The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 12
I'm sure every gamer out there has a stack of old games. Games that they loved to play but that have been set aside. I myself still have the entire Jak series, both Kingdom Hearts games, the original God of War, and FF X and XII sitting on shelves in my house. We keep saying to ourselves that we'll go back and play them again, but when was the last time any of us have? When was the last time we sat down and enjoyed them from start to finish? I know I haven't played any of my leftovers on my PS2 in years. I still remember them fondly, but with new releases, and new responsibilities, cropping up every week I simply don't have the time. This fact was something that crossed my mind as I played through Beyond Good and Evil HD last week.
The game industry right now has its proverbial gas pedal nailed to the floor and there's no sign of it slowing down. Part of me wonders what this means going forward in the industry. A lot of classic games are classic because of the way the industry carried itself during the 90s and how they were experienced. Gamers in the 90s didn't have access to a boatload of games. I remember back to my N64, I only had 2 games, Super Smash Bros and New Beetle Racing, and no memory card. I played those games non-stop and despite that I still loved them. Every now and again I would be allowed to rent something like Star Fox, or Mario 64, but I didn't have a lot to choose from. It was such a different era, a different way of thinking. People remember these games not only because they are good, but because they learned to love them and played them to death.
Today though, new games come out so often, and are so readily available, that once you are done with them the incentive to go back to them is often outweighed by the benefit of moving on to something new and not falling behind the trend. A perfect example is the PS2, I can't tell you how many games I played on that which I couldn't recall now, but I sure as hell can tell you all about every game I played on my N64. Sure, everyone has their beloved games, but are those still going to be remembered two, three, maybe even four generations from now. Will people know what Uncharted, or Mass Effect, or Halo is when we're at the Xbox 1080 or the Playstation 5? Will StarCraft still be relevant when computers are producing virtual reality. Twenty years from now will we still remember the great games of this generation like we remember the games from 20 years ago now? Better yet, will the industry still look back on them as fondly as they look back on classics now? Will GI still look back in wonder at the blockbuster titles dotting the shelves today?
Part of me can't ever see this generation's great games being remembered as separate entities, and that kind of makes me sad. A good game series now runs for somewhere between 3 and 5 games before people start talking about it getting stale. And this is with years in between releases. Classics like Mario, Sonic, Final Fantasy, and Zelda count their numbers in the double digits easily and used to, and some still do, release multiple titles in a year. I think we are certainly in the midst of the greatest gaming generation so far, but I'm worried about what the identity of the industry will be after it. I want to be able to reflect back with people and say, "do you remember this game. How much we played it and how great it was?", but with so much out there to satisfy so many different tastes it seems unlikely that any series now will be elevated to the same level as, or be held in the same regard as, today's classics.