Soccer season started and the company I work for is in bankruptcy right now. Hence… I’m kinda busy and don’t have a ton of time to play games.
That said, one of the biggest upcoming releases on PlayStation 3 is one I keep seeing certain segments of the hardcore touting as the next big thing, and every time I watch it in action I think about how no one will be able to play it competently enough to enjoy it.
I came upon LittleBigPlanet footage on the PlayStation Store today while browsing for new demos and game videos that were recently posted. I thought, “Hey, this Sackzilla thing is something the kids can watch (many game videos do not conform to Motion Picture Association of America standards for previews that can be viewed by all audiences), so why don’t I download that?” A few minutes later, I fire it up and watch some Sack Boys creating a bigger Sack Boy panted green and then dancing around the screen making faces.
Calvin – “What’s this game about, Dad? What do you do?”
Me – “You can’t tell from this video, can you?”
Calvin – “No, it just looks dumb.”
From the mouths of babes (Calvin’s ten years old for those that don’t know…).
This little exchange and a follow up encounter with Sucker Punch’s next game encapsulate everything that’s wrong with Sony’s machine. The Sucker Punch game? It’s called Infamous. What did Sucker Punch make before this? Three games that are among my sons’ favorites: the three Sly Cooper titles. I had downloaded that bit of video from E3 or the Leipzig Convention or somewhere like that and figure I can take a look at it, knowing that it’s a superhero game of sorts. That lasted all of ten seconds before there were blood curdling screams and the narrator talking about how “no one saw it coming”. I quickly stopped it and Isaac says, “What didn’t they see coming?” (He’s 8.)
Me – “I have on idea. But they never do see it coming, do they?”
It amazes me how completely out of touch Sony is with the audience that bought PlayStation 2. Here are three children sitting down with Pop to check out some games in the little bit of downtime we have on the weekend and one game I’m sure they’ll “get” has an absolutely awful trailer for it that’s clearly aimed at the technogeek “kewl d00d” gamer who frequents messageboards and knows everything there is to know about LittleBigPlanet and the other one shows that the developer of Sly Cooper doesn’t have the time to make games for the kids who bought the games that put them where they are now.
After all of that, just now I thought to myself that maybe I didn’t give LittleBigPlanet enough of a chance. Now I’ve seen other videos of it before, so I know what the gist of the whole thing is. But I go check out a video on YouTube from some gaming TV show and what do I see but a quick cut away after watching two people clearly failing multiple times to work in tandem to accomplish what seems like a simple in-game task. Now, consider that gamers today are way softer than they’ve ever been, seeing as how most games want to hand you the victory with the push of button A, and it’s easy to see that LittleBigPlanet is destined for failure amongst all but the hardest of the hardcore.
The bottom line here is that people really do suck at most videogames, and some of the loudest and most obnoxious among them HATE ACTION-PLATFORM GAMES. The only ones that enjoy them unconditionally anymore are dudes like me who still have all our l337 skillz from our youths still intact, and those youths currently developing their l337 skillz for later on down the road when they have kids of their own and get gaming blogs like this one. It’s nice that Media Molecule is filling that niche, and making their game even more nichey by focusing on those same dudes making levels for them, but it’s not going to set the world on fire. In fact, it might just be one more log on the roaring blaze that’s cooking PS3’s goose.
Ah well, Sony, like Nintendo before them, needed this lesson in becoming too big for their own britches.