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I got an e-mail from a game seller.  "Hey!  You like puzzle games!  You like quest games!  There's a new one out now!  Puzzle Quest Galactrix!"

My response was a simple "KILL IT WITH FIRE!!!"

I have developed an aversion to Puzzle Quest roughly analogous to Dracula's reaction to crucifixes.  I'm sorry, but the game cheats.  I don't care what the lead programmer says (he denies it).  Puzzle Quest is based on a really old puzzle game design.  My first exposure to it was a game called Gem Drop.  It got cloned into Bejeweled, where it became a hit for Pop Cap Games.  Since then, everyone and their brother copies this game.  A guy from the area known as Webfoot who was in my LUG did a version called Crystalize.  Paris Hilton used it as the basis of a cell phone game she "created".  Long story short -- I know my way around this thing, I've been playing it almost as long as Tetris, Columns, and Puyo Pop.

The above isn't just to brag, I'm establishing my credentials.  I see the computer making bizarre choices, the complete opposite of what a skilled player would choose.  It would only do those things if it knew what was coming up next.  And what do you know, it starts a massive chain that totally owns my ass.  One chain took me from 88 hit points to 0.  I was playing it on my PSP.  I literally jumped up from my chair and yelled, "YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME!"  The lead programmer said it was random, dumb luck and was just as likely to benefit the player as the CPU.  Uh-huh.  You know how many times I've erased over half of my opponents hit points with one combo from a single three-piece move?  ZERO.  Most I've ever done at once is 46.  After the incident I just mentioned, I turned the game off, took it out of my PSP, and have never played it since.

And yet, the game sells.  Being easy to port, it appears on just about every modern system, rivaling Worms for being crossplatform.  I refuse to spend my money on it unless I get a lot of affidavits from the gaming community that this thing is on the up and up.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
b_briarwood
Feb. 25th, 2009 11:52 pm (UTC)
I always thought that game was rigged. I liked the early versions, but PQ is definitely rigged.
sinetimore
Feb. 26th, 2009 02:30 am (UTC)
Ah, I take it you've been subjected to it? There's a support group. We take our discs to the trap shooting range and use them as skeet.

The whole subject of games gaining an extra advantage is rife with problems. I heard some people complain that the Elite Four trainers you face in Pokemon have super high level Pokemon. This, however, doesn't strike me as cheating, since these are the best of the best, of course they'd have high level Pokemon. But I feel it is cheating that the computer controlled Pokemon never seem to run out of PP, regardless of what attacks they use. That smells of cheating to me.

That said, the Pokemon games are totally honest compared to a lot of the YuGiOh card games on the GBA. World Championship 2004 let the computer have three copies of GameBreaker cards that you could only have one of. In Forbidden Memories, the computer could play Fusion monsters immediately, without having to produce the cards and fuse them. I swear the computer also uses strategies regardless of whether my cards are face up or down. And in Worldwide, Kaiba ALWAYS has a Blue Eyes and a Goblin Soldier by his first draw. Just another set of reasons the series lost its luster pretty quick with me.
b_briarwood
Feb. 26th, 2009 03:22 am (UTC)
My only complaint with the Elite trainers were that they used a lot of restore moves and healing type things. That was why you couldn't knock them out and they never ran out of PP. But agreed, they were supposed to be that high.

I gave up on video Yu-gi a long time ago. I used to have an early game where you created all your cards. What you ended up with was never even heard of in the game. I traded it for some Zelda game or other.

Hey, when we do manage a get together, we should bring the decks! I can't even remember the last time I played.
sinetimore
Feb. 26th, 2009 11:02 am (UTC)
I'm sorry, I think something is wrong with my display. The last paragraph showed up on my screen as, "I haven't totally owned your ass since the days in the league." I'd have to dig. New Cruelty, my fav deck, is the only one I still have immediate access to. And we both know how well THAT stood up against you.
mornblade
Mar. 2nd, 2009 12:57 am (UTC)
Wait... let me get this straight, Paris Hilton had a video game concept copied to make a cell phone game? And the game she had copied is one that is already popular on cell phones?
sinetimore
Mar. 2nd, 2009 01:33 am (UTC)
Yes, it is a copy of a copy of a copy for phones that was copied from a copy of a copy....

...and then, your Honor, that was when the Universe collapsed in on itself.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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