Angry Robot

Reflex Button Mashing = Madness

I was only mildly put off with the “Press X, now O!” gameplay during God of War 2. I didn’t really like it but everything else made up for it. Then I played Beowulf (I know, I know) but what could have been a nice hack and slash also went the way of the simon says. I dislike simon says, always have. When I’m playing a character with a giant metal weapon I want to wield said weapon with my own sense of timing and aggression. It completely sucks the soul outta of a fight when you’re just mashing to the visual cues. This is not Guitar Hero this is swordplay dammit!

It’s like reading the Narnia books. You know everything is gonna be okay because it’s already written somewhere in the deep magic of the world. There’s no spontaneity, Aslan brings people there when he needs shit done and they do it, but he already knew they would. Same thing with this test your reflex crap. When it’s time to take out the Big Bad just let me do it in my own combo variation way, please.

do it!

So then I was playing Conan (yeah, gave up on that…I figured why play that when I could just play the original, hence Chains…) and the reflex crap was back again with a vengeance. It was toned down in Conan but I still had to open every heavy door with a steady mashing of the circle button. Why? Why do doors suddenly have to be a five second mini-game that adds absolutely nothing to the overall experience but frustration? Even my beloved Ratchet and Clank had door opening mini-games, but at least those were fun, what with sparking circuitry and all.

It’s just developer/publisher-who-wants-quick-profit laziness. It goes like this:

Silly Head A – Why not just ripoff this combat mechanic from this mega popular game so that all our games can be mega popular?

Silly Head B – Yeah, let’s do that!

Silly Head A – Oh no wait hey we’ve overdone it and now every one else is doing it too and this isn’t really fun anymore…

Silly Head B – I’m getting KFC for dinner!

Silly Head ATasty!

See, that’s how it is. And much like KFC, reflex button mashing is crap. Fatty, against nature, unrepentantly evil crap. This is only my opinion, you may disagree, but I firmly believe the fun is being leeched out of my fav game type. I loves me the action adventures, and if this trend keeps on truckin then I may have to switch. Lost Odyssey is helping with that, but I’ll tell you more about that later.

And that, my friends, is the end of that! Well, I’m going to stop talking about it but the mediocrity shall continue unabated for much, much longer I’m sure.

2 comments on "Reflex Button Mashing = Madness"

  1. toku says:

    I agree…
    I think most good action games, once you get used to them, will ensure that you have an instinctive feel for the controls allowing you to focus on tactics and strategy over controls…

    The reflex mashing only means that the instinct is taken away from you, leaving you edgy, scrambling for buttons, and thrown off balance.

  2. Nadine says:

    Exactly, and I don’t play games to feel edgy…I’m edgy enough as it is!

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