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Are we spoiled as gamers, do we expect too much out of our games?

Updated on November 9, 2012
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I grew up in a generation where there wasn't intelligent AI, you could pretty much master any game once you had the timing down. As far as graphics, there wasn't anything mind blowing, honestly you could build most if not all the games characters with your Legos if you wanted to. There was no Hollywood quality plotlines either, we had the typical good vs. evil, march forward and save the princess or sometimes even save the world from some kind of impending doom. Pretty much every game had the same core game play mechanics too; it was just more so who had the flashier packaging would be the one getting your money in the end. But you know something; all things considered we had a lot of fun with what we did have and what seemed like a lot less complaining too.

I read reviews all the time before I purchase a game, just to make sure I'm making an informed decision, new or used it doesn't matter. I even started writing a few myself, but I found I was dissecting the games I was playing more than I was enjoying the game for what it was. That's why I put the reviewing on hold, because I wanted to get back to the care free days when games were played for fun. It was as if I was playing games like a college professor would grade his students term papers, I was looking for it's flaws and short comings so I could grade it appropriately, instead of in the manner of a child enjoying his new toy.

Case in point, my girlfriend bought me Mind Jack because she heard me talking about it so she figured I wanted it. With the mindset that the game was horrible, based on all the reviews I read but not wanting to risk hurting her feelings, I decided to give it a try. I'm not going to lie to you, the first thing I did while I was playing through the first few levels was critique everything, after a short while of realizing I wasn't playing the game for fun but as a means to tear it apart I took a break from it. After coming to conclusion I did, I decided to start the game over and play not with the mind of a critic but with one of a person who enjoys gaming as an outlet and a way to relax. Now the game didn't blow me a way and I didn't have a winning the lotto moment, but I did have fun and truthfully the game isn't as bad as I was lead to believe.

I'm not saying every game is worth picking up at full price, that's a given. I'm also not saying we don't have the right to complain and voice our opinions over poor quality, but do you think as a whole we are expecting too much? We expect all FPS to be of Call of Duty caliber, all MMOs to be WoW and all action adventure titles to be Uncharted or Gears of War? I know the titles I listed aren't for everyone, but I'm sure we call all agree they are on the top of their game when it comes to their respected genres. Because of the aforementioned titles, plus many others, do we expect a masterpiece every time we put the disc in the system? Do you avoid games because of negative reviews, or do you actually try them for yourself, whether it is when their first released or even when they hit the used market? I don't know about you, but a so called crappy game becomes a lot less crappy when I pick it up for about two thirds off the original price, for example Quantum Theory.

It's a great time to be a gamer, we have the internet which is a plethora of information to help us to be better informed and to make more sound decisions, the used game market is flourishing which allows us to pick up more titles at cheaper prices which in turn lessens the overall risk and of course it's so much more mainstream that the big retailers are competing amongst themselves for our sales dollars, with the outcome being in our favor with better sales and incentives on newer titles.

I'm not saying we as consumers shouldn't want to get out monies worth out of our purchases, whether it be $60 new or $10 used. What I'm saying is, are we expecting every game to be a five out of five? A three or four out of five could be worth your money too, and sometimes even more so, but if it's not a five we just don't think it's not worth it. For example, I loved Dark Sector and not many people did, I was lucky enough to pick it up used at a very good price, but honestly if I did paid full retail I still would have loved it.

Michael

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    • Georgie Lowery profile image

      Georgianna Lowery 4 years ago from Slaton, Texas USA

      I'm not a gamer anymore (unless you count WoW), but my best friend's husband is. He's always going on about the good, the bad and the ugly. I guess it's the same way I feel about music. I don't want to pay full price for a CD with a couple of good songs on it.

      Great Hub, and thought provoking. I'll share in the hopes that some of my gamer friends will see it!

    • netslums profile image

      Blake J Rudy 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Hey Michael, I really enjoyed this hub and I couldn't agree more about how consumers need to play games for the fun of it.

      However, to answer your question, YES. Yes, people do expect five star games and I don't necessarily think that that's a bad thing. Games, like the ones you mentioned in your hub, set the new standard for their genre when they are released. Not saying every game in that genre should be exactly like it, but at least know that if a game is released later, it will be compared by critics. Like in my review of "Spec Ops: The Line" here on HubPages, I compare the game to a couple different titles, but mostly "Call of Duty", because that's the game most consumers will be able to relate to.

      Also, the real trick to this whole lifestyle is to be able to enjoy every game for what it is, but simultaneously be able to dissect it for reviewing. After all, the person reading your review doesn't have to know that the game you gave 5 out of 10 stars to happens to be your favorite game. There's no shame in admitting that a game that you love has flaws.

      I'm getting all into this, haha. Good job, Michael. Keep up the good work!

    • JohnGreasyGamer profile image

      John Roberts 4 years ago from South Yorkshire, England

      Great article as always, Michael! The quote that sprang to mind when I saw the title was, "the more we have, the more we want". And that's why so many communities become bitter, because they think devs how the power to click their fingers and make the sun shine out of everyone's arse. I think back in the PS1 days I never complained about not having enough games, and if I did, I apologize. Sure my games library wasn't that big and rental wasn't all that popular here in the UK in terms of gaming. But hey - Spyro 2 for some reason lasted me over 14 or so years, and it took me 11 to complete it. That's quality and quantity living together.

      So overall, it's the industry that has to make the decision - is less more, or vice versa? Should they make better games but fewer of them, or more bad ones that run a risk? Take Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure - that game was doomed to be unpopular, so much so that it recieved death threats. However when people played it, especially me, we all loved it and rated it highly! Nobody knew why, but that's the thing - it was a great game in general.

      Voted up, useful, awesome and interesting ^^

    • JohnGreasyGamer profile image

      John Roberts 4 years ago from South Yorkshire, England

      Just found this on Wikipedia, on the subject of "Rogue Warrior" - "Machinima's Rob Talbert awarded Rogue Warrior a 2/10, saying, "If you even think about spending $60 on this title, you should be backhanded. In this day and age of gaming we as gamers expect a little bit more, actually a lot of bit more out of our games. Rogue Warrior is a buggy mess, and with the amount of great games that are available for purchase right now, you can find a better way to blow $60."

      So there are some games where we expect some work for a lot of money. I guess when it comes to the price of a modern game, we expect something. Kinect games can cost up to $80 and last less than 12 hours of play (3 days). ^^

    • MichaelJohnMele profile image
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      Michael John Mele 4 years ago from Seffner, Florida

      @Georgie Lowery thank you very much for the positive feedback...I really appreciate it.

      @netslums I do agree with you about certain games setting the bar in their respected genres and future titles being compared to them in terms of quality, however, sometimes it's a bad thing. People can miss out on a lot of good games because their mindset is if it's not as good, or even better than such and such then I don't want to play it...ultimately missing out on what could be a rather enjoyable gaming experience. I've seen this happen a lot in the FPS genre, with people comparing every game to Call of Duty.

      @JohnGreasyGamer very well said...very well said my friend. I do agree, people should do their research before buying any game...especially at $60...but if they don't and they get burnt, that's on them. There are many developers who try to pass crap off as something great (hence shovelware), but as we all know it's all about making money, so on their end they are not looking to make a happy gamer, they are looking to make their wallets fatter.

    • Keith Engel profile image

      Keith Engel 4 years ago from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

      This is why I love Steam and being a PC Gamer now, I never pay full price for games. As a matter of fact I am playing through Dragon Age Origins right now. It was a free gift from EA actually celebrating the Anniversary of Origin. I got to choose three games, the other two were Battlefield 2 or Spore. It wasn't much of a hard decision to make as to which game to choose from out of those options.

      Pertaining to the article, I remember the same stuff was talked about when Assassin's Creed came out and everybody was complaining about that game. Yet, it has become one of the most popular new IPs this generation.

      As far as the one comment in your article about everybody expecting a WoW with every new MMO. Please, that is part of the problem with the MMO market to begin with, too many games coming out that play exactly like WoW instead of offering something completely different. That is why many are looking forward to Guild Wars 2 and I can't wait to play in the last Beta Weekend next week and then wait for the game to launch on my birthday.

    • mikeandrustys profile image

      mikeandrustys 4 years ago

      Yeah I think games like Grand Theft Auto, Uncharted, L.A Noire and Batman have all given us the ability to expect more from designers because we know what can be achieved. This goes way back to Nintendo when Sega came out. This was a new wave of graphics, and then Playstation so we could finally ditch the chunky over colourful, lack of details cartridges and move on. I think it's great game developers that make others simply look bad and work hardrer. If we don't demand more from games, we will never get it

    • MichaelJohnMele profile image
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      Michael John Mele 4 years ago from Seffner, Florida

      @Keith Engel I have never really played games on the PC, I've always been a console man and the thought of playing games on the PC never really appealed to me...I guess it was the fear of the unknown, if that makes sense. How is it playing games on the PC, is it as comfortable as playing on a console?

      In regards to what you said about MMOs trying to be like WoW. Do you thnk that's just the developers way of trying to play it safe? They know people like WoW and they know it makes money, and as gamers, we all know most new IP don't really make it in today's market. Maybe if people were more willing to try new things and move outside their comfort space, we would have more originality and less clones.

    • MichaelJohnMele profile image
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      Michael John Mele 4 years ago from Seffner, Florida

      @mikeandrustys you do make a valid point and I totally agree...for the most part. There are some games that come along, that didn't have the budget of say a GTA or L.A. Noire, that are just as fun to play. They may not look as pretty, or be as detailed, but they are still very enjoyable.

    • Keith Engel profile image

      Keith Engel 4 years ago from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

      PC Gaming is as comfortable as ever, if you have a good chair and a comfortable setup. Add in more wireless keyboards and more games using Xbox 360 controller support, since it is an MS device it has Windows support flawlessly, and PC gaming is great.

      As far as fear of the unknown and playing games on PC, I hear you there as I too used to be like that. Yet, once I started playing my first MMO, Lord of the Rings Online, I became accustomed to playing games on my PC versus that of the Console. I have just come to prefer PC gaming now over console since I can ensure a better experience graphic and fidelity wise compared to a console.

      As far as MMO games go in many ways it is playing it safe. Yet there also reaches a point were playing it safe is more harm than good as well. For instance, each time you fire up a new game you are expecting a new experience of some type. Unfortunately in the MMO landscape generally speaking this new experience is just in the setting itself. I go into this actually quite extensively as I have written a large article series on the matter of the MMO so trying to explain everything about the MMO and it problems. Yet, here goes the question that you need to ask yourself at what point to you still keep copying a model and expect success, especially when you have such a dominant game like WoW? It is similar to what eventually happened to the Guitar Hero Series, and what is beginning to happen with COD. You keep releasing copies and copies of a game and eventually that market for that type of game crashes.

    • MichaelJohnMele profile image
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      Michael John Mele 4 years ago from Seffner, Florida

      @Keith Engel awesome...thanks for the information. I may just have to jump on the PC bandwagon and see what all the fuss is about.

      I agree that it's happening way too much, but unfortunately with the costs of making a new IP, something original, I think companies just try to play it safe and throw out a carbon copy of an existing success with the hopes of getting a piece of the pie. Also, the used market kills new IPs, instead of buying new, gamers wait until they are sold used at a cheaper price before picking them up...which in-turn causes a loss for the companies.Companies are fearful of taking a risk, trying something new.

    • Keith Engel profile image

      Keith Engel 4 years ago from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

      Well I have a hub that discusses used games as well and how the gamer would actually benefit more if it were to actually disappear than what the conventional thinking would make it seem.

      On PC there is no used game market and though there may be pirating going on don't believe that it is actually a wide majority of PC Gamers.

      Steam is actually having there summer sale right now were you can purchase games greatly discounted, and the great thing about it is that no matter the price the profits go to the game developer not Gamestop or whoever.

      Here goes a couple of screenshots from some games that I took:

      Metro 2033

      http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y214/Jaconkin/201...

      http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y214/Jaconkin/201...

      http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y214/Jaconkin/201...

      Batman:

      http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y214/Jaconkin/201...

      There is from a PC only FPS called Hard Reset. The PC is getting tons of Indie Developers jumping on board thanks to Steam and other Digital Dist. sites.

      http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y214/Jaconkin/201...

    • JohnGreasyGamer profile image

      John Roberts 4 years ago from South Yorkshire, England

      Sorry to butt in, but I have to agree with Keith here - starting with MMOs is a great way to get into PC gaming, and I started off with WoW. I think if you have a game pad too like a USB XBOX 360 controller, that might help as well. I've found games like DooM, Quake and Diablo II to be really good for new PC users due to the fluent control and familiar style.

      However there is in fact a used PC game market but it's kinda rare. Places like CeX (Computer Exchange) sell PC games and even let you trade them in, so long as there's no one-use code. Not to worry, as there's LOADS of new PC games coming out everywhere due to them having more exclusive titles. And they're pretty cheap, often sold now at only $35/£30 upon release. I'd give it a shot ^^

    • Keith Engel profile image

      Keith Engel 4 years ago from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

      Bah, don't worry about butting in John.

      One of the good things that has actually occurred in PC Gaming as well lies in the fact that hardware last longer. What I mean is that before I got my new computer last year due to overall hardware failure, is that my previous Dell PC lasted me for nearly 6 years and I was able to play games relatively easy with only upgrading my graphics cards twice.

      One of the myths about PC gaming is that you need to own a 2000 dollar PC to play the games. This is the furthest thing from the truth. When I built my last year, my initial cost was $650, I later upgraded my video card and bought some more ram and this took it up to about $900 dollars roughly.

      After owning my last Dell and understanding the reason it blew up on me finally I vowed I would never buy a pre built machine again. Building your own computer is the cheaper way to go as well figuring if you have already owned a computer, then you already a monitor, speakers, mouse, and keyboard. So, there is no reason to purchase a bundle again like you do with most prebuilt machines.

      As far as a used game market for PC games, that might be across the pond John, I don't know. What I do know over here in the States is that you go into a Best Buy or even a Gamestop and try to find the PC game section and it is almost non existent anymore. It maybe one shelf. That is how much Digital Distribution has hit the brick and mortar stores.

      Here goes an example of what prices are like for the Steam Summer Sale.

      http://store.steampowered.com/

      For instance look at the price of the bundles, 50 dollars, and look at the games you get. Hell the RockStar bundle is only 50 dollars and includes GTA 4+Episodes, LA Noire, and Max Payne 3, newly released.

      As long as you aren't a gamer that needs to be playing the newest game on release day, and even then you can generally get a game 10-20 dollars cheaper than console counter part sometimes, then PC Gaming is the way to go. Sure, sometimes you won't get the exclusives of a Console, and hence you have a console still as well.

    • MichaelJohnMele profile image
      Author

      Michael John Mele 4 years ago from Seffner, Florida

      @Keith Engel/JohnGreasyGamer good day guys. Now please forgive my ignorance, but the main reason I avoided WoW as if it was the black plague, was because I assumed it was littered with a bunch of immature little punks...similar to say Halo and/or Call of Duty online.

      With all that you two have said, I may just have to look into getting a PC for gaming...maybe even avoiding the next gen consoles all together and doing all my gaming on a PC.

      I can see Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo all trying to go the way of the PC in the near future, making more software available digitally versus physical copies...to cut down on financial loses caused by the used game market. Now me personally, I don't see the used game market as being all that bad, it does help some games, that otherwise wouldn't have seen the light of day, get noticed.

      Maybe if developers priced their games more accordingly at launch, instead of just having one set fee across the board people would be more willing to take a chance. Games like Skyrim obviously warrants a $60 price tag, however, a game like Splayyerhouse should have launched a $40 max.

    • JohnGreasyGamer profile image

      John Roberts 4 years ago from South Yorkshire, England

      If you wanna give WoW a shot, I can always "recruit a friend", giving you a higher XP boost to level from 1 to 85 in a matter of days if you want. If you wanna try the demo, use this site to see if you can run the game. Don't worry if it says you can't, as I can do it without many problems:

      http://www.systemrequirementslab.com/cyri/analysis...

      I thought the used game market was a good idea too, but when you see Keith Engel's article on how it can really affect video game developers and the RL economy, you'll think again. I have to say though, I do agree with the "£60 vs £40" release, but that's the publishers' decision and it's not always right. Titans like Capcom and EA have done this over and over and it's a huge gamble, plus the rewards aren't always worth it. ^^

    • MichaelJohnMele profile image
      Author

      Michael John Mele 4 years ago from Seffner, Florida

      @JohnGreasyGamer do I need to buy the game on disk...or can I just donwload it?

      Me personally, I would be more likely to take a chance on a game (new that is) if it was around $30-$40 at launch instead of $60. As I said prior, I know some games warrant the $60 price tag...but most don't.

    • JohnGreasyGamer profile image

      John Roberts 4 years ago from South Yorkshire, England

      You won't need to buy it retail, as you'll get a code online for it. I think you have to buy the expansions though, but you do get vanilla and TBC for around $10. If you wanna know more, just give the word and I'll see what I can do ^^

    • Keith Engel profile image

      Keith Engel 4 years ago from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

      @Michael

      If you are interested in WoW or you can go and download the game at World of Warcraft.com. Or if you have a Battlnet Account I think you can sign up for the Free To Play Version, which is basically the demo, that will allow you to level up to level 20.

      You could also give Lord of the Rings Online a go if you so desire and that there will allow you to level up to 30 before you have to worry about restrictions coming into play with that game. You won't actually have to buy the game though if you want to play it further, with WoW you would.

      You could also wait for Guild Wars 2 which is coming out on August 28th and be a part of a MMO launch, this is actually a pretty fun matter to be a part off actually, or a headache depending. The great thing about Guild Wars 2 is that there is no restriction and no sub fee. You buy the box and you play the game, with many other MMOs this isn't the case. You either buy a sub or those that have converted to a F2p model you need to eventually either get points to purchase content further or buy points to do this.

      As far as the crowd in WoW, well you get all sorts, when you have 10 million odd players playing the game, probably anywhere between 2-4 million in the states.

    • MichaelJohnMele profile image
      Author

      Michael John Mele 4 years ago from Seffner, Florida

      @JohnGreasyGamer/Keith Engel what would you recommend to someone who is brand new to PC gaming, both hardware and software wise?

    • Keith Engel profile image

      Keith Engel 4 years ago from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

      Hmmm.

      That all depends in many cases.

      First what is your current system specifications?

      I can then go from there with matters. All I really need is Processor, RAM and Video Card Information?

      If on the other hand you maybe thinking of building a new computer for possible PC gaming I can help you there as well. A forum I post at on occasion helps people in such a fashion trying to build a good system for somebody within a price budget.

    • JBrumett profile image

      JBrumett 4 years ago

      Heh, tons of feedback on this one. When it comes to single player games I'm pretty laid back. Unless I get paid to write a gaming review, I'd agree that reviews would kind of ruin some aspects. Steam does have awesome sales. I picked up 7 games for less than 30 dollars with their daily sales of 75% off.

      Far as MMO's go. People chew up content on MMO's like crazy, so I'm guessing that transfers to offline single players now, which is why people are so harsh. They have weird rules, joining a raiding kin/guild/faction is almost like doing a job interview. I always ask them if I need to wear a tie as a joke. =-P This probably one reason it translates to why people want super duper offline games because people really are becoming picky.

      I have a friend that keeps me grounded on this hardcore gamer mentality though. He's always going out of his way to help new people out and spending more time helping them level than worrying about hardcore gamer perceptions on stuff.

    • MichaelJohnMele profile image
      Author

      Michael John Mele 4 years ago from Seffner, Florida

      @Keith Engel right now I have a glorified Etch-A-Sketch, I'm barely able to access HubPages. So if I did decide to do this, I would be starting from scratch.

    • MichaelJohnMele profile image
      Author

      Michael John Mele 4 years ago from Seffner, Florida

      @JBrumett I know exactly what you mean...some people really take this crap seriously. You can say what you want about their mothers...but don't dare trash their game.

    • Keith Engel profile image

      Keith Engel 4 years ago from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

      @Michael

      Starting from complete scratch huh, does the mean monitor, speakers, keyboard and mouse as well? You interested in Building or just buying?

      If you want we can do this here in your comments, or if you don't mind, we could go to the video game forum I used, called Day One Patch, and can handle it over there because if you are interested in building it would require me to link stuff and the like.

    • MichaelJohnMele profile image
      Author

      Michael John Mele 4 years ago from Seffner, Florida

      @Keith Engel I'm not sure yet...what would be best way to proceed for a PC gaming noob...to build one from scratch or just to buy one already setup? Once I get all the information I'll price a few out to see if I can swing it.

      Sounds good to me, could you please send me a link to "Day One Patch" so we could continue our conversation there?

      Thanks for all the info.

    • JohnGreasyGamer profile image

      John Roberts 4 years ago from South Yorkshire, England

      Personally I'd recommend seeing what you've got first. Try playing LOTRO and see how well it goes on different settings. If it works fine on the lowest/mid-lowest settings, you'll be able to have fun with most games. But if you can't run anything on the computer you've got now that well, I can't help you any further. Keith's the one to ask, as you already were ^^

    • Keith Engel profile image

      Keith Engel 4 years ago from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

      @Michael

      Here goes the link for Day one Patch

      http://www.dayonepatch.com

      My user name is JaconKin

      We can continue discussing matters via private messages over there.

      How knowledgeable are you about PCs in general?

      Here goes a Youtube Video from Newegg.com that Explains the Computer Parts and also how to actually build one, not in the second video it is an option to do an outside build test I didn't do one.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPIXAtNGGCw

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_56kyib-Ls&fea...

      @John

      Sure you can play a game at low or mid lowest settings. Yet, that isn't the reason you get into PC gaming. This isn't to say that you need to play the game at its highest settings as well, though if you can that is a great boon as well. You want to try to achieve in PC gaming at least being able to play at High or Very High at the best, if you can hit Ultra High/Max Settings as stated that is a boon.

      For Example here goes LOTRO from Lowest to Highest Settings:

      Very Low

      http://i.imgur.com/yZKuw.jpg

      Low

      http://i.imgur.com/N0RPi.jpg

      Medium

      http://i.imgur.com/VSGHG.jpg

      High

      http://i.imgur.com/naF9Q.jpg

      Very High

      http://i.imgur.com/naF9Q.jpg

      Ultra

      http://i.imgur.com/naF9Q.jpg

    • MichaelJohnMele profile image
      Author

      Michael John Mele 4 years ago from Seffner, Florida

      @Keith Engel thank you so much for the link and the information. I'll sign up for an account later today or sometime tomorrow and message you once I do.

      How knowledgeable I am...well, I can turn it on...does that count for anything? As I said prior, this will be my first venture into using the PC for anything else then the internet...so yes, I'm a complete noob.

    • Keith Engel profile image

      Keith Engel 4 years ago from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

      I see that you signed up on D1P. I sent you a private message.

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