Don't get me wrong. I love technology, and when Microsoft first announced the Kinect, I definitely had a bit of a nerdgasm. I think that in moderation, and the right environment, those games can be great. For example: I think that Kinect Adventures is a lot of fun, so are some of the games for the Wii (I boycotted Sony years ago, just after the launch of the PS2, so I know nothing of the Playstation Move). Unfortunately, I think gaming is leaving the controller behind, and I'm unhappy about this for a few reasons:
- I am lazy. When I play a game, I want to just sit back on the couch and relax. I exaggerate here a bit - I am actually fairly active - but, sometimes I don't want to "be the controller". In fact only certain games are good when I am the controller. A modern style, 3D, Action driven, RPG would be difficult to execute on Kinect. A traditional RPG with menu driven combat and spell casting could fair OK I think, but for a game like Skyrim... Uh, No. Furthermore, a shooter (not on rails) would be nigh impossible.
- I am fat. This isn't an exaggeration. I have a thyroid disorder, I like food and beer, and (see point 1) I am lazy. While I've been losing some weight, I don't suspect I'll ever be "skinny" and therefore jumping around can be painful for me sometimes. Some exceptionally heavy people are probably exempt from playing motion games. I know a lot of gamers, and we can be quite hefty. Moreover, this trend doesn't even consider those gamers who have physical handicaps.
- I am older. In the same sense as above, if I jump around... I feel it the next day. It's hard on the joints and muscles. I'm in decent shape for a lazy fat guy. I walk for exercise at about 4.0 mph and don't get winded, but Kinect Adventures just about flat-lines me.
- I don't like games "on rails". This is my biggest beef with the motion controlled games. I've yet to see a "rails" game that excites me. There are a few with potential to be fun, but not the kind I would sit around and play for hours - if left to my own devices. I've yet to see a "rails" game that can generate my total absorption into the story line. None of them can make me truly feel like I'm in the game. I want to be able to look and move around - as independently controllable actions - just like in real life. Instead games on rails are like being strapped to a turret, on a very long moving sidewalk.
I am not saying I want to see the end of Kinect, Wii, Android, iPhone, and Playstation Move gaming platforms. I just want the console makers to realize there is a "core" gaming demographic over here too. We don't want you to forget about us, while you're off pandering to the casual gamer. Oh, and don't think throwing us Call Of Duty 4:MW25 is going to keep us content either, as this represents the second issue.
I want to see more of the (console) originality that was Halo, Assassin's Creed, Thief, Tomb Raider, The Legend of Zelda, Golgo 13, Phantasy Star (not that garbage that has ruined the name), Metal Gear, Sonic the Hedgehog, Call of Duty, and many more (note the lack of numbers after these titles, it's not because each of them have sequels - which they do, but instead it is because I'm talking about version 1 of each game.). Unfortunately, all I get is rehashed sports titles, rehashed shooters, rehashed music games, and copycats of the rehashed franchises. There is nothing new or original, just more of the same. In my list above, some of those sequels were actually better than the original. However, this is mostly because of improved technology, not improved gameplay or storyline.
I do like Call of Duty, Halo, and a few of the sports franchises. Furthermore, I will surely buy COD:MW3 and Halo HD when they come out. I've already bought The Elder Scrolls 5 on pre-order. However, I long for a brand-new 120 hour epic RPG, or a new shooter that changes everything about the genre (again). Something that makes console gaming fun again. I think that anything less will eventually destroy gaming because even the causal gamers and "hardcore" fanboys will get tired of this stuff sooner or later. So, please, video game industry hear my cry. Send me something awesome and new before I finally "grow up" and say goodbye to you for good.