Tears for Gears

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Today I woke up and thought to myself, holy dammit, I’m going to stand the blogging world on its head with a post that reinvents, nay, transcends the very blogging medium itself. Or I could just complain about Gears of War. I flipped a coin, and waddayaknow?

But seriously, I don’t quite have the sloppy make-outs for this game the way a lot of people do. My top 5 problems with the 2-million-selling likely game-of-the-year are as follows:

1. I Want to Pick Up teh Ammos. Every time you walk by a stray ammunition clip lying on the ground, the game asks you–tremulously, as if in fear of rejection–whether or not you want to pick it up. If you do, you have to hit X to pick it up. Seriously, under what circumstances would I not want to pick up ammo? You just picture Marcus looking at a tasty clip of torque bow quarrels on the ground and thinking, should I, shouldn’t I? It’s OK, ammo. I want you. You can take me for granted.

2. I Look Like a Monster. And so do all my friends. Maybe I ruined my eyes playing Loderunner in 9th grade, but I have a hell of a time telling my buddies apart from the grubs, which makes it tricky to know whom to shoot/run away from and who to go for beers with afterwards. Everybody’s so darn grey and burly.

3. I Can’t Jump Off a Cliff. I always feel a little insulted by games that install invisible safety railings everywhere to keep players from falling into pits and chasms and whatnot. It breaks the illusion, and it’s kind of infantilizing. If I can’t walk off that ledge into that huge bubbling golden pond of juice, why did they make it look so delicious? Though I’m sure if they let me I’d be complaining about that, too.

4. Bury Me Where I Fell. Or at least somewhere near it. When you die in Gears of War single-player, it takes you all the way back to the beginning of whatever scenario you were in the middle of. Which is fine. Except that some of those scenarios begin with in-ter-min-able voice acting sequences and cut scenes. I’ve been assaulting that underground pumping station for quite a while now, and it’s pretty and all, but every time I die, I go back to the beginning of the assault. I have listen to Cole be amazed at how much imodium there is, or whatever it’s called. Somebody asks me how much I think it’s worth. I say “I don’t think I can count that high.” I pick up the torque bow. And on and on. It’s like Groundhog Day without Andi McDowell.

5. It’s Really Hard. Sympathy? Anybody? Damn you.

If anybody’s not tired of disagreeing with me yet, here’s a link to my Top 10 Games of the Year for 2006.

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