In this soapbox, I will be discussing moaning about a multitude of petty grievances with gaming of today, proving that no matter how good we have it, there’ll always be some killjoy out there taking it for granted, so call me Buzz Killington and let’s get it started.
Modern games offer a variety of options, from inverting an axis to allowing you to change the colour of blood; or even in games like the recent Naruto title in which you are able to choose the language the cut-scenes use (either English or Japanese, like the anime itself). However, with all this customization available how is it there are just so many games that just miss the boat entirely?
If you go on down to HMV or log on to Amazon or wherever you happen to get your DVDs from, and pick up almost any one of them at random, then go on and pop it in your DVD player you will find each and every one of them has a subtitle option. Not only that, but from my experience, the text displayed is going to be pretty legible, and not a strain on your eyes, or something that detracts from the overall enjoyment of watching the movie.
Why is it that video games see this as a luxury that can be avoided; that people who are hard of hearing, or any of the other reasons someone might need to play a game with the volume not on full whack, are just neglected? Not only do they frequently neglect to put subtitles in, the other kick in the face is when the design decision has been made “this cut-scene is awesome, we can’t have anything disrupt it” and as such the text is squished into the tiniest of teeny tiny fonts. On behalf of all grumpy old gamers, in the games that do this, thank you for putting the subtitles in, just would have been nice to, y’know, read them.
Sometimes when you’re playing a game, either from habit of playing other games or just genuine ergonomics, you’ll find yourself leaning towards the notion of “this would be easier if I could press button A instead of button B.” On PC games, you’re pretty likely to be able to mash the buttons about how you want, and if you want to fire by pressing scroll lock, by all means you get down with your crazy self and use that arthritis-inducing layout.
However, if you want to change the controller on a console game, good luck. The majority seem to have no changeable options, and the ones that do will just change between preset layouts, which are more than likely to not have the specific change you are looking for and will end up causing you to settle for the lesser of the multiple evils.
When playing a beat-em-up, how many times have you been slightly unsure about a move and as such you go into the menu to find out the precise buttons to perform it? I’m sure this is a regular occurrence, unless you play as Ken and just waggle and hope. So why is it on so many of these games they refuse to cater these menus to the controller you are using. If I’m playing on my Xbox, I’d much rather see that I press “Forwards and Y” then it tell me “Forwards and MK” and then have to decipher which button to press.
I understand that releasing this game across multiple platforms is what will cause the need for broad menus, but is making the choice of a “one for all” menu a choice made out of necessity or out of laziness? If a quick-time event flashed up with “Heavy Punch” instead of the specific button you needed to press, it would be ridiculous, so why do menus not warrant the same changes?
So, here you have it, these are my petty grievances with games today. Do you have any annoyances with games today, if so feel free to register here and comment, or head over to our forums and get the conversation going.