Bad Design 4

It’s nobody’s favorite time again, time to be anal retentive about game design! This column is usually filled with great games that messed up in a few spots. Today’s entry is different because two of the three games are barely tolerable.

Hell hounds? More like heck hounds!

Heroes of Might and Magic 3: Lack of Interesting Conflict — Heroes 3 has the same problem War Craft 2 had. You either win a tremendous victory, or get your ass completely destroyed. There is very little middle ground in the game and even fewer turn arounds. While it may be just because I suck at the game, I never start a game losing and then slowly make a come from behind victory. I build a massive force and crush the enemy quickly, get devastated, or slowly lose more and more ground with each battle. →  Read the rest

Bad Design 4

Today I’ll be complaining about the excellent KoToR, the ancient Heroes III and the crappy Samurai Western. As usual, I lied last time when I said this entry would be looking at an issue in Final Fantasy X. Maybe next time.

Hit A. HIT A!

Knights of the Old Republic: Bad Immersion — The characters in KoToR (for the Xbox) make reference to your controller. This makes no sense whatsoever and derails any believability. It is the equivalent to an actor in a movie showing the script to the camera and asking the audience to take a look at line 36. Some comedies do this and even pull it off (Mel Brooks writes excellent jokes about the characters being aware that they’re not real) but in serious drama it should probably be avoided. →  Read the rest

Oblivion, breasts, the ESRB and you

Another video game character with average proportions.


As I write this article, I am playing a few bouts of King of Fighters ’99. Oh how simple it was back then. Just a collection of sprites, no nude codes or hacking or anything profane, aside from the odd Mai animation.

These days things are a bit different. We have PC’s for modding, and a larger fanbase of gamers and developers who don’t know when to quit. In case you’re wondering, I am referring to the changing of Oblivion’s rating from Teen to Mature due to the discovery of topless female models (and also due to more violence and gore than previously thought, but I call BS on that). If you are to read all of the opinions and news posts about this, then all of the following are true:

– The “mod” uses data that Bethesda already put in the game. →  Read the rest