Sunday, February 18, 2007 7:32 PM Zelda: The twilight princess

I really looked forward to playing this game. It was the beginning of a new era for me. The game was released a two days before my thesis defense. I would have the time and have no responsibilities to hold me back.

Ugh. That's about all I can say. The game has been severely tedious for me. Tonight I set aside a few hours to play it. I wanted to really sit down and enjoy it. But everywhere I go I'm presented with tedious tasks. Even worse than this is when tedious tasks turn out to be the wrong ones!

Take the entrance to Death mountain for instance. According to the story, I was to go there and save the day. So I happily headed out, ready to kick some ass. Right at the beginning I'm met by a Goron who throws me off of the cliff. Just before he strikes me a message pops up telling me to press "A". But my reflexes aren't fast enough. So I climb back up the cliff (which is 30 more seconds of boring) to try again. This time I press "A" in time. But I'm slowly pushed to the edge and thrown off the cliff. "Huh?" I think. I climb back up (30 more seconds). This time I stop before I get too close and think about it. What am I supposed to do. Maybe I should try to get closer to him before he hits me so that I have time to stop him. Nope. As soon as he starts rolling towards me, I'm prevented from moving forward (or backwards)?!!. And I'm thrown off again. There are no messages telling me what I'm doing wrong. Everything in the game up to this point has told me I'm supposed to be here. But I have no clue what I'm supposed to do. I think about it more, I consider all my options. I explore the surrounding area looking for a clue, or an alternate passage. Nothing.

So ... I try again. After a few more unsuccessful tries, I'm almost dead. I head back to town to collect some hearts. As I exit the area I'm met by the town elder who informs me that it's impossible for me to go that way at this point. I should go back to my hometown and talk to person X. Thanks.

Thanks for fucking wasting my time.

1 comment:

Mike said...

"What is needed is the creation of a language of game drama, in the academic sense: a set of established conventions that will allow the player to read a setback as good storytelling, and not a slip-up on their part.
Not only do we need to invent a language of game drama, but we need to teach gamers to speak it fluently. We’re not talking about a revolution overnight. The language wants time to develop. First, players must be weaned off of the constant positive reinforcement of classic gaming. We must start with relatively minor setbacks, or a few big, memorable ones, until gamers are acclimated, thus opening the door to more nuanced and authentic dramatic experience. The current crop of gamers is impatient of stories and their trappings, because our stories are mostly bad and we tell them awkwardly. But when they get a few more tastes of what games can be, they’ll be back. They will be back, and they will beg us for more.

-- Losing For the Win: Defeat and Failure in Gaming

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