3. Beating the game multiple times

What you think they mean: 'You must REALLY like our game to play it all over again. Here's a little reward for your enduring support.'

What they actually mean: 'Look, we know the game is like 4 hours long. Stop bitching about the length. Just beat it again. Consider it a sequel that takes place in a time loop or something.'

Coming back to a beloved game and experiencing its magic again can be awesome. I honestly have no idea how many times I wrecked that punny-bastard King K. Rool for stealing my bananas and putting my buddy in a barrel and leaving it at my front door. But I was never forced or incentivized to do it - I wanted to, because - again - it was awesome.

Some developers and publishers are not great fans of that 'making a really great game that you would WANT to replay' stuff. They force the gamer to play again, and they use Pavlovian methods to do it. No 2nd playthrough, no little picture with beeping sounds.

These usually come in two varieties. The honest kind spells it out for you. Beat. The. Game. Twice. Examples include Dragon Age II and Mass Effect 2 (EA, ladies and gentlemen!). There's also a less honest, more sinister kind. Beat the game on the hardest difficulty setting. Sounds legit and fair, but in some games, like Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard (you again?) and Dead Space (encore from EA!) you have to unlock the hardest difficulty first... by beating the game once. Do they think the player is too much of a coward to do it the first time? Why are they making a difficulty setting an unlockable?

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'You managed to not die. You're AWESOME! Again.'

To be fair, in some cases there are ways around this one. There's a cheat code for unlocking the hardest difficulty in Eat Lead. Also, if you play Dragon Age II/Mass Effect 2 with a save file imported from the previous game (or you have the comic book DLC in the PS3 version of Mass Effect 2) beating the game once is enough, proving that EA goes easy on you as long as you keep throwing money at them.


4. Anything online

What you think they mean: 'You just experienced our multiplayer modes and socialized with fellow gamers. Good for you!'

What they actually mean: 'Better buy our game before we shut down our servers!'

Online multiplayer in general is like a Tourette syndrome training camp, but it has its moments and can be a deep, rewarding experience. Then again, there's also the ridiculous hate messages, the racism, the homophobia, the assholes who pre-ordered the game so they could start off with better weapons and higher levels, Tekken players using Lili etc. There seems to be some temptation to be an antisocial dickhead when hiding behind 7 proxies is what I'm saying. And since the single player mode is like a two-hour tutorial for the online multiplayer a lot of the time, developers encourage the player to enter this world of wonders and have fun.

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Fun /f?n/ (n.) - 'gr8, u pwned sum b1tchez. l33t sKILLz'

First of all, most online A/Ts have nothing to do with skill. Win 10 battles? Even if you really suck at fighting games, you gotta be able to win 10 fights out of 100, or 1000. Reach level 60? You get experience for almost everything in the multiplayer, it may take a while, but anyone can do it. Revive 20 teammates? Just keep your eyes open for fallen comrades. Notice a pattern here? It's always something that anyone can do, and will happen eventually. Like, after a lot of playing. Buy the game early, so you'll have enough time to do all that shit while the servers are still running. Pay subscription fees for Xbox Live. Feel free to to call someone 'shitfag' using your headset (sold separately).

Then there's another problem. The future. Compared to 1995, today is the future. Yet I can still utterly wreck King K. Rool's entire existence for his banana-stealing ways (I still do, when I'm not trying to forget that I own Saw: The Game) and beat DKC 101%. Everything is still doable, there are no lost features. In the year 2028, what will remain from the games of today? Chances are, all the servers active today will be dead. Retro enthusiasts will sit down to play some PS3/Xbox 360 games (assuming any of these consoles will still work by then) and they will find that they can get like 40% of T/As in games like Medal of Honor and Call of Duty: Black Ops. That's the single player portion. The rest wil be gone - nothing but legends, whispered in the wind. Stop and you can almost hear them...

"Urrrrrr hacccckinggg, f************errrrr..."