Monday, November 11, 2013

Batman: Arkham Item Collection

I liked Batman: Arkham Asylum. It was a cool game with decent combat mechanics, decent graphics, and a fairly interesting story. But the best thing about it was the Metroid-style gameplay.  You can't get to this area with out this weapon or that item. It was Metroid - in 3D instead of first person (Metroid Prime was ok) and it was BATMAN! Can't go wrong, right? I liked it. I've probably played through the game 3 or 4 times by now. It was great.

Then I heard about the sequel, Arkham City - woah! More BatMetroid!  So of course I purchased the game and played through it. I played for about a week, probably an hour or two hours a night. Each time I'd play I noticed that the game had a completion percentage. As stated I played for a WEEK! I kept thinking "Man this game is HUUUGE!" I've logged about 8 hours or so and it's only at 35% complete! So one night I booted the game and I entered a door, or accessed a panel, or something. I can't remember. But I trigger this huge battle and then the Joker dies. I was like WOAH! They killed the Joker!? No way. I'm only at 35% so this crazy clown is gonna come back and surprise everyone!


WTF? I finished the game? I went back and checked my percentage and it was only at 35% again. I must have missed an entire area of the game! So I looked around the net and realized what had happened. The makers of this game decided that ridiculous ITEM COLLECTION was "part of the game."  This made me absolutely furious. Instead of creating more actual game, or story to go through, the game designers got lazy and decided to put these little Riddler trophies all over the game world. I'm the type of person that absolutely ignores stuff like that. If it's important to complete the game, like a weapon, a map, finding a location, etc then it's definitely in my span of attention. But if it's some little goofy trophy that will trigger a Riddler audio clip, I skip it. It's not essential for the game and in no way is it "fun." I was livid. I spent $60 on this game only to get about $30 worth of actual game.

That was the last straw. Arkham City was the last game I actually went out and purchased with my own money. After that, every other game I've played I've acquired by other means. I refuse to pay $60 for an unfinished product, or an unpolished product. This is what fuels piracy. These unfinished half-games with 'downloadable content' that is a required purchase in order to get the full story, or the real ending, etc are what cause people to say "screw this. I'm downloading it." The worst thing is when there is downloadable content that has to be purchased and then you hear that immediate sound of unlocking that tells you there was no actual download, it just unlocked what was on the disc - the disc you ALREADY PAID FOR.

I know I'm in the minority, but I really don't care for online multiplayer, so when I play games like Battlefield or Batman or whatever, I prefer the offline game. Single player. If I want multiplayer, I'll fire up my arcade cab and play a few rounds of Street Fighter with my friends. The best thing about that is that my friends aren't all prepubescent high-pitched idiots with a bad case of racist-mouth.  At least the trash talking during a match in Street Fighter is funny, and colloquial.

If game companies sold their game - IN ITS COMPLETE FORM, MIND YOU - in a stand alone version without the need for multiplayer, or whatever, and it was cheaper. Say $30 for a game with a COMPLETE SINGLE PLAYER  CAMPAIGN, then I'd be happy to keep purchasing games. Until then, it's Redbox, a friend's copy, or the game is totally "downloadble content."

Friday, October 4, 2013

Combo Videos

Wow I guess this blog didn't really get the attention I meant to give it. Oh well.

I was responding to a post on facebook by a friend of mine who was talking about FPS games and camping. Someone commented that they should remove Sniper rifles from games because a Sniper is "a glorified camper."  I have to agree with this, utterly and completely. There's nothing more annoying that some jackass that's sitting behind a tree and picking people off. If you're good at the game, why not come out fighting and get some actual fun kills? What, you'd rather just sit there? You know you're playing an online MULTIPLAYER game, right? So why would you just hide and pick people off? Oh its because you're an idiot.

Anyway, you know how your train of thought can change what you're thinking in a fraction of a second? One second you're thinking about changing a tire, which makes you remember a small portion of a memory of something else like a birthday party you attended when you were 13, then a few seconds later you're thinking about that time you accidentally saw your 3rd grade teacher's boob when she bent down to help you.  That's kinda how this post got started.

For this post, it began with that facebook comment. I ended up on the thought of fighting game combo videos. I hate them. I think they are completely useless and an insane waste of time. But the worst thing about them is that they're impractical.  Most of the combo videos you see involve one environmental variable. This very variable is what makes them - to me - completely pointless. That variable is PRACTICE MODE.  Practice mode is meant for practice, and yes it is also meant for honing in your combos, timing, moves, et cetera. The practice mode is great for doing this because your opponent will not fight back. He just sits there taking the beating of a lifetime, shrugging it off after a few seconds and becoming ready for another pounding into oblivion just for you, over and over again until you master that crazy move set. A vast majority of combo videos out there use practice mode. The combos that are displayed are always these huge lavish things that are 30 or 40 hit progressions. But they rely on the opponent being in the corner and not blocking. Or jumping - and not blocking. Or dashing toward you - and not blocking. Or dashing away - and not blocking. Crouching - and not blocking. How is that even practical? Do you really think Daigo is going to sit there and not block while you try that 30 hit combo in Third Strike? The fact is you will never pull that combo off with a live opponent. Unless of course that live opponent says "go ahead and show me that combo." But if that happens, how is that any different than practice mode? You're not really accomplishing anything.

I would love to see a really solid, several - powerful - hit combo in whatever fighter is out there. I know there are a few of these vids out there, and they're great to watch. I love watching online matches that have been recorded by the players, or watching some of the EVO fights. Some of those are pretty cool. But these guys that post their 900 hit combo vids for game X while in practice mode are just boring and lame.