Some time last year i watched a video about why the Dreamcast did poorly. Among many factors, one that stuck out to me was that at the time of the Dreamcast, Sega was still known for making Arcade style games and ports. The problem with this was that gamers were generally shifting their tastes towards more narative focused games, like Tomb Raider, Legend of Zelda, Metal Gear Sold.
To me, it sounds like the era of the Arcade was closing, and people wanted a new experience.
Flash forward to the generation(s) of the late PS3/Xbox 360 through to the PS4/Xbox One and i'd say there was definitely a push from bigger developers for these grand, big games, that story driven, and damn near movie-like…GTA 4, Red Dead, Yakuza, The Last of Us, etc.
From my own personal perspective, i'm quite tired of these games. Don't get me wrong, Metal Gear Solid 3 and GTA 4 are on the top of my list of favorite games, i had a blast with Last of Us as well; but at current standing i simply do not have the time to devote to those games. I've noticed many of friends feel the same too, often times we just want a quick and easy game to pick up and play that we don't have to focus to much on a story.
We've been playing Super Monkey Ball 2 and Spelunky 2 a lot recently and have a blast because they're just so fun to play. We can get a good 90 minute session and have a good time with some pizza. These are good party games, but even games like Hotline Miami and Katana Zero, that do have a story/narrative are fun to watch. If nothing else, we can pass the controller around the circle every death. We did the same thing while playing Mario 3D Land as well when we didn't feel like playing 4 player mode.
SEGA, going back to its roots, would be quite the sight. They have a nice library of games to pick from to either remaster, revive, or create a sequel.
I don't think being Story driven is the problem actually, the problem is the "pick up and play-ability" of a lot of games coming out now, well maybe big budget games.
Often times it feels like such a task to get rolling on games like Red Dead, Yakuza, Metal Gear Solid, Witcher, Fallout, etc. You gotta go through the whole prequel, get the equipment, level up, get the story moving, make sure you remember what you did last session and where you left off, etc.
On the other side of the coin, there are games like God Of War (specifically GoW 1-3), Devil May Cry, Halo, Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter, Prince of Persia, and many other memorable games from the Gamecube, PS2, Xbox era that have an overarching story, but still have more "arcade elements" than what i consider "RPG elements". I might be using the wrong words but i hope you understand.
Imo my favorite games right now have a good balance between story/narrative and the ability to just quickly pick up and play. Katana Zero did a great job with this, the story was really good and the gameplay and action was consistent and challenging (not too challenging though).
Going through SEGA's library of games that i think would do well in the current gaming landscape…
- Crazy Taxi
- Jet Set Radio
- Super Monkey Ball 1-2 (specifically these two because the creator slowly abandoned the series to work on Yakuza in favor of cinematic games)
- F-Zero AX
- House of The Dead
- Virtua Tenis
I have been seeing more arcade-esq games and games that are to easy to just pick up and play pop up on Steam and the Epic Game Store, so i do think the landscape is shifting (hopefully) in favor of games with similar design elements that call back to the days of PS2 and Xbox where it didn't feel like such a task to just start a game up.
What do you think!?
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