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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Die Videogame Industry, Die! Part 5 - "Tradition"

Part 5 of a 10 part series about why I want the video game industry to implode, causing massive layoffs & putting most devs out of business so that the industry can come back much better than it currently is.

Today my nephew was playing Super Mario Galaxy on my Wii, reading through the "Story Book" chapters.... and my sister asks, "Why isn't this part voice-over??"

My response was: "Ummm... because it's Nintendo. They don't do voice-overs."

The entire game has only onscreen text, you can probably count on one hand how many voiced lines there are in the entire 20+ hour game.

I wasn't really a hardcore gamer back when the NES & Super NES were out, but I've realized that a lot of Nintendo games don't have voice work in them. Maybe back in the 80's-90's, it made sense not to include that because of cartridge space?

But as far as I can tell, Nintendo first-party GameCube games don't have much voice work in them either. Especially first-party Mario games. And now, with Wii's full-sized disc-- more than capable of holding lots of voice work-- but the "tradition" continues.

So-called "hardcore gamers" have come to accept that Nintendo just don't do that.... and there are so many conventions like that, where a company like Square Enix will keep outdated & tired gameplay mechanics or production values... or Capcom's Resident Evil series control scheme: Let's face it; you're NEVER going to be able to move & shoot at the same time. They will always use the same control scheme from 15 years ago. All this is done in the name of "TRADITION".

It has always been this way. It will always be this way. AND YOU WILL LOVE IT.

How STUPID is that??? We're talking video games, which can be programmed & improved with each iteration of a series. I know that games sometimes DO improve on previous versions, that's why [HOT GAME] 2 can be better than [HOT GAME] 1... sometimes they'll fix what was wrong in the first game & keep what was good about it, making an improved package.

Nintendo, Square Enix, Capcom, etc.... all those big companies, they make improvements to their games. But paradoxically, they are also fixated on keeping OBVIOUSLY BROKEN aspects of a series just because... hell, I don't even know why! "Tradition" is the only "reason" I can think of...

"It has always been this way. It will always be this way. AND YOU WILL LOVE IT."

We reward their laziness by buying their products by the truckload, which in their mind says, "see we didn't have to fix what was broken 'cause they're buying it anyway!"

Now, maybe... just maybe... that huge audience, that are mistakenly called "casual gamers"... maybe they aren't already brainwashed into accepting that these things aren't "just the way it's always been". So maybe they're TURNED OFF by some of these lazy production shortcuts.... and the industry wonders why titles aren't selling better......

Come on.


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