Saturday, 25 January 2014

Video Game Genres Continued (Personal enquiry draft 2)

In the following blog post, I will consider genre as a concept, how it has been used within video gaming and how people throughout gaming history have moulded games in to genres as we know them. The definition for video game genres talks about a system used to categorise games based on the gameplay content and sometimes based upon visuals and narrative, this however is not necessarily true. Many consider genres on the whole to generally conform to set conventions and be very specific however what one may consider
as an action game others may consider an adventure game. I recently had a small debate with one of my flat mates about the stupid amounts of music genres and sub genres that exist these days and how i group things a bit more generally. However in recent years the "lines" between genres have blurred a little, allowing the player to choose how they wish to play the game. I will also mention a few games that i considered to define their genre, Resident evil and Metal Gear Solid.

I have spoken about the history of video games before on this blog, whilst doing so i mentioned the first video game was Tennis for 2. I also mentioned that most games from that point onwards were based upon similar existing things, the first game to veer away from this was Space War; this is seen as the first development of genres in gaming. Only when the technology allowed it, did game devs start to diversify and create new content and styles of gameplay. A good example of this would be Metal Gear, the first two games on on the NES and the SNES weren't particularly great and didn't receive a great reception from critics however when the Playstation was released in 1994 Hideo Kojima sought to bring metal gear in to the new age with a bang. In 1998 Metal Gear solid was released on the PS1 with ground breaking graphics which allowed for a much more cinematic experience; something previous Metal Gear games lacked. This has been an ever growing trend in the metal gear games since with over 8 hours of cutscenes in the latest game Metal Gear Solid 4. Metal gear's primary genre has always been stealth (it's tag line is tactical espionage action) and was one of the first games along with Theif to implement many of the typical conventions seen in modern day stealth games. The latest game however does allow you to play through the game guns blazing but adds a level of difficulty and in soon to be released Metal gear solid 5, the game has become an open world game, letting you tackle missions in whatever way you choose. This could show that defined genres may be subject to choice within each game in the future allowing players to tackle the same story in any manor of ways.

The resident evil franchise has also changed a lot of the years, however fans have not been as positive about the change, the game now barely resembles it's predecessors, with plentiful munitions and hundreds of zombies the once immense atmosphere now feels a little (un)dead. Many people call for the game to return to its roots, unlike most I enjoyed majority of the modern games however I do agree that resident evil needs to take a few steps back as it has gotten too action packed. Many survival horror games these days have evolved passed the conventions set by resident evil.

References:
http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=1274962
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game_genres
http://www.gamesradar.com/the-sneaky-history-of-stealth-games/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXqpAIUZbZo
http://uk.ign.com/articles/2009/10/30/ign-presents-the-history-of-survival-horror?page=4
http://kotaku.com/5056008/does-survival-horror-really-still-exist
http://leviathyn.com/opinion/2012/10/05/is-resident-evil-dead/
http://residentevil.wikia.com/Resident_Evil_Wiki
http://www.joystiq.com/2013/09/06/metal-gear-solid-5-ground-zeroes-preview/

Image reference:
http://media.officialplaystationmagazine.co.uk/files/2011/12/Metal-Gear-Solid-HD-Screenshot-2.jpg

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