I'm not about to step on a pedestal and proclaim that all gamers live by a particular code, or that they should adhere to a particular lifestyle. I'm not going to place the gamer on an exalted, unreachable plateau that sits high above the hobbies and chosen entertainment modes of all others. This is more about logic and common sense, both of which are admittedly dying out these days, but nevertheless…

Anyway, after looking at the theater listings for yet another weekend, and yet again realizing there isn't a single film that seems even remotely promising, I'm once again struck by the declining quality in movies, music, books, and just about every other form of entertainment on the planet. I won't go into the reasons behind this decline (let's just say it goes hand-in-hand with declining intelligence), but it seems clear to me that, thus far, gamers are doing their duty. They're continually forcing developers to take the next step, and even if there's no innovation or revolution involved, we gamers still demand a certain level of quality. Over the years, the best sellers in history are also the best games in history, and it's almost a 100% ratio. Occasionally, the errant Matrix game will sneak in and garner high sales, but for the most part, the best of the best sell the best, and that's a feather in our cap. Let's face it.

However, as gaming gets bigger, the dark, downward cycle brought about by mega-global corporations begins to rear its ugly head, and we have to be ready. Just like in anything else, if we begin to tolerate mediocrity, developers will – even if only subconsciously – take that into consideration, and everything will begin to stagnate. Hollywood has been benefiting from viewer stupidity for years, and things are only getting worse. Heck, just about anything that's flashy will generate big sales, which doesn't paint a pretty picture of the avid movie-goer. In fact, it seems that, based on recent ticket sales over the past few years, the movie going public is comprised of little more than man-children who, like a month-old kitten, will bat at anything shiny and can't sit still for more than three consecutive seconds. Dialogue is now "boring" and plot now just gets in the way of all those scenes with stuff gettin' blowed up real good. I'm using movies as a direct comparison for the purpose of this piece – for obvious reasons – but music and books aren't faring much better.

The consumer will indeed dictate the quality of the product in the long run, but big business has a way of manipulating the weak-minded and convincing them that "just okay" is good enough. So gamers, as proud as I am of you guys for almost always rewarding quality and typically punishing poor efforts, a new day is rapidly approaching. Just as an example of the future: this year's Madden was great, and deserved to be rewarded with high sales. And despite the drawbacks over the years, there has never been an entry worthy of something less than a 7 or 8. However, as popular as that franchise is, as quickly as the football fans will flock to that name without questioning and without researching, what would happen if Madden 2011 was a mess? …would it still sell millions of units? We get the feeling that, yes, it probably would. And what about the other huge franchises that have always been excellent?

Think about it. If Grand Theft Auto ever waned to the point where the production isn't even worthy of a 5, would it really matter? With the influx of casual gamers continually increasing, many so-called "gamers" are only going to identify with a name brand, and the real gamer can't condone this. Therefore, while we're all 99.9% certain that the next Gran Turismo will be amazing, we owe it to ourselves to be vigilant; to hold the line and continue to do our homework; to – yes, I'm sorry – put faith in the reviewers that don't often recommend something of poor quality. The instant we start buying titles based on the name itself, or even on the name of the developer or publisher, we begin the vicious circle that eventually leaves us floundering in the wake of expanded mediocrity. It's like ripples in a pond, and it starts with the consumer. It always starts with the consumer. Developers continue to give us great games because we reward them on a consistent basis.

And yes, I am aware of many gems that have gotten lost in the shuffle ( Medieval , Psychonauts , Beyond Good & Evil , etc.) over the years, but it remains a fact that the masterpieces sell extremely well, and appropriately, better than any other games out there. However, I do not want to reach the point where someone like Hideo Kojima no longer has the resources to make Metal Gear Solid 8 because everyone ignored the dialogue-heavy and intricately plot-laden MGS7 because everyone was rushing to buy the watered-down, dumber-than-ever piece of licensed trash that every casual gamer recognizes. The latter doesn't really exist right now – and if it does, it flops – but it will if we let it. Get my point? So no, I'm not doling out some egotistical ultimatum, sparked by the incessant need of the standard hardcore gamer with a superiority complex to "rule" others. Video games aren't a religion (don't let those weird MMORPG freaks tell you otherwise).

It's entertainment. But it's also big business, and unless the individual stands tall, gathers with other like-minded individuals who quite simply won't tolerate a poor product, and remains firm; back straight, eyes clear, and jaw set, the whisperings of the snake in the underbrush are liable to entice us. So damnit, whatever you do, fellow gamers: don't…look…down.

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Aftab
Aftab
12 years ago

Amen to that. But rest assured, there will always be a "Cannes Film Festival" despite the ever globally sprawling market of Hollywood. There will always be talented individuals and there will always be "connoiseurs" to recognise them. There will always be a special group counting on bucking the trend and pushing the envelope to succeed and survive. And as vast and watered down the dominions of the corporate monsters get, the bar is raised even higher, and the talented will produce even better than before. Look at Rockstar. They showed EA that talent, quite literally, can't be purchased (though they themselves did spend a pretty dollar to get their baby out the door).

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
12 years ago

Oh, I'm sure there will always be Cannes, and I'm sure there will always be talent in Hollywood. But there WAS a time when the Oscars included movies that could also be considered blockbusters…we're rapidly approaching the time where the majority – if not all – of the Best Picture candidates won't be recognized by the common movie go-er.

We just have to dig deeper for the movie, music and literary quality. I KNOW it's there, but it's harder to find, it's in vastly smaller quantities, and in all honesty, I don't want that to happen to games. 🙂

BigBoss4ever
BigBoss4ever
11 years ago

Great article Ben and I agree with you completely regarding the poor quality of the movies and music. Think about the 90s, so many great and memorable movies were made. Nowadays, movies are basically packed with big explosion, loud sound, flashy screens, sci-fi mixed with computer graphics — while getting the attention, I liternally can not remember much after a few weeks of viewing them, nor am I moved by the story.

Same goes to music, take video game music as example, I am still humming the music from Chrono Trigger, Metal Gear's theme song, FF7,8,9, Crono Cross etc. But these were all established long time ago, where is the beatiful music for the new games?


Last edited by BigBoss4ever on 10/25/2008 2:02:43 PM

Joe_III
Joe_III
12 years ago

hahaha, despite the warning I have to say this. Ben's a consumer fanboy.

Its amazing how many people don't see the need for this kind of vigilance or are too lazy to think about it.

Anyways…"This is more about logic and common sense, both of which are admittedly dying out these days, but nevertheless…"

QFMFT Ben.

www
www
11 years ago

Joe_III,u called me a fanboy some time ago,i just wanted to make things clear like water to u….

As am sittin behind ma pc,i have ma ps3 sittin on a center table in the hall n ma 360 up in ma bedroom,i got both consoles n don't hate any of them but i'll always point out any mistakes there manufacturers make.Most of the time i find myself talkin crap bout the 360 cause it's sometimes rite for me to dat,now is dat a bad thing?

Anyways i can see u finna get in the games editorial business since u usually post long comments,props,hope Ben employs u like u always wanted.


Last edited by www on 10/25/2008 5:45:05 AM

Joe_III
Joe_III
11 years ago

Ghana, here are my rules for deciding how to tell if you're a fanboy. Here are some examples:
Example A: "I really dislike the 360 because of all the hardware problems they have had since launch even though they are clearing up. Although, they do have some great games like Portal Still Alive." NOT a fanboy.

Example B: "fux M$ cuz thr consoles break all the time and u have 2 pay 2 gt them fixed! ps3 frver!!11!" Obviously a fanboy.

What are the differences between these posts?

1. Example A uses near perfect grammar and spelling indicating a semblance of intelligence while B thinks their some kind of wannabe gangster or something. Trust me, bangers really don't have the kind of social life (or technical ability) that makes them posting something on a site aside from myspace or youtube possible.

2. A makes a clear and concise point that is factually correct while B repeats something they heard from some website 15 months ago.

3. A makes sure to counterpoint the bad with the good in order to make sure that there is not a perception of bias because he is on a website dedicated to a different console than what he is talking about. B makes a point to show that he is still drinking the company Kool-Aid at the end of his city.
And last but not least:

Example 4. The username for example A is not Ghana Bwai

Remember:
Its ok to criticize aspects of every console. Its ok to praise aspects of every console.
Its ok to have a favorite console even.
Its NOT ok to sound like a retarded monkey wishing he could marry their favorite console.

Joe_III

P.S. Example 4 was just a joke

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
12 years ago

*ignores Joe*

Something else that should be noted is that the craptastic Hollywood companies aren't content to sell shovelflicks to people, but like a drowning person they are determined to take everyone down with them. They cling to our games, make crappy movies out of them, then blame the games because gamers must be brainless and only hollywood is mature. It's going for books too, I just read a great non fiction crime drama by Douglas Preston called the Monster of Florence, and then I learned that the failing and faltering scientologist Tom Cruise bought up the film rights and is getting ready to ruin this great book on film. There are so many awesome scripts out there, but instead of giving people with intelligence credit, they just slap a recognizable name on some crap and sell it. Why was Tomb Raider called Lara Croft: Tomb Raider? Because the chick was more of a headliner than the game, but little came of it. I'm with ya Killa B, FIGHT THE POWER.

Siege
Siege
12 years ago

This is my first time to comment on psxextreme. So, let me say first, I absolutely love this site. I have been checking this site multiple times a day, every day of the week, since 2006. The journalism is very impressive, the reviews are fair, and the community is enjoyable. I don't know why I never registered before and joined in but I am glad that I finally have.

That said, Ben, I totally agree with you. It is sad how greatly entertainment has suffered, even in the past ten years. And, yes, a lot of it does have to do with declining intelligence. [btw, have you watched the movie Idiocracy? It is pretty stupid (imo), but its social commentary is quite interesting]

I am glad that, for the most part, the gaming industry has continued to move forward. And, as you said, that is due to the persistence of the gamers. I find it easy to be picky with video games at this point in my life. I am a college student with little income, so I am very careful in deciding what games to buy. A lot of my decisions are influenced by what you all say here on this site in your reviews. I resonate with your statement, Ben (especially in light of the rise of the "casual gamer"), "we owe it to ourselves to be vigilant; to hold the line and continue to do our homework."

If we continue to show the game developers that we will not buy the trash they sometimes send our way but will fully support and give our money for a well-made game, then we can look forward to many more sensational masterpieces worth our money.

-Siege

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

Great post, but what took you so long to register?! j/k Welcome aboard, and thanks for reading over the years. 🙂

I think this is the second time someone has mentioned Idiocracy on this site and while I haven't heard of it, I think I'd like to see it now. Btw, I remember being a college student with very little money – $5 will get you through a week with Ramen noodles, won't it? – so I can sympathize.

Of course, now I drive a 07 350Z and I have a job I never thought I'd have. Me (and the other guys) do this because it's a job, yes, but we love it; we want to HELP fellow gamers, so that's what we do. You guys are the reason we get up in the morning so if there are OTHERS out there who only read and haven't registered yet…join the party. 😉

www
www
11 years ago

Ben is living the life,am feelin dat!

AbCdEfG
AbCdEfG
12 years ago

WOW… amazing editorial. sorry i can't come up with a very intelligent opinion about this subject and then articulate it. But I agree with Ben and all the others who have posted above me. EXCEPT JOE_III!!!

Don't settle for less, DEMAND MORE!!!!!!


Last edited by AbCdEfG on 10/24/2008 11:19:08 PM

Jed
Jed
12 years ago

I know what you mean ben, i will only watch two or three movies a year. The only reason people go to the movies to see explosions or tits. The oscars drive me nuts too.

ceedot
ceedot
11 years ago

I disagree. There are so many good movies, and have been over the past 2 years. Don't just agree because everyone else does.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
12 years ago

Um…did you guys read Joe's post? It's complimentary, not insulting. Lay off. 🙂

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

Perhaps it depends on how you take it, since we're on movies I'll give an example, in Clerks II the biggest insult given in the Star Wars Trilogy versus LOTR trilogy is "fanboy."
People bandy it about so often it has lost its meaning in many contexts. I suppose Joe calling the founder of a gaming site a consumer fanboy could be taken for good or bad.


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 10/25/2008 2:10:01 AM

Joe_III
Joe_III
11 years ago

sorry, the fanboy thing was a reference from the thread under the LBP article.

However you say it, Ben should be applauded for shedding light on this topic on a forum as large as this site.

Consumer indifference (or stupidity if you want to be hardh) is something that has hurt just about every industry. Fortunately, it hasn't really hit gamers yet — beyond MMOs, flash games, and the Wii.

So unless you're looking forward to ROFM: Extreme Pinball and God of War: Wrath of the Barbies and the like, wise up and speak out.

Advent Child
Advent Child
11 years ago

I don't know what QFMFT means, so I actually don't understand Joes post

AbCdEfG
AbCdEfG
11 years ago

@ Joe_III

My bad Joe. I misunderstood you comment.

caliblue15
caliblue15
11 years ago

Idiocracy, is a HORRIBLE movie… but it does have some purpose to this article… You would definitely only get dumber watching that movie.

aaronisbla
aaronisbla
11 years ago

QFMFT=Quote For Mother F*cking Truth

AntDC
AntDC
11 years ago

Great editorial Ben. I see you mentioned Medieval, I forgot about that game, it was one of the first games I ever played on the 'ol grey box and is still one of my favorites ever. It has incredible replay value and is a big game, especially for a ps1 game. I recommend to anyone who hasn't played it or completed to get it off the PSN store.

karneli lll
karneli lll
11 years ago

i think the era of good games is fading. looking at games like dead space that's a great game but has very few cutscenes (The part i love most about games). to me the lack of cutscenes shows laziness by devs and unfinished products. Most games have taken to in game action or "radios" to progress the storyline, this trend is seriously worring me, will all the devs eventually turn to anti-cutscene techniques to get their story out? forgive my digression,this has been bugging me for sometime now

LightShow
LightShow
11 years ago

@ all the replys

People have different views on cutscenes. I personally think that the importance of cutscenes is specific to the game, but I was raised one the cutscene-heavy Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter, and Kingdom hearts, so I'm partial to these kinds of storytelling devices.

In short, I'm a cutscene Libertarian. so sue me ^_^

aaronisbla
aaronisbla
11 years ago

What are you talking about? The purposely left the type of cutscenes you are use to out in favor of full atmospheric immersion. If they were to go to a cutscene for every part that you think should have been a cutscene, it wouldn't have been as good as it is imo. The game is so good, it feels like a movie, why would it need to cut away to a different cutscene?

Every game doesn't have be loaded with cutscenes to be good.

www
www
11 years ago

Karnelli ma boy! I bet u will survive a war since u'll be a trigger-happy soldier like Sgt.Mitchell of Getaway 2.

I can imagine how many times u clicked the "submit comment" button,quick enuff to put any sucker down at war….lol

rjmacready
rjmacready
11 years ago

Karnelli, what are you TALKING about?!?!?
You'd rather have cut scenes in Dead Space? The fact that Dead Space doesn't have cut scenes makes it more realistic! If you want to do anything like check your map, change weapons, or watch one of the video logs (where some cut scenese would have been in a lot of games) you have to do that in REAL TIME, just like in real life. If we were on the ship in real life, we wouldn't get pauses to watch scenes, nor should we get them in the game. I give credit to EA for no cut scenes cuz it's more realistic! If you want to watch cut scenes of big monsters, then go watch the Dead Space movie. We're playing games here man, not watching them…

Advent Child
Advent Child
11 years ago

Holy crap!!! So many posts!!!

Vivi_Gamer
Vivi_Gamer
11 years ago

Not every game needs complicated cutscenes and a complicated plot, thats why platformng games are failing nowadays, they were much better when they were simpler, the characters didnt speak and youd get and intro, go through the levels, get a mini scene before a boss and the an ending, thats how crash spyro sonic and mario all were in there prime.

I've only got up to chapter 3 on Dead Space (Already have the 500 limbs trophie XD) so i cant judge if there arent enough cutscenes but i've presonaly enjoyed it so much.


Last edited by Vivi_Gamer on 10/25/2008 1:57:12 AM

Wage SLAVES
Wage SLAVES
11 years ago

Woah Karneli III! Ya reeeally wanted us ta pay attention huh! : )

I TOTALLY agree with this. I remember the release of
*ahem*
Soldier Of Fortune Payback
*sigh*

I was so hyped to see some Real head shots! My first time playing a guy ran up to me AK in hand and stood 2 feet away from me staring at me, waiting for me to blow his head off. Now thats ridiculous. The AI and the Crappy B movie lines would have been comical if it weren't for the $60 price tag! So um…yeah I was Freakin Pissed!

Wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. I'd rather own 'em in Call of Duty.


Last edited by Wage SLAVES on 10/25/2008 2:19:23 AM

Sir Shak
Sir Shak
11 years ago

i think as long as games have a decent length of gameplay we are good . cause idiots dont have a big attention span neither do they want to spend $60 on something that they have to work on in order to be entertained.
p.s.-its time for another satirical joke from lightshadow

LightShow
LightShow
11 years ago

rofl, I'm Infamous!

Think of it as an election. you can either join the thousands of people who say "i'm only one vote" and dont do anything different, or you could be one of the thousands of people who say "I think i'm gonna read up on each candidate and make an intelligent decision on who to vote for" and vote intelligently, or you could be one of the rest who say, in the voting booth, "This guy's name is cool, I'm voting for him!"


Last edited by LightShow on 10/25/2008 10:25:20 PM

karneli lll
karneli lll
11 years ago

sorry about the posts,not my intention. Cutscenes are vital,dead space is fun n all but games are starting to let go of storytelling,its starting to become just hack n slash….talk on the radio…hack n slash ….talk on the radio…is that all you want?

Vivi_Gamer
Vivi_Gamer
11 years ago

Not every game is an RPG……….

LightShow
LightShow
11 years ago

as mentioned above, i'll give 3 quick games for you

Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter, and Kindgdom Hearts.

all these were action games, and RaC and JaD were platformers. All three relied heavily on cutscenes, and pulled it off fantastically.

so, it doesn't have to be an RPG to have an in-depth storyline.

karneli lll
karneli lll
11 years ago

No?!!!! really?

Vivi_Gamer
Vivi_Gamer
11 years ago

Yeah really , dont take that tone with me karneli lll,as lightshadow proved, not everyone can tell the difference becuase Kingdom Hearts is an RPG!, yes sure its got fast action gameplay but so does FFXII and Star Ocean 3 no?

In response to Jak and Dexter, Rachet and Clank, there hardly as good as the classic Crash,mario,sonic and spyro games are they. Paltforming games are ment to be simple, take Sonic for example look what adding plot and character development did the the 1st next gen sonic game, it was horrendous. Not evry game needs cutscenes at every event, RPGs yes deffnatly but not every other genre.

LightShow
LightShow
11 years ago

@ ultima

KH was closer to an action game with RPG elements than anything else. Like COD4.

Advent Child
Advent Child
11 years ago

I agree with you karneli in that I love cutscenes. I always have, I always will. But there are more than one way of getting a story across and I still think Dead Space does an excellent job. I am on playthrough number 3 on impossible mode with only 2 trophies left to go. Wish me luck!

crapreviews
crapreviews
11 years ago

sadly though not sure a lot of the new and young, not far off from being new, gamers will buy anything that has a name that they heard such good things about in their past games.

oh yeah Ben i used to be one of those religous MMORPG ppl. EQ, FFXI. havnt played those in years though. i know once DC online comes out i'll be back to my religon. 😀

Joe_III
Joe_III
11 years ago

Cutscenes have and always will be a bad way to get story across to the gamer. It breaks up game flow, and are usually too long (ahem mgs4).

that said, they're generally better than games that force people to certain locations to listen to story.

MetalHead09
MetalHead09
11 years ago

you are DAMN right ben.

karneli lll
karneli lll
11 years ago

cutscenes are bad? i always thought of them as breaks. i cant believe im saying this but i miss those games with one minute random cutscenes before the begining of a stage.

aaronisbla
aaronisbla
11 years ago

i can understand someone's love for cutscenes….if this was waaaay back in the ps1, ps2 days. But here we are, with graphical prowess that looks better than any old cgi cutscene, yet people want to be taken out of the game for story time.

MGS4 may get a pass, but the days of non interactive cutscenes are going the way of the dodo birds

LightShow
LightShow
11 years ago

"With the influx of casual gamers continually increasing, many so-called "gamers" are only going to identify with a name brand, and the real gamer can't condone this."

I thought anyone who loves games is a real gamer ^_^


Last edited by LightShow on 10/25/2008 10:08:34 PM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

Casual gamers don't love games. They play them as a pleasant diversion. 😉

SerendipityDeus
SerendipityDeus
11 years ago

Yo ben sorry about the me being off-topic, but I sent u an email about the Playstation Home, beta I included a pic about it, Episode 6 of Qore will include a beta invite for the Plystation Home Closed Beta, this will include all subscribers and single episode owners of episode 6, once agin sorry about being offtopic

Btw nice read, we need to teach casual gamers that fantastic games can make them wayyyyyy more happier than any shitty game evr can

AbCdEfG
AbCdEfG
11 years ago

I love cutscenes, not every game needs to have them. Some games like "Dead Space" do a great job of telling a story without ever letting the pace of the game slow down.

@Joe_III: yeah Metal Gear Solid 4 had a ton of long cutscenes. I felt like I was playing a Playstation 3 game and watching a full length movie at the same time!

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
11 years ago

You're not alone in this view of how pretty much anything that's media related has been getting worse for the most part(except v-games and animes)

Though even those two entertainment mediums are being challenged. In v-games I can the Wii having the biggest ugly impact…(the Wii itself is a great console, but the games it's known for and selling the most really do tell an important story here).

But the Wii isn't the only culprit. Something I've noticed more in this generation than any other is that companies are copying each other to death. Every other game we see in CONSOLES right now is an FPS….and many of them way too similar and always in war….

I frankly don't care 'bout Madden/FIFA, sports fans are nuts lol they'll always buy the new games. Though from what I notice Baseball fans don't take crap from devs, they demand good baseball games.

Anyway I definitely see the point this article is tryint to get across. One last comment: Music is REALLY dieing these days, if it wasn't for Japanese music there's almost nothing I like 'bout 21st Century music. Almost all my English-based music is based in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s…And I'm not "old"(23).

So yeah I really hope gamers don't give in and always demand great games.

I think the competition between consoles really does a lot of good.

I think all will go bad when there isn't competition. When the big companies decide to be in it individually not caring 'bout each otherj(like Nintendo is doing). Taking the easier money.

ceedot
ceedot
11 years ago

Movies are not dying, and not getting worse. There are a lot of good ones, and a lot of bad ones, e.g. disaster movie.
Music just sucks these days. No more good rnb, all house and that crap sounds the same.
Rockstar Games don't care about their customers so I don't think anyone should care about them.

GuernicaReborn
GuernicaReborn
11 years ago

How can you say Rockstar doesn't care about their customers? They gave us a GOTY contender in one of the best years of gaming in history.