Misinformed and Proud of It

A Rebuttal to DM Andy's “The Misinformed”

By Krazy Sam

An article was just posted saying that today’s games are crap and that the only worthwhile games are the ones for NES or SNES. And I read the article, frowned, and said “Damn these people today. They only see what they want to see.”

Ah, but what am I getting at? Aha, young grasshoppers. Gather ‘round, for I shall tell you a story about when I was a young grasshopper such as yourself. I got a Super Nintendo for Hanukkah when I was seven. Well, my brother and I got it as a joint present. And DAMN, that was the best game system ever, or so we thought. And I’m sure that HARDKORE Nintendo gamers thought that the SNES was a piece of crap and that NES games would rock it hard.

The Nintendo game system died shortly afterwards. The ones in existence now barely play (you have to tweak it a bit to get it to work), and their only uses nowadays are for nostalgia purposes or as a giant plastic paperweight. This! The Nintendo! Pioneer of video gaming! It brought us Super Mario Brothers, Legend of Zelda, and Final Fantasy! And now it’s sitting in the back of peoples’ closets while the gamers that once enjoyed these games now play Luigi’s Mansion, Super Smash Brothers Melee, and Final Fantasy X. Why? Because while old games are fun to play, fun to remember, and fun to beat over and over and over again, they can’t quench a natural human impulse. The desire for something NEW.

Sometimes new things involve trying the old, because many people these days are too young to remember the original Final Fantasy, and their only taste of that original comes from 8-bit theater. That’s why games are re-released. I was right there at Toys R’ Us excited about getting Final Fantasy Chronicles just because my favorite game (Chrono Trigger) was on it. I have the Super Nintendo. I have the SNES cartridge. Why buy the PSX game? Because it had something NEW on it. It had anime cutscenes. And I’m slightly ashamed to admit I haven’t yet TOUCHED Final Fantasy IV. (Yes, FOUR. Not TWO. TWO was released for the NES.) But that was due to schoolwork and other problems which I won’t go into.

I admit graphics don’t make a game. And that many games nowadays seem to be brutal bastardizations of great games of days of old. But they’re not to be discounted as filth, for they have merit to them. Final Fantasy VII might’ve been nothing more than pretty colors, but it was FUN to play. The characters might not have had too much depth to them, but really, did the original Final Fantasy? No! You were the Light Warriors. That was that. No mention of where you came from, why you wanted to destroy evil, nothing! At least FF7 gave you a glimpse into character motives. And this makes you feel like you’re more connected to the game.

Cutscenes don’t make a game, either. I enjoy my cartridge version of Chrono Trigger a lot more than my PSX version. Why? No loading times. But I do enjoy playing the PSX Chrono Trigger, because the cutscenes ARE fun to watch. And people complain because the cutscenes might be incredibly long, but I personally enjoy them IF THEY’RE FITTING TO THE STORY. I’d rather watch two characters interact than look at text boxes saying “Mmmmm….” “Mmmmm…” while the sprites stand there… and they’re supposed to be kissing!

And summons? Yes, the animations are too long and too annoying sometimes, but imagine if you were actually in that fight! Imagine you’re another party member watching this summon going on. “Oh damn, it’s Shiva again… I’ll sit back and pick my teeth while she does her thing.” Thus, if the party members have to suffer, you do too!

…heh. Just kidding.

I’ve never touched FF6 (Yes, SIX! Not Three! Three was on the NES!). Never really wanted to. But on the other hand, I’ve never touched FF10, either. Don’t really want to. Whether or not a game has merit is based on whether or not people like it. I admit that both of these games are probably very good, but I’ve got other stuff to do. Am I an idiot for not wanting to touch them? I don’t think so. I think they’re equal in quality, based on what I hear about them. People love both of those games. Is that so wrong?

This brings me to my final point. Gamers these days are young. They weren’t around when FF1 came out. But they’re around for FFX. And they play what they know. Think back to when you were a kid, playing Super Mario Brothers at a friend’s house, and their parents saying “Man, you kids and your flashy graphics… I remember Pong… now THAT was a game!”

So if your point is that all new video games are trash and that old games are golden, isn’t Pong the best game ever? Three seconds of gameplay, you’ve seen all there is to see. Of course Pong has merit, because it’s the granddaddy of games, but come ON. You can’t honestly expect kids these days to appreciate that. It’s ancient history. PS2 and Gamecube are where it’s at these days.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a new-game fanatic. I love sidescroller games and I always will, mostly because they’re easier for me to play. But new games these days involve rotating maps, precision aim, and eye candy. And it’s something I can learn to live with. I’m not so wrapped up in the past that I’m unwilling to try new things. Some games I love (Xenogears), and some games I can’t STAND. (Chrono Cross). It’s all a matter of taste.

But to call someone uninformed because they know only what they’re brought up with… that’s an unfair accusation. Just because someone knows what they like doesn’t mean they’re uninformed. Just because you think old-school RPGs are better than new stuff doesn’t make your opinion right and everyone else’s wrong. It doesn’t mean that people will love these old school games.

You also seem to forget the emulators out there. The ROMs that people download and enjoy. People still ask about Son of Sun today, and Chrono Trigger was released seven years ago. Doesn’t that prove that people are still playing old games? Doesn’t that prove that people are ENJOYING these old games? The thing is, the reason these new games get hyped even after they’re released is because PEOPLE LIKE THEM. It’s a fact. PEOPLE LIKE NEW GAMES. I enjoy voice acting (if it’s good) and CG (if it’s good) and anime cutscenes (If they’re good). But that doesn’t mean I hate sprites.

I like games. I’ve played NES games, I’ve played SNES games, I’ve played Genesis games, Game boy games, Gamecube games, Playstation games, Playstation 2 games, and X-box games. I’ve got several games I love dearly, and they’re on all different systems. I love watching how games grow and evolve over the years, and I eagerly wait for the day when I can watch a character step in the grass and watch it crunch under his feet, how the wind ripples realistically across the field as the character’s hair flows in the breeze. Watching the clothes flow around him as he walks, watching folds grow bigger and smaller, watching dangling objects sway realistically… And during regular gameplay. NOT FMV. When that day comes, I’ll be the happiest person on earth, and I’ll be the first person to buy the system that can do it. Not because I think graphics make a game, but because I like to appreciate the aesthetic qualities of a game. If a game is crap, all the graphics in the world can’t save it. But it’s nice to look at. It’s nice to see what technology can do.

If you want all gameplay without the bells and whistles attached, go play pong.


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