Sometimes games can do things that make you so angry you just can’t take it. We’ve all had these experiences, whether we were escorting some brainless AI through enemy fire or simply listening to your characters guiding fairy yell at you for twenty minutes strait. Here are the rest of our geeks tales of gaming rage in this second installment of Getting to Know Your Geek.
Robin Meijer (Staff Writer)
Usually, I consider myself to be a pretty relaxed fellow. However, there is one thing that can that can send me into an unstoppable Krogan-rage, and that is the occurrence of random deaths in multiplayer games. Unfortunately for me, when I play Call of Duty online, I generally experience long strings of seemingly random or (in my opinion) unfair deaths. It almost appears as if the game actively discourages players to think and do anything other than running around aimlessly waiting for someone to accidentally walk into their crosshairs. This in itself isn’t so bad: many other games like Quake, Halo and Unreal were highly successful in turning such Run ‘n Gun gameplay into something highly enjoyable. However, these games had one major difference… they didn’t bother pretending that employing tactics would be successful and in these games, you don’t die from two rounds to your left foot.
The problem I have with Call of Duty is that while the game seems to suggest that crouching and aiming down sights would be an advantage in terms of accuracy, the killcams I watch continuously seem to suggest otherwise. Players that rush into the room and start to empty their clips in my general direction still seem to have better odds of survival than I do if I am partially sitting behind cover, firing short bursts at their heads while aiming down my sights. Attempting to employ similar tactics never results in success… as whatever I do, whatever weapon I bring and how incredibly retarded I try to play, it always seems like my opponents outmatch my stupidity and spray harder,more randomly and are therefore more successful. If anger and rage indeed draw one to the Dark side of the Force, playing Call of Duty makes me turn into Darth Robin without a necessity for any further training.
Trevor Faulkner (Contributing Writer)
I have never been closer to strangling myself with a Wii nunchuck than when I tried to play Zack and Wiki. “Give it a try,” everyone told me, “It’s the most underrated Wii game out there.” Little did I know that this was going to be the gaming equivalent of watching the haunted VHS from The Ring.
The moronic trial and error puzzle system in Zack and Wiki could only have been made by Satan himself. You turned a crank counter-clockwise; you get eaten by snakes. You walk up some stairs too early; you’re crushed by a boulder. Need to get past that gorilla? Well I hope you deduced that you needed to bring some fire from the beginning of the stage that we gave no mention that you could or should interact with and as you slowly turn to backtrack the whole level, that’s right, a gorilla just snapped your neck. WHY!? Why must I work my way through a three minute puzzle for four hours just because I have to do every facet of the stage over and over again to trial-and-error perfectly while watching my retarded pirate avatar grunt like a horny ape for zero reward. Just hearing the words Zack and Wiki make me want to throw my Wii across the room, which would be easy seeing as it’s filled with nothing but children’s dreams and smiles.
Patrick Feng (Editor)
The game that really made the veins in my forehead pop out with rage was Tom Clancy’s Endwar and its voice commands. I have to admit, being a huge strategy and RTS fan, I was really psyched for this game because of the use of voice commands even though, honestly, it makes you sound like an idiot when your roommate hears you shouting orders to the TV. Once I started getting into the game, I was in for a rude awakening. Although some basic commands were able to register, I found myself having to manually click some of my units to redirect them to do what I had originally intended them to do because apparently I can’t speak. I started speaking with different accents just for fun to see how the game would react. If you have a thick Indian or Cantonese accent, the voice command would be a very bad feature for you.
So, I guess that defines me as a gamer. I’m not the type to force myself to finish a game just because it’s there. I do the same with books, television and movies. If I don’t like them, I close the book, turn the channel or eject the movie. Games are a source of stress relief to me and not the other way around.
Jesse Baguchinsky (Staff Writer)
Back in early 2007 when I was the owner of a shiny new Nintendo Wii, I decided to purchase Sonic and the Secret Rings because of the generally positive reviews. Expecting at least a decent adventure, I put the disk into my Wii and started it up. That is when the fury started. The story is a bastardization of The Arabian Nights where famous characters are replaced with characters from the Sonic series. That alone made me want to shut the game off and block all memories of it, but I pressed on. The structure of the mission select screen made little sense to me, so I just picked one and went with it and that is when I saw red.
To play this game you hold the Wiimote sideways. Sonic moves along a preset course, and it is your job to speed him up, slow him down and make him jump. A huge problem with this right off the bat is there are only three speeds: top speed, completely motionless, and reverse. This means that you will more than likely have to replay the levels over and over again until you memorize the location of every obstacle, gap and deathtrap because odds are you will be going too fast to react to them on your first play through. I threw down the Wiimote when I got to a section with moving spiked balls you had to jump over and run past. I could not get past that part for the life of me, and I promptly traded the game in thinking “if only they let me use the classic controller.”
Matt Paasche (Editor)
I have to be honest and say that although I am a bit of a completionist, my patience for bad design is either to great or not great enough. It was very hard to recall a moment in a game where I felt the amount of fury that the answer to this question deserves. In the end the only answer I could come up with was one where everything was entirely my fault.
The year was 2000 and I had just gotten Heroes III of Might and Magic. I was playing through the singleplayer campaign with great success. I was at the very last level when I had gotten a bit cocky and strayed too far from my home city with too many troops. As I was basking in the glory of having slain a squad of Black Dragons in order to attain a most powerful artifact, I noticed the rival teams top shot hero on my mini map, dangerously close to my home city. I immediately saved my game and set the course home. The rival hero, however, had a much easier route to travel towards my city, and ended up reaching it just before me (one turn). I had left about half of my army behind to protect the city and had the other half with me. The rival hero had a formidable force, but not one I couldn’t defeat if only I could gather my army. He won the battle for my home city with moderate losses. As the turn ended I was furious that I had lost half my army and home city, which I had spent over 10 hours to achieve. Motivated by anger I stampeded to the gates of my city to confront my nemesis. I had weakened his force during the last battle, but now he had the advantage of a fully upgraded castle with defensive positions, traps and turrets. After a long and tedious battle he once again emerged victorious, but only just. Frustrated I loaded the save I had made when he first appeared on my minimap and tried again, and again, and again, and again… After what must have been over 20 attempted I had exhausted every possible tactic I could think of. I had tried pulling my home army out of the castle to reunite them with my main hero. I had attempted different routes home in hope of reaching the city before he did. I had used up every single spell and tried all thinkable battlefield tactics. But nothing worked, I was so close to finishing the game and refused to give up. I remember being beyond frustrated that our forces were so evenly matched, yet victory was always miles away no matter what I did. Loading an earlier save was out of the question as it was almost 8 hours of game time back. It didn’t help that he was Undead either; one of the weakest factions in the game, just taunting me with his silly Skeleton Dragon thingamajigs. Bloody zombies!
Eliot Hagen (Video Editor & Staff Writer)
As I mentioned in the comments on Part 1 of this feature, the segment of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune with the upstream vehicle segment was absolute torture. It completely destroyed the flow of the game and had me flinging profanities left and right. But few things elicit a blue streak from me more than when I’m having a bad round in a Call of Duty multiplayer match. It’s at that point that I graduate to a new level of swearing and anger, making up one-syllable words to express my fury. Aside from that, fiendishly difficult games will always get a rise out of me. The rat race segment of Battletoads will always infuriate me–and I’ve yet to beat it–and there’s nothing like a wasted quarter in Ghosts n’ Goblins.
There you have it, professional geek’s tales of sheer gaming rage. I hope you’ve gotten to know us a little better, but if not it’s okay. Getting to Know Your Geek will be back next month to share more stories of geekyness. In the meantime, let us get to know you a little better. What was your biggest gaming rage moment?