PC Lamer

I’m at the dentist’s office yesterday, and I got there a little early, so I’m reading the available magazines, one of which is PC Gamer. Here’s what flipping through a few issues of this magazine told me:

May as well get a Mac!

Seriously, when I briefly switched to Linux, and then openly contemplated switching to Mac, folks told me, “But but games! You’ll be in a vast computer game wasteland!”

What PC Gamer told me was, “Don’t worry kid, you’re already there!” Here are three types of computer games I don’t play:

  • First-Person Shooters
  • Real-Time Strategy
  • Massively Multiplayer Online RPGs

Here are all the types of computer games companies are ever planning on releasing again:

  • First-Person Shooters
  • Real-Time Strategy
  • Massively Multiplayer Online RPGs
  • Simulations

As for that fourth category, I like me some old-skool Railroad Tycoon or SimCity 2000, but current simulations have developed to a level of complexity that you may as well work mission control on a shuttle flight for a relaxing break from them. SimCity 3000 and other fairly recent simulation games require so much time and work that I would expect them to come with a paycheck and health insurance.

So no more straight-up RPGs like Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, or Fallout. That’s the sort of thing I dig on, but it would seem I’ve bought my last brand new one. An article in one of the issues pretty much confirmed this. Game companies, to justify spending the money on development, have to move more copies than the mere PC game market can deliver, which means it’s important to be able to port them over to consoles, on which those RPGs don’t do very well.

(And don’t get me started on console RPGs. Animated cutscene! Fight slimes! Animated cutscene! Fight slimes! Animated cutscene! Fight differently-colored slimes! Yawn. Might as well pop in an anime, and pause it every few seconds to do push-ups.)

Fortunately, the console game arena is getting fairly more diverse and there are more games coming out for the PS2 that I’m interested in. But it pains me that I may never play a good computer RPG again.

The conventional wisdom is that, if you want a good computer RPG, something like World of Warcraft is the way to go. I have a friend who keeps pushing me to play WoW. But here’s the math: $50 for the game. $200 for the new video card that will play the game. And then, after dropping $250, I get to pay, what, $15 a month for the privilege of actually playing the game? And the advantage of playing online rather than not? I get to play along with other people, which I don’t want to do anyway. So, no, that’s not going to happen.

I guess, then, there’s more Diablo 2 in my future. And I’ll crank up Icewind Dale II or maybe Morrowind yet again. And I’ll wish there were people out there who wanted me to give them money enough to make a game I could buy from them.

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9 Responses to PC Lamer

  1. jerm says:

    Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, coming to the PC sometime this year. Its the followup to Morrowind, and it looks great. The good news is you dont have to play it online (in fact, you CAN’T play it online). The bad news is you will probably have to upgrade that video card.

    Oh, and Civilization 4 =)

  2. Shane Bailey says:

    Try Guild Wars. It’s basically a Diablo/Dungeon Seige type Massive Multiplayer game, but free after the initial purchase of the game.

  3. CounterProductive says:

    Individual tastes obviously differ, and I am easier to plase than yourself Dave, but for my 2 cents, there are several RPGs for consoles. I really liked: Final Fantasy 10, Kingdom Hearts, & Gladius (great combat system, not a great RPG, but liked it anyway) for the PS2. Granted, if fighting and cut-scenes are a huge no-no for you, you might not like them, but there are appealing elements in them.

    Personally I love the “explore” motif, and that’s why I liked the original Tomb Raider so much (not an RPG, but still).

    I am STILL waiting for Disgaea: Hour of Darkness to fall in price. And while not Strictly an RPG, Culdcept is great fun.

    You could always play through Wizardry: Bane of the Cosmic Forge, if you are consistently not finding what you like in RPGs. ;)

  4. Dave says:

    I played a couple of Final Fantasy Games. Seven and, I think, three or six (via an emulator). Well, I started both of them. Pretty quickly it seemed like the only reason I needed to be there was to make the characters walk from cutscene to cutscene and fight slimes.

    I do like Culdcept, and that’s one of the games I enjoy having on the PS2. I’ve also enjoyed the Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance games (not to be confused with the PC Baldur’s Gate games — totally different creature), Ratchet and Clank, and a few others. On the PS2 I tend to like fairly easy platform games and puzzle games. My only other complaint about PS2 games you reference: $50 is a lot to pay for a game that will only last 10 hours or so, so I rarely buy any PS2 games new, and instead wait for them to go on super-sale or become “Greatest Hits.”

  5. GeoX says:

    I enjoy both console and computer RPGs, but it’s true: there ain’t much on either front that exactly thrills me lately, it’s true…however, as for FFVI, de gustibus and all, but I still maintain that, regardless of whether the gameplay does anything for you, no RPG has a better story. I know this has nothing to do with anything, but I feel a kneejerk need to defend it. So yeah.

    If I were you, I would maybe seek out a copy of Final Fantasy Tactics. The original PSX game, not the storyless, childishly-easy GBA sequel. It has deep, involving gameplay, and it is ferociously addictive.

  6. Uncle Stewart says:

    I think the more important question, Dave, that we are all overlooking here, is this: how did the dentist appointment go, anyway?

  7. Dave says:

    Thanks for asking, Stewart! It was just fine. I had gone in for a checkup about a month ago and was nervous because I hadn’t been there in a while, but there was nothing wrong except one of my old fillings had become chipped. So in this visit, he just replaced that filling.

  8. rone says:

    Another genre that is missing in action is the adventure game. No more Grim Fandango or another Monkey Island game out of LucasArts (probably the last bastion of adventure games).

    What i’d love is another game by the creators of Planescape: Torment. KOTOR 2 was gearing to be an awesome game until LA urged the developer to deep-six the game so they could publish it in time for Christmas. Total shitheads.

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