Dear Santa Claus,
Despite what the title of this letter may suggest, we know you’re not real. After all, I’ve never once received a lump of coal in my overpriced, moth ball scented velvet stocking, even though I’ve been a mild jerk for the duration of my life. Honestly, it’s pretty annoying, considering I have several large locomotives to power, and none of them run on gift cards or festive chocolates, but I digress.
Instead of getting me whatever you were planning on getting me (you know, since I’m an adult and have saved my money responsibly), I’d like you to make these three gaming wishes come true like the bearded genie you are. Save your minions from making one more train set, since nobody likes those anyways, and make the gaming industry a better place, once and for all. All I want for Christmas is:
Video games that actually work:
This is asking a lot, I know, but hear me out Mr. Claus. Take all of that energy you spend invading people’s homes without their permission and put it into eliminating the stuttering, disconnected garbage the world has come to expect with this new generation. If you were to eat one less cookie at every house you visit, you’d have the time to write letters to every major publisher explaining why releasing an unfinished product is never a good idea. There are enough games out there to tide the world over while we wait for a delayed title, and consumers deserve to get real value for their money. Just think of all the poor children whose parents bought them Driveclub this past November and you’ll understand why this particular wish is incredibly important.
For Microsoft to end its Indie Parity Clause:
Whether it’s a game nobody has ever heard of or the next great independent title, something of note seems to come out on the PlayStation 4 every single week. The Xbox One, despite its strong first-party lineup, suffered a number of release lulls this year. As someone who owns both systems, there’s no question as to which plastic box I activated more often, though the PlayStation 4’s time-eating TV dominance could end with one simple move by Microsoft. It’s time to get rid of that obnoxious Indie Parity Clause once and for all, as the Xbox One’s could certainly use every game it can get.
Because of the need for indie games to launch on Xbox platforms before, or at the same time as, other platforms, Microsoft’s rectangle of power missed out on a number of exciting ports. Whether or not the presence of the Parody Clause was the reason that games like Rogue Legacy, The Swapper, and Transistor are missing from the Xbox One is a mystery, but this weird rule is definitely scaring independent developers away. Sure, the Xbox One is going to get some incredible indie titles in 2015 (cough, cough, Below, cough cough), but it needs more.
You hear that Santa? While you’re out defying gravity instead of spending time with your wife on a major holiday, pay Phil Spencer a visit and make this happen.
For Below, There Came an Echo, and Life is Strange to be as good as they seem:
No, the thought isn’t what counts on Christmas. If it was, then people would know not to give each other terrible gifts like socks or any trash from SkyMall. With that being said, this last wish is entirely selfish: I want my three most anticipated games of 2015 to be amazing.
I’ve spent over three hours with Capybara’s Below, with every minute of which being amazing, but there’s still a chance that the final release could be underwhelming. Think about it, The Crew previewed incredibly well at PAX East, and that’s a three out of five all day, every day. There Came an Echo boasts an incredible voice acting cast, a wonderful score, and an exciting premise, but what if the entire package doesn’t come together? Life is Strange might wind up being the next great emotional journey (pun intended), or it could wind up being a Grade A snoozefest. Forget about giving presents to millions of children that I couldn’t care less about and make sure the games I want amazing. If you do, I’ll stop telling 5-year-olds that you’re not real for entertainment.
I’d like to take the time, on behalf of the entire Hardcore Gamer staff, to wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Festivus, or whatever holiday you hold near and dear to your heart. Though to be fair, if you have a truly horrible holiday experience, we’d probably never know.
Also, if you’re a kid who just found out that Santa wasn’t real through this article, I guess I’m sorry. To be fair, anybody with a mild sense of logistics could understand that a morbidly obese elderly man who probably has arthritis could never fit down your chimney. Also, it’s not 1752, so you probably don’t even have a chimney. Look on the bright side, though, life is going to be full of disappointments, so you’re getting used to this feeling at a young age. Think of this as a learning experience.