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The Top 7... Least-irritating quick time events

5. THE KNIFE FIGHT


From: Resident Evil 4

Once famously described by MC Chris as “Bitch, this ain’t a cutscene! Press A! PRESS A!” the quick time events in Resident Evil 4 were a welcome change-up from the normally long, overwrought cutscenes we’ve come to expect from Japanese games. No longer did we just have to watch characters do cool stuff we could never do during normal gameplay; now we could help them.

Out of all those interactive cutscenes, however, none stood out quite as much, or kept us quite as tense, as the knife fight between Leon and his former comrade, Krauser. Like with most of RE4’s QTEs, it did its best to catch you off-guard, interrupting quiet moments or talky bits with sudden bursts of violence that you had to either respond to quickly, or be rewarded with this:

Of course, it also didn’t hurt that it was a beautifully executed scene, starring two muscular badasses trying to slice each other up with big, nasty-looking knives that looked even nastier in slow-motion close-ups. Without our ability to intervene, though, it would have been just another flashy cutscene to be viewed, digested and forgotten. But because we could “play” it, it was one of the game’s most surprising and striking sequences.


4. PUNCHING A GUY


From: Die Hard Arcade

Way back in 1996, long before most of us even knew what a quick time sequence was, Die Hard Arcade incorporated them into its over-the-top, anything-goes beat ‘em-up formula. These were all pretty simple: in between bashing thugs with whatever blunt objects or ridiculous firearms were in easy reach, there’d be non-interactive sequences where your John McClane-looking hero would run down a hall or across a parking garage. Suddenly, you’d be exhorted to hit a button or a direction on the joystick; succeed, and you’d do something cool, like leap out of the way of a charging firetruck.

One of these quick interludes was a lot more fun than all the others, though, which was great because it kept popping up over and over again. If you were running down a narrow hallway and were suddenly told to smash the Punch button, odds are it was because you were about to clothesline some dude without even breaking your stride.

Success meant that you not only pull an awesome bastard move, but that you could see it again in slow motion, from a different angle.

Failure, meanwhile, meant you’d just have to stop for a moment and fight whoever it was you’d just tried to punch – but really, isn’t fighting why you’d play a game like this in the first place? Unless you were trying to beat some kind of speed record, the outcome was win/win.


Above: “Trying to be a woman on my watch, eh? PUNCH!”


3. THE BUS STOP


From: Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony

Ninety-nine percent of the time, the words “dancing minigame” are enough to solicit groans from gamers, and with good cause: they tend to be lame, clunky distractions that have little or nothing to do with shooting bad guys in the face.


Above: Every other dance minigame ever

For whatever reason, though, hitting the dance floor in The Ballad of Gay Tony was different, even fun. Maybe it was the decent soundtrack, maybe it was being able to keep up just by flicking the analog stick randomly, or maybe it was the potential promise of illicit restroom sex as a reward.

Of course, none of that quite explains what made doing the Bus Stop so much fun. A group line-dance – and straight-up, old-school QTE – the Bus Stop wasn’t about much more than hitting buttons on cue to see anti-hero Luis Lopez bust a few dance moves in sync with the rest of the crowd.

But it was helped along by a driving technopop theme (or a brassy disco-funk classic, depending on which club you were in) and the strange thrill, however false, of leading a bunch of strangers in something synchronized and cool-looking. Bottom line, it looked great, it was fun to watch, it was totally optional and it helped flesh out the neon-tinged world Luis inhabited just a little more.

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Top 7

61 comments

  • CLEIP - March 25, 2010 10:13 p.m.

    I think the QTE with Payne and his truck in RED STEEL 2 fits into this article... not anywhere near nr 1. though, but it was still pretty awsome.
  • FakeKisser - March 8, 2010 7:03 p.m.

    The Shenmue games used QTEs extensively, but they are still two of my favorite games of all time. I would put those games at number 1 (having not played Heavy Rain or God of War).
  • Geckomayhem - March 3, 2010 5:26 a.m.

    Wow, a friend and I used to play Die Hard at the arcade. It was so much fun; and I remember the action sequences, where you had to press a button during one of the QTEs. XD
  • chriscp97wii - February 27, 2010 4:25 p.m.

    Hahaha: there is the bitch in yhe red suit! I loved that part.
  • ranzatsu - February 27, 2010 2:23 p.m.

    @ xboxrulez: "Broother"...I'm a girl. And I wasn't giving advice.
  • soren7550 - February 26, 2010 2:21 a.m.

    I have to say that my vote for the best/most epic/etc. is ripping out a knife out of Soap's chest at the end of Modern Warfare 2. (don't get why everyone keeps saying the story makes no sense though.)
  • Cyberninja - February 25, 2010 9:07 p.m.

    @xboxrulez read this if you think it will have extra graphics. http://blog.ningin.com/2010/02/20/final-fantasy-xiii-ps3-or-xbox-360-how-to-choose/ and if where did you read about a gift? i know in japan they had a ps3 bundle and here there is a xbox bundle but i checked gamestop.com and there is no gift secert or other wise just a preorder bonus for BOTH systems.
  • DriveShaft - February 25, 2010 9:05 p.m.

    Heavy Rain owned.
  • noobeater - February 25, 2010 8:52 p.m.

    the pulling the knife out in MW2 was great it made me angry and want soap to survive, kinda like i would be there, however the RE4 was cool but pain in the ass to keep repeating
  • Skykid - February 25, 2010 2:13 a.m.

    WOAH, What about CoD 3's rifle battle sequences and the river crossing? Do you consider them QTEs?
  • Skykid - February 25, 2010 2 a.m.

    If you get the chance GR, maybe you might include for the new version of the article, Halo Reach assassinations
  • dante1924 - February 25, 2010 1:10 a.m.

    Is it me, or is xboxrulez getting stupider with every comment he makes? The bear trials sound really cool. I now want heavy rain.
  • JackSkellingtonsSkin - February 24, 2010 10:12 p.m.

    What does xboxrulez have to do before he gets banned. I'm starting to think he's Chris and is just baiting PS3 owners.
  • Pocotron - February 24, 2010 9:35 p.m.

    @xboxrulez But you'll still ignore this advice when you post you next comment, am I right? Oh, wait. You already have.
  • jackthemenace - February 24, 2010 8:26 p.m.

    wow, there are some rubbish QTE's out there. some of the ones in dantes inferno got on my nerves, but some of the kills in bayonetta were also pretty bad
  • Phasmatis - February 24, 2010 11:24 a.m.

    Da hell number 6 was awesome. I could probably find worse quick time events then that. Like any that is dropped on you all of a sudden.
  • ranzatsu - February 24, 2010 7:55 a.m.

    Had fun with the GoW demo...even though I'm a girl. The ripping-off-Helios's-head was shocking, at first. And BTW, no one has to listen to an Xbox-sass's comments. It's quite interesting to read what he says, but it's all damn annoying when you actually READ it. Never liked Xbox, but it has my respect. And "idiots" has no E. Learn from that, Mr. Xboxrulez.
  • QWERTYCommander - February 24, 2010 6:07 a.m.

    Kinda funny. XBRulez told me to "go eat plop plop" when I said the PS3 was better. I was literally laughing out loud.
  • FriendlyFire - February 24, 2010 4 a.m.

    I'm now sure xboxrulez is either brain damaged or the smurf of someone who wants to make fun of fanbois by making the most extreme example possible. Maybe even GR staff? :P Stop playing with our minds guys!
  • Vitoruss1 - February 24, 2010 3:48 a.m.

    The knife fight with Krauser may single handedly be one of the best moments in all of gaming. Ripping off Helios' head was disgusting... that made me cringe more than the Manhunt kills. Did anyone else notice that Helios' glowing head looked a LOT like a street-fighter character? I mean, I haven't ever played Street-Fighter, but the art style was so similiar. Urgh... I want Heavy Rain :(

Showing 1-20 of 61 comments

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