Being a Team Handicap Isn’t Easy

You may not believe this, but I do try really hard.

Sometimes I think that the very laws of physics are designed such that no matter which direction I’m facing when I fire, the rocket will streak in a complete 180-degree turn and slam into my teammate’s face.

I have to wonder if the comedic value I bring to a game outweighs the frustration I cause when I do things like sink my own carrier. I don’t even try and blow anything up. I’ll just be running to get on board the helicopter before it takes off, and then, I dunno, I trip or something and drop a bunch of landmines on the deck of the carrier destroying any chance we have of launching any form of air support for the rest of the game. Then I try and make up for this by throwing a bunch of grenades onto the mines, hoping to blow them up…

Only to have my entire team spawn on top of the grenades.

I  think that people invite me to play in their games in a new variation of the Conquest maps. Here’s how I think it works: the two teams agree before hand on a certain goal – say, sniping a helicopter with a rocket. Then the first team that accomplishes this ‘secret mission’ wins the round, and the other team gets me. It’s kind of like handicapping in golf. Only in this case, your entire team winds up with about a 8 billion stroke penalty.

Lately I’ve been trying to learn how to fly helicopters. The results are, as you might expect, disastrously funny. I’ve learned that the writers of Airwolf weren’t lying – a helicopter can do a loop, provided you don’t mind the loop finishing at the bottom of the ocean. Also, anti-aircraft (AA) fire operates on some strange physics, which I’ll attempt to illustrate with the formula below:

If (HELICOPTER_pilot) == Kwip, then damage = 5,000,000
If (AA_gunner) == Kwip, then damage = .1

Granted, I haven’t run this through any scientific tests, but I’m working on it.

It’s disheartening, though. I’m manning the AA guns at our base. An enemy chopper will hover overhead and drop off about twenty parachutists. They’ll land, set up a picnic basket, volleyball net and a barbeque pit. They’ll spend an hour or so frolicking, then calmly climb into all of our vehicles and drive away. The entire time, I’m blasting away at them with the AA gun. It’s hitting – I’m getting the little X’s that show a hit – but everyone’s ignoring it as they dance around and eat their cheeseburgers. Then a helicopter will fly overhead and drop a brick on my head and I die.

However, if I am flying an airplane on the same map as an AA gun, the gunner merely needs to sneeze and my plane will explode in a fiery ball.

You don’t even want to know about me and that DC30 thing. Last night I’m flying around on that thing, so proud of myself for all the stuff I’m blowing up when finally I happen to glance at the chat screen and notice that for the past ten minutes I’ve been bombing my own base as the pilot tries to land for repairs. Sigh.

The thing I don’t get, though, is that everyone knows I suck. I mean, I think that’s the title of the upcoming expansion: Battlefield 1942: Kwip Sucks! So why on earth would you want me to accompany you on your little jaunt to capture flags? The way my luck operates, I have just as much chance of being effective if I stand back at our base and shoot rockets over the battlefield. In fact, that’s probably safer.

I spent the entire time whining for a sub level. I like driving the subs because the chances that I’ll ruin things for my team are relatively slight. Except for that time I surfaced in the midst of a convoy and torpedoed every one before realizing they were our ships.

Most of the time last night I spent running around trying to shoot Devilmouse and Crowley. Which kind of got embarrassing when I found out I was on their team. (See a pattern here yet, folks?) I reached an all-time low when I tried to jump in a hummer with Mittens, only to be run over. Then I realized I had switched teams again.

Sigh. Someday I’ll be good at this game, honest! Actually, I’d settle for just not being an embarrassment

English! Do You Speak It?

Let’s just get one thing straight here: I can’t speak English correctly, and it’s my native tongue. In fact, I’d be so bold to say if it weren’t for the handy spell-check feature included in word processors, these little rants of mine would be about as comprehensible as wall paintings. By a blind caveman.

So if you attempt to not only write something in a foreign tongue – and that ‘something’ happens to be a game – you have my respect. It is amazing that you are brilliant enough to not only do this in your native tongue, but then go on to try your hand at it in another language… Well, I don’t have a hat on, but if I did, I would take it off to you right now, because I am in awe of your smerts.

Now, having said that…

What the HELL were you guys smoking? I mean, look, I’m probably one-half as clever as you folks. Call it one-third without Kwipette around. But if I was attempting to put something out into the German market, for example, I would call up some german-sounding names in the phone book and say, “Guttentagen! How do you crazy foreign devils say, ‘This allows you to carry more.’ in that made-up lingua of yours?” It might take a while to get a solid answer, but I feel pretty confident that somewhere along the line I might come up with a passable German phrase.

The creators of Ragnarok Online apparently couldn’t do that. I’m not sure if it’s because they ran out of time, or maybe the budget was cut so badly that the only part of the phone book they could afford were the 600 pages that listed everyone with the last names of “Chin” to “Chun.” Or maybe even they have some crazy laws over there against making obnoxious phone calls. Hey man, they beat your ass if you spray paint on a wall – I don’t want to think what penalty their crazy legal system comes up with for making rude phone calls. They probably staple your tongue to your testicles for a week or something. So, uh, I guess I can understand them avoiding that option.

But really – look at the bajillion of us Gaijin gamers out here. Some of us speak passable English, and most of us would be willing to do something as difficult as speaking normally for very low wages. In fact, I think it would be safe to say that you could have had clear, mostly legible English included in this game for the low, low price of “including my name in the credits” and maybe even a few eggrolls on the side. (Yeah, I know, eggrolls are Chinese, forgive my American ignorance.)

So when you show me a game that you’re proposing to market to the unwashed masses that are Americans… I have to ask…Uh, what? Did you even try to get this thing translated? It looks like you took an English dictionary, set it on fire, and then threw it in the air. Whatever words were left when it landed were put into the game as dialogue. Like this:

“It is not my intention, I don’t mean to be nice to you!!”

Uh….yes. Yes, please apologize for being nice to me! What the hell were you thinking?

You have to wonder, though. I think this game is a great representative of how Americans are perceived overseas. They probably think we’re looking for excuses to bomb people now.  I’m sure to your average non-American being overly nice to one of us is probably almost as bad as hiding Weapons of Mass Destruction. Don’t believe me? Just ask a French person! You think they’re being rude to us because they’re jerks? Heck no, man – they’re sure that if they’re nice to us, we’ll bomb them back to the Stone Age.

Truth is, the developers of RO probably speak better English than I do. They probably went to Yale and such. The other language versions of the game are probably flawless. They just did this to mess with us. You know, drive us insane. Uh, I mean, more insane.

Stepping Beyond the Norm, Here…

See, if Mac hadn’t bragged about being good, then everyone wouldn’t be under the mistaken assumption that I am at least passably good. As in, I may have passed someone that was good once or twice in the hallway.

I feel bad for the folks at ACRevolution.  I don’t know why they thought this, but they were under the impression that having me on their team to fight against the Turbies would be a treat. About 20 team kills later, they’ve quickly decided that they were, indeed, misinformed.

I don’t know where the Turbies kept hiding. It seemed that even if I sat back at the base, broadcasting inspiring messages (“First one to capture an enemy base gets to buy me dinner!” and “You can’t spell TEAM without M-E!” and my favorite, “You miserable scumbags! Don’t try or anything! I’m sure if God had wanted you to capture a flag he would’ve magicked you a flag!”), some Turbie would come charging through the base and kill me. And not just run up and shot me, either. First they’d run up, demonstrate very clearly that they were putting away their gun and pulling out a knife, and then chase me around and stab me in the face. The entire time, mind you, I’m firing more shots than Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, maybe even Bruce Willis combined, and not only am I not killing them, I’m not even coming close to them. They just keep chasing me, licking their knives and giggling. Now I know how a pint of Ben & Jerry’s must feel when it sees me bearing down on it.

Personally, I think they cheat. There’s no other possible explanation for their winning streak. Obviously, they use Gear. At one point I emptied a full magazine at Muggz, and damn if he didn’t just look at the bullets and make them stop in mid-air. He’s like NeoMuggz or something. I was just waiting for him to start acting badly and Lawrence Fishbourne to show up or something.

So what’s the lesson we learned here, kids? If you want me to help you, the best way is to have me play for the opposing team!