Monday, 21 January 2008

Save the Noble Jump Button

Join the campaign! Rise up, my gaming brethren! For too long, we have taken things for granted, sitting in our thrones while we grow bloated and corpulent! Together, we can reclaim a gaming institution, and restore it to its rightful glory! Other such motivational sentences taken out of communist propaganda! Overuse of exclamation marks!

I am sorry, my children, but we have much work to do if we are to save the jump button. You have all forgotten too easily the bad old days, where jumping in games was the stuff of children’s nightmares. They didn’t even have jump buttons, you just flicked the joystick upwards. And then your character (probably called Larry or Dave or something like that – not like the Nathaniels and Dantes of the modern era, good wholesome working class names with strong backs and families to feed) would do that horrific jump animation, where they essentially tore their groin apart in mid air doing the splits.

Even worse, the directional jump couldn’t be steered. Heading towards spikes that would most certainly end your life, with some sad 8-bit beeps and a ghost sprite? Unlucky, buckaroo. Become the human dartboard, you ain’t got a prayer. Then the first golden era. The Marios and Sonics that allowed you to not only control your jump, but steer it. Oh, those were happy times. Children played without fear in the streets, and Reboot was on TV. Recent masonic artefacts discovered in Egypt even revealed that Violet Berlin and Andy Crane from Bad Influence were borne from the First Golden Era. And then it happened. By inches and degrees, we started to take it for granted, and people suddenly stopped buying platformers. Those people are called idiots. No longer were people happy with Crash Bandicoot and Spyro. Why were we not happy with the world class games like the one with the Gekko in TV programmes, or Psygnosis’ Rascal? Hmm? Hmm? Soon, some games decided that they were going to do all the jumping for us, or not give the jump button its rightful place on the pad. It had to share its wares with all sorts of other actions, like three hobos with timeshares in a Bulldog. Worse, the Grand Theft Autos of this world brought back the groin tearing splits jump, and we lapped it up. Unquestioning and mindless, we somehow thought that stealing cars and listening to specially recorded radio stations was more important than jumping. Then, starved for attention, the jump command started whoring itself out to any genre it could score with. Like a cheap hussy full of Rohypnol and broken dreams, it slept with the First Person Shooter, and single handedly ruined all online deathmatches ever. Remember that first time you went online to show case your noobpwning? And then you discovered that strafing was pointless, because everyone just jumped around you in a circle? Heartbreaking.

Segue: Top 5 heartbreaking things in the world
5. Giving birth to a hand.
4. Someone taping over your only school sporting success, and replacing it with an episode of What About Brian.
3. Someone taping over your night as prom king/queen, and replacing it with an episode of That 80’s Show.
2. Learning that everyone jumps on online deathmatches, and seems to enjoy it.
1. Losing your virginity to a clown.
So, my children, let us stop this madness! Let us pray once again to the old gods, the Ratchets and Marios and Jaks and Sonics! Let us continue to abuse our punctuation, and all in the name of progressive regression! As the creator of John Fashanu’s Bake-off 3000 would say, Awooga!


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