Finding a real game on a storefront is a terrible experience January 31, 2024 on Kenneth Dodrill's blog

Last night I was browsing the Playstation Store on my PS4. I sorted by Default, along with “For PS4”, and for the sale that’s going on, and I realized that many of these games are games made in Unity/Unreal that have copy/paste assets and overall just look terrible. There are also many visual novels and “puzzle” games (you know what kind). Why? Remember the Nintendo Seal of Approval? Now we have World War Battle Heroes Field Armies Call of Prison Duty Simulator on the Switch eShop. Nintendo decided: yes, we would like that on our storefront. In fact, please give us that game and also we would love if you discounted it to $2 every sale. To make matters worse, check out the publisher of that game. Counter Bottle Shooter-Pro Aim Master Target Bottle Shoot 3D Game Strike Pistol. Are you serious? That got through? What are you even doing Nintendo?

Let’s get back to the Playstation Store. I sorted by Default, “PS4 games”, and “Full Games” (no DLC). I wanted something new, so of course I scroll past all the AAA games (typically bland), all the popular indie games (have either played them or am uninterested), and the few hundred LEGO games out there (why do I need to pay $3 for a character pack? that used to be just in the game as an unlockable). Around page 13 on the website version you will start to find what I’m talking about. Notably, 13 sounds like a lot. However, if you are on PS4 you will be scrolling pretty quickly and it doesn’t take much time to get there. There also isn’t a “hide purchased games” feature or anything like that. The filtering and sorting is pretty bad.

Anyways, a lot of these games are low-quality games that feature an anime-like girl with half a shirt on. Of course you have a lot of the “Sakura” games that are visual novels that are made by the same company. But you also have stuff like Western Slot Machine (also available on the Switch) which is just…a slot machine. With anime girls. You have Succubus With Guns, which is easily one of the worst looking games I have seen on PSN. Check the Switch version for screenshots and a “gameplay” video. Yet, it sells more than something like Alwa’s Awakening/Legacy. Then of course you have various games that look like mobile games that span many genres (typically puzzle, racing, and endless runners).

A lot of these (at least on PSN) are “sex sells” games. There isn’t really any content, and the developers are hoping you see the boobies and buy the game. Which of course works because…sex sells. But why, if the gameplay isn’t good, do they get onto the store in the first place? It’s because they will sell, because sex sells, and because Nintendo/Sony don’t actually care about the consumer anymore and just want your money. I would say that these games don’t belong anywhere, but if they did I would rather see them on some mobile game store or tagged as NSFW on (so I can not see them).

For the other titles (such as the Switch titles), I am confused. The only thing I can think of is that kids want to play games like Call of Duty and Battlefield, and therefore will play anything close to it. Counter Bottle Shooter-Pro etc etc is only $5…can I buy it mom? Again, Nintendo is not thinking about the consumer and how much fun they will have with that game. They simply see it as a way to make more money because they know children will buy these titles.

Lastly, I want to address how easy it is to make “games” now. You can make a “game” with Unreal/Unity very quickly, and you can get your “game” onto any platform with those tools very easily. It makes it even easier if you have money to blow for assets. I already don’t like Unreal/Unity…but this makes it even more difficult to support games that use it. Your game is already so uninteresting to me because you chose the easy way out. Unreal games are so easy to spot nowadays, and that is sad. It means so many “developers” are just slapping assets onto Unreal and attempting to sell it. And it works, because PS, Nintendo, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Valve allow it.

The quality of games overall goes down because of this, and now I get to wade through a pool of shit to try and find one small game that: doesn’t have microtransactions, doesn’t have DLC, isn’t loaded with bugs, doesn’t use DRM, doesn’t include every popular gameplay mechanic under the sun just to be popular, isn’t a blatant ripoff, doesn’t use Unreal/Unity, doesn’t use pre-made assets, doesn’t connect to the internet to sell all my data, isn’t published and/or made by some evil corporation that will take the game off Steam the next day, doesn’t have ads, doesn’t have a premium account, doesn’t have loot boxes, doesn’t have a battle pass, isn’t completely manufactured to be a time-suck, doesn’t actually suck, isn’t made entirely by AI (looking at you, JRPGs), doesn’t give me hints to the puzzles the moment I look at said puzzle, actually respects the player and their intelligence, doesn’t have characters that look like they’re 12 and have almost no clothes on (looking at you, JRPGs), doesn’t require an online account and/or an internet connection to play a singleplayer! game, isn’t entirely made up of fetch quests, has a Linux version, has a good Linux version that actually works, and probably a ton of other things that I’m forgetting about.

Fuck PlayStation, Nintendo, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Valve, etc for allowing this to happen. It’s your fault because you accepted these games and paved the way for all the CEOs and “developers” who make these games with all of these “features” in them.