In a recent podcast the 1UP folks talked about how the Wii has made a major difference in the way that games are shown at Press shows and how they have changed the way games are seen in the eyes of all consumers. Strangely this was very evident at a show where Nintendo as a company didn’t show, Tokyo Game Show.
The carnival atmosphere around Wii games is just insane. The PR people should probably just start hawking, “Step right up, step right up, try your hand at the Wiimote and win a prize!”
The problem, of course, is not the Wii. It might be Japan at the heart of all this. The Japanese seem to be a little unhappy with the next generation. Their sales are pretty bad across both Sony and Microsoft’s consoles.
The love seems wholly directed at Nintendo’s franchises and hardware. These same franchises are holding to the last generation graphics and in many cases last generation gameplay. Nothing to see here folks, move along…
There are, of course, exceptions to every rule. But these folks are not representative of the masses. Folks like Tecmo, Koei, Capcom, and Sony Worldwide Studios are trying to play both sides and doing a pretty good job. But they are the people bucking the trend it seems, not creating it.
The Mistwalkers and Square Enix’s of the world are happy to just keep making what they have been making for years. All most all games shown at the show except for a few stand out games like: Ninja Gaiden 2, Devil May Cry 4, Metal Gear Solid 4, Gran Turismo, and Eye of Judgement. The majority of the games at the show are all too happy to just continue what they have been doing all along.
As much as I enjoyed both last year’s and the year before that’s Tokyo Game Show this year’s show just doesn’t seem to be that big of a deal. I’m truly and uttering tired of turn based RPGs. White Knight Story, Lost Odyssey, and from the looks of it Last Remnant can all dry up and disappear. These games all most all ways have nothing going for them at the core. If their stories were compelling all the mindless battles could be forgiven but this is usually not the case. I will wait for Persona 4, because it seems like they are the only folks capable of telling a descent RPG story nowadays.
I’m not terribly excited about the 100 FPS games coming out in the next year either though. But I don’t think that the way to fix that blight on the video game industry is create as many lame RPGs as possible or heaven forbid as many mini game compilations as possible.
Maybe this is just a cultural or generational difference; but all I can say is that once upon a time I thought that Japanese developers were the saviors of this industry and maybe they would have been if it wasn’t for Nintendo who stole all their souls in the name of the mass market and money. Now we only have Sony to look to for our salvation and I think everyone can agree that, that isn’t a good thing.