The Top 7... Things we hate about modern gaming

Ah yes, the Week of Hate. Seven rage-filled days of complaints, criticisms and straight-up trollin’ that let us vent our collective frustration on the games industry. In the past, we kicked off each week with a Top 7 that specified a certain aspect of gaming we’re angry with, be it stereotypical gamers we hate or the laughable habits of mainstream media coverage. This year we’re casting a wider net and bitching about the very state of video games today, from hardware issues to company behavior to trends we’d love to see die out sooner rather than later…

7 – Motion controls

Yes, hating on Wii has made this well trodden territory, but since Kinect and PlayStation Move became the new jangly-shiny thing to dangle in front of Best Buy zombies, this topic has started up all over again. For the past five or six years we’ve been incessantly told how motion controls (aka waggle) broaden gaming, how they make it omni-accessible for all ages and are even pushing the very medium of gaming into the future. Well, it’s been half a decade and what do they have to show for it? Minigames aplenty, tacked-on gestures for games that never needed them and a choking amount of shovelware cluttering up stores across the world. And look what it’s done to Rare!

Above: The proud developers of Viva Pinata, GoldenEye and Donkey Kong Country are busy working on… a sequel to Kinect Sports 

In the many years of Wii’s existence, how many games made groundbreaking, indispensible use of motion control? Looking at the anemic Kinect and Move lineups, which games are actually worth the combined price tag of hardware and software? We’ll concede some of these games are OK (and in the case of Dance Central, quite good) when played in brief spats, but do any offer any ideas that weren’t already done on Wii?

Is this what we’re reduced to, blatant copycatting with nothing to add to the experience? Kinect removes a controller entirely and touts that as a genius distinction from Wii and Move. A look at the games themselves suggests the developers merely took what was already there and replaced a Wii Remote with your own arm. This is not innovative, this is not inclusive - it’s a reactionary dead end. What other technology-led industry launches expensive me-too competitors four years after the market leader arrived?

Above: Who needs controllers when Kinect Joy Ride is straight-up stuntalicious? 

Every month we see amazing new stats claiming Kinect and Move are selling like crazy, so clearly people are biting; but will they continue to buy $40-60 games over the next three years, or will they realize it’s all a bit like the Wii they already have and move on? Could this escalate into a mini-crash? Probably not the latter, but it’s still effing annoying as shit to go through this all over again and still not have a game that honestly makes us happy to put down the controller. And on that note, controllers weren’t an obstacle to the mass market in the first place – the PS2 remains the best-selling console in history, 13-button game pad and all.

6 – Nintendo’s stance on tech

Above: This came out last year!

Talk of motion controls directly leads to another area of constant irritation – Nintendo’s years-long refusal to approach technological standards. Five years ago it said more power was not the answer, that its next console would focus more on expanding the audience than besting some other console’s tech specs. No one can deny that’s exactly what Nintendo did, and that it worked alarmingly well, but for those of us who’ve been playing for years on end and actually look forward to better graphics and other advances in game design, Wii has been a giant pain in the ass.

The whole 480p thing was merely obnoxious in 2006; seeing 360 and PS3 games run in gorgeous HD was painful, but we could deal. In 2011 though, it’s downright hideous to witness how substandard Wii is compared to top releases on competing platforms. This visual hump, along with nearly mandatory motion controls, have turned Wii into a graveyard of third party support, and even when a brilliant game does arise (Mario Galaxy, No More Heroes, Muramasa etc) we can’t help but wonder how much better it would have been on any other system, in HD and with proper controls.

Above: Epic Mickey was pretty… but imagine it in 1080p

Wii also has two USB ports in the back – what were they ever good for? Storage? Useful peripherals? Nah. And let’s not even begin complaining about Friend Codes, Wii Speak, the clumsy Wii Shop Channel or any other piece of content that Nintendo passes off as an online presence. Moving to today, the 3DS just launched without an online store or first-party game that focuses on Wi-Fi multiplayer, even though Nintendo made sure to mention how capable the 3DS is… er, will be when it comes to internet connectivity. People used to compare Nintendo to Apple, but that’s hardly fair anymore; Apple continually revises and upgrades its hardware, while Nintendo’s sat on 2005 technology for six years.

We’ve got our fingers crossed for E3, where Nintendo is set to reveal a fancy new system that could undo all this aggregate stress…

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  • coltsfanca - December 5, 2011 5:50 p.m.

    I hope Bethesda is reading this...especially the "broken games" section. I just got Skyrim and have already had plenty of PS3 lockups to go around. Hopefully patch 1.3 will solve a lot of the issues...but most of us had the same hope for 1.2 and that didn't go so well.
  • DreamWeaverPL - May 9, 2011 6:28 p.m.

    Best article I've read here in a very long time!
  • crumbdunky - May 3, 2011 1:48 a.m.

    I've ALWAYS hated devs letting games go into the public realm unfinished just so we can PAY for the honour of doing their bloody QA and online beta testing for them(BETHESDA-you lead the world in this SHIT. Hope the new engine for Skyrim rids us of game breaking bugs many of which you bastards NEVER even patch anyway!!)-and it's getting more and more prevalent on console and PC. The nadir came with Blops in my eyes. We basically got the same damn game they'd released the three previous years yet it still doesn't work on PS3 and PC and barel on it's(Acti's) chum the 360. We get ever briefer and sillier SP campaigns that may or may not be there ONLY to differentiate between yearly releases and the only change to MP is that it gets less well balanced and has more bugs EVERY year post COD4. Which leads to the sickest joke of all-in 2011 NO COD game has dedicated servers on ANY console. If Sony can get it right in 2007 on the fledgling PSN with Warhawk why the hell can't the universe's biggest FPS franchise? Is it the insistence on wasting everything saved on testing on effing marketing and court cases with the former talent? Christ, i don't even PLAY COD these days and STILL the lack of proper servers on HD consoles makes me think how little respect the industry gives legit gamers. We get that they hate piracy(I do too-I'm a musician FFS and it steals from my kids mouths)but the way round it shouldn't be hammering those poor souls who DO buy the games with untested games, draconian DRM and creaky P2P servers in 2011. Add in the idiocy of timed exclusivity-which reached it's own blackspot when MS supposedly paid for a WEEK of exclusive access to a RE5 demo!!!!!-stupidly extended dev cycles and marketing budgets DOUBLING development and R&Dbeudgets for AAA games and there's a lot TO hate right now. And then we have gamers idiotic enough to campaign for more rights for hakcres when the ONLY predictable end result of hacking a platform is sodding iracy. It's sad that the gaming industry could change all this by includinhg gamers rather than making us legit gamers PAY for the sins of the pirates cos it makes the industry look AS BAD as the pirates we'd otherwise root out for them by making it totally socially unacceptable among gamers to pirate games. Keep making us pay for testing, unfinished games and P2P BS and you give the pirates EVERY justification to get us to turn a blind eye. Show you care and we might too-you know us? the people who pay ALL your effing wages and keep Cliffy in skinny Ts and Jaffe in "vidicle" audiences. Whoa, all that and I didn't even start on Kotick personally!! I must be getting too little hate.
  • TriforcePlayer - May 1, 2011 4:16 a.m.

    Unlike Portal 2, Dragon Age 2 deserved the user scores it got.
  • rxb - April 29, 2011 12:05 p.m.

    #3 and #1 annoy me the most. Totally agree these things are ruining our industry. I think a bonus entry should be made for shameless abuse of DLC.
  • lordlundar - April 28, 2011 4:28 p.m.

    "Just find writers you trust, read their words, and decide how those words relate to you." Which is why I never look at the PS/360Radar's (oops! sorry, I meant GamesRadar, silly little Freudian slip there) reviews.
  • GamesRadarCharlieBarratt - September 20, 2011 9:55 a.m.

  • yagirlfriendsfavoriterapper - April 28, 2011 2:46 p.m.

    My No.1 is "quirky" games that the media who go on and on about. Portal, Limbo, Heavy Rain, Brutal Legend, Braid are examples.
  • oni - April 27, 2011 7:36 p.m.

    I've tried to avoid it but this year I finally bought a GFWL game. I didn't encounter any of the problems that PC gamer have constantly rant about in it's magazines over the years. But 1 thing did irked me : I was brought to an X Box live page when I was registering for the first time. Talk about total abandonment of the PC. It's strange and looked very lazy on M'soft's part. They couldn't even make a decent web page for GFWL.
  • Polarzombies - April 27, 2011 5:43 a.m.

    Games For Windows Live is probably the worst pc gaming client. I bought GTA IV from steam and all its DLC for $10 and I can't play any ofit because GFWL will never. work !
  • Eliath - April 27, 2011 12:41 a.m.

    The only reason I go to Metacritic is to point out that Baldur's Gate 2: Shadows of Amn for the PC is still the best rated RPG of all time according to Metacritic. I compare every RPG to BG2:SoA, and I probably always will. I actually played it again this winter, and it still looks and plays great. I agree wholeheartedly with everything on this top 7. I love to hate during hate week. As to the people calling the folks at GamesRadar hypocrites, you do realize GR is a business, right? There are readers of GR, as evidenced in a few comments, that would be upset at not having a number the can scan to make a decision. Even if every journalist decided they didn't want to score a game at the end, do you think their management would agree to it? Do you think they like having to give games scores? Just look at the Halo: Reach score and the comments for every game that scored a 9 or better after it came out. Plus, I assume the GR folks take pride in their work. Do you really think they like to know people just click on their article for a number at the end or to read headlines? Numbers mean jack unless you know the author behind it. GR is probably one of the few sites that I can read a number and make a judgement on it unless it was done by a freelancer. I know the Chris Antista is a rabid Disney nut, so I knew Epic Mickey would receive a good score unless it really pissed him off. I love Disney so I knew that if it scored well I would like it. Even though I can just look at the number I still read almost every article every day dating back for over 3 years now because the writing is extremely entertaining to me. In fact my wife and I look through the articles every day when I get home from work. It's an evening ritual at our house. If you think I'm sucking up to GR that's fine. All I would say is I hate you, and if anyone from GR ever ends up in the videogame capital of the world Ottumwa, Iowa, then we need to grab a beer together and play some games.
  • trinidadbermudez - April 27, 2011 12:11 a.m.

    @TheRandomFoo Thank you! I'm sick of hearing how every game is "viseral" and "epic."
  • Twizinator - April 26, 2011 10:42 p.m.

    Now that i think about it, I don't think I've ever been to Metacritic... suprises me a bit. If it is a game I care about i read the WHOLE review. sometimes if I am suprised about the ruling, I will ask around my friends and Google the game reviews. Sometimes I greatly enjoy a game that other people (not strictly reviewers) absolutely HATE (cough-Halo or CoD-cough)
  • e1337prodigy - April 26, 2011 9:49 p.m.

    wow, completely agree. especially number 2. As for the metacritic one, i only go on there when GR haven't reviewed a game yet (as i find your reviews more to my liking).
  • Romination - April 26, 2011 9:47 p.m.

    Are you kidding? Still getting down on Nintendo and "IF ONLY IT WAS HD"? I didn't know it was still 2008.
  • profile0000 - April 26, 2011 9:03 p.m.

    Look, when researching a game, I will read a couple of reviews. If I want to know what the critics generally thought about a specfic game, then I check out Metacritic. I don't care if it isn't 100% perfect in averages or is shit at making them, it just gives me a little idea on what reviewers gave a game altogether. That doesn't sway my opinions or purchase, but it is a good way to get an idea about whether a game was reviewed highly or not, not to mention it is a great source for links to several reviews. Excellent article too. Love the Hate Week...
  • rabidpotatochip - April 26, 2011 6:52 p.m.

    My Metacritic: wait until the game's been out a few months and read user reviews. Obviously I love GR, I use them to figure out what to put on my radar, but I don't buy anything until I hear it's good from people whose paycheck doesn't come from writing reviews. No offense intended, I <3 GR.
  • TanookiMan - April 26, 2011 6:20 p.m.

    The last paragraph of this article is exactly why I keep coming back to gamesradar: writers I trust with words that relate to me. Chris Antista and firing a nuclear device in superman's ass?..... I might be in trouble.
  • DryvBy - April 26, 2011 5:22 p.m.

    You forgot incomplete games that are only complete via expensive DLC when previously, developers released DLC for free. The way DLC SHOULD have worked should have been like the glory days of the PC. Duke Nukem 3D launches. You want a completely new game with it? Expansion pack time!
  • Fuzunga - April 26, 2011 3:33 p.m.

    So... are you going to stop giving review scores? Because you're being pretty hypocritical right now.