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The One Video Game Feature Or Gimmick You Couldn't Stand?

Over the years, we've seen numerous new features and gimmicks arise, ranging from the days of the first light gun and the Power Glove to virtual reality.

Of them all, though, which one bugged you most? Those dance mat crazes? 3D? Rumble? Being able to take a picture of your gameplay?

I guess for me it has to be 3D. I don't react well to 3D in general (it usually gives me a searing headache) but beyond that, it has never been even remotely believable. I've seen the latest and greatest; I have a 3D HDTV myself and I've seen recent movies and games in 3D. It just never works. In fact, it's so far from working that I deem it downright comical. I'm never really convinced that I'm "in" the experience, so-to-speak, and moving your eyes even a fraction of an inch will reveal a comedy of angle errors.

I'm sure VR is better but I want no part of it for a variety of different reasons. I should also add that I really couldn't stand all the music peripherals during the Guitar Hero and Rock Band crazes. Yes, I get that it was fun. But man, people just looked so stupid wielding those things. Sorry, but they did.

How's about you?

Tags: video game gimmicks, gaming accessories, gaming industry

1/19/2015 9:51:06 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (51 posts)


Temjin001
Monday, January 19, 2015 @ 10:10:08 PM
Reply

Crappy implementations of the Dualshock's motion controls.
Lair controlled like crap.
It still bugs me in KZ2.
Heavenly Sword's stuff was instantly turned off when I knew it could be.

3D didn't bother me because if you didn't have a 3DTV it didn't matter. It was totally passive and not on unless you made it to be. Motion controls on the other hand most always felt intrusive and completely gimmicky.

Last edited by Temjin001 on 1/19/2015 10:10:56 PM

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mk ultra
Monday, January 19, 2015 @ 11:44:00 PM

I think I'm in a fairly small minority on this one, but I never had a problem with Lair. It wasn't perfect and you did have to be slow and smooth with it, but I remember being excited about the future of six-axis after that. I actually like using it to fly with in gta5, lets you look around easier in first person view.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 8:26:04 AM

How did Heavenly Sword Work when you turned it off? I never did that.

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Temjin001
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 10:33:47 AM

World: I didn't realize it could be shut off until late in the game. I stumbled upon it after growing frustrated with the canon ball parts. Switching the awful controls off simply routed movement back to the thumb sticks. It made it a thousand times easier. I hated the motion control movement and that's far and away the most annoying thing to happen to gaming in my time.

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Temjin001
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 10:52:02 AM

I also would've preferred that infamous ss did something different for its spray paint mini games.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 11:08:52 AM

The feature in question doesn't have to be unavoidable, like 3D.

And I can't believe people didn't know you could turn off the motion controls in HS. I did that like, immediately. LOL

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Temjin001
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 11:45:28 AM

I'm confused by "doesn't have to be unavoidable"

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wiiplay [Administrator]
Monday, January 19, 2015 @ 10:45:56 PM
Reply

Gimmicks aren't created, they're formed.

Personally, I loved 3D, and saw massive potential with it, especially when it came to puzzle games. (echochrome is an example)

3D could have worked, if developers actually took advantage of it. Instead, they turned it into a gimmick by doing absolutely nothing with it. Like, imagine if they made a horror game centred around 3D immersion. They could literally have monsters jumping through the television set. 3D technology could have enhanced the user experience, and yet developers chose to widely ignore it, or use it to add extra 'flash'.


Motion controls were another thing that could have turned out to be an absolutely amazing technology, but ultimately fell into the gimmick category by not being used properly. Oddly enough, it was games like Call of Duty that actually took advantage of the motion controller, and enhanced the gameplay significantly. While it wasn't as precise as a mouse, it was far more accurate than a traditional analog controller.
Other games like Tiger Woods also took advantage of the motion controller, and used it to enhance gameplay.


Though, even though those two technologies above could have been used to create some rather new and unique experiences, but ultimately failed due to bad development choices, there's only one real gimmick that I can think of... and you'll hate me for saying this, but the one gimmick that I cannot stand, is the PlayStation 4's DualShock 4 controller.


The lightbar is nothing more than an annoyance, and adds zero gameplay function whatsoever. There's literally no reason to even have this lightbar as of right now, and I highly, highly doubt it will ever be used to ever enhance the gameplay of a certain game or genre. There's just no valid reason for having it built into the controller and enabled at all times.

Then there's also the touchpad. This provides zero enhancements to gameplay, and is the pure definition of a gimmick.
It doesn't make anything better. It doesn't enhance anything. It's just kinda there for the heck of being there, with no clear reason for existing.
At first, I figured maybe it could have been used to enhance the web browsing, as it can double as a left and right click trackpad, like what you'd find on a laptop. But nope, you need to use the analog sticks for web navigation.

So, that's my one and only major gimmick that irks the crap out of me. I don't know what Sony was thinking with the touchpad. Perhaps the lightbar can provide value at a later date, but for now, it's entirely useless.

So yeah, the DualShock 4 is the only gimmick I absolutely hate. I mean, perhaps 'hate' is too strong of a word, but I just don't understand how the touchpad could ever be used in a way that actually enhances the overall gaming experience.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 11:10:07 AM

"Gimmicks aren't created, they're formed."

Completely untrue. There are plenty of things that came to market that were designed expressly for the purpose of being a gimmick, because gimmicks are like fads: They hit big immediately even if they don't last.

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Tim Speed24
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 6:30:59 PM

I liked the light bar in Tomb Raider Definitive Edition. When Laura lit up a torch the light bar flickered red and orange and yellow like a flame, it looked cool.

Also in Need For Speed Rivals it would change color based on Racer or cop mode, not necessary but cool feature I noticed. I think it flashes red and blue when cops are after you in GTAV.

Not many games do much with it but the light bar gives a few cool touches.

Maybe I am playing in a darker environment than you but I do see the light bar change colors when I play.

I think the cooler function on the DS4 is the little speaker built in the controller. More games should utilize this feature IMO.

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Corvo
Monday, January 19, 2015 @ 10:49:55 PM
Reply

Stupid cellphone features. I think that's what's bugged me the most recently. Most of the time, it's been in your face. If it was OPTIONAL and not in your face the entire time, I think I'd be cooler with it. Unity was a prime example of cellphone app done wrong.

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bigrailer19
Monday, January 19, 2015 @ 11:11:30 PM
Reply

I didn't and don't have a problem with any game feature. If they enhance the experience in any way then they are fine in my book even of its for a small amount of games.

I think there's a big misunderstanding of 3d. I think for me growing up 3d was this addition where everything popped out of the screen. I think there's a misconception that's what 3d is and we are supposed to get this sense of feeling "in" the game or movie. But I'm realizing 3d isn't that anymore. At least to an extent. Sure movies and games will take advantage of glass breaking or bullets flying. But what I'm starting to see is depth more so than things popping out. I don't know but when I began to notice that, I became amazed by it. It's pretty cool stuff when done right.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 1/19/2015 11:12:36 PM

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mk ultra
Monday, January 19, 2015 @ 11:38:00 PM
Reply

For me it's the second screen, or app and social networking going on right now. I want my games to fully playable from within the game. If it is optional I'm fine with it. But if I can't do something I want without a second screen or account it irritates me.

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matt99
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 12:02:48 AM
Reply

Whatever the hell you had to do to unlock half the chests in Unity...just let me play the damn game.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 11:10:44 AM

Uh, lockpicking? Couldn't really be any simpler.

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Temjin001
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 12:09:57 PM

Matt you have to upgrade your lock pick skill.

As someone who's graduated from the school of Sam fisher ac unitys lock picking implementation was insulting.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 12:47:43 AM
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Wii, 3D.

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Danny007
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 1:16:10 AM
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God, I love my plastic instruments, motion controls, and 3D. I can't wait for VR. I love gimmicks, bring them on.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 8:27:09 AM

satire?

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Danny007
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 11:03:59 AM

Nope, I'm dead serious.

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Vivi_Gamer
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 1:50:41 AM
Reply

I don't see '3D' games as a real bother yet, as it's not something which is mandatory for the gaming experience. If anything it is motion controls, like so many people have mentioned above. My reason being is that I simply don't like the notion of having to focus on the controller as it breaks the immersion.

The other big offender is uPlay, Ubisofts online service which you have to have a code to participate in their online modes - Admittedly Watch_Dogs didn't enforce this, but I remember buying Far Cry 3 and not being able to Platinum it due to not having a stupid code for a couple of online bronze trophies. If I am already paying for PS+ that is enough as far a I am concerned.

But of course the current 'trend' is Free2Play games, which I think the entire gaming community looks down upon with disgust. I refuse to play a game which is compromised with restrictions to people who won't pay up. This is not where I want the industry to go, so I won't support it.

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Deleted User
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 7:22:45 AM

I think that there are good and bad ways to do F2P. Games like Killer Instinct is good. You get the whole game and buy the characters individually as you want. Another good one is Warframe. Everything in the game can be made without spending real money, it just takes a lot of dedication, time and a bit of luck. Plus, Digital Extremes has supported that game continually with amazing updates that add awesome new gameplay aspects with each iteration.

I think the problem most people have with F2P is the same reason why Assassin's Creed Unity is receiving so many disapproving clucks. By constantly showing the gamer what they cannot access without something extra ( in F2Ps it's money, in ACU it's accessing cell phone app, co-op, etc) gamers feel they are being cheated. If Ubi had the same requirements but had removed them as pseudo advertimements in the game proper, I don't think there would have been an issue. It's all perception.

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___________
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 3:12:05 AM
Reply

there are no gimmicks, just poorly implemented ideas.
3D and motion controls a perfect example.
3D could add to immersion and add useful information, but as usual it was implemented really poorly.
the whole point of 3D is to add a sense of depth not only to have things pop out of the display but also to have things sink into it, but I've never seen a game and very few movies that do this half as well as they should.
avatar is a kinda stereotype, scapegoat with 3D, its almost a cliche, but its sad because that really is the ONLY single piece of media I've seen that does 3D well.
its no where near as good as it should be, but the fact that something thats 60% of the way there is the poster boy is just sad!

motion controls another perfect example.
they can be so much more accurate and finite than analog sticks or buttons.
shooters for instance theres so many people out there, me included, who HATE playing shooters on consoles because of the bloody sticks are no where near as accurate and adjustable as a mouse.
especially in finite adjustments, with a mouse its so easy and accurate to adjust your crosshair just 1mm to the left, a analogue stick is so much harder it always overshoots.
you ask a mouse for 1mm you get 1mm, you ask a analogue stick for 1mm you get 10cm!
motion controls could of eliminated that, they could of been utilised for their accuracy and used to improve things but nope as usual there chucked in half a$$ed and instead of improving controls they make them worse!

and this is exactly what makes me so worried about VR.
amazing technology, and can truly improve the way we consume and enjoy our entertainment, but i can see it suffering the same fate as pretty much every other new technology out there.
everything these days is always half a$$ed, and because of that it does not do half of what it should, and because of that gets labeled as a gimmick and before you know it the technologies abandoned and no one touches it ever again.
sad.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 3:43:30 AM

What you write here actually makes a lot of sense. "there are no gimmicks, just poorly implemented ideas" is a very good way of seeing it.

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Aranha
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 10:34:57 AM

I believe you hit the nail right on the head.

And now that you mention it, I can perhaps see why it's so much harder to get an analog stick and/or even motion controls, to be as precise and accurate as a mouse; I think the key factor is stability. When you play with a mouse, you have desk to keep your hand steady. With motion controls, you have nothing but your hands in the air (waving like you just don't care) which provides no stability what so ever. Breathing alone causes movement in the cm range, way beyond mm. So perhaps this is what developers have been struggling with.

I guess this is why it's easier to use a racing wheel than motion controls. Your lap or a desk is the stabilizer. For people who already have a tendency to move their controller around out of excitement and whatnot, they're done for before the game even starts, as it causes all sorts of misfires and unwanted actions in-game.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 11:12:23 AM

And as I said above, there are absolutely gimmicks. Plenty of people set out to make gimmicks and the manufacturer will gladly admit it's a gimmick. Everyone uses that word in a negative way; it's not necessarily negative.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 1:50:56 PM

... but had we called them gimmicks if they actually turned out to be of good use?

Like when they added an extra pair of shoulder buttons on the controllers. We don't call that a gimmick, cause it was of great use. THe gyro in the DS3 however, now that is something we call a gimmick... Cause it didn't turn out to be of much use. Both are additions to the controller - what are the principally differences?

Had the idea of motion control been implemented in such a way that it didn't become the cumbersome affair it ended up being - wouldn't it then end up being a feature also on the PS4, instead of just a "gimmick"?

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Underdog15
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 4:03:49 PM

The wiimote is a gimmick. Worked out pretty well for Nintendo, I think.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 7:15:34 AM

I have no idea what wiimote is, so I can't reply to that. :)

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___________
Thursday, January 22, 2015 @ 6:17:05 AM

sorry i don't buy that.
its easy to slap the monicker scapegoat "gimmick" on everything, but again behind every invention and idea is a idea, a hope for improvement or change.
everything has a reason for its existence, and everything exists for improvement not just to rake in the dollars.
whether things actually deliver on their grand ideas or not is a different story, but companies don't bring a new product to market just for the sake of raking in some dollars.
in one way or another, and whether people believe and agree with it it or not, theres a hope of improving something and thats why its being brought to the market.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 3:42:41 AM
Reply

Easy: Move. Reason I can't stand it is cause I so totally ate the bait and left me feeling like a fool.

Video game feature: Easy too, that's QTEs. Man how I hate those. If you can't come up with anything better, juwst give me a static cut scene so I at least can enjoy the visuals.

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Deleted User
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 7:25:31 AM

I hate when QTEs are used as the lazy man's boss fight. Devs should never do those and design boss fights properly even if that means gameplay that is different from the core of the game.

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FAREEZ
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 8:00:12 AM

Press X to win...

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 8:31:03 AM

only relevant, useful button prompts will do.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 1/20/2015 8:31:37 AM

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bigrailer19
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 10:34:14 AM

There were a lot of games that used move in great ways. Unfortunately other devs only implemented it just because.

I'm okay with QTE's in games like Heavy Rain and The Walking Dead where the gameplay isn't frantic. With that said however God of War uses them correctly, for instance when scaling the cyclops. I'm not sure there would be a good way to climb an enemy while accomplishing what QTE'S allow the developer and player to accomplish. They have their place but they need to be implemented in situations when normal gameplay wouldn't allow things to happen.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 1/20/2015 10:35:12 AM

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Temjin001
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 10:55:42 AM

Move haha
At least Sony didn't go head first with motion control like MS did.

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Temjin001
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 11:09:33 AM

Heck I remember stating back in the day that I hoped something like Kinect would crash and burn because if MS had any sort of success with it they'd try to make it a part of their next Xbox to the angst of many.....

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Beamboom
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 12:35:39 PM

@Big,
there were not a LOT of games that used Move in great ways, Big. Most were really bad, some were almost acceptible, a very few showed a vague glimmer of hope. And I tried a lot of them, desperately seeking good use for it.

In regards to QTEs, I'd much, much rather have the scaling of a monster as a straight cutscene. Then I can enjoy the scene as a movie rather than focusing on those darn button icons that pops up. It's just annoying, it reduces us to be button monkeys.


Last edited by Beamboom on 1/20/2015 12:43:08 PM

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bigrailer19
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 2:39:51 PM

Why would you want a 3 sec. Cut scene of a character scaling a monster in which you end up controlling? That totally disrupts gameplay and fluidity. That doesn't make a kick of sense to me.

I can name quite a few games move worked great with: MAG, RE5, Heavy Rain, Sports Champions games, Cabell Dangerous Hunts, Tiger Woods, Socom, Just Dance games, LBP 2, Medieval Moves, Create, Child of Eden, Dead Space: Extraction, Sorcery... and even KZ it worked well. But as an fps a controller is easier for folks. Regardless the list goes on my friend. I just don't think you experienced even 50% of those games with Move and had you, you might feel differently.

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bigrailer19
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 3:05:00 PM

I'd also like to add I can mention as many games as necessary to show that good games that support move in a good way do exist. But, you would probably also have to enjoy that game to get a good experience from it. There's a lot of variables but I don't think we should discredit Move because there was also as many games that didn't utilize the peripheral well. It did feel like a gimmick with those games because it just wasn't used well. But the games I mentioned prove it could be and was a great way to play games either exclusively or as a different way to play games rather than by standard joysticks.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 4:16:59 PM

Heavy Rain was ok. Sports Champions were the best Move game, hands down. R.U.S.E gave a glimmer of hope. Not more than that, but at least a hint of hope for the device. I wouldn't say it worked WELL in Killzone, but it was slightly amusing for a short time (too bad the game itself became what it became in order to make Move work on it).

But Tiger Woods were awful! And Resident Evil 5 was the worst of them ALL! Oh MAN, you can't seriously mean that you played RE5 with Move and thought, "yeah, this works"?!

I mean, technically it was implemented yes, but it was *horrible* to use. But if you think RE5 worked, a game I'd use as a prime example of a game that DIDN'T work, well then we really don't have much to discuss. :)


Last edited by Beamboom on 1/20/2015 4:24:27 PM

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bigrailer19
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 6:05:41 PM

I think your in the minority on the RE5, move combo. Aside from some camera issues because of a lack of a second joystick there's really not much to complain about. Once you get used to the point and shoot it not only works but it's deadly accurate. I read most reviews before buying RE5 for move and ultimately the one complaint I read was the camera. Knowing I could probably get used to it, I bought it and glad I did.

And Tiger Woods may be a more personal liking but I felt it was just fine and probably more fun than using the controller.

But here we are at a crossroad... again.



Last edited by bigrailer19 on 1/20/2015 6:07:25 PM

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mk ultra
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 9:42:05 PM

I golf quite a bit, and my Tiger score with move is just slightly better than my actual handicap. I'd have to say its fairly accurate. I even have a tendency to hook my drives like my real shot.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 3:10:45 AM

Tiger Woods: The only thing I thought were working were the actual swing - the rest were more cumbersome. But for a real golf player (I'm not) I can believe it was different. Just like me and the table tennis in Sports Champions. I play table tennis and to me sitting with a controller or mouse to play tt just feels so wrong. Unfortunately table tennis in Sports Champions was far far too *slow* and the table felt wrong (wrong height and size), but I can understand why.

RE5: There were plenty of people who claimed a LOT of games worked excellent with Move, Including RE5. But to be honest and to be a little bit of a jackass here, I suspect many of those who praised Move in RE5 were doing it in total denial of how worthless their investment were. They WANTED it to work so hard that they went that extra ten miles in order to get accustomed to the device and eventually, if one really put their mind into it, they will get most things to work.

My coop buddy and me both had Move and purchased RE5 all over again just to try it with Move. But when we entered the game with each our glowsticks we just started laughing, manically. We could hardly move. It was so counter-intuitive it just didn't matter if we could aim better when everything else was worse.

Last edited by Beamboom on 1/21/2015 3:14:25 AM

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FAREEZ
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 8:04:08 AM
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The most gimmicky things in gaming is kinect, I have one and that thing just stay there collecting dust...

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DemonNeno
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 8:24:36 AM
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3D screws with my eyes and gives me headaches. So that's a bother for me. Fortunately, it's optional,so it's not the end of the world. I have a few friends who love their 3DTV, but remains unused for the majority of the time. Having to buy glasses is silly to me. You'd have to own quite a few pairs if you want your company to participate in the viewing and it's not a cheap investment.

Motion control, to me, is a gimmicky feature. While the accuracy has improved, it's just not that practical. I've lived in 3 different apartments since the days of the Move and haven't had any success with the distances and area needed to have more than one person doing anything. Riding on rails is another reason why it ceases to be a viable option. While it can have great potential with certain usages, it doesn't outshine using a controller.

The touchpad on the DS4 has yet to have a unified purpose. Doesn't even work with most keypads that pop up, aside from the native controls in the UI. Shame, really, as it works great as a cursor of sorts.

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Aranha
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 10:42:41 AM
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I'm actually upset that the "gimmicks" that are being put out there aren't being used. Someone mentioned the touchpad being a gimmick they don't like. In fact, I think the inverse. I'm upset because it HASN'T been implemented appropriately. It's a great feature that could be used, as many have said, to replace the analog sticks as the guide for the cursor, as well as other in-game functions. So that goes for the PS4 and the Vita. Especially with touch-anything being the trend nowadays, how can they not see this as something to add on almost everything?

And I don't mean use it in every game for every action, but there are key moments, or when you need to trigger or activate something like double-tap the touchpad to reload a gun, or to confirm a specific entry (assuming all your other buttons have been assigned other functions). I know it can be awkward to have it as a main function, but that's why as a secondary function it'd be great and it may actually alleviate developer woes in many areas.

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Temjin001
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 11:56:24 AM

Tearaway on Vita was a great example of alternative interfaces done right

Last edited by Temjin001 on 1/20/2015 11:56:56 AM

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GreyGhost
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 @ 1:55:04 PM
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3D and DLC ...

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 @ 5:47:48 PM
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well the one thing i think could have been done better and maybe was the eye toy cos they tried a few games but the camera view range just wasn't bigg enough the move thing doesn't really bother me so much bu thats one thing i do remeber thing that could have been way better and it kinda sucked

happy gaming

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InBlackestNight
Thursday, January 22, 2015 @ 2:05:42 PM
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Party chat. I've never wanted to talk with people while playing a game, especially a DIFFERENT game. Ps never needed it. Also, gameplay share. Plus...I hate online in general due to the immaturity of the community.

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