To context this, I have three “genius” friends that have been studying chriomatics, or whatever. That’s the thing where it’s like an ice version of the “syrup-mosquitoes” from Jurassic Park. For the past couple of years, I have been spoiled with some of the SICKEST games the PlayStation has ever done. The graphics are sick, the gameplay is sick, the music is sick, EVERYTHING is SICK!!! So I got totally stoked for the PlayStation 2 coming out at the end of the year, right? My friends offered to put their crypto chamber to use so I don’t have to wait for its release. I basically volunteered to be their guinea pig and test it out. But the dumbasses used an old computer and “didn’t take into account the Y2K issue”, so the data they entered got scrambled. Now here I am, 20 years into the future where everyone keeps calling me Fry for some reason.
Ok, so that happened. I went under in October of 1999 as a birthday present for my 16th birthday and woke up in October 2019 with a 36-year-old's beard, which is itchy as hell. The good thing is that nobody’s allowed to go outside anyway, so my friends just let me hang out at their house for a while and play video games all day. That’s when I noticed something weird. I’m playing the same games I’ve been playing for the past couple of years (at least to me). But, like, these games are completely not the same. Like, it’s hard to explain, but I’ll try anyway.
Ok, so Final Fantasy VII was my favorite game in 97. And that’s saying a LOT. I also freaking LOVED Resident Evil 2. Lucky for me there’s a new version of BOTH of these games now. Going from the Lego block graphics and voiceless characters in Final Fantasy to these insane graphics that look damn near realistic and awesome actors doing the word speaking is a lot to take in. When the first one came out those were the best graphics I had ever seen in a video game. Now you can’t tell if it’s a cutscene or just the gameplay. I always thought Resident Evil 2 was cool since there were actually voices to the characters. But even then I thought they were kind of dorky voices. Now the acting is better than most TV shows that aren’t in front of studio audiences. Everything being said feels so natural and is acted so well that I don’t think I can even see movies the same way (and movies have completely changed, too).
As awesome as the voices and graphics are, they are still video games and they need to be played. The originals have a room that you walk through but can only move in the directions the camera shows you. Now you get FULL control of the camera with almost every single game! It’s a lot to get used to. I went from using the directional pad to move everywhere to now having to use the mini-joysticks on all the controllers. I hated that damn stick on the Nintendo 64 (which is even more stupid after using these new controllers) so I thought it would totally suck, but it ended up being pretty smooth once I got used to it. After getting the hang of things I was able to explore the worlds like I was actually there. It’s beautiful. Taking my time to look at every pixel was awesome! And I take my damn time.
Then I had to fight. There are so many things to keep track of in both games. Before, you pretty much paused the game to get items and change your weapons and stuff. Now it’s all happening in real-time and holy shit my brain/eyes/fingers hurt. Everything is so fancy, too. Cloud doesn’t just swing his sword, he does like ten flips and a spin with every hit. Claire, my first video game crush, can aim AND move now. And shooting those freaking zombies in the head is stupid IMPOSSIBLE. But after playing the same first level for hours because losing and starting over is very much a thing, I started to get better at that too. It doesn’t feel like I can ever go back to the old way of playing, which kind of sucks, but this new way is starting to grow on me a bit.
Another game that was killing it was Metal Gear Solid. Although there isn’t a new Metal Gear game, there’s this crazy new one the same creator made called Death Stranding (I read about the other Metal Gear titles and have decided that this Hideo dude has a weird thing for messing up words. And that’s coming from a dude that technically didn’t finish High School because of time travel). Death Stranding is actually the size of the United States. Why do we need a game this huge anyway? You have to run from one end to another to do stuff. Well, to do the side missions at least. And side missions are now stupid fun! You get sick new items, in-game money, or just really fun missions. I always thought side missions were like filler stuff just to do for maybe a secret item or an extra character.
On that note, there are no more cheats or anything! Now you just buy shit to upgrade and stuff. I both love and hate this. I can bypass having to play a whole game twelve times with only one save and using no health items while reciting an Edgar Allan Poe poem backward and now just buy the unlockables. But since I ran out of money from my growth bank account I started 20 years ago after buying a PlayStation 4, a gamer chair, a VR headset, a 70’ 4K TV, a controller recharge station, an extra controller, a gamer table, a professional headset, high-speed internet, and a year supply of Slim Jims I can’t afford to buy these extras. Hey game maker! You shouldn’t expect me to spend another DIME on your game after paying half off during Summer Sale to access the coolest features.
All that being said Death Stranding gets really cool when you get to the part where you find stuff other gamers left behind to help you on your journey. Online gaming is AWESOME! I made so many more friends from the comfort of my own couch than I did at school because all we do is play games together. Even if I don’t have a console nearby I can use my pocket computer and play a soul-crushing game of Among Us (which is proof you don’t need great graphics or buckets of money to make a great game) with your friends in other countries. Just a couple of years (decades?) ago I had to be driven to my friends’ house to play games with another human being. You don’t even need to have a phone line to use the internet anymore! I’m loving this whole Wyfye thing!
I have seen people complaining about stuff I never thought would be possible 20 years later. Games have gotten overwhelming and massive. So if you like the older stuff, or if you like the new stuff, just play the stuff you like. We’re all in this together. Gamers play games, and games are everywhere now. I used to be a nerd for liking them, now I can get paid for people watching me play. Times have changed, games have changed, but gamers and people should remember that gamers are people.
I don’t really know where I was going with all this. Games have gotten really cool now, I guess.
What have you guys noticed that’s different from earlier games? Any suggestions for a person who’s missed the last 20 years of gaming? #LetMeKnowInTheComments #AmIDoingThisRight #Hashtag