I missed the last Banter, so when bs angel sent out the email for this month's Banter, I immediately set aside some time for it. There was no way I was going to miss two in a row!
The topic of this month's banter is how flawed games prevented us from completing them. Interesting. Easy choice.
I say so because, if there is one game that I think of when I hear the word flaw, one game which I tried again and again to "get into" and complete, that would be: Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor. It's one major flaw: the interface. Funny in a way, since the topic of our latest Drone Bay podcast was the EVE Online overview and how one could customize it to his or her liking.
Pool of Radiance was my first PC game. The first I bought myself, the first that I had anticipated, the first I had counted the days before its launch. I even bought a new graphic card for it, because my PC at the time, an IBM PC300, wasn't up to par. I remember loading it and launching the game the first time. The excitement, the trepidation! And then... the disappointment.
At first I thought it was me. Somehow I just didn't "get" the menu interface Stormfront had created. When I would approach a monster character and engaged it in combat, I would clumsily fumble trying to cast the right spell, or use the right weapon. Only to realize that I had selected somehow the wrong one. This kept happening over and over. For sure, as time went on, I would become more comfortable with the interface. Unfortunately, this was not the case.
Now, I'm not saying that the game wasn't enjoyable; the setting was great, the story was captivating, the graphics (back then) looked great, and eh, this was D&D! But for me, from the moment I started the game, the interface was a flaw I just couldn't get past. No matter how much time I'd spent trying to familiarize myself with it, it just didn't get through my thick skull. So I quit and moved on.
My next game was a gift from a friend at work. And what a game it was! Diablo II! Now there was a game with a simple, effective, easy to pick-up interface. That's what all developers should strive for. The interface of a game is something that they just can't get wrong. If they get it right no one notices, but if they get it wrong, they whole game is tainted by it. I don't mind a complex interface, or else I would go nuts playing EVE! But I, for one, am a follower of the "easy to learn, difficult to master" mantra. And that applies beautifully to a game's interface.
So how about you? What game(s) have you played and couldn't complete because of a perceived flaw you just couldn't get past?
Check out these other Blog Banter articles! Silvercublogger, Unfettered Blather, Triage Effect, Gamer Unit, Delayed Responsibility, Man Bytes Blog, Zath!, Draining Souls.net, Game Couch, 8-Bit Brigade, thoughts and rants, Hawty McBloggy.