Hello there, my dearest, darlingest Lusi-sprites.
It has been said that ³Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity – not a threat”. This quote is often misapplied to Albert Einstein (what quotes aren’t misapplied to Einstein on the internets?) but can actually be credited to Steve Jobs, and I am sure various other
executives and marketers throughout space and time. We are told to embrace change, to purchase the latest and greatest products. Our old beloveds are out of date and obsolete. Voices of dissent are accused of being old-fashioned or downright ‘fraidy cats, stuck in their ways and afraid of change.
Why, though? At least in respect to games and other media.
Allow me to preface this rant by stating that I would not wish to shackle
the creative soul. I do not think that innovation is a bad thing per se. I just vehemently oppose this notion that seems to permeate our culture about change being absolutely necessary all of the time.
Let me digress for a moment. I like sandwiches. I like a good ol’ ham and swiss on white sandwich, perhaps with some chips. It is tasty, I know I will like it if I make it. I also like to fancy it up with gourmet bread, different cheeses, sauces, varieties of luncheon meats. Just because I enjoy the Tuscan chicken with red pepper sandwich they serve up the street, it does not mean that from time to time I do not crave a plain ol’ ham and swiss.
Right now, as much as I enjoy the Paradigm system, appreciate the customizability of the License system, etc etc, I really want to play a JRPG with job classes, turn-based menu combat, and traditional level-based progression. I also want a ham and swiss sandwich.
Is this so wrong? Is it wrong for me to wish that game developers would ease up ever so slightly on the innovation? Invest more in character and plot development, and re-use tried and tested game mechanics? With a little tweaking of course, but nothing approaching the massive overhauls we have seen lately.
This is not meant to be an FF-specific rant. In general, RPGs are becoming rarer, and those that come out are shying away from traditional elements, likely fearing that no one will be interested in something they have seen before. Has it not occurred to them that maybe gamers are craving an old, familiar style?
Maybe I am just crazy.