Rage Quit! Games We Gave Up On

By Jake Rushing and Marshall Garvey

The rage quit: We’ve all done it. Let’s face it, rage quitting is just a part of gaming, like playing Mario as a kid and EA being a soulless corporate behemoth that makes shitty games. It’s a byproduct of our passion, really. We care so much about the game we’re playing, and playing it right, that sometimes we just can’t handle coming up short. But in this piece, Marshall and Jake reflect on the games so frustrating, so impossible, that our rage quits were the last straw…we haven’t bothered with them since spiking our controllers in anger.

Marshall Garvey – The Evil Within

OK, so this won’t be a juicy rage quit story, as I didn’t really rage quit on Bethesda’s much-hyped 2014 survival horror hit. (All the more remarkable as I get red-blooded even while playing games I love.) Rather, I just got frustrated with its change in style and kind of gave up on it. If you haven’t played it, the tempo goes something like this. The first level has the main character trying to escape a demonic butcher, starting right with you wriggling off a giant meat hook. You can’t fight him at all, forcing you to run and hide nonstop as he chases you maniacally. It’s brilliant, taut and original. No guns, no zombies, none of the usual shit you expect from AAA horror titles.

So that means the rest of the game is a psychologically harrowing, minimalist trial by fire right? WRONG! No sooner have you escaped the first level when the game suddenly decides to become a Resident Evil 4 clone. And I mean that in the most complete sense. The next level has the protagonist stuck in a rural village, armed with a crossbow and fending off hordes of deranged zombies. Seriously….all that’s missing is Ashley yelling “Help me Leon!” and the Merchant standing idly by a blue flame.

It honestly would have improved things.

It’s been a good year or two since I’ve played, but I remember being so annoyed at the jarring, pointless shift in style that I didn’t even finish the level. I got stuck on its final sequence, and quickly put the game on my shelf in favor of something else. What’s the point in continuing when I could just pop RE4 back in my PS2?

There is a chance I could revisit this game fresh in the lead-up to the forthcoming sequel, as it’s still in my collection. But I’ve got other priorities, and as far as survival horror is concerned I’m more interested in finally getting into Until Dawn, which is also getting a follow-up soon. Really, The Evil Within is kind of like an album whose first track is outstanding, but the rest is just filler. Too bad I couldn’t download that first level on iTunes individually.

Jake Rushing – Sonic Heroes

Were you expecting Sonic ‘06? Or Sonic Unleashed? Or (gasp) Sonic Boom? Oh no. I completed all of the three games previously mentioned. Even when I was battling Silver in Sonic 06 for the first time, I had to find a way to get around him, as infuriating as it was at first. Even battling Iblis as Silver for the last time, I didn’t lose my composure. Sonic Unleashed, despite its Werehog stages, had some redeeming qualities which made me keep playing it. Sonic Boom, while terrible, was even easier to manage at its toughest parts than Sonic ‘06. So why rage quit on Sonic Heroes when it was obviously better than those more maligned titles?

Sonic Heroes looked like a solid Sonic game. The tag team concept alone was enough to make me want it. I got the game one summer day at Gamestop for Xbox, back when Gamestop was selling Wii/PS3/Xbox 360 stuff as well as the games from the previous generation. After waiting for years for the chance to own Sonic Heroes, I couldn’t wait to play the game any longer. So of course the first thing I did when I got home was put it in my Xbox 360 console and start playing, beginning with Team Sonic. I was thrilled when I got to play the initial stages, as I had so much fun from the first few minutes I kept playing. As I continued to play, that’s when the frustrations and annoyances started kicking in.

I had no idea how this got past the critics, but I started having issues with the controls. Mainly, the controls started being inconsistent with responding. I remembered too many times when I hit jump when I was supposed to, and the game didn’t respond, which led to many unnecessary deaths. I kept falling to my death because the game chose not to respond when I hit jump. Even when I eventually managed to get a certain point like that, I knew that this would happen again.

The controls lead to a spike in rage, and thus a spike in controller spikes.

If that alone weren’t enough, I had to deal with constant chatter coming from Tails, Knuckles and Sonic for what seemed like every single thing. I can understand some dialogue for the sake of adding feedback, such as using their abilities and switching characters, but I feel that Tails saying “Wooaah my head is spinning” for the 3rd or 4th time in 5 minutes is too excessive. Or just hearing any dialogue outside feedback roughly every 5 seconds (or even less) is too much for me, which made me more annoyed and made my unnecessary deaths even more infuriating.

I can’t remember what stage I was at (sometime after defeating the Egg Albatross after dying multiple times), but having that last unnecessary death at that stage, I finally had enough. I turned off the game, brought the game back to Gamestop to return it, and I ended up going to Walmart to pick up Deadrising, which made up all of the grievances of Sonic Heroes in thirty minutes.

From the moment I first walked into Gamestop to pick up Sonic Heroes, to the time I picked up Deadrising, all of these events happened within that same summer day. To this day, Sonic Heroes was the only game that I returned to any store within the same day of picking it up. Let alone the reason being that Sonic Heroes was too infuriating/annoying for me to handle. Let’s hope that Sega never tries to make another sequel to it.

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