The 10th Hour 01.14.12: Top 10 Things We Learned in 2011
Posted by Jordan Williams on 01.14.2012
From Nintendo learning the risks of arrogance and PC gaming not being dead to modern military shooters getting old, the slow death of turn-based RPGs, and more, 411's Jordan Williams ranks his Top 10 Gaming Lessons of 2011!
Welcome to the #1 Column to...
Oh god dammit not this shit AGAIN.
My first apperance of the year and it's not even MY OWN COLUMN? Well since you all LOVED me so much when I covered 10th Hour last time (Haaaa) I have be requested to cover YET AGAIN in your who has come down with a bad case of the Fridays And by "Fridays" I mean I tranqed him and sold him to the Polish Black Market. But seeing as this is my first apperance of 2012, I figure I should at least bring in one of my column's normal features...
Skyrim - Oh god. Man, I fucking have a love/hate relationship with this game. I love it to death because I can just turn off my brain and have some fun. I HATE it to death because I CAN'T GET SHIT DONE. This is the only game where I can finish a quest and the act of finishing the quest will open up THREE MORE quests and on the way to finish just ONE of those quests you will randomly happen upon another quest and play that quest to completion WITHOUT ACTIVATING THE QUEST and while finally trying to GET to the end of the quest you orginally started you are HUNTED DOWN by a courier that gives you ANOTHER quest that takes you in the opposite direction of the quest YOU ORIGINALLY SET OUT TO COMPLETE. And the worst part? That's not even a MAIN quest. It's not even a SIDEQUEST. It's just some miscelanneous ass quest!
Battlefield 3 - So BC2 used to own my life for a long time on consoles until eventually retired from it because the build up for BF3 started. My first few weeks of BF3 were shaky/shitty because I forgot one very important thing about myself when it comes to online military shooters.
I am fucking terrible at online military shooters.
I am not that guy with the positive K/D Ratio. I am not that guy who is going to be constantly on the top of the leaderboards at the end of the round. Fuck, I am not even that guy that people on the other team will go out of thier way to kill if they see me. So once I realized that I do indeed suck ass at these games I remembered why made me have so much fun with BC2. I play these games essentially like a roleplaying game. By playing BF3 like an RPG I mean...when I choose my class and my loadout I PLAY THAT CLASS AND LOADOUT. I primarily stick with Engineers so that means I am spending roughly 75% of the time doing what engineers do; repairing vehicles and actively disabiling opponents vehicles. While it might not show in the K/D at the end of the game I usually walk away with an MVP 2 ribbon or at least 3-4k points. Similarly when I am a Recon I play like the most badass ninja ever. Since I HATE Camping/Sniping I usually pop on a shotgun and sneak around the enemy base allowing my friends to spawn in and track enemies...so...what I am trying to say is that I REALLY like BF3 because it's not about "SHOOT THAT GUY AND WIN" it's still about teamwork.
Although the FAMAS is broken as shit and can eat a dick.
WWE 12 - You know what? Fuck the haters. WWE 12 is a good ass game. Sure, the gameplay is still largely the same and the models could really use some work but I haven't spent this much time playing a WWE/SVR game since Day of Reckoning 2. The main draw for me here is that the Universe Mode is actually fun to play AND watch this time. I think whomever decided to add that "Today's Remarkable Match" tag to Universe that lets you flat out know that a storyline is starting/progressing and tells you to play or at least watch the match is GREAT. In SvR 2011 I spent mostly all of the time in Universe just skipping over matches until a match with my CAW or a wrestler I wanted to play ass showed up. In WWE 12 I find myself playing or watching almost every match on the card and really only skipping jobber matches. Just the sheer amout of lunacy that can come from the game booking in Universe leads to some hilarious situations. For instance in my Universe which is in the it's 8th or so year we have Yoshi Tatsu as the reigning leader of the heel power stable consisting of Yoshi Tatsu, John Cena, Sheamus, and Zack Ryder. Yoshi is the WHC, John Cena and Zack Ryder are the Tag Team Champs, and Sheamus is holding the WWE Title, US Title, AND IC Title. That's not even the MAIN PLOT in my Universe. For nearly two years now Sin Cara has been fueding with the Undertaker and he ENDED the streak. And I didn't even PLAY that match. It's a damn shame 1/3 of Road to Wrestlemania is shit or else this game would be the complete package.
Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition 2012 Still training for Evo. Still using Hakan. Still losing a lot. Will not give up on Turkish Oil.
Alright, now that that is out of the way let's go ahead and get into my list. This actually works out good for me because my first column of the year is usually a retrospective about what we've learned in Gaming from the previous year. This time I just get to put it in a nice digestable list! Yay!
The 10th Hour: 10 Things We've Learned in 2011
10. DLC isn't as evil we think it is.
DLC. Those three letters can rile up some heated discussions on the internet and most of it is negative. However in the past year I would argue that it's really NOT as evil as we like to think it is. Let me clarify by saying when I mean DLC I mean additional game content, I am not talking about Pre-Order Bonuses, Patches, and On Disc DLC...that shit can still eat a dick. What I am saying is that the days of charging 5 dollars for essentially Horse Armor are slowly dying. It's still a pretty controversial topic which is why I only listed it at #10 because there are still a lot of people against the very idea of DLC because they think that it's content cut from the game that is charged for later. The sad thing is they are right some of the time. But I personally think the thing that is going to turn the corner for DLC is the emergance of the Season Pass system. The biggest rebuttal you will hear for DLC is "Don't buy it" which does make sense because anyone who only has a passing interest in the game. So what about the people who definitely are going to buy the DLC? Give them all of it at a discounted price! DLC isn't perfect...but it's getting better. It's not quite the downfall of the current generation as everyone likes to say it is.
9. The Turn Based RPG is dying.
We are impatient as fuck. If there is one thing this generation has proved is that we care not for waiting around and doing nothing, even if the 'wait' is about 2 seconds. Because of this you are seeing more things streamlined and more things changed to keep the action constantly flowing. So far there have been no real casualities of this outside of people who REALLY like item management in Survival Horror games. But there is one thing that is being choked to death because of this and it's the turn based RPG. Once a staple of the genre, the turn based RPG was seen as something that had to be STANDARD in any decent console RPG up until the PS2 Era. Although there were famous examples such as Chrono Trigger that didn't quite do Turn-Based style it was still a staple in games like Final Fantasy (up until 12) and other JRPGs. But now that the RPG is changing (with the JRPG becoming more of a shadow of it's former self the the WRPG becoming the leader) the one thing we are seeing less and less of is the turn based RPG. Now that damn near every game has some sort of RPG element it seems like the RPGs are adapting to keep up with the faster pace. Is this a good move? I don't know.
8. We are less forgiving to Developers/Companies taking the easy way out.
Fanboys used to be known for being giant apologists for thier company/game/genre of choice. 2011 showed that while Fanboys are still rampant they are also getting smarter at seperating the shit from the shine when it comes to games and developers trying to piss on you and say it's raining lemonade. Activision, Capcom, Nintendo, EA, Sony, and even Valve at one point were all taken to task last year over boneheaded decisions and stupid ass moves. Capcom and Nintendo took the biggest beating on that front. Look at the 3DS, the DS launched with the same exact weak line-up and lackluster support and early implementation but everyone ate it up like cocaine laced hotcakes. What happened when Nintendo tried it again this year? We spit in thier face and told them to try harder. Do I even need to touch on how much shit Capcom took from fans this year? We ain't taking shit anymore...well...we don't take as much shit as we USED to.
7. Indy Games aren't that "Indy" anymore.
Although I have a minor beef with Indy games, I will not deny that they are a pretty impressive movement. A movement that is so large in fact that the term itself is not longer fitting. While the games are still "Indy" in the sense that they are made independant of a developer or a big name producer the strange thing about that now is that Indy Games are becoming just as main stream, popular, and funded as "Big Name" games. Not saying that Indy games need to be this grimy hardcore underground scene like Indy Music and Movies fashions itself to be. But the fact of the matter is when someone hears the words "Indy" that is the first image they conjure up. Indy has pretty much developed into a genre at this point...which means if it's anything like Indy Music and Indy Movies people should start calling them sellouts in 3...2...
6. Social Gaming is more of a fad than it thinks it is.
At the start of 2011 everyone was riding the dick of Social Gaming. Facebook was being seen as this giant assed new gaming platform and everyone was on the Farmville tip and this was the NEXT BIG THING! Fast foward 12 months later and no one gives a shit anymore. The same shut-ins that obsessively played Farmville are still playing it and no one new is really flocking to it. Where Broswer-Based Games are starting to take on a new life it seems that the whole 'social' gaming part of it was nothing more than a speed-bump onto bigger and better things.
5. Mobile Gaming, however, is not.
That bigger and better thing being mobile devices.
But no one wants to play games on the iPhone/iPad/Android/GalaxyTab!
No, shut up. You're wrong. People DO want to play games on them. It might not be the hardcore crowd that is reading this or the guys on NEOGaf and what not but THERE ARE PEOPLE PLAYING THESE GAMES. Further more developers are noticing this and making honest-to-goodness GAMES for the damn things. While they will never be these 60 hour epics and great blockbuster expriences...they all don't have to be Tower Defense games and Angry Bird knock-offs either. As long as new tech comes out there are going to be apps for it. As long as there are apps there are going to be games. As long as there are games there are going to be people who play it whether you all like it or not.
4. Nintendo learned that arrogance can bite you in the ass.
Nintendo got a rude awakening this year with the 3DS launch. While they are admittedly doing better now after that bumpy start Nintendo learned that they can't be as arrogant as they have been ever since the Wii launched. When the Wii took off like it did although the hardcore fans were not having any of it the casual fans ate it up and gave Nintendo this notion that they could do no wrong. Every peice of casual shovelware that got released everyone ate it up and they were on top of the world. So they rushed out the 3DS thinking that everyone would just flock to it
No one gave a shit about it and Nintendo ended up having to take it's first sale loss in a LONG time because of it. While they might be doomed to repeat these same errors again with the Wii U at least they finally learned that they aren't invincible anymore and that they are going to have to step it up or get left behind.
3. Microsoft and Sony learned that ignorance can bite you in the ass.
And speaking of left behind we have the other 2/3 of the Big 3 that got left behind when it came to Motion Gaming. For nearly half a decade Sony and Microsoft shit all over motion gaming saying that it was a fad and that it wasn't going to go anywhere and then what did they do? Sony what some see as a straight rip off of the Wii and Microsoft made what some people see as a straight rip off of the EyeToy. If those had come out a year or two after The Wii's big boom period than maybe these things would've meant something...but instead they didn't do diddly AT ALL last year and are all but forgotten simply because Microsoft and Sony were too ignorant to strike while the iron was hot. That's a lot of money that was left of the table.
2. Modern Military Shooter is the new Zombie Shooter is the new World War 2 Shooter. We're all getting sick of it...and it shows.
In 2009 it we felt a bit of it. In 2010 we were getting tired. In 2011 it's officially been upgraded from "tired" to "sick". We are over it. Call of Duty still sells really well but it's no longer as warmly received by the critical OR casual audience which means that it has offically become a dead horse to which we beat mercilessly. I don't know what the next big thing is going to be for games but we are all getting burned out on the Modern Military FPS just like we are all burned out on Zombies and WW2 games. Is it time to go to the future? Is it time to just create some weird new timeline? Maybe a Steampunk shooter? I don't fucking know and the sad thing is it's getting to the point where no one even CARES...they just don't want to see it anymore.
1. For the last time, PC Gaming *is not* dead.
I feel like someone has to say this every year, so I'll be that guy. PC GAMING IS NOT DEAD.
SERIOUSLY. IT'S NOT DEAD.
More ports or straight-up simulataneous releases are coming out for PC everyday, there's a GIANT digital market for PC games and in 2011 most of the PC versions of AAA console games were flat out BETTER than the console counterparts. I did an entire column on how console gaming has hit the point in the generation where the PC is getting the more optimized and better versions of games. Hell, TVs are so great today that a very large number of people turn thier PC INTO their console and just hook that up to the TV.
So for the last time, people.
PC GAMING IS NOT DEAD
And that's the list. Do you agree? Disagree? You know where to let us know. Will I be back next week or will you have your normal and more well liked host? I don't know. But until then...I dunno...go play some games.