Not exactly a lively topic, but it is one that is always up for debate. To skip or not to skip? That is the question. Do I want to watch Ezio eavesdrop on his targets or do I want to skip through Commander Shepard’s entire dialogue wheels? Yes I know Assassin’s Creed and Mass Effect use their cut-scenes differently, but that doesn’t mean some individual doesn’t want to skip through all the hubbub and go back to killing things. Maybe not the best way to put it, but essentially these gamers just want to play the game.
Normally I don’t skip cut scenes in games. If a game has a story it wants to tell through cut scenes, I let the short clip play out until it’s my turn to jump back in. Story is the reason I play games and to be immersed in its wondrous grasp. That could explain why I like movies too, but that will be for another time. Then I played FFXIII. That game pretty much tested my tolerance for overly dramatic plots about trust and responsibility and free will and every other anime themed narrative Square Enix loves to use for most of their games. God then FFXIII-2 just made everything worst, and I wanted to play that game. Why do you do this to me Japan?
Japanese game developers aren’t the only ones to blame for long cut scenes, but I do blame them for having taken a liking to stuffing every story element in one tiny segment of a videogame. Example: Metal Gear Solid. Now I’ve only played Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, but Jesus that game. Did anyone clock the time of the cut scene before the final boss battle? All I remember is my uncle leaving the house before the dramatic confrontation then coming back from the store while the cliché still played out. That is ridiculous, especially since I completely forgot what the scene was about.
Usually I would promote not skipping cut scenes, but after finishing FFXIII-2 I’m starting to think game developers are taking advantage of ALL my time. I don’t mind if a game has a narrative, but I’ll quickly change thoughts if the story scenes last longer than my gaming time. In FFXIII-2 case, many instances occurred where a cut scene would repeat information I already heard previously from another cut scene. Most likely this design choice was because the devs could not predict each player’s behavior throughout the game. However, the end result sort of infers the player is stupid enough to forget what’s going on.
This will be a short little post, but do any of you partake in the act of skipping cut scenes? I don’t, but I know at least one person who – in his own words – prefers to play a game and not a movie. Something tells me he wouldn’t like Heavy Rain.