Video Game Rant: An Annoying Issue I Have With The Pro Switch Controller

I’m a bit late on the complaint train on this one since the controller in question came out over a year ago, but I’ve really noticed the lack of this feature recently. It’s a simple feature, one that when Apple ignored it, gained a lot of notoriety. I’m talking about a headphone jack.

Headphones
Where can I plug this into?!

I know the system itself has a headphone jack but the Switch is a handheld system and console. It should support the same features in both modes. I play 90% in docked mode and for most games it hasn’t been an issue. Then I bought Thumper.

Thumper is kind of like Guitar Hero in that you can’t really control your character. You have prompts and you hit them at the correct time to advance in the game. It has a very trippy, foreboding feel to it which adds to its simplistic but intense gameplay. This feel is amplified by its music.

Or it would if I could use my headphones on the controller! It’s not a catastrophe but the visuals and sounds in Thumper help to excel the game. They are as integral to this kind of game as Mario’s jump is in Mario games. I want that droning and dread filled music in my eyes so that I can be fully immersed.

 

Thumper
Side note: I really like this game. It’s very unique

My choice of gaming is lazily lounging on the couch looking at the TV. Not with a handheld. I can appreciate the Switch for its versatility in that regard but if I’m at home I prefer the big screen. The PS4 controller has a headphone jack and so does the Xbox One controller. I don’t understand the lack of it in the Switch Pro controller.

When the controller costs the most, I expect it to be at least on par with its competition. £65 I paid at launch for it which is £20 more than I did for my PS4 controller at launch. Not only should it be there for preference sake, but also for the individual lifestyles we all have.

I work odd hour shifts and sometimes I have to work nights. So, when my partner is sleeping and I have to stay up as late as possible for my following night shift, I like to play video games to stay awake. That requires me to use headphones. By not including a headphone jack I can’t play Switch games at night without risking waking my partner. So, I don’t play them.

I know Nintendo’s marketing shows people on the go with the Switch but they need to understand that that isn’t everyone. A headphone jack is a basic component that doesn’t add much cost to a product. It’s a daft decision and one that I hope they rectify in the future or on their next console.

Anyway, moan over. If you feel similar about the Switch Pro controller or have any other niggling annoyances feel free to leave a comment. Thanks for reading.

 

A Foul Play From Foul Play’s Developers

Look at that word play! I’m proud of that one. Self-praise over. Foul Play is a game that recently came out on PS Plus for free for subscribers. I’ve never heard of this game but I thought a free game to play is always welcome. Especially since it seemed to be a co-op beat’em up, which I thought would great to play with my partner. So, we loaded the game and went to the character select screen and clicked start game. Now usually a game would then load and a fun time would be had by all. Bizarrely we were met with an error message. The message states ‘Your connection to the other player was dropped’. OK, no issue, maybe a controller was low on battery or resetting the game would fix it. No and nope. So I went sleuthing online! Much to my joy I found threads with my very issue. To my dismay though, they are unresolved. The kicker though is that these threads are from 2016!

Foul Play_20180906155541

Yup, 2 years old and still a problem. Apparently it’s an issue with the EU/UK versions of the game but couch co-op play or online play are unplayable in a co-op brawler. Now, single player still works apparently but a brawler is not very fun in single player in my opinion. Most games are more fun with friends but side scrolling beat’em ups especially. Think of the glory days of Streets of Rage and Golden Axe. Or the classic arcade cabinets of The Simpsons and X-Men. Always better with friends. So I found it shocking that this issue has A. NOT been resolved in 2 years and B. Has been released on PS Plus as a broken game. I wanted to see what has been done to fix this and a post on the Playstation Trophies board. All credit goes to this user for doing the leg work so here is his post:

Originally Posted by mikieboy147

The co-op is still broken. I have been in contact with Playstation and they will not do anything unless I get Devolver to admit the game doesn’t work. After an initial “We’ve passed the note onto the developer Mediatonic to see if they have any updates coming on their end. Thanks for reaching out!” from Devolver over 3 months ago they now ignore my emails when asking for an update.

So, not only has the developer not fixed the game, but according to this user, the publisher has flat out stopped replying to the inquest. And I usually like Devolver as a publisher and the kind of games they go for but this is a shoddy move and someone should be accountable. If you release a game you are responsible for keeping that game working at least for several years after release. Fair play to No Man’s Sky’s developer Hello Games, on release they were bombarded with hate but they’ve made big changes to the game recently apparently. Whereas Batman Arkham Origins developer WB Games Montreal, refused to fix game breaking bugs and gameplay issues and instead focused on future DLC. Perhaps Mediatonic has no plans to return to Foul Play but if that’s the case, don’t allow your game to be released on PS Plus. Not only do you cheat people out of a game but you make yourselves look bad to people who had no knowledge of this issue. Myself included, Foul Play wasn’t even on my radar but now I know the name of a developer to be wary of in the future. Surely they must have been alerted that their game would be on PS Plus and an error message stopping co-op play surely can’t be that hard to fix? But maybe they are too busy or just don’t care. A shame but that game won’t be played until fixed in many people’s homes.

Why am I writing this? You never know, if people complain enough about this issue maybe it might get fixed. If not, it’s nice to express my dismay in the situation. If you have had similar issues in the past or want to share your view on this matter, feel free to comment. Thank you for reading.

A Game Sin That Needs To Die: Small Text

Currently I’m playing the JRPG, Ni No Kuni 2 and even though I’m enjoying it, I’m getting very annoyed with its text. It sounds absurd to be that frustrated by text but when it takes away from my experience, there is an issue. I don’t like to give games a point based review on my blog. But if I were to give Ni No Kuni 2 a number out of 10, I’d probably deduct 0.5 from its final score just because of the text. It’s that bad! Here’s an example for you kind reader:

What is that?! Even on my 40 inch TV I struggle to read it. My vision as far as I’m aware is 20/20. I’ve never had any issues with reading things at a distance but with this game I really struggle. You have all that lovely space to use up on screen, whoever made this choice. I understand that you don’t want to clutter the screen because the game looks amazing but I want to read what characters say. I wouldn’t mind so much if each bit of dialogue is voiced but it isn’t. These dialogue boxes aren’t voiced in the dungeons. Not only that but they are frequent. So far they aren’t necessary for the game but they provide nice character interactions and help to fill out the personalities of these people. I want to learn this stuff, I shouldn’t be torn between focusing on where I’m going and reading banter. This is especially annoying if in the middle of combat or trying to do a stealth section. Which brings me to my next point and problem. Here is a GIF from the first stealth section of the game:

I apologise for the blurry text. First time creating one so I might be able to find a clearer source in the future. But! You don’t need to be able to read that text. I just want you to see the problem. The text prompts require super fast reading skills. I haven’t sped that up or slowed it down, that is the default speed. Now as you can imagine, at this point you are trying not to get noticed so you are extra vigilant. A text pop up happens and obviously you want to read it because it could be important and or informative. Your attention is needed to avoid the guards so you do the classic move. Eyes up, eyes down, eyes up, eyes down. You get snippets of text and then check your movements are on point and then back down for more text. On your 3rd attempt at this however, the text disappears. Information is lost forever. I shouldn’t have to be The Flash of reading! It’s a JRPG! These games are notorious for their game length. It’s not like they’re rushed for time so how about extending that to the dialogue boxes.

90% of these won’t be important, I’m aware of that. I should have the ability to experience it thought if I want to. What the characters are talking about though is key to creating this universe it’s set in. It could be Roland’s thoughts on this new world that he finds himself in. That connection between him and me experiencing this world for the first time is vital in my opinion. He is my eyes and voice. Young Evan has just lost his father recently in the game’s timeline. He could be scared of this adventure he is setting out on but longs to be a strong leader like his father. I may miss that dialogue because of the fast and small text if he says it whilst in a dungeon. It doesn’t matter what he is saying, it could be his favourite Monster Munch flavour for all I care! The point is, those words, no matter what they are, flesh out this world and it’s inhabitants. To really delve into the universe, filler text is important. Bioshock got it right with its audio logs. You don’t need to read the subtitles as you have the audio but at least you have the choice. Rapture’s past is brought to life by those recordings. It’s just a shame that something so easy to fix in games, tends to be ignored or unnoticed. An option to change text size shouldn’t be difficult to implement. I’ve not even mentioned people whose sight is worse than mine. Everyone is different and the more options we have in games for different people, the better.

Hopefully you enjoyed my whinge and let me know if you’ve experienced similar to this. Side question, what’s your favourite Monster Munch flavour? I’m a beef guy myself. Cheers for reading!