Scrubking said:

Because the Wii doesn't reflect the values of the videogame industry and the videogame media. It's clear that the industry wants to be Hollywood. That is why Graphics are worshiped at a fanatical level and given the highest priority. Devs don't want to make games anymore - they want to make cinematic experiences that make you cry. They want games to look as real as possible in order to make these pseudo movies.

This fanaticism has gotten to the point where a game that was amazing a few years ago is treated like a piece of shit simply because it doesn't look as good as something made today. You hear buzz words like "standards" and "dated" in order to justify the illogical and irrational devaluing of older games based on how they look. It's sad when someone says they can't play a game they supposedly loved anymore because of how it looks.

Gameplay which is what makes a game a game and not a CGI movie is treated as secondary, and as such we have games today that look amazing but have the same gameplay as those of last gen and before. Of course making HD graphics is easy and making compelling, innovative gameplay is hard, and that's another reason why the industry wants gamers to value graphics above anything else. If they can sell you the same game every year with a prettier coat of paint then they've got you.

Modern Warfare Reflex is essentially the same game that you saw on the 360, but since it doesn't have that HD sparkle that makes internet nerds go fap, fap, fap it will be dismissed and derided. It doesn't matter that it plays the same, has the exact same content or has superior controls. It's not in HD and that's what matters to - sadly - the vast majority of people who call themselves the "hardcore" in the media and industry.

This post I found summed up how I feel when playing some games. I'm currently playing COD MW Reflex on wii and last year I played World at War on Wii too.

What did I say last year with that title?

gamingeek said:

Since the design is the same they're basically saying that it has better graphics and a couple more online modes. I've played a few next gen games which are basically getting extra overall points for presentation. I like great production values, but if a game is lacking in design or lacking in fun then I can't look past those flaws. That's why even with games which have some superlative production values, eventually they can bore me.

COD World at War has some spiffy production values but also has some limited and frustrating design that stops if from being a great experience.

If they had limited the frustration, got rid of some archaic design bits like spawn points and trigger points and made a dynamic and fun AI system, the game would be much better. The insistence on cinematic flair over gameplay: for instance throwing smoke all over the screen, so you can't aim at anything, or shaking the screen with every explosion which makes aiming a bitch. Or having guns with no stability which kick up and force you to constantly re-adjust. Or the old battle system of pressing forward into clustered defence points. It's quite linear design and having a very slow basic movement means that the levels don't flow as well as they could. Seeing how they are both WW2 FPS on Wii I booted up MOHH2. Basically COD5 blows it away on cinematic scope and large levels, but the gameplay in MOHH2 is just so much smoother and more accurate it's not even funny. If the games could combine both aspects they would have something pretty special.

And what did IGN say about the HD console versions of World at war last year?

IGN said:

"This remains a Call of Duty game through and through. What that means is that the action is fast and fluid, as well as rigidly scripted. The success of the franchise proves that there's a vast audience for that, and this won't change anyone's mind. Enemy soldiers and your computer-controlled teammates respawn endlessly until you advance far enough to hit the triggers to make them stop reappearing. Then you advance to the next firefight and repeat the process over again. The thing is, you're far too busy shooting and ducking and dying to really notice much of the time. The sense of immersion is pretty complete. "

So this is the crux of the matter, as with last years World at War, Reflex is exactly the same game, the same design as the big brother version with worse graphics but better controls.

If you want to get bogged down in minutia the wii version has only 10 players online and no voice chat. Other than that its all modes, all the campaign all the multiplayer maps along with controls that faaaaar better than last years World at War.

And yet the reviews are hugely telling. You see the problem here is that the design of Mordern Warfare can't hold up. There is nothing special here in gameplay terms. Halo 1 has better AI then this game, grenades are constantly falling at your feet, enemies are endlessly respawning, the levels rely on trigger points. It's a game which is virtually on rails. And yet it tries to disguise this structure with sensory overload. It throws so many enemies at you, you feel as though you can't catch your breath and it hopes that the visual pizazz of HD versions will have you wowing at how cinematic everything is.

Now this is where reviewers are being shown up. Their reviews for this Wii version have been terrible. For a start most of them sound like they have phoned in the reviews, others have terrible factual innacuries and are wearing rose tinted specs to the point of absurdity.

Some still make bizaare comments about the controls, despite them being several times better than last years world at war. Despite there being 5 presets and infinite options for tweaking, reviewers still cant find that sweet spot or even take the time to tweak the controls to their liking? Isn't it the responsibility of the reviewer to explore the options the game allows? Especially in an IR shooter where your enjoyment of the game relies so heavily on the controls?

Then there are WTF statements from some rose tinted goggled reviewers claiming that WaW on Wii had better visuals, which is blatantly wrong.

One review I read from NOM sounded like he had played the first level, then kicked on multiplayer and called it a day. Another made clear that they were playing it on a huge HDTV and complaining about the graphics. Well no shit sherlock, when you try and stretch 480 lines over a 1080 line television of course its going to look like shite.

Eurogamer made the same inane comment, making it abundantly clear that they were playing on an HDTV.

Let's look at it this way, what if the next generation of TVs came out, the ones a step up from HDTV and they made all HD content look like ass? Would you expect reviewers to be playing PS3 and 360 games on these new TVs and then claiming the graphics were ass? No? Well why should it be any different with Wii which is made for SD displays?

But the worst part of the reviewers is that they basically boil down to "The graphics aren't as good as 360 and its two years old" and then they call it day.

Just because something is late doesn't mean its bad. If the same game, the same design, the same story, modes and weapons is suddenly SO terrible with a lower level of graphics then what does that tell you about how games are being reviewed? I hate to use the term blinded but that's what its boiling down to. If a game can look suitably "epic" or cinematic it gets +++++++ points all over.

If Bioshock as it existed today was put on Xbox 1 with identical design and with Xbox 1 graphics it would be getting 8.0 scores.

So yes, graphics can add to the experience and yet that wholly omits the notion that controls, which actually directly affect gameplay, can enhance the experience too and in IR shooters that's paramount and reviewers dont seem to give any recognition to that fact.

At the end of the day I find Modern Warfare to be a fairly ordinary, overated game, I would 8.3 it based on the single player. This same game, same design on an HD system somehow becomes this AAA rated, worldwide sales phenom.

Posted by gamingeek Wed, 18 Nov 2009 13:32:43 (comments: 18)
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Wed, 18 Nov 2009 15:19:54
CoD is always the same game, yet it receives critical and commercial acclaim. 
Wed, 18 Nov 2009 15:21:56
Just two things to say

1 - This blog is full of win
2 - Fix the title
Wed, 18 Nov 2009 15:40:59
Yo is there a character limit in blog titles? Because I keep hitting a wall and having to shorten titles.
Wed, 18 Nov 2009 16:13:11
Yes, there's a 50 character limit on blog titles.
Wed, 18 Nov 2009 19:16:50
I agree with you but for one exception.  Why didn't the critics go off in a similar way about Chinatown Wars?  They could have said the same thing about the 'weak' graphics and the 'dumbed-down' gameplay etc... but it was critically lauded (and righfully so).
Wed, 18 Nov 2009 19:22:11
Fuck CoD. All of them.
Wed, 18 Nov 2009 19:25:21
With the DS there's a bit of a cognative dissonance.  PSP strattles the line a bit too much, but DS comes across as "the handheld."  Perhaps simply a remnant of its time, but handheld versions with simpler visuals has been a longstanding tradition thanks to Nintendo's treatment of Mario and Zelda in that capacity.

Chinatown Wars, from what I can tell, doesn't try to simply be a low-polygon clone of GTAIII.  It reimagines the older top-down style of the original games, and takes the mechanics of the later ones.  Throw in some touch controls and it's not quite as simple as saying, ugly - 7/10.
Wed, 18 Nov 2009 21:35:24
Well let me be the one opposite opinion here. You are playing a 2 YEAR OLD game, that was probably better on the other consoles. Yes graphics isn't everything but it is something, most of the best games have excellent graphics at the time of their release. Would OoT be so beloved if it wasn't state of the art at the time, who knows. Also MW was revolutionary to online gaming, it changed everything. The single player was the usual simple arcade mechanics, the online was what made that game special and I highly doubt the wii can recreate that. Even if the online has all the modes there wont be close to the same audience that the first had. And again 2 years old, we have already moved on to better online modes in MW2.

Now I don't agree about giving it some horrible score. If its a quality port it should be scored accordingly, but I can understand why its getting no attention.

And yes every single wii game should be blasted for not being HD. I cant believe I have to play a modern console on SD to make it look nice. Nintendo made a huge mistake and they should pay for it by having people complain. Nyaa

Wed, 18 Nov 2009 22:31:36
I'll be honest and say that if I were to play MW, it would be on Xbox 360, not Wii. That's because I really don't consider IR FPS controls to be superior to dual-analogue, and if I'm going to pay $50 for the game, it may as well be the best looking version available. I think most reviewers feel the same way.
Thu, 19 Nov 2009 03:45:06
I think the fact that CoD4 plays exactly the same as the original CoD plays is somewhat telling.
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