A quarter of a century later

There is a side in me that yearns for all the old games, the games that emphasised on fun. Don’t get me wrong I love some of the games that are new Ratchet and Clank, Aragami, Sniper Ghost warrior, AC Origins, God of War and there are several others. Yet there are moments that I am driven towards the old games. Portal (the interactive novel), Millennium 2.2, Mass Effect, Masters of Orion and lately I have been thinking back to the game Ascendancy, a game 25 years old, yet it was an amazing forward thinking game in those days and I wonder why it was never released as a remaster, or even to some degree overhauled for today’s systems. If Cloud gaming is the wave, then these players need all the fun games that they can get and so far it seems awfully quiet. In part this is to be understood, as I stated in the past, until there is a proper 5G in place Cloud gaming is optionally nice to have, but without 5G it will not go anywhere fast, if even at all. Yet to get a library of good games, you need to start now to have a decent calibre of offers when it matters. And it is important to cover the foundations, in this (with no attack on that player) to rely on Ubisoft to cover your bets is massively stupid. No matter how good the coming games are, when the next game is as glitched and as buggy as AC Valhalla, you endanger your hardware. The ages of CBM-64, Atari ST and CBM Amiga have created some of the most amazing gaming journeys, a lot of it is no longer protected IP and using that foundation to create gams will be a great start in having a larger library, moreover, these games have some limitations, and even when upgraded, they might not take that much on the download. The difference between two streamers, one with Ubisoft and one with Ubisoft and half a dozen original and optionally exclusive games will give us that the one with the exclusive games will win, when the hardware is too close together, the one with the large exclusive (providing the are good) wins. We saw this in PlayStation 2 versus Xbox, Playstation 3 versus Xbox360 and PlayStation 4 versus Xbox One and that list goes on, Playstation won every time and only in the Xbox 360 age did Microsoft catch up to a decent degree, only to lose it again in the Xbox One age. In streaming Google Stadia, Amazon Luna and Netflix it will be the games that decide on the winner, giving Google at present a distinct disadvantage over Amazon Luna. Netflix is one boasting its arrival, yet nothing is known, so they are an unknown for now. 

So as we consider Ascendancy, a game I enjoyed for years, the stage has one weakness, the AI in the game was overly bad and that requires an upgrade, but that is the only large part, and even then the game scored 90%+ on several formats, A score Ubisoft had not seen since Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Chaos Theory (2005), Which is not entirely fair, Metacritic gave AC Origins a score of 81, I myself thought it was worth somewhere between 88%-93%. And as I replay the game, my score remains. The game has one flaw, or perhaps a wrong choice, but that is all and my view is not important. The fact that there is a massive limit to really good games is why the streamers need to open their search and they need to make sure that they have a decent library of games. Both Nintendo and Sony showed that it was essential one is number one and the other one surpassed the most powerful system in the world with the weakest system around. I believe that the evidence is clearly out there. As such games like Ascendancy can grow a larger base, especially if the game makers take care in what was and what could be. So far I have seen that option (or opportunity) with half a dozen games, a few movies and a TV series (self made), but in all this, the staggering push for ‘new and cheap IP’ by the makers, all whilst one corner away, there is a pile of good IP, all ready to be chiseled up into fabulous remasters and that is before you realise that a lot of these games come from an age before the gamers of today were born. Now, I do not know if there is IP on the following two titles, but the Dreamcast also gave us two titles that were just too much fun and great looking, they can even stand up to todays games on PSX4 and Xbox One.

The titles were Wacky Races and Fur Fighters. By the way, the PSX2 version of Fur Fighters is a joke, but the Dreamcast version was amazing, why it was forgotten we might never know but that stage could reinvent itself with cloud gaming. With 4 players in that arena, the one with the great games, great exclusive games mind you will take the cake and they will win that race, and when you consider that being number one in that race will grab you more players and more visibility from the moment you are that number one, that is how you win a race, wacky or not. So I will look and see what Amazon, Google and Netflix are up to (I am already disregarding Microsoft, as they seemingly have an Azure preference of taste), there is no way to tell how this ends, but in this the Verge gave us a few months ago ‘Google is shutting down its in-house Stadia game development studios, which is a choice, but it is one that could serve both Amazon and Netflix to a degree that could bank them pole position. Time will tell.

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