We can’t always get what we want in life — and as gamers, we know this more than most.
From crappy releases from your favourite developer to having poor online connection, we have all had our share of bad experiences.
But what would be a gamer’s darkest nightmare? I dare to list the very worst things that can happen to a gamer. Read on… only if you dare face your greatest fears head-on.
Losing a Save
Have you ever invested hours into a game just to see all of that progress disappear in the blink of an eye? If you are a gamer from the PS2 era or earlier then you most certainly have. In all likeliness it was more than just hours, it was probably days worth of grinding out levels and farming loot.
Memory cards were so easy to lose— and even easier for a sibling to abuse. When I was little I can remember physically shaking in rage as my younger brothers accidentally saved over my 40+ hours on Final Fantasy VII for sodding Harry Potter and his pissing Philosopher’s Stone. I had all the of the limit breaks but they had just beaten Malfoy with wizard crackers and apparently that was more important.
It is still possible for a save game to corrupt today and our progress to be wiped out in an instant but it is far rarer than the wild-west days of memory cards thanks to the dawn of the magical and omnipotent “cloud”.
What’s worse than not being able to access your saved game? Not being able to access the game at all! Especially when you have come home from a busy day, dying to stick your current favourite game on, just to find that it doesn’t work. The disc is scratched, most likely due to your brothers not looking after it properly.
What makes this situation more frustrating is the lengths you go to try and fix your problem. You’ll try cleaning it with a cloth, perhaps try and use a bit of toothpaste that someone suggested in a YouTube video, and if you’re really desperate you might even try taking it to the shops for a professional clean. No matter what you do, it always ends up with you hitting your disc drive in the blind hope that you can jump-start the blasted thing. You never know, it may work… nah.
An Awkward Autosave
When autosaves first started appearing regularly in games, I can not tell you how much of a relief it was. No longer did you have to suffer the agony of desperately trying to find a save point after being told it was lights out.
But there was a downside that came with these autosaves: when they saved right at the wrong moment. I think most Fallout 3 players will have had that heartbreaking experience when they accidentally picked up something while leaving a shop. The game would save as you exited into the town of Megaton, and all of the townspeople would turn on you in an flash. You were nothing but a low-life thief in their eyes now. Don’t worry about the things I did to help the town; just blow me to smithereens for taking that empty Nuka-Cola bottle. You go to reload your progress before realising the last time you manually saved you were in Vault 101. Nothing left but to nuke the town.
A Terrible Sequel
All of the above points deal with losing a save or not being able to play the game. What is much more hurtful to a gamer, though, is for the games we love to be tarnished with a sequel or prequel that ruins the integrity of the franchise. It happens far too often when a flawless title is hurt by a sequel that just can’t compare.
I cannot tell you how excited I was to play Fable 3. Fable 2 was a masterpiece of witty humour and exciting beat-em up combat all combined with a story that was thought-provoking and interesting. Decisions you made seemed to make a huge impact on the world and this was a joy to behold. Its sequel promised the same and failed miserably. The combat was less complex, the humour was whittled down and the story was too black and white. It hurt the series so much that there hasn’t been a proper instalment since.
I remember getting up bright and early, rushing downstairs and going straight down to my PlayStation when I was a child. I was ready to spend my time playing the day away. But before I managed to do that I would look out of the window and hope for rain. I loved the rain so much as a child because it meant one thing: I wasn’t going to be forced outside.
Good weather would mean playing football or cricket with my dad and the rest of the family when I could just as happily be inside glaring at a CRT monitor. They thought it would be good for me and that I would cherish these moments now I am older, but how wrong they were. The moments I cherished were the minutes I spent mowing down civilians in Grand Theft Auto III. Even today I feel forced by society to venture beyond my sofa when the sun comes out. Thank god I live in England.
Dinner is ready
If I was lucky enough to be spending the day indoors glued to the television then there was only one other distraction that I faced: food. “Dinner is ready, get off your computer,” the slave driver that is my mother would say, forcing me away from everything I held dear.
Unlucky for me I was born a mortal man and even without my pesky family bothering me, I still find a need for food. Too much time I have spent eating hot meals instead of driving over pedestrians, saving princesses from castles and feeding my sims.
I thought life would be more fun as an adult, without my mum telling me to stop playing videogames, but alas, this is not the case. Instead the corporate cogs of capitalism turn and slowly drive me away from my consoles. Every day I must wake up and instead of tuning into the world of high fantasy, I must instead drag myself to work. The man may be keeping me down but he is also taking my toys away from me — and that is not on. I could be tending to crops in Farming Simulator, but instead I’m plugging away at spreadsheets. Luckily mobile gaming is a thing and I can sneak way to the toilet and play Angry Birds as I pretend to squeeze one out.
The only thing that is a bigger drain on your time than work is a bloody relationship. Your other half will constantly whinge that you don’t spend time with them. They will come home to you sitting on the sofa and complain that you need to work on your personal issues, saying that you spend too much time with a controller in your hand.
That is unfair; they should’ve known what is important to me as a gamer when they decided to date. It was fine when we used to play Mario Kart together, back then it was great that I was a gamer, it made me interesting and different. But it has been downhill since then. I’m sorry, but it isn’t my fault that Duke Nukem Forever doesn’t have a local co-op mode.
Just leave me alone and let me play Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball in peace.