The Future of Gaming

By Navie

When talking about the future of gaming, many people will start referring to all the exciting products that are coming up, like Dreamcast, the 64DD, and such titles as Final Fantasy VIII and Zelda 64. And those will be probably some of the top games ever to grace our gaming presence. But 1998's E3 revealed something to me, and I'm sure it did to a lot of other people, also. Of course, the highlight of the show was Zelda 64 and Turok II and Banjo-Kazooie and all, but did anyone read about any of the other stuff? The new fighting games that will be coming out soon, for instance. There are about five new fighting titles coming our way, and not a one of them have an ounce of originality in them. Seriously. Everything's been done before. And also take the sports market for example. Madden '99. It's essentially the same game. I mean, come on! The first one sucked, especially compared to NFL Quarterback Club, so why put yourself through such degree of torture again? Has anyone seen the new QB Club? It'll whoop Madden in a second, even though it only has slight changes and a few new options! And those Gretzky games. The first one was good, but the second one was almost exactly the same game! I couldn't tell the difference, because the only thing changed was the rosters! Kids who don't obsess with hockey and memorize the rosters found nothing new in Gretzky '98! And all those other hockey games, like Olympic and Nagano, they're the same thing as Gretzky, except a little dimmer in places. Ouch! But EA Sports is bringing in a new hockey game with awesome graphics, silky play control, excellent AI, and all the options you could want. It's basically perfect. But that's the problem. What will the hockey video game market do after that? The next year, we'll only get updated rosters. Nothing new. And we'll continue to get nothing new for years.

Now look at the platform and action games coming our way and that have just been released. Mario 64 2, Banjo-Kazooie, Conker's Quest, Turok II, and, well, Zelda 64. That's five. After Banjo, Conker, and Mario 2, how much more originality and new things can the action market get? Banjo was an awesome game, Conker will expand on that, and Mario 2 will be Mario 64 with new levels, better graphics, and a ton of new things, like Luigi, riding Yoshi, etc. But what will happen after that? We'll be treated with a bunch of Chameleon Twist-type games. And look at first-person games. For the PC and Playstation type on the N64, we've got Doom, Quake, Hexen, and Duke Nukem. I, for one, am sick of those type of games. Nothing more can be done there. At all. And we've got Turok and Goldeneye, two exceptional 3D games. And then we'll have Turok 2 coming our way. But have you seen everything Turok 2 will have? What will happen to the first-person shooting games after that? We'll get less quality, and more games like Doom. Yikes.

Then look at RPG's and Zelda. When and if (big "if") the 64DD comes out, we'll get Earthbound and a lot of other RPG's. I'm telling you, the RPG market won't last long after that, but it will probably go strong for about three years after the 64DD's release. So now take a look at Zelda. Zelda 64 is the best game ever made. I would know. I played it for nearly two whole hours. Even though it was very incomplete, it was still the best game ever. Which brings a thought to my mind. When complete, Zelda 64 will obliterate the competition. What will happen to adventure games then? And will Zelda 64DD top Zelda 64? Probably not. So then, we'll get a Zelda 1 and Zelda 2 situation, where the sequel was horrible, and Nintendo will lose interest in producing more Zelda games, and they'll stop making them for years. No more Zelda!

What I'm basically trying to say here is that the video game market is on the verge of committing suicide. It's going very strong now, but in six months to a year, if we don't start getting more originality in here, the video game market will start dying. Really. After Zelda 64DD or Zelda GB, I see nothing good coming our way. Sports has nothing to look forward to after QB Club '99 and EA's hockey title, the fighting category is basically dead, the first-person category, after Turok, will see nothing, after Mario 2 and Conker, the action market is dead, and after Zelda 64DD or Zelda GB, Zelda runs a chance of being abandoned by Nintendo. Developers had better wake up and start putting originality into their games, or develop some new technology, because we're on the verge of facing utter destruction.