Within the past 6 years, the level of innovation in video games has spoiled gamers. Of course, it's not entirely their fault. The jump from 2-D games to world of 3 dimensions has allowed developers to create totally new genres such as the first-person shooter, while at the same time re-inventing tried and true formulas like the platformer. Indeed the previous generation of gaming consoles will long be remembered as the era in which the seeds for all future games were planted. And much like the 16-bit era improved upon the mechanics and ideas established during the 8-bit era, the current generation takes the foundation established with the PlayStation and the N64 and brings it to a new level of technological sophistication. Unfortunately, for many picky gamers, this does not mean that groundbreaking gameplay to which they've become accustomed will continue on as it has these past 6 years. The revolutionary days of Super Mario 64 are over. We're in the evolutionary phase of 3-D gaming now. Patterns and genres will continue to grow and change as developers struggle to invent unique ideas to set their titles apart from the other games on the shelves. We just won't see totally new genres come into being as frequently as we have recently. While it may be expected that the revolutionary leaps in gaming will slow down now that developers and gamers alike are familiar with the world of 3D gaming, some are not taking it well. I have noticed a disturbing trend in the way people evaluate games that will likely not get better. The trend suggests that some people can be disappointed with truly excellent games simply because they lack innovation. A recent example would be people’s reactions to Super Mario Sunshine for the Nintendo GameCube. For all intended purposes, the game stands as one of the better platformers available for any console, yet many have criticized it for feeling too much like its predecessor, Super Mario 64. Of course, it doesn’t help that the latter game pretty much defined the genre of the 3-D platformer or that many still consider it one of the greatest breakthroughs in gaming ever. That leaves gamers with high expectations for a sequel that will be almost as revolutionary. But when they realized that the game did not re-revolutionize the platform genre. It merely fit within its already established parameters. Super Mario Sunshine became the sequel to Super Mario 64, and an excellent one at that. Yet, if a game is truly excellent, that doesn’t appear to be enough for some people. Why is that? Why can’t we simply enjoy a genre title that is well executed? Must every game we play push the boundaries of what’s possible to be enjoyable? And if not, must we penalize games that are merely great and not innovative? We can enjoy movies, and even rate them as 5-star classics without expecting them to push the boundaries of filmmaking. Why can’t the same be true with games? Don’t get me wrong. Developers should continue to try new ideas as much as possible. Creativity and innovation is a very good thing in gaming, but we shouldn’t expect it from every game, and we most certainly shouldn’t stand in the way of our ability to enjoy games that represent their genres well.