Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Remake Culture + Conduit Review

You know, part of the reason it's a bit ridiculous for me to criticize other reviewers is because I'm pretty much a softy. Unless a game royally screws up or royally succeeds, it's probably going to get a 6 to 8 out of me.

This isn't necessarily for any nefarious reasons. I think if I tried to give every game I played and didn't like a 1/10 someone would say something, but overall we're left to our own devices at the big P. I'm just not sure a 30 year old medium has a large enough audience that's critically able enough to support more strict scrutiny. I don't mean like they aren't intelligent enough, I mean like they probably haven't played as many games as one of the more intense gamer types. Think about when you got sick of the FPS. I've been playing them since Wolfenstein, so I get pretty tired of them once the tech and game design starts to repeat. But for someone young or just playing games? It's probably like trying guacamole for the first time or something. Nor does it help that the stakes are very high with games since most come in at 60 bucks a pop. A critical culture's richness has a direct connection to the cost involved for the consumer. Music? Grand, epic critical culture. Movies? Pretty big. They're also all cheap to get into. Personally, I think working with old games is more fruitful than trying to make some bold "This new game sucks" last stand. They're cheap, I can play with things like nostalgia, and the audience has typically grown a second pair of eyes. Then again, it has to happen on all fronts.

I also have to admit my preference for working with older games is a byproduct of a lot of luxuries I indulge in with my site though, so it's just something I'm always promoting. Don't think this review of The Conduit isn't 100% what I would give it anywhere else. As has been said about it countless times, it's a decent FPS with multiplayer on the Wii. It's just...if I want to play an FPS I'll reach for my Xbox 360.

This week's blog post is a sort of broad summary of what exactly goes into judging a good remake. I take the approach of showing how different mediums have a different relationship with remakes, like how film does it when technology updates visuals or music does it when someone has a new version. Games add a third element, and then I round it off with a basic ethic that applies to all mediums.

I did manage to work the Brady Bunch remake into it at the end.

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