Marching Towards The Online World
By Kei Beneza (dividelife), OnRPG journalist
Remember those days when you wanted to play Legend of Mana but just couldn’t order the AI to perform the same way you do? It’s pretty easy to press start with the second controller but quite hard to find a player to help you out. It’s undeniable that MMO games have created quite an impact in our gaming meta. Having a persistent world where players can help each other without the discomforts of partying up with AI is definitely a lot better than waiting for a friend to pick up the other controller. When it comes to multiplayer options, MMOs are the sure winner. Despite the graphics and extensive gameplay of most single player games, it does get a bit lonely considering the fact that you’re playing with a bunch of people that aren’t real to begin with. Isn’t that why they try to make really smart AIs? To mimic real people.
Bye Bye low population and second player!
There came a time when Counter Strike was just awesome, catered by internet cafes that even seem to be full during school hours. I remember hunting for players and challenging them on the spot to see which team would emerge victorious. Yes it was good, but everything was limited to your community. It gets tiring you challenge the same people over and over again. This is perhaps what makes the online world special. No longer will you be limited to challenging the same players over and over again, for the world will be your playground. Online multiplayer games have been around on the PC longer than consoles, probably because it was the only unit that was capable of connecting to the internet. .
Sir, I think we definitely need more multiplayer features
After enduring the painful solitude of console gaming, I finally had a piece of redemption after acquiring the Modem for the PS2 and of course the default one for the old Xbox. It felt good really; I was no longer limited to challenging the people in my neighborhood. The gaming population wasn’t that huge in my country back then, and we would host weekly casuals just to see how well we could perform up front. As time passed, more and more online features were catered for by consoles, allowing us to play without the discomfort of needing to meet up in one place.
You could say that this game arrived just in the nick of time, for it was in that boring time when our country acquired its first MMO. It was happy and awesome in every way. Persistency, the ability to talk to other players, dealing with online merchants, it was all good. At that point, I saw people give up console gaming for this new interactive game. The online world is definitely what NPCs and merchants in the old games represent. If you think about it, they do flood the place with NPCs in RPGs with a fork-based answering system to at least come close to making them real.
Is this the future?
When it comes to the gaming meta, it’s a known fact that gaming has reached the online planes. Wherever you look, be it the Xbox 360, PS3, or Nintendo Wii, there’s no denying the fact that a game’s online content is what makes it a non-linear rent type game. You could say that being online and multiplayer tends to boost a games replay value (Just look at Halo and Killzone 2). Single campaigns are special in their own unique way, but you definitely won’t play the same scenario for 3 months (repetitively). Online Multiplayer has been embraced by the Meta, definitely due to its ability to remove the linearity of each scenario.
Multiplayer is Mandatory
Even portable platforms like the Nintendo DS and PSP are starting to join in on the fun. Launching games like Resistance (PSP) and Animal Crossing (DS). I’m not sure if we’ve entered the final benchmark of online gaming but I’m sure it’s bound to evolve sometime soon. You have to admit, it’s hard to say that we actually saw it coming. A portable platform going online? If you think that’s weird, then you just got to see what today’s phones are doing. Aside from browsing the internet, some games on the iPhone and Blackberry are also capable of online multiplayer as well as online leader boards. Competing with other players has always been a treat. You could say that it’s becoming a mandatory feature.
I was actually surprised after seeing what the consoles were offering now. Here you have a marketplace of games that you can purchase without getting a hard copy. Upon purchasing PSP games on my PS3, I was actually a bit iffy about it. Seriously, these things weren’t armor sets in your favorite MMOs. You buy them for a fair amount of money even though you can’t hold them physically just as long as you can use them. Games however aren’t the only things you can purchase through your consoles. Movies and music can be acquired the same way as well. Although it’s an old feature for PC users, being able to stream things on your HDTV through your console is indeed pretty cool.
A Dawn Of A New Age
Movies, music, games, interaction, and more can now be acquired online, indicating that everything is indeed moving forward. I used to be that you would just buy a game, finish it, and then let it gather dust in your collection. Exactly how good are you in fighting games? Are you the best fighter in your neighborhood? Then I guess the only way to know would be to pair you up with a bunch of people whom you’ve never faced before. The Online world is a world of endless opponents. Not only does it increase the level of interaction between players but the lifespan of a game as well. I guess fighting games aren’t the only competitive type of games now. FPSes, MMORPGs, RTSes-for sure we are on our way to opening windows for more and more possibilities… as we march towards the online world.