Online Petitions We’d Love to See

Recently, EA buckled under the pressure of consumer backlash at the news that they would be charging for weapons to be included in Battlefield: Bad Company. Part of the reason cited for the about face was negative community feedback, a.k.a. gamers complaining so loudly EA had no choice but to listen. Since online petitions are the cornerstone of any Internet whining campaign, here’s a list of some actions that need to be rectified.

The Petition to Get Sony to Either Release Home In the Next Six Months, or Just Shut Up About It.
Ever since Sony announced the PS3, they’ve been touting Home, the social networking experience that will supposedly put Xbox Live to shame. Only problem is, it’s not getting launched… ever. The beta has been pushed back yet again, and we’re likely at least a year away from the full release. So here’s the deal Sony, either get Home done and get it out there by Christmas, or stop yapping about it.

The Petition to Force WoW to Let Some Other MMOs Play for a While
Look Blizzard, we know World of Warcraft is like the biggest thing to hit online gaming in the history of the universe, but don’t you have enough money? Don’t you think it would be nice to let another game suck up our time for a while? How about the upcoming Age of Conan? Or what about The Agency? If we promise to come right back will you let us go try another game for a while, if for no other reason than the fact that we can compare them all to WoW and talk about how they’re nowhere near as good?

The Petition for Nintendo to Make the Most Powerful Console Ever for the Next Next-Generation of Gaming
When the Wii was announced, admit it, you laughed. Looking at the gimmicked, underpowered little box, you couldn’t help but chuckle at how it was going to get creamed by Sony and Microsoft’s super-brawny competition. Well, we’ve all eaten crow now, and the Wii is kicking ass. However, wouldn’t it be sweet if for their newest console, Nintendo put out something ten times more powerful than the PS3 and Xbox 360 combined? What better way to quiet the last remaining critics than by showing them just how much horsepower Nintendo can muster up? Here’s a petition to create something so earth-shatteringly powerful that merely turning it on dims all the lights in your house and blows every single fuse all the way down the block.

The Petition to Get the Nintendo Wii a Hard Drive
While we’re talking about the Wii, let’s talk hard drives. Now look Nintendo, we’re all very impressed with your ability to do more with less. The casual strategy seemed to have worked, as now you’re back atop console mountain. Happy?

Now, with that being said, the Wii needs a hard drive, and it needs it now. With WiiWare about to launch, gamers are going to quickly fill up those last few memory blocks and be forced to make some hard decisions about what to delete. Sure, I can transfer all my stuff to an SD card, but is that really the best solution? Aren’t we past all that by now? Please Nintendo; break from your “We won’t do what the other guys do” mentality for just a quick moment. Think of the fans.

The Petition to Get PS3 Games to Actually Stay Exclusive for Once

Is MGS 4 coming to the 360 yet? It seems like whenever Sony announces an exclusive game, it’s only a matter of months before we find out it’s going to Microsoft’s console as well. Look, I’m not a businessman, I don’t know how these deals go down, but I have to assume that if one of your Triple A titles heads for the auction block, you better do whatever it takes to dissuade the powers that be to reconsider. Normally dissuasion comes in the form of burlap sacks with big dollar signs drawn on them. But if that’s what it takes, then that’s what you’ve got to do.

The Petition to Either Make Xbox Live Free, or Get Rid of the Ads

We can all pretty much agree that Xbox Live is the bee’s knees when it comes to online gaming. Microsoft has honed the service so expertly, that it’s hard to imagine online gaming without it. As Sony and Nintendo struggle to pull at least a fraction of the XBL base away, Microsoft just laughs all the way to the bank.

Therein lays the problem. Gold subscribers shell out $50 a year for a membership, a bitter pill to swallow in and of itself, when both competing services are free. Making things worse though, is Microsoft’s insistence on shoving ads into every square inch of Xbox Live. Needless to say, their willingness to allow advertisers to create games that are nothing more than product placement (did anyone actually download and play Yaris?) is borderline shameful. I’m not opposed to ad-supported service, but you can’t have it both ways fellas.

The Petition That Lets Anyone Who Gets the RRoD Personally Slap Bill Gates

Chances are you’ve had the lovely opportunity to have a chat with “Max,” the Xbox Customer Support Robot at some point in your Xbox 360 experience. Since seemingly every Xbox manufactured anytime before last month has a lovely habit of breaking, we’ve all gone through the same song and dance trying to get the real-life person (who we can barely understand and only got to talk to after spending an hour and thirty-nine minutes on hold for) to send us the coffin so we can ship our lovely new doorstop off to Texas where they perform some sort of voodoo and send the same boxes right back out to break again.

Well, here’s a way guaranteed to get a little more attention for the problem. Every time your coffin comes, included is a round-trip plane ticket to Washington and a visitor badge for the Microsoft World Headquarters. Once you arrive, you may proceed directly to the top floor, where Mr. Gates will be waiting, on his knees, begging your forgiveness. You are then allowed one smack (fronthand or backhand, your choice) to show him how you do not appreciate being without the console you paid top dollar for.

If this doesn’t solve the quality issues, the punishment will be escalated, and you will be allowed to wallop Bill with your choice of either your Wii or PS3, and you will then promptly hookup said system to a provided television and show him that, even after extolling a beating, the other systems still work.

The Petition to Get Dennis Dyack to Shut Up About the One Console Future for a While and Finish Work on Too Human

Oh Dennis, everyone’s favorite bald Canadian developer, how we love you. Whenever you see Mr. Dyack at a trade show or on an interview, he’s more than happy to talk about Too Human, the game that’s been in development ever since the Sega Master System burst onto the scene. He’s also downright giddy about gabbing your ear off concerning the prospect of the “One Console Future.”

If you aren’t familiar with this particular brand of lunacy, go ahead and Google it and look for one of good sir Dennis’ interviews… I’ll wait.

Now then, after reading those stories you probably see why we’ve been waiting to play Too Human ever since the Ice Age ended. Dennis is so busy telling us about how the industry can’t sustain the current model, that’s he’s forgotten to make the game. It’s pretty obvious he’s just stalling so he can go ahead and develop the title for the single platform he envisions as inevitable, but the rest of us would really like to go ahead and give it a whirl sometime before all life on Earth ceases to exist.

The Petition to Abolish Friend Codes

Do I really even need to make an argument for this one? Does anyone really enjoy putting in a 16 digit code to play online with your friends on the Wii? If you do, you can stop reading now. This isn’t the place for you.

The Petition to Put a Moratorium on Minigame Collections for the Wii for the Rest of Its Lifecycle
My three favorite Wii games since the launch of the system have been Super Mario Galaxy, Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, and No More Heroes. Not surprisingly, none of those titles involve “minigames,” “microgames,” or anything else that forced me to play through a bunch of scenarios that each lasted less than five seconds.

Unfortunately, a lot of publishers have made a lot of money with such casual-gamer friendly fare, and so titles like Ninja Reflex and Carnival Games choke store shelves. With this petition, we’re asking Nintendo to give us games that make us waggle in somewhat thoughtful ways. We’ve already seen that the Wii can host some great, deep, full-bodied fare, so how about we let those games have some time in the spotlight, okay?

The Petition to Make the DS Stop Making Me Look Like a Crazy Person on the Bus
Yeah, yeah, the Nintendo DS has a built-in microphone, that’s great. You know what’s not great? Making me blow into it or yell at the top of my lungs in order to advance in the game I’m playing. Many of us have long commutes to work or school every day, and for a lot of us, we put up with the smelly, urine-soaked seats of public transportation because gas is too damn expensive and parking is near impossible. So to pass the time, we bring our DS on the bus or train with us, in the hopes of quietly knocking out a few puzzles in Professor Layton or solve the next Apollo Justice case before we disembark to start our day.

Sadly, the DS can’t just let us play in peace, and instead forces us to act like a crazed homeless person just to get to the next level. While such behavior does provide the unintended benefit of making everyone around you move away (thus giving you more leg room), it can also get you thrown off the bus or placed on the CIA watch list. So how about throwing us a rope here and making alternate ways to progress rather than blowing on the microphone until we pass out and wake up three hours later in the shady part of town with no idea how to get home?

The Petition to Get Console Manufacturers to Pick a SKU and Stick with It
60GB PS3? 80GB? 20? Xbox Elite, Arcade, Premium, or Core? Choices like these are the things that keep fearful parents and new gamers up at night. With all the SKUs floating around, how are we supposed to know what will serve our needs? Even I balked when picking up a PS3, not knowing whether to go for the full-out experience with the 80GB behemoth, or to scale back and take the cheaper yet still perfectly functional 40GB model, and I do this sort of thing for a living! So here’s the deal fellas, you get to release one more model and that’s it until the next generation, we all need a break.

The Petition to Give the PSP a Second Control Nub
Sony’s handheld does a lot of things right, don’t get me wrong. It packs quite the graphical punch for its size, and with all its multimedia options it’s making a bid to replace your iPod and you cell phone in one fell swoop. Only problem is, it’s still a gaming platform first and foremost, but it seems to be missing a stick.

The modern gamer has become accustomed to two analog sticks, only venturing outside that realm when the situation truly demands it. The PSP sought to be an “on the go” PS2, and therefore had all the trappings of such and then some. Unfortunately, someone decided that the pesky second stick, the one relegated to such boring tasks as aiming a weapon or moving the camera, wasn’t really necessary, and we’d all be better off if it just went away.

This was a stupid thought, and one we’re still paying for to this day. I’ve yet to see a shooter that truly works on the PSP, and Chains of Olympus is a bear without that second control stick controlling evasion and camera. Great move on that one Sony. Will you pay me the same amount you paid that guy to come up with awful ideas? Trust me; I’ve got a million of them.

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