Saturday, March 7, 2009

X-Play Can Go Die in a Fire

I generally make it a point to avoid G4. With the exception of a few token hotties and some ZANY Japanese shows the network is nearly unwatchable. If they're not showing some six-year-old episode of a TV show nobody watches, they're trying desperately to convince the audience that the entire network is staffed with hip, hardcore old-school gamers who tell it like it is. Moving on from the obvious oxymoron, nowhere is this ideology more apparent than on X-Play, a show aimed at a demographic that can only be accurately described as "retarded".

I guess my little diatribe requires an explanation. You see, a few days ago I happened to stumble upon G4 in my daily channel surfing routine and I came across X-Play's segment "Your Childhood Sucks". Now, forgiving the fact that the show obviously stole my idea, it also decided to attack the soft target of all gaming journalism, Final Fantasy VII. Look, X-Play -- and you might want to sit down for this -- anyone who's not a dumbass knows that FFVII wasn't the orgasm of beautiful graphics and amazing story that every gaming publication originally made it out to be. Even its staunchest supporters admit that their enjoyment is 90% nostalgia. Attacking a game that came in at number seven on a list of overrated games doesn't earn you street cred, especially when you jump on the bandwagon nearly 12 years late.

My grievance with this stupidity is actually twofold: you see, I was a member of the small (but vocal) group of people who hated FFVII from the outset. Granted, most of my vitriol was directed at what I saw as Squaresoft's betrayal of Nintendo, but I also thought the game looked like a geometry book vomited polygons all over a copy of Microsoft Paint. The fact that the story consisted of such stirring dialogue as: "................." and "Sephiroth!" just made me want to cave in Cloud's face with a pickaxe. For a show like X-Play to come along and tell me that I like the game, then proceed to try to convince me that I shouldn't, well...let's say it made me start flexing my pimp hand.

Of course, there's also the fact that this was an attempt at being edgy and provocative. Here's the deal X-Play -- and you might want to sit down again for this -- you don't get extra credit for provoking a group of people who are notorious for being easily provoked. Everyone knows that Square nerds are the fiercest of devotees. These are people who support a franchise whose most memorable characters are sullen pussies with oversized swords and daddy issues. These are people who panned the only good game in the series because its actual play time was longer than its cut scenes. Plus, everyone will tell you that it's not wise to bite the hand that feeds you, X-Play. Those trainables are the only people who watch your show with any degree of consistency; alienating all 86 of them is probably bad for the network.

When you add this to the fact that the "Your Childhood Sucks" segment wasn't even good, it makes matters much worse. I would think that it'd be ridiculous to attack a 12-year-old game on the grounds that the graphics and sound aren't very good compared to newer fare, but apparently X-Play disagreed. Really, X-Play? You really think that this 12-year-old game can't compete with modern games? Really? Well, who would've thought that a 12-YEAR-OLD GAME could be faulted on its relatively low production quality?

The real fact is this: if X-Play had been around in 1997 it would have fellated this game to full Materia release, right along with all the other soulless gaming media at the time. Pretending to be above the hype because X-Play wasn't around when it went down, doesn't excuse the show from being the same drooling fanboy it tried to insult.

Plus, the segment wasn't all that funny.