Poor design.

This is the only theme available on WP that I like, but it annoys me that it’s such a poor use of space. I mean, aesthetics are important, and negative space is part of that; but come on, I’m only using half the page! Meh. I don’t have time to dick around with it right now, getting settled in here has already taken up far too much of my time this week.

Also, I am annoyed that the difficulty level of God of War II (which I am just getting around to playing now) jumps about 80% when you get to the section with all the timed puzzles. I hate timed puzzles. I hate timed anything. I don’t like tension based on a ticking clock.

In the first game, the final battle with Ares was more frustrating than the whole rest of the game. It was frustrating. But it was only one battle. The sequel has been, by and large, a much easier game. Less thumb-blistering mob battles, more puzzles. Which is ok, although it ain’t called God of Puzzles, now, is it? Kratos seems like marginally less of a dick, but if he were any more of a dick, he’d cease to be a sympathetic character. Less gratuitous nudity- or rather I should say more gratuitous nudity- since now it’s mostly monsters rather than slaves and priestesses showing off the bosomage. And trust me, when you come up against 600lbs of angry gorgon wearing not a stitch, you will know true terror. It ain’t the snakes that are petrifying. The titans are kind of cool. Although, the voice actor for Atlas sounds like a modern black man chatting with you on the street, which is to say not at all like a mountain-sized primordial entity standing in an ocean of lava in Tartarus (or Hades, he can’t seem to keep it straight- and there’s a difference) and holding an entire island up on his impossibly massive shoulders. I won’t even get into how the voice of something that huge would turn your innards to jelly, since physics is not something this game pays the slightest attention to. That doesn’t bother me much- it’s myth, not science. Although Kratos has more trouble carrying a single human body than he does stopping a colossus that must way several thousand tons from stomping him into paste. Aaanyway.

So, yeah. My original point is that difficulty should ramp up gradually, or in stages. It should not go from 50% to 95% in one swell foop.

Or, I just really, really hate puzzles with timing elements and unclear goals. Either show me what I have to do and give me a time limit in which to complete it, or give me a time limit to figure out what to do and all day to do it. Don’t give me the same short timer to figure out what to do AND accomplish it. I can’t juggle multiple goals under pressure, I’m just not that good.

I guess the bottom line is, I suck, and I’m a whiner.

Oh, yeah, and the one with the chain and the skeletons and the spikes coming down? Where you can only grab the chain if you’re standing in just the right spot and facing just the right angle? And you have to grab it three or four times in between fighting skeletons while the ceiling is coming down on you? That’s fecking annoying. Not because it’s difficult, but because it’s designed poorly. Frustration from difficulty is a time honored part of these sorts of games. But… well, honestly, frustration from poor design is also a time honored part of these sorts of games, but it shouldn’t be.

So, yeah. Poor design sucks. I guess that’s the point of both my complaints (about this WP template and about the game). Yay for coherency. Or something.

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~ by oberon the fool on January 8, 2009.

2 Responses to “Poor design.”

  1. I was looking at this review journal we get called Children’s Technology Review, which also reviews educational-ish console games, as well as computer software and over and over I kept seeing that the console games scored much higher in all categories (fun, ease of game play, look/graphics, etc.) than the PC versions. Which kind of makes it pointless to buy the CD/DVD ROMs – because they suck. Not to mention all of the “one-installation ONLY” kinds of protection/restrictions they put on the PC games. It’s frustrating. I’m still in the bargaining stages with my supervisors about starting the console gaming collection. They’ll let me use some of my CD/DVD ROMs budget, but we have to work out all kinds of other details. Which makes it seem like too much work. Argh.

    I also suck at most games. Or maybe at one time I didn’t, but I don’t have that kind of dexterity/patience anymore. Dextience.

  2. PC gamers and console gamers overlap less than you’d think. Some games work better one way, some another. Consoles are designed for ease of entry, giving them a wider audience than PC games, since people who are afraid of computers can still play console games. Also, consoles only need to be “upgraded” (IE replaced) every six to ten years, whereas a PC, in order to play the latest games, needs upgrading pretty often. On the other hand, PCs can remain on the bleeding edge of technology in ways that consoles cannot.

    It’s a matter of preference. I imagine that PC gamers probably look down on consoler jockeys to a degree. I also imagine the console jockeys could give a shit less what the PC gamers think.

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