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QOTW: E3 news vs. Bugs are the future

Hey readers. I was in two minds about what I should write for this Wednesday’s regularly allocated programming. Obviously E3 has been in full swing for a few days now and the marketing machines of the various big publishers, developers and hardware-pushing juggernauts of the gaming industry have gone into full swing.

It stands to reason that there’s a lot of exciting news coming out this week about various titles we’re looking forward to as well as previously unannounced stuff, and that it would be cool to see what’s been tickling your fancies. (Not a euphemism, don’t worry, we’re not extending the Arcadian franchise into Victorian-era pornography.)

Equally, though… man, E3. Who gives a shit! It’s the perfect time of year to stop reading the gaming press. The hyperbole flows torrentially from the big corporate sites, even more so than usual, and everywhere you look there’s a spokesperson with a pleading look in his eyes telling you why you should care about the extruded cultural product they want you to slap money on the table for. No more, I hear you cry!

So this week’s QOTW is an extra-special Choose Your Own Adventure edition. If you’re following E3 and are super-excited about what’s coming up, scroll to Section 1. If you’re sick of E3, scroll to Section 2.


I’m actually only writing these additional sections to remain in keeping with the choose your own adventure format. I’ve pretty much already asked above about what’s got you all moist. Personally, I was happy to see a bit more info on XCOM even if it is a typically testosterone-fuelled E3 trailer (I prefer the more sedate, tense, threatening pace suggested by the earlier reveals), and I was also excited by the trailer for Armored Core V. Even if it is all pre-rendered, it’s got a really grungey, beat-up military-industrial aesthetic which is a far cry from the ultra high-tech polished-metal look that mecha tends to indulge in.


Cracked.com recently posted a list of programming glitches or errors that subsequently defined significant parts of modern gaming. It’s an interesting read, so go read it.

The replacement QOTW is, then: have you encountered bugs, glitches or design flaws in recent years that strike you as unintentional errors that may come to exert as much influence over the future of gaming as these six?

I doubt anything will ever have so wide an effect with gaming at the stage of evolution it is currently at, but it’s certainly an entertaining proposition to ponder.







14 responses to “QOTW: E3 news vs. Bugs are the future”

  1. badgercommander Avatar

    For the question, can I just say 'Mortal Kombat'?

    1. ShaunCG Avatar

      The entire game?

      I like this idea. I would like to add, by extension, "the entire beat 'em up genre". But only because I'm rubbish at them.

      1. badgercommander Avatar

        The entire game. The fact that there are rabid North Americans everywhere losing their shit over the new MK makes me very, very sad.

        Yuo are not allowed to put the Beat em up genre in there though.

        1. ShaunCG Avatar

          Spoilsport. ;)

  2. Harbour Master Avatar
    Harbour Master

    I am a SECTION 2 man.

    1. badgercommander Avatar

      Is that like the reject from Section 8?

      1. Harbour Master Avatar
        Harbour Master

        You fucking wish. =)

        (On the other hand, it would help if I knew anything about Section 8, so this sweary generic response will have to do.)

        1. ShaunCG Avatar

          I was initially going to add in a Section 8, but wrote this in a bit of a rush (I had to get my hair cut! I'm a busy man) and couldn't think of any jokes I'd not already put in my review.

  3. guillaumeodinduval Avatar

    The only thing I can recall that COULD, at least to my 11 year-old mind at the time, have felt like unintentional bugs weren't quite bugs within games but DEBUG modes within games. And I must say that, like bots, we don't seem to be allowed many anymore. Almost as if the industry is afraid that the already-few hours of legit gameplay would be ravaged if allowed to screw around anti-socially against bots or using a mode which gives you the power of GOD.

    I don't recall that ruining my experience with any Sonic or Unreal games, in fact, I'd say they provided a form of innovative gameplay that made me feel close to a developer, or a hacker that went somewhere he shouldn't have gone* ending up being limited by my imagination alone. As a result, I'd always try to push the software, the hardware, my skills or all of those at once in order to out-think the game, either within the game's world or on a meta level (it was always satisfying to make my Genesis hang). So those ''bugs'' definitely didn't ruin the game for me. Too bad we don't have such elements potentially shaping a gamer's mind nowadays.

    OK, now that I think about it, Crackdown had something similar, but it felt so complete as a game in the first place, you could see how it would benefit from this. But instead of hiding it as something forbidden, they went all-out and advertised it as what could be a (desperate) selling point. The only other game I can think of that has ''cheats'' is GTAIV. But those are like comparing the ''feature'' to a Game Genie code; close, but not quite the same as ''a hidden debug mode'' or ''ludicrous fun had while fooling around the A.I. of bots''. And some level editors are present in games here and there…

    … but it's not the same to make a level from scratch compared to SHAPING A LEVEL onto the already existing one or adding variables which changes all the experience of that one level entirely. It can turn Green Hill Zone 1 into the deadliest spike-trap map ever. In fact, so deadly that YOU WILL HAVE TO RESTART YOUR CONSOLE IF YOU GET CORNERED IN A CHUNK OF SPIKES (you kinda had a weird invincibility on in debug mode…. giving some freedom, at a certain cost).

    * my discovery of Sonic 1's debug mode had originally been entirely accidental. That day, I had discovered a game hidden within a game. A huge hidden game, at that. That day, my brother and I flipped the f*** out.

    1. ShaunCG Avatar

      I didn't even know Sonic had a debug mode! I wonder if I can access it on XBLA or my PSP…

      Oh, and I agree – I had some amazing fun cruising around Quake levels with NOCLIP switched on, checking out the level design from outside.

  4. badgercommander Avatar

    Why is Namco Bandai publishing loads of the game I want to play this year? It is getting weird.

    1. guillaumeodinduval Avatar

      Because they are powered by FromSoftware?

      1. badgercommander Avatar

        Oh yeah, all the Namco Bandai games I am getting are From Software products (Dark Souls and Armoured Core). Nothing to do with the publisher at all. Just my ever growing obsession with From Software again.

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