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radiopools avatar 10:31 PM on 10.18.2011  (server time)
Arkham City: Why I Love/Hate PC Gaming

This is (hopefully) just going to be a quick little rant.

I am a PC gamer. I have a relatively decent PC, granted I built it three years ago and have been slowly upgrading since. I love PC gaming. The keyboard and mouse layout is very efficient at getting things done in FPS and Strategic gaming. Having the ability to slowly upgrade and personalize my machine is really great. For me, putting together a computer piece by piece is an activity that canít be beat. Putting all of the pieces together and then watching your creation come to life and dominate is an exhilarating experience. I can relate to how Dr. Frankenstein felt when he created his monster.

That being said, I grew up on console games. I was 100% a console gamer from NES through the early stages of Xbox 360. In fact, my earliest memories of life were sitting in front of the T.V. playing Legend of Zelda on the NES. Throughout the years, I would remember the crazy PC graphics card advertisements in Electronic Gaming Monthly and the like. I never understood why people would play games on a computer when there was a perfectly good Nintendo or Playstation around.

However, World of Warcraft got me hooked around 2005 and my feelings toward PC gaming started to change. I remember playing WoW in 2005 on this piece of junk Dell used as the family computer, but I didnít care that the graphics were low-rez and pixilated, I loved the game.

Fast forward to the end of High School in 2006, I received a laptop (dell, of course) for college. What was the first thing I did? I installed WoW, naturally. I was playing at over sixty frames per second: everything looked so sharp and fluid! WoW was basically the main game I played from 2006-2008.
Yet, I still regularly rented PS2 and Xbox 360 games. They were fun distractions from school, but nothing beat the experience I had when I logged into WoW.

Well, eventually that laptop became worn down. As WoW and other games became more demanding, and my interest in PC gaming grew, it became increasingly apparent that my laptop was just not going to be able to handle the future of computer gaming. So in the summer of 2009, I built this PC. It was mind-blowing. Every game ran smooth as butter and I could push the graphics settings far beyond any console at the time. My friends were dazzled; my roommate at the time actually had me build him a gaming PC after seeing mine.

TEH FRAEMZ! (MSi Twin Frozr II nVidia GTX 560 Ti 2GB @ 950Mhz core clock, all settings maxed including PhysX @ 1080p, FYI)

ďOkay, so whatís the point of this post?Ē

The point is Batman: Arkham City is out on consoles right now. My friends are playing it this very second, while Iím sitting here writing this post and staring at my Steam menu.

Someone...anyone... please hug me T_T

Itís not like I should be surprised: Arkham Asylum was the exact same way. They released the console version way earlier than they released the PC version.

Iím sure there are many reasons why the developers did this. It at least makes me feel like the developers are spending a little more time on the game. Like that one N-Sync song. Or was it Backstreet Boys? Ö Why the hell am I even referencing boy bands of the 90ís?

Even if the PC version of Arkham City is going to get neat little extras that the console versions donít get, like true PhysX, better graphics and mod-ability, this means that I am going to be left in the dust by the time the game is released on PC. My friends will have beaten the game. More importantly: the internet will have beaten the game.

ďSo, what are you getting at Mr. Pools?Ē

What Iím getting at is that Iím basically going to have to disconnect myself from the internet and smash this expensive Android phone of mine until the first week of November when the game launches on Steam. I donít know if you were in my boots when Arkham Asylum released on PC, but I had to actively avoid certain websites and people because I knew Iíd run into spoilers.

I adore Arkham Asylum: it is easily in my top 5 games of all time.

(yes I know its pixellated to hell and back, I'm using MS Paint for Christ's sake! Throw me a bone!)

The combat, the story, the animations, all of it make it one of the most unforgettable journeys in video game history. I have full faith that the sequel lives up to its greatness. However, since Arkham City is being released on PC in November instead of today, I have to go out of my way to avoid certain websites/people again so that I can experience the game the way that I want to.

The point is I have a love/hate relationship with PC gaming. More and more, PC games are just terrible ports of console games. My biggest example here is Saintís Row 2. SR2 is probably in that top 5 games of all time list with Arkham Asylum, and my only experience with it is on PC.

In case you are unfamiliar with the PC version of Saints Row 2, here is the scoop: it is an unplayable mess of a game. You have to go out of your way to find the COMMUNITY MADE modification that lets the game run at a reasonable frame rate. If you have a dual-core processor, forget this game even exists because it simply will not be playable. I speak from experience: I couldnít play the game (a legitimate copy from Steam, mind you) with a dual core processor.

Even though the game ran poorly at launch and was ignored by it's publishers, the fact that the community had such a love for the game that they spent hours of their own lives working to make this game playable at all on the PC is a perfect demonstration of why I love the PC gaming community.

So the TL:DR version of this post would be that while Iím upset I am going to have to try extremely hard to avoid spoilers for Arkham City for another two weeks, in the long run, seeing a machine that I have created with my own two hands play a game in higher visual quality than a PS3/Xbox360 will be worth it. Even though people will have Arkham City beaten before I finish this post, I am okay with it because it seems the developers wanted to ensure the best possible experience a PC gamer can get with the PC version.

In a perfect world, PC and Console releases would be simultaneous. I donít know much about game development and running a game company, but it would be really nice if developers could work on the PC release of a game in a way that will let it release alongside its console counterpart.

As always, please comment with critiques of my writing as I am extremely eager to work on my writing abilities. Don't forget: no matter how down you feel, there is at least one random person on the internet who loves you <3


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