Thursday, December 30, 2010
Has Ameba Pico become AmeBORING?
"Booooooooring." Chances are you have seen that word uttered a few times while playing Pico. Usually, it comes from the mouth of younger kids who have the attention span of a... a... oh, I'm sorry. I thought I saw something shiny. Anyways, you get the point. However, while reading the comments from a recent article of mine, I started to think about this in an entirely different way.
Ever since I first started playing Pico, one aspect of the game that I enjoyed was building my room. I am constantly changing stuff around because I'm never completely happy with the way things look.
This never bothers me. It can be fun to see what I can do with the space/limit given to me, and I enjoy creating various things out of blocks. Just ask Domo* (*Domo not guaranteed to respond). However, that sort of thing can only preoccupy someone for so long before they become restless and want to explore. This is where my first issue, and the issue for many other players, arises.
Lately, none of these areas seem to interest me much anymore. The only reason I visit any of them these days is because I want to know if my friends or acquaintances are there. Well, that or I go to earn some props using my unparalleled dancing skills.
Yeah, you love it. Anyways, not to turn this into a rant of sorts, but I would be thrilled if Ameba started to design areas that were completely unique to Pico. There are so many cultures and areas of the world (or out of this world) to explore, yet all we seem to get are rehashed areas from Pigg and uninspired parks. Sure, we get the occassional Pico-specific areas like Chloe's House, but those are extremely few and far between.
When you think about it, the only reason things might've seemed exciting on Pico for the past couple months is largely due to the fact that we've been hit with a total of 4 holidays.
Now that these holidays are close to being over, I fear there may be quite a dryspell of interesting updates until the next holiday arrives. I predict the occasional new Premium Gacha or Daily Gacha items here and there, and maybe some new house decorations or clothing items, but nothing that would make me say "oh, I have to play Pico today!" instead of "oh... I should go check Pico out today, I guess." I'd love to be proven wrong on this, though.
You might be saying to yourself, "but what about the quests?"
To which I respond: I think this is a step in the right direction. Kind of. As much as some people dislike this feature, I view it as something that at least attempts to keep you interested and entertained. You know, so there's something to actually do instead of buying clothes and decorating your room. With some refinements and possibly some better rewards, this could end up being the saving grace that keeps players logging in. Maybe.
Since all of that is out of the way, you may now be thinking "what do you want them to do, then?!" My answer might be obvious, but here it is: fishing.
I understand this wont completely solve the problem, but it will certainly help engage users such as myself much more than we currently are. In Pigg's fishing mini-game, there are so many types of fish to catch, prizes to win, areas to visit, and so on. It really demands your attention and time if you wish to rise through the ranks... or even if your only purpose is to buy that adorable penguin.
I know it's only a matter of time now before it's eventually added, but I'm hoping it arrives sooner rather than later. What else could Pico do? As some of my friends have suggested, a 'group' feature (akin to Pigg's 'clubs') might be beneficial. I imagine them being completely separate from the way normal rooms work: invite only, the option to throw parties, the ability to play and listen to music with other people in that room, the ability to watch videos together, etc.
Don't take any of this the wrong way, though. I'm going to keep logging on because at this point I feel invested in Pico, and there's still things that I think separate it from other games. Plus, I'm always curious to see how my friends are doing. The only statement I'm trying to make with all this is that things are getting a tad bit stale, so I'm hoping to see some changes within the coming months. Not only to the stability of its servers (which is a different issue), but an overhaul to the provided travel areas and the integration of more engaging mini-games as well. This is all my own opinion, of course, but I noticed that it's an increasingly popular viewpoint amongst many users.
Now that I've said my piece, what do you think? Do you agree with most of what I had to say? Which features/areas/games would you like to see added that would keep you and your friends entertained?