I Don't Got to Show You No Stinkin' Patches

game patchesI guess being primarily a console gamer has spoiled me. In the not too distant past, my games came on a cartridge, a CD ROM, a memory card or a DVD; the games were complete and ready to play.

What I’m getting at is game publishers only had one chance to make console games as bug free and compete as they possibly could before handing it to their distributors.

Once the media was shipped, that was it folks. No recalls. No bulletins. No work arounds, (usually) to fix broken game issues. In short, they made their bed and slept in it. Period.

But now, what my fellow PC gamers have accepted as being part and parcel in playing PC games has now come upon the console world…patches.

I’m not sure how most gamers feel about patches, especially those in the console world, but my feeling is that when I buy a console game off the shelf for the present gen Xbox 360, PS3 or Wii, I’m not as confident that I’m getting my money’s worth anymore. For some game developers, the patch is the solution for a title that is really incomplete and needs more time to hammer out problems. So some of them think, "Hey, it’s not ready, but we can always send out a few patches later!"

I’m not really sure if I’m comfortable with this sort of logic. What if you went to your local dentist for some work on your teeth and he rushed through your session because, "Hey, no problem. I didn’t finish it right the first time, I can offer you a patch later…"

What if you had an operation? "Gee sir. We didn’t do a very good job on your heart operation because we did it sort of sloppy, so we’ll offer you a few "patches" to make up for what we didn’t do right."

Ok, maybe you’re in good health. Let’s say you brought your car in to have it serviced for a tune up. The car service person says to you, "Well, we didn’t have the right spark plugs so we just put in the best match. Your car won’t run as good, but hey, come back next week for a "patch."

Patches in games are good sometimes. They fix issues that make the game more fun or take care of things that the developers didn’t know about. But what I’m concerned about is sloppy programming and the allurement for game developers to just release a game that they know has serious issues but send it out anyway because they can release patches later.

If patches are made to enhance a game, there’s really no issue here. If patches are released to take care of minor bugs to make the game better, there is no issue. But when patches are released to fix games that are literally broken or have to have major chunks of code added to make the game work the way it was supposed to…that’s where we have a problem.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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