Sunday, May 9, 2010

What's the deal with the Start button?

I recently bought a 360 and started noticing some peculiar features in the games. They all seem to want you to press Start at the beginning, right after the game loads. Why is this? I really don't get it. It's also showed up in a lot of recent PC games that were ported directly from the 360. There, you have to press a key to start. It's kinda off-putting. Why should I need to press Start to start the game, when I've already signaled my intention to start the game by putting the fucking disc into the tray and closing the aforementioned tray? Or, if Autoplay is turned off, I've already started the game by selecting the Play Game option from the console's Dashboard. Why this extra burden? Is it just to justify the existence of the Start button? That can't be it, cause the Start button's also used to pause the game while in the middle of playing, sending you to a nice options menu.

Frankly, I'm sick of pressing Start to begin. You already know I want to start the game. Do you just want me to look at your pretty game logo, so you force me to press Start to get away from it? That's unnecessary, dude. Just load up the game, show me the logo for a couple seconds, preferably no more then 3, and send me directly to the main game menu. There shouldn't be any prompt for me to press Start. I already started the game from the Dashboard, that should be enough to convince you I wish to play the fucking game. Is it some sort of warning to me, just to see if I'm having any second thoughts about initiating interaction with the game? Do you want to know if I'm really ready to leap in without careful consideration? Should I go back and do some research between the time that I launch the game from the Dashboard and the moment the Press Start screen shows up? What's up with this reluctance to actually launch the game? It's like a multi-tiered decision I'm making here. This isn't like a nuclear submarine, where we both have to turn the keys at the same time. It's just a game. There's no need to force me to press the damn Start button.

You know what I actually would like? A damn "Quit Game" option. All these console games just don't have any way to quit out of the game. As a PC gamer, this is infuriating because I'm used to being able to exit a game. Here, it's like I'm trapped, forever stuck inside this game. Of course, then I remember I can press the Guide button and exit to the Dashboard from there, but it's a hassle. All game developers should really just put a Quit Game option on their main game menu, just like with PC games. Are they really too lazy to do this? What's up with the contradictory signals? First you're programming in this asinine "Press Start to begin" screen that we don't fucking need, then you won't actually give us an "Exit game" option that we could actually use.

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