I knew this was a bad idea to start a blog with Remy. Due to his persistent and insidious prodding I went out and bought myself a large hi-def screen and an <shame>xbox360</shame>
In my defense the screen is still technically a computer monitor (a highly recommended Dell UltraSharp 2707WFP 27)
So throwing off the chains of prejudice that I have been swinging around my head, usual aimed at console gaming and consoler gamers (aka: baboons), I booted up the machine (nb. to justify my purchase I’m going to use as much PC terminology as possible when talking about my Xbox). Mucho to my disgust I was already enjoying the experience. A few seconds later it was on, no passwords to put in or bios screens to negotiate. Even connecting it to my home network was a doddle. And I was so looking forward to failing at it so I would have a chance to gripe about it! Damn!
So sticking in my new purchase of Ninja Gaiden 2 it started up within a few seconds and the graphics are gorgeous! So as a PC user my first port of call is the options menu to start optimising the sound, graphics and controls to get it running as crash free and efficiently as possible. And what do I find!? Nothing! NO options, NO graphics sliders, NO control configurations…how do they play the game then?!?
Then suddenly it all made sense. This is why people use consoles. It’s gaming with no faff. It was such a liberating feeling. I dove straight into the game and loved the smooth controls, the lovely graphics and amazing animation (as in the first Ninja Gaiden game I played on the XBOX). It was already obvious that a lot more effort and detail has gone into this than any PC game in recent history. This elation with my new gaming experience came crashing down around my ears a few hours into it. First the graphical tearing, then the frame rate dropping and finally a complete system failure. I wasn’t sure if I should be happy or disappointed; happy that the console gaming experience wasn’t a flawless nirvana or disappointed for the exact same reason. At least resetting the game didn’t take too long.
My next experience was to try out Halolz 3. Again, beautifully cinematic. But the moment the gameplay began I forgave my clunky and expensive PC all its past sins. The FPS experience on a console controller is unbearable after playing at high levels with the mouse/keyboard. It’s slow, sluggish and awkward with no finesse (like a bicycling hippo). The fact that it requires assisted aiming means that it is the wrong way of doing it. With a different control input it would be fine, but with the standard game-pads it doesn’t work. I can now understand why Remy has never had a chance to get on with this genre of game.
So to conclude this extremely abridged comparison between console and PC gaming: they are both great and flawed gaming platforms. Some games work better on the PC and some on the Xbox.
However, this is a pointless argument as the best gaming platform has already come and gone. None are as awesome as: