The level: Down the tubes. The source of our gamer rage: The heart attack-baiting, horrendously twitchy underwater pod sections. As Jim, you have to travel through an underwater layer, briefly having to pilot a bizarre pod-like vehicle at select points. Needless to say, it’s infuriating.
Above: Needlessly twitchy hell in 16-bit cartridge form
Not only are the controls far too sensitive for the SNES and Genesis/Mega Drive D-pads – meaning the slightest press of a direction sends you flying. But you also have to manoeuvre through maze-like underground caverns. Hit the edge too many times and your vehicle will crack like a Fabergé Egg. Sound needlessly tough? Well, throw in a scrotum-crushingly strict time limit and you’ll understand why we’re physically grinding our teeth down to the gum as we type this.
In football they say penalty shootouts are a lottery. Trouble is, in PES, we forgot to buy our tickets. In Konami's game pens are random, rigged and bewildering. With no on-screen power bar, it’s impossible to judge the power of your shots. At best, it’s guess work. At worst, a test of Zen-like calm. Some go smoothly. Some not so. And others just go completely awry for no reason. This, children, is PES’ shameless scripting, ‘cooking’ or predetermining the outcome of the match.
Above: PES bringing that bewildering miss to the boil
The perfect example? The game rewards you a massively soft pen for an innocuous tackle. Great, you think. Then your player steps up, composes himself, and sends it thirty feet over the bar, even though you were clearly aiming it in the bottom corner. Subsequently, bringing our gamer rage to the boil.
Can you spell ‘f**k off, Skate 2?’ One of the most challenging missions in the game sees you take on Eric Koston and Mike Carroll. The two skating legends start pulling tricks so ridiculous most SKATE players will probably develop arthritis trying to replicate them. The only way to beat the pros is to nail their tricks until one of them falls off their board, giving you the chance to force them to copy the moves you set. Trouble is, they almost always land their tricks with supercomputer-esque efficiency.
Forcing them to make that error, so you can get into this position of power, is soul destroying. And that’s what really gets our gamer rage going, not only the difficulty of the tricks, but the Swiss watch-like consistency of the A.I. God, it’s all coming back. Remember, now, deep breathes… deep breathes… find that happy place.
27 Mar, 2009
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