Is Originality Too Much to Ask For?



The gaming genre is and has always been a quickly growing and moving medium. . One system gets released. 5 years later, we have the next gen version with tons of new features we didn't even know we wanted. There are innovative games like Bioshock, Portal or Stalker: Shadow of Chernobyl that help to push genres and blur the lines between them buy combining great ideas from multiple genres into one game. Below the surface, however, there is also a lack of movement. There are things that the industry just refuses to leave behind, which can make it seem stuck in one place at times. Many of these cliches desperately need to be dropped in favor of new ideas. While they might have been a good idea at one point or another, that point has long past. Let' explore these shall we Crates and barrels as space fillers - While there are many genres that do this one, the obviously guilty party is the first person shooter. FPS is my favorite genre, as Doom was the game that made me a gamer some 14 years ago, but what worked well for Doom back then is just tiresome now days. Doom featured alot of exploding barrels that were usually placed in areas with alot of enemies to give the player a tactical advantage when he was hopelessly outnumbered. It was a brilliant idea at the time. I loved it, and I am sure many of you did as well. Fourteen years later, first (and third) person shooters still have exploding barrels all over the place. It doesn't even present an advantate to the player anymore. Enemy AIs have evolved to the point where they are smart enough to not stand next to the barrel anymore. Why, then, are we still using this age old trick? We should have abandoned these when they ceased to work to our advantage. Now, enemies shoot them if you are circle strafing and get too close to them. What once worked for us is now working against us. Then there is crates. They were used to fill in space all those years ago, and every FPS known to man still uses them to fill space. Why? Quite often, you can't even destroy them. Again, why? Why can't I destroy these crates? If you absolutely have to put crates in your game, have the common sense to make them breakable, preferably with items Amnesia as a plot device - "Oh...My head. I think I lost my memory." Give me a break. Amnesia isn't common among people, so why is it that every third video game character has no memory? JRPGs, I am looking at you! It is an old and overdone plot device. Is it really that hard tro find other reasons why the main character doesn't know what is going on in the world? Maybe there were things going on behind the scenes in his past that he didn't know about, like he was being used? Maybe he is visiting another world that isn't familiar to him, so everything is new? Maybe he just doesn't pay attention to politics? See. I just came up with three ways to avoid this cliche. If I can sit here, type and come up with them in a matter of seconds, surely video game developers can do the same in the years that it takes to develope a good game. I mean, it isn't like I can't enjoy a story with amnesia as a plot device. Lord knows, both Metal Gear Ac!d games had excellent stories to them, but it owuld be nice to see something different every once in a while. Break the mold people. Serious gamers do not want to play the same thing every year. There is a good possibility of my doing multiple parts to this blog post, so look for them in the future. Until then, cya.

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