Am I Too Cynical About Video Games Now?

Critical Nobody
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Part explanation, part rant, part self reflection. I may seem to have a negative attitude in general toward modern games, but my pessimistic outlook didn’t come from nowhere.

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#gaming #videogames #microtransactions

Time stamps:
0:00 – Intro
1:05 – I Didn’t Used to Be Like This
2:45 – Everything Got Figured Out
3:47 – Innovation = Monetization
7:57 – Multiplayer Doesn’t Have the Same Appeal
10:36 – Game Journalism Became a Joke
12:03 – Conclusion

Ending Song: Minecraft “Squishy’s Theme” –

115 Comments

  1. What I wouldn't give to play Kingdom Hearts or the first RDR again blind as a kid.

  2. For me games went from being a break from my problems to now becoming the problem.

  3. There is no lie, gaming has become polluted with greed and lackluster effort because the common sheep of gamers said "Hey, we'll play it anyway! We'll pay for all these skins!"
    I hold a belief still to this day that I wish creating amazing games risked the developer going bankrupt, because when I see the behind the scenes of a lot of games I loved from 90s and early 00s, I see that happening a lot more than I thought. Developers were scared for their banks, scared for their use in resources, and scared about their game even making people play it.
    Now, no one is scared. Workers are forced into crunch time because Developers and higher ups just want the game to meet its deadline and if it's not working, just say it needs to be polished then shipped out the next month. And then patch it as it goes along.
    It's a disgusting time for a lot of us who grew up when Sega was a console.

  4. Play Doom Eternal. Easily the best action game in years.

  5. So true man! This is why I love your content 🤩 and your opinions 😛

  6. Speaking of gaming having long since hit it's peak, I'm fairly sure that I saw a graph of the total number of game sales worldwide for each year, and it peaked somewhere between the sixth and seventh generation. I'm going based on a fuzzy memory here, so please correct me if I'm wrong. (The record breaking profits and constantly increasing budgets, have been getting supplemented by things like micro-transactions, not sales.)

    Still, if that's correct (and not a false memory), then that means we have indeed passed the peak. Not only that, it also suggests that each passing generation is less and less interested in video games as a whole, instead choosing to stick to a select few titles such as Roblox, Minecraft, and Fortnight. How's that for making you feel old?

  7. another youtuber called synthetic man is also quite cynical, but has some great videos. definitely one of my favorite youtubers about games.

  8. All the critique you give should be constructively taken by the creators. My opinion is that PVP games are the worst of the batch, since its turning into pay to win games, and the developers dont care about things that are complained about as long as it doesnt stop them from making money. Single player games are still alright, maybe just a few bugs to deal with, but the open world games also became so bloated with content that it kills the core gameplay. Despite all the mistakes made, gaming is still a part of my life and im always excited to play with friends when it comes to PVP.

  9. I think gaming peaked during the PS2 era. Every type of game under the sun. Twisted Metal with WWE superstars? Yup, they had it. It was terrible, but it was different and unique. They just tried things. Lots of failures, but also many, many gems. Truly something for everyone.

  10. Everything that's being said in his video the reasons why Indie gaming will continue to grow and I pray that it does.

  11. nah i feel like your "Cynical" nature is justified with the state of the AAA industry. nowadays I'm mostly into either into Japanese developed (not ALL of them, just a select few of them) AA or Indie games. maybe a spice of Niche titles

    sure there's still a good amount of Indies that aren't very good, but the ones i look up onto i usually end up satisfied with, shockingly love them, or i can at least appreciate it for what it wanted to be. same with AA stuff like Crash 4, Mario + Rabbids and so on. I'd argue there's a AAA i end up liking once in a while but i think it'll take a while since the last one i enjoyed was Doom Eternal

    as for the Game Journalists? …yeah no

  12. Your entire video is… entirely too relatable. Yesterday, I spent a couple hours on the MS Store (Xbox One) browsing games… and not being jazzed about anything . 993 games and not a one stood out.

    I need to change up, and quick. Elsewise, what's the point in videogaming anymore?

  13. Honestly the best way to describe it is like someone creating a problem and capitalizing off of your feedback.
    They keep getting paid to do this because someone up above them is making a crap load more than before when artist had more freedom to create. If EA was a person they would do everything they could to make a buck as long as they had a good chance of not getting caught or if it wasn't coming back to them like a fuse to a bomb.
    It's almost like darwinism in a capitalist version.
    Said person makes more money for the company then they don't care so they get kept while everyone else is out the door

  14. I'm 1000% with you on AAA games and Hollywood, it all feels soulless. But you still get the occasional pleasant suprise like Top Gun Maverick that remind you what fun looks like.

  15. i based my opinions from watching other reviewers and the based opinion (as long as it aint a pseudo-video essayist w/ overstretched 5-word essays instead of using gaming key terms that help my literacy) of people relevant to the gaming community for a well-founded constructed criticism.

    id be great if more people were aware of "eurojank", "-wise", and "akin to the genre", why other forms of art are called "critic" instead of "gaming journos" who uses comparisons which are cheap based opinions.

  16. Odyssey was an amalgamation of open world and a good sequel in terms of gameplay.

  17. "next-gen" is such a buzzword for marketing that people had no idea that a UE5 tech demo runs on a 1070.
    edit: i was expecting to get new titles for a brand new experience playing on my PS5 and instead got remakes.

  18. You pretty much nailed everything. The game journalist part struck home; I was big into the GameSpot community back in the 2000s, even taking part in video blogs when they had their first video upload feature. Then, 2010 Gamer Gate happened and instead of talking about gameplay mechanics, pacing, graphics, length, variety, and combat, game journalists instead focused on what a game "means", allowing developers to get away with half assed game design in trade of becoming 30 hour movie directors or customer service reps.

    We really are in the late stage capitalism part of gaming. All of this is gonna collapse on itself, I know it.

  19. Hard agree on looking up to gaming journalists back in the day. I wanted to be one myself, now I couldn't care less about what most critics have to say about video games.

  20. I'm cynical about media in general seeing as every media company is actively shitting out garbage and morons not only consume but actively defend the practice

    See below for example.
    Listen if you're content eating mud more powerful to you but for the rest of us that prefer food, shut the hell up. We're objectively correct.
    We're cynical about gaming because it's objectively in the most expensive least rewarding place it's ever been.
    You're not too cynical. It's not a flaw. Cynicism is the appropriate response to a consistently downward slide and yes there are exceptions to the rule but they're just that. The exception.

  21. I feel the exact same way. Thought maybe i was just too cynical and that i hade rose tinted lenses for the games of old… So i tried playing some of the games i always considered to be "the best of all time" in my eyes.. and wouldnt you know it, graphics aside, they all hold up and are still an absolute joy to play. And none of them have microstansactions and none of the single player games need to be online connected in order to play. Games truly were better then than they are now.

  22. I'm not excited by anything either I often feel if something does not suck me in within like 10 mins I dismiss the game as crap uninstall and refund it. Maybe its I'm older and have less paitance for anything I deem not upto my personal entainment standard

  23. One of my biggest problems with multiplayer gaming (besides the monetization of course) is that every publisher wants their game to be the next big, competitive MLG title so we just end up with all these homogenized games with no personality because the focus is so heavily on balance-balance-balance that you lose any semblance of interesting ideas or that chaotic fun that comes with a more loose approach to the design.

    Edit: also, I don’t think you’re necessarily too cynical, the AAA industry has preconditioned a lot of us to feel a certain resentment towards it just by default.

  24. The industry just takes gamers for granted. They don't put the effort they did in the past because there's no need to. People will buy everything they push out.

  25. You need to expand your spectrum. You’ll find a lot of good indies and AA and even AAAs. Promote those instead of covering the games you know are going to be bad.

  26. It's impossible not to be cynical about games when you have played them long enough to be passionate. The industry has long passed the point of no return and it's too big for its own good.

  27. What do you think about the new RE4R faces and in general?

  28. No you're not. AAA games more often than not simply suck shit. Well, first and foremost- their publishers, often developers, and then them. But still.

  29. I agree with pretty much everything you said. I agree the golden age is over. Just 1 example. We had an amazing year in 2017, with Zelda BOTW and Mario Odyssey coming out in the same year!! both those games were amazing and I had to get a switch. after that………essentially nothing. 5 and 1/2 years and Nintendo just doesn't make games anymore. paper mario origami king, fire emblem three houses, luigi's mansion 3, all did nothing for me and I was quite disappointed. Nintendo tried making Metroid Prime 4 and they were like "help us retro studios! we don't know how to make games anymore!" imo. Gone are the days of bringing over the xbox and having 8-players with 2 linked xbox's. Doesn't help when in Canada, with tax, new games are $100. Don't have a ps5 or xbox series x. ps5 is still sold out everywhere. If they don't have any decent sales this black friday, I ain't buying anything. Even in comic books, I'm cynical about them too. There's a lot of shitty shovelware Marvel is shovelling. I'm gonna try and go down the indie route more often.

  30. I dunno. Sometimes you remind me of the comic book guy from the Simpsons. And I love it. Have literally watched all your videos.

  31. if you disliked this video then you need to get ur priorities straight

  32. I don't think I have a single major disagreement with your video. I'm at the age where I have figured out what I like and it's not the same as it used to be, and time constraints mean I wouldn't play all the things I used to anyway, but games today just aren't as fun as they used to be, for the most part. There are a few games this generation I've really liked, but for the most part, they're few and far between. Game journalism going downhill can be attributed to journalism in general doing the same, though.

  33. I think is more accurate to say that the multiplayer experience has been changed forever. Single player games are a different story because at least you have great games still being made. Unfortunately for people who played multiplayer games before this new era it's not possible to feel exhausted nowadays. Season Passes, Microtransactions, missing content, etc. It's just sad to see. Fundamentally if you're playing a multiplayer game right now it's totally different for what it was before and that may sound obvious but the problem is that the ones that were made before were so unique and awesome filled with content at day one and now well I guess everyone enjoys them for different reasons.

  34. This crap isn't just restricted to gaming, it's all forms of media. Everything is made to try and please as many people as possible but usually ends up alienating the people who loved it most

  35. I haven’t heard anything about this movement that’s trying to get rid of voice chat. The only thing I’ve heard was this one trans Twitch streamer who was saying it should be banned, but that’s about it.

  36. The only game I'm obsessed nowadays is Hunt:Showdown. It's truly NEW and REFRESHING game, expertly crafted.
    If we talk about single player games, I feel like it's one game per year or two I can finish with joy. Other games I just abandon, they just too long
    That's why I'm excited when I play Hellblade or Plague Tale, they short and amazing, no live service bullshit ot micro transactions

  37. Finally someone that gets me. I 100% relate to your cynicism.

  38. Like me, you had the fortune to grow up with games during their golden age. When they were still made by gamers for gamers under budgets which actually made sense. Before the Internet frankly ruined a lot of things about the world.
    We were spoiled and didn't even know it.

  39. Its a good thing to cynical. It helps alleviate dissapointments because atleast it helps u not waste ur money in a shitty game. The Video game industry nowadays is like a spoilt child and like every spoilt child, u gotta show some tough love

  40. I don’t see it as being cynical, it’s the natural adaptation to seeing things change to what you know beforehand, evaluating based on frequency of it all. It’s as you put it, “How can you just ignore it?”

    It’s honestly made the few standalone micro transaction free, “playable without another launcher account” titles feel better to play just because we’re so neck deep in all this sludge, it’s more refreshing to prop those games above the garbage. Especially when all this cynicism feels futile, like you’re going red in the race screaming at a brick wall.

  41. The feeling of awe when playing games like silent hill 2, resident evil 4, mgs 2, gran turismo 1-3 (so many more) for the first time is just not there for me anymore, it petered out in the early 2010’s

    So many genres gone, an endless procession of 1st person shooters, 3rd person action adventures and sports games, monetisation and cosmetic nonsense being forced in from every angle

    Even if some games are still great, the culture and business around them has changed imo, and not for the better .

  42. I can see why some would believe that gaming is better than ever when their niche is filled, but I don't question anyone with their cynicism towards the industry. The industry got way too big for its own good, and time and time again have taken advantage of consumer loyalty.

  43. Been having this conversation with myself for a while. There are many games I can't talk about with friends lately because they interpret my pro/con lists of critique about things as me just hating on the games they like. I think it's important to remember that video games are awesome, people have different preferences, and that playing/supporting them is the right thing to do. But also calling out the industry on its bullshit and standing against the stuff that needs it. I don't know what the line is, but I appreciate you putting the thought into it with this vid. I hope we do eventually even out the YouTube essay/review landscape with a healthier balance of critique and praise.

  44. I believe most of what your are feeling is due to FOMO, the games that are front and center with the most publicity and or controversy tend to get expectations, and the pendulum analogy makes sense here.

    Having said all that, the industry in it's entirety has ballooned into something akin to multi level marketing scheme, just look at YouTube and streamers. So add this to the mix and it compounds to the problem of what games get "coverage" what games to avoid.

  45. No, it's not us. Its them. We shouldn't let ourselves be gaslit into thinking we're being too harsh on the low quality, low effort, and predatory products masquerading as games being released in recent years. We're not being too harsh on them and they deserve all criticism that comes when they release such products. Now being blatantly wrong and mean about something is wrong. Like going into a game review knowing you're not gonna like it or not even giving it a fair shake is bad. But if a game is actually bad and you have valid criticisms about it and about the studio or publisher that's attached to it especially if they do something like attack people online for not liking their game that's fine too. It's no secret that the quality of games being released has went down and down over time, every now and then theres a gem or diamond in the rough and we all give praise when that happens but majority of the time it's the same low tier shlock so it might seem were being negative all the time but its just because garbage is always coming out. We know good games when we get them and bad ones when we get them, treating them accordingly is not a bad thing and theres not really such a thing as being too harsh towards multi billion dollar companies when they try to sell you shit. If anything we should be more harsh because the fact that they have the audacity to give us certain products like they have over the years should honestly be appalling. They think it's okay to do that and they only ever learn firstly by not making any money, and then bad publicity comes into play. As long as you can keep giving your honest opinion about things without sugarcoating it and believing what you're saying then you should be just fine. I know ky thoughts are all over the place but I personally am tired of people letting bad games and bad moves by companys slide for no reason, we need to be more outspoken as a whole and for the love of god stop giving our money to fund these companies giving us shit products back to back

  46. Yeah tends to happen, in my experience I tend to be more selective about games and play acording to hunches, but I agree we need to break gorund and renew the industry in other ways.

  47. Are you too cynical about video games now?
    No.
    As you've gotten older, the simple joy of throwing people out of a window in Minority Report has been replaced with the need for something of greater substance.
    I look at it this way:
    When we're young and dumb we don't understand how valuable our time is. Even if a game isn't that good we play it and we can enjoy it. But as we get older we realize that what's more valuable then the money in our pockets is the time we have left in this world. We can always find more money but we will never have more time then we have right now, and it's a currency that depletes by the minute. So we are more careful about what we spend that time doing. The days of wasting hundreds of hours in an RPG grinding levels are behind us now and we just want a solid experience that doesn't waste our time. Multiplayer games in general fall into the same boat because at the end of your life, will it really matter how many times you prestiged in COD or will it matter that you experienced an amazing story in a game that helped you grow as a person outside of the game?
    You're also holding literal billion dollar companies to account for their lackluster product where there are no excuses for their product to be anything outside of sensational… Because it's coming from a literal billion dollar company (yes that's billion with a capital B!!!). They have the resources to make the greatest art in the world and they waste it chasing profits. You can even tie that into my first point, these executives working for these companies are prioritizing making money they can't take with them past the grave instead of leaving something meaningful that will last the test of time.
    Take pride in your cynicism. It's forcing you to be a better consumer, a more detailed artist, and in many ways a more patient and better person.
    I could be way off the mark here but this is how I take it whenever any of my friends ask me the same question, one that I'm starting to hear more and more as the years pass.

  48. My complaint about modern gaming is that there’s no love and care

  49. Modern gaming seems like a neverending cycle of overpromising and underdelivering. Are you a bitter old man that complains all the time like me, or are you an optimistic youth that can see the good in everything?

    If you'd like to see more of my content, here's the Critical Nobody playlist – https://bit.ly/2M3r65U

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