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Is “More Of The Same” Claim Fair…

First and foremost, this blog isn't directed at any one console and really has nothing to do with E3. It was actually inspired by a review about a game from a week or so ago, but it's certainly not the first time I've heard the phrase, "more of the same" to suggest a new game isn't worth playing because it's too much like an older game. Perhaps the most common usage seems to come about when Call of Duty is mentioned, though this wasn't the game that finally pushed me over the edge to blog about it.

I have to wonder if it's fair to compare games like this...or if we expect developers  / publishers to make games we don't feel are just more of the same. Since I already mentioned Call of Duty, a game I actually enjoy and have played each episode ever since Modern Warfare, I will use it to illustrate my point. You could probably substitute Halo or God of War. I heard (but don't know firsthand) several people say the latest God of War wasn't that spectacular because it was just more of the same.

When Activision (and the developers of course) prepares to release another Call of Duty, who are they developing and marketing to - brand new customers, customers who have played some of the games, or gamers like me (and you) who play them all. They probably hope they'll reach every group, but let's be real, that's probably not the way it will work. Of course if you've played all of the games, you're probably going to think it's more of the same; if you've only played some of them, you may or may not think it's more of the same; if you've never played any of them, it will be a totally new experience. I'm guessing, but I'd say with each new release a small percentage falls into the "first time customers" category. Otherwise, most have probably played many or all of the games.

Is it right (or accurate) to say a game is more of the same if you're talking to someone who has never played any of the games before?

What's really troubling is when the game being labeled "more of the same" is in essence a great game and dismissed simply because the person playing it might have played a bunch of other games like it in the past. This might not be a big deal, unless of course you're in a position to influence others. Then you're potentially impacting the reception of the game.

It's also interesting that not all games get labeled "more of the same" when clearly they are. I love Mario Kart - many gamers do. You never really hear gamers say, "Meh. I didn't like the new Mario Kart. It was more of the same." Let's be honest, it never really changes...I mean, it is a racing game after all, how could it? New weapons, new tracks...and you're still trying to come in first. BUT...we get a new Super Mario Bros. game and many people say...yep, you guessed it...its more of the same.

Fighting games usually do pretty well too. I'm not quite sure how many Tekkens, Mortal Kombats, and Soul Caliburs there are, but you don't really hear people say fighting games are more of the same when they really are.

Ah, so you might be thinking certain genres are exempt from the "more of the same" issue. But then along comes a game like World of Warcraft that's been running for years. Can you believe that game released in 2004 - 9 years ago. After all that time and a handful of expansion packs, there are still millions of people playing it and you never really hear them say it's more of the same. After nearly a decade, you'd think there'd be plenty of gamers who abandon the game for being more of the same. But they don't.

"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." -Albert Einstein

I dunno, it seems like the older I get, the more all games start seeming like more of the same...funny thing is though, I like more of the same.

Anyway, long day = short blog. And after the past couple of blogs, I needed a bit of a break.

Happy Gaming.

Cheers.

 

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