Here in Michigan, where the boardgames do not roam as freely, I occasionally find myself with an abundance of time. In light of this I am returning to my roots and, once again, hoisting the controller aloft, this time to a new generation of games. This post is to say, I am not impressed.
While graphics have improved with the time, the essence of the game has, in a word, atrophied. I would separate the games I have played into two broad categories. One includes games with wonderful gameplay but no overarching story, or at best a weak facsimile thereof. While enjoyable, keep in mind that they are competing with MS Hearts. The other is characterized by a deep, even enthralling, plot line, which tragically is supplemented with an actual game that is indifferent at best.
Into this category I place Mass Effect and FF XIII, although they are engrossing to watch, and I intend to finish them at least once, I am somewhat dismayed at the lackluster game beneath the lovely story. As a DM, I believe that my appreciation for background information ranks up there with two year olds and people who have actually read the Silmarillion, but when I buy a game I hope to feel like I am playing something. Honestly, FF XIII comes on three CD's, if I had that kind of time I would read the Silmarillion. While in Mass Effect I at least get the feeling that I am making decisions and entering a role, in FF XIII I feel like I am watching a stunningly gorgeous and stunningly long movie.
Perhaps I am being too harsh on these games. The measure by which I judge them has been set by Chrono Trigger, FF III (6), Earthbound, and Secret of Mana, which may be an unbeatable standard. Even if we cannot exceed the games of our ancestors, I would ask that we at least produce games of a similar quality, worthy heirs to the legacy.
In other news, I think that, in addition to my Friday philosophical post, I shall try to put up a post, or even two, midweek on a lighter note. So all my friends out there see how absolutely glamorous my life is.