I have been known to watch some DVD movies in my time. I have also been known to play some video/console/PC games occasionally. I have, of late, been noticing a trend which seems to be slowly getting worse. Wondering what I could possibly be talking about? Read below the line…
When DVDs first came out, you would load the disc into your player and get to the menu screen almost immediately and those screens were very simple. That’s what people generally want when they start up a movie; to actually watch the movie. But now what do you get? Before you even get to the DVD menu you have to sit through anti-piracy messages (“You wouldn’t steal a car…”) which you can not skip past. There also seems to be an increased number of previews for other movies on DVDs these days which is somewhat odd.
DVD Menus seems to be more elaborate and longer as well. Taking a quick look at the Life On Mars (which is an absolutely brilliant show. Original UK version, obviously) boxed set, the way the menu goes up and down corridors, slowly pans across pinboards and the like … by the time you find the option you want, your popcorn has already gone cold. Another good example of this menu elaboration is the Firefly box set, where you have three or four sets of menus just to play an episode.
Related to this is how some movies have a large number of the credits at the start of the movie. When I watch a movie I am there to watch a movie; I do not care who financed the whole deal. I do not care who did the casting. I do not even really care who the producer and/or director may be. Obviously I am not alone in this since people generally get up and leave the theatre as soon as the credits start to roll.
DVD shows and movies are not the only bastion of annoying menus and screens, however. To illustrate my point I shall use an example. I own a Wii (great console, lots of fun for everyone) and also the Wii game Marvel Ultimate Alliance.
- You start the console up and you get a Health & Safety warning screen, tailored for those people out there who are blithering idiots.
- You select the game from the main Wii screen (Nintendo, how about an option where if you start the console by inserting a game disc … it jumps straight to that disc, hm?).
- The Marvel Ulimate Alliance screen appears and you have to press ‘Start’ for it to begin. This is odd since you just selected to play the game from the main Wii screen. Mmm, redundancy.
- Another safety screen; telling you to not throw your Wii remote through your TV screen. You know, in case you thought it might be fun.
- Copyright screen; informing you who own what copyrights in relation to the game. Not that you actually care in the least but they want to tell you anyhow.
- Activision; The main makers of the game I would think.
- Marvel Comics; They own a lot of properties related to the game.
- Raven Software; Yes, another screen you have to either watch or press a button to skip (but only after it starts).
- Vicarious Visions; I have no idea what these people did to help create the game and I really do not care. Another screen you have to watch or press a button to skip (but, again, only after it has started).
- Vicarious Visions Alchemy; Yes, a separate screen for this! And the screen does absolutely nothing to tell you what it is all about! It has a logo and a message that reads “Powered by Vicarious Visions Alchemy”. Thanks for that … so imperative I am told that every time I wish to play this game.
- Sofodec; Yet another pointless screen. I have no idea what this means. I have no idea why it has to appears. It serves no useful purpose at all.
- Ultimate Alliance Start Screen; Finally! Game content! It has a game heading! And a movie playing in the background! And then you have to press + to get rid of said screen. That’s right, there is nothing else on the screen. It serves no purpose.
- Menu Screen; Finally, you get the what might be considered the g0al. You have finally reached the point where you can start and load games.
Thirteen steps just to get a game going. Thirteen. Now compare that to the old days with the old consoles where you simply inserted a cartridge and the game (shock! horror!) just started immediately