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The Future of an RPGamer


The Day has finally come, to my regret, I can hear the bells of the Black Tower on top of the Hill, a horrifying sound to signal the ending of an age; I am becoming bored by the very thing that has lovingly clamped me to my monitors and tv's all those years: RPG's.

Oh how I long for the day that I first bought my SNES with Link to The Past, I'd saved for more than a year, and the tension and excitement when I turned the switch that marked "On" on the device and hearing that first blimp when starting the game up... It occurred to me that I was starting to feel dedicated to finishing that wonderful fantasy adventure. Wow, I even had full control of the character, no more waiting on your turn like Final Fantasy games I had tried, no, I could swing my sword any time I damn well pleased, fantastic!

I have been very pleased with almost every RPG that followed after playing Zelda: a Link to the Past. I was astonished by Final Fantasy VII and thanks to the ATB system, I could enjoy the turn-based system as well. Soon after that, I started to collect every RPG that was out there, just for the sake of playing them out and be entertained by the story, graphics, sidequests and whatever the developer of that particular game had in mind for me. Years of work, finished almost in a heartbeat. Sometimes, I recall playing Final Fantasy X, it would cost me five nights of sleep in barely two weeks, while still having to work as the good citizen I am. I have bought almost every console that came out after that, and before, and enjoyed Tactical RPG's, Action RPG's, Adventure RPG's and all diversities that enrolled out of the RPG production lines.

But lately, I find myself not so enthralled by whatever RPG comes out. Even though the fact that the amount of mentioning the word "RPG" in this writing clearly proves how much I enjoyed the very thing that has lately made me wonder how my life is going to turn out. God, I think I might even have a girlfriend soon: what a disaster that will be! Kids, little midgets that I probably will enjoy having, but the grief will be overwhelming for seeing them play whatever RPG's the future has in store for them and realizing how I too once embraced that substitute for whatever I could imagine in my head, only then ten times more wonderful.

Seriously though, I find myself thinking with whatever title is coming out, how am I going to enjoy this one? Will I, while playing that beauty that is called an RPG, eventually say to myself at a certain point: "Well this resembles [enter RPG name here] a lot" and be disappointed by that understanding? Have I been feeding myself with too many RPG's over the past 20 years? Was giving up my social life a bad choice somehow? Is that why I am becoming so analytical toward playing games? Am I becoming too old? Since I picked up my controller for the first time, I've only been playing 6 hours every single day, is that the reason why I feel this way?

My fellow RPGamers, Baten Kaitos is beautiful, but (K)alas, I am put off by the turned based system nowadays and I've played card collection games too much: Phantasy Star Online: Episode 3 and GBA Yu-Gi-Oh games for instance. Disgaea: Hour of Darkness is a delicious treat, but I've played FF Tactics, Vandal Hearts and Ogre Battle. Star Ocean 3: Till The End of Time is a bright Star in the last few years for me: the return of the action RPG while able to dodge enemies on the world map was awesome; finally, a worthy RPG for my skills with 400 hours plus of gameplay. I must say, you could hold me for a skilled, hardcore gamer: I do know how to play RPG's, obtaining everything and beating every boss the game has to offer, no matter what the difficulty. But it turned out to be a Supernova, dying with the passing of time... Alas, if we only would have more of these great cross-overs with a new flavor, then I would rest my case and I wouldn't be screaming for justice and originality. Even my local fellow RPGamers have been claiming for a year that I sound too old for RPG's and I'll admit, I even start to feel too old in my own opinion now.

Perhaps I could claim to be a victim of Commercialism or Piracy; VideoGame Companies are focusing on filling their bank accounts, or perhaps securing their budget for future games is a better way to put it, by developing RPG's that have a number after their title e.g. Final Fantasy XX, Dragon Warrior XX, when their first release has been selling well. Even the E3 has more "Number" titles than original games. No company is too eager to release something that has never been tried before nowadays, for fear of running a potential risk by being outsold by more appealing titles to the main public. Therefore little original games appear, or a fresh outlook on something that has been tried before. And I've been to Mexico, looking for games, but they barely even have official game stores there anymore. They've succumbed to the piracy that is present (and tolerated!) at every market in the country: Games that look like the ones you buy at the stores, complete with booklet and original print (synthesized) on the cd, for only 3 dollars a piece. Gamestop beware?

I can hear you say, what about the DS or Revolution for instance? Or the XBOX 360 gaming community possibilities? Look at that Tech Demo for the PS3, it's freakin' amazing what they did to the Final Fantasy VII intro movie! I have to agree with you here, it surely does look exciting. But I will probably repeat the opinion I have right now, at this very moment, even after playing the demo levels for Zelda: Twilight Princess: I have played this before, why would I replay something although it has been put on new clothes, new options of gameplay and new areas to explore? Suffice it to say, it doesn't have the same feeling like the old days, the first time I've played it. Sigh, trying out new genres, as I have been doing all along, has left me with the same bad taste in my mouth: Stagnation.

I can feel it coming, the yearning to retreat somewhere where I cannot be found, where I cannot be influenced anymore by games, Tibet sounds nice. But eventually, every place on this planet will know the existence of RPG's. I can run, but I cannot hide. I can feel the ground calling, I can hear the bells, that sound coming from the Black Tower on top of the hill, where none will escape their Doom.

I will dig a grave for the RPG lover that I have been all these years and the tomb-stone will say: "Here he lies, he loved RPG's but now, as originality is gone, here he lies, rattling his coffin with his controller, waiting for something new that will never come....Game Over...Period."

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