Attention: Originality Needed

18 10 2010

So, we’re well into October. This month and next are the biggest release months for new console video games. Multiple big name titles are being released week after week, from the new Fallout, to Fable 3, to FPS’s like Medal of Honor and Call of Duty 7. But all of this makes one wonder, why is it we rarely see anything new done with video games anymore.

One only needs to look at the titles being released and how many of them are numbers of a series. Call of Duty: Black Ops is the 7th game in the Call of Duty series. The new Medal of Honor game is the 9th title in the series released for a console. Fable 3 is the third installment of that series, as well as Fallout: New Vegas, a glorified expansion pack to Bethseda Studios Fallout 3. There is so much of the same being released, and its not just restricted to FPS games either. RPGs such as Final Fantasy are up there in numbers as well, with Final Fantasy XIV having just been released and Dragon Quest X on its way to the Nintendo Wii.

But why is it that gamers are so against trying something new. Even some developers are willing to put a new twist on established series. The new Kirby game, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, is a prime example. For the first time since his introduction, Kirby doesn’t get to inhale his opponents and absorb their powers. While, the main platforming portion of this series hasn’t changed, Nintendo is at least trying to innovate the series and not just give audiences more of the same.


Another game that breaks the mold is the much overlooked Scribblenauts. A game when you have literally ANYTHING at your disposal to solve various puzzles, you can summon anything from a kraken to God himself to help you solve puzzles. A second Scribblenauts game was just released, with new puzzles and more options of things you can do, making the possibilities for this game endless.

Its easy to say we support innovation in gaming, but how many of us will go out and buy the new Call of Duty during the first week of its release? The new Fable? Fallout? I know I’ve been guilty of this, and I’m sure many others have as well. There’s nothing wrong with liking a tried and true formula, but we have to remember, if we want more innovation, we need to support the few innovative games we’re already getting.

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7 responses

18 10 2010
jparlee321

It seems to me that the only time that something totally new, in terms of innovation, style, and story is created in the video game industry. I think it is mainly to blame on the game developers themselves, however at the same time you cannot really hold them accountable. Take a series like the FPS Halo, probably one of the most successful shooters ever made and without a doubt Bungie’s greatest accomplishment. Bungie had announced it was done with Halo, but then within a year they come out with ODST, which basically was used to stall the time until the grand release of Reach. They have definitely deviated from their original plan to move on from Halo. But can you blame them? Its their baby and something they definitely deserve to gloat about. To create a phenomenon such as Halo is hard to let go of, and as a phenomenon it has put them on such a pedastal that any new game Bungie comes out with is not going to do as well or well at all; in a way you could say this depresses Bungie as a company, that their one legacy is one series. Maybe in these cases it is better to stick with what you know.

18 10 2010
jparlee321

sorry i totally worded that intro wrong lol

19 10 2010
Alex

Fallout New Vegas is not an expansion to Fallout 3, but a stand alone game that happens to take place 3 years after the events in Fallout 3. The term expansion kind of takes away from it, as it will be a full sized game. Besthesda and Obsidian are not even calling it a sequel.

Those games at one time were innovative. I remember when Fable game out, the amount of choices that were in it was kind of mind blowing at the time… but it ended up being lack luster cause it was far too short. So I think some series grow from those errors to make better games. Lionhead studios relies on Fable to make their money so they have options to work on possible titles like their Milo idea and what not.

Making games is very expensive, creating something new is a big risk.. so it’s understandable why you see a lot of developers sticking to the same ole thing. People have to remember it’s a business. Innovation happens when it has to, when people get bored and developers stop making money. They have the same basic model as Movies, where blockbuster hits make all the money.

But then they announce a game like Epic Mickey, which throws the entire gaming world into an excited frenzy.
Minecraft, is another great game that is getting some attention right now. It was created by 1 guy… dropped players in a world and let them either build or dig. It’s bizarrely addicting to explore an unfamiliar area, even with its remedial graphics.
There’s also a ton of games on the xbox arcade that have been getting acclamation. Hydrophobia for example, which is short, but has this insane water engine.

That’s not to say that I don’t agree with you, I do. Support new and Independent developers before some meta company buys them out. But just think if Kirby’s Epic Yarn is successful, you’ll see Mario’s Epic Yarn, Yoshi’s Epic Yarn, etc etc. Only a matter of time before you see Scibblenauts 3- then it will be on the same level as Fable.

Sorry for the long post… >.>

19 10 2010
ImmortalDreamer

Of course Bethseda is calling New Vegas a stand alone game, that’s how they want to be able to sell it. But a look at pretty much any review site that’s had a chance to play the game or even anyone that’s tried demos at different gaming conventions will say otherwise. The company can call it whatever they want, but its still basically just an expansion pack of Fallout 3, same as Halo ODST was basically an expansion pack of Halo 3.

19 10 2010
Alex

Yeah after playing it, I see that now. I guess I just set the bar out of Obsidian’s reach, hoping they would fine tune the controls and what not. I guess I just see expansions as something I can bring the character I used from the first part into. Oh well.

8 11 2010
kxsakuraba

I agree, although not completely, it’s kind of hard when I haven’t played most of the games that you’ve mentioned.

Kirby’s Epic Yarn… I’ve been saying since I saw it’s video promo at E3 that I would not buy that game. Even though I am a huge fan of Kirby games, this game is not kirby. You do not inhale enemies, you do not change abilities based on what enemy you eat. It may have “Kirby” as the main character (I mean, can you call it Kirby when it’s made of yarn?), but it’s not a Kirby game to me.

I guess I’m too old-school or something…

8 11 2010
ImmortalDreamer

I was originally the same way, but after watching gameplay footage and reading nearly unanimously positive reviews on it, I’ve changed my stance. Now I just need access to a Wii…

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