Instant Gratification? (

By:James Stevenson
Date: Friday, March 07, 2003

Is it just me, or have you noticed that recently videogaming has been a bit, well, stale? I hate to say this after some really cool games like ANIMAL CROSSING and METROID PRIME but nothing is grabbing my interest. The beginning of the year has been filled with letdowns of some fashion or games that turned out to be good, but not great. I haven't really gotten into a game for quite some time, and I'm finding this to be rather disconcerting.

I guess I've been getting more cynical as time goes by. It's harder for a game to keep my attention with all of the other busy things in my life: school, work, friends, my lady, movies, and everything else that should keep a guy busy. As time has passed, I no longer have tons of meaningless time to dedicate to one of my favorite passions. It's really quite scary for me to realize how playing five years of videogames as a critic can make you look at gaming in an entirely different light.

Now, that's not saying that I don't like videogaming. I'm not sure that my like for them has diminished at all. I am guessing though, that they have been given a lower priority in my life as new things have moved in, and that I just don't have as much time as I used to. I still enjoy sitting down with friends to play, and I've had some good times playing AMPLITUDE but I have a couple of RPGs on my shelf that I don't even feel like starting (even though I have to).

Are my tastes changing? Probably. I'm not longer as up for the long-winded story as I used to be. I'm much more about the quick satisfaction. I'll still play FINAL FANTASY X-2 and THE


LEGEND OF ZELDA: THE WIND WAKER, but I just don't feel as inclined to get into the deeper games anymore they used to be my favorites but now I want something quick and easy (perhaps why I liked ANIMAL CROSSING so much).

Overall it makes for an interesting scenario how do game companies adapt to the changing tastes of their audience? During the PSX-era, RPGs were huge, but they've backed off quite a bit. What's the next big trend? Nintendo has a new game that is coming out for the Game Boy that is a series of games that last five-seconds or less. The instant gratification phenomenon could be interesting to watch over the next few years.


FINAL FANTASY XI will come to the PC in 2003... Electronic Arts has announced plans to heavily support the GameCube/Game Boy Advance connectivity feature in upcoming titles... Activision will publish Peter Molyneux's THE MOVIES, a game that let's players control a Hollywood studio... Xbox Live now has over 350,000 subscribers... ATI has signed a new deal with Nintendo to furnish graphics chips for Nintendo's next console...



Lots of goodies this week, for the soccer fan, WINNING ELEVEN 6 is the best title to ever hit the genre. Hideo Kojima's ZONE OF THE ENDERS 2: THE SECOND RUNNER will


also be released. And if you want some online gameplay, check out Sony's MY STREET. Finally, for you speed addicts: SONIC ADVANCE 2 for the GBA. All in all, a good week.

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