Monday, January 21, 2013

New isn't always better, not even more accessible

Hollywood and other centers of entertainment remake films and television series and games hoping to either restore a flagging franchise, to reintroduce the franchise or story to new audiences, or best yet, to harvest money that might have gone elsewhere.

Sometimes it is successful.  Most times it is not.  The reasons for success can be seen when an idea is brought to fuller fruition due to modern technology.   Reasons for failure can be seen when the story is poorly understood as a vehicle to bring flash and effects instead of actual drama and emotionally visceral responses.  

Sometimes the issue isn't remaking a story, but rather, continuing a story long after it has had power within it.  

But while there are many reasons to point this out, Godzilla, Star Trek, Dallas and more, my son received NHL 11 for Xbox as a Christmas gift.   I had played NHL 94 for SNES in the past and loved it.  Would this be an improvement?  Had technological improvements made the greatest hockey game I had ever played obsolete?  

Well yes and no.  

NHL 94 was better in ease of play, accuracy of some play action, and my knowledge of the players.   I've been out of watching hockey so long I barely know any current players.  So I might be biased.   But NHL 11 looks beautiful, and the on ice AI players know how to play hockey.   There are moments of bullshit, there are plays that would never happen, but mostly it looks as well as feels more real than NHL 94.

But do I want more real?   That is really the issue.  You see, I think you can't replicate a hockey game, which is a team sport on a video game well.  I liked NHL 94 because for what it was you, the player felt like you were in control.  

So as games go, sadly, I prefer NHL 94.  The controls on NHL 11 are far too complicated and do not work without excess attention to the motions you go through, at the same time, you lose that feeling of being in control if you can't do what the great players can do.  

Yes I am an old fart, and yes I preferred the original Godzilla over the Tristar Godzilla.   Modernization does not mean better.  Not even when the effects can make you feel closer to being in the event  you are playing.

But I do like NHL 11.   Since I don't have an SNES any longer having something is way better than nothing.

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