Welcome to our weekly open thread for the discussion of gaming plans, nagging questions, and whatever else we feel like talking about. No matter what the topic, we invite everyone in the comments to tell us: What Are You Playing This Weekend?
In a past What Are You Playing This Weekend?, John Teti asked about our methodology for choosing one version of a multiplatform game over another. Let’s say you’re eyeing the latest Call Of Duty, but you have a PC and an Xbox One. Which version of the game do you buy? There are plenty of factors to consider. Maybe you’d rather play a fast-paced shooter with a mouse and keyboard as opposed to a controller. On the other hand, maybe you have more friends that play on Xbox. And considering the steep price of a brand new game, the stakes are high.
I was forced to make one of those decisions this week, and Gameologerinos, I’m here to tell you I chose poorly. You see, we didn’t receive an early review copy of Mortal Kombat X. That’s fine. It happens. So I set out to buy a copy. I’m not a fan of the Xbox One controller, so that limited my options to PlayStation 4 or PC (which I’d play with a PS4 controller, anyway). The PlayStation 4 was the safe bet. It was the version Warner was touting, and I’ve played it before. I knew it’d work out just fine.
Then again, I could get the PC version more cheaply using some coupon jujitsu, and besides, all of my fighting-game playing friends throw down on PC. Yes, I was skeptical of how well the PC version would run—not because of my system, but just because there’s always the chance that the PC port of a console game goes bad. It’s freaking 2015, though. Game companies should have finally figured that out by now. I play plenty of console games on PC, and they’re fine, if not better. Coupons, friends to play with, and optimism in hand, I pulled the trigger and bought the Steam version of Mortal Kombat X.
I’ve made a huge mistake. All right, “huge” might be pushing it, but this PC port was and continues to be a mess. Anyone who, like me, decided to wait until midnight to start playing the game was met with disaster. Due to a technical hiccup, it looked like you were able to download Kombat and boot it up, but you couldn’t get further than the main menu without the thing committing digital suicide. This was because Warner Bros. decided to use the launch of Mortal Kombat X as an opportunity to experiment with a new “streaming installation” feature. You would download the first chunk of the game (the main menu, I’m assuming), and as you fool around in it, helpful internet gnomes would start building the Mortal Kombat X around you, one piece at a time.
That’s how it was supposed to work, anyway. Those gnomes must have taken the night off. It was impossible to run anything but the main menu, and clicking on any option therein would kill the game. The next day, everything was in order. I was able to download the rest of the game and get it running, but there are still some issues—big and small. (The fact that the game crashes to the desktop anytime I try to change my controller’s button layout is a pretty big one.)
As John said when he initially raised the question of choosing between platforms, I’m lucky to be in a position where this dilemma exists at all. Still, no one likes to know they made a bad choice—especially to the tune of $60. Oh well. Caveat emptor, I guess. Next time I’ll be sure not to let a little optimism get in the way of making the safe choice.