Why worry about the consoles? In my opinion (and this is just an opinion) you need a little more intellectual horsepower to play adventure games than the console generation has to offer. I think even most computer users today don’t have the brainpower or patience to complete adventure game puzzles. Could you honestly picture someone who’s used to playing Metroid having the patience to find out the name of some gnome so that you can take the magic hat to the wizard? Hardly. They’d be looking for a level-up so they can get a better gun to just shoot the gnome and steal the hat. Shoot, most of the people I watch play console games SKIP ALL THE DAILOG during the cut-scenes because they know all they have to do is shoot things, so whatever they’re saying is unimportant.
To me, adventure games allow you to take a break and step into another world. You can walk around and explore as you wish, look at things, talk to people… you were IN Daventry, Xenon, Spielburg, Lytton, Lost Wages… these were REAL places, not ‘Zone 1, Level 2’ Console games on the other hand expect you to work. You have to run faster, shoot harder, whatever, (translated into, ‘push the button faster’) just to progress the story if there even is one. People talk about ‘beating the game’ these days as if it’s a race instead of embracing the game world and the characters. Hell, most of the time in the first-person shooters, there are no characters to care about but yourself.
That’s probably why the console game producers don’t really concentrate on a story or character development rather than making the explosions look more realistic, or how much bass they can pump through your sound system when you fire a gun.
It’s sad, because it makes me feel old talking about games ‘back in my day’ but even the Atari systems were 90% ‘move and shoot’ games. The puzzle-solving aspects of the adventure games is what takes the brain power and patience. I think if some kid today was on the game for a third day in a row and still couldn’t get the door to the castle unlocked, the game would be in the ‘suck pile’ and they’d be at the store begging mom for the next ‘shoot-the-aliens’ game.
Another problem is the way the industry as a whole views success. I read in another thread about Sierra doing backflips over a ‘million seller’ whereas today, that would be considered somewhat of a failure for a game. (ONLY one million copies??) So that’s probably why companies are so afraid of adventure games. If they will only ‘work’ on a PC, what will the dumb kids with bottomless pockets do?
As far as the ‘future’ of adventure gaming, I saw this video a couple days ago and it seems like a really cool concept. A full 360-degree movie that you have camera control over. The characters in the scene ‘behind you’ progress whether you’re looking at them or not. Check it out!
Okay, rant over 😉