What's your gaming pet hate?

Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw

I’ll tell you the trend that annoys me the most about modern gaming, and that’s current-generation graphics. Not that they’re bad. On the contrary, they’re fantastically realistic, and that’s the problem, because realism is not fun. The real world is dull, depressing and cruel, a place where most people will spend most of their lives toiling away at jobs they hate before a frustrated co-worker breaks off a drill bit in their eye. Games are supposed to take you away from that.

Ten-odd years ago we had Carmageddon. Get in your brightly-colored spiky death car made from blocky polygons and plough through sprite pedestrians whose every bodily organ flies off in a different direction with even the gentlest of bumps. And it was ****ing awesome. Compare that with GTAIV, where my jaded protagonist with realistic facial expressions wanders through a desaturated brown haze before stealing a dented sedan with dodgy acceleration and running over an old lady. Thud! She rolls off the bonnet in a perfect simulation of real-world physics and is deposited in a screaming pile of broken hips and mint imperials. That’s not fun. Now I just feel bad.

There’s always an obligation to exploit the newest hardware and create the most realistic graphics possible, which in turn creates the obligation to have realistic games, especially with shooters. Remember back in the Duke Nukem 3D days when violence could still be colorful and light-hearted? It’s all Quake’s fault for starting the trend of everything looking like it’s made out of concrete and mud. The only modern shooter I can think of that’s remotely cheerful is the peerless Team Fortress 2, but it’s surrounded by visually boring grit-a-thons about soldiers who resemble breeze blocks and are about half as emotional. To summarize in a wrenchingly awful ’70s jive kind of way, I’d like a bit more clowning and a bit less browning.

Ben ‘Yahtzee’ Croshaw is behind weekly internet video series Zero Punctuation.

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  • adrenaguy - October 23, 2008 3:19 p.m.

    i agree with everyone b ut the last one, yes pacman and supertrolley were awesome, but so are COD4 and Bioshock, whynow make way for something that ould be better, yes they are up themselves but if they weren't they would suck. Also I am annoyed at wii, the titles they started with were AWESOME!Zelda, GH3, mario kart, super mario galaxy, you get it, but it's all just gone downhill and they are filtering the same old crap through again and again, the best i have seen for about 4 months is warioland and even that isnt quite as good. Come on, nintendo! work on something we real gamers can get into rather than introducing people to gaming, let them press "easy" and do that for themselves before i break my wii remote over your heads!
  • noofer7 - October 19, 2008 1:50 a.m.

    AGREE WITH CASUAL GAMES HATING GUY!!!!! Casual games are taking over the world!!! And I've been a Nintendo fan for a while, so of course I have a Wii and DS and now I'm not allowed to get a 360! Now I'm sad, because there are hardly any good games for the Wii!!! And every game I get is short and easy, meaning that they don't last me very long!!! WE NEED MORE HARDCORE GAMES WITH GOOD REPLAY VALUE!!!!! Bethesda!!! I order you to ally yourselves with Nintendo!!! You heard me!!! Now I DEMAND Elder Scrolls V on Wii!!!!! Please? I NEED... must have... hardcore... want... Elder Scrolls... Wii... [gurgle], [thud] uuuurrrgghhh.....
  • tacolord - October 7, 2008 8:13 p.m.

    god! finally someone who understands me!!!! (jim sterling) aaaaaaa I HATE THOSE STUPID CASUAL GAMES!!!!! thanks jim!!!!!......*cyber-hugs* *sigh* man, this article should go public. really! oh, also 41st! yeah! *hands out free tacos*
  • TheGreatHobbe - October 5, 2008 7:51 a.m.

    is the last guy an idiot? he likes games where you waste your money on it, play it, then you can throw away when your done? if i spend 40-60$ on a game, there is no way it is disposable. just saying.
  • crazyqazqaz - October 4, 2008 1:59 p.m.

    I totally agree with the "too real" idea. Games need to be colourful and lighthearted or it just makes you tense, irritable and jumpy. Games like Mario Galaxy got really good reviews partly because they did just that. Also the deep "realistic" darkness in games really p*sses me off. It definately shouldn't get to the point where it's so dark you can't see where the hell you're meant go, and that it's pot luck whether you advance or not. Gears Of War (a great game though it is) is one of the main culprits. My friend and I were stuck for ten minutes trying to shoot a propane tank that we couldn't see!! I mean, I know it's supposed to be dark because that's where the kryll stay put it just gets to the point of stupidity. One last thing, isn't it strange that you're all dissing Nintendo for it's casual games and at the same time complaining about real colours being too dingy when the Wii and the DS are the main consoles giving us the bright colours - Mario Galaxy, Super Smash Bros., Legend of Zelda (not so much Twilight Princess because of the you know, twilight), cut Nintendo some slack guys.
  • Assassin297 - October 3, 2008 9:08 p.m.

    I can't believe Yahtzee did a piece for Gamesradar! If you haven't seen his Zero Punctuation videos you NEED to see them. Agree with him or not, you have to admire his sense of humor. And his kick-ass hat.
  • idunno - October 2, 2008 8:55 p.m.

    Don't agree with the last one or fully with the second one, but everything else is spot on.
  • Sash - October 2, 2008 12:32 p.m.

    The casual gamer dude reminds me of the Casual Gaming rant I did on the forums.
  • Jimmyjammy - October 2, 2008 8:25 a.m.

    @Thewebslinger Yes. Yes I did. I will now return to watching all of the Zero Punctuation videos back to back.
  • JoeMasturbaby - October 2, 2008 1:51 a.m.

    *screams to the sky: "NINTENDO!, DAMNNNN YOUUUUUUUUUUU!"*
  • bluechaka - October 2, 2008 1:28 a.m.

    goddamned casual games ruining perfectly good games. I want to play an actual game on the Wii, but no,it has to ppeal to everyone (read:people who dont play games).
  • therealone - October 2, 2008 12:19 a.m.

    Casual games need to die, the wii was supposed to innovate the medium not trn it into mainstream crap.
  • quadmembers - October 1, 2008 11:52 p.m.

    what the hell was that last guy talking about???
  • flare149 - October 1, 2008 11:19 p.m.

    I kinda agree with the first one, but not totally. I definitely agree that the new tech is great, awesome, etc. and that games could be more creative (but still with the awesome graphics). However I don't think reality is really that boring, it can be really good, and I think that Resistance 2 is gonna show a lot of people some more color which is good
  • CandiedJester - October 1, 2008 10:41 p.m.

    I hate the new casual game fad -__-
  • Collymilad - October 1, 2008 8:33 p.m.

    "The problem I have with casual games is that they threaten to do to the games industry what reality TV did for the box. In order to break into the mainstream, one must enter a middle-ground territory that is bland and inoffensive enough to appeal to anybody. The kind of games currently spewing onto the market are for people who buy magazines with Paris Hilton on the cover. Maybe you recall that a band called The Fast Food Rockers once got into the charts. The people who made that happen are buying games now." This guy should be the next president. Thanks Nintendo.
  • fatcat275 - October 26, 2008 10:12 a.m.

    Personally, i've got no problem about casual games, as long as they don't go the too far. (taking over, whole systems (cough, wii, cough) devoted to it, etc.) Let those with no skills be given games that require all of their skills. (ie, monopoly, bingo etc.)
  • BurntToShreds - October 4, 2008 10:57 p.m.

    I would like to see casual games becoming a gateway to more hardcore games. Then, I could kick some stupid soccer mom's ass at Brawl, and make her never want to play games again.
  • MultiGamer - October 4, 2008 4:18 p.m.

    @crazyqazqaz; Ironically the games you listed at the end of your post aren't casual games. Nintendo has great games but they lost thier way by making annoyingly simple games because most people who bought the wii were non-gaming suckers who just bought it because it has a motion senser. These aren't fans, they're idiots.>:(
  • BlackOmega - October 4, 2008 11:09 a.m.

    i mourn the death of the arcade machine. gone are the days of a quick lunchtime blast on the likes of snow brothers, Raiden, shinobi, double dragon, and that beat em up who's name i forget but the import version had these leather clad blue oyster type gays that instead of hitting you jumped on your back and started humping you. and woe betide if two or three knocked you down. god what was that game called??