Delayed Responsibility

I Shouldn't Be Gaming Right Now… But I Am!


Posted by deckard47 on September 30, 2009

Busy lately, as the drab, bare pages of recent days would indicate. This is partly due to my own laziness but (I would hasten to add) is also partly due to a crapload of reviews (NFS: Shift, Wallace and Gromit Ep. 3, Monkey Island Ep. 3, Red Alert Commander’s Challenge [I know… Really?], and an editorial). Which makes me sound so diligent. It’s also due to Dead Space on the PC being “only” 30 dollars. I know, I know. Really Tom?

It’s interesting how playing the game on the PC highlights several things I probably took for granted before. First, the aiming is ass slow. It’s so slow I have the mouse sensitivity up to 100%, something I never do. And it still isn’t enough. It makes the elephantine, sloth-like camera in Mass Effect look like a fucking cheetah. Second, the game is very very pretty. It really is. My computer is absolutely up to the task, and I, being a bold man, went into the ATI widget thingie and artificially bumped up all of the settings. So it looks really amazing. Third (and most importantly), it’s scary. I’m not sure what happened during my first playthrough, but the presence of the stupid sped-up slashing guys really bored me. In the early game, the devs were much more willing to slow things down, cut off the flow of bad guys, and just let weird sounds and whispers fill the air. Oh, and it helps that as a PC gamer this time round, I’m sitting a foot from the screen. When something starts eating my face (only twice, so far!), I feel the spray of my own arterial fluids.

By the way, how many people really think that sitting on a couch 10 feet from the screen is an optimal setting for interesting, fulfilling experiences? It means that I have to turn up the brightness and sound just to see and hear half of my games, and it means I miss all of the little details to distance and aliasing (because, cats and kittens, let’s not even talk about the difference in visual fidelity between my 360 and my PC, especially in Dead Space. I don’t want to start crying again). I suppose for racing games, sports games, and some of the more loose, fun action adventure games like Ratchet and Clank and Tomb Raider, it actually works. These games definitely feel better from afar, lounging (as I’m want to do) on a splendid IKEA couch.

For games like Drake’s Fortune or Prince of Persia (man, when I break down and pick that shit up on Steam, I expect to be blown away), or Thief 3 (or Deus Ex, which, like an amazing bottle of scotch, drew me back in the other day. It is so delicious), I want to be close up to the narratives and stories being told. I mean, how else will I count the stubbles on Drake’s face?

So this post is partly a rant about couch gaming, partly another, “glowing” (ironic, that!) look at Dead Space, and an explanation of how I am Steam’s man, no matter how far I run. Fail.


One Response to “Mini-Post”

  1. Eric said

    I have a middle ground between couch gaming and desk gaming– I have a comfy-ish chair that i’ll pull up really close to my TV. It also has an ottoman for a more relaxing experience. Playing a game from the couch just seems way too far away; the elements of the game are generally too small to see well from that distance. I’ll do it sometimes when I don’t really need to see what’s going on, like with Fable 2 where you just lock on and mash the fire button.

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