Thursday, December 3, 2015

Bad Titles: How to Control Frustration and the Dangers of Going in Blind

Ever watched or played something that was so bad that by the time you finished the title, you were so angry and frustrated by how bad it was?  That was the case for me last night.  I had finished watching an anime, Burn Up Scramble, and after finishing this twelve episode stinker I was frustrated by how bad the anime was, but  the frustration was also because I went in blind.  I picked up the anime in August, a week before college started, out of sheer curiosity, hoping that maybe this would be a decent show, but I was wrong.  In spite of this, watching the anime served as a lesson for two things: how to control frustration and why going in blind on something can sometimes lead to bad results.

My anger and frustration over the title reminded me that I had been in a similar state before, about six or seven years ago.  Our family used to have a Wii that we got in about 2008 as a family Christmas gift.  A little while after getting the system, we were at a Circuit City (remember those), looking for some new titles for the system.  One of the games we picked up was a game called Kawasaki Snowmobiles.  A few days after getting the game, I decided to try the game out, keep in mind, I was about twelve at the time, and as it turns out, the game was awful.  Poor controls, especially the controls, muddy graphics, and AI that was leagues ahead better than you in a race gave me a realization: this is a terrible game.  To this day, I often cite it as the worst game that I have played, and I haven't played a game that awful since then.  Cut to seven years later when I find myself in a similar state of anger and frustration after finishing this anime.

Fortunately, I managed to calm myself down rather quickly, and then I started to think about what I had finally finished up.  Initially, I was going to review this anime next year in November but I have decided not to since I wanted to take this experience and use it as a lesson to learn from.  As a reviewer, you are expected to review not only good titles, but also bad titles, but what about when you watch or play something so terrible that it made you so frustrated and you didn't know whether to review the title or not?  Sometimes, there's a line to be drawn, and for me, that line was drawn with this title.  It's dull, unfunny, the story set-ups are forgettable and the anime's attempt at an overarching story within the last few episodes feels unnecessary and forced, the animation is lazy, and the characters are either forgettable or just plain unlikeable.  However, now I know that if I ever do watch or play something really bad later on in life; I need to control the frustration and remain calm and relaxed.

The next lesson that I learned from this experience was that going in blind on something doesn't always lead to positive results.  As I stated earlier, I went in blind with this series, I had heard of the previous entries in this franchise, and yes, this anime is part of a line of anime that dates back to the late 80's, but I knew practically nothing about Burn Up Scramble, and look what happened.  This is why you may want to do a little research on a title you've never heard of if you plan on picking it up.  Now going in blind doesn't always lead to negative results; as the results can also be positive.  An example of a positive result would be a game that I picked up a few weeks ago at an estate sale, Flatout.  I had heard the name before somewhere, but that was about all I knew about the game.  After getting the game, along with a few other things at that estate sale, I tried it out the next day and from the time I have spent with this game, it has been a surprisingly decent game. 

That's all I have to say, watching the anime was an interesting learning experience for me, personally.  It made me realize that when watching or playing something that's bad, don't let frustration and anger caused by the title make you very angry, and if you're going in blind on something, make sure to at look up a little information on the title, whether it be reviews or other information, so you know what you're dealing with.

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