Monday, March 21, 2011

a few deep breaths

Last week, I got that fond itch to get some racing in my gaming life and I decided to return to the explosively boom-tastic (that's real word, promise) game called Split/Second. As the game loaded, I cycled through the controls in my head to insure my return would be a glorious one. Not wasting any time, I jumped right into an Elite Race, in which you are faced against seemingly unbeatable odds, and was certain of my ranking as number one. I won't go into the gory details but I was squashed like a annoying mosquito against the windshields of my computer cohorts. Just rusty right?

Several attempts later, I was at my boiling point. My (seemingly) perfectly executed turns and 
meticulously timed traps left me crawling in at second or third place. You may be thinking, "Calm down big guy! Second place is pretty darn good in my book." Not up in here! We win in my house and the outcome of my efforts were simply infuriating. 

As the repeating cycle of, "pause, restart race, yes" continued I stopped for a second to collect my thoughts and take a little breather. I told the rabid chocobo in my head to chill out because after all, it's just a game dummy. I felt cool, calm and collected and started the race with a clear head. I won't sit here and tell you that I miraculously found my inner racer and plowed through the meager attempts of the computer losers with ease. I still lost a few times but my moment of glory did arrive and victory was mine for the taking.

What am I getting at here? Some games, certainly not all, are fun because they are difficult. Think back to that game that had you clutching the controller so hard that it begged for mercy through plastic creaks and cracks. Now imagine that game in a million pieces as you spit on it! Yeah!! Whoops, sorry. Now think about that moment when you knew you'd done it. Hands in the air, controller on the ground because you're so good you don't even need it to win. Best feeling in the world? Probably not. Pretty good on a Saturday afternoon? Darn tootin'.

The next time you're at that breaking point where throwing something out the window seems like the correct course of action, take a step back, calm down and show that machine you are not to be toyed with.

PSA: If you're getting frustrated because the game is inherently poorly done, kick that disc of ill-code to the curb. Or send it to Amazon for trade-in credit. Either way.

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