265: Punching the Baby Seal of PC Gaming

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Chuck Wendig:
Punching the Baby Seal of PC Gaming

You see that cute little baby seal? Chuck Wendig wants to punch that seal in the mouth because Crysis locked up on him. Again.

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Boxed games with GFWL on it are highly unstable and pre-built rigs with no build date given suck for playing hardware intensive games. What happened here is entirely your own fault.

ScorpSt:

Spacefly:
Yeah I agree 100%...

Sure I could read a manual everytime shit don't work. It might get it to work with a little bit of effort each time. But I don't have to do that with consoles. It runs smoothly everytime.

There is something really comforting about buying a game knowing it will work perfectly on your machine without worrying about minimum specs and numbers.

I get that, I really do. Comfort is nice. But there's a sense of personal achievement when you manage to get a game to work with your current set-up. Everyone has their own personal tastes, and that's why there are so many different platforms. Wii, 360, PS3, DS, PSP, PC, and even iPhone. They are all a part of what we call Gamers.

Ok, I know that sounds really corny, but I'm trying to make it clear that I have no fanboyism, and even though I call myself a PC gamer, I still like and play on Consoles. I just prefer using my fingers to my thumbs over a long period of time.

Yeah, I know the kind of feeling of achievment you mean. But I just don't really get that from setting up a computer to play games. Its like putting a jigsaw together... where I would really prefer to make the jigsaw myself.
But the PC I use is a family PC, so as such I don't suppose I could mess around with it to suit my personal tastes when everyone in my family uses it.

And like you said, everyone has their own personal tastes when it comes to gaming.

Ditto on the Tandy 1000 SX! That thing had a smoking sound chip. I agree with you on everything btw; however, sometimes I don't want to play a game, I want to MAKE a game play :) I want to make it do things its devs never intended, such as run with 16x anti-aliasing, in stereoscopic 3d, play it with a snes controller via USB, or replace all the textures or heck, the entire rendering engine! . . . I want CONTROL :) That's why my steam/cardboard box collection is around even with my console collections.

And another thing . . . I can still boot Homeworld 2 and Starcraft 1 on my modern windows 7 pc. I can't seem to get my SNES games into my 360 though :P

"Crysis crashes about 25 percent of the time - for a PC game, not a bad ratio."

Are you shitting me?

I have about 40 games for my aging pc (that I build together myself with no hardware knowledge besides "does this shit fit on this random motehrboard?") and almost all of them work 95% of the time.

Exceptions have been the STALKER games (which I love), Morrowind (which I love) and Mass Effect (which I had an affair with, until it refused to go on).

Yeah a PC has problems. I bought a HD 3650 AGP recently, because it is an insanely powerful card for its price.. but the AGP port is FUCKED. With 5mins more research I would have known, but I only research the mhz. My bad. That's how it works.

I really, really can't fathom all the whining. Yes it breaks, crashes and howls at us, but that's what PCs do. :) I will remain loyal until they are obsolete.

The only time I wanted to punch a seal had to do with Windows ME. I can never, ever speak about that.

"I don't have time to build a PC."

It's not up to me to question that, heavens know, but.. really? You have time to play games. That means you have time to build a PC. Isn't it more like "I don't want to build a PC!"? Which is fair enough in its own right, mind..

This is what led me to wash my hands of PC gaming years ago. Of course, I was never into MMOs, RTS, and so on, so it's an easy shift to stick with.

I borrowed the game from a friend of mine, ran the crack available on many other sites, and it ran perfectly first time, every time

probably because the crack bypasses all the drm bullshit that causes 99% of the problems

reason to use pc over 360, mouse control and mods

don't like the stupid hacking minigame, a mod bypasses it, don't think the food sanitizer should weigh as much, mod it, more, better variety of mutants, want your plasma guns to leave cool green skeletons when they melt someone? mod for that

bethesda games particularly are a bunch of great ideas but a lot of lame gameplay, modding makes them 10x more playable and enjoyable

Its the eternal dance we dance, sir. PC gaming is a bitch, but I personally believe its worth it.

Snotnarok:

Evil the White:
I'm gonna be honest; I only get stuff like this with old games, because I'm running on Windows 7. And it's a pain because they should work, but they don't. Just about everything released before 2008 has problems. So I have the reverse of your problem: my PC loves all the new shiney stuff, but can't stand the classics. I was so angry when I spent 5 on Beyong Good and Evil, just to find that it wouldn't work... well, I could have punched a baby seal, if there had been one there.

There's actually a easy workaround for that if you know someone with a XP computer install it on the XP computer, copy the program files install to your windows 7 machine and it works. If it works on Tie Fighter for Vista 64 then it'll work for you haha.

I'm really going to have to try that now. Thanks for the tip.

This, amongst other elements, sums up why I gave up on PC gaming a lonnnnng time ago in favor of consoles. No DRM stupidity, no compatability madness, no randomly deciding to quit-to-desktop, and no need to upgrade my rig every five or six months just to play the new releases. Doesn't mean PC gaming is bad... but it sure as hell means I have less headache and less wallet-ache as a result. PC gaming might not be dying, but with issues like these, it should at least see a doctor about that nasty cough.

Asehujiko:

Chuck Wendig:
Punching the Baby Seal of PC Gaming

You see that cute little baby seal? Chuck Wendig wants to punch that seal in the mouth because Crysis locked up on him. Again.

Read Full Article

Boxed games with GFWL on it are highly unstable and pre-built rigs with no build date given suck for playing hardware intensive games. What happened here is entirely your own fault.

I really don't get sentiments like this. If the system meets all requirements or supercedes them, it should work. That's the way it worked in the old days, and PC gaming seemed just fine back then. If it doesn't work after meeting or passing the desired specs, the failing is hardly on the part of the gamer. This sort of 'You didn't work at it hard enough/invest enough money in it/etc' line is the sort of thing that hurts PC gaming long term... most folks really would rather plug and play then have to take a roll of the dice with every game they buy, and every time they load said game up.

"Until Civ 5 comes out at leasts. Im only human." <-- Naturally. Aren't we all?

Lo and behold, I'm not the only one who wants to punch a baby seal! I find myself on the exact same train of thought. It's why all my PC games are easy on the equipment, or old. There's very little to make me want to have to change things out, spend hundreds of dollars on some piece of hardware that will stop being supported in a half-week's time, and barter my soul for a working setting that isn't offered on a console, where all of those troubles are assuaged by simply putting in the disc, and picking up the controller. Sure, there may be an install time, but a relatively short install time is a minor tradeoff for something that immediately and reliably works for years to come.

Couldn't agree more. This is the exact reason why I NEVER like PC gaming.

Reliq:

Khaiseri:

MaxPowers666:
Id have to look later im at work right now. But im still running XP since vista was fairly new and not standard on computers when I got mine. But it still runs wow so im happy with it and my laptop can run pretty much anything.

Mmm, you bought it already built, isn't that right?
That normally isn't such an issue, but I always recommend building up your own computer, as it lets you customize it with your price range and normally it's cheaper than buying an already built one. But still it's no slouch either.

I tend to build my own computers, specially because the last time I bought one already built, it was lacking the Graphic Card socket.

HP actually has one on the market like that :) A desktop with built in graphics and missing the pci-e slot. There is space for it on the MB though, so you can solder one on if you want. but still, talk about doing anything for profit. Its just a damn plastic slot :)

Except that that thing STILL costs money, and also it wasn't an HP.

After all I love building computers...

And this is exactly why I gave up on PC gaming for the most part (I use steam but I pretty much only buy older games that I really enjoyed back in the day that I can't get on a console, or indie stuff for $2 that I don't give a crap if it doesn't work), I like the author grew up working on PCs, hell it's my freaking job, I know a lot, I can troubleshoot, I can fix problems, but you know what? I'm sick to death of it, the very last thing I want to do when I come home is fix a freaking game after I've spent 8 hours fixing computers, I want it to bloody work, is that so much to ask?

I do most of my gaming on my 360, but I do have a stable of PC games. Fortunately I subscribe to this theory of PC gaming, so I avoid most of the major problems.

It's unfortunate you had these problems Mr. Wendig, I don't know what else to say to you, so I'll say what I think.

I'm a PC gamer, still play on it almost exclusively, everything from DOS classics to current titles and everything in between. I rarely have issues that prevent me from enjoying a game, and I hope I don't ever come to the breaking point you describe and throw PC gaming under the bus forever.

I do it because I love games, both games that work well on consoles - which sadly for the past several years have made up the majority of top PC titles, and shoddy ports of these games go a long way to inducing dislike of the PC in many people - as well as games that simply wouldn't work on a console.

I do it because I know that the mouse-and-keyboard combo is at once both the simplest and most versatile input method yet devised.

I do it because the kinds of boundaries PC games can push are completely different than the kinds of boundaries consoles can push, and the kinds of boundaries that PC games can push are the ones I feel will define the fringes of what games CAN be.

Unfortunately both console and PC have neglected this potential in recent years by rushing headlong down the dead-end street of graphical enhancement, and by the enforced hegemony that multi-platform titles create. Thankfully, on both PC and console, the small developers are slowly breaking this trend, and I hope in doing so they again try to push the boundaries of what we expect games to *do*.

In this era of multi-platform titles it becomes harder and harder to decide why you should choose PC over console, I won't deny that. Even so, either way you choose, there are sacrifices that are made.

PC users sacrifice 100% guaranteed trouble-free operation, and a bit more dough and time, but in return they get...what? Unmatched framerates and audio/visual fidelity certainly, but more importantly they get the potential for games that go way beyond the scope and complexity of what consoles can offer, or simply the ability to do things consoles can't do. TF2 is an excellent example, the console ports are absolutely broken, lacking *three years worth* of new content, new subsystems, new gameplay, because consoles simply aren't as flexible as the game itself is.

Consoles get that trouble-free setup, that guaranteed compatibility (for the lifetime of the console anyway) but in exchange they sacrifice the elbow room to change rapidly, to allow completely new kinds of ideas to be implemented, or to allow old ideas to be more fully realized than ever. You trade scope and depth for convenience.

It's all about what you're willing to sacrifice. There may be no 'right' sacrifice, time is a precious commodity and I won't fault a man for refusing to waste it. But I know what I won't sacrifice, and that's why me, and millions like me, will never give up PC gaming.

tl;dr - Sorry about your trouble Mr. Wending, but I heart PC gaming :)

Hahaha, I completely agree with this article. Steam is awesome, but it's actually rare for any game I buy to work as good as a console game. Then I have to go on a scavenger hunt on Google to try to find a fix, and it's almost impossible to find an easy solution. Most of the time, you'll find one or two posts on a random message board from someone that seems to have the EXACT same problem you're having, and then there's maybe 2 replies to each of those, and most of the replies are from snobby people saying they run the game on a weaker computer just fine. These people just lucked out, plain and simple. Some computers/graphics cards seem to work perfectly... but most don't. And if you're like me and the author of this article, then even games with the crappiest of graphics will stutter like a nerd trying to ask out Scarlet Johansen.

Holy smokes, so much entertaining hyperbole in a single Escapist article!
'goes to the comments'
Wait, people actually read the articles on the Escapist? Oh, right, this article mentions adorable violence in the title.
Wow, how quickly Escapees fall apart and revert to classic forum tendencies when something about PC gaming is written.

Your frustration in a PC not being able to play games is very reasonable, even though some commenters would like to believe otherwise. I, too, get very frustrated when I try to start up Team Fortress 2 and during a match about an hour into gameplay the display will explode and the game crashes for no explainable reason. It isn't fair to me as a consumer that the things I pay for don't work properly straight out of the box and unfortunately for modern computer games, this is becoming really prominent. Especially when there are alternative options such as a gaming console that will give me the same fix I'm looking for without these problems.

If I find a microwaveable burrito to be the same value as a sandwich, the difference being that a sandwich takes longer to make, then I'm going to microwave a burrito. Now, other people may not see these items to have the same value, and more power to them, but for myself, I'm hungry and gonna go nuke a burrito now and not deal with all of the sandwich making.

And here I just bought a new computer and started to think "hey, maybe I can get into gaming on the computer again? It's been years, my hardware sucked and my Xbox has provided me with all the entertainment I need, but now I can start again. Oh, joy!"

And you remind me of this shit!? Oh God, suddenly all the memories of games crashing when I try to change the controls come back to me. The claims that my computer wasn't good enough. Oh lord, what have I done? WHAT HAVE I DONE!? *shakes fists at sky dramatically*

I'm just going to say this -

360 has a 55% hardware failure rate (RROD). I find that incredibly more infuriating than the ability to fix w/e issue I have with PC gaming.

just saying....

poiuppx:

Asehujiko:

Boxed games with GFWL on it are highly unstable and pre-built rigs with no build date given suck for playing hardware intensive games. What happened here is entirely your own fault.

I really don't get sentiments like this. If the system meets all requirements or supercedes them, it should work. That's the way it worked in the old days, and PC gaming seemed just fine back then. If it doesn't work after meeting or passing the desired specs, the failing is hardly on the part of the gamer. This sort of 'You didn't work at it hard enough/invest enough money in it/etc' line is the sort of thing that hurts PC gaming long term... most folks really would rather plug and play then have to take a roll of the dice with every game they buy, and every time they load said game up.

First, it's not just hardware but software that makes your computer run. You can meet or supersede the requirements all you want, but if your drivers aren't up to date, it doesn't matter. Not only that, but the minimum requirements posted are basically what you need if you have no other programs running in the background. For GFWL, you've got GFWL running on top of the game, not to mention Steam running if you bought it through them. Some people top that off with things like Raptr or Xfire. Each of these things drains resources that would otherwise be going to run the game.

Second, if you buy a pre-built PC, no one will ever say that you didn't invest enough money in it. In fact, most people would say you invested too much money in it. As for time, that's a mater of care. If you care enough about your PC experience, you'll put the time into it. If not, it'll show.

Or you'll just switch to Consoles, which is a valid gamer choice as well. I own several consoles myself.

JaymesFogarty:
That's why I game on consoles. 1, to avoid using a keyboard and a mouse, (which is something I just cannot do.) And 2, which is to avoid all of the complication that comes at the cost of PC Gaming. If I have a game, I want to be able to pick it up, slot it in, and play. And with a PC, most of the time it is nowhere near as simple as that. I do agree though, that console gamers do suffer the added cost of games, and the limited choice and customisation.

And this is why console players make my brain hurt.

99% of the time, I switch on my PC and I have a choice of hundreds of games. All there, just a click away. I've saved money on my purchases, I can play my own music, I can just do so many other things I couldn't on a console.

Yeah, that 1% is a little annoying but still...

MrDeckard:
Couldn't agree more. This is the exact reason why I NEVER like PC gaming.

...

Have you even tried, guys? Or did you have one bad experience that put you off for life?

C'mon, a little interaction with the software helps you learn about it.

RhombusHatesYou:
Console gamers, answer me this:

How am I suppose to prove how enormously large my ePeen is if everyone's gaming system was identical, huh?

GamerScore.

Why do you think it was invented?

The funny thing is, the pirated versions have the DRM and piracy checks removed, which are the causes of a lot of problems for legitimate consumers.

I'm guessing your Dell computer was a Vista.

There's your two problems right there, if you don't disable User Account Control in Vista, very little actually works, and most troubleshooting things don't mention it, because it would be redundant to mention it for everything, and is pretty much just universally known that you should disable it.

Get an Asus computer.

The_root_of_all_evil:

JaymesFogarty:
That's why I game on consoles. 1, to avoid using a keyboard and a mouse, (which is something I just cannot do.) And 2, which is to avoid all of the complication that comes at the cost of PC Gaming. If I have a game, I want to be able to pick it up, slot it in, and play. And with a PC, most of the time it is nowhere near as simple as that. I do agree though, that console gamers do suffer the added cost of games, and the limited choice and customisation.

And this is why console players make my brain hurt.

99% of the time, I switch on my PC and I have a choice of hundreds of games. All there, just a click away. I've saved money on my purchases, I can play my own music, I can just do so many other things I couldn't on a console.

Yeah, that 1% is a little annoying but still...

MrDeckard:
Couldn't agree more. This is the exact reason why I NEVER like PC gaming.

...

Have you even tried, guys? Or did you have one bad experience that put you off for life?

C'mon, a little interaction with the software helps you learn about it.

......I also have a choice of hundreds of games, all in a neat row on my dresser shelves, just a press of the disc tray button away, I've saved money by buying games that don't freeze up and make me quit them, and my 360 DOES allow me to play all my own music.

generic gamer:
I've got all those games and none of those crashes, is your hardware maybe a bit old?

Also I didn't like this article very much purely because of the tone. This isn't what I come here to read, it wasn't smart and it wasn't informative. I know it was supposed to be a humorous look at the problem but honestly it comes across as not wanting to do any maintenance work and getting annoyed when it breaks. If you had a console that could play every game ever made you'd expect a certain amount of tinkering too.

PC's can play every game ever made? Wow, I didn't know PC's could play console exclusives [/sarcasm]

danpascooch:

......I also have a choice of hundreds of games, all in a neat row on my dresser shelves, just a press of the disc tray button away, I've saved money by buying games that don't freeze up and make me quit them, and my 360 DOES allow me to play all my own music.

I don't need the shelves. Fix the games that freeze. Play videos, write letters, don't have to pay for my updates, get free stuff...

I mean, I can see the usage of a console, but there's no REASON for hating the PC if you just get along with it.

If you don't want to play MMOs, RTSs, FPSs or the like, then that's fine and dandy; but spitting acid over a game that's not that great because it crashes just as you're about to play it? How the drek do you play MarioKart without shooting someone?

danpascooch:

PC's can play every game ever made? Wow, I didn't know PC's could play console exclusives [/sarcasm]

Well, exclusives don't transcend emulators, do they?

It's funny how people seem to have not read the article, and repeated the SAME TROUBLESHOOT LINE that he mentioned in it.

Besides, PC gaming can be a pain at times. PCs are a much larger money sink than consoles, since you have to consistently be upgrading parts of them. Also, the DRM gets nasty, and lag seems to be more prominent on PCs than on consoles (at least in my experience).

Don't get me wrong though, once you get past all of the frustrations, the actual gaming experience tops that of consoles. Mods, dedicated servers, and the fact that some genres simply work better on a PC (RTS, for example). The problem is that getting there has to be easier. Think about it this way, say a game starts off really boring or frustrating for a few hours, but gets really good later, would you put up with it? Some would, but not everyone has the patience, and, quite frankly, that type of patience shouldn't be expected. Video games are something to enjoy, so why should we not be enjoying ourselves?

The_root_of_all_evil:

danpascooch:

......I also have a choice of hundreds of games, all in a neat row on my dresser shelves, just a press of the disc tray button away, I've saved money by buying games that don't freeze up and make me quit them, and my 360 DOES allow me to play all my own music.

I don't need the shelves. Fix the games that freeze. Play videos, write letters, don't have to pay for my updates, get free stuff...

I mean, I can see the usage of a console, but there's no REASON for hating the PC if you just get along with it.

If you don't want to play MMOs, RTSs, FPSs or the like, then that's fine and dandy; but spitting acid over a game that's not that great because it crashes just as you're about to play it? How the drek do you play MarioKart without shooting someone?

danpascooch:

PC's can play every game ever made? Wow, I didn't know PC's could play console exclusives [/sarcasm]

Well, exclusives don't transcend emulators, do they?

Sure emulators are fine if you want to play the SNES, but show me a nice 360/PS3 emulator that works.

I thought so, there are DS games that can't even be emulated properly on the PC for god's sake!

I like how you placed FPS in the realm of PC exclusive genres, when most FPS players play on console.

Personally, I don't have much of a problem playing PC games, but lots of people do, and it's a big annoyance when you paid for the thing!

Also, don't talk about "watching videos" and "writing letters" just because I play games primarily for the console doesn't mean I don't own a PC, this is about their relative merits as gaming platforms.

Another thing, it's harder to cheat online with consoles.

Buy a better PC Chuck.
Or stop whinging when games your setup can't handle inevtiably die on you.

Ah PC gaming.

Such a sweet doubled edged sword.

My personal gripe is with Empire:Total War; bloody thing crashes when you try to start a game. And I've troubleshot it to the moon and back, even deleted and re-installed it. Now it'll run if I run the game in window, but crash if I try to go full screen. Ah well, don't really need it now that Starcraft is out. XD

Thank god I have a new computer. My last one is now in about 5 different computers as scrap metal and silicon, after a little... incident.

Suffice to say, My old computer couldn't survive a fall from 10 stories up.

danpascooch:

Sure emulators are fine if you want to play the SNES,

Or the BBC, Electron, Spectrum, C64, Amiga, PS1, PS2, DS, Gameboy, GBA, Arcade, Pinball, C16, Dragon, Oric, etc.

but show me a nice 360/PS3 emulator that works.

Sort of tough to do that without breaking forum rules, doncha know.

I like how you placed FPS in the realm of PC exclusive genres, when most FPS players play on console.

Well, Micro$oft seems to put FPS squarely in the realms of PC.

Personally, I don't have much of a problem playing PC games, but lots of people do, and it's a big annoyance when you paid for the thing!

This is up there with "it costs too much" and "it always breaks down". Lots of people die from being stung by a bee each year (around 53) but that's hardly a reason to go on a bee vendetta.

Also, don't talk about "watching videos" and "writing letters" just because I play games primarily for the console doesn't mean I don't own a PC, this is about their relative merits as gaming platforms.

One of the relative merits being that I can switch between game/video/music/letter with a few key presses.

Another thing, it's harder to cheat online with consoles.

It's also impossible (legally) to mod anything. Or upgrade it. Or...lots of other things.

I'm not saying Consoles are bad, I'm just saying that PCs aren't that bad.

I never used to have a single issue or crash with PC Games.

Then I sold my trusty nVidia GTX 280 and purchased an ATI 5870.

Now there are certain PC Games I simply avoid (Fallout and Crysis, I'm looking at you) because they tend to become crash-centric games of Doom.

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