What Happened to Strategy Gaming?
What is the answer to 99 out of 100 questions? Money…
You need look no further than the strategy gaming genre for confirmation. I recall a time. A very long time ago, when finding a good strategy game was as easy as stopping at an Electronics Boutique, and going to the strategy section. You could pick out almost any game and not miss.
These days that’s not the case. Why? Well, money. And “they” think we Americans are stupid. See I remember a game by the name of Herzog Zwei on the Sega Genesis. It was revolutionary and changed the landscape for its genre. But there was never a Herzog Zwei 2 or any other game like it again on the Sega Genesis.
I also remember the name Koei. I still see it today but it stands for something different now. It stands for crap. And by crap I mean Dynasty Warriors and pretty much everything else Koei puts its name on. But this wasn’t always so.
Koei use to mean hours of thoughtful, engaging, up all night, gaming. It meant that on a Friday night you would put your cartridge in the 8-bit NES, after blowing on it, and you would sit there for the next 12 hours straight playing a game made by Koei.
From the NES, SNES, Genesis, and even PS1, you could find an engaging strategic game; one with resource management, strategic thinking, planning, army management, and all on a console that you could play on your TV.
Today I can play R.U.S.E or Tropico if I want even a fraction of the gaming satisfaction that I use to get from far inferior machines.
So I ask, “why do I have to resort to my PC to play a good strategy game?” Well, money and…like I said “they”, think Americans are stupid. You’ll have no trouble finding a game with strategic depth on a console in Japan.
It’s a good think for smart phones. Today I can buy any game from Kairosoft for $4.99 or less and play it on my phone for a lot longer than any strategy game on Xbox 360 or PS3. It’s a shame really, but I’ll take it.