*Sigh* I miss the "Old School" RPGs and RPG creation. I've loved RPGs since I was six. The games are the greatest games, in my opinion, ever to grace the Doom filled market, Quaked with games where you run around as a Tomb Raider, shooting anything that moves. But, moving away from the blood filled games like that, RPGs have changed. I miss picturing in my head what the little blue blob that I just equipped with a broad sword and tower shield looks like. Imagination is what has fueled RPGs from the start. And, from the start, I mean from the first idea someone had, to throw his friend into a role and giving difficult puzzles for him to solve.
Now we are far away from the roots of RPGs. It's become a sad, and expensive shame these days, that any game released has to have top of the line, 3D graphics, depicting everything about the character from their pointy hair, to the little spikes on their boots. Don't get me wrong, I love games like FF VII where there are great cinematic scenes and such, but its a shame that a successful game has to have things like that these days. How many people's favorite RPG is one that wasn't released in the age of the Voodoo III? I, for one, have the top three games on my list of favorite RPGs as Final Fantasy III, Dragon Warrior III, and Ultima VII. I'll admit, FF III has some of the best SNES graphics ever rendered, but frankly, I believe it was StarTropics 2 that had the about the best graphics ever made for the NES, and so on like that down the line of technologies. Today, games seem more into eye candy than storyline sometimes. There are of course, exceptions to this, but overall, the RPGs of today aren't becoming classics, like the RPGs of old have become classics.
The best new RPGs these days are more and more series that have been around. High numbered games like Ultima IX, Final Fantasy VIII, and Might and Magic VII would be games you tend to see on the top of the RPG top sellers at the moment. You see less and less successful RPGs that are number one and two. You see them, I know they are out there, but the farther the big, long lasting series get in their numberings, the farther behind upstart RPGs seem to get. Remember, if the "lovely" game for the SNES, Secret of the Stars, had the name Final Fantasy attached to it, it would have been more popular, hands down (though, the more I think about it, if it were a Final Fantasy game, it wouldn't have been such a terrible game to begin with).
It's sad that these days, successful RPGs need a development team of 20, heavy access to a bunch of 3D rendering super computers, and millions of dollars to see the light of day. I could sure go for a good 2D RPG where my brain was involved in the graphic rendering process right now. Today's games look more like movies, where you end up bashing a monster in the head with a button, than traditional RPGs. Its cynical to think like this, I know, but you got to admit, games like the old BBS download Adventure, which was a text based game with absolutely no graphics but the ones your eyes make when you stare at the black background of the DOS prompt too long, wouldn't make it anywhere today. Hell, all of those classic BBS RPG doors (Doors are text based multiplayer games that you play online on BBS's) like Legend of the Red Dragon and Usurper won't make it anywhere if they were released today.
You know, I guess this is just a little quark of mine, but I never finished the games Dragon Warrior, and Final Fantasy. It wasn't from lack of trying mind you. I made it to the end and never got past the last boss. The game itself was addictive enough, though, to play through 20 times over to the last boss like that. It was, if for no other reason, that hard and that addictive because the developers took more time on plot and game play than on graphics. I have gone back to my old Dragon Warrior game pack and attempted to beat the Dragon Lord again, being more mentally experienced at RPGs than then, and still didn't win in 5 tries. Wow. Five tries in a game where you look like a blue blob holding a blue shield and a blue outlined white shield though the entire game. Imagine that. I sure did, at least while I played the game, and imagined him to a dark blue armored warrior with a bright, glimmering silver sword and ornately decorated blue, white, black, green, brown, and red shield.
Flames, comments, questions, compliments? Email me at email@example.com or send in your own editorial. I have a Dragon Lord that needs tending to, and a Whitewolf game that needs playing in the mean time.