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34 Cliches of Christmas
Games With Accessories
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 03, 2007   |   Episode 12 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're taking a look at the video game cliche, the type of thing we've seen time and time again in all generations of gaming. Is this cliche realistic? Does it need to go away? These are the types of questions Defunct Games will be asking over the next month. Join us as we celebrate this joyous season with the 34 Cliches of Christmas!



"Boy, I sure feel like a Mary without a Peter and a Paul."
As Seen In: Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Dance Dance Revolution, Duck Hunt, Samba De Amigo, Super Scope 6, Beat Mania, Donkey Konga, Time Crisis, Steel Battalion, Wii Fit, Sing Star, Gyromite, Lethal Enforcers, and tons of other music and action games.

What Is It? It's the sudden excitement over novelty games that come with their own unique game controls. While this is nothing new, the game with accessory phenomenon is starting to make a resurgence thanks to the overwhelming success of games like Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution. The concept is simple; basically a developer tries to make themselves stand out from the pack by including some sort of novelty control that works for one (and only one) game. This can be as simple as Time Crisis coming with a light gun (Namco's GunCon) or as complex as Rock Band coming with a guitar, drums and microphone. And this is definitely not new, Gyromite came with R.O.B., Samba De Amigo came with some really cool maracas, and Donkey Konga came with a fake plastic drum. It doesn't have to be musical; all it has to be is a game that comes with some sort of plastic accessory ... even if that plastic accessory was a pile of garbage (I'm looking at you Super Scope 6). Best of all, video game accessories come in all shapes and sizes. For example, the Steel Battalion control (which had to be set on a table and offered some 30+ buttons to fool around with) is the perfect way to show your friends that you have way too much money to spend, while the Sing Star microphones tell the world that you like to sing karaoke to really bad music.

Is It Realistic? Of course the video game accessory is realistic. Let's just be honest with ourselves, no matter what you want to do you're probably going to need to buy something to make it happen. Want to play guitar in real life? I bet you're probably going to have to buy a guitar so that you can practice. Want to impress the ladies with your dancing skills? Well, you're

Here we have four detached hands having fun in front of an extremely tiny television!
probably going to need to take some lessons to make that happen. Want to shoot at bad guys while doing your best to avoid innocent bystanders? You guessed it; you're going to need a gun for that. See, everything in life requires you to pay for something extra ... just like the games that come with accessories. At least video games are cheap; there's nothing more embarrassing than letting people know that you spent $3000 and four months trying to sing like Sanjaya Malakar.

Is It Overused? It's not the fake plastic accessories that I'm growing tired of; it's the fact that I have to invest so much money into a brand new version of that accessory every year. There's no reason I should have so many plastic guitars in my closet, I really should only have to buy one. But if you can get around the hefty investment, these video game accessories can be a whole lot of fun to use. And not only that, a lot of these fake plastic toys are a great way to introduce the love of gaming to non-gamers (girlfriend, parents, etc.). To a lot of people the amount of buttons on a game control is daunting, they've given up on learning how to play a game even before the system was turned on. But it's easy to get people into a game with accessory; everybody understands the fundamentals of playing guitar, hitting the drums or shaking a maraca. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I would be disappointed if video game companies decided to stop making wacky video game accessories.

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