There sure is a lotta hooplah about that lady from BioWare and her comments from like 6 years ago. She says that players should be allowed to skip combat in case they get too frustrated by the game. People flipppppeed their shit at her! Big time. Like, WikiLeaks-scale shit-flippin'! OK maybe not that much.
Back in the day, we had things called "cheat codes." They were "secret", at least as secret as anything can be with the internet these days, and you would do a song and dance and suddenly the game would become much, much easier. You could skip levels wholesale, become invincible, give yourself arbitrary stats, etc. etc. I gotta say, when I was a wee lad, I WAS A CHEATER! I cheated much of my way through DOOM and Quake and Duke3D. It was so fun to just pop in some codes and blast demons with the reckless abandon of a spoiled lil shit that nobody can touch!
At least...I THOUGHT I was having fun. But soon I realized...holy shit NO I was NOT actually having fun! I was just doing something completely meaningless and mindless, and afterwards I kinda felt like a coke head crashing hard with frustration after a night of hopelessly hitting on girls way out of his league (you know that feeling, right?). The only thing I was cheating was MYSELF. I was cheating myself out of the fun of the game. Out of the challenge, the suspense, the satisfaction of overcoming! And so, I stopped cheating so much, and suddenly I was having a much better time with those games!
Now, I still cheat every once in a while here and there. The last level of Half-Life 1, for example. Fuck dat shit. Every once in a while, when the game is being downright retarded, I don't mind cheating. Heck, no game is perfect! Even the best ones have some real shit parts (Psychonauts..), and if it weren't for cheat codes, they become real blockades.
So anyway, what's the up shot of all this? I think letting people skip combat is fine, since it's difficult to design a game that's suited to everyone especially with how big the market is today. But consumers should realize that if you skip through too much, you are really cheating yourself out of a lot of fun! You paid $60 for that thing, squeeze it for all it's got! If you just want the story, maybe skip through it all at first and then replay it to enjoy the combat when you're not just gettin' all anxious to see the story progress. That's kinda what I did with MGS3 - I first played through on easy, which is super easy, and then I replayed it on EuroExtreme - one of my favorite gaming experiences EVAR!
Some movies can feel a little boring at times. And if you're watching at home, you could skip those parts when they come...but I think most people would be very careful about what they skip! They would make sure no important story parts were skipped, etc. etc. So I think if people wanna get their money's worth, they should treat combat-skipping (or whatever form it takes) with the same kind of understanding.
So c'mon folks, let's just be reasonable about it.