So once upon a time there was a game called Gotcha Force. The story is trash. The graphics were average at best for a GameCube game. It tanked in its critical reception. The voice acting consists of a character that says “UMMMMMMMMM.” (That’s it, that’s the only voice acted line in the whole game).
But hark, friends, this game actually had something worthwhile. You may have been able to buy it in 2003 for $5. But now it’s worth hundreds on Amazon. For a shitty copy. That might not even work.
The gameplay is actually amazing. It’s a 3rd person shooter combat arena game. You collect “Gotcha Borgs” which are these little toy things and you use them to fight your enemies. Each Borg has its own unique play style with a few simple, but interesting move sets. And you can put your Borgs together in teams and try to take over the world with toy domination.
Okay. So at this point you’re like “Whatever. Collection game. You fight with stuff. Who cares?”
There are so many Gotcha Borgs in that damn game that you can’t unlock all of them in one playthrough of the story campaign (which is approximately 20 hours of gameplay). You can’t even unlock them all in two runthroughs. It takes at least 4 entire playthroughs of the game (and as many as 8) to unlock every character in that game. And you unlock a character after almost every time you play a battle.
This game was literally forged by a divine being that lives in the penthouse on top of Capcom’s headquarters.
It also has a versus mode, in which you and up to 3 friends can make your own lists of Gotcha Borgs and fight them against each other. If you and 1 friend made a list of every Borg in the game (without duplicates) and fought your lists against each other, it would take at least 2 hours for one player to beat the other. But you can also include duplicates. If you want to have a day long toy-war with your buddy, the deific developers of this game say “Go right ahead.”
I’ve been thinking about this game a lot lately. And I was thinking about what it would be like if it was released now. Imagine if this game stayed at the same level of okayish GameCube graphics and trash level story. Imagine an ARK level cache of memory that wasn’t wasted on trying to make the game look pretty, and was instead entirely devoted to loading the game up with more Borgs. Thousands of characters and play style options. Imagine if all that time and money and effort normally devoted to creating realistic or stylistic aesthetic environments was just pointed full force at gameplay.
There is nothing wrong with making a game look pretty. But I think that we’ve reached a point now where there is a possibility for a ludicrously complicated gameplay experience that has passable graphics. Not every game has to be beautiful. Sometimes you just want to have 70,000 characters that all do something different. And we have the technology to do that. So someone with actual skills in game development who isn’t me needs to get on that.
******I’m looking at you Capcom Penthouse Godbeast.******