Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Into the booth

'Hey Chamberlain! I know you don't really know how to use this software, or much about IIS, and have only a passing familiarity with Server 2008, but it's super important that you get *insert product name here* working!'

That was my day. Bleh. I wish I was rich. On the other hand this puts me in the perfect mood to complain about Power Gig.

I knew that Power Gig wasn't good. All one has to do to understand this is catch a glimpse of all the unsold boxes of Power Gig bundles collecting dust right next to the Guitar Hero Aerosmith and Green Day Rock Band one. The music game genre has been tapped out; Rock Band 3 is the last hurrah. So I knew full well that Power Gig was not going to be much fun. It was only only my list because of a few songs (ok, I admit it, three Dave Matthews Band songs) that I wanted to play. I was not prepared to be assaulted with some hack designers attempts to do everything different than everything else, regardless of how much sense his decisions made or if they actually worked or not. It was an act of pixelated violence, a rape of my senses, a waste of the very plastic it was printed on. There is only one thing that can be done to atone for such a heinous act: confession.


Forgive me father, for I have sinned. It has been, well, forever since my last confession.

The Lord forgives, my son, what burdens your conscience?

Well, I put out Power Gig, and there are quite a few things in there that are, shall we say, of questionable worth. Remember how much everyone made fun of the story in Guitar Hero Warriors of Rock? Power Gig is pretty much the same thing, only without the transformations, moderately interesting character design, or animated cut scenes. Plus I became infatuated with the word 'mojo,' so I wrote it into the script as often as possible. Mojination, uniting mojo, aligning mojo, mojo meters, you name it, I crammed the word mojo into it. I seriously though about getting Mike Meyers to do the narration, but his agent told me he was busy washing his hair and counting his money.

Many games have poor stories, my son, but that cannot be all that troubles you.

No, father, that was just the beginning. Music games have pretty much looked the same since the first Guitar Hero: colored things move down one of five lanes and you have to hit them at the right time when they get to the bottom. Why not shake things up a bit, right? So I took away the lanes, allowing my little blobs to float down the track all by themselves. Without the lanes I can highlight my terrible backgrounds and ugly stages! Never mind that it makes it very difficult to keep track of where the notes are, I am not going to give you any visual feedback when you hit then at the right time anyway. Oh, and I put the guitar track in the bottom right hand corner of the screen even when no one else is playing. I guess I just really liked by poorly animated mojified rock stars and wanted to make sure they got plenty of screen real estate.

Go on.

I didn't really put any effort in the the note layouts or sound balancing, either. I actually got a few good tracks somehow, but none of them really sound very good. They are locked behind a ridiculous 'Unite the Clans' quest mode, anyway. The only way to get people to play this for more than a few minutes is to keep the interesting stuff hidden away as long as possible, so I managed to make the career mode feel like a poorly designed RTS tech tree! That actually took time, I had to shorten a few long lunches.

Oh, and my drumless drum simulator's only purpose it to make the player look and feel like an ass.

What you have done is wrong, my son, but if you are truly repentant...

Father, I allowed the use of Rock Band of Guitar Hero guitars, but the only way to activate mojo power is to hit the back button. And if you accidentally hit the start button instead? The pause menu comes up but the track doesn't stop. It just keeps right on going under the pause menu and you miss all the notes until you unpause it.

Father? Father?

Go to hell, my son. Go to hell.

1 comment:

  1. It's true... the music game genre is sort of dying :( good post!