Why do people play some of the games they do? Some games I just really don’t get at all, or they don’t interest me at all. Just looking at the back of the box I write many games off for being nerdy, boring, lame, kid’s stuff or whatever else I feel like saying.
But what happens if you play them anyway? Would you change your mind? Would you feel justified for calling it a piece of shit? Or would you just say that it wasn’t too bad? That’s what GameCola staff writer Travis Combs and I intend to find out with our newest column, The Grass is Always.
Travis and I have different tastes in games. Our collections stand with their backs turned toward one another, with the exception of a few shared titles. Our interests may lie in different categories, but our goal is much the same: to be entertained. The idea behind this column is not to torture ourselves, but to find out what happens when you expand you gaming horizons. We will record each gaming session with an old-fashioned tape recorder and include the highlights our conversations in these columns.
This month’s game is Breakdown, for Xbox. I hadn’t even heard of this game before—but that’s the point now, isn’t it? Travis popped the game in, pressed record on the tape player, popped a beer and we went to work. The game is a traditional FPS with nothing that seemed new to me. I’m very picky about my FPS games; Travis has a million of them.
I started watching the long, drawn out cut-scenes that seem to start just about every game on the planet nowadays, and we began talking about the FPS genre.
Travis: “See, the thing about that is that it’s like what it is with Doom 3; you don’t like first person shooters.”
Joel: “No, I didn’t hate Doom 3. I just don’t like it when it’s a pain in the ass.”
T: “I understand that. Not the game for you.”
I watch the tutorial for few moments. The minutes begin to stretch out as the game walks him though every little nuance and tweak of the controls.
J: “Where’s the gun? What button pushes the gun?” Travis is completely zoning out on TV, not paying attention to Joel. “Travis? Hello? Gun? Never mind. I got it. How do I get it to point up?”
T: “You point it up.”
J: “Thanks. I’m getting bored. I wish I could kill something.”
At this point things begin to deteriorate, I say what Travis concludes to be the funniest fucking thing he’s ever heard.
J: “Joel want shooty things now.”
T: “You know, you run like a girl.”
At this point, the character in the game is eating a hamburger in first-person.
J:”Oh, that’s fucking great. That guy just gave me a poisoned hamburger.”
T: “This is the awesome vomit scene!”
In first person, the character vomits messily into the toilet.
J: “Ahh! She stuck a finger down my throat and I just puked blood and cheeseburger!”
It was at this point where we actually get to play the game. I was momentarily excited from my seemingly halfhour of bullshit involving me not knowing who I am and such. Approximately thirty minutes into the game, objectives and killing people became much harder, especially when running out of ammo (and yes I’m fucking conservative with it, three round bursts what’s it to ya?); and guarding other people the game becomes too oppressive for me. I’ll freely admit I hate games that kick my ass with such fervor.
I have at least five games in my entertainment center that I will never play again because I’ve gotten to a point where the designers did not want me as a person to advance past. I can’t stand it when playing a game becomes a lesson in restraint; must I come up with reasons that my controller doesn’t want to become one with my TV? In any event, this game was sub-par the whole way through. I’d like to say more about it but I just wasn’t that into it.
This is an ongoing idea so feel free to let us know what you’d like to see more or less of via e-mail or the forums. Next month: I make Travis play Ace Combat 5. This should be fucking hilarious.