Features as Standard

We're quite disappointed with the current generation of consoles, particularly the HD ones. What they gained in processing power they mostly squandered on pretty graphics but gameplay by and large still riffing on what we'd been introduced to in the PS2 days. We're being harsh. There were some leaps forward, mostly in terms of online connectivity but here's four features we believe should just be standard. In all games. From now on.

1) Screenshots.
LET THE PEOPLE TAKE SCREENSHOTS. For the love of christ. Not only does it mean that we can share such lovely in game memories as the one above but it makes writing, blogging and social networking about games sooooo much easier. Especially RPGs. You want to cherish those precious memories long after the internal memory has perished so just let us take a screenshot wherever and whenever we want. Whilst we are at it also, why every single game doesn't rip off Halo 3's Theatre mode we don't know. Our ratio of playing Halo 3 is 30% playing it and 70% pouring over the replay with friends dissecting every crackshot, moment of hesitation and reliving every epic moment (and taking screenies for future prosperity).
Doing it right: Animal Crossing Let's Go To The City, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, Super Smash Brothers (after a fashion), Halo 3, My Pokemon Ranch. Even Metroid and Mario Kart give you JPEGs of those memorable moments. See? All those non-HD games can manage it.

2) More Mp3s in games
We know, we know, we're the only people who have ever bothered to burn their own soundtracks to play Xbox 360 games by but damn that is a smart feature. Even Endless Ocean lets you listen to your own tunes whilst you poke a bunch of fish. We want more games to take advantage of this functionality, or better still, let gamers upload genre/situation specific songs. Playing a scary game? Then the console will pick an appropriate song from a list of songs you've tagged 'spooky' et voila. Fade it in and out properly and then because you've decided which songs get played at appropriate times you'll start to brick yourself as soon as you hear the first few notes of 99 red balloons because you know that Pyramid Head may be around the next corner. Surely doable? Sort it out!
Doing it right: Endless Ocean and potentially every single Xbox 360 game (this feature still exists right?)

3) Multiple Audio Inputs
Remember those bits from No More Heroes, where you'd get a phone call from that hot french girl and you'd have to put the wiimote to your ear and strain to make out the words through the tinny speakers? Or the audio logs you collect in Dead Space Extraction? That was a good idea right. Combine that idea of having more than one place that your game makes noises and combine it with Xbox 360 headsets and you'll be laughing. Remember those annoying bits in Gears of War where Marcus and his team would stick their fingers in their ears and walk really really slowly so that you get to listen to some military speaky talks? Well imagine if all that gubbins was piped directly into your ears through the headset so you could continue shooting Locust in the face. Using the headset audio channel, you could receive secret orders or intel. For the four other people who ever played the GC crystal chronicles it was cool to have different information to the other player, using the GBA screen one player would have a treasure map, one would have a monster map etc. do you share secret information? Or keep it to yourself? Imagine midway through a [POPULAR SHOOTER] you get secret intel through your headset of a nifty little weapon drop nearby. Then imagine that someone on the opposite team has a device to hack into these secret transmissions and also knows there are some nifty weapons nearby. It would make matches of [POPULAR SHOOTER] even brillianter. Or if you played a psychic character you could only hear the thoughts of NPCs through the headset. It would aid in immersion much better than gimping popular wii games and taking away the controller and nobody would have to buy anything. None of that 3D bollocks either.
Doing it right: Nobody because it is a bit of a risky innovative idea, the last one of which that was implemented in video games was when Halo put in vehicles.
Downside: Sitting in your pants with a headphone on is just about acceptable when everyone is using it to insult your mother or raise doubts about your sexual orientation. Using it to listen to the innermost thoughts of computer people is quite sad.

4) More Inter Game Crossoverness.
You all played Metroid Prime Corruption and traded vouchers with your friends online in order to unlock the cool Bumper Sticker features right? No, oh well here's a screenie. Oh no screenshots available (See! See! More screenshot features please). Well here's a shitty video of a TV screen.
If you can't work it out from the crappy video, if you earned enough things and then traded those things with someone else with the game after you swapped friend codes then basically you could unlock a thing called bumper stickers where Samus' Gunship would be covered with various decals from other wii games, as long as you had a save game for those games. How cool is that? We also all loved the thing in Metal Gear Solid where Psycho Mantis allegedly read your memory card and knew all those great Konami games you'd played. We never got this because the only other Konami game we owned was International Track and Field 2 and apparently, that is beyond Psycho Mantis' powers. Lost Planet 2 awesomely automatically unlocked titles from all the other Capcom games on your hard drive and you could unlock Rosalina automatically if you had a Super Mario Galaxy save game. Perhaps the most awesome crossover thing we have seen is if you load up Devil May Cry you'll find he is carrying an Amulet:
'a memento of Dante's mother. In the back is an engraving "Vergil and Dante"
Did they know they'd make two more games? That's some good foresight and a nice little detail you may not notice first time around. Basically, we're asking for a lot more of this kind of love cameos and neat little tricks with save games are a nice detail. Not too many and not too in your face obvious but more little subtle touches will brighten up gaming wethinks.
Doing it right: All the games we've listed above. We're sure there are more, drop a comment if you've got a favourite.

So there we have it. Stick your gimmicks up your arse. Don't waste time retrofitting older games with motion controls or linking games with your facebook profile so you send out thousands of bits of spam to everyone you know on facebook when you're supposedly 'working from home' and just add all of these above features as standard. It might even cover up the fact that the game you've made is utter shit.

Comments

Anonymous said…
For Silent Hill 3, if you had a completed Silent Hill 2 on your memory card, then there'd be lots of little bits of the game changed, like adding a humorous reference to a scene in Silent Hill 2 where James fished around in a toilet.
Anonymous said…
Hmm. For some reason, that first link didn't work. "A humorous reference" was meant to link here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIPGW09zjbc
Anonymous said…
For the Xbox360 and PS3, most games have Custom Soundtracks as standard, but not how you define it.

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