Saturday, April 25, 2015

The state of console games

Two posts in two days...what is the world coming to? I'd usually leave video game ranting to Angry Video Game Nerd, except I'm getting that feeling right now.

I love video games. I may not have the console history that rabid fans use to measure their e-peen, but I've always enjoyed console gaming (even though I'm a PC gamer at heart). And really, growing up it seemed like the good games never stopped. Even now, as a member of the 9-5 workforce, there's always time for games, or at least I make time for them (usually to the extreme ire of Cindy).

There's always something new to play...except when there...isn't...

I just completed a year working as a tester on the Xbox One. The "next-gen" consoles have been out for a while now, with the Wii U finally hitting its stride (supposedly), the Xbox One slightly making a comeback (maybe), and the PS4 still going strong (uhh sure?). My question is, where are the games?

I haven't bought an Xbox One or PS4 yet. In my opinion, neither console has a strong enough library of games already released or announced to justify a purchase. Dragon Age: Inquisition? That was a no-brainer buy for PC for me. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare? Not a fan of the PvP and the campaign's like 10 hours long, if you're slow. Forza? Sure it's fun, but I still have my 360 racing setup. Bloodborne? Seriously? Mortal Kombat X? Sorry but that's a nostalgia buy at best...and the new and improved fatalities are a negative in my opinion. Destiny? Sure, if Bungie hadn't run that IP into the ground shortly after release... Evolve was the March of video games (in like a lion, out like a lamb). Halo MCC had sooooo many issues, but it was fun playing the Halo single player campaigns again...until you realize that wait, I'm just replaying the old Halo games, which were twitchy and had really terrible story-telling...and are still twitchy with terrible story-telling. Assassin's Creed Unity...what a mess that ended up being.

I seriously had more fun playing Powerstar Golf on the Xbox One than any of the games I just listed (excepting DA:I but I played that on PC). So then, Nintendo must be doing okay on the Wii U right?

Well, let's see...Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros. Those are the only two games mainstream fans care about. Me personally, I've never been a huge fan of SSB. Hyrule Warriors was fun for a while. But that makes...3 games? Bayonetta 2, but it still has the ridiculously unnecessary gratuitous nudity issue that the first one had, which they fixed with Nintendo costumes, but left in the sequel? Nintendo is still the king of poor design decisions...

This was supposed to have been Nintendo's year. Last year's E3, Nintendo completely blew Sony and Microsoft out of the water in terms of pure excitement concerning new games. Except now we're coming to E3 2015 and Zelda has been pushed back, Codename STEAM didn't actually generate any steam, Monster Hunter 4 still has the same crappy control system as the previous Nintendo ported Monster Hunters, and Xenoblade Chronicles X still doesn't have a Western release date despite releasing in Japan next Wednesday.

Come on, everyone. The heart has really dropped out of video games this year. Considering my top games of 2015 are Pillars of Eternity and Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, it seems a return to the basics is in order. Make me want to play games instead of writing blog posts!