Friday, June 5, 2009

146 Days Up - "Is this everything you'd thought it'd be? You waited for religiously..."

Louis C.K. had a great rant/routine he did on (pre-L.A.) Conan a while ago about how spoiled we as a society can be, not at all appreciating the marvels of technology that didn't even exist 100 years ago (and in some cases, within our lifetime) - complaining about delays with our cell phones, or on flights. When in reality we should be in constant amazement at the fact that we are able to contact anyone anywhere at any time, or flying through the sky.

Eh, it's not teleportation, but I guess it'll do for now...

I definitely need to take a step back sometimes and appreciate all the things I wanted as a kid in my video games that I have now. Back in the day I used to put together my own "concept art" for video games I had dreams of one day making. Some of them were really simple, like going "medicine shopping" for sick people (something every youngster dreams of) but even there I envisioned an open world environment, where I had the option to into any (pharmaceutical) store I wanted. And within those stores, every shelf had something I could interact with.

I put the most effort into what was by far my most ambitious game. It was going to be a space adventure I would go on with my friends, not-so subtly titled: "Matt & Friends' Space Adventure."*

Previously unreleased concept art from M&F: SA

I wanted to captain a giant spaceship and fly across the galaxy discovering new worlds, fighting nasty aliens, collecting treasure, and maybe even gettin' it on with a sexy blue alien chick. (Ok, technically I never considered that last part - but in hindsight I total should have) The very idea of playing this game got me more excited than anything else in the world.

This week I realized: I am playing that game.

And yet, while I sit in front of my television completely absorbed in the experience, I find myself being very nitpicky about all of Mass Effect's flaws. All the explorable planets are basically the same, just with a fresh coat of paint. The inventory system is super clunky. There's a ton of dialogue options but they all seem to lead to the same point. There's no question the game is flawed. But at the same time, it's f-ing beautiful, the storyline and characters are (in what I've seen so far) great, there's a ton of customization of your own character, and I'm actually flying around the galaxy going into different solar systems, exploring dozens of different worlds, saving the universe and having a great time doing it. THIS IS AMAZING.

Still, it's a good thing that we're (I'm assuming I'm not alone in my nitpicking) never fully satisfied either. It's important to appreciate the here and now, and how far we've come, but if people like me weren't playing these games today, wondering: "this is fun, but wouldn't it be great if we could do this..." then we probably wouldn't keep setting that bar higher and higher, right? And not just in games, but in everything.

"Hey you, 1960's kid. Put down that guitar - we just perfected music!"

On a tangential note, E3 - the biggest game convention of the year - is wrapping up in L.A. right now, and all kinds of new gaming revelations have come to light. Although I have to admit I was VERY skeptical at first, I came to my senses and have come to be pretty excited about what both Sony and Microsoft are doing with their new motion technology. Because honestly, it was mostly that and sequels, (Mass Effect 2, woo!) and let's be honest, the sequels really aren't pushing the envelope all that much. Here's hoping the technology gets put to good use and some really fun and exciting games come out of it.

Ooh! I'll get the ball rolling with this: What if we got to play Toon Town!??


Currently Playing: See my last post. I've still got zombies to hunt, and a galaxy to save! Oh, also I picked up Space Invaders Extreme, though I've barely gotten started with that.

*The latest in a long line of classic Matt & Friends titles. Oh, the adventures we were theoretically going to have!

1 comment:

Melvin said...

there.. i have decided to follow your foot steps in "pause" myself from gaming for a year.

check my blog: :)

nice blog :)