Download This, Patch That...Just Leave Me Alone, Damnit
For the record, I'm not entirely against the general concepts behind downloadable content, updates and patches.
I'm also not one of those nostalgia-addled gamers who think we've never managed to top Pong and Super Mario Bros. due to the purity of those groundbreaking games (or some such nonsense). I have the greatest respect for them, of course, and I'll always hold the classics in high esteem, but I do acknowledge and accept reality.
That being said, I used to love console gaming because it was easy and relaxing; hit the power button and play. Unlike with the PC, I didn't have to fiddle with settings for a half-hour, I didn't have to worry if one piece of my equipment was slightly outdated, and I didn't have to worry if the game was broken. Patches used to only exist in the PC realm, as did the other complications that go with more advanced gaming setups.
But of course, even our consoles are computers these days, so I shouldn't be surprised that they're starting to feel a little like computers. I can still avoid the equipment issue but other previously PC-exclusive frustrations are setting in. I'd say that 75-85% of all new games I get to play or review have me do an update before ever seeing the main menu. All of them have DLC of some kind, and just about all of them have a multiplayer option, which - let's not kid ourselves - isn't as straightforward as the standard single-player experience.
In some cases, provided everything is set and I have no intention of getting DLC or whatever, I can still just jump into a game and play. But even then, our super advanced machines offer so much more; I could watch trailers first, or go into PlayStation Home, or set up music playlists, or PM friends, or change wallpapers, etc, etc, etc. I'm not complaining that such options are there (I'm really not) but sometimes, I really think we're missing the simplicity that once made console gaming so appealing. To me, at any rate.
Downloadable stuff and patches and updates can make our experience better. I understand that. I really do. But there are times...oh, there are times...just stop and let me play, damnit.
12/5/2011 10:03:36 PM Ben Dutka