#2. They Think Basic Button Presses Should Be a Game-Stopping Clusterfuck
I need you to think of a very specific game for a second, so hopefully you've played it. Just kidding -- I need you to think of every first-person shooter you've played in the past 15 years. When you needed to switch weapons, what did you do? Most of you said, "Press a direction on the D-pad." A few said, "Press the left or right button (or trigger)." The point is that you pressed one button, and booyah: new weapon.
Looking at that Batman example I mentioned a few points ago, I will concede that this is maybe what they were going for. It may be a pause-screen moment where he's using the touch pad to load up his batpants, and I'm fine with that. The same can't be said for the Wii U's horror title ZombiU.
See the game screen behind that gargantuan controller? That's the game, still going on while he's fucking around with the game pad, trying to loot a corpse and select his weapon. What you can't tell from the picture, but totally can by watching this video, is that the whole time, there is a zombie trying to (and does) bust down the door.
Why is that important? Because it means that the act of navigating a menu in order to change weapons is now a part of the game's survival strategy. Not the story -- not the aiming -- not running or stealth or strategic avoidance. A goddamn menu. They took what used to be "Press a direction on the control pad" and introduced false difficulty by making it harder to perform the basic functions of the fucking game. How's that for an immersion breaker? "You're not being chased by zombies. You're controlling a computer that is rendering virtual enemies. Quick, navigate your menu!"
Or how about padding the difficulty by forcing you to take your eyes completely off of the game while you try to enter numbers into a keypad in order to get a door open? Don't worry, they have that covered!
By the way, they call that "door hacking" -- no joke.
When gamers say we're tired of games being too easy, we didn't mean that we wanted them to come into our houses and cover up our monitors while we're trying to play.
I didn't add that text -- that's the game telling you to stop what you're doing and look down at your controller. It's a cheap-ass way of faking tension by getting you to concentrate on another screen while a zombie pops out on the one you've turned away from. It's their version of the big brother who goes, "Hey, what's that over there?" And then when you look away, he gives you a wedgie.
But that's far from the worst use of this new controller. Nintendo haters are going to full on masturbate when they see this ...
#1. They've Invented a Controller That Punishes Everyone for Its Own Existence
One of the biggest complaints from potential customers over the last year was the fact that this system would only come with one of those hand-dwarfing, gravity generating touch screen controllers. In response, Nintendo started hyping what they're calling "asymmetric gaming," which they explain as two people playing the same game, but experiencing two different things. A perfect example of how this works is in the pants-shittingly boring game NintendoLand (Luigi's Ghost Mansion section).
Also known as Pac-Man Without the Dots.
The guy with the game pad is the ghost. The other four characters have Wii remotes. And you kill the ghost by shining a light on him. The stroke victims who are forced to play this piece of shit as part of their hand/eye coordination exercises will note that the ghost can see everyone on his game pad screen, while the rest of the players can only see each other. That's what it produces when it's properly used: a coma-inducing turd that not even dogs would roll in.
When it's bad, it's really bad. Like in Super Mario Bros. U, where the person who picked the touch screen pad will basically sit with his thumb up his ass while four of his friends play the actual game with Wii remotes. Because -- and I'm not joking about this -- his entire role is to touch the pad on his controller, and lay out occasional bricks for the other players to jump on. No, seriously, look:
And though another title they showed, Rayman Legends, actually looks pretty fun, if you were unlucky enough to not get that helicopter landing pad of a controller, your role for the most part is just running and jumping, while they do all the fun shit, like breaking stuff and clearing the path. It eventually leads to the following map, where everyone basically sighs and gets in a good nap while you try to beat an action version of Guitar Hero:
I like to call that the "Just Let Me Fucking Do It" level, because that's exactly what's going to happen when one of your friends who sucks at video games keeps fucking up and having to restart the map ... and you can't play until he gets it right.
But don't worry, because he won't get many attempts before the controller dies. The battery life is "three to five hours," which in real-people terms means two hours.
I kind of feel bad for being this skeptical about a game system, because I've never really been the type of guy to just unload on a product without trying it. The Internet is full of those dipshits, and I didn't want to be one of them. But goddamn, you have to agree that what they've presented so far has painted a pretty dismal picture of their understanding of what we want as customers, and on a more basic scale, as humans. Surely they can't be that far up their own asses. Can they? I keep expecting them to show back up at another press conference, announcing that they were just setting us all up for a huge April Fool's joke next year, but decided against it. Or at least pulling some huge surprise announcement out of their asses that makes all of this make some sort of sense. But every hour that this doesn't happen makes me lose a little faith that it ever will.
But I guess I can't complain too much. At least it isn't this:
John has a Twitter that he bought for thousands of dollars before realizing they were free. So populate that so he doesn't feel like he wasted the money.
For more Cheese, check out 5 Gaming Technologies That Are Making Virtual Sex a Reality and 5 Ways to Tell You're Getting Too Old for Video Games.