Brad: I’m sure something like this has happened to all of you before – you go to a restaurant, order a Pepsi to go with your meal, and when the drink comes, it looks like Pepsi, it smells like Pepsi, it fizzes like Pepsi, and then you take a sip and BAM! Cherry Pepsi. Tell me that’s not the worst tasting Cherry Pepsi you’ve ever had.
Now don’t get me wrong, I like Cherry Pepsi just fine. But when you’re expecting one thing you really like, and instead, without realizing it, get something else, and don’t realize until it’s too late, the surprise takes over and it automatically tastes like ass. Maybe its happened to you with a different kind of food. You might have mistaken the scoop of butter on your pancakes for whipped cream. Or sour cream for French onion dip. Or a glass of pee for apple juice (if nothing else, I bet I just put you off apple juice for a few weeks). No matter what it was, the confusion always creates a strong bias against the interloping product, no how much you might have liked it under ordinary circumstances.
The Ultimate Qix is significantly less impressive than the Ultimate Warrior.
Playing Ultimate Qix is kind of like that. You expect it to play like a slightly upgraded version of the arcade classic. And it sure looks like Qix with a graphics upgrade. The objective is the same as Qix. It even controls like Qix. Then you take a sip and GAAAAAHHH! This isn’t Qix! What did you do to my Qix?!
The shame of it is, on its own, Ultimate Qix is actually a pretty decent game. But I can’t play it without wishing it were the faster-paced, less methodical, more risk/reward intensive original. In fact, I kinda hate myself for liking this game as much as I do. It almost seems traitorous in a weird way. And generally speaking, creating feelings of self-hatred isn’t one of those qualities we value in a game.
Stryker: Brad’s right in that they made a lot of changes from the original Qix in this game, and not necessarily for the better. But the one thing that stayed intact that I really would have liked to have seen changed is degree of impossibleness of the game. I enjoy a challenging game as much as anyone, but couldn’t you let me at least play a little before killing me off? It’s like watching a title screen that every so often gets interrupted by about 30 seconds of gameplay.