Coping With Zero

Hey Gamers,

I apologize for yesterday’s post, in retrospect, for the complete lack of quality it involved.

I was actually referring to my writing, and I won't take the easy way out claiming I was method writing either.

I was actually referring to my writing, though my main focus didn’t help.

I won’t take the easy way out claiming I was method writing either, though my original theory of PTSD involving PDZ was soundly hilarious, my levels of tolerance for reality were not.

While I won’t attempt to recreate my point entirely on PDZ, at least in the manner of a full retrospect, the game deserves some final words. Looking back at Perfect Dark Zero, as we near the finality of this console generation, is a nice reminder for those cautious about the launch of the Xbox One and PS4. Nice in reminding us of having safe expectations, with realistic caution. New tech on day one is usually a disaster, when it doesn’t explode upon the initial unboxing, or cost the equivalent of this months’ groceries, you feel as if everything is going well.

Pictured: Things Not Going Well.

Pictured: Things Not Going Well.

I know some will be quick to point out360 failure rates, which is an irrelevant criticism for the launch of the system, as the problem persisted years into the 360’s life span. See? Joke’s on you.

The Joke Was On All Of Us, Really.

The Joke Was On All Of Us, Really.

Digressing a bit, PDZ did indeed fall into the launch day of the 360, and the game from the get go, was actually pretty fun. The single player, though once removed from Perfect Dark lore, was a blast with a friend. Multiplayer, despite the lack of a jump button, was really engaging, and kept my playing for a while after. PDZ helped to compliment a non exploding, non bankrupting launch, for a new system that represented a new game companies continued existence into diversifying console gaming.

At the moment, everything was quite nice.

In The Moment.

In The Moment.

I know to compliment PDZ by saying it wasn’t involved with a disaster sound cross, but I mean it sincerely. Launches, as previously mentioned, can be messy terrible things. So when goes very well, or even half way decent, it stands in hindsight as being a calm acceptance. I am acutely aware of how hard objectivity is, and in most cases, something that is absurd and impossible.

So when assessing fun, it’s always a far taller task to do so honestly when in the moment. Launches are a prime example of this, hardware or software. I’ve referred to it as PLBS, or post launch blindness syndrome, where your ability to think or assess rationally, is overridden by your own sense of excitement. We all fall victim to it, unless you are such a gaming snob or have such absurdly high standards, you look forward to the debasement of your own hobby of choice, or have somehow translated disappointment into a feeling of arousal.

Some Even Make A Full Time Job Out Of It.

Some Even Make A Full Time Job Out Of It.

Where does PDZ stand in all of this? In a flawed place of the past. That same place where we’ve had ample time to appreciate the game’s presence of fun at launch, and can now from a distance, safely observe it’s failings to achieve. Whether it be the unfortunate shift in Rare’s quality as a development studio, PDZ’s inability to capture the title of killer app, or just the disservice it did to a brand that was worth so much more, the time has passed, and the fun is gone. I have great respects for the original Perfect Dark, more so than Zero, but I can’t help but say it aloud.

Perfect Dark Zero wasn’t perfect, and Perfect Dark wasn’t either. Both represented a fun time, and while the original may stand on a higher shelf of nostalgia, ignoring the many flaws of the title, or how many other shooters were doing it better at the time would be a disservice to the industry at large. Does this really do anything to negate the fun had with either title? Not at all…this isn’t a shaming, but a simple reminder of appreciating imperfection.

It's Easier At Times Than Others, Admittedly.

It’s Easier At Times Than Others, Admittedly.

Does what you like have to be the best? No. Is it reasonable to distinguish good from bad? Yes. I believe having a healthy perspective, like appreciating the flaws of your title while still enjoying it, shows a certain responsibility.  PDZ neither has to be the best or worst, and you could still touch it or leave it, love it or hate it, without being a complete extremist about the title. I believe those who can have fun with a game, and remark on it’s flaws without rejecting it, possess a greater sensibility than those who would outright dismiss it, and have nothing worthwhile to say at all, about a game they may have not even tried.

Gaming represents a product, and no one likes being burned where they think it counts most: the wallet. In some respects, I encourage non die hards and causal enthusiasts, to be a safe calendar year behind of the rest of us. You’ll get better deals, more complete experiences, and better insight into what you should spend your time focusing on. For the few who demand the latest and greatest, do so if possible, with a minor level of acceptance. Wanting “the best” is a fool’s errand, and can set you up for unavoidable disappointment. At least the console launched, and the game came out. We can move on from there, and count ourselves lucky we could enjoy either.

I think the safer bet is to expect something fun, and be happy you had more than nothing to begin with.

Other wise, you’ll have nothing to look forward to…

Or Be Left Waiting While The Rest Of Us Are Having Fun

And Be Left Waiting While The Rest Of Us Are Having Fun

~Pashford

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