Saturday, January 06, 2007

Chavs Stole Our Computer Games Shocker!

Cast your mind back to that magical time in the mid to late eighties. No, I don’t mean literally, that’d be impossible, obviously.

Okay, not in some paranormal psychic way either, that’d be silly! And no, I’m not speaking of some literal magic, as we all know magic only existed until 1892...

Look, do you want to hear this story or not? Geez!

Okay, so back in the late eighties... Was it the late eighties? I can’t remember.

Scratch this, let’s start again.

So I was about 6 years old... Yes, this story is about me, but could easily be a story about you. (That’s a much better way to start the story. It gives us a kind of connection right off the bat—if, of course, it could be a story about you, and completely different stuff didn’t happen to you, in which case I’ve probably just smashed your suspension of disbelief)

Anyway, I remember it was a time when a little pale-skinned Lemmy would beaver away on his Sinclair Spectrum day and night. Gauntlet? Remember that? Saboteur. That was ace. Etc. See? I’m getting all nostalgic now!

Now the thing is, back then it was generally seen as some gross abnormality for a kid to spend more time prodding at rubber keys and making little arrangements out of those little moisture absorbing packets of granules atop their black and white TV to try and get the fucking vertical hold to sort its life out, than to go out in the sunshine and poke at dog crap with a stick. To put it simply, I was a bit of a geek.

“Oh, why isn’t playing computer games cool?!” I used to cry in vain as I tried to negotiate my little frog across a busy road. “Why does it seem like I am one of the only people in the world who likes computer games?” I cursed as I tried to negotiate Horace across a busy road.

It’s at this point, if this story was ever filmed, that we would probably do some swanky swish cut to the modern day, and the viewer would probably see some underlying symbolism or subtext, or maybe it would be printed on the screen Frasier style if it were written in American, I don’t know. And that is this (the subtext, that is): Careful what you wish for.

And now we’re at the nub of the matter. No, a Chav didn’t literally break into my house in the middle of the night and lift my copy of Fallout 2 to afford some smack, but he might as well have done.

See, when games were primarily targeted at pasty-faced geeks, I kinda liked a lot of them. But something terrible has happened in the past decade or so. We geeks have been supplanted as the main target audience of computer games (I mean VIDEO games right?) instead being offered interactive entertainment treats such as Shooty Shooty Kill Kill 6 and Quest for the Kill Your Face In With a Gun: Part Deux.

If it were just the violent angle that wouldn’t be too bad, but please don’t piss about with the actual gameplay! It was fine how it was! Not content with beating us up for liking nerdy games when we were kids, Charvers have now got a step further and muscled in on our guilty pastime, leaving us with the straggler 1 in 20 titles that actually appeal to us! Bastards!

What started me off this rant? A few things actually, the first main offender I remember being an awesmoe game on my Amiga called...

UFO: Enemy Unknown
(or XCOM: UFO Defence)

Yeah, so they're all blond. Who cares?

Turn based squad tactics, and it was totally ace.

The decline of the XCOM franchise cannot be described with words, and the only possible way to get the this tragic fall from grace across aptly is with the Britnometer system shown below:


What happened then? Some publisher guy sat in a board room somewhere said something to the effect of: “XCOM was great! Really great. Except, why can’t all the little people run around AT THE SAME TIME?” You bloody Fraggle, look what you’ve done! That’s one of the main reasons it WAS great!

Well, it’s not his fault, really. He wants money in his pocket, he wants huge profits, as they always have. Sad fact is that the original fans of the original XCOM game are outnumbered to Chavs by like 10 to 1. He’s going after the biggest demographic. And the biggest demographic want “everything to move at once”, so that’s what they get!

Of course it sucked, but we could have told him that. Probably made more money though!

Next came, perhaps the greatest game I’ve ever played in my life. Quite a contemporary title that made me stand up and go “the game industry may not be irrevocably stuffed after all!” – The legendary

Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind!

I won’t go into all the details of why Morrowind is not only the best RPG game ever, but in my opinion the best game ever, but rest assured it is, as ruled by the Grand Council of Correctness in Geneva for 5 years running. It has its faults, sure, some glaring ones. But the good bits are so good that the problems seem completely inconsequential, and do in fact seem like unavoidable side-effects that come with making such an ambitious and immense game.

The Elder Scrolls series just get BETTER AND BETTER! What could be next?

Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion

...that’s what.

Okay, I won’t be too harsh on Oblivion, as it was actually a pretty damn good game, in its own right. But the problem is they catered for the mainstream again. No Chav’s gonna play Morrowind, that’s for darn sure! It addressed all the problems in Morrowind, at the cost of 90% of what made Morrowind good in the first place!!! Oblivion is a fraction of the size of Morrowind due to the now commercially compulsory recorded speech instead of written text. All RPG dice rolls have been removed from the system in favour of FPS style combat. A Chav doesn’t want to swing at a rat and miss, regardless of how shit he is with a sword. The list goes on. I’ll leave Oblivion there though as I’m coming to the game that sent me into this psychopathic rant:

Fallout Tactics

Could have been great!

Fallout 1 and 2 were awesome. I am, if you hadn’t guessed already, a big fan of turn-based strategy games. I like real-time stuff too, I do like some FPS games, platformers, fighting games, and of course adventure games, but there’s something really cool for me about games where it’s not about how fast you can click, how well you know hotkeys, or how quick your reactions are (not to mention the fact that I’m allergic to adrenaline). I like games where it’s all about what you do, not how fast you can do it, or how well you’ve developed complimentary automatic muscular responses by playing it for 200+ hours.

The Fallout battle system is like UFO x 10. It’s great fun! Imagine the horror when it transpired that Fallout Tactics had become... wait for it... REAL-TIME!

Beep beep! The Britnometer’s going crazy on this one!

Okay, so Fallout Tactics has been out a few years, so I’m kind of late on this rant. I’d already written off the single player years ago on account of it not really being the RPG Fallout 1 or 2 were.

Since then, it has been gathering dust at my parent’s house, but now I’m all internetted up, I saw it on a shelf and I thought I’d bring it home and give it a crack online. Fallout multiplayer?? Must be good, right? Wrong!

To be fair, unlike the evil XCOM people, they have kept in the turn-based option for all those fan’s of the actual series.

The problem is that again, for every fan of the original Fallout games, there are ten Chavs finishing GTA San Andreas and wondering what they should play next. Guess what? Pretty much EVERYONE who plays online all play in real-time, which pretty much means having a bunch of characters running about like nutters on speed dying horribly every five seconds. It’s been turned into Quake!

Fallout TACTICS you say?

It’s coming up to my third day of trying to find someone to play turn-based with online, and still to no avail. Gutted. I did have a brief play when a mate visited, turn-based naturally, as he is of a similar mind as myself. It was frickin’ awesmoe! Well done 14 Degrees East. But why couldn’t you have had the bottle just to stick to that? Money. Target Demographics. Chavhandling. That’s what.

Don't get me started on that other Fallout game...

So who do I really blame for all this? At the end of the day?


They created the “Playstation generation” and done gone buggered it all up.



Nickenstien said...


I couldn't agree more with every damn word of your extensive ranting!!

I myself was introduced to the game "Laser-squad" many many moons ago on my friends Amstrad-cpc-464 (yeah, we are going back some now!, hehe).

Iv'e been playing games on xbox360-live thingy recently, yep it's all high-tech and interactiv'y and stuff. But im not having the _FUN_ that I had on that old radium-depleating retina-destroying sadly-now-dust-gathering machine.

So anyway, yeah... Laser-Squad is one of my ALL-TIME-FAVES, and the creators of that went on to make U.F.O-Enemy-Unkown. (esentialy the same game but with a 2D-isometric view). this isometric view kind of put me off to be honest, I much prefered the straight top-down method of laser-squad as I could better visualise what was actualy going on. I feel annoyed about the switch to iso-view in much the same way that you feel about it going real-time-bullshit ;). (kinda like it was the beginings of them pandering towards mass-market-chavs-wants-3D-type-crap).

Hehe, anyway, We played laser-quest in glorious GREEN-SCREEN, and when I made my moves my friend went into the next room, and vice versa. We had no need for REAL-TIME bollocks! ITS A TURN BASED GAME!!! Which GOD-DAMN cretin though that real-time and turn-based could be combined ?!?!?!? They are two diametricaly opposite systems for f***s sake!!

Hehe, anyway, I just wanted to say you guys rule, and I totaly agree with your rant!!, and yet my reply is turning into a rant of it own!

So yeah, Iv'e played tons of old game (back in the day) and loads of modern games and of the lot these are the turn-based strategie games that I rate and you might wanna have a look at:-

Laser-Squad (Speccy,Amstrad,c64, Amga, ST, PC)

Lords of Chaos (By the laser-squad/UFO dudes, but with wizards and unicorns and stuff) (Speccy,Amstrad,c64, Amga, ST, PC)

Battle-Isle (Amiga) (hexegon layout turn-based game in the same vain as those mentioned above with aliens and stuff, with land, water and air-based units)

History-Line-1942 (Amiga) (This is basicaly Battle-Isle re-skinned from aliens into a world-war-II setting with loads more scenarios/maps to play on. Bloody fantastic it is too)]

So yeah, I really love turn-based games ;) I also like some Real-time games! But those Fuck-Witts in their fancy board-rooms need to realise that they are TWO-SEPERATE-THINGS and stop pandering to "Cretin-Jeff from Marketing" and his big-gay-demographic-flip-chart and thinking they can mix the two and actualy end up with a system that works!!! MORONS I TELL YA!!! hehe!

err, Keep up the good work fella's and I look forward to more rants from you ;)

Nickenstien. :D

Anonymous said...

Sorry to point this out to you but while you may be right about X-Com, you couldn't be more wrong about Fallout Tactics.

Fallout Tactics is not an RPG (and it didn't ever pretend to be,) or the sequel to Fallout 2 (and it didn't ever pretend to be). Fallout Tactics is just turn-based squad combat. It doesn't feature the amazing story or any of the freedom that you'd expect but it is definately decently faithful to the Fallout atmosphere and worth the playthrough.

And here's where the developers did a clever thing. The marketing people wanted real time combat and so they put it in but then didn't waste any time on it. You shouldn't either, switch the damn thing off. Go back to pure turn based goodness.

Colm Mac

Lemmy said...

"And here's where the developers did a clever thing. The marketing people wanted real time combat and so they put it in but then didn't waste any time on it. You shouldn't either, switch the damn thing off. Go back to pure turn based goodness."

No good if EVERYONE online plays real-time though, is it? ;)

Cheers for the comments :)

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