Since I just upgraded my game PC to something nice-ish (x2/3800, x800 GTS/256MB), I thought I'd go look for something new and cool to play on it.
Little did I know that all PC games on the market right now suck in ways that could only be explained by an analogy to gay porn that I don't feel comfortable investigating.
Looking at what's on the shelves, this is what I can see:
Half-Life 2: What's wrong with it? Steam. Too bad, 'cause it looks cool when it isn't eating all my upstream bandwidth (yeah, yeah, you can turn it off. Don't care. Shouldn't have to for a single player game that doesn't even need a network component).
something Tycoon: Holy crap, why are there 50 games to let you be a tycoon? I remember Railroad Tycoon, and that was OK (sorry, jtr), but what the hell is up with "Carnival Cruise Ship Tycoon" or "Pizza Tycoon" or "Zoo Tycoon 3". I like sandbox-type games but from my examination of the boxes, a prominent element in all these games is where you put restrooms. Gah! Bring back Civilization! Or Alpha Centauri!
World War 2 FPS: I saw, I dunno, five or six titles that let someone play a foot soldier with a machine gun. I couldn't tell any of them apart, and I'm not seeing a whole lot of appeal for that as a genre. Why the hell are there five identical games?
x-random-console port: First of all, just say no to consoles. Limited control. Vapid gameplay. Save positions doled out like favors from the Godfather. Horrible Japanese influences. No, thank you. There were a lot of games in this category, and to me that's criminal.
107 different Poker titles: Must be a trend. PC poker games were fine when they were freeware. Did someone forget to tell the gaming public?
Movie/TV licensed titles: Is there a big overlap between PC gamers and CSI:Miami fans all of a sudden?
MMO, MMO, MMO: Lots of these, and if there are swords and elves, they're all pretty much the same game.
Random non-WW2 FPS: The graphics engine of 2002, today! The main thing that's annoying about these titles is that they all pretty much focus on a multiplayer experience that I'm frankly not that interested in.
Rome: Total War: I'm guessing this is an RTS. I'd put Roman warfare simulation in a deep niche category. Who wanted that game? Where did all the cool RTSes go? Did the people who want to fully experience the tactical superiority of the shield wall steal the good games? C&C? Kohan? Total Annihilation?
Blizzard Crap: I've never been even remotely entertained by a Blizzard click fes... game, but everything they've ever made is still on the shelf. I even found the original Diablo and Warcraft games in the $5 bin.
The Sims - Orgy at Studio 54 edition: I hear "The Sims" is really popular with girl-type gamers, and I'm OK with that. But... wow there are a lot of for-pay expansion packs taking up shelf space. Couldn't they maybe make some of that crap free on the internet so my local retailer could maybe stock ONE good game?
I didn't see anything like a single-player RPG or an adventure game. No strategy games (something PCs are generally better suited to than consoles). No simulations worth having. Driving games bore me. Where are the giant ass-kicking robot sims? No first person shooters that don't look like unreal tournament (well, OK, or "Something crapped the third reich"). Nothing met my very basic requirements: Be single player, and look cool. Certainly nothing that looked like it needs an x800-anything.
I came home and spent 45 minutes setting up my game machine so it can boot DOS. Mechwarrior 2 looks like crap by today's standards, but at least it's fun.