As I said in a Facebook post this past weekend, I’ve decided to stop calling myself a Gamer. I no longer want to be collectively associated with people who go by that title. I am a man who plays video games for my own personal enjoyment. With the way the Gaming Community views video games, there is no “fun”. It’s more akin to a job than something fun to do.
I’ll give you a couple examples:
Ah, the franchise that I invested 13 years of my life into. Did you know that if you were new to Pokemon and decided to play people online you’re expected to have this list committed to memory before you even put a team together? Using any Pokemon from the top tier is forbidden unless you and your opponent OK it ahead of time. Like Charizard? Guess what, it’s in the Never Use Tier because there are Pokemon with the same type combo with better stats than it. It doesn’t matter how cool you think it is, it’s not advised.
It doesn’t just stop there: You’re also expected to know what Effort Values (EVs) and Individual Values (IVs) are by the time you’ve beaten the Elite Four and get started putting your first team of Level 100s together. If you don’t have it down pat you’re considered a rookie.
The crazy thing is this was created entirely by the gaming communtiy starting in the Second Gen. If you don’t meet the gaming community’s standards on what they say everyone serious about Pokemon should know you’re not “good” and they don’t care about what Nintendo says. While much of what the community says on Pokemon made sense for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Gens it’s at the point now where the Community “knows what’s best”.
This was even addressed in an episode of the Pokemon Anime a couple years back. Ash met a trainer who was, for lack of a better term a “L33t Trainer”. He knew the ins and outs of every single Pokemon yet he still lost to Ash. The reason for that is like the Gaming Community, he lost sight of what it means to be a Pokemon Trainer and focused squarely on facts and predictability. Anyone who’s battled someone knows battles are anything but predictable.
Ok Look: No one Pokemon is invicible. This is fact. I’ve seen the cookie cutter builds Serebii.net’s members build and test in Battle Sims. I’ve also beaten every single one of them. Why?
Because I made it my personal mission to prove to the gaming community premades were never meant to be used against real trainers. I could tell what kind of build my opponent was using within the first three turns. Usually by the 5th I’ve cut through half their team.
Here’s a hint: Since Explosion, Perish Song, Mean Look/Block and Haze are rarely used except in very specific situations, no premade can counter them. Most premades also do not account for negative statuses they might get hit with so they’re highly allergic to the classic Toxic/Confusion Parafusion (Paralysis and Confusion) and Parafatuation (Paralysis, Infatuation and Confusion). It’s laughable how something as basic as negative status effects quickly destroy “Tournament Level” builds.
Let’s take a look at another Franchise:
Ah, yes. Everyone loved Squaresoft. And then they merged with Enix. After that happened everyone loves to hate on Square-Enix “because it’s cool”. Nevermind the fact they created one of the most popular franchises of all time:
While Final Fantasy X was still being developed Squaresoft and Enix merged into the collective Square Enix brand. Square gained the Dragon Warrior Brand and Enix gained the Final Fantasy Brand along with other franchises inbetween. After FFX, Gamers have made it a point to find something they don’t like with a Square Enix Game. They do it so they can use what they find as “proof” the merger was a bad move or to to just badmouth Square Enix.
I’ve played all 13 main Final Fantasy games currently released. I found something I didn’t like in ALL of them but I overall I still like the franchise. Let me pause for a minute and address something I often talk about over at Fantasy Anime: If you won’t play Final Fantasys 1 through 9 because of the graphics ALONE you don’t deserve to play video games PERIOD. I am sick and tired of people saying they love the Final Fantasy games but refuse to play 1 through 9 because the game didn’t get the 3D treatment ala FF3 and FF4.
Yes the older games were made 20 years ago but there is a reason some Franchises have withstood the test of time for as long as they have. Final Fantasy VII is considered by many almost 20 years later of being the greatest RPG of all time. If you disagree with them (I personally like FFVI more) and you haven’t played FFVII yet, it’s available for download on Steam and The Playstation Network for under $20.
Here’s one more franchise. I saved this one for last because I consider them the WORST and having said that, please excuse the profanity:
Easily the worst I have had the “honor” of knowing. Its playerbase has been bitching and moaning about every little thing Blizzard does as a company to make money (which they are supposed to), attract new players or keep members of its existing player base happy since the game launched in 2005:
- Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street is the most patient man I have ever known. Despite the death threats and demands for his termination of employment at Blizzard I’m sure he gets on an almost daily basis from players who hate new features or changed ANNOUNCED or being tested, he still engages them on Twitter and the Forums. And naturally he does have a sense of humor.
- The Burning Crusade introduced Flying Mounts. PvPers bitched about not being able to camp players minding their own business. Mists of Pandaria took away Flying Mounts on Pandaria unless you were at level 90. Players bitched about not being able to get away from PvPers who camp them.
- Alliance players bitch when the Horde gets something good but not them. Horde players bitch when the Alliance gets something good but not them.
- Blizzard removed the Talent Trees because sites like WoWhead and Thotbot were basically telling players what to do once they hit max level. “Elite Players” bitched it made the level experience feel empty.
- Blizzard removed the need to visit Talent Trainers to train new spells and skills. Players are bitching about not seeing Stormwing/Orgrimmar much while leveling.
- At the end of Cataclysm Players bitched about not having anything to do–The 8-month hiatus between Madness of Deathwing and MoP’s launch aside. Now players are bitching about having too much to do.
- Players in raiding guilds regularly bitch about casual players, less experienced playersand players with time constraints being accommodated with the introduction of the Flexible Raid and Raid Finder features.
- Players who are casual, have time restraints or are less experienced bitch about the game being too hard. Elitist Players bitch about the game becoming too easy.
- Before Dungeon Finder was introduced, many players bitched about not being able to do dungeons and heroic dungeons if they didn’t have friends or were in a guild. After in was introduced players on both sides bitched about being kicked for not being good enough or having to babysit less-expeirenced players respectively.
- Gearscore and later iLevel decided if you were good enough to do a certain tier of raiding. If your ilevel is not high enough you’re considered lazy or not worth being taken seriously.
- Going with the above: Top Raiding Guilds expect players to have encounters committed to memory before the content goes live. Otherwise you don’t get to raid with the guild.
- Your faction lost Alterac Valley if it isn’t won within 5 minutes.
- Most of the player base considers Mists of Pandaria a joke with the introduction of the Pandaren as a playable race and Monks as the new Playable Class. Nevermind the fact the Alliance/Horde conflict is front and center throughout the entire expansion.
- Most of the player base considered Cataclysm to be a failure because of the Madness of Deathwing Encounter. Apparently it’s cool to judge an entire expansion based on the final tier of raid content.
- Elitist Players think the game should be rolled back to the Vanilla/Burning Crusade era on the basis of their nostaliga. They consider everything after Vanilla/Burning Crusade garbage and anyone who likes Wrath to Pandaria a “noob” or someone who missed out on what they consider “The glory days”.
- Going with the above: The Elitists liked tiered raiding best because in their eyes you didn’t deserve to do the Sunwell until you did Black Temple. You didn’t deserve to to Black Temple until you did Tempest Keep. You didn’t deserve to do TK until you did Serpentshrine Cavern. You didn’t deserve to do Serpenshrine Cavern until you did Magtheridon’s/Gruul’s Lair 10+ times each.
- When Blizzard first introduced Achievements they were accused by the player base of ripping off Microsoft’s Achievements system. When Star Wars: The Old Republic introduced AOE Looting players begged them to bring it to WoW.
I could go on. Now don’t get me wrong: I started playing WoW mid-TBC. I will be the FIRST to tell you I don’t miss the tiered progression The Burning Cursade. I would also be the first to tell you that it made sense at the time. At the time WoW had the serious problem of accounts getting hacked into and sold, usually to players who didn’t know the class or content. It’s still a problem but nowhere near as much as it was back then. Post-Burning Crusade, it has no place in WoW:
In Northrend, you could easily overgear off Heroics and dungeons for Naxx 80 and go straight to Obsidian Sanctum (Speaking of which, I can solo it on Heroic with my 90 Paladin, WOOT!). In Cataclysm a fresh 85 can get geared from doing dungeons and heroics. On Pandaria, they’ve certainly shown signs of going back to the tiered raiding model.
All in all, I’ve always done my own thing when it comes to the games I love. I’m not ashamed of the fact I’ve used an Action Replay or Gameshark in Pokemon. I’m proud to say despite being 29 I LOVE RPGs more than any other genre. Regardless of how new or old it is. As I said above Final Fantasy VI is my favorite game of all time just like Clannad is my favorite Anime of all time. And I’ve easily played over 4,000 games in my lifetime so far.
I don’t let a bunch of Internet Tough Guys tell me I’m not allowed to enjoy MY games because they don’t enjoy their games. I also don’t let the internet community tell me I can’t like a game or franchise because they only make games for a certain console. You guys remember the blog I did on the whole 3DS/PS Vita arguement going on, right?
As I said in that blog I buy my consoles for games first and foremost. I don’t bash the competition just because I like what the consoles I have offer. As of right now I have all of the current gen consoles except a PS3. I’m waiting for the price drop (expecting it for the holidays) before I buy it.
I have Xbox Live and I love it. I have Playstation Plus on my Vita but don’t like the fact that I need to maintain the service if I want to keep Gravity Rush. I kept my Wii because I didn’t like what the Wii U was selling. I’m keeping my Xbox 360 for the same reason.
Call me whatever you want but at least I can honestly say I play what I want when I want and I don’t give a damn what a site or magazine says about a game. If I want to buy Ocarina of TIme 3D despite it being a port that’s on me. So what if I bought Twilight Princess for the Gamecube and not the Wii? When Skyward Sword was released at the end of the Wii’s lifespan people bitched about being forced to use the Wii Remote Plus. I didn’t hear that when I told folks the reason I got the Gamecube version of Twilght Princess is so I wouldn’t have to deal with using the Wii Remote + Nunchuck entirely.
If you wanna be a sheep and have someone tell you how you should play the games you paid for, you can go ahead and do that. I’ll continue to play the games I like for my own personal enjoyment.