Whether you’re hardcore or just a casual gamer, its easy for any game to catch your attention if the visuals scream pure awesomeness. I mean, just give Crysis one look for Christ’s sake. That game is literally the epitome of graphics today. Despite being out in the market for 2 years now, it still raises the bar in terms of visuals and can drop a couple of jaws every time it’s shown running on the highest settings. But does that mean it provides us the best gaming experience ever?
Try comparing today’s games to those of say, during the Super Nintendo days. What you’ll see are simple sprites and scaling effects versus your usual array of eye-popping high-res textures, light-blinding HDR and quality blur effects. Looks like a win for the games of present eh. But wait a second, why do the old school games seem more playable and, um…..fun? Gamers who were not present during the old-school days might say otherwise, but if you actually were one of those who owned a Super Nes or Genesis back then, you’ll see how life-less games of today have become.
A lot of 16-bit games had the perfect balance when it came to showing off the hardware and providing crazy fun gameplay at the same time. Look at Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy 3/6 for the RPG side. They both looked amazing for their time (they still do today if you don’t mind sprites) and played fantastic, compared to a lot of Japanese Role Playing Games currently out. How about Sonic, Donkey Kong, Mario World, Super Metroid and a whole lot of other games. All these are still fun to play because their gameplay just keeps pulling you in.
Obviously if I had to choose one, gameplay is the way to go. Mind blowing graphics wear off over time, but good gameplay can provide a timeless experience. Its good that Microsoft and Sony are investing a lot into doing innovations with motion technology (eventhough it looks like they are just trying to take a stab at the Wii’s success). New innovations could lead to better gameplay experiences. Let’s just hope that this doesn’t mean more of that casual trash the Wii’s been throwing out lately.