Growing up sucks.
Well, not entirely. It has its benefits, but I think we all tend to look back at the so-called “simpler times” with fondness, and wish that just for a day, we could revisit them. Before this becomes an emo-tastic commentary on my life as a whole, let’s move on to the point I’m trying to make.
Playing games at the age of 19 isn’t the same as playing games at the age of 11. I mean sure, they still rock and all that, but gaming habits and tastes tend to mature along with everything else. The most noticeable difference, of course, is the amount of time that can be spent playing, but upon careful inspection you might find that there’s more to it than that.
I don’t explore towns anymore
Back in the days of my youth, I used to absolutely relish each and every new town I’d visit in an RPG. Every nook and cranny was to be explored, every NPC talked to, every store scanned for their goods. I mean, why not? I had the time, that’s for sure. If I spent a solid hour faffing about in Lindblum, it was no-never-mind to my “schedule,” that’s for certain.
These days? Notsomuch. The most basic reason, of course, is time limitations. I don’t have the fucking time to explore every square inch of Mass Effect‘s Citadel, beautiful and detailed as it is. But in tandem with the time limitations is the fact that as the years go by, I grow more jaded, and it takes more and more for any aspect of a game to impress me. Speaking of RPG townscapes in particular, it’s reached the point where I feel like I’ve seen them all. Get me to an inn, perhaps stop by the shop, and get me to my next mission objective. I’ll be sure to take in any sights I see along the way, but that’s all I have the time – or desire – to do these days.
Fuck your stupid fucking minigames, they need to be abolished.
For whatever reason, back in the day it seemed like the coolest thing in the world to find games INSIDE a game! I mean, how ingenious is that? These days my response to that is “not at all.” Final Fantasy VII‘s absurd surplus of (forced) minigames no longer amuses me. I feel no need to visit the three or four shooting ranges that can be found in any given Legend of Zelda title. This could turn into an editorial all by itself; 95% of the minigames present today (and yesterday) feel like they’re there just to… be there. It’s almost like developers view them as some inane requirement, or an unwritten demand of the gaming public. Message from me to them: GIVE IT A REST.
Cookie-cutter JRPG storylines are no longer badass in any way at all whatsoever.
Sigh. This one almost hurts to write. There was a time when I viewed the JRPG as the epitome of what videogames had to offer the world. I was so swept up in the melodramatic bullshit storylines and characters that I didn’t pay attention to how… thin it all was, in most cases. Now, I’m hardly generalizing here. I’ll defend the plots and characters of games such as Final Fantasy VII, Xenosaga, and Lost Odyssey until I’m blue in the face. But JRPGs are more reliant on conventions than any other genre in the industry at the moment, and the older I get the more painfully apparent this becomes. It takes more than a stone-cold protagonist, some corrupt churches, and a best friend’s betrayal to interest me in a game’s storyline.
Well, I could certainly go on if I put my thinking cap on. But I think I’ve made some good observations here, and I’m interested in seeing how many of you are on the same page. Perhaps you have a few that you can add yourselves? UTILIZE THE COMMENT FEATURE THAT WORDPRESS SO GENEROUSLY PROVIDES US.