Prefacing this op-ed with this. Out of the three in the podcast, I am probably the most indie game sound. I play a lot of games that aren’t played by tons of people and I’ve quite a few indie games under my belt. I love some of them. The reason I’m posting this blog is the heavy influence the new consoles seemingly have on indie games. I don’t think this is a bad thing, just really skeptical on it. For one huge reason and I’ll get to that in this blog.
Let me preface all of this though by saying that there are some great indie games out there. From the behemoth, giving us Battleblock Theater, Alien Hominid, and Castle Crashers to the creators of Journey of which the game’s soundtrack was nominated for I think a Grammy. There are some great indie games out there. And it’s not a bad thing that the new consoles are focusing heavily on it. Because some of these indie games really deserve more love. But then there are the ones that make me skeptical for this big indie push.
And those indie games are the ones I’ve seen on Xbox Live Arcade. Hopefully you being here you know a little about me. Knowing that I used to be a huge “Xbot” which is a term used by my buddy Kyle that basically means I played a lot of Xbox games. I was basically an Xbox fanboy. So I’m ranting a little bit. What I’m getting at is I had an Xbox 360 and it took over a large portion of my life at that time. I was seemingly always on it. I had nothing better to do. And there are a lot of times when you just get bored of playing the same game over and over and over so you got to find something else to do. At this time I had nothing else to do but play video games. I know sad right? So I went on to the Xbox Live Arcade area. Which was basically the area where all the indie games were at. And there is some crazy stuff in that area. Stuff that really shouldn’t even have been allowed to be on a console. I’ll use a game called Monkey Poo Flinger as an example.
So the premise of Monkey Poo Flinger is you are a Monkey, in a zoo, throwing your monkey poo at patrons passing by. When you do this you earn points and you earn enough you move on to another stage, unlock certain things, stuff like that. The just of everything that are in a lot of games. Kind of like a horde mode that’s a full on game that only costs about a dollar. The problem with all this is the concept. Again I say you are a monkey, in a zoo, flinging poo at patrons(young children, old men and women, and random people in general just wanting to visit the zoo and have a good time) to earn points.
And the sad part is, that this isn’t even the worst of it. Of course there is a lot of creativity in a lot of indie games but there are also the indie games that really shouldn’t exist. Indie games that don’t even come close to taking themselves seriously. Of course the behemoth’s games could be classified under that genre as well and I love the behemoth. But trust me when I say there is a lot worse than just these things. And that’s a scary thought. Especially with all this self publishing talk. If it works like it does on Xbox 360. We will see more of the same. Either passable indie games that are fun for a half hour or indie games that promote near naked animated women or allow you to fling poo at patrons, or the really good ones that come once in a blue moon.
So basically what I’m saying is, all this focus on indie games is cause for skepticism and not just praise. Because even from what I’ve seen so far for the indie games on show. Octodad and such. These games far from take themselves seriously. And that’s great in a lot of cases but even the most non-serious triple A title does have moments where it slows down a little bit. I always feel like I’m alone in this sort of thing. But I speak my mind anyway. All I want is more games that know I’m going to spend more than a few hours doing which is what indie games boil down to. Even some of the greatest indie games out there, they don’t take you long to beat or get bored of. So basically just proceed with caution with all this indie news. It’s great and all that they are getting more of a focus. Some of them truly deserve it. But people shouldn’t be upset that people like me don’t care that these indie games are getting a huge focus. I personally have a ton of skepticism. And it will never ever go away because of my experiences on the Xbox Live Arcade area. I truly don’t remember if that’s what the indie games area was called on Xbox 360 but whatever.
So that’s all I have to say on the matter. Big reason I posted this was because I missed out on the podcast this week for multiple reasons and they briefly talked about it on the podcast and I feel my bit needed to be said. Indie games no matter what can be quite the experience. Good or bad. Thanks for reading All Star, if this is your first time here and you haven’t listened to the podcast which is doubtful then I advise checking it out. Anyway have a very beautiful rest of your day and PI