Saturday, August 13, 2011

I can see clearly now

I am actually just a little worried about Knight's Contract. It has received universally negative reviews, which is nothing new for games that I play, but featured prominently in most of them is my oldest and most tenacious foe: a camera that does its best to obscure whatever it is you are trying to do. I can handle a lot of terribleness; bad graphics, atrocious voice acting, repetitive level design, UI's that intentionally obfuscate even the simplest of tasks. I can look right past ideas that have been whole sale stolen from better games, even if that better game happens to be the last game that I played. I can wrestle with un-intuitively laid out and un-remappable controls as years of playing have made each individual finger able act with a mind of its own when required (until arthritis sets in, at which point I may just chop them off).

But a bad camera? The camera is literally the players portal into whatever world the developers, artists and programmers have created. If it is shit than it doesn't matter if the game itself is the greatest thing since Jimmy John's sub delivery because you can't see what the hell is going in. Imagine watching a movie where every scene has a character whose face is partially cropped off the edge of the frame. It would never make it out into the theater because no one would put up with it, yet games continue to be released that get this wrong. I know that it is isn't easy, but it is also so important that I have to think that it is taught on one of the first days of 'I want to make games school.' (Right after 'how to live on Doritos for months at a time,' 'controlling acne on the cheap,' and 'how to make rent after Activision buys the start up you work for and fires everyone)

I kid, there is no cheap way to control acne.

You would think that a guy who spends most of his time curled up on the bottom of the gaming barrel wouldn't have many standards left, but even I have my pet peeves. So Knight's Contract has been officially put on notice before I have even installed it.

...

Had a wonder hate mail exchange in Street Fighter last night. It was late and I was playing poorly (so nothing new yet) and I ran into a Ryu taunted a lot and did random things. He beat me fair and square with something that I did not know you could do: cancel Ryu's taunt into a DP (though in retrospect it should have been obvious). So he sends me a message:

'sukker'

Now, I can't pick on his playing because he beat me. There are no cheap tactics, only things that you don't know the appropriate counter for. So I decided to pick on his spelling.

'I can take your taunts, but poor spelling? GTFO.'

'suk a dik, bitch'

'I think I know what you are saying, but could you try it again with a dictionary? Assuming you can read well enough to use one.'

Much to my disappointment, he stopped replying. Probably past his bed time.

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