Thursday, 23 October 2008

Can technology hurt games?

Hypothetically, if you were to take an existing car, stick a bigger engine in it, give it a shinier, sleeker chassis and put a George Foreman grill in the glove box, it would be better, right? Adding stuff to an already great product has got to make it better surely! Just look at Michael Jackson (oh wait…)

A lot of game franchises get butchered these days when the sequel to the original arrives like the ugly child in a pretty family. It does not turn into a beautiful swan and have a fairy tale life, but instead is instead forced to live in the sewers, facing a gauntlet of hate and un-pleasantries.

One thing to blame for these things that should never have been has actually been the advances in technology. The transition from 2D to 3D was too much of a shock to some fantastic game series, and the result caused the later titles to release their bowls and let it seep into the gameplay.

Earthworm Jim was once a mighty character, loved by all for his random adventures, fighting evil goldfish and memorable foes such as Professor Monkey for a head and Queen-Pulsating-Bloated-Festering-Sweaty-Pus-Filled-Malformed-Slug-For-A-Butt. His 2D charms had many glued to their Nintendo systems, loving every minute.

Then Earthworm Jim 3D happened. It was not too much of an abomination for a platform game, but there were horrific camera problems and not much new content that came with the advanced direction. If it had stayed true its roots and was another 2D outing, so much more could have been achieved from it.

On the other hand, a certain portly plumber has done very well through the years, appearing on every Nintendo system to date. To successfully move a character on with advancing technology, it needs to be done with care as a rush job will stick out in history like a saw thumb at a foot convention.


Anonymous said...

Nice post

Beth said...

I love this post! So true. I am not a big gamer although I do own a PS3...I think about the only things I can talk on with any knowledge at all are Tomb Raider and the GTA games as they are the only ones I have played everyone of. And I have to say I prefer the old Tomb Raider games. They seemed to go on forever. Now you pay almost £40 for the new release and yes the graphics are 'better' but the fun factor is not the same. It seems like these things are churned out to make money and the buyer gets only a few hours of game-play.

I agree also with your observation of Nintendo as I do love Mario Cart on the Wii, the game has managed to keep it's original charm and yet stayed up-to-date at the same time.