Gaming journalist literally worse at problem solving than a pigeon, exposed in videogame tutorial.
Dean Takahashi of VentureBeat “identifies” as a gaming journalist. One would think that, in a medium where one of the most common elements involves adapting to new mechanics and advancing through strategy, a professional reporter for the field would be at least a semi-competent player.
You’d be wrong.
There are games, like Bloodborne for example, that throw players in ass first with little explanation but with the expectation that they will die brutally and repeatedly. As you play, you’re supposed to pay attention and practice and stop sucking so much. You learn or you lose.
Cuphead, the game being tested, is not Bloodborne. It’s platformer reminiscent of early twentieth-century Disney. It has a tutorial with blocks and a smiling cartoon character. It even gives prompts for the buttons involved to progress.
Takahashi got stuck for over a minute and a half on the third step in the tutorial because he couldn’t figure out a mechanic that involved problem solving. A video shows he took twenty seconds longer than a pigeon took to pass an intelligence test with similar mechanics. Fellow journalist Jose Abalos of Gamasutra reveals similar ineptitude when he leaps to defend Takahashi, saying:
“Even though the game says you need to press Y, what you really need to do is jump back to the cube you just passed, make a running jump and perform an air dash in order to pass the cylinder. It’s a simple puzzle, but one more than enough to perplex people who are just starting the game for the first time. In other words, the dash command isn’t introduced in the most appropriate manner.
Does it make sense? Yes, it does. Is it intuitive? No, it isn’t, and intuitive is what you should be aiming for when designing a tutorial, and this is something that all kinds of games make.”
Frankly, when the first attempt or two failed the next step seemed perfectly intuitive to this casual gamer. And while occasionally everyone makes stupid mistakes (in gaming or in life), most people have the grace to feel at least a little sheepish about it.
Not according to our clown Jose. It must be the game’s fault. It’s too hard, impossibly tricky and clever with its expectations and its puzzles. If the information isn’t being spoon fed how could anyone figure anything out?
It’s safe to say Dean and Jose probably need to level up if they want any professional credibility going forward.
Featured Image Via Pepe Cortisona