Wednesday, March 28, 2012

7 Best Games I Played this Generation and the Lessons they can Teach to other Games

This generation of game consoles is coming to an end. Maybe we still have two or three years of games, but as soon as the next gen strikes, the great games will become rarer. So, this is the best games I have played this generation till now and what lessons they can teach to developers. I will not try to say why I think they are the best, as it is something personal. Let's start with:

What Uncharted 2 can teach developers? That your characters matter. Uncharted would not be as good as it is if the characters were not so easy to like and to root for. Drake is not just a badass as many other characters. He is funny and intelligent, while he recognizes the ridiculous situations we got himself into. And Sully and Elena are also great. Creating a memorable cast is important today. Making them believable and lovable is as important as making them awesome.

Ok, I am kinda cheating here. Persona 3 is a PS2 game, but since the best version is a PSP game, I will count as this generation. This game shows that you don't need to westernize a Japanese game to it be great. In fact, in addition to the Yakuza games, it shows that you can embrace the Japanese culture and still deliver a great game, with an amazing story and cast. Atlus, where is my Persona 5?

You can be creative with old tricks. That is what Portal 2 do. It is in 1st person view, like so many FPS, but it uses so many creative ways to turn around conventions and deliver such unique experience. The clever monologues just add flavor to a brilliant use of physics mechanics that this game deserve more prizes than already have. It shows what developers can do with a simply but brilliant idea.

While Portal 2 shows what developers can do if they are a bit creative, Bad Company 2 shows what players can do if they are creative. Differently from most shooters where once you find the way to play who are most effective to you, in BFBC2 you need to be creative in order to win, as the game changes every match you play. Too many snipers? Use the tanks. Too many tanks? Become an engineer and blow it up. If you want to win in BFBC2, you need to adapt to the situation, and smart thinking is reward more than quick reflex.

Journey is a very simple game. And that is not a bad thing. In its simplicity we have one of the clever and emotional games I have ever played. It is a subtle game and the less you know about it when you play it for the first time the better it is. It is a beautiful gem that I wish every player have a chance to try it.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is hardly a technical feat like Skyrim. The world is not as expensive and detailed, but everything feels and play better, and funnier. Reckoning have a more enjoyable story and it is more beautiful (Skyrim is beautiful in its realism and greatness, but Reckoning is colorful and different). This game shows that long games with many things to do don't need to be a chore, but a delight.

Take a look at your games. look for the games rated M for Mature or classified to 18 year old. How many of them are classified as that because of the violence, swearing and gratuitous boobs? Catherine is not this kinda game. It have boobs, swearing and violence, but those are minor elements here. Catherine is a mature game because it talks about mature themes. It is about what you desire in life, what you put value, about what you want from a relationship. Catherine is a mature game for the right reasons.

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