Dear game developers: let's talk. There are some issues that I'd like to address with how games of different platforms are handled. I play games on whatever platform I feel like; sometimes that's PC, sometimes it's on a console, and sometimes a portable device, so I've had plenty of time to see the pros and cons of each. Let's start with console gaming problems.
The first thing I want to talk about is controls. How a game controls can be incredibly instrumental to someone's enjoyment of a game. Unfortunately everyone will not always agree on what are good controls for any given game. We've seen plenty of games try plenty of different control schemes over the years, but there is one major flaw that seems to exist in the majority of console games: why can I not just customize my own controls?
If I was to play a game on PC then, unless I'm playing a pretty bad port, I can usually customize the keyboard controls to my liking. If I'm playing on a console this is incredibly rare. All too often we're relegated to choosing between a couple of presets, but why? What is the downside to just letting us stick whatever buttons we want wherever we want? The fact that you give us presets shows that obviously you're aware that different people may want different setups so why not just give us full control?
There are a few games that do allow this kind of freedom, and it is wonderful when they do. If you play DmC: Devil May Cry on console you are able to change the buttons around however you see fit, which is great and something that I took advantage of! Hell even the new release of Hyrule Warriors gives you access to both two presets as well as being able to just set whatever you want for most of the buttons. If I want the triggers to be my attacks I can make that happen! When a Warriors spinoff (regardless of how fantastic of a spinoff it is) is doing a better job with control options than AAA GOTY contenders then there's something wrong. Give us presets for suggestions, but let us customize controls to our liking.
The second thing I want to talk about is this ridiculous Resolution War that's been going on since the new generation of consoles came around. 1080p is lovely and it is fantastic if you can achieve it, but sacrificing framerate or texture quality for the sake of perpetuating this ridiculous phase we seem to be going through is stupid. You'll often see people throwing out the pictures that show off just how big in relative terms 1080 is to 900 and 720, but here's the thing: consoles are meant to be played on a TV, and you're meant to be a reasonable distance from your TV. If you're playing on PC then resolution is a much bigger deal because your face is right in front of the monitor, making it easier to see the difference.
I'm not saying resolution isn't important or that it doesn't make everything look better, because it obviously does, but surely there is a compromise we can strike here. If you can hit 60 fps by sticking with 900p but pumping it up to 1080 will force you to lower it, then personally I would rather deal with the smaller resolution. That being said, I'm aware that there are people who are adamantly in favor of your race for the highest resolution possible.
There are people who would gladly play a game in 30 fps if that meant getting to have 1080p. Here's an idea for this problem if you feel the need to try and appease them as well: make the two ideologies an option in-game. Put an option in your game to lower the resolution for the sake of gaining framerate. Final Fantasy XIV did this for its console ports. I'm no game developer so I really have no idea how difficult this would actually be to implement, but I can't imagine it would be an overly substantial amount of work, especially considering that it could potentially please both sides of the divide.
Now let's move on to gaming in general with another issue; this one moving back towards objective problems rather than subjective. For the love of god please make each and every cutscene both pausable and skippable. It is utterly ridiculous that in 2014 there are still games that do not have both of these ideas implemented. If you use cutscenes to cover up loading, then as soon as the loading is finished the player needs to be given the option to skip.
I shouldn't even have to come up with an argument defending being able to pause cutscenes because there is no argument against it. If someone walks into my room to say something to me while I'm playing a game then I should be able to press start and pause that game without worrying that I'm going to miss something important that I'll never be able to see again unless I replay the game up to that point.
These are just a few notable examples of issues that I feel could really use resolving in our medium. If you can think of any other things that you think deserve to be re-evaluated in gaming then feel free to leave your thoughts below! Thanks for reading.