WHY I HATE PC
GAMERS, PARTS 1-10
Part 1: Iím Not A Racist ButÖ
gaming PC is an amazing piece of hardware. With much more raw power
than any console, capable of far superior graphics and glorious
surround sound, equipped with near-infinite versatility of control
and able to access data with lightning speed from massive hard
drives, the PC is the greatest games machine in the world. Or at
least, it would be if it wasnít for YOU.
This month, Iíve mostly been playing
Raiden 3. When it originally came out on the Playstation 2 in late
2005 I made it my Game Of The Year, but the subsequent PC version is
the only way to play it at its best. Itís a vertical-aspect 2D
shoot-Ďem-up, so playing it on a normal telly just canít compare to
the gorgeous two-foot-high display I get when I rotate my lovely
crisp PC monitor through 90 degrees and set the game to its native
ďTateĒ mode (which is what the Japanese call vertical-screen games
for some reason). Sitting at a desk just 18 inches from the picture,
the graphics are so big it feels like youíre right there, your Mark
2 fighter darting around at body speed like a champion boxer in the
ring at Madison Square Gardens, a single oasis of tranquility and
concentration as tumultuous mayhem explodes all around you.
The other day, I pulled off a
near-perfect scoring run through the first stage. With breathtaking
co-ordination, reflex and daring, I blasted every enemy at
point-blank range for the maximum score multipliers, retrieved every
hidden medal and finished off the boss without using any smart bombs
in order to snag the points bonus for saving them. I saved the
replay for posterity and to impress passing girls, and decided to
watch it just to check that I really was as awesome as I thought.
For some inexplicable reason, though, the replay menu is in Japanese
despite all the other menu options being in English (this sort of
thing is a bizarrely common phenomenon in Japanese games Ė itís like
having the audio options in the UK release of Call Of Duty 4 be in
Arabic), and as a result, rather than watching my virtuoso attack
run in all its considerable glory, I deleted it instead. And thatís
the first reason I hate PC gamers.
The problem (well, the first problem)
with PC gamers, yísee, is that theyíre closed-minded snobs. Raiden 3
is a masterpiece of design elegance and sophistication, but itís
easy to understand and easy to play and that means that PC gamers Ė
at least those in the Western hemisphere - will never accept it,
because theyíre incapable of seeing sophistication unless itís
signposted with inch-thick manuals and 65 different control keys.
And because snobby Western PC gamers wonít accept anything that
resembles an arcade or console game, genius like Raiden 3 doesnít
get a Western release with Western text that would save unfortunate
players from deleting their hard-won replay files.
Oddly, despite their fondness for tiny
electronics and RPGs, the Asian market a lot less hostile to the PC
as an all-encompassing games format than youíd expect. They embrace
it for its endless flexibility, and in doing so make it twice the
platform it is over here (where genre bigotry is seeing overall PC
game sales ghettoise and die at a frightening rate). When a machine
can do so much, itís a crime that snotty Westerners turn their noses
up at half of what the world of gaming can offer, just because it
isnít complicated and elitist and exclusionary enough for them. Man,
I really hate those guys.