Just so you know music really is just a matter of someone’s own personal option, much like all art forms. While some might find comfort in Jazz, others enjoy the head banging and crushing blast beats of any good thrash or death metal song. I can't tell you what’s good or not because I'm not you; I'm me, and I know what I love and what I hate...and what I am starting to really hate today are these obnoxious, pompous, over-elaborate realistic orchestrated scores found in practically every single video game made these days, especially in a lot of these military based FPS games who use it to no end to drill in some wartime mentality into your head for the hundredth million time. OK I'll admit, orchestrated sounding music has been around ever since the SNES days when Nintendo started replicating real sounding instruments into their games such as Super Metroid, Final Fantasy 6 and so on and so forth, and ya there is nothing wrong with that. Why you might ask? Simply put, orchestrated or not, these games still had a MIDI, gamer style of sound to it, kind of like Symphony X back in their Divine Wings of Tragedy days. The first game that I remember having this realistic sounding music was Super Smash Bros Melee. Ya, it sounded cool the first time I heard it, but after a few months of listing to it when I first got my GameCube, I turned the music down and threw something better in my CD player. Let me put it this way, orchestrated sounding music is good for movies, especially when it was done in the hands of Jerry Goldsmith or in the hands of John Williams, but in the video game world, developers should just knock it off and stay away from it at all costs.
OK so this really isn’t much of a problem today thanks to wireless controllers, but it still doesn`t change the fact that corded controls or just about anything corded these days tick me off and it's something that I can live without. Besides making it a pain in the ass to maneuver around in the game room, when it comes to cleaning up, cords on controllers seem to have a mind of their own because for some reason, even with the most minimal of movement you can inflict, cords always find a way to tangle themselves up with other cords from other game consoles or electrical appliances and transform it all into a gigantic ball of rubber ( try to untangle controller cords from thin headphone wires; it isn't easy in the slightest). Then of course there is the possibility that they could fray forcing you to buy a new controller, or someone pulls the plug out by accident with their feet while you’re trying to beat some boss; there are so many things that can go wrong with these obnoxious black trip wires. Actually now that I think about it, there ARE third-party developers today who still make old video game controllers and sell them online, so as a Public Serves Announcement from BimmyandJimmy, I would just like to say to those who make these controllers to STOP USING CORDS.
Video games and controls go hand in hand (no pun intended). Well for one without a controller you can’t play the game obviously, but for cultural reasons, the controller has become an icon in the electronics world. For example, who can forget the Atari 2600 controller and its one red button and joystick that barely moves at all, the NES controller, a jagged square piece of grey plastic with two buttons, a D pad and, with one hard well-aimed chuck, the ability to make someone bleed from the forehead, to even controllers nowadays likes the X-Box controls and its many buttons and weird layout and so on and so forth. Still, somewhere along the way, somebody thought it would have been a good idea to introduce other types of gadgets to...uh "enhance" you gameplay and give a more realistic feel to specific game genres such as shooting and racing games. Ya sure, if by enhanced you mean that it enhanced video game cooperation’s pockets with more of our money while we got stuck with this crap that would either break after a few uses, not work at all, take more batteries than a Gameboy and take up more room in your basement than real furniture. Come on, either than a couple of creative and classic produces like the light gun, peripherals have always been garbage. I mean, what’s wrong with just a controller and a video game? It's simple, it works, nothing could be any better, but yet time after time we get suckered into buying more bulky plastic controls than ever before. Remember when Guitar Hero came out and to play it you needed a plastic guitar which cost more money than the real game? OK, it wasn’t so bad, after all the guitar was pretty small, compact and looked pretty cool with the Gibson SG look, but then came Rock Band, and now you needed a drum set, another guitar, and a microphone to play then game properly. Where does it end? Really, most of these games are only popular for a few years and then, like that, the fad is over and it doesn’t matter if you have the greatest setup of peripherals that you spent hundreds of dollars on to enhance your experience. You want to enhance something permanently? Try to enhance your brain next time and think before you buy.
Ya, I stole this idea from James Rolfe's "Chronologically confused about Movie and Video Game sequels" video, but he’s absolutely right, when video game developers start adding games to deepen their franchises, they typically start to really screw up the order of these games in inexplicable and unacceptable ways. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love it when video game developers create these vast, expansive video game franchises for the fans with sequels, prequels and everything else that you can possibly think of. However, on the flip side, video game designers are also assholes for giving us confusing names for these sequels, prequels and everything else in between because unless you've been with the series ever since the beginning, you'll have absolutely no idea what order these games came in unless you do some research beforehand, and even then it's overwhelming because of how deep the universe has become. The perfect example (besides the Metal Gear series) is the Megaman series. In the beginning, all we had were Megaman one thru six on the NES; perfectly named and simple. Then then around the early 90s, Nintendo started a SNES library of Megaman games called the X series while the regular Megaman series was still up and running, and by the time the mid 1990s came it all got screwed up. The X series was over by this time, the Megaman games jumped over the Playstation, and on the N64 we had, unfortunately, Megaman 64. Nowadays, because handheld consoles are far more popular, we have all sorts of Megaman games which don't even connect with the original games, chronologically speaking. Finally, after a long hiatus, we now have Megaman nine and ten in classic 8-bit glory on the Wii and X-Box 360. Still, this whole thing is a nightmare and all it does is alienate causal and even some hard-core gamers around the world. I know it's difficult to create well though out titles for games sometimes but please don’t confuse the gamer like this.
You know what, I take back what I said about enhancing your brain in the video game world. Video game aren’t about learning, they're about rotting your brain and having fun at the same time. Besides a couple of adventure or RPG games that try to teach you some stupid moral that you've heard over and over from everyone around you, video games are probably the less preachy art form out there. It's all just for fun, and having fun is the only way you ought to live your life (ironically, I think I was being preachy there with that last sentence; I'm such a hypocrite). Of course not everyone agrees with this, you know, those who think that video games are too violent and need much more educational worth than what we gamers want. So out of the dark forbidding shadows can the educational game, a truly horrifying genre that has not only failed in its mission to educate people about...well... ANYTHING, but has failed in creating games with any shred of enjoyment and gameplay, two categories that any GOOD game would try to perfect. Now, let’s be clear, there is a difference between a puzzle game and an educational game. I don’t mind using my brain in a puzzle or a real-time strategy game (or just about any game genera out there) if there is an actually reward and enjoyment stimulus present somewhere, ANYWERE in the game, regardless even if the game is electronic or not. An educational game, however, is like school; it feels like school, it tries way too hard to connect with the so-called "hip young generation", and a lot of the stuff you learn in these games are completely unimportant, pretentious, and one-sided and even sometimes wrong. Oh and of course, the gameplay usually always sucks. In fact, the only game out there that is educational and fun at the same time is The Oregon Trail, and the only reason why that game is well-known is because of how goofy and unrealistic it is. Either than that, Educational gaming is a genre that needs to become, to quote Kansas, dust in the wind, DUDE.
I've got a question for you, which do you think came first, the movie game or the game movie? I say it's the game movie because think out it, way before we had ET for the Atari 2600, we had movies like Tommy which has the Pinball Wizard scene, or cold war B movies from the 50s that had a lot of mentions about "computer simulated technology" and all sorts of crap like that. Ok, sure these examples aren't real VIDEO GAME movies, but in some way, these references to our love of games and our war like gaming culture serve as a metaphor for our disastrous want for conquest and power. Besides, after all "The only winning move is not to play," Speaking of which, the only winning move when it comes to movie game/game movies is to not watch or play them because all of them, ALL of them suck ass. Honesty, I can’t even think of one good example is this little duality in gaming culture, NOT...EVEN...ONE, it just doesn’t even exist, so don’t even try to tell me otherwise that there is a game out there better than Goldeneye 007 for the N64, a truly perfect game to any SANE gamer (wait that the hell just happened there?). Ok besides a few examples in the gamer world, movie games are terrible. The controls are awful, the music sounds nothing like the movie, and worst of all the gameplay is buggy, monotonous and lacks any creative depth. You would think that with a multimillion dollar budget, feature full length movie out there acting as a creative influence that these game would be amazing, but money is money, and companies always want to spend less and make more in any way that they see fit, and they know that we gamers will buy these games because of our brand loyally towards popular movies (see any Lego games coming out these days), as well as creating an action packed, exciting video game commercial, complete with reviews from "credible" video game reviewing sources which makes the game look better than what it really is. At least on the flip side, respected movie critics hate movie games and call them out for what they are: crap. Either than Mortal Kombat, Tomb Raider or the great 2007 documentary film King of Kong about Billy Mitchell and Steve Wiebe's battle over the Donkey Kong high score, good video game movies are almost nonexistent and are unfortunately never going to get better, especially if people like Uwe Boll are going to keep releasing movies these days. If that’s the case, I think it's time to let this whole thing die already because it's never going to get any better.
#4: Load Times
Sorry it took so long to get to this one, there's just so much text that I forced you to read and for that I apologies. You see, I am a nice guy and I bet you would never get that type of apology from most video game companies these days who will tell you to buck up and deal with the load times in their games. It's not even like this whole loading time thing is a new phenomenon. Remember back in the Sega CD or even early PlayStation days where it took forever for a game to load and you had to just sit there doing nothing? Better yet, back in the 80s, computers such as the Commander 64 used floppy disks that even experience load times as well. I guess the only real reason many of us hate load times is because, for the most part, we've been cartridge based gamers our whole lives and want games to start automatically and suddenly than having to wait for it start, but that's one of the downfalls of playing games on disc, no matter how much more space the game can hold or how cheaper it is to make a game during production.
Oh OK so this one, I'll admit, is sort of bitter-sweet because to me, there really is nothing better to do in a video game sometimes to purposely abuse the crap out major glitches found in the game's code. It's like a whole different type of fun that you can spend hours just screwing around with, especially if you have a device like a Gameshark in your disposal to really mess the game up. On the other hand, glitches aren’t fun when you're actually trying to beat the game as it is; they can down right piss you off. Better yet, doesn't it always seem that specific major game killing glitches are the ones that seem to occur most often? My favorites include getting stuck behind something like a door or a piece of furniture in a room filled with bad guys who kill you within seconds, clipping though walls or even sometimes the floor and end up somewhere that I'm not suppose to get to at that time, graphics which start to visually impair you from playing the game properly and the game just flat-out crashing (and sometimes even erasing your files) for no reason. The game I found to have to most amount of glitches in it was Fallout 3 which is a shame because I really enjoyed the game when I first rented it and it wasn't until I decided to go out and buy the game just to finish it when I discovered the number of glitches later in the game. It’s ridiculous that here we are in the 2010s and they still can't figure out how to fix even the most common of glitches. Hell, I don’t think games back in the 90s even had the same amount of easy to fix glitches that most games have these days. I hate to say it but good god have video game developers and testers gotten lazy these days.
So you just bought a brand new modern-day game for the low, low modern price of 80 bucks to play on your modern-day console (well, your second or third console after no doubt the others broke). You place the CD in, set up all that crap that the game forces you to carry out beforehand (especially on PCs), wait for it to load and finally you can play the game. With the controller in your hands and your ass sitting comfortably in your favorite chair, you're about to play the action pack thrill ride that you've haven’t experienced since another game like it came out a couple of months ago. Your senses are heighten and you're itching to get in there and kick some ass, but oh no what's this, you have to sit through a cut scene right at the beginning of the game just so it can explain some of the back story that you couldn’t give two sh*ts about? What a bummer, but hey, it’s not like it can last too long, I mean this is a video game not a movie after all, right? Well, after five minutes of gratuitous explosions and violence that you AREN'T able to control later, you FINALLY get to the play the game...for what seems like fifteen minutes until yet another cut scene kicks in, this time longer than the one before it, and worse of all you can't skip it no matter what. Well, at least you can take this time to think about the good ol' days when video games would just cut the bullsh*t and just give you nothing but straight and total anarchy after a minute or two after you put the game in the console or computer.
Let’s be honest, when playing video games, humans tend to make mistakes. Whether it be a friendly fire that costs your team the match, or you manage to slip up a specific button combination and you end up dying, having to start all the way from the beginning. The point is that to error is human because simply put we are not machines, we're...well...HUMAN. On the other hand, Artificial Intelligence IS a machine, and like any good machine it needs TLC for it to run perfectly without any effort at all. So why, WHY is it a problem for most game developers to create a good, or an even competent AI feature in their games? I mean, I get it, coding a game isn’t easy and it takes time and talent, but looking at the history of bad video games from the 70s up until now, how much time did these developers actually spend creating an AI? Don’t get me wrong, I can stand a couple of bugs in a game's AI from time to time; I can live with the peeps in Roller Coaster Tycoon getting lost almost instantly and constantly complain to you about it because they eventually find their way out, or in The Sims when they get stuck behind furniture or they can’t climb out of a pool without a ladder because there is always the Move objects On code to help you. No, I’m talking about games where the enemies just let you kill them with simple ease, or they walk into walls and get stuck there, or when your friendly AIs get in the way of your gun fire or they can't shoot anything worth a damn, and of course the biggest kick to the figurative balls, THEY DON"T EVEN F***ING MOVE (I'm looking right at you Big Rigs). It just makes you shake your head in disbelief and mutter the words "what were they thinking?"
Another list, unfortunately not one dollar to be found for me, which is I guess a little annoying for me, but hey, at least it keeps with the spirit of this list, which I'm no doubt will annoy a few of you out there. Honorable mentions go to long passwords and cheat codes found in a lot of games from the 80s and 90s, may they burn in hell for all eternity, inconsistent difficulty curves which only makes the game unplayable at points, and video games which are still being released by dead franchises who are WAY passed their prime. I guess my final words to you for this list are if you ever feel stressed out about anything, just remember to not breath and take life too seriously, you'll feel a lot better afterwards...wait, did I get that mixed up? Na, couldn't have.
List by BimmyandJimmy (11/15/2012)
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