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Settle Down, Potsie

John Boske

Sometimes I think you don't know how good you have it.

Sometimes I think you don't remember the days when the only way to get a game to work was to jiggle the cartridge up and down, or to blow in it in the vague hope that your breath would expunge whatever filth had covered the exposed circuitry, or to rub said circuitry up and down with an oversized wet q-tip, or to hit the power switch as fast as you could to trick the system into starting up properly. And by 'properly', of course, I mean 'at all.'

When you posted on how the advent of GameFAQs has stripped all games of their challenge, I couldn't help but wonder if you remember the days when killing the boss just meant it'd come back all glowy and red and pissed off, or how it would shoot 500 bullets in every direction, ensuring that your tiny ship would be utterly destroyed. I'd certainly wager you've forgotten that all you could do was either suck it up and take it or hand the controller to your little brother because you couldn't do the invincibility code fast enough.

When you opined publicly on how you thought Doom 3 or Halo 2 or some other fairly popular first-person shooter was the worst game of its genre or a travesty of nature, when you wrote how you thought that everyone who likes it is a delusional bandwagoner with awful taste, I have to assume you've forgotten about the mounds upon mounds of utter trash that infests the genre. Maybe you're luckier than me, maybe you never got to play Corridor 7, or the oh-so-attractive Secret Service: Security Breach, or perhaps you were napping when Anivision pulled another 'E.T.' and churned out Gods & Generals on a triple-dog-dare on the playground after class.

When you made that seemingly innocent comment on how Squaresoft sold their soul with the release of FF7, you imply that faceless corporations had souls to begin with. Your further remark that anyone who commits the unforgivable sin of liking 7 over 6 is a mindless graphics-happy fanboy implies a belief that people don't like looking at pretty things every now and then, and frankly I think a comment like that warrants psychological help. Maybe you'd like to go back to the days of NES RPGs, where 'animation' meant a monster would flash when you hit it and disappear when you killed it, and 'plot' meant 'one paragraph of exposition per character and no talking back, young man.'

There's more 'oh, so much more' but you're getting that impudent look again, so let's wrap this up. Look, there are bad games out there, and you don't have to love, like, or even merely dislike them. This isn't about joining hands and singing kum-ba-ya and praising the gaming gods for blessing us with another cherished Valu-Soft title or Derek Smart's latest magnum opus. This is about one thing, and one thing only:

Acting like maybe, just maybe, playing a bad game isn't comparable to losing everyone you love in a fatal car accident. Acting like tomorrow's another day, acting like you remember that you're alive with most, if not all, of your parts intact. Acting like you can always try again, and like it's not some sacred duty that must be carried out to the letter, and only the finest games will suit the palette of your god.

Seriously, once in a while, just try letting it go. If you don't like it, that's wonderful, and if someone else does, that's fine too. If you wanna tell everyone else how you feel, beautiful, don't let anybody stop you. But stow the drama, would you? There's enough of it out there already.

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