DAN STINEHART: Comic/Graphic Artist

Seventh Gaming Generation: My Afterthoughts

Seventh Generation of games peoples!

Even though the 7th gen is not officially over (or during the time this blog was first published), I would like to share some thoughts about it. In my opinion, this was the era where my philosophical outlook towards the industry skyrocketed. Like-minded topics/debates/arguments/discussions regarding the business models, diversified software library, real-life topics, among others.

It was also the first time my love for the industry began slowly slipping away (as mentioned here), not knowing what the future will hold for one of my most invested leisures. I’ve also grown tired of discussing game experiences and more towards the “open-minded-like-minded-philosophical-free-thinking-intelligentsia” viewpoints not many of my friends tend to be interested in. (Only a few do.) For me, it somewhat felt like yet another coming-of-age moment in regards to my passion for gaming (the earliest perhaps being Ocarina of Time). Maybe I’m thinking too hard or too much about this, I don’t know.

Putting aside that and whatever thoughts I have over the future of gaming, now unto the fun stuffs! Below are some of my gaming highlights from the 7th gen. And with that, I shall begin!

NOTE: Keep in mind I’ve a number of games I’m still interested in from this generation despite haven’t purchased since this blog was posted. 3DS and eShop are omitted due to being categorized as eighth-generation. If ever I need to make revisions at a later date, I will do so. For now, the list is what it is. With that, feel free to share your comments if you like.

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SYSTEMS BOUGHT (In order, by date, & first games purchased w/ system)

  • Nintendo DS: December 2004*; Super Mario 64 DS, Asphalt
  • PSP 1000 model (Value Pack): May 2005*; Wipeout Pure, Kill Bill Vol. 1 UMD
  • Nintendo DS Lite: June 11, 2006 (launch day)
  • Wii: April 1, 2007; Zelda: Twilight Princess, Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam, Sonic and the Secret Rings
  • Xbox 360 20GB HDD (discounted): July 18, 2008; GTA IV, The Orange Box
  • PS3 Slim 120GB HDD: Sept 17, 2009; LittleBigPlanet GOTY Edition
  • Macbook Pro 13″: April 13, 2010; Steam**

*Date not exact/close to accuracy.
**The Steam for Mac client made its debut in May that year, also the first time I experienced the service.

Additional Notes: I decided to wait to buy the PSP a month after my grandmother’s funeral given I was originally going to purchase it prior, but decided against it. I still miss her, sigh. I gave away my original DS probably a year after my DS Lite investment (which by the way was succumbed to the Crack Epidemic from the small percentage of early adopters). You read that right: I bought my Wii on April Fool’s Day, had to wake up at 5:30 for the 7:00am lineup ala the local Walmart (around the time the console was in high demand). Sold my Xbox 360 in spring 2011 due to lack of interest. My DS Lite and PSP were supposedly missing/stolen in late 2011/early 2012. As far as 7th gen systems go, I currently own a Wii and PS3 Slim.

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FAVORITE GAMES BY SYSTEM (also date of when first purchased)

DS: New Super Mario Bros. (mid-summer 2006)

  • Classic Mario platforming with modern gameplay elements. Highly recommended for the platformer enthusiast.

PSP: Crush (June 24, 2007)

  • Vaguely heard about it on a GameSpot gameplay video. Bought it shortly after. I also love the protagonist’s name, lol.

Wii: Super Mario Galaxy (December 2007)

  • A fantastic addition to the Mario series. Currently my favorite 3D Mario platformer (along with SM64 & Sunshine; 2nd & 3rd respectively).

Xbox 360: Mass Effect (September 2008)

  • Perhaps the first game to make me want to buy a 360. Also the first and only game on the console I broke the 500 achievement point mark. Also, Garrus :3

PS3: Dark Souls (October 12, 2011)

  • Originally the nod was going to be its spiritual predecessor Demon’s Souls and even though I’ve yet to beat Dark Souls, my current playthrough was more than enough to give it the highest honor.

Mac: Torchlight (2012-ish)

  • Recommended by a friend. I never experienced Diablo (or similar) before and I really really love this dungeon crawler (despite the backlog and all).

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MISCELLANEOUS CATEGORIES

FAVORITE SOUNDTRACKS (+ my personal favorites)

  • Demon’s Souls (Flamelurker, Maiden Astraea, Return to Slumber, Storm King)
  • Journey (I Was Born for This, Temptations, Threshold)
  • NieR (Emil Sacrifice, Song of the Ancients Devola, The Ultimate Weapon)
  • Mirror’s Edge (Edge and Flight, Kate – Puzzle, New Eden)
  • Super Mario Galaxy (Battlerock Galaxy, Comet Observatory 3, Luma, Space Junk Galaxy)
  • Xenoblade Chronicles (Agniratha Day, Guar Plains, Mechonis Field, Satorl Marsh Night, Valak Mountain Night)

FAVORITE CHARACTERS/NPCs

  • Bayonetta (Bayonetta)
  • Dowasi “Tommy” Towadi (Prey)
  • Garrus Vakarian (Mass Effect series)
  • GLaDOS (Portal series)
  • Midna (Zelda: Twilight Princess)
  • Nathan Drake (Uncharted series)
  • Sackperson (LittleBigPlanet)
  • Wheatley (Portal 2)

MOST UNDER-APPRECIATED/OVERLOOKED

  • Demon’s Souls*
  • Metroid: Other M**
  • Mirror’s Edge
  • NieR
  • Xenoblade Chronicles

*The game’s NOT that hard! ;D

**I sold the game shortly after my purchase, and later regretted it. I blame the so-called “negative” feedback of all things.

MOST UNDER-WHELMING

  • Braid
  • Crysis 1 & 2
  • Heavy Rain
  • Quantum Conundrum
  • Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 1
  • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
  • Yoshi’s Island DS

WORST EXPERIENCE: Dungeon Defenders

  • It never amazes me when computer ports neglect implementing ACTUAL PC/Mac options to balance performance and what have you. After [attempting] to play the game for an hour with a friend, I immediately deleted it off my Mac. I’m aware it’s considered a decent fun game but based on what I went thru, I was unable to run it effectively. Fortunately for me it’s by far the first and only Mac-compatible game I had such issues over.

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HONORABLE MENTIONS: 3D Dot Game Heroes, Assassin’s Creed II, Batman: Arkham City, The Binding of Issac, Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles, Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin, Daxter, Flower, Kirby’s Epic Yarn, The Last Story, LittleBigPlanet, LostWinds, N+, The Orange Box, Outland, Phantasy Star Portable 2, Prey, Ridge Racer, Vanquish, WarioWare: Touched!, WipeOut Pure.

Dan

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4 responses

  1. Regarding your choices,they’re pretty much in line to what we’ve all read from your blogs and opinions (via tweets) during this gen. Nothing out of nature in that sense.

    As for your gaming future, I think I’m going to follow a similar strategy I did this gen. Wait for 2-3 years before making a purchase. I bought Xbox 360 in 2008 because at that point it had the games I wanted. Don’t think I’ve regretted the decision even if an occasional PS3 game like Journey has made me wish I owned a PS3 too.

    With the support Mac has been getting lately,I think you’ll soon be having access to a number of old PC classics via GOG and then of course there’s always Steam. ;)

    2012/11/09 at 5:55 PM

    • Dan J Stine

      I’m considering getting the soon-to-come new iMac model. Granted my Macbook Pro is still in good shape (mid 2009 model that’s compatible w/ Mountain Lion) but my reasons are not just for the sake of gaming but also for work-related purposes (I think I mentioned this before). Still, I know a few people who I can talk to if I have any questions over what Macs would benefit me. (I know for a fact I’ll never invest in a retina display Macbook Pro due to replacement-esque concerns.)

      I’ll see what Wii U will offer (along with the other consoles) and if any in any way refuse to give what I want, then I’ll reiterate my stance and take secondary measures. Simple really.

      2012/11/10 at 10:50 PM

  2. James

    Ansh basically said what I was going to say in that we had a rough idea of your best picks regarding the seventh generation thanks to Twitter conversations. Prey 2 and especially Dark Souls were strong guesses (replaces Demon Souls on your list or was that an accidental omission?).

    Admittedly I was surprised that Uncharted 2 made your list of underwhelming titles. REALLY? I thought that (like Matt) you would collect, experience and appreciate the trilogy. I noticed that Braid made the top of that list for a good reason: it’s a shiny coat of graphical paint over tired and confusing gameplay. As far as indie platformer/puzzlers go, Braid is a dud, with LIMBO taking the award for creative gameplay, storytelling and artistic quality.

    I don’t have much in the way of seventh-generation favorites to share, but since you’re a fellow Wii, PS3, Mac and 3DS owner (I count the 3DS as you can play DS/DSi games):

    – Trauma Team (Wii): varied gameplay, the well-written dialogue, the characters
    – Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2 (DS): great story, characters’ professional relationships, varied uses for the stylus when performing operations and other tasks
    – Wario Land: Shake It (Wii): old-school 2D gameplay, artwork and GREAT soundtrack
    – Left 4 Dead series (PC/Mac): finally, a FSP that stresses cooperation and HARSHLY penalizes players for being true douches
    – Cities in Motion (PC/Mac): a relaxing and creative modern-day take on Transport Tycoon (passengers only though)
    – Sonic CD (s/b Sonic HD?, PSN): The game that caused my grades to slide in the mid-1990s, it retained the perfect time-traveling gameplay of the original but includes the Japanese soundtrack, which kicks A$$! The game has a hidden interpretation for me but I won’t post it here.
    – Etrian Odyssey III (DS): The game allows aspiring cartographers/explorers to take a break from exploring the deadly labyrinth and chart the ocean while fulfilling quests. It even has a loose story that’s worth completing; a first for the series.*

    *BTW – when the heck is EO IV coming?

    And to all of you readers – I was that friend who attempted to play Dungeon Defenders with Dan. I will state that the game ran HORRIBLY on my Mac mini when I first purchased it but got better; unfortunately that was only after several updates. Admittedly I purchased the Eterna Shards Complete package recently (it was only $3.00) which basically gave me all of the missing DLCs (including the costly and hard-as-heck ES chapters). I may never play them (as the game is now slow and buggy again…) until I purchase a new machine but it’s there.

    Great post Dan and looking forward to more.

    Jay

    2012/11/11 at 11:26 AM

    • Dan J Stine

      (You mean Prey. Apparently Prey 2 is still in development, which is a title I’m looking forward to if it ever sees the light of day that is.)

      My reasons for not liking Uncharted 2 was based on its unbalance between gameplay and cinematics. (In other words, I didn’t enjoy the scripted feel of the game.) It just wasn’t my cup of tea. As far as “Braid on the top of the list goes”, I actually alphabetized all the respected categories so I have no specific ranking system in place. Just did it out of convenience or something.

      But yeah, James and I tried to play Dungeon Defenders. Luckily I bought it at a 50% discount on the Steam Sale but I just love the fact that a game with 20+GB updates (as James mentioned) and lack of performance quality on said Mac hardware I use just doesn’t add up. (We also joked at the time whether the game + the updates would make their way on PSN and whether it’d be a good idea for it to play on the PS3 SS 16GB model.)

      2012/11/11 at 1:12 PM