I don’t know if you have discovered it yet, but gaming seems to have taken on a new roll, a new breed, a new era of pay-to-win garbage. They of course call it free-to-play, but there is nothing free about it. Free as in your lowlife roommate giving some crack so your forever hooked, coming back and paying more and more. If you want the red pill keep reading. If you are fine with your blue pill world, move on…
So far I have been around since the early gaming days of the Atari and then DOS based text adventure games. I have seen the constant evolution from 1 color to millions of colors. From beeps to full sound effects in 5.1 surround sound and music. Its been an ever changing faster and faster acceleration to better graphics and better games. I reviewed a lot of these in my 30 Years of gaming article if you want to learn more. But I can think of a few times when I thought gaming was going to fizzle out, like a fad here today gone tomorrow.
The first time was when gaming went 3d, I touch on it in my last article. I felt like graphics took a major step back. Before 3d, they used sprites, just a picture that would rotate and look like it was 3d, but it was an illusion. Once they made the shift to building characters in 3d, actual models, they were very crude and blocky, not works of art like before. To me, it was a major setback, but as they years went by, computers got faster and could handle more polygons and they made it back to realistic again. Computers just were not ready yet, just like with Virtual Reality, great concept, and movies like Lawnmower Man glamorized it, but CPUs just couldn’t do it. Hopefully the Oculus Rift would bring the dream back.
So now we are moving onto an era of tablet gaming. The big manufactures seems to be pushing the tablets so much and almost wanted us to believe this is the next gen gaming console. But after playing at least 60 games, all which I get from the top 10-15 lists out their, both for Android and IOS, they are all crap. I have a Nexus 7 2013 and an IPad. I have not played any game over a week and if I did it was a casual based one like Clash of Clans or a puzzle game. But after discovering people are PAYING serious money to get ahead in these games, what is the point? Why do I want to compete with someone that throws $10,000 at a GAME!!! Yes someone in my wife’s guild in one of these MMORPGs spent $10,000! People spend thousands for powerups, ore, minerials, coins, whatever the crap they call it in their world and they get ahead, simply by paying more.
That’s a serious problem when it comes to what I view as a game. I want to compete using my intellect, or my fast reflexes, (no so fast as I used to be, LOL), my witts, or just plain luck! So now I am competing with someone that wants to spend more money to get ahead. That’s like buying a date instead of getting to know someone and earning it. Who are these people that would drop thousands to get ahead in a virtual world? And why? Is it so that their life can have more meaning? Is it an addiction? Are companies simply just exploiting us?
Lets look at one of the biggest out there. Its a game called Candy Crush. Its very much a pay to win, but not at first. Its a simple jewel matching game, get 3 of the same type and clear them. Get more and your can clear entire rows. Then as your progress its gets more tricky. Blank areas are added, or blocks that require getting hit twice, etc. Bottom line is, eventually the puzzle is impossible without using special powerups that cost money, cold hard cash. Its only $1 for 3 of them, come on, we need to get to the next level! Oh and there might be 300 more levels by the way, on a progressive scale harder. So this game was the top grossing game for awhile until people started realizing that or did they? Maybe they just got sick of it?
So is this a new way of making a game? Make something so addictive you want to pay more, but it only seems like a little bit at first and then gets out of control. It any case, ones you learn this, you have basically taken the red pill and won’t enjoy most tablet games ever again. Until someone makes something more creative and fun to play again. I don’t mind paying $3-5 for a little cool game, there are few puzzle ones I found worth it, but nothing long lasting. Shoot I might even want to get an old text adventure game, lets bring back Legend of the Red Dragon!
That’s my rant for now, lets bring back gaming, please stop spending money on this crap so they will make better games again!