Oh No, The Frame-Rate Ticker Said Bayonetta Was Unplayable. Whut?

I kinda have to, right? When the folks from PushSquare approached me and said, "Yo Twigg-oh, want to write some Playstation 3 columns," I made it my business to play everything available on the system. It didn't change my lifestyle too much though, seeing as I did that in the first place. Hence why PushSquare asked me to write this column and not you. I digress.

Today I want to talk loosely about Bayonetta. But more importantly I want to talk about the not-so-new Internet craze that has every multiplatform release strapped up and put on a comparison pedestal. "Which system provides more thorough aliasing?" the hungry crowds surge, "Which system renders richer textures?" And the analysts cream out their findings with a combination of frame-rate tickers, screen tearing-detector-majibs, and 4,000,000x digital zoom. Fact is: I play games; with all the afore mentioned bollocks turned firmly "off."

When you read PushSquare's Bayonetta hands-on next week, one sentence should stick out: "Bayonetta looks fine." It's been documented and documented, and then documented some more by every video games publication under the sun that the Playstation 3 version of Bayonetta is the weakest version - and hey, I'm not arguing with those who have their aliasing-doodahs analysing the performance of the game side by side with the 360 version but - and here's the crux - I don't play my games that way.

Ask yourself this multiplatform gamers: do you play your games side by side? For example, sticking with the example of Bayonetta, do those of who own a PS3 and 360 intend to buy two copies of the game, and run them side by side on two TVs? I'd hazard you don't. So why the obsession?

I'll dash this piece with a semblance of sense because I'm sure you're all running to the comments right now screaming, "But Twiggo, as an owner of multiple consoles, obviously I want the best version of the game." I get that. Of course you do. Who wouldn't? You'd be dumb to buy an inferior game. If there was actually any real noticeable difference, right? But let's remember, take away that frame-rate ticker and 90% of us probably won't tell the difference.

Here's the thing. I played Bayonetta on the 360 and came away thinking, "Woah, dude, this game is effing rad." I then switched to the Playstation 3 and played the demo there. Guess what I came away thinking - "Woah, dude, this game is effing rad." Am I disputing that the Playstation 3 version is technically slightly inferior? Of course I'm not, from my impressions of both demos I found the Playstation 3 version a little choppy in the frame-rate department, but you know what, it was fine. The main thing is, I came out of the Playstation 3 demo loving the game as much as I did on the XBOX 360. Was one demo superior in my eyes? Nuh-uh.

And you can apply this analogy for practically every multiplatform released on the two systems. I played Dragon Age: Origins on my Playstation 3. I'm told if I play it on the XBOX 360 it looks worse. Either way, I'm not going to enjoy Dragon Age: Origins because the game isn't my cup of tea. Improved PS3 visuals aren't going to change that.

So why then? Why obsess over cross-platform comparison when no-one in their right mind plays multiple versions of a game side by side, with frame-rate tickers and digital zoom?

We play games, not a technical analysis. Right?

“Twiggy” is an anonymous PushSquare columnist who has been spotted in three major cities across the globe. It’s rumoured he’s on the run from the British monarchy who accused him of treason.

Previous entries in the “Twiggy” range: