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Look, we know each other pretty well and I think it’s time I talk to you about some of your bad habits. In the course of many years of gaming, I’ve found myself infuriated (in-fucking-furiated!) by problems that should have disappeared long ago. I think if you take an honsest look at yourself, you’ll see that you do these things just to get on my last nerve. Let’s resolve you’ll fix them once and for all.

Let me pause. Every game, any time. Sometimes I need space. I don’t care if I’m in the final boss fight. I might have to pee. Let me pause during all cutscenes. Yes, it’s engrossing to hear some big-eyed character finally confess his love to another big-eyed character or watch my current action hero do some bad-ass moves that I can’t actually do in the game, but I might still want to pause. My phone might ring. I might like to pause just long enough to tell the person on the other end to leave me the hell alone.

Speaking of cutscenes, let me watch them again. You know what sucks? Trying to describe to my friend how awesome a cutscene was. I sound like an idiot, “And then, then he did this really cool spin-kick but he was like upside-down when he did it and then this guy appeared from the shadows and he was all like, ‘Aw hell no’ and he was glowing with energy and vaporized him.” I’d rather show my friends. All games with cutscenes should have a place in the main menu where they are unlocked. Because do you know what gamers love? Unlocking stuff.

Please…god…let…me…skip…this…

Speaking of cutscenes, don’t make me watch them again. There’s nothing worse than having to rewatch a cutscene every time I take another crack at defeating a boss. Nothing. The worst part is that it makes a special moment suddenly cheap. I earned it the first time. Every subsequent time I see it, it’s like I’m being laughed at. And it hurts my feelings. And you know how I get. I didn’t mean to break that controller, but you made me do it.

Also, make it easy for me to have the soundtrack. There are many game soundtracks I don’t care about. By the time, I’ve finished the game I never want to hear their jangly tunes again. However, some composers have really put some nice songs together. I want to geek out. I don’t want to pay import prices for a Japanese game soundtrack. You don’t want me wandering the shady streets of the internet looking to download them for free. I’ve already bought the game, so give me a discount and make it easy. Some games have been quite accommodating. God of War, Baten Kaitos, thanks. Maybe the soundtrack could be put on the console’s online service, discounted by my registration of the game, and I could transfer it to my computer. Or do something with iTunes. I hear it’s popular.

One more thing, looking at the manual was cute when we first met. It was the only way to get to know you before I actually got you home with me. Now, I don’t want to see that manual ever again. Don’t expect me to know everything said in there. Most games know that, but every once in a while I’m disappointed. If you can’t tell it to my face, then I don’t want to hear it. Some games, have in-game email from NPCs guiding me along my way. And that’s a good compromise. Really it is, but if I wanted all those words, I’d read a book. If I’m still not getting the hint, then maybe it’s because you’re not being direct enough and that’s something you have to work out on your own.

That’s it…for now. Take notice of how all my demands come from a place of love. I really like your game, but I want it to be easier to enjoy. This list of demands was my last resort. You know I love you. Why you got to make it so hard to love you?

4 Comments

  1. Matt said on May 15, 2007:

    I totally agree with the soundtracks thing. Most of the good ones are japan-only, or even worse, they never released one for the game. I’m dying for a video game section in my local music store. iTunes is starting to have them, with Final Fantasy and the Konami thing recently announced, but I want way more than just that. But yeah, all of your ideas are good. Pausing the cut scene is also high on my list. You have no idea how many times I needed to answer my phone when watching one of those. It also annoys the shit out of me.

  2. GoldenJew said on May 15, 2007:

    It amazes how much basic functionality developers miss. There needs to be more standards in gaming to provide basic features as you describe. Hell, the Japanese won the manufacturing war because their products were standardized and good. Teach the game developers to hang out with the car manufacturers!

  3. christian said on May 16, 2007:

    About Manuals; only remove them if it means I don’t have to go through mandatory instructional pop-ups/ tutorial bullshit because people are lazy.

  4. Pat said on May 16, 2007:

    The manuals were great back in the day when programmers were squeezing information into a small cartridge. Today, the games are on DVD, and hell, blue-ray. If you can’t squeeze the tutorial into the game somewhere, you’ve done something wrong.

    The worst thing about those scenes is when you accidentally activate them repeatedly. Like you just get done with some long piece, and you mean to walk right, but you walk left, and have to push through the whole thing again.

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