Friday, June 20, 2008

Generation Gap


Time truly does fly when you're having fun. We're already three years into this generation, and many of the big-name franchises from last generation have received updates. How many of these sequels truly lived up to the hype though? I'm going to take a look at the series upgrades that did it right, as well as the ones that did it wrong.

The sequels that got it wrong:

Grand Theft Auto IV (pictured above):

Hands down the most hyped up release of this generation, Grand Theft Auto IV was a disappointment compared to past series iliterations in nearly every aspect. Liberty City was supposed to feel like a living, breathing metropolis this time around - so why are the NPCs still as dumb as bricks? Also, the single player storyline was clichéd and unoriginal - the whole "immigrant comes to America with great expectations but ends up let down" is a story that has been done numerous times before. The realistic visuals also took away from the imaginative design of past series' entries, and Saints Row has far superior multiplayer. I'd take the PS2 trilogy over this mediocre release any day.

Halo 3

The original Halo and its sequel were both two of the greatest multiplayer FPSs of all time. I wasn't expecting much from the single player portion of Halo 3, but its multiplayer - which was among the best of last generation -
truly let me down. Think Halo 2, only worse - Bungie tweaked certain aspects that they should have left alone (such as making the grenades have less of a damage effect), and the vast majority of the levels suffer from piss-poor design. I could care less about where the series goes next after this lackluster showing.

Sonic the Hedgehog

Sonic's 3D track record has been pretty bumpy thus far, but it sank to an all time low with the release of 2006's abysmal Sonic the Hedgehog. Sega promised that this would be a rebirth for the series (hence the fact that the game bears the same name as the original release on the Genesis). This is one of those titles that has almost no redeeming qualities - an absolutely atrocious camera, ho-hum level design, and sloppy controls hinder Sonic's first outing on the new generation. It's hard to get excited about any new adventures from the speedy blue hedgehog after this abomination. It's almost as if Sega is testing to see when people will finally stop buying Sonic the Hedgehog titles.

Middle ground

Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Mario Kart Wii

I'm actually enjoying both of these titles quite a bit, but I was expecting more of an upgrade than what was offered. These two titles are definitely worth picking up, but don't expect anything truly revolutionary from them.

The titles that got it right:

Super Mario Galaxy
Absolutely stunning. Super Mario Galaxy is the only title of this generation so far to truly blow me away. Imaginative level design, innovative play control, and excellent boss battles round out this masterpiece. Super Mario Galaxy is truly a masterpiece, and every self-respecting gamer should give it a try. Read my full review here.


Devil May Cry 4 - Sure, the back tracking got monotonous after awhile, but Devil May Cry 4 was still an engrossing experience. Read my full review here.

Ridge Racer 6 - Sure, it didn't sport a fancy career mode and a seemingly interminable amount of cars and upgrades ala Forza 2 - still, I found Ridge Racer 6 to be the most enjoyable racer of this generation thus far. Many of the reviews hammered it for being a little too "old school", but in terms of pure fun factor and track design, Ridge Racer 6 is the game to beat.



And so that wraps this post up. I'm sure I'm going to get more than a few comments stating things such as

"This guy has no idea what he's talking about" and "U like riDge racer Lol ur Gay", but that's the beauty of the comments section of Blogger.














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8 Comments:

At 7:24 PM, Blogger FUNNYMAN said...

It seems like we are always going to disagree when it comes to GTA 4, Halo 3, and Mario Galaxy.

 
At 5:53 AM, Blogger gnome said...

We, on the other hand, will mostly agree. A brilliant piece of anti-hype writing in the boring age of over-marketed 10/10 games. Excellent work here ross.

 
At 10:40 PM, Blogger Tom said...

Regarding GTA IV and this comment:

"immigrant comes to America with great expectations but ends up let down"

How far did you actually get into the storyline? Yes, this is what we're presented with at the beginning but Niko's story goes much deeper. The GTA series has always had excellent storylines and I believe GTA IV is by far the best in this sense.

Saints Row has superior multiplayer? While I agree that GTA IV has numerous problems when it comes to multiplayer it's far more stable than Saints Row ever was and is not confined to small areas like Saints Row was.

With that said I do agree that the realism aspects took half of the fun away. San Andreas was packed with so many features (and was incredibly fun!) that you do feel GTA IV has took a slight step back in that department. I am, however, looking forward to see what Saints Row 2 has to offer.

While GTA IV was massively over-hyped I do believe that it delivers on the hype, unlike titles including Halo 3.

 
At 10:58 AM, Blogger FUNNYMAN said...

You made some valid points there Tom. Although I disagree with you on Halo 3, I concur with you about GTA 4. I also noticed that Ross criticized the storyline in GTA 4, yet he failed to ridicule the plot in Super Mario Galaxy.

 
At 2:43 PM, Blogger Tom said...

Ok, to be honest Halo 3 was the first one in the series I'd played and I seriously didn't see what the big deal was. The singleplayer was pretty lacklustre and does nothing new in my opinion.

As for the multiplayer it's fun, yes, but not better than half of the PC FPS games I've played and nowhere near as good as COD 4.

 
At 5:40 PM, Anonymous Mark said...

I totally disagree with you on the GTA IV and Halo 3 remarks. I love the GTA story and Halo 3 multiplayer was a step up from Halo 2 because of the fact that the Assault Rifle is now the default weapon.

But your right about Super Mario Galaxy

 
At 6:47 PM, Blogger fatherkrishna said...

An excellent synopsis Ross! My sons own halo 3 and GTA4 and I haven't been tempted to play even half an hour of either...

Ah good to be here! Sorry I haven't commented for a while, but the time I have for blogging and commenting have been severely cut down by the daily grind.

Great to see Pro-gamer remains a quality site with excellent posts!
keep up the good work my friend!!!

 
At 6:52 PM, Blogger DEITRIX said...

none of these games really did anything for me... RRacer6 I have not played, but I do like racing. Might pick it up for a couple bucks if you say its really good... Even tho I want to give GRID a try also.

 

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