Gaming changes every year. New tendencies or fads show up every now and then. The gimmick of today is tomorrow’s norm. But amid the sea of waggle controllers, virtual reality headsets and Roguelikes, there’s one video game tendency that frankly discourages me.
And no, it’s not mobile-ization.
Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead has been critically lauded for its story and multiple choice development. The game has a fitting visual style and the characters are well written – by the end you form a connection with them and are impacted by the events they witness and live. Another “feature” of the game is that it’s episodic: the game was released in “pieces” which each came out some time after the other.
It wasn’t the first of its kind. A quick search returns a Wikipedia page with the history of this kind of games, and you can also find lists with what some consider to be the best. Games like Back to the Future, Sonic, Monkey Island and even Kingdom Hearts have had installments using this model.
Thing is, I’m not fond of it. A great game can be hiding under the guise of episodic content, but I’m not keen to invest in a game that hides its story from me behind a wall made of bills and artificial time. I’m sure it’s a profitable model, and it surely has its charm… I just don’t see it.
I ended up playing the Walking Dead when I bought my Playstation Vita, but the system came with the full game. It maintains the “broken up” nature, but at least I can start a new chapter immediately after completing the previous one. And the game is GOOD. A few years back I played the entire Back to the Future game, also episodic, when it was given in Playstation’s Plus program – it was also complete at the time, so no wait.
I’m terrible watching anime or any serialized content, as I always want to know what comes next. Waiting weeks or months can make me lose interest in a franchise – this happened to me with One Piece (fantastic series, but waiting bored me).
Perhaps this is why I wasn’t so bothered when FFX-2 or FFXIII-2 were announced: I wasn’t expecting them, as the original games didn’t technically need them. XIII-2 ended with a cliffhanger, though, and there’s a reason XIII-3 is the only one I haven’t bought or played. I also fear the new Silent
Hill Hills, not because its Playable Teaser and Concept Trailer are scary as hell; but because there’s a rumor it’s gonna be episodic. Way to kill the mood.
True. But, perhaps due to my age and me growing up in the golden days of the NES and SNES, I’m a bit used to games being complete, or at least offering the whole “main” experience in one neat package. DLC is another topic entirely. At least some of these games eventually come out in “Complete” packages, so you can enjoy them entirely.
I may just be old-fashioned. Now get off my lawn. Whippersnapper.
Or maybe I’m just old…