This is a continuation of the rant Ode to a Console.
After giving it some more thought, I think it’s finally dawned upon me why I’ve been so turned off by consoles as of late… It’s all the bloody sports games. With the notable exception of the Final Fantasy series, when I think of console games anymore it’s nearly synonymous with sports and racing games. The Playstation 2 has fallen victim to what I have dubbed “The Genesis Effect.”
You see, before the Playstation hit, there were only two major consoles on the market to choose from: the Sega Genesis and the Super NES. Choosing one (if you were the type who was confined to choosing only one) was easy then. If you enjoyed sports games to the exclusion of most else, you chose the Genesis. If you didn’t really care for sports games, you chose the SNES. It was as simple as that, really. This is an over-generalization, I know, but my mind views the world through strange eyes sometimes.
So not long ago, fighting an uphill battle against the rising popularity of the Playstation and Playstation 2, Sega pulled out of the console war. Who now would publish all the sports games? That’s night – Sony. The available Playstation library is now polluted by games featuring ATVs, bikes, race cars, monster trucks, deer hunting, wrestlers, skaters and let’s not even mention all the garbage EA puts out. The Playstation 2 has become the Genesis of our time, and from me, that’s not a compliment. Yes, I know other consoles suffer from these same afflictions, but none currently like the PS2.
My distaste for sports games is probably rooted in my overall contempt for professional sports in general, but I digress. I’ll save that rant for another day. Even so, I admit that I still own NBA Jam and Gran Turismo 3, though I can’t say that I ever managed to extract any measurable amount of fun from either. Now I simply can’t see myself purchasing another sports or racing game ever again.
My penchant in games and literature is nearly parallel. I am of the opinion that games should be an escape from reality, not a mirror of reality. In the same way I tend more toward sci-fi and fantasy novels than fiction novels and non-fiction literature. Like I hinted at above, my allegiance to the Final Fantasy series weighed heavily in my decision to purchase a PS2 in the first place. The knowledge that Squaresoft would be publishing on the PS2, coupled with DVD functionality and backward compatibility with the already huge PS1 library, pretty well sealed the deal for me.
So here I sit with a gaming machine that still holds a great deal of prominence today, unable to love it as I feel I should. I’ve even considered selling it a couple of times, but as a gamer I just can’t see myself parting with it. I continue to hold on the hope that one day I’ll dust it off and find out just how much I’ve under-appreciated it all this time. Until then, I’ll stick with my PC games.