Yesterday I found myself trying to explain the origins of Puzzle Bobble, it went a little something like this: Well originally the characters are from a game called "Bubble Bobble" where little dinosaurs blow bubbles to trap enemies in them then burst them.*
And this started me thinking, where is this type of game nowadays? It seems to have been relegated to the smartphone medium. All main blockbuster titles are a "man shooting another man." I find myself thinking what happened? Somewhere between PS2 and current gen all main characters became human , or at least human looking: elf, dwarf etc. I wonder if this is a safe bet from marketers that people can identify more with a human protagonist.
I miss the abstractness the otherworldly environments, rather than the scant familiar distopyas emerging in all games. This atmosphere of breaking the rules of reality had existed in games for so long, creating characters and worlds within the constraints of the machine allowed for an unusual selection of protagonists, environments and art styles. However now rather than breaking the rules of reality, bending the rules seems to be the norm, simulations of "real-life" with added twists of being able to break the laws of physics or even just laws.
Is this the way we wanted to head with games? from the early days of protagonists such as kiwis, eggs, bandicoots, hedgehogs, bubble blowing dinosaurs, and ninjas from the nth dimension to generic "white american man". I think we need something more groundbreaking more abstract and surreal talents for a main title, at least from a break from the norm.
Love and THAT theme tune,
*thankfully i never got to the point of explaining they have to traverse a 100 dungeons, which have portal like holes in the top an bottom of the screen, the last enemy standing will turn red and get faster, and there is a sidequest where you save your dino-girlfriends by collecting bubbles with the letters B, O, N, U, S in them. Oh and the dinosaurs were human to start of with. And can bounce on bubbles. And some bubbles contain power ups. And sometimes at the end of levels, depending on your timing, a load of fruit will appear.