Friday, November 12, 2004

Eye Of The Beholder

One of the things that saddens me about the current videogames industry is how it seems to br ruled by an attitude that good graphics are the most important thing in a game. I remember the last time that this idiotic idea held sway back in the old days, and then, gameplay seemed to win out in most cases. Which is as it should be, because these are games, not graphical demos. Monopoly is not better than Scrabble because the pieces are more visually interesting.
But nowadays, it seems that the graphics-are-good crowd are in control. It's the reason, for example, that the X-Brick is so popular. The games all look pretty, but there are only about two or three of them that are actually playable. It's also the reason why Katamari Damacy is less popular than Halo, and why a game that everyone pretty much agrees is going to be one of the most fun games in a long time, Alien Hominid, is stuffed among the games aimed at children on most shop websites. Alien Hominid has two dimensional graphics like the games of my youth (and doesn't that make me sound, if not actually old, of the opinion that I am?), albeit all sparkly and jazzy for the modern world, but those 2D graphics have consigned it to the kiddies' corner. It looks less advanced than the 3D norm, and so it must be more primitve, and if it's more primitive, it must be for kids.
The fact is that it looks gorgeous, but it greatly annoys me that so many gamers will be blind to that because of a perceived primitiveness in the visual style.
(On a related note, this is apparently part of the reasoning behind Disney's move away from 2D animation. They're of the opinion that the reason why Pixar's films have been more popular than their own of late is down to kids no longer liking 2D animation...)
Still, the kiddies' corner aspect does mean that it's been slapped with a kiddies' corner price, which is fine by me...

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