Here are a few of my favorite things: Nintendo, Penny Arcade, The Legend of Zelda, Mario, Pokemon, Harvest Moon, Fallout, Dungeons and Dragons, books, dice, Professor Layton, Shadow of the Colossus, Minecraft, and so much more. I'm going to talk a lot about video games, I sincerely hope you don't mind.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

An Open Letter to the Developers of "Maximum Carnage":

Dear Software Creations,

Firstly, I want to congratulate you. I always like to start my letters with some regard of positivity as it helps get us off on the right foot.

So congrats, on making “Maximum Carnage” for the SNES. I know how difficult it is to actually make a video game, so you deserve some credit to your name for accomplishing such a feat. It must have been incredibly difficult to design such a broken game that tried so hard to emulate the other, more popular side-scrollers of the 90's. You must have slaved and truly broken your backs to make a game with opponents who mercilessly fail to telegraph their attacks or provide any insight on how you're expected to beat them, no matter how many times you play the game. I know I broke my back trying to figure that one out, so kudos there.

While we're on the subject of game design, I would like to talk to whomever was in charge of programming the End Game/Continue system. As I don't have your response yet and don't know this person's name, I will go ahead and call them Darin for now.

Darin, I wanted to talk to you specifically because I think that have a promising future ahead of you. Truly, as a longtime gamer, those words are heartfelt and sincere. Your stunning foresight into ensuring that as soon as a player lost all their lives and all their continues, that they would be forced to restart the game from the very beginning was nothing short of genius. That idea must have been a pitch of marketing gold. Using this system, those dumb kids would have to shell out quarter after quarter into that SNES, earning you and your company even greater riches! It's not like you were selling the game on a platform that didn't require you to continually put money into it to keep playing or anything. Keep striving for that master excellence, Darin, and don't you ever let anyone tell you about those mean old things called “save points,” or “stage select.”

But, I digress, Software Creations. I'm sure you have heard all this praise before. The popularity of Maximum Carnage speaks for itself. I mean, how can it not when you use such an iconic hero as Spider-man? Everybody loves Spider-man! So making a game about Spider-man will only reap in the big bucks as kid after kid will throws their hard earned money for the chance to play as their friendly-neighborhood Spider-man. Who wouldn't take that opportunity to exploit their superhero fascination to feed them a game so unforgivably cheap that their very souls might get crushed in the process? KIDS LOVE SPIDER-MAN, AFTER ALL! You also know what kids love? Your kid-friendly cover art:

 Maximum Carnage

Really, this game must have sold itself. It must have truly been flying off the shelves and filled your pockets deep. After all, the success of Software Creations is widely known with such greats as “Kid Klown in Crazy Chase” or “Carmageddon.” Your legacy is now solidified for eternity, even after your company's sell-out and subsequent dismantling. That probably had nothing to do with your production of such quality games as Maximum Carnage. Probably.

So in summary, Software Creations, I just want to thank you. Thank you ever so much for creating Maximum Carnage. Thank you for designing the game that I have tirelessly tried to beat since childhood and have yet to beat to this very day. Thank you for making a broken, repetitive fighting system that only stands to frustrate and infuriate its players. Without such an innovative game, we might not be where we are now in the video game industry. You are a beacon, Software Creations. May your genius in video gaming never end. Except for that time it did.

Sincerely Yours and 100%-Not-Banging-My-Head-Against-The-Wall-Trying-To-Beat-Carnage-On-The-"Manhattan-Street-2-Stage,"

Tom Gimlin


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