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Ten Things We're Going to Have to Get Used to (Broken)
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on October 01, 2004   |   Episode 58 (Show Archive)  

WALL OF TEXT EXPLAINED: What you're looking at is an episode of Countdown w/ Defunct Games published before 2006. As you can tell, something has gone horribly awry. I won't bore you with the technical details, but it has to do with the old layout being incompatible with the new. Eventually, we would like to retrofit these old episodes of Countdown, but that will require a significant amount of time. As Defunct Games has only a limited staff, we aren't sure when we'll have the chance to fix this article. If you absolutely need to know what this article said, get a hold of us on Twitter or leave a message in the comment section below. Sorry for the inconvenience. I hope you will enjoy the episodes created post-2006.

#10 2D Doesn't Sell (on Consoles) That doesn't mean it's not good, or even worth owning . it's just the truth, 2D video games don't sell very well, even as a niche product. Viewtiful Joe was one of the few new titles for the GameCube last Christmas, and even that wasn't enough to keep it from virtual obscurity. Unfortunately, other 2D titles, including Guilty Gears, Metal Slug 3, and Capcom vs. SNK 2, sold even worse when they landed, leading many to wonder if there's even a market for traditional 2D titles. If this makes you sad, you're not alone. I long for the day when people wake up and realize that a well made 2D game is just as worthy of your money its 3D counterpart. With first person shooters and Grand Theft Auto-clones all the rage, I have a hard time believing that we're headed towards a 2D revival. #9 LAN Parties are the new Split Screen Although Nintendo may argue this point, the writing certainly seems to be on the wall when it comes to split screen games. Gamers have grown tired of squinting to see their fourth of the TV screen, and developers have come to the aid with all kinds of Ethernet-related options. You could play these people online, or, if you have all your buddies in the same room, you can hook them all up via a LAN. With companies trying to get more and more out of their hardware, it's no surprise to see them shy away from trying to get the games playable for split screen action, and who can blame them? After you've seen the difference between full screen and split screen it's hard to justify going back to the archaic practice. But if there actually are people out there that are disappointed by games going without split screen, then that's just something you're going to have to get used to. #8 It's not a Sports Game if it doesn't have Rap Music This might not seem like such a big deal to most of you out there, but if you're not a fan of rap music, sports games are pretty uninviting. Certainly recent games like Tony Hawk's Underground and SSX 3 feature a wide range of genres, but a title like Electronic Art's NFL Street seems to feature nothing but hip hop. I find it hard to believe that all football fans are also down with the urban beats, certainly there must be a few fans who would rather hear some of that "patriotic" country music. And it's not just NFL Street; Tiger Woods is over run with non-stop bass lines, which wouldn't be so bad if they didn't seem so out of place. I have nothing against rap and hip hop, I really don't, but a little variety could go a long way. But since these games sell millions of copies, and I'm the only one complaining, I have a funny feeling this is something us non-rap fans will just have to get used to. #7 Your System Won't Last There used to be a time when you're hardware could live through a war, but that doesn't seem to be the case. I know more than one person that finds them on their second PlayStation 2, and even the Xbox and GameCube aren't invulnerable to quick and cheap hardware. Of course, you could argue that the system is doing more, since it has more moving parts, lasers, and a lot more technology. But there's something to be said when you're Genesis and Sega CD still work almost 15 years later but your PS2 didn't even made it through the George W. Bush administration. At least the game systems of today do more, like play movies, music, and go online. Whether that's a fair trade off is a personal choice and I want no part of it. Argue amongst yourselves. #6 The Arcade is Dead Maybe not in Japan, but here in the United States, the arcade industry has all but dried up . and there's not a damn thing you can do about it. I wish I had the solution, but years of stiff competition from consoles and computers just eroded the advantages the arcade once had. Why would anybody go to an arcade and pay money to play strangers when they could do it online for free? And while we're at it, why would anybody pay a buck just to play when they could simply rent a game? With most of the major developers out of the arcade business, it seems like there's almost no reason to hold out hope that it will be reborn. Something truly revolutionary will have to happen before the arcade is a viable force in the video game industry. #5 Square, Treasure, and Rare are Fallible A lot of us look at our history fondly because it seemed like a simpler time. It was a time when companies like Square, Treasure, and Rare could do no wrong, and nobody could question their genius. They didn't just make popular games, they made the software other developers were ripping off for years to come. But these video game giants aren't so big after all, and now that we have a closer look it's easy to see some of their paint wearing off. Square has released one disappointing title after another, and have even managed to take their mediocre titles to other platforms. Treasure missed the mark with Stretch Panic. And Rare's new titles, like Grabbed by the Ghoulies, sure leave a lot to be desired. Certainly all companies have a few bad games, but these companies aren't leading the charge anymore, and have somehow fallen back done to Earth. #4 Sony Doesn't Want You to buy things off eBay! When Sony first announced their online plans just after the system launched, they made it a point to talk about the web browser that would be packaged with. Yes Sony's Network Adaptor made it to stores with no web browser to be found. At E3 2003 Sony had a special area set up to demonstrate the power of the hard drive. This HDD would feature email support, voice chat with friends, and the much belated web browser. But something happened between E3 and the HDD's final release, because yet again Sony managed to ship the accessory sans web browser. Now they say it's coming "soon", but anybody that believes that after all this is a fool. If Sony wanted you to access Defunct Games on your PlayStation 2 they would have done it by now, and since they haven't, I guess that pretty much proves Dawn's point. Or maybe it doesn't. Oh, she's got me all confused. #3 A Video Game TV Channel is just Not Meant to Be When G4 launched there was great excitement in the air. I couldn't wait to see what kind of programming a channel devoted to video games would deliver; I expected a full line up of interesting shows looking at every angle of the video game world. Unfortunately, G4 is to video games what MTV is to music. Early on viewers were subjected to one painful show after another, dishing out-of-date information with embarrassingly bad writing and on-air talent. I'd like to say things have improved, but they really haven't. Many of the same shows that were so difficult to watch a year ago (Judgment Day, Filter, Arena, etc.) are still repeated endlessly. G4 Tech TV has so far been unable to find that balance between entertaining shows and video games. It's not good enough to have shows about games, there really has to be a reason to watch it in the first place. And as far as I can tell, that's not going to happen for a very, very long time. #2 Electronic Arts is Here to Stay There are players in the video game arena that are as powerful as Electronic Arts, and that's a source of contention for a lot of people. Some resent their stranglehold on the sports genre, where they excel year after year. Some hate how Electronic Arts buys smaller, independent companies and assimilates them into one huge machine. Others simply hate their power and prestige. But no matter what reason you have to dislike Electronic Arts, you're just going to have to accept that there's absolutely nothing you can do about it. They have been around longer than most of their competition, and have earned a right to be a major player. You don't have to like their politics, but at least judge the games on the merits of the title and not the company that publishes it. #1 Downloadable Patches For years the PC world has suffered from an epidemic of rushed software that needs to be patched well after its initial release. Console gamers hoped this would never happen to them, but as the major systems go online, more and more games are being patched. So far the patching process has been minor and unobtrusive; generally fixing only small online problems and minor glitches in the games. Some games, like Ninja Gaiden, are going as far as to adding new modes of game play, a user controlled camera system, and much faster game player. Released months after the game launched, this download is more of an expansion pack than a patch, and in turn most gamers are excited about it rather than disappointed in the original game. But let's not forget that online console gaming is still in its infancy and there's still plenty of time for developers to become complacent. Don't forget that the reason you're on this site is because you believe that video games are fun, and that's one thing that will never change as long as the developers stay on their toes. Five Things that are Exactly the Same Game Accessories Still Suck Some of them are pretty cool, but seriously, at most four or five games support them, and usually they're nothing more than mini games you're going to get tired of within minutes. Recent additions to the long list of pointless accessories include Sony's EyeToy, which allows you to play yourself on TV, and Microsoft's Music Maker microphone, which could have been cool, if it wasn't so awful. Movie Games are Still Pretty Bad The game publishers would point to the successes of the Chronicles of Riddick, Spider-Man 2, and the Bond franchise, but we gamers know better. After all, for every Riddick there are at least 10 games like Charlie's Angels, Catwoman, or Van Helsing. A dozen years ago it was just as bad, with Total Recall, Bram Stoker's Dracula, and Jurassic Park. Nintendo Still Marches to its own Drummer Remember the good old days when Nintendo wasn't about to let go of their cartridge format? Or how they simply did not understand American's bloodlust for ultraviolence? Well, all these years later Nintendo is still dealing with these issues. They opted for the smaller DVD's, they have yet to embrace online gaming, and they have no intention of making games for adults only. Whether this is a good or bad thing may just depend on what side of the aisle you sit on in this battle. The Politicians Still Hate Us! In just the last few years several states (including California and Washington State) passed laws limiting what video games people could play. For the most part these laws have been overturned by the courts, but the war is being fought each and every day. This is really no different than when the government took Doom and Mortal Kombat to task a decade ago, and in those years we have yet to really learn any new information. Games are more violent now, yet crime is down. I have a hunch that this is one of those debates we'll still be talking about ten years from now. Games are Still Fun! After the great game crash of 1983 Nintendo single-handedly brought the game industry back to life. And unless you are completely heartless, that should mean for something, no matter what bad decisions they make in the future.


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