pad, etc" and dismiss it as the next N-Gage, a decent concept that's fallen apart in execution. Nowadays the same people who were naysayers (myself included) can't really go to bat with that attitude anymore, as there's just an overwhelming amount of (at worst) decent content to satisfy the most general gamers.

So if you are jaded of the iPhone game scene, or the game scene in general, then you really need to adjust your perspective somehow. Do more research in what you want to spend time with, maybe examine some genres that you are not used to playing. Maybe you are a diehard RPG/RTS player who has an active dislike of casual games, but perhaps you've not actually looked at any of them in the past year and you are missing out. Maybe you are only concerned with bigger studio efforts, and all the higher production values those represent, and you are missing out on what the smaller guys have to offer.. work that is perhaps more rough-around-the-edges in how they look and sound, but things that can afford to be more experimental and unusual in their playstyle.

Another thought is that maybe you just need a break from gaming! If it's all you do all the time (i am generalizing, BTW) then as is the case with anything, it will just start to all feel like mush after awhile - you can't see the forest for the trees. Maybe unplug and get out of games for a spell and just take a breather. Do some other things in life and let gaming be more complementary to that, rather than a big focus; maybe that will help you appreciate them more, and experience them in a different and fresher way.

Pardon my long-winded rant, but this is something that touches a philosophical nerve when I hear such an argument
06-01-2010, 08:23 PM
#9
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Posts: 4,761
Quote:
Originally Posted by headcaseGames View Post
I completely disagree
+1 http://www.thehectorfiles.com/ is out today.. what is it a clone of?
06-01-2010, 08:32 PM
#10
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: US
Posts: 745
Some game that I keep playing:

GTA:CTW
COD Zombies
SimCity

and thats about it.