By Kraiz 10 Comments
4. Unskippable Cutscenes
I do applaud developers that actually try to create some kind of stories with their products these days; however, some of them just take it too far. It seems as though these days nearly 90% of games that use cutscenes frequently are just a half-assed attempt by a rushed game developer to implement a story to their games. These rushed cutscenes are usually boring and do nothing other than hinder gameplay by stopping me from killing zombies, aliens, or any other form of baddies.
But wait, it gets worse! There are many games out there with cutscenes that cannot be skipped. This can be a real pain in the ass if you are playing through a game for a second or third time and don't need to see the story develop, or if you just really don't care that much. I would like to give the developers the benefit of the doubt and say that the corportations rushed them, thus they forgot to make a skip button. What if you do care about the story though and it is your fist playthrough? Then the next annoyance involving cutscenes is those pesky cinematics that just cannot be pasued. If you really have to go to bathroom during one of these unpausable cutscenes then you will be faced with an earth-shattering dilemma: piss yourself or find out what happens.
Star Wars: Force Unleashed
3. What Downloadable Content Has Become
Big news for this generation of gaming was the introduction of DLC on consoles. For some time every gamer praised this concept, allowing them to get patches for their games promptly and download brand new content for games instead of waiting for expansion packs on a disc. Too bad for the average gamer publishers and developers have noticed the phenomenal success of DLC. In fact, they have even brought it upob themselves to find ways to scam you.
On the Xbox 360 Microsoft decided to use this thing called Microsoft Points as the form of currency on their Xbox Live service, instead of ... real money. Don't worry though, you can still spend your hard earn bucks to obtain these points either by credit card or prepaid card at any gaming store. Let's say a downloadable package costs 1600 points, no problem, you don't mind spending $16.00 on some content. Hold on there, 1600 points costs $19 and some odd change before taxes. Depending on where you live, $1.00 usually equals 80 points and can be much less than that outside of the United States. This is an odd marketing trick designed to squeeze some extra cash out of us gamers.
Back to the downloadable content itself, wow what a great idea! Companies have now decided that some completed content doesn't necessarily have to be included with the game, hell, people can just purchase this from the marketplace for an additional $10. It is all too common these days to see downloadable content for new video games less than one week following release, or on the same day if it is an EA Game. I would like to take this time to give a pat on the back to the few developers and publishers out there who actually release legitimate downloable content for games.
2. Game Breaking Glitches
It may just be the evolution of gaming forums or just sloppy development, but I for one have noticed a huge increase of game breaking glitches in this generation. Although I've never experienced one of these myself I anticipate that it will one day happen so it has replaced Tutorials as the #1 spot on this list. Apparently, these glitches conveniently happen towards the end of the game, and usually in games which only support one save file per playthrough. From what I've heard on this recent explosion of glitches is the lack of support from developers. If I were to experience one of these glitches I honestly wouldn't mind waiting it out for a couple days if a patch to fix the problem was promised in less than five days. Unfortunately it doesn't seem reasonable these days with the allegedly long and tedious process of patch approval that developers claim.
Gears of War 2
For anybody not in the know, Digital Rights Management is a form of anti-piracy that originated with music and video files. The restrictions with this being used in video games is basically a three strikes rules. You can only activate the DRM three times before the software locks you out of installing or playing the game ever again. What warrants an activation you ask? Hardware or software changes are a big one, that means if you upgrade your operating system or system specs than you have wasted an install. Let's say you have multiple computers and would like to play your single player games on them, well that will cost you extra install for sure. Let's assume under the very likely situation that you have used all of your allowed installs of a game protected by DRM. What can you do now? You are locked out of the game entirely so you can try calling customer service, unfortunately they will assume the worst as convince themselves that you did something wrong and will not give you any extra activiations, they are useless! Now you are stuck with a purchased copy of a game that you can't even use.
Now you must be pondering why any company would include such a nasty feature into any video game. The answer is the ever-growing rate of piracy. These publishers fool themselves into thinking that their coders can actually create a system that can lock out all of t hese illegal activities altogether. One flaw in this system that they didn't take into account is that their employees can be the best coders in the world, but there will always be a better cracker out there.
I'll give you a true story here. The popular video game Spore was released in 2008 sometime and used this DRM protection to prevent piracy. I was going to be one of the millions of anticipated gamers to purchase this game until the DRM claim was proven to be va li d. A full and cracked version of Spore was released on hundreds of direct download and torrent websites nearly one week before the official release of the game. Not only this, but the game was illegally downloaded over 500,000 times in one week alone , and has been downloaded millions of times by now.
Unlike 500,000 others I purchased the game at full price. At the time I was running Windows Vista and had some issues, the first problem cost me my second install. The latest thing to cost me my third install was surprisingly enough an upgrade in RAM (why the hell, I d on't know). Not long after I had to reformat because of a Vista related issue and had been locked out of my own game. I decided that I would not take this so I decided to download a copy of Spore and used to crack to conveniently unlock the DRM and play the game hassle free. Since then I have decided to never buy a game protected by DRM again, and will pirate it in a boycott to these companies. I know boycotting the publishers will never work, but it is an excuse for free games.