Seriously, Fuck the Xbox 360 Controller

I got a GameFly account a while back figuring I could use it to broaden my gaming experience. Left to my own devices, of course, I’d only buy a few fighting games and the odd XBLA title, but if I had a GameFly account I’d be more inclined to patronize the genres I don’t devote myself to–hence, Bulletstorm, Alan Wake, Fallout: New Vegas, and most recently, Brink.

I want to like Brink. I really do. It’s Just Another Team FPS to me, and it feels like a more-serious version of Team Fortress 2 with real-ish guns and an interesting blue-skies-meets-dystopian aesthetic that I really dig so far. I’m not big into FPSes in general, but Brink is fun enough to play for a few hours before putting it back in the mail.

Unfortunately, those few hours of Brink are characterized by utter frustration because the Xbox 360 pad is a piece of garbage. Well, it’s not that bad. It certainly beats trying to play Quake III Arena on the Dreamcast. But god damn fucking shitfuck, FPSes WERE MADE FOR COMPUTERS WITH KEYBOARDS AND MICE. And yeah, I would play Brink on the PC, but I don’t like it enough to pay $50 for it. (I don’t like any FPS enough to pay $50 for it.)

I used to be a FPS nut. You probably didn’t know that about me! It’s true–I cut my teeth on DOOM and Marathon back in the way, came back for QuakeWorld Team Fortress, Action Quake 2, and Quake III Arena. I played a bit of Unreal Tournament, too. I was all up in that world of FPS. I ran a Quake 3 Fortress clan called The Larches (yes, the tree), and I played among a loose confederacy of Q3 Urban Terror players dubbed the Hot Asian Butt-Fuckers. That’s about as OG as you can get for FPS street cred around here, I think.

I stopped to play fighting games for a few reasons. First, my poor Mac never could withstand the abuse that a modern FPS wanted to throw at it. Second, I’ve never been interested in overly military-themed games (Battlefield of Heroes 2: Modern Black Warfare), which nixes a good 70% of the genre. Finally, pretty much every FPS after Halo has felt too damn slow. I like being able to move fast (Quake 1+3 fast) in my FPSes, and nothing seems to deliver that these days.

But I’ve never lost that FPS mindset–it still comes out to play every now and then for a game of Counter-Strike or what have you. And I’m excited about Dust 514 so I can shoot anyone and everyone Nate’s corporation hires. I don’t think you understand how cool that is–I CAN TROLL NATE FROM ONE GAME TO ANOTHER. The only thing that would be better is if I could pwn Nate in World of Warcraft by playing Starcraft 2.

But until I can rent these FPSes via GameFly or some other competing service on my PC, I’m stuck noobing my way around with this stupid fucking gamepad. Playing with a keyboard and mouse feels like I’m delicately stroking my cursor across his body with my pain bullets in an artistic dance. Playing with a pad feels like I’m controlling a robot who is physically incapable of love or fine motor control. And all I can do is yell HERP DERP HERP DERP and praying that my stupid thumb-sticks manage to get close enough to the general idea of the target that auto-aim will take care of the rest.

Fuck fucking gamepads and fucking console FPSes.

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