Every now and again, I’ll see an article about old games being all about the fun, and most games released today focussing too much on looking great. The thing is that I see things a different way.
It is true that games nowadays are very different from the increasingly distant, humble beginnings. Games of bouncing balls, falling blocks and pixelated action heroes seem to have been largely replaced by games that are not very pickup-and-play friendly, unless you are an avid player of that genre. HD graphics are often an important part of a game nowadays, for some a lot more than others.
A discussion that seems to come up now and again is gameplay vs graphics, where most people come out with something like “there’s no point in a great looking game if it is a chore to play, I’d rather play a game that I enjoyed that had bad graphics”. The thing is that I don’t think it’s that simple. A lot of people seem to say good graphics then talking about HD, and bad graphics when talking about SD. Surely though there is a lot more to graphics than the resolution, surely it is everything that makes up what you are seeing. You could have high resolution graphics, but massive dips in frames per second therefore making the game unplayable. What good is your amazing gameplay then? Clearly a balance needs to be struck.
Something that I found quite interesting lately was when I was on the Bethesda forum, to find out about the Skyrim patches that had come/were coming out. It was suggested that the ‘lag’ issue was solved by somehow lowering resolution of textures. The reaction that some people had to this was pretty extreme, not the devs should be shot kind of extreme, more the I’m going to have a massive hissy fit over something that someone suggested might have been done, kind of extreme, you know that kind. After a little while it dawned on me that type of comment was probably the norm on those forums. After all, the sensible people are getting on with playing the game they paid (hopefully) for, not moaning on a dev forum.
Anyway, it’s something to do isn’t it, gaming. It’s like anything enjoyable; reading a book, watching a movie, going out for drink, moaning on a forum (it seems), [insert other enjoyable things here]. It’s something to do and it’s something you enjoy. Always a bonus enjoying stuff you do. Of course if something you do is enjoyable and actually worthwhile, something that makes a real difference, then it doesn’t really get any better than that. For a gaming related example see Extra Life.
Thinking about it, it’s not like all games are meant to be fun. Entertaining; sure, fun; no.