Let Off Some Steam

Let Off Some Steam is a new section where we let you guys get something off your chest – it can be a vitriol laced rant, a sappy love letter to whatever, or anything inbetween. Send your magic words in this direction, and try and keep it under 600 words. Today it's the turn of our very own Jimu Hsien, who is a bit angry at stripped down console ports.

The Stripping Down of Console Ports

When Dragon Age: Origins was first announced I was super excited, I began to watch all the preview videos and interviews. I even watched the parody special edition video with the dwarven sausage.

One thing that I remember seeing in the previews was the overhead view, Bioware had created a modern the game, so of course you could take the camera down into the action and get a good close-up. But being the nice guys that they are, they kept the old classic view, so you could play like all the old isometric RPGs of PCs past.

I thought it was a fantastic idea, when games transitioned into 3D one of the big problems I had was being so close - don’t get me wrong I love it, but being able to pull the view back that far returns me to a comfort zone from my childhood, it helps me calm down in tense gaming situations.

Imagine my surprise when I turn on my 360 play and decide to check out that old school view they were raving about. Where the hell was it? Was I not pressing the correct button? Not using the analogue correctly? No, turns out someone at some point in the game’s port from PC to 360 decided to remove the option.

Why did they decide to remove it? Because they 'knew' that console gamers wouldn’t make use of it, console gamers don’t want it. Whaaa???!!!

I’m a console gamer. I wanted it. Since when did ALL console gamers become allergic to certain views?

I imagine there are some ex-PC gamers out there who bought the game on 360 that wanted it, I imagine there are some current PC gamers out there who for one reason or another were forced to buy it on a console - I’m pretty sure they wanted it.

And that brings me to my topic - the stripping down games during a port. Being a console gamer I’m used to this sort of thing. When I was growing up we only had 16 bits, so all those cool arcade games lost all sorts of things and any games ported over from PC were almost jokes they were so stripped down.

But these days that isn’t an excuse, consoles are almost as powerful as PCs these days, there aren’t enough technical limitations holding developers, or whoever, back from delivering the exact same experience across the board. Fair enough the interfaces are different, I don’t expect to be using a mouse (although why 360s don’t have the functionality is beyond me). Something as simple as a view change being removed boggles the mind.

It seems to me that it would be harder to remove a function than just leaving it in.

What is it that inspires companies to make these kinds of decisions?

Why do console gamers get treated like 5 year olds?

Who was responsible?

Can’t we all just get along?

What do you guys think? Are console gamers getting the short end of the proverbial stick here? Let us know in the comments below.


    ...why not just play it on PC? I'm much more concerned about this the other way around - the dumbing or 'consoletardification' of PC games.

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