That's it. From here on out, the only commercial games I'm buying are wacky Japanese RPGs. It's been looming on the horizon for a while, and now it's finally come - games are just getting too "cool" for me.
Take a look at any game related website or magazine, and I'm sure you'll find the words "gritty", "urban", or "starring" in there at least once. As much as the series' merits are touted, the game to blame for the current situation is clearly Grand Theft Auto 3. Its improvements on the previous games in the series can't be denied, but as soon as it was realized to be the cash cow it is now, other companies couldn't help but throw their hats into the proverbial ring.
"Gritty" and "urban" don't really need much elaboration - it seems all gamers want to do these days is commit crime in large cities - be it through street-racing, underground boxing, or all out shooting sprees. "Starring", though, may come off as a little confusing at first - and it works from different angles. The first permutation would be the most direct - people starring in a game like someone would a movie, ala 50 Cent: Bulletproof or Shaq-Fu (if I was drinking milk right now it would have squirted out my nose from typing that). The second is directly related to the Screen Actors Guild demanding that they get a larger cut of the profits from the games they "star" in.
I don't give one crap whether or not the main character in the game I'm playing is voiced by Gary Busey, nor do I want every single game I play to be set in a sprawling city. I don't care about tricking out my "ride", I don't care about hot polygonal girls shaking it for no reason, I don't care about what music is licensed from who, and I really don't give one fuck about actors/athletes/musicians who think that their very presence in a game is enough to drain the masses of all their worldly belongings. I've had enough.
From now on it's quirky music, characters with dangerously large heads and even more dangerously large swords, and unknown voice actors (if there is voice acting at all) who were probably dubbing hentai before they were hired for the game. Be warned, the next time you see me, I may or may not be wearing large purple bunny-ears.