2005 is breathing its last, and all is quiet on the news front. This seems as good a time as any to share my wish list for ’06.
Give me a game that gives me reason not to obsessively reload every time I lose a battle. Make the game’s events so meaningful that I want to experience all of them, not just the victories. Make the occasional defeat an important in-game experience that I can appreciate. Please. Somebody stop me before I redo yet another battle in Rome: Total War.
Give me a game that lets me play god the way Populus did; with minimal fuss and unnecessary distraction. I want to hurl comets, ignite volcanoes, and inflict locusts upon my enemies. I want to send my followers charging madly into their followers. And I want to do it all without playing nanny to a city’s basic functions and/or taming a glorified pet lion first.
Bring back The Incredible Machine, with new goals, tons of new contraptions, and fun (not necessarily expensive) graphics. And many, many ways to solve a single problem.
Give me another RPG like Planescape: Torment. I want to actually care what happens to my companions. I want to have complex feelings about the people I meet and, yes, fight. Most RPGs, at their best, make you feel one or two things about an enemy. Fear and/or anger. Pity and/or anger. Etc. How about: grudging respect, envy, lust, and rage, all wrapped into one nuanced package? Planescape was also courageous enough to end on a less-than-perfectly-happy note, which I never cease to appreciate.
And, for heaven’s sake, give me good games for the Nintendo Revolution! The time has definitely come for games that use less than 100 buttons; that give me reason to work up a sweat while gaming; that (heaven forbid) even teach me practical skills, like boxing, or fencing! I want Muhammed Ali himself giving me pointers on my left jab. And I want those pointers to be worth something, dammit. And, while I’m on the subject: I know I’m not the first person to notice that the Revolution controller would make a perfect lightsaber. Please, when the inevitable game emerges, let it track my movement perfectly. I want that virtual blade to point and swerve in exactly the manner that I swing it (assuming that the controller is good enough to permit this, of course.)
That’s good enough. Happy new year, all. :-)