Saturday, May 07, 2005

Quality Control at the Ol' Game Factory

Last weekend I went to the homestead of my cousin Lisa, her hubby Bill, and their dog… um… I don't remember. Not important. Anyhoo, Bill had a copy of Star Wars Battlefront on his Playstation. It was a bit of fun, so I decided (Joe would like to interject here that the dog's name is Hailey. Thanks, Joe.) to purchase a copy. I found one cheap for about $35 (I refuse to pay over $35 for ANY video game.) Joe is p.o.'d at me because I won't let him play, but I don't think kiddies should play FPS. Even I have SOME scruples.

There were LOTS of problems installing it. Looking on the internet, I found that oodles of people are having problems (cd keys not working, Windows XP rejecting disks) with installing LucasArts games lately. Lucas' support site had my problem listed (XP rejecting disks in the middle of the install) and had a very long convoluted way of attempting to fix it- no guarantees. I finally got it up and running.

Sadly this is the state of software games today: Charge $55 for a game, and then have no quality control whatsoever before its released. (I could bitch here about how terrible Civilization 3 is compared to Civilization 2, how instead of linking videos they had onscreen text (!) and their quality control was so low that the first patch had to be to correct spelling errors in the text links! They didn't even bother to spellcheck!)

Even sadder is that when you play the movie mode of the game, there is no derivation in the game storyline from the movie, no matter what happens. For example, you play the Star Wars (I refuse to call it A New Hope. It's Star F**king Wars.) levels, you're playing as Storm Troopers. But when you win, the Death Star gets blown up anyway, and you have to go on to the Empire Strikes Back to continue as Rebels! Oh wait- I get it now! It's just a game where I run around shooting everything that's in front of me! It doesn't matter who's side I'm on- nothing interesting happens if I "win" or "lose." How silly of me, expecting some imagination in a game.

What leaves the realm of sadness and enters the level of freaking depressing is that LucasArts used to make the greatest games in the world, which read as follows:
1 Grim Fandango (you can still find out about this on LucasArt's site, in the Classics- that is- not a Star Wars game, which is all they want to plug these days.) This is the best game ever made. Period.
2. Day of the Tentacle. (This is a very close second with G.F. for the greatest game in the world. And it was made in what, 1992? Sad, isn't it?)
3. Sam & Max Hit the Road. (you're a sick little monkey, Max)
4. Dark Forces II- Jedi Knight. This far surpassed Jedi Knight II, because at least here you could choose about halfway through to be on the light or dark side- and the game levels / cutscenes changed accordingly! Gasp- gameplay affecting the storyline! What an innovative idea for a FPS! (Can you believe NO ONE has ever done this again since?)
5. Tie Fighter.

2 & 3 cannot even be found on Lucas's site anymore. What's more, Lucas has absolutely no support to get them running on today's machines. Fortunately, there's a free program you can find- SCUMMVM, that lets you play these old Lucas games on your modern OS- some of them EVEN ON YOUR PALM!

Anyway, enough bitching. Go play Hack. Why are the classics always the best?

-TTFN
Tony

1 comment:

french toast girl said...

You know how I feel about Hack - it's the greatest game, ever, period.

Other than Day of the Tentacle, we also dug Indiana Jones' Desktop Adventures and Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis. where yes, what you do affects the storyline.

Write George a letter and see if he writes back.

love, me