Working Title 03.03.12: Working Mini-Rant: Split-Screen is Dying...and I'm Okay With That
Posted by Jordan Williams on 03.03.2012
At one point split-screen ruled the world of cooperative gaming, but with the rise of online games the format is dying off. Is that a bad thing or a good thing? 411's Jordan Williams takes a look in this week's Working Title rant!
Not ashamed to admit that I still like BioWare.
Welcome to the #1 Column to think that Uncanny X-Force is probably one of the better books Marvel has put out in the last few years, WORKING TITLE! There I go talking about other forms of media that are not video games. Along with my love for (bad) genre movies I also have a love for comic books. While my comic book readership as a whole has gone down I still manage to track the few books I really do like Chew and Uncanny X-Force. I just like the fact that this book is treating some of the lesser known characters of the Marvel Universe (Fantomex) with some good respect and giving them a purpose and I am REALLY happy that someone is writing Deadpool GOOD again. Don't get me wrong, I love the fuck out of Deadpool but his sudden popularity sparked a lot of people make really really bad Deadpool comics. It's like everyone got stuck on the part where Deadpool breaks the fourth wall and acts crazy and forgot about the rest of his character. The mercenary who really wants to be a hero but can't help being a jerkass because it pays the bills but at the same time understands that sometimes you have to be a jerkass to be a hero but not everyone is going to appreciate you being a jerkass.
That is the most I have ever said "jerkass" in succession.
I do know there is one book that I was REALLY into at first and the longer it goes on I get less and less interested with it…and that is Kick-Ass. I really liked Kick-Ass when it first started. I liked the whole ‘deconstruction' thing they had going on there. But this new Kick-Ass series is just…blah. I know a lot of readers dislike Mark Millar because he seems to be "that guy" who always just wants attention by being bigger and louder than everything else...and I am starting to see why people think that. Because man, Kick-Ass 2 just seems like it does nothing but go "OH YEAH? REMEMBER HOW WE DID THAT FUCKED UP SHIT LAST ISSUE? WELL NOW WE'RE GONNA GO DO THIS FUCKED UP SHIT, SON WHAAAAAT?"
Like…it's like if someone made Saints Row 3 wrong. Which is a shame too because I really was hyped for Kick-Ass 2.
This is a video game column, right? I suppose I should probably…you know…talk about them at some point.
How about now!?
Dead Rising 2: Off the Record Now I don't know why GameFly decided to suddenly send this to me…I played the hell out of Dead Rising 2 when I came out and while it was fun I found myself getting bored of it pretty goddamn quick. But at the time SSX was not out yet and my love affair with Soul Calibur V had cooled down so I decided to go ahead and kill some time with this.
All it made me do was wish that Capcom had the fucking capacity to get a game right the first time because OTR is pretty much what Dead Rising 2 should've been in the goddamn first place. Not saying that they didn't need Chuck but everything they changed in this game to make it fit with Frank makes the story in the game SO MUCH BETTER. Hell, even the minor changes they made to gameplay make a world of difference. But you know what I like? You know what I REALLY REALLY like? I like the fact that the game is DIFFICULT for once.
No, it's not frustratingly terrible or anything, but the game does have a bit of a jump to it. Looters are an actual real threat at low levels. Psychos are smarter (ish) and the game doesn't make everything so easy.
It just sucks that no one played it because they thought Capcom was ripping them off again. Which…by the way, they totally WERE. This should've been a DLC mode at best.
You didn't fuck it up. After what you dirty bastards did to Def Jam Vendetta and SSX (I won't forgive you for On Tour and Blur) I was all ready to be disappointed because I figured they were going to take one of my most beloved game franchises of all time and completely ruin it like they have done with pretty much everything else they have tried to bring from the dead. I am SO FUCKING HAPPY they I was wrong. They got the controls right, they got the trick system right, they got the mountains right. If there is one thing I could complain about it's that the music choices they made this time don't necessarily jive with my personal tastes…but SOMEONE on the dev team must've realized this too because you can replace all of the games music with your own…which means I pretty much just replaced the in-game music with the soundtrack from SSX3 and called it a day.
I am proud of you, EA. You managed to do a reboot that actually was GOOD. Now don't ruin all of this goodwill you are building up.
Damn, I was hoping that I was going to get some sort of inspiration for what to rant on this week by the time I finished ranting about DR2 and SSX…but I got nothing.
I suppose I could rant about the Fighting Game Community Sexism Scandal of 2012, but that's already been done to death by now and anyone who regularly follows/is active in the FGC knows what's up and down with that whole thing by now. Ditto for the Mike Ross vs. FC Jago controversy…although I will say that that shit is just fucking being overblown. It might be the fact that I like wrestling but everyone getting mad that they hyped up a rivalry and (shocker) they are actually cool with each other in real life is fucking STUPID. Everyone in the FGC already knew it was a work and didn't care. It's only the stream monsters who are still mad.
Also there is no way in HELL I am doing a fucking Working Outlook for Mass Effect 3. None.
So shit…what else has happened this week that I can waste six more pages in MS Word talking about?
Man…nothing really happened this week did it? You know what? I think I'll just use this week to do some mini-rant about mini-topic that will take mini-effort to do.
About three of four years ago, I remember putting a column up that was pretty much a denouncement of the downfall of Split-screen gaming. I hated that more and more developers were opting out of good old split screen gaming in favor of Online play because I felt it was killing one of the core focuses of gaming is that you do it with friends.
Since SSX came out this week there have been a lot of people moaning about the fact that there is no split screen mode in SSX, which is really a first for the series. I fully expected to be up in arms and frothing at the mouth until I realized one thing.
I didn't even notice it wasn't there until someone pointed it out.
Working Mini-Rant: How I've accepted the death of Split-Screen
Is Split Screen gaming completely dead? Probably. The thing is now that I've more or less accepted its death. Back in the N64/PS1 (and even the PS2) days split screen gaming had a home because of a multitude of reasons. Hindsight tells us it was simply because the internet hadn't really grown at the pace we wanted it to and it was really the only way one could do multiplayer…but there were also some easier technical reasoning behind it to. We all have a BASIC idea of how processing works…so we should all know that running a game in split screen means you are pretty much processing the game twice in two different states. Of course back in the days of old where games were a LOT less processer exhaustive and didn't have to draw as many polygons it was easier to run a game in split screen.
Not so much anymore. Let's just look at a game like SSX. The game has a ton of shit going on at all times, runs at 60 frames per second (I think) never has any slow down and is ALWAYS feeding information from the online experience into your game. And I think its stuff like that has showed me that outside of a few exceptions I am perfectly fine with Split-Screen gaming dying out.
There will always be a spot in my heart when it comes to couch co-op and I think that spot will always be reserved for hardcore racing games and fighting games. But I think with the better integration of online into the world of gaming the need to have a split screen feature is sort of gone. Let's look at this way. Back in the day ‘multiplayer' pretty much mean you and some friends passing around a controller (or three, depending on how young you are) and playing it that way. Since then we have had PSN, Xbox Live, and even the Nintendo WFC that has taken that step out. While we have lost that communication aspect that can only be had by real face-to-face human contact. I think what we've gained from it does a lot better in the long run.
Sitting in a living room and playing a game with three of your friends is fun, hell, it will probably never stop being fun. But now I can sit in my living room and play online with three of my friends and take on the world instead of these three screen peeking assholes. And to be completely honest…outside of the cases of people who have siblings what games that have come out this generation haven't had split screen and were lesser for it? I honestly can't recall a game in recent memory that shipped without split screen and I felt the game was ruined or in any way lacking.
With each generation we see something that was beloved from the previous disappear and fade away. Passwords, Cheat Codes, The "Reset" Button, H.U.Ds, and printed Game Manuals have all bit the big one or have been severely diminished. I guess it's just time to go ahead and accept that split-screen gaming is going the way of the Game Genie.
After all, Acceptance is the last stage of grieving.
So...Street Fighter x Tekken and Mass Effect 3 come out next week.
Will you have a life after next Tuesday?
I sure as fuck won't.
Until next time, I'm Jordan Williams, and WHOMEVER DESIGNED THE FINAL RACE IN THE WORLD TOUR MODE OF SSX....I HATE YOU AND EVERYTHING YOU STAND FOR.