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The Legacy(?) of The Noob Effect December 21, 2008

Posted by Jin in Games.

It’s been quite a while now, as I continuously delayed posting this, but to continue on the trend of the responses to that Noob Effect video (over a month later):

As technology develops, sometimes you can’t help but notice that a lot of the times, video games start to transcend beyond what they originally were, and even start to develop into something else. A great example as mentioned previously is the Metal Gear Solid franchise. Although action-oriented, it also has a very intricate and at times complicated plot that the player progresses through, and it’s pretty essential to playing (understanding) the game. It’s not really one of those that you can just press Start and Skip each cut-scene.

But let’s talk about the supposedly lessening ‘hardcore’ market. With these next-gen gaming consoles that have ridiculous 3D rendering capabilities, it’s hard for companies to not try and show off what they’re able to come up with. It’s hard not to make use of all that amazing hardware. In turn we end up with games that push the envelope, graphics-wise and game-play-wise. But most notable, of course, are the graphics.

However, we start to approach a slippery slope. If we can have all these amazing graphics, it’d be a waste not to use them. Put them in more often! We can render this human being so realistically, some people will be hard pressed to even tell it’s 3D and not a digital recording of an actual person. We spent so much money on this render, and if we wanted it to be more interactive with the user, it’ll cost even more. Let’s not bother; just make it static and unchangeable. Hell, let’s add more. Cut-scenes! This is crucial to the plot. Cut-scene! Cut-scene!

Where does it end? Instead of a game, we sometimes end up with a 3D rendered movie. Visually stunning? Yes. Costly? Dear lord, yes. Plot-heavy? Possibly. Entertainment for hours? Sure. Game-play?

Uh. Let me get back to you on that.

I may be way off from the mark here, as I’m mostly going out on a limb. However, it does seem that a majority of the ‘hard-core’ video games nowadays are seeing an interesting trend toward ‘playable movies’. But now people are saying that these will not dominate the market; that’s where this whole ‘n00b Effect’ thing is coming from.

I noticed that one of the biggest thing that a lot of ‘hard-core gamers’ were complaining about the Wii was that the graphics were the same as that of the GameCube. But, as annson mentioned, Nintendo most likely did not intend for the Wii to be graphics heavy because they focused on other elements of games. The ‘fun’ elements. And maybe, in a way, it’s exactly the fact that the Wii has not-so-realistic graphics that enables people to relate it to ‘video games’, and not a ‘playable movie’. This contributes in part (and only in part; it is definitely not the only deciding factor) to the fact that I hear some people referring to the Wii as “The Party Console”, merely something to be brought out when there is a group of people around to play it, like Twister or board games (you guys and Catan…LOL!). Beyond that, it comes down to the game selection and the capability of having 4 local players, rather than 4+ online players. But wait, does that mean that it all comes down to the online experience now? Hmm… That doesn’t really seem all that right, does it?

But really, the hard-core gamers don’t have all that much to be afraid of. The companies aren’t going to forget about those people altogether. That’s just stupid, marketing-wise. It’s still a huge revenue source for them, after all. They’re just deciding to expand. Isn’t expansion a good thing?

Oh wait, that’s right. They’re not really all interested in bringing ‘quality’ games to the masses — they just want to make even more money than they already are making. Or are they? Dun-dun-dun!

Oh, money. You drive people insane.



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