Picky Gamer is Picky: But is it Really all that Bad? - Oni no Tenshi Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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Picky Gamer is Picky: But is it Really all that Bad?

"What do you mean, you're reversing the trigger and aiming buttons?!"

One thing that I haven't talked about yet is how picky I am about games.  You'd think that if I'd met one action RPG, that I'd love them all.  Oh, but that's not how it works at all.  That's like telling me that all chocolate cookies are made equal or that I could just swap my husband out for another bulky, built-like-a-gladiator guy with full lips and puppy dog eyes. 

Pretty much everyone knows that I'm a huge Zelda fan.  Many others ask me why I don't play "similar" games. The problem is that similar doesn't cut it.  When someone puts out a game that has infuriating elements in it so that it can boast that it is different than "that other game, you know ***********, the one that everyone loves!"  I've seen other games, but they only have passing similarities that don't even get close enough to the level of quality that I'm used to.

This crops up in other games too.  I love Disgaea and Luminous Arc for their SRPG set-up, yet I hated Spectral Souls and Popolocrois because they had too many deviations from what I know and love about SRPGS.

Also on the table: senseless button scheme changes.

My husband was recently bemoaning how there were changes in how the scheme for most FPS games was set up for PS3 versions.  Now, he has an XBOX360, so you would think that this wasn't all that big of a deal, but the problem here is that my brother has a PS3 and when we go visit my family up north, they play Battlefield and Modern Warfare together and my husband absolutely loves it because he likes playing with someone on the same big TV instead of having to worry about lag time and other things. And since we don't really like the idea of playing violent games with guns in front of our daughter, he gets to spend at least a couple of hours blasting bad guys with my brother and he enjoys that a lot more than with random people online.

So it is much to his chagrin when he tries to bring up his sniper rifle or push the trigger button only to pull up his knife and get totally killed in seconds while he's fumbling around trying to figure out the button scheme.  And unfortunately, there seem to be a lot of games (ports are the most common culprits, but there are some original games like Kameo that do the same thing) where the control scheme is really hard to master or needed combo buttons are in odd places so that you'd practically sprain your hand just trying to press them in the right order.

And don't get me started on the wonky motion/touch screen interfaces that seem to plague most Wii games and now with the Playstation Move and the Xbox Kinect.  Unfortunately, we just don't quite have the 1:1 ratio of movement/interaction with gameplay, and even a fraction of an inch of error can be the difference between beating the level and total fail.

One of the things I have always been frustrated about when it comes to DS (and now 3DS) games is the "must have touch screen interface" rule.  My friends who developed several games for DS ran into this problem many times.  They basically were forced to put in touch screen controls (that didn't work all that well, might I add), just so they could finish the game.  Just think back to all those DS games you've played where the only touch screen action is basically the start menu or the save button.  Plenty of times, when games get ambitious but still kind of halfass it, you're stuck with semi-non responsive touch screen controls (I ran into this a bunch of times while playing "Dream Chronicles"-sometimes hidden items just wouldn't register even if I clicked on them in the exact right place and this made solving puzzles needlessly frustrating).

I am one of those people who abides by the K.I.S.S. rule of thumb, which stands for "Keep It Simple, Stupid!"

Basically, if it works for what it is, and it both intuitive and fun to play, then that's going to make for a wonderful game.

But if you try being overly ambitious and make unrealistic promises (Peter Molyneux, of the "Fable" series, I am looking at you!), then people are going to be disappointed, and corners are going to be cut, rendering a bad product with multiple flaws, just to give the appearance of something that works.


It's like the "Swing your sword" in the Wii port of "Twilight Princess" or the "You get to use a lightsaber" in the Wii version of "Force Unleashed."  In theory-in the imagination, these are rad ideas that make you go "HELL YEAH, I'll be there with bells on!"

In actual execution, it's enough to make a grown gamer cry.

So do you consider yourself a "picky gamer"?


What are some "failed attempts" at greatness that have dissuaded you from playing or continuing a game?

And, if you're willing to share, tell us your "epic fail" moments when you realized a game just wasn't worth it.

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