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UltorOscariot avatar 12:23 AM on 12.24.2010  (server time)
Festivus continued: Airing my own Grievances

After seeing some of the wonderful Dtoid crew take the lead with their own thoughts, I've decided to follow suite without clogging up the comments section with a lovely wall of text that people would just skip over to read something that looked more interesting. So without further ado or pretense, here's some of what I thought was BS in 2010 in the world of gaming.

Valve still doesn't run Virtual Console, the Playstation Store, and the XBox Live store

Another holiday season is upon us, with another Steam sale riding shot gun. Valve's scorched earth campaign against the last vestiges of our wallets, Steamas as I have come to know it, is hailed far and wide as a PC gaming event, with many other digital retailers falling into line and offering their own fire sales as well. Fantastic daily bargains are constantly abound. I probably cannot fathom how many units of Super Meat Boy sold in a single 24 period for $3.75. If only the console platform holders would fall in line as well.

They all have their faults, in my own opinion the Playstation Store being the least offensive among them, but they all seem to embody the worst tendencies of group think that occurs within these companies. This could mean arrogantly thinking a 20 year old game which was middling at best even then is worth more than $1, or you have institutionalized nickel and diming your customers via points systems to an extent that probably makes Bobby Kotick green with envy. Which is why not a single thing any of them do will ever rival the digital institution that Valve has turned Steam into.

Summer of Arcade? Please.
A 3 dollar off weekly special on one title that's 3 years old? Try harder.
$5 for Urban Champion(or Nintendo's entire price structure, really)? Fuck you.

Valve gave away Portal for free. Goddamn gratis.

Step up, or step aside.

Final Fantasy XIII:It's all been said, but it bears repeating

Yes, I know it's really been piled on before but thinking about that game feels like salt in an open wound. It wasn't the linearity that bothered me. It was the "pick your flavor" auto-battle system, and the game's characters.

I know some people are entertained by being able to just watch cool things happen on screen, but even that doesn't really describe battles in FFXIII, because the battles themselves would have to be entertaining first. Watching the same attacks, strike the same types of enemies, wears quite thin, quite quickly. At least with the old Active Time Battle/turn based systems employed by older games of the series, battles were also repetitive, but you were able to create your own fun by experimentation or equipment dickery.

Instead, FFXIII blazes a similar trail to FFX, where specific tactics must be employed to defeat even many common enemies. Otherwise, the party is either outright defeated, or the battle just take excruciatingly long. It might take too long anyway. You might get hit with some corn ball two hit kill special technique anyway. I can appreciate the thinking that probably went into this, as at the very least, it must be said that the battle system required you to pay attention and react appropriately. Which is a lot more than I can say for it's characters.

Never have I seen such an obnoxious group of whining sad-sacks be tasked with saving a world. By the time I finally gave up on the game, right before Grand Pulse, the most positive feeling I could muster toward the characters, their plight, and their world was apathy. Or in the case of Vanille, shear unrelenting hatred.

Yay. We like money too, I mean, Motion Controls!

Stop it. Just stop it.

I like games on my Wii, but most of my favorites don't heavily emphasize motion controls, or use them for things that couldn't easily be substituted with a button press. Wii Sports Resort and Warioware:Smooth Moves about about the only ones that really come to mind that used them as a focal point, and reliably entertain.

I can appreciate other platform holders wanting a sweet piece of that casual pie, and clearly I am not the target market for first wave Move and Kinect software, but I am skeptical that Sony and Microsoft are serious about this at all. This is evidenced by their relatively weak announced software line-ups, and E3 pressers that still haunt the nightmares of their respective fanboys.

More things sold the Wii than just an advertising blitz. The part that is always underplayed in the rise of the Wii, is Nintendo luring it's core fan base to play the role of early adopters with a new Zelda title, to get the pack-in game Wii Sports into homes across the world. Zelda was the perfect trojan horse. I still haven't seen anything resembling even Scylla & Charybdis, since I'm already using Homeric imagery, out of Move or Kinect. Microsoft and Sony have apparently opted for the Activision way, and have decided to just market the bat snot out of them. Will they succeed? Time and NPDs numbers will tell. But I honestly hope not. I guess I loved what my PS3 and 360 were already doing, and see this flailing nonsense as an un-needed distraction and/or desperate gambit to extend the console generation.

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