Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Most Overrated Industry Figures

The video game industry is bursting at the seams with creative personalities, some more than others. This generation alone, apart from so many studio closures, has been one of the best of all time, no hyperbole intended. However, there are some figures in the industry who get more praise than they deserve, something that irritates me slightly. Time to bring the fight to them directly with this list of five Most Overrated Industry Figures, a special editorial at SuperPhillip Central. Which five will you most likely disagree with? Let's wait no longer.

Cliff Bleszinski

One of the faces of "bro gaming", something that brought a whole flock of stupid and annoying so-called "fratcore" who play "mature" games like Gears of War and Call of Duty and crap on anything else, Epic Games' Cliff Bleszinski is one of the two main faces of the company alongside president Mark Rein. His company's games generally allow grown adults to fulfill their young juvenile male fantasies of slaying thousands, curb-stomping enemies, and killing people with chainsaws attached to guns. Moreover, his company is going to force Microsoft and Sony to upgrade their next consoles even further with more power. We're already at a point in the industry where most publishers can hardly break even on their big budgeted games, and the cost is only going to go higher if Epic has their way. I understand that Epic's bottom line depends upon high-powered platforms, but if the next Xbox and PlayStation can already run Unreal Engine 4, why do they need more power? Why take more steps to ensure that the video game industry should be even more risk-oriented? Congrats, Cliff, and your horde of man-children fans. Pass the Mountain Dew, bro!

Peter Molyneux

The man of a billion broken promises, Peter Molyneux suffers from what I like to call the Janet Jackson what-have-you-done-for-me-lately syndrome. That is, Mr. Molyneux has been around the industry as a figure for quite awhile, and has done some exemplary work with titles such as Black and White and Theme Park which showcased his talent well. But recent efforts like Fable and The Movies made Molyneux create checks that his mouth simply couldn't cash. Promising features to the press and overhyping his games to adoring fans led to him-- at least in Fable's case-- coming out and having felt the need to publicly apologize to everyone for being slightly more than overenthusiastic in his beginning words for his latest titles. But like I said, what has he done for me lately? We have a Kinect (ugh) based Fable coming and a cancelled Kinect (did I say "ugh" already?) project that looked promising (we all know how far promising goes when talking about Peter Molyneux) in Milo & Kate. Perhaps Peter can redeem himself with Fable: The Journey as long as he keeps expectations firmly steeped in reality.

Hideo Kojima

I'm not going to mince words here-- I hated Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. It had an overabundance of cutscenes which slowed the pace of the game to a crawl. The ratio between actual gameplay (you know, what video games are supposed to be about) and cutscenes was grossly lopsided. It seems Hideo Kojima is more interested in making C-quality movies with cringe-worthy dialogue than actually making video games. This desire by the West and some Japanese developers who wish to emulate the West that video games need to be more like Hollywood is sickening to me. Games are games and movies are movies. If I wanted to watch an awful movie, I'd watch Pauly Shore's Biodome. Frankly, I don't want to watch that, and I don't want to be interrupted constantly by nicely choreographed cutscenes and head-shakingly bad conversations and scenarios. I don't care if you keep crapping your pants, Johnny. Not only is that incredibly stupid, but it is embarrassing to sit through. Who thought this garbage up? I know the answer, and that is one of the reasons why Kojima is on my *crap* list.

Michael Pachter

For someone whose predictions are usually wrong (but a broken clock is even right twice a day) and just reeks of ignorance, he sure does have the video game press by the balls. They eagerly-- especially GameTrailers-- hang on every word the man utters as if it were gospel. I don't see why as I find the man to be totally reprehensible and not worth my time (this part of the article notwithstanding). I'm still waiting on the HD version of the Wii that was supposedly a good idea and due out three years ago (even though it would have segmented the Wii user base severely), I'm waiting for a better apology from him for mocking people complaining about the Team Bondi situation and their horrible working conditions, I'm anticipating Kinect being less than $79 like he said it would be (it came out at $150), I'm still waiting for GTA V to come out by 2010 and then "fixed" to by 2011, and according to Pachter, dedicated handhelds are dead, and if you say that the 3DS's pace is outselling the DS's pace back when it originally launched, you are "spinning." Oh, Pachter, please go away and never come back, but this won't happen because the gaming media is made up of morons who will listen to anything you say as long as it fits their agenda.

Shigeru Miyamoto

Time for the most unpopular choice, Shigeru Miyamoto, another man who suffers from the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately syndrome. Yes, he is known for creating such fabled franchises like Mario, Donkey Kong, Pikmin, and Zelda (but not in that order, of course), but what has he done for me lately? He mostly has a supervisory role at Nintendo, but he still gets most of the credit. No, the real brains behind the operation is Yoshiaki Koizumi who is a rising star at the company, at the helm as director or producer for games like Super Mario Galaxy 1 and 2, Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, and Super Mario 3D Land. In fact, he's the man behind the idea of the three-day cycle that made The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask so famous and well loved. Then there's Masahiro Sakurai, the figure behind Kirby, Super Smash Bros., and the excellent 3DS game Kid Icarus: Uprising. Now, to be fair, there's talking of a new IP from Mr. Miyamoto in the works, but if it is anything like Steel Diver, then I'm not holding my breath. The man is still a game design genius, but he hasn't done much in recent history to still be idolized like he's God's greatest gift to modern gaming.


I no doubt struck a nerve with some of you (that wasn't my intention, though), so let me know what you think about this piece. Agree/disagree with my comments? Then share your own below. I look forward to reading your respectful thoughts.

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