The Genre’s Just Not That Into You

My first intimate experience with gaming involved the tip of a plastic gun being placed right on a television screen as I tried to shoot ducks out of the sky. The reason I had to have the gun so close to the TV was because my ability to actually hit the ducks dropped exponentially once the gun got beyond 2 inches from the screen itself. Most would be led to believe that my accuracy sucked because I just didn’t know how to aim. But the reality is that I couldn’t hit the ducks because the fucking things hacked. I have never in my life seen a duck do a 180 degree turn in midair instantly, and yet the ones in the game seem to do it with no problem. Until I see a duck in real life do three consecutive 90 degree turns like it’s riding one of those bike from Tron while on a coke trip, I’m calling hax on the ducks. The dog can go to hell too. I never really liked that game…

How does this relate to the title of this entry? It doesn’t. But I was told back in middle school that beginning a piece with an anecdotal story can sometimes get people’s attention. Apparently, so can this:

More titties after the jump!

Yeah, I lied. I don’t really care which of those two baiting methods did it for you, as long as it got the job done.

Like many other kids in my generation, I started my gaming career on the console with the ducks, annoying dog, and a fat, Italian plumber. However, once PC gaming came into its own, I was an easy convert. At first, the only PC gaming exposure I got came from games like Snake and some game consisting of two gorillas taking turns throwing bananas at each other. These were played off of a BASIC compiler no less. Needless to say, those didn’t hold a candle to my NBA Jam, Battletoads/Double Dragon, and SF2: Championship Edition cartridges that rested in my lovely Sega Genesis. That all changed with a new computer, Doom, Wolfenstein, and Duke Nukem. Let’s just say M. Bison stopped getting chances to spam his cheap ass slide attack. I eventually was exposed to the Command and Conquer series, which led me to the Age of Empires series. I sneered at my friends when they asked me to play WCW vs. nWo on the N64, and continued to sneer at them as I clotheslined Diamond Dallas Page for the 5th time in a row (I was willing to sacrifice a little of my PC purity for social interaction with friends who also liked wrestling). I had gained a complex. I pretty much decided that games on the PC were better than games on the consoles. Now, let’s investigate this for a second. First, ignore the fact that back then, multiplatform gaming was nonexistent, and the fact that there was a substantial difference between the amount of time I spent gaming on a PC versus the time I spent gaming on a console. If you ignore all that, was my assumption toward PC superiority true? You bet your fat, clown ass it was!

I’m sure it’s been readily documented that the games I was playing (Doom II, C&C, C&C:RA, AoE, etc) were the best the gaming industry had to offer at that time (Please don’t try to argue this, you are wrong, neener neener). As much as some may want to dispute that, I don’t think anyone can dispute that those games would’ve played worse on a console. At the time, I saw this as undeniable proof that PC games were better than console games. However, I now believe that it may have been true only due to a combination of the limited scope of my gaming world, and the type of games that I enjoyed. I mean, did anyone notice the pattern of my games of choice? FPS and RTS are staples of the PC gaming world. Until Goldeneye, I don’t think anyone even considered FPS as a console genre, and in my personal opinion, RTS is still not a console genre today. Over the years, I’ve noticed that some games I just wouldn’t want to play on a console. However, recently, with more and more exposure to console gaming, there are some games I just wouldn’t want to play on a PC. I really feel games just lend themselves better to one platform over another. A lot of times, this is linked to the genre of the game, but there are some exceptions.

The FPS genre has actually garnered quite a bit of success on both consoles and the PC. Halo, BioShock, and Call of Duty 4 are all games that are very popular on the consoles. Despite this fact, I don’t feel that FPS is a genre that caters well to the console setup. In my mind, any FPS game is going to play better on a PC due to the improved controls. The most experience I have in this department is with Left 4 Dead, which I’ve actually played on both the PC and the 360. The controls are just not the same. Yes, from a relative standpoint, I certainly cannot complain about the L4D XBOX controls. However, compared to the way I play on PCs, it just seems so limiting. Basically, a L4D PC clan will rape a L4D 360 clan in Versus. Just sayin’…
[EDIT]FPS on the Wii, when implemented correctly, is probably the most intuitive. While the Wii is a console, I’m not really thinking about the Wii-mote when I’m talking about the console controls.

The RTS genre, as I stated earlier, I don’t feel is a console genre. Sure, it’ll get ported to the console, but does it play well on a console? I don’t know. I’ve never actually played a RTS on a console, simply because I would never even think to do so. Maybe that’s just years of RTS-ing on the PC blinding me with bias, who knows? I just know that in the heat of battle, you’ve got to do a lot of quick micromanagement which sometimes requires clicking on single targets and giving assignments in quick succession, and that just seems like it’d be a nightmare to do with a controller.

The fighting genre is pretty much the consoles’ butt buddy. Fighting is to PCs, as RTS is to consoles, in my mind. I can’t even imagine trying to play SF2 with a keyboard, much less stuff like Soul Calibur. WASD movement when the camer is constantly rotating? Up is Left, Down is Right? It’d be a nightmare.

I DARE you, WASD user, to challenge him to a fight. CHALLENGE HIM!
And bring yo peoples. Because you might just get embarrassed.

The racing genre is what I’d consider the Switzerland of gaming. You can play it on a PS3 just as well as you can play it on a PC. Racing games are pretty much just huge whores that sleep with whoever acknowledges their existence. Some are the good looking whores that go for big bucks, and others are like the nasty, VD-infected whores that you find just south of the Mexican border that you wouldn’t go all the way with unless you had 8 condoms on you placed one over the other.

The RPG genre is an interesting one. It’s a genre that I don’t think is very prevalent on the PC. There are obviously titles like Elder Scrolls, but overall, I think the consoles definitely dominate the genre. However, I don’t really know why. I think RPGs would play just as well on either. This is, of course, depending on the type of RPG, but for your everyday standard one, I can’t see how one would have the edge over the other. So why is it consoles dominate that genre so well?

The sports genre. I don’t know about this one. Actually, I do. I’m pretty sure as long as a sports game had the overly-zealous sports fan’s favorite player/team/mascot/brand of beer in it, they’d play it. They’d play it on a PC, they’d play it on a 360. Hell, they’d play it using their toilet seat as a screen if it came in that format. Might be a little easier and/or intuitive on a console though.

This is your NHL ’09


Other genres like action/adventures, puzzles, and
platformers are a mixed bag, depending on how they’re implemented. Action adventure is such a huge genre that you’ll have a large spectrum of games within it. The ones that puts a lot of focus on shooting would probably cater a little bit more to PCs. However, if that’s not the main focus, it’ll probably work just as well on a console (i.e. GTA4). Action adventure games like Assassin’s Creed play much better on a console, especially with the auto-detect running platforming scheme that the game has. Platformers like Mirror’s Edge works well enough on a console, but I’d bet the PC version (if ported correctly) would be a little easier to control. It really moves just like a FPS, it just doesn’t put the emphasis on shooting. Platformers like Prince of Persia would definitely be smoother played on a console.

Well, those are my two cents? What brought about this blurb of mine? Well, there’s a slew of games I want to play, but I just don’t really want to play them on the 360. However, I’m also cheap and don’t want to buy the PC versions. Decisions…

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2 Responses to “The Genre’s Just Not That Into You”

  1. You may have grown up a PC gamer, but I’m the complete opposite. I only played consoled as a child, and therefore WASD is SO HARD for me!

    Great blog! But you left out your love of WoW and PSO! 😀

  2. Jesse…you’re so lame. WASD is just not that hard.

    Mark, I’m also a little confused as to why the PC hasn’t had some better RPGs, but I think in large part it’s Square’s fault for redefining RPGs.

    These days we have some cool games on PC like The Witcher that barely even get recognized as games–let alone RPGs–in part because of the fact that they don’t have spiky-haired, teenage protagonists who whine a lot…

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