-by Logan Witt
Whew, been too long since Dan or I finished an article to post, but we didn't want to completely flood the internet with too much awesome writing. But now you've all had time to catch up and catch a breath, so here we go again.
Actually, Dan's swamped and I kinda hit a wall with what to write about without doing my eight hundredth and some-odd list, which led to this brilliant idea: a rant blog about, well, rants. I've been keeping up with a handful of the year's biggest titles, but didn't thoroughly polish them off to get a review out in a timely manner. If I'm going to get a review spit-shined and onto the web it should be done by Sunday of that game's week. (Following me?? Okay.)
But what about rants?? I had issues with some of the characters being a little beyond cheap in Marvel vs. Capcom 3
too, ya know! Somehow rushing out a two- or three-paragraph half-essay on why Sentinel should be banned or why only the "Normal" control scheme should be allowed for ranked matches just seemed like a mildly pointless drop in the ocean. Or the nerve of EA to say, "Hey, if you want to play Dead Space 2
's multiplayer, that's great, so long as you bought the game new or are willing to pay 10 bucks for a code." Sorry guys, I Gamefly, so I'm not often going to put money into a game unless I really, really like it or decide to hang onto it. Not to mention that the multiplayer wasn't worth a Hamilton. Or what about Killzone 3
's really disjointed story?? Again, it's like be the guy holding onto a splinter of the battering ram just so he could say he helped; no thanks, I'm going to try to find a ladder.
But that's what it seems like, anymore. Too often it's the same batch of blogs or forum posts on the same things. I'm all for community participation and discussions and groups of like-minded gamers banding together under the flag of their particular cause, defiantly waving their particular console/genre/medium preference and giving full voice to what they enjoy and expect in hopes of raising the quality of the products in the industry we all love. Sometimes you have to come up with some new ideas, though; can't just be another on a list of a couple hundred comments on a post about a redesigned character or over-priced peripheral.
I know rant blogs aren't all that original, either, but I wasn't going to do another list, not yet anyway. For such a passionate community, we seem to get stuck in ruts way, way too often- the same arguments, same issues, same debates that we can go over in our sleep. It's not all the industry's fault, either. Oh sure, sometimes some announcement sets up this cascading effect, an avalanche of what-have-you-that seems to spin itself around into something as familiar and tired as fanboyism or "evil Activision", but not always. Sometimes there's just a lack of creative discussion, there have to be more than four ideas about any one topic, but more often, and sadly, someone comes along and drops in a beautiful gem of a conversation piece, something to make us look at things in a different way or give us a different perspective, but it falls on deaf ears because the more pressing concern is the overly bombastic flame war raging on.
And that's our fault too, we can't ignore trolls even if we try. More often than not, we get so stirred up that we have to pick a side, we have to stake our hilltop on the battlefield. Once in a while someone injects a new point that's, well, different, but it almost always turns out to be the same stand-still, obscenity-laced, nerd rage-fueled tennis match that we're all tired of. And how often does that turn away people who were once so active in the forums or the blog community?? Too often.
So this is my challenge to all of us- really understand your point; be willing to concede ground on occasion, nobody's going to be right all the time; and if you absolutely must insult someone, at least make it creative for a change. I don't think we should be discussing Dragon Age II like it's Candide, but let's not have twenty comments of "the reviewer's biased" (if you don't like the review, write your own, but give it substance) and another forty of "not worth $60" (that's your standard retail price now for the most part, get over it; speaking to our U.S. community) and heaven knows how many of "the guy above me who didn't agree with me, you're -insert whatever stupid remark here-". We demand creativity in the developed product, so we should be creative in our feedback and our criticisms.