KOGBlog 23-05-2013: My Ouya Is Coming!

Yup, I officially am now expecting delivery of my Ouya console. And I’m actually excited.

I’m going to do a piece on this tomorrow, about the fun and thrill of unpacking new hardware, but more importantly it’s going to end up with me taking a long, hard, critical look at the machine and how it operates; the controller, the machine, the noise, the ease of use and above all other things, the games. It’s got a lot to prove and I’m quite looking forward to getting my hands on this baby and seeing what it can do. The unwrapping of any new hardware for me is exciting and provides hours of fun, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens after the undressing.

Similarly, I might have touched a nerve with my review of Deadly Premonition: The Director’s Cut. So I want to say something right now – I have the X-Box 360 version. And I actually rather enjoyed it. It’s not a bad game at all, just a contentious one. It divides opinion strongly for a good reason; it straddles the line between genius and insanity with no clothes on and covered in baby oil. It entirely depends on which side you slip down from its default position, and there’s not much you can do about that. For the record, my actual score for the X-Box 360 original would be a 7/10.

But the PS3 Director’s Cut is not a good game. Right from the off for me, the introduction stammered and stuttered all over the place. I thought it was the disc so I checked online – nope, that’s just how many of the videos are. So I found myself quite frustrated that many of them had to be skipped, so as to not drive me crazy waiting around. In doing so, you miss key moments of the story – which is, for a game of this kind, unforgivable. I got sounds where I shouldn’t have – talking when there was nothing nearby. The sound is just off. In some spots, the games framerate drops considerably, making it sluggish and slow. The game is, technically, worse than the X-Box 360 version. This is not optimised for the PS3 – this is a careless, thoughtless attempt to revive the game. In doing so, they actually made it really quite painful to play through and not at all enjoyable for big chunks of it.

Deadly Premonition is not a bad game. So anyone who defends this abomination of a port is doing this game a massive disservice. Sure, you can learn to live with it, but why should we? You’re paying £24.99 for a game like this and for me, I expect it to work! The whole point of consoles is game goes in, you play it, you finish it, game comes out. I do not enjoy having to work out if this next scene is going to stutter again. I like cut-scenes and moments where you can sit back and take in the story as it unfolds. I do not like it when said entities have to be skipped to keep the game from having a hissy fit.

Is 4/10 harsh? No. Because the game is broken. And there’s no reason to apologise for calling a game out on being broken. Sure, they may soon patch it up, but really, it’s an old game being ported. They have had an awfully long time to get this right, and they didn’t, so no. I am not going to sit around and go, “Ooh, isn’t it nice to see it on the PS3?” No, it’s not, because it’s broken and buggy and it shouldn’t have been like that in the first place. After months of broken games, I am getting rather sick and tired of people defending this shit. It’s not being nasty it’s not being impatient, it’s “I paid my freaking money and I expect you to at least ensure it WORKS!” I pre-ordered Aliens: Colonial Marines on the back of ‘Dat Demo‘. I wish I hadn’t. My tolerance threshold for this kind of thing has all but evaporated. If they want to release it and patch it up after a few weeks out there, fine. Go ahead. But know that I’ll have bought it, played it and formed an opinion on it, like so many others do.

However, if and when it’s patched to fix, I will gladly revisit it. Believe me, I will rewrite based on more involved and deeper playtime. But when you’re skipping as much as you can and restarting often, eventually the only thing you can say to the game is, “Screw this!”, and go do something more enjoyable and meaningful with your time. Like kidnapping gnomes. Or stacking up £5 of pennies in perfect alignment.

I am happy to revisit the game when it works. Right now, it’s on the side, because this weekend I get the PS3 version and Wii-U versions of Resident Evil: Revelations. I am renting the PS3 version, however, because I simply want to be able to compare two games. And I am sure I can make comparisons by simply renting one of them for the weekend and making sure I pay attention as I play them. Hey, I do this on a budget! Sometimes a rental is a better idea… and so far this year, there have been quite a few games I wish I had rented first…

Still. There you have it. I like Deadly Premonition. But I am not going to kiss ass because it’s a PS3 version. It doesn’t work properly. Therefore it’s not worth the money right now. Is that really such a mean thing to say? Is it wrong to simply think and expect that people should attempt to enjoy a game already divisive in nature in the best possible way?

Because trust me, no-one new to Deadly Premonition is going to stick with the PS3 version in its current form. And they’ll think we’re mad for defending it.

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