Mobile Gaming, gift or a curse?

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by Excessum13221, Jun 28, 2014.

  1. Excessum13221

    Excessum13221 New Member

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    Lo and behold, this past Thursday a game that I've loved ever since its release on the Nintendo DS got an English Android port. The game in question is something called The World Ends With You, a japanese produced RPG made by Square Enix, so naturally I anticipated angst, teenagers and crazy hairstyles. They did not disappoint. But I digress, the game was finally released onto the Google Play store and I've been waiting for this ever since its iOS release a while back.


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    Very colorful and readable. I definitely know what's going on. Is that an elephant?


    Nostalgia anectodes aside, what really struck me as odd was the price. The game originally retailed for about 40 dollars on the DS, a normal price for a game that isn't a big name title. The new price on the Play store was about 18 dollars. Now that had me wondering, what did they cut to get that price down? Or is there just a different pricing schema on the mobiles. What struck me the most was the IAP's (In App Purchases) that were included. Now on the original version, there was no such thing as microtransactions. You played the game just like everyone else and the best players got the cream of the crop while everyone else just had to practice and get better.


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    A phrase I heard quite a lot before Dark Souls


    So now, being curious, I take a look or two at the IAPs available in the iOS version. It's basically paying microtransaction for healing, crafting and currency. So pretty much cheats. I'm straight up serious. you're paying extra to cheat your way through the game. Now give me my walking stick right now and call me an old codger if I'm being bullheaded about this, but I think that it takes away from the fun of the game. I remember playing Contra, plugging at it with every bit of free time that I did. I remember trying to move that truck in pokemon to get a Mew. I remember throwing myself at a boss endless times and respawning over and over and over just to get past him because he had the sweetest gear in the game, dying countless times and watching horribly long cutscenes until I could recite them from heart.




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    I've fought this guy so much times I can recite all the dialogue in French


    The point I'm driving at here is that either I lucked out, got better, or just quit the game. Video games are the only form of entertainment that do that to you. "You want to enjoy the game? Beat this boss". Imagine if a book did that to you. "You want to read chapter 3? Describe in detail the driving subplots of the novel so far and what morals the author is trying to convey". And if you got it wrong, the book would close itself and not open up until you got it. See? Not so fun. Call me old timey, but there's just something fulfilling about beating a boss that's been troubling you for a while. You get that intense moment of "YES!!!!!!" and you feel so overjoyed at yourself, until you come up against another immovable object, anyway. It's a time-sink, but it's an enjoyable one.


    I'm not bashing on mobile gamers, don't get me wrong. Having only recently joined the Android Revolution, I enjoy my mindless games on my phone, they make the long busride from Sando to UWI and back a bit more bearable. What I AM bashing on is the blatant selling of cheats and other "powerup" items. The games are cheap and the companies need to make money somehow, but this just feels like stealing the entertainment away from me. Case in point, I have 2 little cousins who enjoy games to death. They both have their tablets and play such wonderful games like Angry Birds, Candy Crush and Plants vs Zombies. They also like to consider themselves "gamers". So me, being me, decided to run a little experiment. I dusted off my trusty Nintendo64 (Which wasn't really dusty, it's right beside me as I type this, on and playing Super Mario 64) and booted up some games for them. It took them a combined time of 45 minutes to work out a way to get inside the castle in Super Mario 64 and then another hour to figure out that you have to jump into the portraits to advance the game. They both avoided the Toads stationed throughout the castle and skipped through the dialogue as fast as they could. Upon finally getting into the Bob-omb battlezone picture, they proceeded to die as much as they could, then ask me to buy them extra lives. The looks on their faces when I told them that you can't buy extra lives, it broke my poor heart.


    I couldn't take it much more. I gave them something waaaaaay easier. Super Mario World for the SNES. Now this one they enjoyed and seemed to be good at. After me telling them once again that they couldn't actually just buy extra lives and that they'd have to earn them, they decided to play it super safe and move at a crawl so that nothing could surprise them and take away their valuable lives. They came across the empty yellow blocks and noted what they were, so I told them that you had to unlock them to get those. They just both shrugged and asked me to unlock them and how much it would cost. I could hear Shigeru Miyamoto crying out in my head.


    Perhaps I just have lazy cousins, but I truly believe that this way we're gravitating towards "pay-to-win" games is killng what little is left of our tradition as hardcore gamers. Now I know what you're gonna say. "If you don't like the games, don't play them!" "They aren't all like that!". No, they're not all like that, but a striking marjority of them are. How much times has somebody bought a powerup in Candy Crush just to bypass one level that's giving them trouble? Extra lives? In-game currency? It's just not my style. As far as me not having to play them, that's where this little part comes in. If the industry DOES shift over to this model, then that's what the major game companies are going to start to make, it's all supply and demand. There's a supply for those types of games, so they'll make more. So sooner or later, I'll HAVE to play them or just sit around and play nostalgia games.


    As a final comment, I want to say that I'm NOT bashing people who play mobile games, or the companies who make them. The games are directed towards people who live fast, bust lives and they need quick games with fast plays and can't afford to sit and spend hours fighting the same boss over and over to get that damned Keychain. There will always be Hardcore games, just like there's always gonna be Casual games. Enjoy what you like. If you don't mind shelling out the extra dosh to pay for cheats, then bully for you. I don't like the thought of apparently cheating my way through a game that I want to enjoy. Different strokes for different folks.

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