Headshots & Friendly Fire: Round 6

October 30, 2009Written by Cameron Teague


The gaming industry has gotten bigger and better with each passing year, but sometimes they just don’t do things right. Whether it’s game play, story, pricing, or business practice, sometimes the industry needs a little friendly fire from the gamers to keep it in line.

Other times, developers look down their sight and fire off a well placed bullet right into our unexpected head. This is Josh & Cameron, and this is Headshots & Friendly Fire.


A Bit of Friendly Fire

Blockbuster Video, not Games

I know that blockbuster has not really ever been relevant in the gaming side of things but when you as a retailer rent video games, its very frustrating when you barely have any stock. The bad thing is that there are very few options for a lot of people when wanting to rent games without going online. So for people looking to rent a game in between games from gamefly you are left hoping that Blockbuster carries it. Well I don’t think Blockbuster considers games a priority like they should, because even for the big games like Uncharted 2 and etc, they have maybe 2 or 3 copies per store. Now those 2 copies are gone by day one and kept by the people who rented them, so most of the time that stock is gone within the first week . I just fail to see why Blockbuster has never put more stock into the gaming industry seeing as it has been a very profitable industry. I know they put up GameRush stores that are supposed to deal more in games and while they may carry a few more titles and stock, they are few and far between so its sometimes a pain even finding one in my area. So wake up blockbuster, if you want to continue to be around then you will learn to better support the gaming industry and gamers who maybe don’t want to do Gamefly or who want a quick fix one weekend.

The Easy Way Out


Sometimes developers think that people don’t want even a bit of a challenge and they baby us the whole game long.  A Perfect example of this is Prince of Persia.  There is really no fear in this game because you can always rewind the game by bringing out Elika and using her special ability.  This really just took all the risk and reward out of the game because for me it never felt like I really accomplished anything in the game.  You missed a jump?  Oh well just rewind it and try it again, who cares how many times you have to because there is no limit to it.  Every game does not need to be the difficulty of Demon’s Souls but at the same time a game like Prince of Persia should have a bit more risk behind it.

Unnecessary Time Constraints

In puzzle or challenge games, time constraints are almost always a bad thing. Imagine if a game like Cuboid, Shatter, or N+ had a time constraint. Depending on the difficulty of the game, you might not be able to finish it, and it would be a huge annoyance under any circumstances. If a game developer is going to give me a set of levels to get through and give me a challenge, then there is no reason to expect me to finish it in a certain amount of time. I mean, a Rubix cube doesn’t have a time limit, and yet it remains one of the most popular puzzles.

Location Based Audio


Why does this keep happening? Some NPC starts talking to you, and you either look away or take a step or two, and all of a sudden, the NPC’s voice becomes inaudibly quiet. It happened to me in Killzone 2, inFamous, Metal Gear Solid 4, Brutal Legend, and Uncharted 2. I’ll admit it’s kind of a cool feature, and when implemented on optional dialogue it works very well. Like in the first level of Killzone 2, where the NPCs were having conversations with each other, and you could walk up to them, and the dialogue got louder as you approached. That was cool, and it felt very natural. However, when an NPC is expressing important plot information, I want their voice to sound like they are speaking through a megaphone, not like somebody stuck a box over my characters head. If God of War 3 comes out and I hear, “Kratos, I must tell you that (inaudible whisper)” there better be an unlockable costume with Kratos wearing ear muffs, or humming loudly.

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