• Why Next-Gen Consoles Are Skill Downgrades

    Date: 2011.07.04 | Posted by | Category: Gaming | Response: 0

    I think it’s been a fair statement for some time that there are those ‘classic gamers’ and then there are the games that play the latest and ‘greatest’ consoles. The two sides can easily be grouped and interchangeable from an outsider’s POV, but there are always going to be the extremists on both sides. For mere convenience we’re going to say everything from the Nintendo Gamecube, Microsoft Xbox, Sony PlayStation2 era and newer is a Next-Gen console. Everything 64 bits or lower is ‘classic’. I’ve chosen this margin because this is where there is the largest noticeable difference in the switch between the two types of games.

    I’m not actually getting into where I stand on the scale, but will point the one fact that you all should know: Next-Gen consoles are breading gamers that don’t know how to play a game.

    The definition of Game:
    noun /gām/ 
    games, plural
    A form of play or sport, esp. a competitive one played according to rules and decided by skill, strength, or luck.

    You’ll notice it doesn’t say “Everybody wins”. It requires skills, strength or luck. I would also add into this time. If you can open a game and have it beaten completely in 4 hours, you should ask for your money back.

    Let’s compare two games; one from classic gaming and one from next-gen gaming.
    Let’s go with Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988 for NES) and Halo 3 (2007 on Xbox 360).

    Super Mario Bros. 3 was one of those games that if you beat it, you were it as a badge of honor. Heck, it’s fair to say if you even got to World 8 you were good. There was no cheat codes, you either knew how to do it or you didn’t. You either had the timing and skill down to hit it just right, or didn’t. You pressed two buttons and did it right to win. Button mashing wasn’t even an option for NES, unless the game required you to just press buttons quickly, which it never did.

    Halo 3, on the other hand is often referred to as child’s play when it comes down to difficulty. This game can easily be beaten in one sitting, with time to spare, and you can save it. Throw in the fact that the game is engineered in the gamer’s favor so that they do not get stuck or have to over think (or think at all in most cases) to get to the end. Button mashing, grunting and yelling at the TV will easily get you through it. The game does have an extended multiplayer mode, but still on the same premise.

    This brings up the question: Are games getting easier to please the new gamers, or are the gamers getting dumber? I feel the answer is yes to both. The current generation is used to winning all the time, because losing may hurt their feelings. We wouldn’t want somebody to be sad, would we?

    I hooked up my N64 earlier today and popped in Perfect Dark. I will always love this game. It was challenging, but was fun. You had levels of difficulties and tons of scenarios to work with. It was FPS, but you needed to work through it to get to the end. This included the clunky, over-sized controllers and unrealistic graphics (and deadly paintball mode!). It took my brain about 15 minutes to adjust to thinking again, but it was there. Unfortunately, it took the younger gamer beside me 10 to decide it was ‘too hard’ and quit.
    Newer FPS may have you controlling a whole platoon, but how often do you need to pull the trigger and come up with the strategy yourself?

    Guess I’ll just become better by process of elimination. Everybody can’t be winners, they don’t give gold stars to losers. Wait, yes they do. Damn.

    So what do you think about the current evolution/devolution of gaming? Let me know in the comments!