Dave's monthly Meikle-hammering
We love games, and so does OPM's bitter Scotsman Dave Meikleham. But sometimes it all get's a bit too much and his angry-glands kick into sweaty overdrive.
Here he'll tell you what's most got his ire. This month... Indie hate
"Indie games are great, so broaden your bloody horizons."
Indie games, eh? They come here, they take our jobs They refuse to feature loads of hardware-pushing graphics, then they have the temerity to skimp on marines with all-business back and side haircuts. A SKIN-FLAYING POX ON THEIR INDEPENDENTLY FUNDED HOUSES. Give me triple-A, or give me the angriest death ever.
I dont know about you, but MADMAN MEIKS came to PS4-ville for guns, COD/Battlefield budgets that dwarf the GDPs of developing nations and enough 1080p polygons to make my hateful Highland peepers weep claret. Games such as Towerfall Ascension, Hotline Miami 2 and Shovel Knight? Pfff, my cack-encrusted Sega Game Gear could run any of that EYE-AFFRONTING TOSS.
Just look at the triple-A hate crimes being perpetrated over in our Hall Of Fame in the mag. HOW IN THE MOST NIPPLE-STIFFENING OF BLUE HELLS can Towerfall be considered a better game than Far Cry 4?! Have you not seen how many graphics Ubis shooter has?! All the graphics. Thats how much.
Disclaimer: if youve agreed with even a single FURY-SOAKED SYLLABLE of the above paragraphs, you deserve to be trapped in a small dark room, whereby the Crazy Frog song will play on a loop until your IDIOTIC BRAIN DRIBBLES THROUGH YOUR EAR HOLES. In short: indie games are great, so broaden your bloody horizons.
Peer through the hazy fog of PlayStation past and its clear PS4 is enjoying a renaissance; one where indie games enrich and diversify a market clogged by COMMITTEE-APPROVED CRUD. Celebrate the fact one-man fare such as Thomas Was Alone can coexist with $268m-costing GTA V, and accept that not every PS4 title needs Pixar-level visuals to be considered current-gen, you INDie-detesting WASTE OF SKIN.
"Heres a newsflash game developers owe you nothing."
Yknow what royally chafes at my hate glands? Well, apart from sunshine, laughing children and any sign of life within 600m of Stamford Bridge. Thats right: game delays. Oh Uncharted 4, how you sting me so. But what bothers me even more than waiting another few months for Nates PS4 cheekbones? All those sour-faced sods moaning about delays. Wait a minute
This has all gone a teensy bit meta, hasnt it? Still, the point stands: simpering fools who complain about their most wanted PS4 titles being held back need to be shot out of a cannon into the sun. Heres a newsflash game developers owe you nothing. Their commitments lie with making the best title possible and servicing the odd super evil shareholder. Store that self-entitlement back in your moany git drawer of woe, babies. Ugh, I hate these rage headaches
We can all agree games missing their promised release dates sucks giant balls of puss. But heres my take on it: look at how many classics benefited from being pushed back until their studios felt their visions had been fully realised. GTA 5, Bioshock Infinite, The Last Of Us, Red Dead, every Gran Turismo ever Not every delayed title turns into a Duke Nukem Forever-shaped curb stomp to the crotch.
As with slow-cooking lamb or resisting the urge to drunkenly slobber on a colleague at an office party, patience is a virtue when dealing with delays. The best thing to do is squeeze that fury into a hateful little nugget, repress it for five to six months, then marvel at the lovely new ulcer youve birthed. Either that, or forget the anger altogether and realise there are loads of other games hitting PS4 in 2015. At least MGS 5s out sooner than we were expecting, right?
"Freddy friendless is royally screwed."
Stop forcing me to have pals, video games! Look, Im perfectly happy being Norman No Mates. I hate the world and it hates me right back. Its a situation Im comfortable with. I may be a cantankerous sod, but my PS4 shouldnt punish me for being such a hate-filled social leper. Meiksys gaze of scalding fury is focused on you, Destiny.
You know how long Ive been after the Crotas End Titan Raid helmet? About 30 friggin hours. damn you to moon hell, Crota! The reason Ive been unable to obtain said shiny head trinket: I cant get five actual human beings to go through the bloody Raid with me.
Contrary to my near constant Scottish surliness I do actually possess living, breathing human friends. However, having five other chums who all play Destiny and getting those compadres to all give up hours of their spare time on the same evening is a strategic undertaking of such Scrotum-crushing savageness, itd have even Sun Tzu blubbering into his famous book. God I hate my Titans hat.
A matchmaking option in Bungies MMO hybrid would certainly improve my chances of bagging a magic space cap, then. Yet interweb buddying up cant fix all my epically moany PSN problems. Just take Evolve. The games Ive played with randoms so far have devolved into almighty monster-slaying clusterf**ks; a by-product of a group of silent strangers teaming up and failing to talk.
To get the most out of Turtle Rocks monster-minded shooter, constant communication is required at all times to use your group of Hunters combining their abilities effectively. That means you really have to play with at least three actual chums who all own the game. Bottom line: freddy friendless is royally screwed.
"Stop making everyone so damn good at everything!"
Meiksy angry! Meiksy smash! Yes, its that time of the month for your favourite Highlander to vent his furious neeps-loving spleen. This month, my peppery wrath is focused squarely on video game heroes specifically clean-cut ones designed and approved by soul-evaporating committee thinking. The next games character I see wearing any combination of hoodie/trenchcoat/cap is so getting a Glesga Kiss to the face. Stop making everyone so damn good at everything! I dont want Arno leaping across Notre Dame in a single bound.
Id rather the cack-shinned hobbler who can barely shimmy through an open window without squirming around like hes attempting to solve advanced calculus while Mary Antoinette hurls rotten Escargot at him. Preferably, physical and physiological shortcomings wouldnt come via glitches, either; but hey, Ill take character weakness wherever I can get my dirty mitts on it.
Yknow whats interesting: human flaws. I dont want Johnny Chiselled Chest punching terrorism in the pelvis while letting off patriotic one-liners in between necking a hapless damsel. No, I want self-destructive jerkweeds who are crippled by faults. Id rather a middle-aged alcoholic with a Burger Shot addiction or a fondness for supping Kong Whisky at 6am in a bar in Rio. Never change, Mr De Santa/Mr Payne.
Just look at Life Is Strange or Grim Fandango. While the parallels between a failing skeleton travel agent and two troubled young women arent immediately apparent, stare a little closer and youll see characters defined by struggles and insecurity. Sod off perfection! Aiden Pearce and his perfect coat lapels can do one by comparison. Its time to start embracing glorious failure, devs.
"At least the former voice of Snake sounded half interested."
Urge to rant rising. Yes, Im feeling as agitated as ever this month. Blame my dour, super sweary demeanour on the absolute savaging my poor ear holes have been forced to endure these past few months. Dont get me wrong, my lugs are happy to put up with the booming noise of COD gunfire until the deaf cows come home. What they cant stand? The phoned-in awfulness of a disinterested Hollywood actor.
Like many of you, my ears were the subject of a brutal beatdown back in September, when Peter Dinklage put a monotone mangling on Destinys (admittedly limited) script. That Mr Rinky Dink avoids the full extent of my terrible tartan wrath is because a) I want to have Tyrion Lannisters babies and b) his phoned-in patter partially suited the games dull droid.
Of course, reasoned discourse has about as much place in this column as Peter Andre at a Mensa convention. Thats why Im going to tell the entire cast of the Nostromo to royally sod off for their part in Alien: Isolations recent DLC. The original cast of Ridley Scotts sci-fi terror sound as wooden as Pinocchios nether regions and the comatose efforts of Tom Skerritt and Veronica Cartwright should replace sheep as the nations go-to sleep aid.
Even my beloved Metal Gear cant escape my straw-berry blonde fury. Say what you want about David Hayter, at least the former voice of Snake sounded half interested. By comparison, Kiefer Sutherland may as well be snoring into a mic for all the emotion he unleashes in Ground Zeroes.
Any big actor who treats VO work with all the enthusiasm of a PPI claim checker is an utter berk. Just look at the calibre of performance GTA V enjoys from little known thesps and tell me Kief and co shouldnt be ashamed.
"Too many studios now treat Day One as the beginning of months of colonic irrigation."
You know what really boils my potato? Well, aside from that deep-fat fryer currently on standby in my kitchen for emergency Mars Bar batterings. Thats right: Day One patches. They really are getting out of hand now. Not to point any judgemental digits, but theres more than one big-hitter we had to drop from the magazine at short notice because of promised-but-not-delivered-on-time launch day download fixes.
Even some of the games that made it still sit squarely in the jerkwad corner. Just look at The Evil Within; a game OPM thoroughly enjoyed but one that throws a techy tantrum should you not have web access. Minus the v1.01 patch, Mikamis horror shudders around up to 10fps slower than the patched game in certain sections.
We may well live in the magical age of the interwebs, but developers are using Day One patches as far too much of a cheeky crutch. In the era of PS2 and before, your game had to be 100% finished by the time it hit shelves. There was no do-over for the likes of MGS2 or GTA III. If those classics had been blighted by terminal lag or game-breaking glitches that would have been the whole, sad ball game.
The alarming rate of Day One patches in the last few years is bordering on creating a culture of inequality. Some poor sheep farmer in John O Groats shouldnt be forced to endure an experience vomited from hell because he cant get his PlayStation 4 online through no fault of his own.
Do post-launch patches help devs tweak tasty new games and make them even better? Sure. But too many studios now treat Day One as the beginning of months of colonic irrigation, not the end of a hard-earned journey.