Tuesday, September 01, 2009

7 Deadly Sins of Gaming - Sin 1

Sin 1: Non-skippable videos

Holy freaking crap. Are you guys kidding me?

How in today's day and age are we expected to sit through a three minute cinematic?

Oh, watching it once isn't bad. I can live with that. Especially if the video is important to the story.

But those damn scenes that you have to watch before a major event only to die and have to watch it again?

What the hell's up with that?

Final Fantasy is rife with videos and I love that shit.

Love.

The cinematics are some of the best parts of newer FF games.

Still, you hit that X button and you're on to the next part of the game. They don't give a damn if you don't get the story.

You got shit to do.

They're cool with that.

Some game designers though... They expect you to watch that video over and over again.

Oh, you died? I'm so sorry. Let's watch a five minute cutscene again.

I'm freaking busy here, people. I don't have time to waste watching your silly little videos all day.

Yes, yes, yes. I know you spent days and weeks working on this cinematic. I know it's integral to the storyline.

Don't give a rat's ass. If I want to skip it, there should be a big freaking button marked "skip".

The very least you could do, THE VERY LEAST, is put a save point right after the huge freaking cutscene. I watch the very dramatic moment and then save, safe in the knowledge that I don't ever have to watch that damned thing again.

And half the time, the cutscene isn't even important. Instead, it's five minutes of entirely useless exposition that has no bearing on the story.

Why?

I'm serious. Why the hell would they put that in there?

I'm not against cutscenes. No, no. I love cutscenes.

They establish mood. They set the atmosphere for extremely important events.

Or maybe you just got a new weapon or hat or something.

Whatever.

Do you know what completely destroys mood? What absolutely ruins atmosphere?

Watching the same damned movie again and again.

And again.

Okay. I died last time, but I really think I've figured this out. I know exactly what I have to... Why am I listening to him talk about his grandmother again? C'mon, make with the stabby stabby.

Listen. Put the damned cutscenes in there. By all freaking means, fill the damned disc up with cutscenes.

Ever play Xenosaga? Best movie I ever played.

The game was fifty eight hours long. I pushed a button twice.

But, if you're going to put cutscenes in there, let me skip the damned thing if I want to. If I feel like sitting through the same cinematic over and over, then I can do that until my eyes bleed.

If not, I push X and I'm back in the game.

Everyone's happy.

More importantly, I'm happy.

Isn't that what really counts?

15 Comments:

At 9:30 PM, Blogger Mali said...

<3 Yup, as long as you're happy.

Who gives a shit about the people whos proud of what they accomplished?

I am being serious: I really don't.

 
At 9:32 PM, Blogger Sil'fer said...

It could be worse. At least the Xenosaga cutscenes you could skip. Though I'm a huge Xenosaga fan and probably wouldn't myself.

 
At 9:34 PM, Blogger Grenade71822 said...

Metal Gear Solid 4 was the first Blu Ray movie i bought. But you could skip them. /woo

 
At 10:06 PM, Blogger ShireNomad said...

I got hung up on Kingdom Hearts in the Hollow Bastion, because I was sick of hearing a five minute blather about hearts and darkness only to be slaughtered in half that time and have to sit through it all over again. At one point I just put down the game and didn't touch it again for two months. I finally figured out the right timing for my defense spells sans Donald's help, which was admittedly helpful in the finale, but until then I came really close to giving up entirely.

 
At 11:16 PM, Blogger Kevin said...

Xenogears was even worse about this, because it wasn't cutscenes, it was a character sitting in a chair and narrating to you against a dark background for 45 minutes, followed by a boss that will freeze the game 90% of the time if you're playing on a PS2. So not only was it not even interesting to begin with, but you had to do it over and over again. Also, not skippable, all you could do was mash X to make the text go a tiny bit faster.

 
At 3:23 AM, Blogger Vicky said...

The most recent game I've played with lots of cutscenes innit handled them the BEST way ever. In Dissidia: Final Fantasy for the psp, whenever there's a cutscene, you can PAUSE it, and bam, a menu appears where you get two choices, one is CONTINUE and the other is SKIP CUTSCENE.
That's the way things should be done, damnit. The ability to pause it in case distractions happen and you don't wanna miss out on it, and the ability to skip the cutscene in case you DO wanna miss out on it. Other games should learn from that game.

 
At 3:51 AM, Blogger Shade said...

If i remember it right, that was already the way they handled it with FFX-2 and FFXII @Vicky

 
At 6:55 AM, Blogger Cidolfas said...

Yes, Dave being happy is the most important thing. When Dave isn't happy, things get devoured messily.

Xenogears was particularly awful because the text speed was set to "crawl" with no way to change it. Grah!

Square is usually good about this, but Crisis Core didn't let you skip cutscenes. Luckily battles were almost uniformly easy so I never saw any of them twice.

tri-Ace's PS2 games are weird. Star Ocean 3 let you only skip cutscenes before you saw them - a little box would come up asking you if you wanted to skip it. Once it started, no dice.

Valkyrie Profile 2, on the other hand, let you skip cutscenes but not pause them. A box comes up in the middle of the cutscene asking if you want to skip it, but it keeps going. What the hell was up with that?

 
At 9:27 AM, Blogger Kyle said...

The new Batman game gives you a skip option after the first time. I'M SO GLAD.

 
At 10:18 AM, Blogger Sword said...

Oh yeah. I remember there was a CS in FFX that was like 20 freakin minutes long then you fight a battle and sit through another 20min CS or somethin like that. It was all fine and dandy, but it takes ya a damn hour to save the game again and if you die, which in my case I did I may as well have made dinner.

 
At 12:56 PM, Blogger Saifer said...

Skip, soft reset, movie theater, in-game data load, those are the basic things I can remember EVERY game in this generation SHOULD have.

 
At 5:46 PM, Blogger Leut said...

I quit playing xenosaga for that very reason. I even bought 3rd in the trilogy. I never opened it.

There's something very nice about playing some of my old games where I simply turned it on, hit start, and killed anything that moved. Roll credits.

 
At 6:08 PM, Blogger Ariyon said...

PS2 limitations?

 
At 8:35 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

The Conduit was a good game, but it had this problem. It was probably the MAIN reason I didn't keep it.
You had to watch the briefing. Every. Single. Time.
You couldn't just skip it and play the game.
Horrible.

 
At 12:47 PM, Blogger Chrono Fantasy said...

With Xenosaga I beat the first one myself and watched all the cutscenes and did everything of course.

The second Xenosaga game I only played through half of it, then I just watched all the cutscenes online at youtube.

With the third Xenosaga game I never bought it but just watched all those cutscenes on youtube too.

There were at least 150 parts worth of cutscenes for the third Xenosaga game. Each cutscene averaged about 5 minutes, so that was at least 12 hours worth of cutscenes...

 

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