Why The Tiny Text?

Why The Tiny Text?

deadrising.jpgI know I want to buy a high-def LCD TV. It’s instinct more than anything else – a warm, tingling sensation that emanates from my giblets and perfuses my being. It’s like lowering yourself slowly into a steaming hot bath.

If instinct alone wasn’t enough to justify such a purchase, I have a tangible reason as well.

Tiny text.

The first game I encountered with a microscopic font was Capcom’s Dead Rising. So there’s me, with my standard definition yet decently-sized CRT television. And then there’s Dead Rising sitting in the DVD tray of my 360, laughing at me like a hyena on crack as I squinted blood from my eyes.

I thought I was going blind. Again. I played with the brightness and contrast settings on my TV, moved my couch closer to the screen, and even contemplated jury-rigging some massive magnifying glass. My total lack of jury-rigging skills and fear of transparent materials quickly put an end to that plan.

Dead Rising wasn’t just a $90 game. It was a $90 game with a $1500 hidden fee. It’s maddening to think that Capcom almost made the same mistake with Lost Planet.

That was ages ago. I thought I was done with tiny text until I cracked open World Series of Poker 2008. Somehow Activision complete forgot about the whole Dead Rising/Lost Planet debacle and said “What the hell? 20/20 vision is for the weak!”

Thanks for reminding me just how inadequate my TV is. Thanks a lot, you arsehats. How hard is it to include extra fonts for those of us without oodles of cash to spend on high-end equipment, or are perfectly happy with our investment in CRT technology?

I’m no typeface expert, but I imagine it’s not that hard. If it is, then put a warning on the packaging.

Maybe I’m the only person in the world who still uses a CRT TV. Am I? I need comrades to rally to.


  • While I sympathise with the whole ‘tiny text’ issue, I’ve been playing Dead Rising on my 20″ Widescreen LCD Monitor, and I’m buying a 40″ LCD TV this week so… suffer?

    *hides from the ban hammer*

  • You’re not alone dear brother – and that is the reason why I’ve barely touched Dead Rising – I don’t doubt it’s a magnificent game in all it’s Zombie glory (and an excellent training tool for the inevitable zombie apocalypse), but I’ll be damned if I have to have my nose pressed up to the screen to play it.

    I want an LCD. I can’t afford an LCD (Yet). But I wont play Dead Rising until I know it works 😛

  • The tiny text is just a bi-product of the problems with this trend. LCD monitors and TVs dont and never will have the refresh rates to keep motion smooth and because it costs to much and isn’t as astheticly pleasing decent CRTs no longer exist in TV or Monitor form. Sure there are plasmas but who wants a TV that dies in a few years and has channel watermarks burned into them.

    The whole situation makes me very sad on the inside. Its just a shame that now I have the 16:10 aspect ratio I could never think of turning back.

  • Unless my CRT dies a sudden death I refuse to enter the HD era.
    When the lifespan increases, contrast ratios improve, HD Tuners and Hard Drives are built in and the prices come down to working class can afford levels I’ll reconsider.

  • I’m more concerned that you were playing World Series of Poker 2008 than the tiny text thing.

    Friends of mine still use CRT televisions for gaming and discovered that CoD4 has unreadable text as well.

    You know, I’d recommend purchasing a 24″ BenQ monitor if you’re going to be gaming though. Can pick them up for under $1000 and work perfectly well as either a computer monitor and gaming screen. Includes component, HDMI, S-vid, DVI and other connections too. Got my PS3, Xbox 360 and laptop hooked up to it and it works perfectly well. Of course, it doesn’t come with a remote and you can’t watch television on it.

    But really, who still watched television?

  • Dead rising was one of the games i first got when I got my 360. About a week later i had a 26″ samsung that i got for $700, standard definition can die. 🙂

  • While I agree with the article that there should be a warning on the box or large fonts included, I would also like to point out that you *can* play 360 in HD on the cheap: Just get the VGA cable (even the Joytech one – plus a VGA female – male adapter thing) and hook it up to a cheap but good CRT.
    I’ve done this and it looks great, even the fact that the screen isn’t flat doesn’t bother me – The picture quality is great, and that’s what matters. And all this from a screen a university gave me for free (they were throwing them out).
    So once I had my 360 I had HD gaming for about $30. The only downside is that the screen is small, so it’s not great for mutiplayer. But it’s excellent if you play mostly alone or on Live.

  • I hears ya man….G.R.A.W. was the same for me (Press indecipherable smudge to do what now?) and I’m using a 68cm Wega CRT TV. Silly me, I thought that would be fine.

    Would it kill developers to throw in a simple ‘font-size’ option for those of us without superhuman ocular abilities?

  • I’m finding it hard to believe that people are still using standard definition… x2 considering LCD monitors are just as good. Once you go HD, you can hardly play games the old way again.

    P.S. how the hell do you log in on this site… I have an actual account, Iddqd, but I just don’t know where to log in :s

  • Never encountered that problem until I started playing Mass Effect a few days ago. Damn the text is tiny and blurry. I’m hoping that my CRT TV will die a horrible death so I can get a HD TV but it just won’t die!

  • I used to be one of those CRT diehards… “Games look best on a CRT”… Technically, that may be true with contrast ratios and motion blur…

    Then I saw Ace Combat 6 on the 360 Elite on my 40in Bravia X… Oh. My. God.

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