QOTW: The Filth, the Fury, the Rage Quitting

There are two games I will always remember for one specific reason. Both games were superb examples of their respective genres, and were titles I played to completion and think fondly of today. But that’s not the main reason why I remember them.

No, I remember them for the eye-clouding, mouth-frothing rage they managed to induce in me.

It’s ridiculous, isn’t it? Getting angry about a game. It recalls a hundred sore losers from childhood, pissed that they lost a match or game against their peers. Maybe it would make sense to get a little irate if you lost a StarCraft II tournament and missed out on a whopping cash prize, but becoming enraged over something you and you alone are experiencing? Ridiculous!

The first game was Jagged Alliance 2: Unfinished Business. That’s the add-on pack to Sir-Tech’s superb late 90s tactical combat/RPG hybrid. Bear in mind that I’d already spent several dozen hours soldiering gamely through the main game, which starts out relatively gently but soon becomes nail-bitingly tense and tricky. That’s not even to mention the fucking tigers or the fucking crepitus or even the bastard bloody tanks. One of the three I mentioned there is an optional enemy activated in “sci-fi mode”. You can probably guess which. Suffice to say the game is bloody hard, and after hours of painstaking progress and copious save-reloading, I beat the damned thing.

Obviously I immediately tried out the expansion pack, and obviously I foolishly dispensed with my highly-trained team of mercs and instead started fresh. The useless shambling meat I selected from the starter pool of available mercs was roundly drubbed by the first enemy patrol I ran into. About ten times, yep. Rather than giving up and doing something else I kept trying and getting angrier and angrier at each failure, and I eventually pounded my keyboard until bits flew off. I felt a bit better. I uninstalled Unfinished Business and felt much better.

Broken monitor and keyboard

Fortunately I found this via Google Images. If I'd done this to my monitor at the time I doubt I'd have had the presence of mind to take a photo.

The second game was Resident Evil 4. In this instance it wasn’t me being screwed over by a brutally difficult game, it was my failure to understand a visual cue. The second boss you face – the towering El Gigante – needs to be pounded with ammunition until he’s weakened and his parasite pops out of his spine, as parasites are prone to do. The idea at this point is that you jump onto his pack and slash at the parasite in one of the game’s many QTEs. Unfortunately I failed to grasp this – I never saw the QTE prompt as I was apparently too good at staying away from the giant’s clomping feet and fists –¬†and kept shooting him instead. After about an hour of running out of ammo and dying repeatedly I hurled the controller into a wall. Torn between throwing the game out of the window and having one last crack at El Gigante, I opted for the latter and this time beat him (presumably enough of my shots hit the exposed parasite). Afterwards I had 1 shotgun shell, 2 pistol rounds and 2 SMG rounds, which made the game rather tricky for quite a while but at least I was making progress. It was only the next day that a friend explained what I’d missed and I felt like a fool.

So! I’m sure you have similar tales of irrational gaming rage. Care to share?

Broken PlayStation controller

This is also not mine.

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