My 2006 New Year’s Wish List

2005 is breathing its last, and all is quiet on the news front. This seems as good a time as any to share my wish list for ’06.

Give me a game that gives me reason not to obsessively reload every time I lose a battle. Make the game’s events so meaningful that I want to experience all of them, not just the victories. Make the occasional defeat an important in-game experience that I can appreciate. Please. Somebody stop me before I redo yet another battle in Rome: Total War.

Give me a game that lets me play god the way Populus did; with minimal fuss and unnecessary distraction. I want to hurl comets, ignite volcanoes, and inflict locusts upon my enemies. I want to send my followers charging madly into their followers. And I want to do it all without playing nanny to a city’s basic functions and/or taming a glorified pet lion first.

Bring back The Incredible Machine, with new goals, tons of new contraptions, and fun (not necessarily expensive) graphics. And many, many ways to solve a single problem.

Give me another RPG like Planescape: Torment. I want to actually care what happens to my companions. I want to have complex feelings about the people I meet and, yes, fight. Most RPGs, at their best, make you feel one or two things about an enemy. Fear and/or anger. Pity and/or anger. Etc. How about: grudging respect, envy, lust, and rage, all wrapped into one nuanced package? Planescape was also courageous enough to end on a less-than-perfectly-happy note, which I never cease to appreciate.

And, for heaven’s sake, give me good games for the Nintendo Revolution! The time has definitely come for games that use less than 100 buttons; that give me reason to work up a sweat while gaming; that (heaven forbid) even teach me practical skills, like boxing, or fencing! I want Muhammed Ali himself giving me pointers on my left jab. And I want those pointers to be worth something, dammit. And, while I’m on the subject: I know I’m not the first person to notice that the Revolution controller would make a perfect lightsaber. Please, when the inevitable game emerges, let it track my movement perfectly. I want that virtual blade to point and swerve in exactly the manner that I swing it (assuming that the controller is good enough to permit this, of course.)

That’s good enough. Happy new year, all. 🙂

4 responses to “My 2006 New Year’s Wish List

  1. Pingback: Hazardous Studios - Game development commentary from a student » RPG NPC Analysis

  2. Amen. Planescape: Torment is still on top of my list of favorite RPGs.

  3. I didn’t think about that lightsaber possibility before. Nintendo seems to be the only company that actually cares about sustaining the profitabiltiy of the industry by innovation and new ideas. The only new thing I’ve seen coming out of Microsoft and Sony besides the HD is a platform for bigger and shinier explosions not better games. Power does not make a great game. Nor does trying to add everything but the kitchen sink to the console.

  4. I second a new version of the Incredible Machine! (Hey, I count Jean Tinguely
    and Rube Golberg as heroes) If no one does a straight update, I wouldn’t
    be surprised to see a similar concept come out of Japan.
    Haven’t heard of anything, though.

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