Avril Lavigne Jokes Aside…

Today we’re going to be talking about complicated things. Complicated games, specifically. I have a pretty good board game collection. Several of them are what people consider “too complicated”. I often find myself looking up from a huge pile of cardboard bits and cards, with a handful of dice in one hand saying “what? No really, it’s easy….” 

Video games are a different matter though. Maybe it’s just me, but I almost never find a video game to be too involved or too complicated for me to be able to enjoy it. The only possible exception is flight simulators, although I think I’d find those dull even if I did have a good grasp of how to play ’em. It’s important to point out I don’t mean games that are difficult from a skill perspective. I mean things that have lots of elements to them, or lots of things to learn up front.

Examples? Oh yes… I has them.

Warcraft III. It’s not World of Warcraft, so you less nerdy people can stay seated. Warcraft was the next strategy game that Blizzard made after Starcraft (okay sorry, the less nerdy ones can leave now). It would seem to me that Warcraft III should have been a huge hit, given the classic status that Starcraft achieved. For me, they are both extremely good games. Warcraft III does some things better, but Starcraft fulfills a very different need. Somehow though, 90% of Starcraft’s fanbase didn’t move on to Warcraft III. It’s as if they all got together and universally decided that this game was too involved for them. It is a little involved, but no more difficult than Starcraft for anyone who knows how to play the game well. I think instead of letting this game succeed or fail on it’s own merits, many people decided early on that this game was too complicated for them… it’s a shame.

I’ll throw in a quick mention of Dwarf Fortress, which STILL has yet to get a whole post devoted to how awesome it is. This is an obvious one to point out, with its extremely cryptic interface and detailed level of management. I’ve said it in other posts, but this game rewards those who can stick it out and learn to appreciate its depth. It’s FREE too you assholes, so go play it.

Last one… you’ve also heard me rant about. Street Fighter. Particularly with Street Fighter III and IV, it’s once again like the whole world got together and announced that the game was too good for them. Are you going to let the game beat you like that? Well ARE YOU!? Come on, serious gamers… you aren’t really going to say that a fighting game is too detailed and nuanced for your puny little brains to understand. Step up to the challenge. Kick some ass.

Okay maybe the challenge gamer in me is also challenged by the complex and not just the difficult. I still find it odd with the two examples of sequels that I gave, where a huge fanbase neglected to continue on in the series. Give these games a chance. Invest some time… learn them. They’ll reward you in the end.

Even though you’ll have nobody to play ’em with.


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