Can I just say that I’m tired of seeing only sequels? I just want to go out on a limb and say that to the entire video game industry right now: Please. Stop. With. Just. The. Sequels.
Now, allow me to back up a few steps before I continue that thought. Today was truly a stellar day for all of E3, past and present. I honestly can’t remember the last time that an E3 day was this monumental, this exciting, and this surprising. I was right there with everyone who was cheering about Donkey Kong Country Returns, Goldeneye, Twisted Metal, Metal Gear Solid 3, Star Fox and Mario Kart on the 3DS, and the like.
These things excited me, moved me, made me want to run away from work and drive straight to California without a care in the world but getting my hands on everything I could. The games, oh the games, they were so sweet and plentiful today in a way that they weren’t yesterday. Yes, I’m pointing at you Microsoft, what with your Kinectimals, tech demos, and software that was so under-impressive compared to what your slick hardware is actually capable of. Today, we got the secret sauce of E3 and we got it heaped on in ways we haven’t in some time.
Yet, for me, something was missing. There was a strange hollow ringing that, despite all the excitement, despite all the things I can’t wait to experience, I couldn’t get away from. Where were the new IPs? Where were the original games? Why was I staring down at a barrel full of games that, while good, I had played in some way, shape or form — whether it was on an old console or just in prequel form.
While gamers clearly love themselves some sequels, have we become this numb to the unoriginality machine that is dominating our past time? I remember years ago, the reason I first got on board with the XBox 360 was because we were seeing new IPs at E3. Things like Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, Mass Effect and the like. But this year, it was all shooters. Likewise, Sony shocked me by showing just how many new IPs it’s embraced in the console generation in the last couple of years with LBP, Uncharted and more, but then they didn’t show off anything new to continue that tradition. Where were the things like Last Guardian, and the other new titles that thrilled me the way they have been in Sony’s race to claim back the console throne?
And don’t even get me started on Nintendo, who keeps recycling the same handful of characters again and again ad nauseum. Have we been so starved for hardcore table scraps from them that we ignore fresh new things like Epic Mickey in favor of a recycled Donkey Kong Country Returns, or a re-made Goldeneye that, from all I can tell, is really just the same in name alone?
Am I saying I’m not excited about playing all of these games with everybody? Not at all. I’m actually on the edge of my seat waiting for some of the things announced today. Like I said before, this is one of the biggest and coolest days of E3 that I can remember. In fact, I’m already scrambling to make room for the Nintendo 3DS and trying to plan out everything that I want for it.
But I can’t help but feel that there’s a missed opportunity. A hole that’s left on the shelf, just the right size for a couple of things I’ve never seen before. And now I won’t ever know what they were supposed to be.
So what do you guys think? Are we seeing too many sequels or refreshes, and not enough original games?