I’ve been following modern game news more closely lately, especially considering Nintendo’s recent release of long awaited information on their latest console. From the Nintendo Switch to 4K gaming, I just don’t think I get gaming anymore. Now, this isn’t a knock on people who love the latest game releases – I mean I wouldn’t mind yelling “GET OFF MY LAWN” to a lot of you on social media – it’s more that I just don’t feel like I can follow where gaming is going anymore. It’s just not for me. I’m not the target demographic and it’s painfully obvious every time something new is announced and I answer the hype with a hardy “meh.”

Gaming! You're breaking my heart! You're going down a path that I can't follow!

Gaming! You’re breaking my heart! You’re going down a path that I can’t follow!

Recently I sold my Xbox One. I had fun with the games I played for it, but I didn’t put the countless hours into it that I had with my trusty PS3. Half the games that I could play I had already played on the last generation. The other half were a mixture of first person shooters, racing games, crime drama sandbox simulators, and a plethora of other stuff I just didn’t care about. The games I DID want to play, and we’re talking a very small percentage here, are available on PC. Now I’m not trying to say “I’M PC MASTER RACE, CONSOLE BITCHES”, I’m saying that there was no point in me owning a console for the .01% of console exclusives I had interest in playing. But what about Nintendo?

I fell off the Nintendo hype train sometime during the Nintendo 64’s lifespan in favor of Sony’s PlayStation. While I owned a GameCube and a Wii, I was much more partial to the PS2 and PS3. I honestly sold my Wii before the end of the life of the system. Even my long love affair with the Zelda series wasn’t enough to keep me in. Twilight Princess was okay, and because of that I really had no real interest in playing Skyward Sword. Mario Games lost me around the time they jumped to 3D, and New Super Mario Bros wasn’t enough to warrant my continued support, so I jumped ship. Nintendo’s Wii U didn’t look interesting to me at all, but when some of really cool new games started pouring out, like Super Mario 3D World, Super Mario Maker, Super Smash Bros, Bayonetta 2, I thought maybe it was time to revisit the “Big N”. I wasn’t disappointed, and I’ve used the system a lot more than my Xbox One.

But the Switch? I dunno man.

NintendoSwitch_hardware.0.0

The concept is really neat. A hybrid portable and home console system? What’s not to like about that? Ice cubes, man. Freaking ice cubes. Nintendo is pulling another dumb gimmick into play, just like the uninteresting and uninspired waggle remotes and the barely used incongruous gaming experience with the Wii U gamepad. I’m not saying that Nintendo is doomed, what I’m saying is that I just don’t get it. It doesn’t interest me. These extra features that Nintendo wants to include so that you don’t even have to look at a screen to play a game just scream “Bopit” to me. Novelty feature that we’ll see use for on a few first party titles early on and will eventually fade into obscurity. Maybe not.

My reluctance to buy into Nintendo’s latest offering has more to do with the fact that they seem to be trying to capture that gamer who loves handheld gaming experiences, and games that are VERY Japanese. The quirky “Japanese” feel that many modern RPGs and Nintendo friendly experiences offer just don’t really appeal to me. In the days before disk based gaming, graphics and sounds limited what developers could display on screen. The “Japaneseness” of games was kind of toned down due to these limitations. I don’t necessarily need dark and gritty gaming experiences, but I also don’t really care for these teenage soap opera JRPGs and silly ass costumes with giant hair that seem to be the only new popular thing releasing out of Japan these days.

This appeals to a lot of people I socialize with, but man, I just don't care for it.

This appeals to a lot of people I socialize with, but man, I just don’t care for it.

Also, the new Nintendo titles are honestly not all that appealing to me anymore. They just don’t make me feel the need to go out and buy a new console, especially when the flagship game that I’m most excited about is coming to a console I already own. Mario games are fun, but they feel like a one and done experience anymore. They’re beautiful wonderlands of great experiences, but it’s hard to dive into a 10 to 20 hour Mario game a second time when I’ve already played the levels to death trying to collect everything once.

But my feelings on modern gaming definitely didn’t start with the Switch. No, the Switch merely hammered the point home that I just don’t care about modern games anymore. Nope, it started about….here.

Assassin's Creed Revelations - Great story, totally recycled gameplay.

Assassin’s Creed Revelations – Great story, totally recycled gameplay.

Ubisoft released a couple REALLY cool games in their new series during the seventh generation. Assassin’s Creed and Assassin’s Creed II were both really cool stealth action platformers. I love stealthy games, ever since my first foray into Shadow Moses with Solid Snake. Assassin’s Creed was a cool game with a great story and a fun, if flawed, game engine. The second Assassin’s Creed game fixed a lot of the flaws with the first game, and amped up the story and character development to an awesome degree. Then Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood came out. I liked the game, but it was very obviously a full priced expansion pack of ACII. The game engine, music, sound effects, animation, and other art assets were completely reused. It was a good game, but it felt like Ubisoft was doing everything they could to make an easy buck without giving us a completely new experience. Then Assassin’s Creed Revelations was released. I mean, the story is pretty good, and it wasn’t a blatant rehash of Assassin’s Creed II like Brotherhood was, but it was still pretty apparent by the game engine that not much had been changed. I finished the game, but was less than impressed by the effort. Assassin’s Creed III was more of the same. Assassin’s Creed IV was universally praised, but with my short time with the game, it still seemed like the same big map fetch quest simulator with an occasional assassination thrown in.

It became obvious to the greater gaming community at large when Assassin’s Creed Unity was released that Ubisoft was just churning their money printing machine anymore. They released a massively flawed game that spawned embarrassing memes throughout social media. It was kind of sad, but really just a side effect of the money behemoth the video game industry had become. First person shooters had been spitting out yearly updates to their series much the same way that sports games had been doing since the mid 90s. We used to make fun of EA’s Roster Update games, but it’s pretty obvious that they make big money, so the industry started applying the same money making tactics to other genres.

I haven't played many shooters, because I lived them. I lived the Call of Duty.

I haven’t played many shooters, because I lived them. I lived the Call of Duty.

Video games are in the same boat that movies are these days, mass commercialization, where interesting and innovative ideas are squashed in favor of tried and true formulaic models of success…so I guess I just don’t care anymore. Every time I see a new game released, I think “wow, that looks exactly like the last successful game in the same genre.” And more and more, I start to think that genres are becoming increasingly homogenized, where everything will either be a first person open world shooter RPG, or a third person open world shooter RPG. Go to point A, collect or kill this thing, bring back to quest giver. Rinse. Repeat.

Additionally, game companies know that the money is in online gaming. Playing games with other people online is what EVERYONE does these days. I feel like I’m in a small minority of gamers who really prefer playing games alone, or at the very least, with someone else on the couch with me. I don’t really like having to COMPETE every time I play a game with other people. I’ve had an interest in getting into Overwatch lately, for instance, but all the talk around how competitive the game is and how people get so butthurt over having someone who doesn’t know how to play well on a tema with them really turns me off to even attempting. I just want to play a damn game, man. I work my ass off and when I get home I want to unwind, not get all caught up in a whirlwind of juvenile trash talk and highly competitive personalities. You know what would have been REALLY cool? A freaking single player campaign on that beautiful looking new Star Wars game that was released.

Multiplayer: The Game

Multiplayer: The Game

I know I’m generalizing here. Not everything is geared towards the AAA machine. And I’m not completely guilt free, either. I purchased The Witcher III for my PC after having previously bought it for my ill fated Xboner. It’s a fantastic game, even if it does fall in that homogenized third person action RPG genre everything seems to fit into these days. I’m also REALLY excited for Mass Effect Andromeda and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It just feels like beyond a few titles here and there, I just can’t really get excited about anything modern gaming has to offer these days. But I’ll be honest, this is a lot of cathartic writing from a grouchy ass old gamer who doesn’t like things that are fun anymore.

There are still plenty of awesome options for the old school gamer who still wants to play new things. The indie scene has all kinds of really cool games out there that not only harken back to the days of pixel art, but also do new and interesting things with gameplay. For a retro gamer like me, that’s probably where I fare the best. Games like Axiom Verge, Out There Somewhere, Gunpoint, Iggy’s Egg Adventure, Castle in the Darkness, Master Spy, and the upcoming Cuphead all get my highly sugared and caffeinated gamer juices flowing. And if I’m really itching for some nostalgia, there are a ton of old 8 and 16 bit gems that I still haven’t tackled waiting for me to pop in and play. There are plenty of options for me, but the big name companies and popular franchise titles aren’t where I’m at anymore. I’ll be hacking away at my backlog of retro games and indie titles, and maybe the odd Mass Effect, but I think I can safely say that I’m mostly done following modern gaming.

About The Author

BraselTheGamer

Brasel the Gamer has been playing games since 1988, when he first got his hands on an NES and Super Mario Bros 2. It's been a lifelong passion ever since. Now he wants to share his love for video games with the world. Brasel the Gamer is an equal opportunity gamer, playing everything from NES to PS3, Genesis to WiiU.

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  • Wally

    This is a very interesting take on things, Bras. I completely, 100% agree with you on a couple of things for sure. For example, Battlefront. I played the demo and immediately thought, “Man…this seems fun, but I’d like to play the single player campaign”, only to find out it didn’t exist.

    Same thing with Splatoon. It looks fun, and I don’t have as much of an issue with the multiplayer. But I never got it for the same reason you stated earlier about Overwatch; seeing people bitch and complain about how they have ‘shitty’ people on their team made me not want to even bother jumping in so late.

    I could keep going on and on, but this may have inspired me to write my own take in response to this. Nice work, Bras. Really got the ol’ melon churning this morning. I dig this take.

  • Pam

    I can’t really disagree with anything you’ve said here, but at the same time, there are enough console games to keep me onboard. While most are not exclusives, I just enjoy playing on console more than PC.

    Nintendo is a strange beast. The NES was the only console I really loved, and while I had a 64 (which I only got for OoT and never owned more than 5 games for) and a Gamecube, they completely lost me at the Wii. The Wii and its motion control and weird nunchuk things was a great success, and got a lot of new people into gaming which I’m happy about but it was also emphatically not for me. Since then the gimmicks and weird controllers have kept me away.

  • seven5three

    Your feelings are exactly why my desire to own a PS4 and Xbox One have fallen into the toilet. I personally have been more excited to see what the indies have been doing – and that means Humble Bundle and Steam.

    I’ll again recommend Indiebox to you. https://www.theindiebox.com/
    They judge and choose indie PC games and do retail-style boxed editions. Each one usually includes a manual, some art, a soundtrack… and it just looks spiffy on the shelf. Each one also comes with a Steam key in addition to a DRM free copy.

    In addition to indies being generally more exciting to me is my love for Nintendo franchises. Fact is more often than not I have a ton of fun with Nintendo’s first party games. And I can’t get them anywhere else. So I have to — or choose to — own a Nintendo console and handheld. It also happens that a number of indies also release on consoles these days and it’s nice to have everything together.

    My biggest complaint about PC is the tweaking involved necessary. Because every PC is different, it’s hard to optimize a game’s performance. Things like GeForce Experience helps to an extent, but often times I’m still going in and choosing my own resolution, dealing with a launcher, etc. Not to mention the multiple digital storefronts / services needed, including Uplay, EA’s Origin, Steam, GOG Galaxy, and so on.

    Then some games work well with a controller — my input device of choice — and some don’t. Which is fine, some games do better with a mouse and keyboard… but when I’m laying back in a recliner I don’t want to boot up a game only to realize I need to move to my desk. Consoles take some of that confusion out of the running.

    All in all, I myself am at a bit of a problem area with gaming. I’m passionate about gaming but I tend to talk about it more than I actually play. And some of that is I want to play everything everywhere anytime. PC gets the closest to allowing that but a gaming laptop isn’t cheap and the battery life tends to suck. :) And I keep going back to those classic Nintendo franchises…

    For now, for me, the best option is a PC + Nintendo console.

  • I tell you something, the next step for us (The Oldschool gamers) is VR. I played and finish only one game in last year, this game was Witcher 3 (The best RPG of last 5 of even more years..), no other game i played because i don’t have any of this generation consoles, beacuse this is the same old model of gaiming, another FPS, another TPS and another MMO. In 2000 this was fun to play Call OF Duty 2 in internet or LAN but not today.

  • Hvd

    bye bye pc gaming is horrible and so is their community.id rather you stop gaming then go to pc and this comes from a former pc gamer

  • Brasel The Gamer

    Luckily the community I usually spend time with online are mostly retro gamers, not really modern console or PC players. The modern community crowd is another thing that turns me off to modern gaming. More like aged people in the retro gaming community.

  • Brasel The Gamer

    The whole point of needing to stick to a desk with mouse/keyboard games is probably the worst part of PC gaming for me. My PC is now powerful enough that I don’t have to worry about tweaking too much to get things to look good. I’m sure I could tweak further so things would work even better, but I’m fine leaving it at a mid to high setting to get to play. And having a wireless Xbox One controller that works on my PC is great. Played Final Fantasy XIII and have been playing Witcher 2 from my recliner, and I sometimes forget I’m playing on PC as opposed to a console.

  • Brasel The Gamer

    I’m pretty much right there with you, with the exception that I loved my SNES. After that, I had a N64 and a GameCube, but they just didn’t keep my attention, and yeah, the gimmicky control stuff has been a pain in the butt since then. The Wii U gamepad isn’t honestly that bad, and most the games I play on that system I play with the pro controller anyway.

  • Brasel The Gamer

    Hope you write that take. I’d like to see it!

  • Brasel The Gamer

    Witcher 3 was amazing, but I think it was largely the story and setting that kept me hooked rather than the gameplay.

  • SinkingSage

    sure buddy, sure

  • SinkingSage

    VR is a gimmick

  • Brian Dub

    I’m right there with ya, buddy. I own all the current systems, and only enjoyed a few here and there, but it’s never added up to the price of admission. I do plan on getting a Switch, but that’s it. No Scorpio or PS5, no PC upgrades.

    I’ll just stick with those systems I own, including old gen systems and all the games I’ve accumulated over the years and I’m good.

  • BelAirBoss

    I can’t say I agree with the author. Here are just some of the games I’m anticipating, most of which will be played on ps4 pro or pc, with a few exceptions, and I, just like the author, prefer the single player experience first and foremost….
    Zelda
    Below
    Cuphead
    Horizon Zero Dawn
    God of War
    Uncharted The Lost Legacy
    TLOU Part II
    Detroit Become Human
    Days Gone
    Death Stranding
    Nier Automata
    Spider-Man
    Persona 5
    Gran Turismo Sport
    Hellblade
    Star Citizen
    What Remains of Edith Finch
    Wild
    Ni No Kuni II
    Nex Machina
    Crackdown
    Mass Effect Andromeda
    Cyberpunk 2077
    Red Dead Redemption II

    This list is far from complete, but illustrates for me there is plenty that I personally look forward to, and I can’t remember a time in games where I’ve been anticipating more quality titles over a two year period, excepting a game like TLOU Part II and Death Stranding or Cyberpunk may not arrive until 2019. I think it’s fairly exceptional, so I would disagree with the author from a games perspective. Outside of the Switch, I also don’t mind the iterative revisions Sony or Microsoft are bringing with the Pro or the Scorpio….they offer me what I’m looking for, which is a console alternative for 4k that matches the particular audio/video setup I have. They may not be for everyone, but they were not intended to be. For those that have the equipment to best take advantage of what they offer, they hit the mark.

  • BelAirBoss

    Opinions don’t make fact.

  • stalepie

    I wish they weren’t a bunch of walled gardens. They are using similar hardware underneath as competing devices, but there is no compatibility with games and peripherals. I feel like you should be able to buy a digital code for an XB1/Steam/PS4/SW game and have it work across platforms (you buy what you want). the branding at the top of the otherwise identical-looking boxes could go away. Or you could have a streaming app on PS4 of Steam titles (like PS Now), or something like that. For instance, the UltraViolet program for movies works across devices, or cable companies advertise watching TV on your tablet, to your phone, etc.
    The idea of exclusives was borne out of necessity early on in game history because each game was programmed in assembly code that was unique to each system’s different hardware. The ports would have their own unique qualities. But by 32-bit gaming (CD-ROM era) it moved to higher level code (C, C++) and less differences were found across titles that were on competing systems.

  • Brian Dub

    Maybe 6 of those games you listed interest me, which shows where the article is coming from. These systems are expensive, the extra costs add up, the promises are not kept, the development times are too long, the systems don’t hold up as long as in the past, the accessories end up as failed gimmicks, the hype rarely matches reality.

  • SinkingSage

    All it is is short, shallow games, in many of which you can’t even walk forward.

  • BelAirBoss

    Let me get this straight….so because YOU’RE not interested, that proves some kind of point? How does that work? You’re entitled to your opinion, but just because you, one of billions, doesn’t agree, or like, or enjoy something, it certainly doesn’t mean much, not in the bigger picture. Games are selling….someone likes them and is buying them.

    I’m not really arguing for or against any particular viewpoint….I just find it odd when people take their view of a subject and extrapolate it to presume their opinion makes fact. Your “fact” is another man’s lie. It doesn’t make you wrong, but it certainly doesn’t make you right. Far too many people approach a subject that way, as if their opinion is the final word in the equation.

  • BelAirBoss

    It’s not a fully formed experience, that’s for sure, but I don’t think that makes it a gimmick. There are still “experiences” that are enjoyable, and definitely worth trying….now is it worth the money? That depends on who you ask, but video games and gaming itself was once considered a “gimmick” by many. Imagine that.

  • Hvd

    have you seen the study of the age of gamers?hand helds are kids,pc gamers are more your high school to collage age 18-24 and console gamers are 30 and up.most older gamers play on console pc is collage and hand held are kids.here is the report.

    http://venturebeat.com/2014/04/29/gaming-advocacy-group-the-average-gamer-is-31-and-most-play-on-a-console/

    as you can see 31 years and up are console gamers.why do you think esports on pc are so popular every collage kid plays them…lol

  • Eric Bailey

    Yeah.

  • Brian Dub

    The point was this: regardless of my opinion or your opinion, aaa gaming is starting to slow down and sell less, and there are, in fact, gamers like me who are tired of eating what’s being fed to us. You can’t sit there and say that since someone out there loves these games, everything is fine and dandy.

    I guess it’s gonna take a straight up collapse to open some people’s eyes to the over saturation of crappy, unoriginal, hollow and mindless games.

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