Saturday, August 22, 2009

Dr. Zombiebigot or How I Learned That All Zombies Look the Same

I have a confession to make. I play video games. I'm 37 years old and I play video games (when I get the chance). I'm ok with that. The reason for this blog entry is not to be a confessional. It is not to shock or embarrass. I don't know if I am able to be either. the only way that I feel I could be both shocked and embarrassed is if you youtubed me being pantsed in public and my crotch looked something like this:
[Capcom's Resident Evil]

Which segues this blogpost to reveal my reason for being here today. I am frustrated for the lack of creativity in many mainstream video games that I feel titles such as DOOM and Duke Nukem have perpetuated. It seems that every shooter-style adventure game has an asymmetrical mutated booger monster that has puked itself inside-out and onto itself. And the sad part is that it is a boss in the game where the hero in the storyline has to battle against.
I understand that a zombie related game should have a mutated booger monster. I get that. So, when I'm playing the perfectly executed zombie game Left 4 Dead and I run into this guy:

[Valve's Left4Dead]
I get that. Better yet, I expect that. I also forgive games such as Resident Evil and Dead Rising because they are also zombie themed games. Chock full of delicious zombie action.

A prime example of an "asymmetrical mutated booger monster" being at the wrong place in the wrong game will be explained in the next paragraph.
[image from Activision's Xmen Origins: Wolverine]
I recently logged onto my XBOXlive360 marketplace and downloaded the demos that represent 2 iconic figures in comicdom. Wolverine and Batman. I will not go into detail about the narrative of the demos save for the fact that the progression of action is about the same. At least they both feel the same. Wolverine has this cool pouncing move and Batman has this cool swinging move. And the combat interactions are just about identical (but I liked the Batman demo a tad more for the stealth capabilities and less claws).

Another similarity between these two games is that both demos end at a pivotal point right before our hero is about to take on a boss. The problem is, and this is obvious to anyone that can see, is that both of the villain bosses seem to be directly related to the many "asymmetrical mutated booger monster". As if this weak sauce character design propagated by the WAY TOO MANY zombified entertainment army of the world has been let loose to invade all the other games consisting of 1st or 3rd person shooters or adventure fighting games. [demo boss from Batman: Arkham Asylum]

My point here (yes, I do have one) is that I want Raven or Activision or Bungie, or whoever is the team that is slipping these boring-ass mutated villains into what should be innovative gaming narratives, to stop doing it. And please, please, please let me get what I want. What do I want, you ask? I want the people that have these character design jobs to reach a little further into their big, bags of tricks and take their time with their character development. After all, they're getting paid for it. And we're having to pay 50-60 zombie dollars on each game. So, please, try harder.
Don't misinterpret me. I like zombies, but I want my zombies in my zombie games. I do not want my zombies in my superhero games. And don't get me started on these overrated zombie/superhero comics. This cross-niche phenomenon is getting tiresome enough as it is in my comics. STOP BEING LAZY!
Ok. I'm sick of typing the word 'zombie'. Time to close up.
In conclusion. Someone give me a job designing monsters for video games. I promise none of the bosses I create will resemble asymmetrical mutated booger monsters. Unless it's an asymmetrical mutated booger monster video game.

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