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Dismissing The Exceptions

It's late at night, and my cousin is feeling in the mood for some dragon-slaying. Knowing exactly where to turn to, he pops in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim into his PS3. Those of you who have read up to this point already know where I'm going. You know I'm going to complain about glitching, and how "Bethesda should be ashamed of themselves for putting out such a flawed product". It's something that has been pointed and jabbed at in many articles and blogs over the last year, and games that aren't Skyrim have been complained about for the very same reasons. 

The point of me taking time out of my day to write about something that has been written about many times over, is to ask this question: Why are we awarding these people? Skyrim, which won game of the year awards left and right during award season, had us all fawning over it, when my cousin can't step into a puddle in-game without it freezing up. Seriously, whenever he takes to those icy, Nordic, waters the game stops dead, and he has to shut off his Playstation. 

We're talking about a function that is needed to get through certain dungeons preventing him from proceeding further into his adventures, and we showered that game and its glaring flaws with awards, because some other aspect of the title supposedly made up for all of the grief. We excused the title, because "Elder Scrolls" was in the name, and told those that aren't able to play it because of technical difficulties, "Man, if you could play it you'd understand why it's so good". 

Who okay'd this?

Like I implied above, Skyrim isn't the only culprit. The Walking Dead - which has also won game of the year - suffered from glitches that stopped players dead in their tracks. In The Walking Dead, I myself suffered from crippling frame-rate drops, and constant freezing, while simultaneously having entire conversations skipped over automatically, and winded up having decisions made for myself that I wouldn't have wanted to be chosen. 

Yet, it still won that coveted game of the year award at Spike TV's, award ceremony despite the fact that technical windfalls were being pointed out by a startling amount of gamers, and critics. Those who love the game (myself included) dismissed these issues, because that story was just so freaking good. Don't get me wrong, I loved the story. It's been a long time since I've cared for a character as much as I cared for Lee, and Clementine, but I wasn't aware that we called fundamentally flawed games, "game of the year" when they're not a complete package.

Assassin's Creed III, - another game that was lauded at awards ceremonies - is virtually unplayable for people like a friend of mine, that went to talk to a NPC as part of an assignment critical to the main story, and had that NPC drop out of the game world. Seriously, every time he goes and talks to the character, he just Frodo-falls into nothingness. When climbing through trees, he'll find himself stuck inside of a trees trunk, unable to move on in any direction.

He's not the only one who's having this issue either. Once again, a game that is flawed on a basic functional level, is being placed on a higher pedestal than well polished experiences like Borderlands 2, and Halo 4 (neither of which were given a nomination at Spike's awards show).

Some of you might be thinking about scrolling down to the comments section now, and telling me about how those awards shows are just opinions. They shouldn't matter to me and I can name my own games of the year. Well you're half right.

The other half of the fact is that they think what they did was acceptable, because we told them it was. We put their games up on the biggest stage, and told them that they were the best of the best, and handed them some shiny rewards, despite the fact that their games were just riddled with technical difficulties. A major awards show, awarding a studio for a flawed game, will only continue to spread that mentality. "Oh well Ubisoft had those horrible glitches in their games, and won all those awards, so we can get away with it too". 

I won't lie, up until recently, I made the same exceptions. I said it was okay for Skyrim to have those issues, because it truly was a fun game. I teared up while playing through The Walking Dead video game, and dismissed my horrible problems with Tell Tale, because of that fact.

But, do we really want to spend money our on flawed diamonds, when polished ones exist in the realm of realistic possibility? I say, no. Little small hiccups, and glitches are fine as long as they're addressed. Glitches that keep you from playing the actual game? Let's put an end to those. Let's dismiss the long-standing exception.

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