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Creation Date: March 1st, 2010 06:15 PM
Blue Ghost Blue Ghost is offline
Musings of a Knight of the Imperium.
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In Moot Member Blogs Starcraft thoughts Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #427 New September 9th, 2018 02:10 PM
So, according to PCGamer StarCraft's popularity in Korea (South Korea) is possibly on the wane. In fact I saw a vid on how the whole RTS genre is petering out, so to speak, largely because RTS games take a long time to learn, and even longer to master.

I guess my thought is, and specifically towards StarCraft, is that I'm surprised it lasted this long. I got into StarCraft during my fine year or two of going for an engineering degree, and the thing that struck me about the game is that it was initially a tongue in cheek review or homage to a lot of American films with a leaning towards science fiction properties. The wraith fighter pilot takes his cues from The Right Stuff, the Valkyrie pilot is a take on Young Frankensteins Von Bluhert, the Battlecruiser captain is a take on the Russian SDF-1 captain from Macross, and so forth. There's a lot of homages to various things that aired or screened in the US, including anime imports.

So, to me at least, its popularity in Korea speaks to the fact that it was an interesting game unto itself with or without the pop media references. I thought it fun, but I also thought it stole or borrowed a lot from other science fiction stories and properties out on the market, but did so harmlessly. As a game it was much in the same vein of Blizzard's Warcraft titles; over the top in many ways, and fun in this sense.

So, imagine my surprise when StarCraft 2 hits the scene, and after about a year or two or three of hemming and hawing as to whether to get it or not, I finally broke down and bought some used CDs off of Amazon. And for all the really outstanding 3d accelerated graphics in the game, I couldn't help but feel that the devs and the company itself were taking both the game and itself way too seriously.

All those light hearted references or attitudes were still kind of in the game, but the characters were now full of deep pathos and angst, as if the whole thing was really not just serious in terms of the game world, but serious in terms of how the audience or user should accept the game's universe.

It reminds me of a time when I saw a clip of a "space cowboy" shooting at Star Wars' imperial "stormtroopers". The guy's wearing a cowboy hat and one of those 19th century long "trench" coats, is getting fired upon, whips out his "six shooter" blasters, and fires back. Huh? Did I just see that right? Star Wars' is about semi-light-hearted adventure with some drama, but this was one of those surreal-super-serious Quentin Tarantino moments. That's the kind of feeling I got with StarCraft 2; misplaced seriousness for a game that's supposed to be about combat adventure.

I mean, I didn't pay full price for the game (thank goodness), but it's like I can't help but wonder what anyone was thinking when they make these super-serious sequels to a thing, whatever that thing is, that was popular some years before.

It just strikes me as being odd and wholly strange. I mean I'm probably a bit old to be playing the likes of any of the Blizzard titles, but even if I were twenty years younger again I would still have the same observations, feelings, and therefore misgivings about how and why the sequel to the game, book, movie, TV series, what have you, came out to be this rather hyper-reality version of the previous installment.

But, like I say, StarCraft is probably on the golf side of its career as the PCGamer article stated that younger gamers refer to StarCraft as a "folk" game, referring to its age.

Me, personally, other than the sequel just being way too serious for its own good, I also found the increased variety of units and abilities just too much for my feeble mind. I was a below average player when I did some games on, but it's like I really bought the first StarCraft game for its single player experience, and then maybe if I could get it to work, maybe do some games over the IPX or TCP/IP protocols.

But now? Again, the characters are way over the top (I mean, they were before, but now that's been ratched up several degrees), the variety of units and their abilities is a bit more than my poor brain is willing (though still able) to handle, and it just feels like the game got the JJ Abrams' treatment for old series of games and expansions.

Again, I don't begrudge it. The first game, as I say, was kind of tongue in cheek, but still fun to play for what it was. The fact that it took off in a nation like South Korea tells of the game's robustness to be a game regardless (irregardless?) of the cultural references.

I'm sorry to see it start to head towards its golden years. Personally I would have liked to have seen an all space fleet game in the SC-verse, but that's kind of hindsight, and again since the RTS genre seems to be edging out in favor of easier to pick up games, then it's perhaps just as well.

After my guardian died I got into Star Wars X-Wing, when I took a chance on Warcraft 2 after a PC Gamer review and demo on the sample CD. It wasn't a deep game, but it was good fun. Then I tried StarCraft, and had some good feelings for the game. I wasn't in love with it, thought it light hearted but well meaning, and played it for a time.

And now its hay day is about to end. Oh well. Now that StarCraft (remastered) is free to play, maybe some newer folks will pick up the game.

Hopefully in the future we'll have fewer angst ridden sequels for beloved titles. Wishful thinking perhaps, but I'm of the opinion that the game sells itself, and not the added drama that media makers like to adorn them with.
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