Why I don’t like consoles

Written by Mark Mackay

April 9, 2009 | 14:19

Tags: #flash-games #multiplayer #online

I should probably start by saying that I’ve owned a few consoles in my time. My first was an Atari 2600, followed by a Sega Master System with built-in Alex Kidd. I’ve owned a Saturn, a Gamegear, a Dreamcast, an N64, a Gamecube, a Gameboy, a Gameboy Advance, several PlayStations and a PlayStation 2.

So what changed? The short answer is, I got a PC, but since I have about 400 words to write so may as well elaborate a little. When I was 18, I finally saved enough cash up to get ripped off by a local PC builder that barely had a clue what he was doing and charged people for the privilege of slapping together PCs.
So I had my first PC. Shortly thereafter I got my first MMO, Asheron’s Call 2: Fallen Kings. A serious addiction ensued. About six months and several gazillion gaming hours later, the new Zelda title – one my favourite gaming franchises – hit the shelves. I glanced over at my dust-gathering Gamecube and ran out to buy The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Walker.

After about two hours of gameplay, the linearity of the gameworld with no other players to go questing with or fight against made the whole thing seem boring and pointless.

Why I don’t like consoles

I never bought another console game again. Or another console for that matter. I was bought a DS as a gift which I thought was quite cool, but even that didn’t last long. What’s that? Thing’s have changed these days you say? But of course they have! Online gaming with consoles is more popular and more accessible than ever. So why not jump back on the console bandwagon?

There are a few reasons. Firstly, there’s the ‘consoley graphics’ issue. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not some technical graphics whore, but I like a game to look nice and one way to make a game look sucky is for it to be filled with jaggies.

I hate jaggies and the console world is rife with them. The same applies for hard, flat lighting. For me, the hard, flat, lighting and jaggies that are so fundamental to the vast majority of console titles just make the games look as appealing as a pig's testicle and vanilla ice-cream sandwich.

Why I don’t like consoles

Then there’s the controller. There is just no substitute for the diversity and control that a mouse and keyboard brings to most games and if a game is better with a controller? You can just go and buy one.

Add to the equation the customisability, overclocking, awesome free flash games and browser games and utilities being made all the time, the fact that you have the world wide web under your fingertips and the superior audio capability a PC possesses and you end up with no reason to buy a console. Sure, I have some fond memories of the Zelda games and I loved the Dreamcast but now that I’m converted, there truly is no going back.
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