Every gamer has a list of accomplishments that they are proud of. It could be a high score they obtained on an arcade cabinet, beating a game on the hardest mode without losing a life, even earning a rather difficult Trophy or Achievement. Some people take pride in their kill-to-death ratio, finding an extremely rare game or completing a speed-run on their favourite title. These are things we are proud to tell other people about, even brag to see if anyone else can do the same. But for every medal we gamers like to wear on our chest, we also have a dark secret that we hope stays locked away forever.
With this key in my hand, I am unlocking the door to my "Room of Shame
". It will be revealed why I am not a perfect gamer and probably a horrible person. These imperfections though make me who I am and possibly tell more about me than my successes. So with that said, I give you 10 reasons why I'm a disgrace to gamers everywhere.
10) I buy yearly updates of Electronic Arts' sports games
If there is one thing gamers hate, it is corrupted save files. Another is Activision. But before Activision became the big, bad villain of the video game industry, Electronic Arts held the title. Often accused of suppressing originality and creativity in favour of making an easy buck, gamers constantly looked down on EA and their annual "roster updates". They saw EA's sports games as the flavour of choice of fratboys and casuals, bemoaning the fact that Madden dominated the monthly sales charts yet again! I regret to inform everyone that I too am one of those idiots who buys the perennial releases.
Being Canadian, I am genetically predisposed to liking hockey and EA's NHL series has long filled this requirement for me. I have purchased every NHL game they've released since 2005, always looking forward to September for the next year's release. Sadly with my Toronto Maple Leafs going through one of their lowest points in their 90+ year history, video games will be the only escapism from another lost season, a place where I can see my Leafs raise another Stanley Cup and keep the depression down. So I'm sorry to all the gamers out there for being unable to stop giving EA my money. At least their NHL series is quality and always improving. They just need to ditch the camera system they have in place in Be A Pro mode.
Also, how we got Phanuef is beyond me.
9) I liked the Virtual Boy
Before the Wii, gamers felt that Nintendo could do no wrong. They were placed high up on a pedestal to be worshiped by all. "What about the Virtual Boy?" someone would ask. Turning to that person with eyes that could kill, gamers would reply, "Oh that. Just forget about that
The Virtual Boy was considered Nintendo's big mistake. It gave people eye problems, it was monochrome and it wasn't very portable. There was always something that gamers could complain about, a skill that has only gotten sharper today. But you know what? I really liked the VB. Sure it hurt your eyes, it was only in red and it was clunky. That doesn't matter, it never
matters. What counts is the games, and while there were only a few, they were all great. Nostalgia is a funny thing though. The VB still has my favourite version of Mario Tennis, a tennis game with actual
visual depth. There was Galactic Pinball, possibly the only pinball game I've ever had fun playing. Teleboxer was pretty fun too with the fist flying around the screen. There was also a Starfox-like game, Wing Alert or something, that I enjoyed a lot as well. While the small library is something I dislike, the 3D gimmick is what made the Virtual Boy worth it for me. With that said, I look forward to the future of 3D gaming. It will happen, gamers will complain (they already are), and I will happily be enjoying the added dimension.
8) I enjoy Pokemon contests
Pokemon Contests are considered to be the epitome of what is wrong with the franchise. It is one of the inclusions to the series that gamers never asked for and cannot understand why it even exists. I too facepalmed a little when I first heard about them. I mean we already force these little pocket monsters to fight till they collapse, now we're going to dress them up with silly accessories and judge them on their dancing skills?? Cruel and unusual punishment never made more sense!!
Like all things I try though, I immediately got hooked. These contests demand more from both a Pokemon and its trainer. Even a Magikarp will win a battle once in awhile, but contests are on a whole other level. They require skill and persistence. A better strategy is needed considering you are up against 3 other trainers. I'll leave it at this since I have a blog on this topic already in the works. Though I guess I might as well turn in my pokeballs now, eh?
7) Single player games are all but dead to me
Ok, this one may be more of an exaggeration. Games such as Uncharted and Fallout 3 show that single player games can still be excellent and ones that I truly love. In the same breath though, I find myself playing less and less solo games every year and wishing those games were made co-op. There is just something about multiplayer that I find much more appealing. Maybe I just hate playing alone.
I probably realized this with Resistance 2. I was a fan of the campaign but was just so much more hooked to the co-op mode. It could have been the RPG-elements but the teamwork was something I really came to love. When I got New Super Mario Bros Wii for Christmas, I really only felt interested in playing it with someone else. I mean, half the reason I don't play my Wii as much as I should is because how isolated the console makes you feel without a friends list. The vast majority of games I play now have a multiplayer component to them. I just seem to enjoy myself a lot more, whether it is playing splitscreen in Borderlands, squading up in Battlefield or going head-to-head in NHL. There will always be a place for single player games, I just don't know if that includes a place on my shelf *makes space for God of War III anyways
*. What is weird though is that this really only applies on consoles. It's like handhelds are immune to this disease I have.
Also weird is that I'm still uncomfortable using a headset. Really got to swallow that fear.
6) I like to play with my Wii
If you read the opinion of many "gamers", even here on Dtoid, they will say that the Wii is proof that Nintendo no longer cares about their fans. They will say that supporting the casual-friendly console is doing a disservice to gamers everywhere because it is showing publishers that crap sells money. There was a while when I even believed that. But I suddenly got stupider and decided I like my Wii again, so therefore I'm an embarrassment to gamers.
Now sane people would argue that if you like video games, you need a Wii. While that makes sense to the average person, many gamers don't see it that way. They don't see Tatsunoku vs Capcom, No More Heroes, Twilight Princess, Mario Galaxy, Smash Bros, Corruption, Zack & Wiki, World of Goo and others. What gamers see is mini-game crap, casual crap, "pretends to be for gamers" crap, "should have been on PS3 or 360" crap, and "don't know what it is but it's probably crap" crap. Also, do you like motion controls?? Well you better turn in your dualshocks now cause you are no longer a gamer.
So to "gamers" everywhere, I'm sorry for having little tastes and no sense.
5) Portal did not give me a boner
What!? How can I not love the darling of 2007!? Well it's not that I don't like it but I was pretty underwhelmed with the game. The portals were an interesting gimmick but I found the game to be way too easy and repetitive. Now it's not like I was wanting MENSA-level difficulty but the whole game just felt like a tech demo to me. Half the settings didn't even make sense. I mean I understand the "test facility" part but what the hell were all those giant pistons for in the service tunnels? Or having turrets guard empty, useless areas? Has Valve ever been in a manufacturing plant before? And what happened to all the people? I know there was the "neurotoxin" event but either their bodies would still be laying on the ground or the surviving members would be back to work after they installed the "sympathy" add-on. Why was it a ghost town? The way gamers were having orgasms over this game I was just expecting more.
The thing I liked most about the game was the humour. I still don't understand how "The cake is a lie" became the oh so hilarious meme that people made it out to be though. Actually I'm pretty annoyed about that. I really felt that they should have done more with the hidden plot, show a bit more of the Aperture vs Black Mesa rivalry. I liked the mechanic of using the portals to turn your enemies' weapons against them but that was only used twice. If they used the portal gun in another setting, with armed guards instead of stationary turrets, trying to break out of (or into) something other than a test facility, and more varying scenarios, the game could be great. I mean how did we not get the old "portal on a block, pushed in front of a piston, which breaks a locked door via the portal on the opposite wall" puzzle!? So many lost opportunities!! Hopefully we get the second chapter this year.
Also, Half-Life 2 has done little to hold my attention. I will save judgement till I beat it though.
4) I'm happy the Dreamcast died
Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Easy now! Put down the pitchforks and let me explain myself! I love the Dreamcast. It is one of my favourite consoles of all time. I died a little inside the day that Sega pulled the plug on their hardware division. But it was because Sega did this that I was able to get the most out of my Dreamcast.
Being in my early teens, the only money I received was what I earned on my paper-route. Even the $50 I earned a month I had to split with my sister who helped me. There was no such thing as an allowance in my household. After Sega killed the Dreamcast, many retailers were trying to get rid of their stock of games. I hit the gaming jackpot when some of the stores were selling their remaining supply for $2 each. Games such as Fur Fighters, Toy Commander, Worms, San Fransisco Rush 2049, Unreal Tournament, Quake III, Powerstone 2, Blue Stinger, Virtual On, Daytona USA, Tokyo Xtreme Racer 2, Marvel vs Capcom, Sonic Shuffle, Evolution, Virtua Tennis, Vigilante 8, and the list goes on and on and on. I have a collection of over 60 DC titles and the vast majority I got for borderline-theft. So maybe I'm not exactly happy that the Dreamcast is dead. What I'm happy about was that I was able to celebrate its life after it past away.
3) I buy downloadable content
Well I guess this one isn't too much of a secret considering I already wrote a blog on it
. Even still, downloadable content is probably the number one thing gamers hate the most this generation of gaming. "Why didn't they just put this in the game before releasing it?" or "They probably just cut this from the game to make an extra buck!" is what many people say. I'm different though. I'm a consumer whore
Warhawk Booster packs, Killzone 2 map packs, LittleBigPlanet costumes, Resistance 2 skins, Home clothing, Big Surf Island, Heist pack for Crash Commando....quite a bit I've purchased. Still need to download songs for SingStar, buy the Fury pack for WipEout HD, Pixeljunk add-ons and lots more. Why do I gladly throw my money away while other gamers refuse to spend a dime on this stuff? Well mostly because I love the games I've played and I don't have a problem spending a few more dollars to get more out my purchases. This generation is great in that any game is capable of becoming a better product than when it was released. Burnout Paradise is the perfect example of this. Now I'm not saying that all DLC is good (I'm looking at you EA Sports), but if you enjoy a game you shouldn't hold out on principle alone. This stuff isn't going away any time soon.
Also, anyone who doesn't buy the Warhawk Booster Packs are really not getting their moneys worth and are horrible, horrible
2) I have yet to play Legend of Zelda: OoT/MM/WW......
This is something I'm pretty ashamed about. I have not played the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Wind Waker, either of the NES versions, Oracles of Seasons/Ages, Minish Cap and Spirit Tracks. I guess it would have been quicker to mention the Zelda games I have played, but I feel the impact is greater this way.
So yes, I have yet to play many of the games in one of the most respected, repetitive, franchises of all time. While I did not have an N64 growing up, my excuses no longer hold meaning since I could download them on my Wii. Probably the worst thing about all of this is that Four Swords Adventure, the multiplayer bastard-child of the series, is probably my favourite. Or at least it would be my favourite if it was at all feasible to get the 4 GBAs and link-cables to play with. But as I've said for years, the DS was practically built for this game. With Wii connectivity, this should have been made a good 3 years ago.
Also, I have yet to play any of the Final Fantasy games, except for Crystal Chronicles. Again, Wii Connectivity for the DS is a missed opportunity this generation.
1) My copy of Jet Grind Radio is a fake
This is the thing I am most
ashamed about as a gamer. My copy of Jet Grind Radio, a game I love like no other, is being tainted by the CD-R it is burned to. It is a secret that I can keep no longer. Well to begin with, the game and I have always had a weird relationship. I remember the first time I saw a single screenshot of the game in the Official Dreamcast Magazine, for some reason I had it out for the game. To me at that time, it looked like a game that was trying too hard to be hip. Also worth mentioning was that I was like 12 at the time, just a naive little kid, and we had very little details on the gameplay. Then the previews started coming out and I started to hate it even more, mostly because it sounded so good. It wasn't until the October issue of ODCM got to my mailbox, wrapped with the demo disc containing an excerpt of the game, that my eyes were finally opened and I grew up as a gamer.
That demo changed me. The visuals, the music, the gameplay....it was like I had been living a lie up until that point, which in truth I had. I put countless hours into the demo, replaying the small snippet over and over again. This game had to be mine. The problem was that I was only 12 at the time, as mentioned before got no allowance and only had a paper-route. Before I was able to save up enough money though my cousins got a burnt copy from their friend. Needing to play the game at all cost, they then copied the game for me and the true love sessions would begin. Till this day, there is no game that I have beaten more times than Jet Grind Radio (Viewtiful Joe is pretty close though).
I fully intended to buy the game when I had a chance but just always ended up spending the money on games I didn't own. I still plan on purchasing it some day but I rarely come across Dreamcast games anymore, let alone good one. Until then though, it must remain as one of my greatest gaming shames and prove why I am a disgrace to gamers everywhere.
To redeem myself, I made Mr. Destructoid in the ModNation Racers beta.
This was about all I did, never actually participated in a race. read