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Op Ed

IGN - Lying to the Masses.
Many of us cut our teeth on hard games. We played Mega Man, Castlevania, and Mario, and when we think of licensed titles from the past they too had the core gameplay that lived up to titles of that era. Rather than pandering to the masses and writing it off as "hitting the mainstream" I'm in favor of a little deception. Rather than sacrificing quality to appeal to the casual masses, this industry is in dire need of publishers and developers that'll take casual licenses or mainstream content and deliver a little hardcore gaming tucked away in there for players to discover. It worked 20 years ago, and it worked well enough to make many of us lifelong gamers.

GameSetWatch - "The Magic Resolution": It's Not All Fun And Games.
Dear Esther seems to have spawned a new trend in indie development: the game that isn't a game. Since Esther, we've seen Judith - a low-fi walk around an unsettling castle, a retelling of the opera Bluebeard - The Path - Tale of Tales' controversial and heavily symbolic version of Little Red Riding Hood - Small Worlds - a pure-exploration game, in which the player slowly uncovers a collection of snowglobe-esque environments - and now a couple of my own pieces. My ongoing Half-Life 2 mod project Post Script is an attempt to see how little interaction you can get away with in something that's still ostensibly game-like. Nestlings just gets rid of the game altogether, and simply uses the Source engine to tell a short story.

GamesRadar - Are some games more about luck than skill? Thanks Joker961.
Sometimes, you can rely on luck to progress. Veteran mode in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare ended up being so ridiculously hard in places, the best tactic is often to just sprint towards your next checkpoint, ducking left and right occasionally in an ironic nod to the random walk and hope you make it there alive. Some GR editors swear by this. Yes, we're that good at games. It may take a few tries, but more often than not, you'll soon get lucky and make the unlikely run between the bullets to safety.

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2. Re: Op Ed Jan 8, 2010, 10:42 Wallshadows
 
Maybe it's just me, but I think the quality of epic, story-driven games peaked during the original Playstation (even SNES) years where JRPGs dominated a good portion of the RPG market.

Back then, it was pretty common to find titles which involved dozens of hours spent from start to finish. Now, people and most developers seem to get amazed/put off by a title which touts 20+ hours of gameplay.

of course, there are exceptions to this such as Bioware, SquareEnix, and Bethesda.

I remember in Final Fantasy VIII when I was trying to look for the White seeD ship in the south and I was around the 40 hour point with another CD to go. Good times.
 
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