View Full Version : My request / odyssey into consoles (wow, TR is different on XBox)

15th Sep 2009, 14:35
Apologies for being long winded or waxing into nostalgia.

So there I was, a PC gamer. The first modern computer game I bought was Marathon by Bungie (MAC game). It was a first person shooter that had complete mouse-look (at the time, mouse-up moved you forward in Doom). I say modern because I actually played "Adventure" on the PS2 (xyzzy and all!).

The second computer game I bought (and first PC game) was Tomb Raider. It was the first game with huge, expansive 3D levels. Yes, TR was ground-breaking--folks arguing about her cup size in the below threads please take note, please ignore the trees, and start arguing about the forest. I eventually bought all of the TR series for the PC.

The third game (of note) I bought was Battlefield 1942. A PC-only online multiplayer FPS. BF42 gave you 5 player kits/classes and 16 maps across 4 theaters. I actually got pretty good at multiplayer FPS (BF42, BFV, DF, JOTR, BF2, BF2142, FFOW)...was in a clan and played in tournaments.

I did begin to notice that more and more PC games were simply ports from consoles. Some good and some lazy. When Battlefield 1943 came out for consoles and not the PC (PC much later), I knew that the days of the PC game were done. Didn't buy BF43 because somehow, only getting 4 maps (all of which were in BF42) and only getting 3 kits/classes, really didn't seem like a good deal.

But anyways, I took the plunge and bought an XBox360. The trouble is, First Person Shooters absolutely suck on consoles. Really, they do. And here is why (and I promise I am getting to a TR-related point soon).

In a PC FPS, you use mouse+keyboard and the keyboard is primarly WASD. What you gain from this is the ability to dedicate a hand to mouse-look and aim. This has been the case for all FPS from Marathon onwards. The keyboard is for moving and specials like jumping, ducking or crouching, grenades, health, ammo or reloading, or whatever.

Now here is the problem. With an XBox controller and the controller set-ups offered in TR-A, your thumb has to leave the right stick (your mouse-look) to do any of the specials *including jump.* So, on the PC, you are constantly adjusting and "dressing-up" your line of approach up to and including the point at which you jump. On the console, your approach has to be set before you jump because your thumb must leave the right stick to press the jump button.

This makes for wacky jumps with Lara's legs going one-way, her torso going another, and her head going a third way. It also makes for a very frustrating experience as you fail jump after jump after jump. Not a way to make a platformer enjoyable because there is no fluidity to the game. I've beaten TR-A on the PC and I have yet to clear City of Villcamba on the XBox.

So my request to CD is to move "core special moves" to the left hand. Jump and duck need to be performed with the left hand. "Mirror's Edge" gets this right by making jump the LB and duck the LT (personally I would have reversed those and had jump as the LT). Interesting to note that the makers of Mirror's Edge (Digital Illusions or DICE), have loads and loads of FPS development experience (including the Battlefield series).

Right thumb needs to be dedicated to mouse-look just like in Marathon or Battlefield. It should never have to leave the right-stick during time-sensitive or stressful moments (like combat or tricky moves). You have the right button and right trigger for combat.

My suggestion:
LT = Jump
LB = Duck
LS = Move
LS (press) = Action (Choice 1)
RT = Fire
RB = Lock-nearest/cycle Targets
LS = Mouse-look
LS (press) = Action (Choice 2)

That is the request. Jump and duck need to be controlled by the left hand; preferrably LT and LB. Thank you.