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Monday, July 03, 2006

Console Fanboys and Sequels: Exposed!


Did you ever notice that gamers and game journalists whine about there being a gajillion sequels, yet the reason to get the "next console" is because of a bunch of exclusive sequels? Final Fantasy 13, Metal Gear Solid 4, Gran Turismo 5, Devil May Cry 4, Halo 3, PGR3, Ghost Recon 4, Elder Scrolls 4, Super Mario Brothers 27, Metroid Prime 3, Zelda 8...is that enough examples?

The complainers are just human; we are suckers to familiarity. If you liked the previous version of a game or movie, you are bound to like a sequel, right? It's in our nature to avoid new things or "submit to change". Sequels are the answer to this fault of ours, yet they are simultaneously a downfall since they stifle new experiences.

First-party sequels are often the main argument used by warring fanboys. For fun, we'll take a look at some typical (and stereotypical) fanboy views I've gathered from my internet ventures. Not-generalizing is a practice in futility, but I'll do my best. We'll probably see some things that are ridiculous. Sequels are among the reasons some get die-hard over a console:

Continue reading...


Microsoft/Xbox fan-people


Why they support the consoles: As for the Xbox, they either waited to buy this "better" console [Xbox] or bought it after buying the PS2 and were disappointed from its lack of everything Sony promised. The Xbox had the best specs and features of the "last generation" and it had the only functional online service. The Xbox 360 is the latest and greatest that makes further use of said functional online service. And don't forget Halo 3 is coming.

Why they think the other consoles suck: They lack comprehensive online services such as Xbox Live. The PS2 and Gamecube have less features and were less powerful. They also follow the stereotype that Nintendo is for kids. The PS3 is overpriced and according to what they've seen/read, isn't any more powerful. And no other console has Halo.

Favorite Type of Gaming: Online Multiplayer

Possible Favorite Games: Halo 1 and/or 2

Secretly mad about: There not being enough RPGs.

Label: The Opinionated

Reality Check: The Xbox only outsold the Gamecube by 10-15%. Although it was the strongest system, the PS2's popularity resulted in devs spending less time on some Xbox games allowing for sub-standard results and poor PS2 ports. The premium Xbox 360 is available now, getting plenty of exclusives, and is 33% cheaper than the 'spensive PS3 that hasn't shown anything promised by Sony. That leaves a ridiculous amount of gloating room for Microsoft fan-people. However, aside from a fantastic online setup and excellent controller, Microsoft has yet to provide new control scheme which may or may not be important. Some gamers feel that the "good wave" of titles is taking too long to arrive.

Sony/Playstation fan-people


Why they support the consoles: The Playstation has the largest library, and has the most popular exclusives. It's sold 5 times the amount of the competition. The Playstation and Sony brands are familiar, so why change? And don't forget that Final Fantasy XIII is coming.

Why they think the other consoles suck: Most likely, they never tried the other consoles, or played them very briefly. The competition's library is smaller. As for the next generation, they assume the lack-of-RPG problem will continue into the 360's era. Microsoft sucks with Windows, so they can't possibly be good at gaming. As for the Gamecube and Wii, they're for kids. And you can't get the latest Final Fantasy/Metal Gear on the other consoles.

Favorite Type of Gaming: Single Player

Possible Favorite Game: Metal Gear Solid or Final Fantasy

Label: The Followers

Secretly mad about: Disc Read Errors, Price of the PS3

Reality Check: Even though the Playstation's library is large, it factors in PS1 games that aren't popular to date among hundreds of negligible titles. What holds the Playstation high in the ranks is it's bag full of popular exclusives and brand familiarity. Sony failed to deliver much of the promised features for the PS2, and we're already seeing the same type of thing with the PS3. The PS3 is very expensive, and seems to have become mainly a medium to push Bluray. However, fans of those exclusives have much to look forward to. If Sony can pull off a worthwhile online service, then Microsoft may twitch a little.

Nintendo fan-people


Why they support the consoles: They are totally content with Nintendo's first-party offerings. Nostalgic value is present for older gamers. No one can get enough of Mario or Zelda, right?

Why they think the other consoles suck: The other consoles don't have Nintendo's first-party titles. They aren't innovative in the next generation. The other consoles cost too much. They don't want to buy an HDTV. And they need their new Mario/Zelda/Metroid fix, which you can't get elsewhere.

Favorite Type of Gaming: Single Player or local "party" multiplayer

Possible Favorite Games: Mario, Zelda, Metroid

Label: The Loyal

Secretly mad about: The Gamecube's limited library

Reality Check: The Gamecube was the least selling console of the last generation. It also had the smallest software library. Although it was yet another console that was more powerful than the leader, it's power was mostly utilized by first-party developers instead of third-party developers. It also had the least amount of features. Nintendo's new direction of changing the way we play games is catching the attention of gamers desperate for a drastic change to revitalize the industry. They've succeeded with the DS and hope to see the same success with the Wii.

So...


Note that the favorites were sequels, rather than newborn franchises. However, it's admittedly difficult to look aggressively forward to something you've never played and/or don't have a feeling for. Which leaves us looking to sequels.

Although the sequel favorites and other opinions listed may not apply to everyone, one can get a feel from journalists, commentors, and bloggers that what I listed seems somewhat accurate.

Hell, I'm no innocent. I love Halo 2, Metroid Prime 1/2, and Final Fantasy 7/8/10. The coming sequels are the games I cannot wait for. I guess without sequels, we really wouldn't know what to look forward to, would we? But how do we come across new games? There's no simple answer, but regardless of what we think, we likely can never be absolutely sure of what we want.


Edit 07/06/06: Fixed a couple spelling errors.

12 Comments:

Blogger levisblind said...

good points... all good points. i believe both microsoft and sony need to up their ante a but though and maybe push for a new breakthrough? it seems original games are becoming harder and harder to come across nowadays, especially the gimmick type that grabs most people the way their other launch sequels do.

i am a nerd.

10:41 PM  
Anonymous jRon said...

You like final fantasy 8? most people I know think that was he worst FF, next to X-2.

Besides that, I pretty much agree with you. One thing I don't understand is why people can be so loyal to a company that doesn't really care for them, all they want is their money.

When it comes to consoles I usually get the one that'll give me the most bang for my buck to start off. then after a few years I get the other systems used and play the exclusives that I missed out over the years.

2:29 PM  
Blogger Karmakin said...

Well, in the video game world, sequals are much less bad, and in fact they're usually pretty good, than you see in the movie world.

The reason for this, is that when it comes to movies, generally when you start talking sequals, you're talking about over-refined stuff that's written by a board in order to maximize profits.

In video games, everything is about refinement. So a sequal always has the potential..and in fact usually is...superior than the original.

Very few sequals are horrible compared to the original as well.

2:41 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

I do like FF8, and surprisingly better than FF7. It's less ridiculous and a lot of fun if played correctly. Most people hated it because they either couldn't figure out the junction system, or they used nothing but GFs until Disc 4 (where their progress was halted since you can't use GFs to kill Adel).

If you are interested, I recently just went through FF8 again. And I talked about it here as well. And I've recently mentioned why I hate FF9 more than any FF. I liked FFX-2, but it was a little overboard with the Charlie's Angels theme.

Anyway, jron, I've done the same as you with consoles until recently (even though I'm still catching up on some). After finishing college, I've had a lot more time to game. The future wife has turned into a gamer also, so hopefully the hobby will be able to continue. =)

Thanks for the comments and visiting my site everyone :)

4:42 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Those were some good points. But alot of it was very stereotypical.
i mean, you can have a foavorite console without being a frothing fanboy.

Also, man I have been reading your stuff for a while and what did Sony do to you? You seem to really not like them, but instead of just going out about your business like most people you take it upon yourself to try to tell everyone why you are right and everything Sony says is wrong.

I know Sony hasn't proven anything yet, but neither has Nintendo and the only good game for the 360 that you can't get (a better version) on PC is Table Tennis. Let's wait until we can see every systems games and then pass judgements.

4:52 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Fung said...

Woah...I guess this is pop up comments...I've got to activate this.

But anyway, great post, I enjoyed it a lot, and I think that a lot of what you said is true. But anyway...time to activate my pop up comments...these pwn.

7:54 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Brian,

As far as the stereotyping, do keep in mind that this is in the second paragraph:

"For fun, we'll take a look at some typical (and stereotypical) fanboy views I've gathered from my internet ventures. Not-generalizing is a practice in futility, but I'll do my best."

Maybe I should have worded it better, but I knew what I was about to write was stereotyping. It's somewhat hard not to be offensive with it. I even went "politically correct" with "fan-people" in a futile attempt to lighten it up! LOL

Here are some of my posts covering my anti-Sony-ness:

One of the several reasons I hate Sony
Sony's rootkit fiasco (that caused headaches for IT people)
List of worthless PS2 crap I have
Here I discuss Sony products I've had problems with

On that last link, everything I list in that first paragraph I've had problems with, all within a year of purchase. All branded Sony. After that, it's amazing I would even touch a Sony device, and it should be obvious why I dislike them so (that's a lot of products). But I like the games. If those games weren't exclusives, you can bet I wouldn't buy Playstation ever again.

8:54 PM  
Anonymous Brian said...

Eric,

I'm sorry about skipping over that stereotypical comment. Anyway, I am not a console gamer mainly. I usually go with the PC but I will play console games if they are fun. I really like the games that coe out for the Playstation. I don;t care about things that happen in other divisions of the larger company or what the execs say.

Seriously, If you are going to not buy something because you thought what the execs said was stu;pid and arrogant even though it is a real product you're an idiot. (Not saying that;s what you do, just saying).

Also, I have found Sony's hardware to be very reliable. I have a Sony CD player from 91 that still works perfectly, I have never owned a camera that wasn;t made by Sony because they were always quality products. Eve the PS2 which people always complained about the Disc Read Errors I've not had a real problem with.

I bought a PS2 a year after they came out. It worked perfectly until 6 months ago when I started getting the errors. I looked it up on the Internet, then I opened up my PlayStation spent 10 minutes adjusting the laser and now it works perfectly.

I just don't get what Sony did to suddenly turn the entire internet (it seems) against them. Maybe it's jealousy because everyone has such fond memories of Nintendo that they want them to succeed dessite the fact that there last two consoles sucked hard. (This would also explain the prevailing opinion that the Wii is a box of magic and unicorn farts).

Anyway, I'm just hoping someone can explain how Sony turned into the fasjionable thing to hate.

12:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree with your points yet agree with your points. If this was about "gamers" then I say you are wrong but if it is about fanboi's I agree with you.

You see I have owned every system EVER and I plan on having one of every system that comes until the day I die. I don't like any more then the other. I see the bad and good points in them. The things I hate however are games that repeat themself. Mario is old now but yet I still l ove the new snake games. Halo 2 sucked and I bet 3 will as well but man I loved black and white 2.

What I dislike is the constant lable people like you give us. You have points when it comes to fanboi's but you could over water of "Gamers" with those points.

5:45 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

Brian,

"Seriously, If you are going to not buy something because you thought what the execs said was stu;pid and arrogant even though it is a real product you're an idiot. (Not saying that;s what you do, just saying)."

Some actions and decisions made by one group may not seem intelligent to others, but the world is an eccentric place. I do want to point out that "boycotting" a brand name because of egregious statements by executives is just politics. We see it in many places.

I'm glad Sony has come through for you. They've utterly failed me in the new millenium, leaving me with my jilted opinion. I swear most of their engineers were negatively affected by the infamous Y2K bug (LOL). Experiences similar to mine would leave nearly any consumer reluctant to repeatedly purchase a brand, whether they should be considered mearly unlucky or not.

My disgust for Sony came WAAAAYYYYYY before the the PS3 announcements and interviews which are to blame for the spur of anti-Sony riots on the internet. So please don't get my negative Sony opinions confused with those who are just pissed off about the $600 price. I can afford the PS3, but I don't think the hardware quality will be up to snuff.

To be fair, I've never had a problem with Sony PS1s, TVs, Cameras, or Minidisc players (barring that the MD format FAILED). I also have plenty of distaste for Maxtor HDDs, old AMD processors, HP computers, Compaq desktops, Sanyo products, and JVC products.

Anonymous,

I'm having a difficult time deciphering what you attempted to say in your comment, but I let it through anyway.

"You have points when it comes to fanboi's but you could over water of "Gamers" with those points."

Are you trying to say that these stereotypes could bleed over to all gamers?

Owning all the systems....that's a lot of closet space! =) I wanted to do that at one time, but emulation solves the problem. I'm dying to play NES TrackMeet lately though...

5:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The strongest point out of all of those consoles was the ability to walk into a game store... pick up a 2nd or third part title that was not a sequal and find a gem in this random purchase that you made.

The PS2 Was the only system that actually had the library that was so big that experimentation lead to positive results. I owned all of the systems and the sad sad fact is the other system were not up to par with selection and that is why they sold less.

The PS3 has not shown much but there is no reason to believe that that system will have tremendous support in its early stages of life. That is the only thing that matters.

3:56 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Actually, I've found that the large PS2 library to be simply eyes-deep if you will. So many games in that large library are giant hunks of crap. It makes it more difficult to find "random" gems in my case.

However, I'm sure the ratio of "good" to "crap" is proportionate for all three current gen systems.

The only system I have trouble finding a good game for is the Gamecube. But that games that are good for it are really good in my experience (RE4, Mario Kart, Metroid Prime 1 & 2, etc). "Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem" is the next title on my to-get list. I'm hoping for a better time than ICO with that one.

5:39 PM  

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