RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.RF Generation.  The Classic and Modern Gaming Databases.

Posted on Jul 14th 2015 at 08:00:00 AM by (slackur)
Posted under Sequels, Halo, Gears of War, Battlefront, Metal Gear Solid, Rock Band, Guitar Hero


The Rainbow apparently tastes like Master Sword and waaaay too much Green Apple.  Bring back Lime.
Source: thatsnerdalicious.com, artist: mattmcmanis-d34vqd8

As Hobbes' young companion once noted, mothers are the necessity of invention.  And in the gaming industry (and by industry I of course mean business), innovation means something fresh for the gamer and risk for the publisher.  We gamers are known to clamor for something new, different, interesting, and creative.  Ours is a tech-driven hobby, so naturally we want the newest, shiniest, most feature-packed thingee that's plowing ahead, breaking new ground, and showing us something we've never quite seen before.  Right?

And it's all those suit-and-ties in board meetings that are stifling and ruining our business (and by business, I of course mean industry.)  Their money-grubbing, tight-fisted pea-brains keep them from seeing the vision of artists, and instead they play it safe with brown-colored shooter release #57.  So, we just keep getting rehashes and sequels, with the occasional off-chance (often from our here-to-save-the-industry/business from itself indie sector) of shaking things up and giving us a much needed breakthrough in a Minecraft or Angry Birds.

That's our reality, yes?


Continue reading Comfort Food



Posted on Sep 7th 2010 at 11:32:12 AM by (slackur)
Posted under southpaw, gaming, Gears of War, Vanquish, stoopid developers

So the Vanquish demo arrived on XBox Live.  I thoroughly enjoy developer Platinum's titles (Bayonetta, Okami, Viewtiful Joe Series) but until this demo arrived, I had little interest in another third-person sci-fi shooter.  Any other time of the year it might have blipped on the radar.  But in the same time frame as Halo: Reach, a new take on Castlevania, and another Call of Duty (I'll be honest, I'm only getting it for the radio-controlled RC car equipped with an AV feed for spying on/playing with my kids) it had to stand out, and the screen shots didn't really sell it for me.

Then I tried the Demo.

Whee!!  Fluid, stylized action that felt like a hyper Gears of War, set in a clone of a  Robotech universe, with a character in Issac Clarke's armor and wielding a gun stolen from the new Transformer movies.  It was fast, over the top, Sega-brand arcade-y while containing depth, and I could see how the game's presentation and control combined into a beautiful player guided ballet in the vein of the new Ninja Gaidens and Devil May Cry.

At least, I think that's how it would feel if I could play it.

You see, I'm a southpaw.  No, not a feline from Mississippi, a left hander.  In a 3D space, my left hand has to control the look, and my right hand the movement.  This, of course, is reverse of the traditional play control.  No, it's not as simple as 'just get used to it the normal way.'  Try playing one of the few games that manually allow a southpaw setting on the opposite of your preference and you may get a glimpse of my pain.  And to all the Lefties in the forums that say an alternate control setup is unnecessary because they can play on the default, I'm happy you don't have a problem.  I literally get nauseous playing the 'normal' way for more than ten or fifteen minutes, and I refuse to take Dramamine or other dimenhydrinates or medications to play a game.  I've tried off and on for years, and it still makes me motion sick.  Its not a problem if I can simply have the thumb sticks swapped.

Except it is.  Because developers aren't really paying attention to between 10% and 15% of their gaming population, they may offer a southpaw control option that swaps the analogue stick controls, but obviously don't play test it.  Let me give you a perfect example:

Gears of War supports an internal southpaw control option.  It makes the left stick the look controls, and the right stick movement.  We good now?  Not hardly.  Because G.o.W is a 'stop and pop' shooter, the player uses the 'A' button as a context sensitive control for taking cover, rolling to cover, jumping over cover, etc.  The 'A' button is probably the most important button after the shoot button.  Its directly above the right stick.

And. You. Can't. Change. It. 

For normal controls, not a problem.  But for southpaw, I need to move that right 'movement' stick in a direction while pressing the 'A' button.  The button directly to the right of the stick.  Let me give you a visual example of what my hand has to do to press 'A' while moving my character to cover:



Yeah.  Any game requiring me to move the right thumb stick while pressing a face button (pretty much every 3D game) requires some crazy move like that.  If I just move all my fingers across the face buttons 'arcade stick' style, then I can't reach the top bumpers and triggers.  For Gears, they could have just let me change the 'A' functions with one of the bumpers (the left bumber is only used to give an arrow locating AI team-mates for crying out loud!  I need that more than the game-designed-around-it cover system?!?!)  Obviously, someone at Epic never play tested the southpaw option much, or this GLARING oversight of the unmappable 'A' button would have been addressed.

In fact, any 3D game requiring the use of face buttons that can't be remapped to the four top-side buttons on the 360 or PS3 controller is just a slap in the face to any southpaw-required gamer like me.  It gets worse; many games won't even let you swap the thumb sticks anyway.  Even the 360's internal southpaw preference is unsupported in many AAA games, including Battlefield 2, Lost Planet and Lost Planet 2, Bioshock, and Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, just to name a small few.  I had to buy a hardwired modded controller that internally swapped the sticks just to play these games, and that still doesn't address the face button problem.

What, are we still in the '90s?  Why on earth, in this day of unprecedented mainstream gaming popularity, can we not get universal control mapping options on every game?  Especially the large-scale developed ones?  Sure, developers have their preference on how a game should be controlled; make that the default.  Why alienate even a small percentage of the gaming population over such an easily correctable issue?

Maybe it's just me.  For a long time I assumed it was.  Then I read this:

http://lawofthegame.blogs...8/southpaw-manifesto.html

I'm not alone! 
 
Every time I submit a complain about this (I even called a few companies directly) all I would hear is a standard, 'thank you for bringing this to our attention, all of our customer's feedback is important to us, and we'll consider it for future releases' reply that would be the same line if I complained that their games didn't feature enough custard filled donuts.

Us southpaws have struggled in vain over this control issue ever since the Playstation era (though strangely, the Dreamcast featured several games with Southpaw defaults.)  Please, help us bug developers enough so they will listen.  Everyone wants to play games with the controls set up the way they are most comfortable, and even if you aren't a southpaw, there is almost certainly a game you would change a few buttons around on.  Why are we still waiting?


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
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