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Ask a Dork: Multi-platform Gaming

“What factors go into your decision when deciding between multi-plat games? Which are given priorities? Ever been burnt?”

At the moment I mostly consider my Xbox 360 to be my main console. I have a PlayStation 3 and Wii, but I usually prefer the overall experience a little more on Xbox. Because I have this innate preference towards Microsoft-oriented gaming, I typically only buy titles for other systems when they are exclusives. Because of this Modus Operandi, I have at times been burned by buyer’s remorse. The long and the short is that not all multi-platform releases are made equal.

Usually, a game is created with a specific system in mind and only reengineered for other consoles post-release. Such was the case when I mistakenly purchased Bayonetta for PlayStation 3 instead of my beloved Xbox 360. Holy crap, was that game ever in need of patching. The weird thing about that situation wasn’t that the game itself was broken or unplayable, but rather that, much like Devil May Cry, successful playthroughs were predicated upon tight controls and seamless action. Framerate issues and control glitches plagued the original release before the title was patched by SEGA. Unfortunately, by that point, my taste for the game had already soured.

Another annoying case of buyers remorse was coupled with my purchase of The Last Remnant for Xbox 360. This title was the first stand alone Square Enix release for both Xbox 360 and PC. It was also SE’s first foray with the Unreal Engine, and it shows as framerate and clipping issues make the game chug along whenever a battle is initiated. Realistically speaking, the game shouldn’t have been released in this state, but visual lag isn’t the only reason why I regret the purchase. The Last Remnant was nigh unplayable near the end of the game, as the battle system lacked proper strategic balance. Square Enix was kind enough to eventually rectify this issue with a patch. Unfortunately, that patch was only available for PC users of the game. As such, I was left with an RPG that I was legitimately interested in, but couldn’t play because it barely ran and even when it did the odds were stacked against me. I finally got rid of my copy of this game just a few weeks ago because I got tired of looking at the case in my collection.

Finally, I felt pretty burnt after my purchase of Silent Hill: HD Collection. It’s no secret that I am a pretty massive fan of the Silent Hill series, so it should come as no surprise that this lackluster rerelease really let me down. Sure, Silent Hill 2 & Silent Hill 3 played well enough, but in an effort to create an “HD release,” fog was removed from environments and what was left in plain sight wasn’t pretty. Gritty untextured buildings, fuzzy looking puzzles, and laughably out of place bodies of water polluted both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of this game, but only the PlayStation 3 received an official patch. Konami apologised to Xbox 360 owners for their development idiocy and offered minor reimbursements, but the damage was done. I’m surely not going to trust another HD release from that company.

In the end, the only times I’ve ever really felt burnt were when I purchased what were ultimately broken games that should have been shipped in the first place. I can’t whine and bitch about developers giving me and numerous other gamers the shaft in their patch preferences when I ultimately was too dumb to read the reviews and avoid the purchase altogether.

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Trent Seely

I'm not that crazy about me either.

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