One thing that has caught my eye during this entire generation is while some games are great experiences, such as Nier Automata, they aren’t really all that fun. The game is great in its own way and has a magnificent narrative, but it just doesn’t bring the enjoyment that previous generations have given. The first year and a half or so of this console generation was filled with remasters and there were games that came out for last-gen as well, which hindered games’ full potential on next-gen systems. As game consoles became more powerful, there were only a handful of games that were actually fun. Gaming turned more towards telling a narrative rather than spending time refining gameplay. It seemed like Microsoft and Sony were poised to go int this direction. Pros of This Generation One has to remember that for the first year of this generation, almost nothing else came out other than remasters from the previous generation. The industry has almost forgotten that at their core, games are supposed to be fun. It has lost touch with this basic fact. Gears of Warwas fun, as those games equate to summer blockbusters. Forza Horizon 3 was equally enjoyable, as are most other racing games and sports games; that’s a given. The new Monster Hunter: World from all accounts is incredibly fun and has sold astonishingly well. Wolfenstein IIis pure fun and balances its narrative well, and South Park: The Fractured But Whole balances narrative and gameplay quite nicely. and There are some exceptions here. Call of Duty: WWII is the first Call of Duty I could classify as enjoyable in a long time. Cons of This Generation Pure shooters have had their days. Battlefront 2 feels like nothing more than a cash in on the beloved Star Wars franchise and was engulfed in controversy before it even came out. Multiplayer shooters have had their time. With the exception of the latest Call of Duty and a handful of others, they just arent fun anymore. FPS games have had their time. Modern Warfare 2was the last really first-person-shooter. Even Halo 5 isn’t that, despite it’s multiplayer. Uncharted 4 is nothing but an interactive film with unrefined gameplay. While a remastered version, and while it is a step up from Uncharted, The Last of Us feels the same way. Life is Strange and all of Telltale’s games feel like interactive television, not a video game. Destiny isn’t exactly fun, but taps into everyone’s level of OCD to have to complete every task. Horizon Zero Dawn was fun up to an extent, but the narrative took precedent and at times the game wasn’t fun, although it’s a great experience, like most of these games are. At times it got too difficult to entirely enjoy; standing in a corner shooting at enemies at times was not enjoyable by any means. None of this is bad per se, it just shows that there is a shift in gaming towards telling a narrative first, while gameplay takes a back seat; indie games are an exception. The industry is taking a step backwards. While narrative-based games do have a place in the industry and are necessary to push it as an art form, there aren’t enough “fun” games to balance them out. While Sony and Microsoft are so obsessed with having the most power, they forgot gaming’s roots and what it’s all about: fun. Pure Fun: The Nintendo Switch The Nintendo Switch brings gaming back to its roots. It’s flat-out fun, from Zelda to Mario and even Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. There are so many fun games on the Nintendo Switch there are too many to count. 1-2 Switch, ARMS, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Xenoblade Chroncles 2, which has an incredibly fun battle system, the upcoming Mario Tennis Aces, Scribblenauts, the upcoming Kirby Star Allies, Splatoon 2, and even a brand new Yoshi title. The Switch has something for everyone, core gamers and casual alike; even new-time gamers. It can be said that maybe, people are buying the Switch because of the fun-factor it offers as opposed to the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4. To top it all off, come April, Nintendo is releasing Labo, an interactive experience put together with cardboard. The company has always done their own thing, and this is the icing on the cake. It could be a failure, or it could end up changing the industry. Even Ocarina of Time had the perfect balance between gameplay and story. This is why it’s regarded as one of the best games of all-time, and it’s a lot of fun. What The Industry Needs Other companies need to figure this out. Whether it’s releasing party games or games that are focused on fun without a clear narrative, like Super Mario Odyssey, the most fun game I’ve played in several console generations. Breath of the Wild is fun because the sheer amount you are able to explore. It can be difficult, but, the sheer amount to explore and gratifying feeling you have when you uncover a secret is second to none. Pure storytelling is fine. Video games can be an art form, but there needs to be a balance between the two. The industry seems to have forgotten its roots, and Microsoft and Sony need to realize this if they are going to continue to lead this industry. They offer great experiences; this is great for the industry. They need to abandon this ridiculous quest for the most powerful console. They have forgotten the fun factor, the very reason people play games in the first place. Nintendo seems to have figured this out with the Nintendo Switch and its many possibilities. It may yet catch up to both consoles, considering the rate it’s selling, as it’s selling faster than any console in video game history. This is a pivotal point for the gaming industry and they need to decide which direction they’re going to be heading in.