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34 Cliches of Christmas
The Quick Time Events
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on November 23, 2007   |   Episode 2 (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!



Considering how tough Ninja Gaiden is, Ryu may actually benefit from a friend or two coming in and helping him out!
As Seen In: God of War I and II, Spider-Man 3, Tomb Raider: Anniversary, Shenmue, Heavenly Sword, Bee Movie Game, and so on so forth.

What Is It? Ever since God of War it seems like every new game is incorporating those pesky little Quick Time Events. Even if you don't know it by name, chances are you've probably seen this silly gameplay cliche pop up more than once. Generally these events happen when you're in the middle of an exciting action sequence and something bad is about to happen. Instead of that bad thing happening, time suddenly slows down (or stops altogether) and up pops a button you need to press. Hit the button in time and you continue to live, but if you miss the button press (or accidentally push the wrong button) it's lights out for you.

Is It Realistic? Of all the cliches featured in this holiday special, the quick time events are probably the most plausible. Obviously in real life you don't have buttons to press in a split second, but from time to time we're all forced to make split-second decisions that can either end in success or tragedy. Let's say you're walking down the street and suddenly a car loses control and is

While he doesn't kill soldiers and tanks, Link is very much a one man army in those Zelda games!
now hurdling towards you at breakneck speeds, you have only a second or two to jump out of the way and save yourself. If you don't do that quick enough you're dead. It's that simple, and it all comes down to a quick decision. This is basically the same thing you have to do in God of War and Spider-Man 3, only in those games your character comes back from the dead and can try it again.

Is It Overused? The patron saint of this cliche is none other than Dragon's Lair, the game that introduced us to the idea of hitting a button quickly in order to save yourself. Unfortunately these days it seems like everybody is using this archaic (and extremely annoying) game mechanic and trying to incorporate it where it doesn't belong. Some games don't just overuse it, they do it all wrong (such as Spider-Man 3), however when it's done properly it can add some tension and a nice cinematic style. I would prefer to not see it pop up as frequently as it does, but I wouldn't mind seeing it return in God of War 3.

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