I know it’s been a while since my last update – written or otherwise – but I’ve got some bones to pick, so let’s pick ‘em.
I’ve quieted down over the last few months because I’m tired of the ‘stick my fingers in my ears and LALALALALA’ mentality. It’s become pretty clear that gamers just don’t want to hear about the seedy underbelly of this industry. Bring up some constructive criticisms, and an apologist will just furrow their brow, clutch their neck, foam at the mouth, and spew something about ‘knee-jerk reactions’ and ‘entitlement’. You know, because having an opinion OBVIOUSLY means I’m some kind of asshole. It hasn’t mattered how grounded in logic my arguments have been, either. I’d say microtransactions are bad, and that they change the core balance of most games that have them. Know what I hear? “But you don’t HAVE to buy them!” DLC has changed the way developers provide content, not to mention the way the industry conducts its business. “You should happy there’s new content for our favorite games!” Games should be complete on day 1. “We love that games can be fixed nowadays! Go back to the nursing home, grandpa!” I don’t expect anyone’s belief system to change because of my opinionated rants, but you know what I do expect? A conversation. Soaking up multiple viewpoints is how we educate ourselves, but the youth of today – sorry to be THAT guy, but there’s definitely an age barrier – aren’t willing to engage, so what’s the point? Right or wrong, these loud, obnoxious snots walk away feeling the warm embrace of victory, regardless of whether they’ve actually earned it.
But I love the irony as much as I loathe it. I’m out of touch? I’m entitled? Please. The hardcore gaming elite have shown how out of touch and entitled THEY are, and because they’ve been so smug by evading real issues with snorts and eye-rolls, I’m happy to sit here and write about how infantile they’ve been. What’s their chief complaint this time?
Japan is experiencing Dark Souls III before we are.
Yep. That’s what their hissy-fit is all about. “WAHHHHH, they get to play a video game before MEEEEEEE!” Now THERE’S entitlement for you, folks. Worse yet, they feel their complaints are justified, because Jim Sterling felt this was outrageous enough to warrant making a ‘shame on Namco’ video.
Basically, Namco Bandai – or whatever they’re calling themselves nowadays – released the game in Japan on March 24, a full 19 days before it dominates the rest of the world (April 12th). So, of course, Youtube is flooded with Let’s Play and Walkthrough videos, and people have been streaming the game on Twitch. Apparently, if you create a Japanese account on your console of choice, you can buy the game from the (digital) Japanese storefront and play it NOW. And, unsurprisingly, many have.
So the hubbub, really, is that Souls fans don’t want to have the game spoiled. In that respect, I feel for them. I really do. These games are about trekking alone, failing hard, and learning from your mistakes. They’re about overcoming the improbable and feeling a heightened sense of accomplishment, something video games are rarely able to do anymore. But to feel that rush, you have to clash with the enemy AI and learn how to exploit it. You have to go toe-to-toe with the biggest, freakiest monsters and discover their weak spots. You have to traverse through grim environments and learn their surprises, which have the potential to be good OR fatally bad. Having things spoiled destroys that dynamic of risk and reward though, and as a Souls fan, I want to go in blind.
GEE! IF ONLY THERE WAS SOME WAY TO AVOID ALL THOSE YOUTUBE VIDEOS AND TWITCH STREAMS!
Oh, that’s right. You CAN avoid those spoilers, easily, by – pay close attention now, because this is the tricky part – not clicking on any Youtube or live stream links! That’s right! Nobody is making you watch that stuff, nor is anyone forcing your hand to buy a digital copy from a Japanese storefront. All you had to do was restrain yourself for less than 3 weeks. 19. Measly. Days. If you’re not capable of doing so… well, that’s your own damn fault.
And besides, the ‘we don’t want the game spoiled’ argument is weak. Do you REALLY think buying this game on day 1 means you’re somehow immune to spoilers? No, of course not. Think this through:
Let’s say you’re a working man, much like myself. You go home, install the game, invest a few hours, and then hit the sack at a reasonable hour because you’ve got work the next day. Then you wake up, go to work, come home, invest a few more hours… you get the idea. It might take you weeks to beat this game. But in the meantime, guess what? Some school kids are going to play hooky, some adults will call in sick to work, and stay up all night to play this game… and they’ll beat it, too. So within the first 24 hours, you’re going to see spoiler discussions on the internet, not to mention those Youtube vids and streams you were so pissy about a couple weeks before (again, only if you’re too stupid to read and/or watch this stuff). So, because your lifestyle doesn’t afford you enough time to beat this game before thousands of folks (if not more) spill the beans, you’re still subject to having the game spoiled. Perhaps even more so.
If you’re one of THOSE gamers, who feel sad or angry about the mere PROSPECT of having a game spoiled ahead of time, allow me to give you a piece of advice: Stop whining. Brush the tears away, grab a tissue, wipe the snot off your face, and consider, if just for a moment, how selfish and stupid you sound. I’m just as excited to experience Dark Souls III blind as you, but I’m not fretting because I have to wait until the 12th of April. Why? Because I don’t feel a sense of entitlement. Dark Souls III is not my game. I’m not the developer/publisher. And again, I can avoid the spoilery stuff, no problem.
Jim Sterling takes things a bit further, though, stating part of what makes a worldwide Souls launch so special, is that you’ll encounter more friends (or foes) in PvP, see more helpful and troll-ish tips scattered across the land, and ultimately, you’ll feel a sense of joy in knowing all day 1 supporters are suffering with you. I respect Mr. Sterling, but any reasonable person wouldn’t buy this load of crap. Is he seriously insinuating that just because Japan got the game first, that this experience will somehow flutter away? Give me a break. The game launches EVERYWHERE ELSE on April 12th, and MILLIONS of people will STILL suffer through their respective day 1 together. There is absolutely zero – and I do mean ZERO – reason to feel like you’ve missed the boat.
The only thing I can agree on, is that there’s no good reason for Band-Aid Ram-Co to hold this game back from the masses. Usually a staggered release means additional time is being allotted for localization efforts… but that’s already done. The Japanese download, at least on Xbox One, gives you an English option. The only reason Dark Souls III got released early in Japan, is to add some earnings to a quarterly financial report. That’s all well and good, but since the game is DONE, why not just release it everywhere at the same time?
But again, this isn’t my game. It isn’t YOUR game, either. Know what I’ve done in the meantime? Played other games. Imagine that! If I can’t play a game that isn’t out yet, I can play others! Grim Dawn, The Division, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2, and Counter-Strike: Source have kept me PLENTY happy. I’ve even put about 6 or 7 hours into the original Dark Souls, just to reacquaint myself with the controls.
Anyway, that’s enough ranting for one day. Until next time… whenever that may be.