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Old November 30th, 2008, 11:50 AM   #1
StarshipTrooper
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Default Our 10 Biggest Video-Game Irritations

12:00 AM, 25-NOVEMBER-08

Our 10 Biggest Video-Game Irritations

I've been playing video games for a very long time. They'll have to pry my controller out of my cold, dead han-- ... well, the Wii remote I might give up without too much of a fight, but you know what I mean. I've lost days of my life and plenty of sleep to gaming.

But you have to admit, there are a few things that need to change. And not just the shape-shifting final bosses in Japanese platformers or the stupid things characters yell out when they make a move in an RPG. Here are my top 10 pet peeves. Game developers, are you listening?

1. Breast Physics. Listen, I have no problem with boobs or scantily clad heroines. No one wants to see Taki in a parka. And I like my video-game avatar to have more than I could ever hope to achieve without surgery. It's not the breasts themselves that I object to: It's how they move. If you jump in the air and land, breasts do not bounce independently of each other, like they're being juggled. Having two of my own, I am quite certain of this. (And they most certainly would not stay in those outfits without some industrial-strength double-stick tape, a la Ivy, whose pumpkin-sized breasts are held in by tooth floss.) I doubt anyone will complain about doing a bit more research into how real ones move.

2. World War II. Were there no other wars? Call of Duty managed to escape the trend with the last one, but it was sucked back into the European theater in the latest installment. Look, there's the Korean War, the Vietnam War, elves vs. were-rabbits, humans vs. Cylons. Yes, World War II was tragic. The whole world joined. I get it. But, really, it's been done to death, and I'm quite sure there is someone out there with the imagination to come up with something new. How about a spy game set in the Cold War? Hatfields vs. McCoys? Me against my neighbors?

3. Object Permanence. I have walked up and down many flights of stairs in my lifetime, and not once have I looked down to find my leg buried up to mid-calf. Nor have I turned my head on a pillow (ahem, KOTOR) and found my ponytail inside it. There have been some incredible advances in graphics in recent years. So why do the stairs still eat my feet? If you can create near-photorealism in a game, you can manage to let me walk up stairs and not look like I'm skating through jello.

4. Battle Scripts. If your game involves running through the trenches with your mates and shooting up the enemy, you want a little support. But, guys, really! A little creativity. More than five lines! Designers may think that having comrades shout encouragement at you adds realism in battle, but the same few lines start out boring and end up annoying. Hire a few college actors and have them improv or something. Or shut them the hell up. Because if I hear someone in my party yell the same line at me one more time, I'm turning the gun on him.

5. First-Person Shooters. And speaking of shooters, can we please try something new? It's not to like I don't enjoy blowing away zombies and sneaking around corners with guns. I just feel like we've been doing the same thing since Doom. A little innovation, please. Like maybe having a sight line that doesn't look like I'm wearing horse blinders. (Maybe I'm just bitter because those games make me barf.)

6. Kiddie Games for the Wii. Some of us have been playing games since the first Zelda. Some of us don't admit that publicly, but it's true. As an adult, I am begging you, oh Nintendo, try to remember that you have customers older than 8. I love the innovation of the Wii. It was certainly about time that someone took the idea of flinging a controller at the screen and turned it into something brand spanking new. But lots of grown-ups want to play something besides Wii Fit and Wii Tennis. We have game ratings for a reason, and if stores bothered to enforce them, we could put a little more grit in our gaming. (And putting boobs on that creepy Midna thing does not count.) GTA's "Hot Coffee" mod did not cause the apocalypse, and the naked chicks in God of War didn't make 12-year-olds run amok. So dirty 'em up a bit, Nintendo, OK?

7. Random Battles. These kinds of conflicts defy logic. If I'm walking down a forest path with my well-armed friends of many species (a typical Saturday afternoon), and a horde of poison-spitting, oddly well-choreographed evil mushrooms in coats are standing in the middle of a clearing, odds are I'm going to notice. I'm not saying that nothing could sneak up on me. Just saying that a group of flan (yes, pudding can be lethal in video games) might be something that would catch my eye.

8. Save Anywhere. How is it possible that there are still games that don't have this? Simply put, sometimes I have to eat. Sometimes I have to sleep. Sometimes I'd like to remember what the sun looks like. Save points are a cop-out. Honestly, if you're doing this to add gameplay hours to your title, do you think we don't know? Does it disguise that your game sucks? Listen, if it's good, it can be short. Remember Beyond Good and Evil? There is absolutely no reason I should have to reach a circle or a stick in the ground before I can go to the bathroom.

9. Game Prices. If you want to ensure that I buy your lesser-known games, charge me a little less for them. If you're going to make me pay $60 a game, you've pretty much guaranteed that I'm buying Halo 3 and nothing else. I know it costs a lot to make them and all, but leave the big price tag for the big titles and charge me less for the smaller ones. I'll buy more that way. Then you can take some of the profit from Fable 2 and put it toward one of your cool ideas about a Chicken Chaser spinoff.

10. Downloads That Cost Money. I paid $60 for this game. You're telling me that I have to pay MORE? To buy armor for my horse? Are you kidding me? It's a virtual horse! Six dollars for three songs on Guitar Hero: World Tour? And I can't put them on my iPod? If I've bought the game, I've given you plenty of money already. Or maybe you could give me a few freebies. Make the alternative "this-chick-can-also-fight-in-a-bikini" costume a giveaway and maybe your $20 downloadable expansion pack won't make me so angry. And don't make me pay for what you didn't have time to include. I'd rather save the money and buy your next title. So, please, finish the game before you release it. --Jenna Busch

http://www.scifi.com/scifiwire/index...ory=6&id=62411
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