Friday, May 18, 2007

Poor Play Testing + A Rushed Product = A Broken Game


There is a growing trend in the industry that seems to be affecting all types of games, regardless of genre, size, or console. Despite the leaps and bounds we’ve made in technology through the years, numerous “glitchy”, barely-tested games are hitting the market. In fact, this seems to be becoming more and more acceptable with game publishers who just want to make a quick buck by putting their title on the market without thoroughly testing it.

Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do about this problem besides voting with our wallets. If you have heard about a game being filled with bugs then simply DO NOT purchase it. If you would try to return a bug-ridden game to the store you would only be provided with the same copy, and most of the time game publishers could care less about these bugs. A popular and well-known game publisher, Activision, provides walk-throughs and tips on how to get past known bugs in their products, but this is rare and if they didn’t’ have these rushed products filled with bugs in the first place it would not even be necessary. Many PC games provide patches for these problems, but on consoles it is not too often that a patch is released to fix some known-issues in a game (the only title I could think of is The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion for the Xbox 360).

One recent occurrence of a major glitch is SNK vs Capcom: Card Fighter’s Clash for the Nintendo DS, and this one is a doozy. This huge glitch prevents you from progressing through the game at a certain point, and the sad thing about this is that it wasn’t found in the original Japanese release. That’s a sign of piss-poor play-testing, and so far the official word from SNK on this issue is, simply,

"We're looking into it".

Um, thanks for that response, guys, but some people blew $30 on this broken game. Sadly, this occurrence is happening more and more often in games and needs to be stopped before it becomes even more of a problem.


Update: SNK is offering replacement cartridges for those who have received the initial broken version of the game, but the growing trend of glitch-ridden games continues...

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6 Comments:

At 11:07 AM, Blogger gnome said...

Excellent write-up. Oh, and besides wallet-voting there's also blogging ;)

 
At 5:24 PM, Blogger The Elderly said...

strange you may mention Oblivion, their recent plugin, shivering isles, which resulted in corrupt game files and items disappearing forever from the game, 360 owners who had downloaded the extension ended up wrecking their game saves, it was weeks before bethesda released a download fix... luckily it solved the problem and repaired save files...

Quality control never spotted it....

 
At 10:53 PM, Blogger DEITRIX said...

yeah I was well 300 + hrs into Oblivion and I found I could not finish the mages guild...!! I was pretty upset at the time. Then I got the wizards tower that made things a bit better. Still cant finish that part of the game tho.

We the people are there play-testers these days..

 
At 4:38 PM, Blogger Rosewarrior said...

Even Gran Turismo had a similar problem back when it was impossible to complete GT 2 100%. It's a good topic to write on, good job!

 
At 4:32 AM, Blogger fatherkrishna said...

Good post Ross. I think it's the consumers and bloggers that are gonna have the power soon. If enough people like your good self register disatisfaction at their shoddy output then spread the word, impacting finally on poor sales! I'm surprised at SNK though.

 
At 11:47 AM, Blogger DEITRIX said...

Any problems with that Wii, Father...??
I'm still playin' RE4 on mine.. ( The Cube version )

Elderly, did you get to play Shivering Isles..?

 

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