Video Games Intro

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Some video games start right after pressing the “new game” option on your screen… But it is quite rare nowadays and most games propose an intro/opening.

portal introSometimes, though, it is justified for a game to have no intro… Take Portal for example; it starts very abruptly and catches the gamer off-balance as the game gives almost no clue to what is happening or what the gamer needs to do.

One fun part with Portal’s opening is that it is a “waking up” scene, category in which a good half of all video games openings fit. In the beginning of Heavy Rain Ethan Mars wakes up, in the beginning of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the past Link wakes up, in the beginning of Link’s Awakening Link wakes up (it’s even in the title LOL), in the beginning of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Link wakes up, in the beginning of Chrono Trigger Crono wakes up, etc…

firstkissThe intro to a game is of utmost importance as it gives the gamer a “first taste” of what the game has in store for him, introduce the whole game’s universe and is kind of a catalyst to entice gamers in playing the game further… I guess one could venture in saying it’s a bit like kissing a girl for the first time.

There are extravagant intro that engulf you in the game’s universe right away, like in Metal Gear Solid where the intro sets the pace of the game, introduces main characters and background… They’re almost like TV series openings and it’s probably the developers’ goal to make you feel they could be. Metal Gear Solid comes with a huge background, and in this game franchise, scenario is really important… So not having an intro to Metal Gear Solid would have been like skipping the first kiss in a relationship… And contrary to what one may think, we, gamers, are not wild animals.

Sometimes intros can be annoying too… Just like some FPS ones where the developers thought it would be interesting to know about the geopolitics implications of that particular area, remind us of some historical events, etc… Just like the Black Ops intro where the “Bay of Pigs” incident is mentioned… When we absolutely couldn’t care less! And to be honest I thought “Bay of Pigs” was a porn movie… Anyway… It is too complicated introduction for an FPS… Everything I need to know is who the bad guys are and then let me go shoot everybody up without thinking too much… Just like a real soldier…

half-life crowbarWell, at least in Black Ops the intro is relatively fast… However, it is another story in Half Life! And those of you who have played that game like me are smiling already… For the first 5 minutes of the game you are forced to do nothing… They take place in an empty subway, by yourself, without any weapon or anything… You can only enjoy the scenery… Too bad you’re underground!

After those painful 5 minutes and you get off the subway, you can’t take it anymore and want to shoot stuff… But it’s not over yet… Once you get off, some scientists talk to you about some stuff you don’t really understand, you don’t really know what’s happening or what you’re supposed to do, and a few minutes later, BAM! Alien invasion… So you’re thinking “great, finally gonna see some action!” but the only thing you find for fighting off those aliens is a rotten rusty shitty crowbar… I’m sorry but an FPS where you spend the first hour of game play without being able to fire a weapon deserves to end in the bin… Luckily (for the game) it’s Half Life, so…

soul_blade_boxartOther intros are basically music videos/clips (let’s call them “song intro”)… So you find good ones such as the one in Soul Blade where there’s everything you need: some ninjas, some boobs, some violence, some violins… Congrats to Namco for producing the best song intro of all times. Song intros are not easy to pull off and they can quickly go belly flat…

EXILE Japanese Boy BandThis brings me to an example of a bad song intro that made me puke my breakfast the first time I fired up the game… Yes, you have guessed well, I’m talking about Street Fighter IV song intro featuring The Next Door by EXILE. For those unaware, EXILE is a Japanese boy band that seems to be quite popular over there… So I get the point that Capcom would want to have a popular band singing the song intro, but a boy band? Why would you want to ruin the soundtrack from the get go? WTF Capcom? I’d like to know when and why exactly you thought that Street Fighter IV players would be boy bands fans… What type of douche do you have as your marketing head? Why would you mess this up when you last Street Fighter installment had come out almost 10 years prior? Epic Fail, Capcom… Luckily, the Super Street Fighter IV intro was much better (but there was no lyrics so it’s not really a song intro).

Anyway, for those at home who loved the EXILE song, don’t worry; it is perfectly possible to go on living your miserable lives without any good taste… :)

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