Monthly Archives: April 2016

The essence of the collectible – what makes them fun?

It has come to my attention that there’s a universal constant running through practically all the games that I’ve been playing recently… It’s not something like the fact they all have deep and immersive worlds, however, or that they all have excellent gameplay. No, it’s more the simple and mundane fact that I have spent a lot of time in all of them mindlessly running around collecting things. No matter the scenario, everything always seems to boil down to me wandering around picking yet another object off the floor, and all things considered it’s not always been the most fun of experiences. However, in yet another haze of boredom, this simple fact got me to thinking; what exactly does it take to make collecting things fun?

Well, predictably, I don’t think there’s really a clear cut answer; if there was, this would be a pretty short article, after all. Despite this, there’s a few things that I really do think help make the collectible experience a fun one, the first being that each collectible needs to come with an immediate reward for actually collecting it. Audio logs are the classic example here, but it’s by no means a bad one; these can provide you with anything from a nice insight into the story of a game right down to a simple laugh, after all. The Division provides a prime example of this in action; since the actual story is only sparsely told throughout the missions, it comes down to audio logs to successfully flesh out the world around you. It’s one of the few ways the game actually makes you want to explore; they actually contain interesting information about how the outbreak happened and the consequences of it, and therefore builds that desire you want to see when it comes to seeking out the next one.

The Uncharted series, for all the things it does well, actually provides the other side of the coin when it comes to immediate reward. For each artefact you find, you get rewarded with a sound effect and a little picture of the artefact in question… And that’s it. There’s nothing of any real interest to take from getting each one, and when you’re scouring the world trying to get 100 of them, it means things get old pretty fast. It’s just not very fun at all.

Thankfully, Uncharted does get it right when it comes to my next point; collectibles should come with a long-term reward for getting them all. I mean, this one’s pretty much a given in every game that contains collectibles, I agree, but it’s an important enough point to highlight anyway… Uncharted, for instance, gives you the ability to give yourself a rocket launcher at any time as a reward for finding everything – and it feels like a suitable and satisfying reward for the work you’ve put in up until that point. What constitutes a final reward can vary from title to title; sometimes even just an achievement or trophy that provides you with bragging rights can be enough. There just needs to be… Something, that little spark of motivation that makes you actually want to go for the gold and grab everything in sight in the first place.

Rewards are one thing, however; the actual act of collecting is another. Here, I think it’s important that collectibles shouldn’t be too so obscurely hidden they’re frustrating to find. Funnily enough, Uncharted again provides a good example of what not to do here. Many treasures are way off the beaten path or in places you wouldn’t think you could reach, but a special prize goes to one particular treasure in the third game; here, you are required to shine a light at a flock of bats, which then flee in terror and knock the treasure down to your level in the process. It’s a process and train of thought that had not been seen in the series up until this point, and is never seen after, so much so I wonder how people worked it out in the first place. Put simply; if I have to look up a guide online every five minutes just to find things, I’m probably not having much fun.

However, things get a bit problematic here, because I think the opposite also rings true – collectibles shouldn’t be ridiculously easy to collect, either. Pretty much every Ubisoft game ever is guilty of doing this; you always reach a certain point where everything is suddenly clearly marked out for you, removing any sense of exploration and making everything into a dull point to point affair remarkably quickly. There’s got to be a good degree of balance between the two contrasts, one that can only be achieved via clever game design and implementation; it’s not a simple case of just dumping a bunch of items into your map and calling it a day.

There’s also one last think I consider to be important, and that’s the fact that there can’t be so many collectibles that it’s off-putting to ever start getting them. Ubisoft games are another prime example here; open your map in any one of these games and zoom out a little, and it’s not uncommon for the map itself to disappear under a sea of tiny dots that mark each collectible. Again, to be fair, the opposite can hold true here – Crackdown had 500 agility orbs, for example, but the fact they each one made your character stronger (And also came with such a satisfying ‘ping’ noise upon their collection I can still recall it to this day) made it so that it didn’t seem a pointless endeavour to start hunting them down.  Again, it all comes down to good game design – something I only realised was so important when it came to giving the matter some thought. It really can’t be under-estimated.

Overall, combine these things together and in my eyes it’s nigh-on the perfect formula for collectible heaven; something that you’re actually enthusiastic to do, instead of something that only manages to raise a dejected sigh out of you. It’s interesting to consider that I can’t actually think of any game that does it perfectly; Uncharted has good rewards but a depressing and difficult slog to get there, for instance, whilst The Division makes each collectible interesting but makes them simple to find and way too many in number. Perhaps one day a game will strike the perfect equilibrium, and create that collectible feast that’s impossible to ignore; until then, it’s probably left for us to fill in the gaps with our stubborn desire to be a perfectionist in everything we play. Or is that bit just me…?

 

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Opinions on… The Division

Hype trains are dangerous things. They all seem to end up going the same way; you buy your ticket after seeing the beautiful scenery that is the announcement trailer, and as you pull out the station and glide along the tracks, all the new screenshots and info make you think everything is running smoothly. But the doubt creeps in, the train rumbles, and with the game’s release you hurtle off the rains at great speed and burst into flames.  All that remains in your hopes and dreams turning to ash as you think about what could have been, and it’s at this point you realise I’ve probably taken this metaphor too far.

The point is, I was there for The Division’s mysterious first trailers, there for those gorgeous initial screenshots of the game, but all along I made sure I kept my hype under control. I never saw this as potentially the best game ever, and after playing it I’m glad I never did, because it turns out the end result is something that is decent at best.

Now, I hasten to say that The Division is by no means a bad game; there are many things it actually does very well. It has, for one, ended up looking pretty damn good – Post apocalypse Manhattan looks mightily impressive, and drips atmosphere. Details such as hastily abandoned clinics and the piles of waste that line the streets really draw you into the world Ubisoft Massive has created. It’s not up to the standard that initial screenshots might have suggested, sure, but the end result is still something that looks mighty fine.

Secondly, the core gameplay is certainly enjoyable – guns are fun to use, with each feeling different and presenting their own challenges. The game also does well in making every fire fight feel unique; bump into a small group of enemies in the street, and it becomes a desperate fight to use what little cover you have effectively. Alternatively, defending against an oncoming horde creates a good sense of a siege mentality, as you struggle to strategise on the fly and maintain your advantage. Many missions take advantage of this sort of thing as well – some trap you in narrow hallways and rooms, others force you to watch everything doing on both above and below, yet more lead open things up and make you keep moving. It really helps to keep things from getting stale in a remarkable hurry.

Additionally, there’s a really good sense of progression in play as you work your way up to the max level. The old Ubisoft formula of beating one area to make yourself stronger for the next still beats at the heart of things, but this time it’s bolstered by the process of collecting ever stronger gear and weapons. It’s immensely satisfying to see your damage numbers steadily crank up as you beat mission after mission, until enemies that had you quaking in fear only hours before begin to fall like dominoes. Everything from earning new abilities and building up your home base only increases this feeling of building up your strength until you feel ready to tackle anything; it’s an arc of progression that’s perfectly pitched and, to me, very entertaining.

Finally, to my eternal surprise, the player vs. player area that is the Dark Zone is actually something I found to be a highly enjoyable. I had feared upon learning of it that it would become a mess of irritating player behaviour that would see you dying all the time. This happens sometimes, sure, but the reality is actually something far from that. Immensely strong enemies that are a nightmare to kill and the risks of going rogue by killing others mean uneasy alliances have to form by design. You’ll bump into each other, help each other out, and then try and extract your rewards for teamwork out of the zone… But all the time there’s that faint sense of unease, that lingering sense you should watch your back. You can never fully know if someone is friend or foe, and the game really plays upon hyping up this feeling. It’s a real blast to play.

Still, for everything the game does right, there’s a bunch of things it does wrong, many of which have an irritating habit of latching on to the things that are really fun in a valiant attempt to try and suck all joy out of them. For instance, the map certainly looks good, but it’s a remarkably dull to traverse, with little to hold your interest. There’s half a ton of side missions, but with nothing to fill in the gaps between completing these besides a myriad of mundane collectable, it rapidly just becomes a case of getting from mission A to mission B in the fastest time possible. If you do clear an area, there’s actually very little reason to ever return to it again; vast swathes of the city slowly become meaningless, mere filler areas on your map screen. It’s both disappointing and really odd to see.

Secondly, for all my talk of how about progression to the max level of 30 is super fun, the endgame is a bit of a mess. You get one pop-up with about three lines of text introducing you to it and telling you in vague terms what to do, and then you’re pretty much left to work it out for yourself. Progression then becomes jarringly schizophrenic – you can whiplash between hours of wasted time and thirty minutes of really good drops (and back again!) remarkably quickly. While it’s par for the course in these games, endlessly doing the same missions or sweeping the same areas in the dark zone doesn’t help, and you rapidly find yourself wanting the good old days of simple level progression back again.

It’s also worth noting that patches and tweaks to the game are currently switching the goalposts on the best approach to the endgame to an infuriating degree. For instance, crafting new gear was initially a good investment of your time, but one patch later and suddenly it’s changed so much it now borders on being a waste of time. These changes are affecting things so much so that if you aren’t carefully keeping up with the community you’ll be left at an unfair disadvantage, and that’s a horrifically bad approach to things.

There’s a bunch of other irritations and issues that I could go on about; There’s a story to The Division, but it’s told in such a fragmented and obtuse manner it’s hard to care for it… I myself only finally realised who the main villain actually was meant to be at the very end of the last mission. The fact that the game focuses on group gameplay is fine, but another issue is the fact that the way missions are structured and the absurd strength of later enemies can sometimes feel a bit of an unfair disadvantage to lone gamers.

Many a glitch are also present and correct to irritate and annoy – I have frequently stuck my head out of cover only to find my gun refuses to fire for no discernible reason, or have ran up a staircase only to find myself abruptly tumbling out of the map. Issues like these are maddening when they occur near the end of a hard fought mission, as you watch all your progress vanish due to something you simply couldn’t control. Couple these glitches with all the other problems, and fatigue with the game as a whole can easily settle in.

It’s this sense of fatigue that’s perhaps the key issue with The Division, especially when it comes to what the future holds for it. My interest has already started to flag, and I see no way it’s going to hold my attention for any extended period of time… Yet when you take into account Ubisoft’s clear plans for multiple expansions and updates they hope will keep the title running for years, that’s a major issue. I’ve enjoyed my time with The Division, that’s for sure, and in all honestly I haven’t stopped playing it yet. But after all the hype, just to play the game and find these massive chinks in its armour… Well, it’s hard not to feel disappointed.

Best before end – do today’s games have expiry dates?

If you were to break down what I’d been doing with my time in The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heroes, which I started to play recently, you’d end up with some interesting results. You’d see the time I’ve spent storming through levels with some players, and desperately struggling on with others. Yet most tellingly, you’d notice the massive amount of time spent doing one thing – bouncing a ball around while waiting to actually find someone to play with. That period of time is far that has been far too long for my liking, and it got me to thinking about something – at the rate things are going, will anyone be left playing Triforce Heroes in a couple of months? If not, does this mean any new players will be left bouncing a ball around for all eternity? In short – will this game basically cease to be?

The thing is, without any player base to sustain it the sheer core of Triforce Heroes is ripped away from itself. It’s clearly meant to be a team-based experience, something that you share with others, and if you can’t physically do that the purpose of the whole thing just seems to fall flat on its face. It’s not an exclusive thing either; The Division is another potential example of this phenomenon occurring in the future. Everyone is obviously playing it now, especially with incursions landing today for you and your friends to challenge yourself against, but if you were to take those friends away… What’s left?

The game can be played alone, obviously – I myself fly solo most of the time. However, now that I’ve reached the peril that is the endgame, I feel like I’ve reached a point where it’s nigh-on impossible to make any form of distinctive progress unless there are others there to help me. Even I’ve been walking Manhattan’s streets alone it’s been clear to me that a lot of what I’ve played has been tailor made with group play primarily in mind. I’ll be happy to eat my words on this front, but The Division’s community is not likely to last forever; therefore, I can’t help but feel that players in years to come will essentially be left with a purchase that is a mere shell of a game.

The issue is not just directly related to just the gameplay experience, either. Just take a look at some of the current or future titles that are coming out, and you’ll see how many are pushing talking about sharing your experiences, with pop-ups and hints all telling you to get the ‘full experience’ by joining in with the community. Heck, with the introduction of Miiverse, it’s hard to find a Wii U or 3DS title that can actually shake the idea of community off its shoulders.

But, once again, when the community a game might gather eventually moves on, what happens to the appeal? There’s no one left to show off to, no real benefits from sharing your experience, but still the pop-ups will remain, beckoning us in with prospects of hope that simply no longer exists. You’ll be left shouting into a void, if the void remains in existence in the first place – there’s always a chance the servers have shut down to prevent you from trying in the first place. It’s another example that shows these games aren’t forever – sooner or later, there’s going to be large portions of what made them great in the first place that have ceased to be, the flashy advertising for them being the only thing that remains.

Now, I know what you’re thinking; this whole concern isn’t exactly a new thing. Every multiplayer game has experienced the boom and bust of a community coming and going; Call of Duty games could perhaps be the prime example of this. And to an extent, I agree with you – I can’t argue that multiplayer wasn’t a big thing in these games, after all – and with only hackers and die-hard players left nowadays, they’ve certainly lost something. Yet here’s the thing – these games at least had something to back them up. Say what you will about Call of Duty’s crazy single player story, but at least it was there. In many cases, they even contained highlights that remain praised to this day – the fourth instalment is a prime example of this. The fact multiplayer is a craze that has long since passed can do nothing to change that.

To go back to Triforce Heroes, it too has a single player mode that can theoretically stand the test of time, but to be honest… Well, it feels a bit tacked on. The fact the single player mode is accessed through a tiny door next to the grand entrance that is multiplayer certainly doesn’t help alleviate that feeling; It feels cumbersome having to switch between each character, so much so that making any progress feels painfully slow. It’s like I noted above with The Division – you can play alone, sure, but it’s not the true experience, not something that remain memorable… And certainly something that doesn’t match the fleshed out single player modes of games like Call of Duty.

Now, there’s part of me that considered the fact that if these games held any true merit, they’d be able to hold on to their community, and therefore there wouldn’t be an issue in the first place. But honestly, that feels like a brutally harsh bar to measure things upon; the reality is very few games manage to hold on to their community for years. For every Counter-Strike, there are a hundred other multiplayer shooters that have long since been left to remain derelict and forgotten. Yet that doesn’t mean these games don’t hold any merit – they could still have been fun, still had their own charm which we should be praising and embracing. Yet without that community to keep them alive, it becomes almost impossible to find out what those charms may have been.

Honestly, writing this, part of me feels like a grumpy old Granddad – telling the new gaming kids with all their friends to get off my lawn, while I enjoy playing Sonic 2 again in peace. There’s a tiny shard of that that rings true, I’m not going to lie – but look at the way games are moving, and the evidence is there to show it can’t be just be all me. There’s more social interaction than ever, more games dedicating themselves to gathering a community to wring out their full experience than ever before. It’s the new fad, like bullet time and XP totals before it. Yet this new fad has more potential for long term harm than any of those that have come before it – and that’s a worrying thing indeed.

The perils of the Endgame (And why I avoid it)

So, I’m having a good deal of fun with The Division. I’ve been slowly working my way through the game, strengthening up my character and edging my way ever so nearer to that almighty level cap of level 30. But here’s the thing – I don’t really want to be almighty. Because then I’ll be in end game content. And, personally, that’s where the fun levels tend to start taking a nose dive. This is not a new phenomena; it’s something I’ve learnt from playing many an RPG and other genre-bending games like Destiny. You spend all that time struggling to the top of the mountain, and all of a sudden the cliffs you scaled seem like the much more appealing place to be. But why? Endgame content is meant to be the pinnacle of the game, one of the big highlights of your experience and something to really sink your teeth into – why do I have such negative reactions to it?

 Well, I think there’s many a reason. Let’s start with one of the big ones – endgame content sees your sense of progression grind to an almost standstill. You see, up until this point, the game’s always been giving you something to aim for, a tangible goal for you to finally reach. Whether it’s the next level up, a new area, whatever – your progression is always steadily continuing. Yet then the endgame crashes into view, and such steady progress vanishes. Now, nine times out of ten, you’re merely faced with the grind; the endless repetition of the same tasks over and over to slowly build yourself into something stronger.

And the key word there is most certainly slowly. The time between your successes was fairly limited before, a couple of hours at most. Now, as you bend under the will of the game’s design and plead mercy to the random number generator gods, days can pass with little to no progress at all. It’s disheartening, because the joy of your achievements is stripped away so much – even finally obtaining a rare and super item is often nulled by the realisation it’s taken you so long to obtain it.

In reality, this simple fact that everything takes a significant time investment is another issue I have. This doesn’t just always come in the shape of having to grind out your gear, however, even though that does play a massive factor in everything. It also comes in the way that any new levels or challenges presented to you by endgame content can take a major amount of time to master. Not only do you have to learn what to do, but the sheer act of doing it can provide a massive time sink. Bosses take a herculean amount of time to topple, puzzles get bigger and more complex, and it’s all a bit much. The thing is, I’m a busy man. I’m in work for most of the day, and nowadays there are many other things that I want to be doing with my time that aren’t videogames (gasp!). It’s quite often the fact I simply don’t have the time to invest into endgame content – hours of grinding away at a new gun can more often than not be a big ask of my time nowadays.

To go in perfect partnership with the issue of time, the fact that endgame content is incredibly difficult can also prove to be a problem. “Duh”, you say, “It’s the endgame; it’s blatantly not meant to be easy!”. And that’s fair enough – I accept this stuff is meant to be a test of all the skills you’ve learnt so far, a true chance to test your might against the grandest of them all. I’m not going to sit here and suggest that the difficulty of such content should be lowered – to do so would completely bugger the point of it existing – but the reality remains that after a busy day, having to severely focus my efforts into something like this is a pretty big deal. More often than that I just want to chill out, casually shooting some guys, perhaps even just have a nice wander about. I don’t want to be draining all my energy and willpower into learning and mastering something, all in the hope (but not the certainty) of getting a cool new set of kneepads. Perhaps that’s just me being really lazy, looking for the easiest point from A to B which lets me put in as little an effort as possible. That’s probably partially true, but it’s also hard to deny that even the most determined of souls is going to have their time and patience tried at some points by such content.

There is, of course, a way much endgame content is designed to be played, and a way much of it is made far easier as a result  – get your friends in to help. But as a primarily solo gamer, being forced to team up with others to play the endgame is neither easy nor appealing. I don’t have many gaming friends (Shed a tear for me), so having to try form a team with them and get the most out a game’s finale is a disheartening and near-impossible experience. Sure, there’s often the option to team up with a bunch of random folks online, but this naturally isn’t an entirely optimal solution. If you’re anything like me, the chances are you’ll get stuck with players who have no idea what they’re doing, or the ten year old screaming expletives down the microphone at you. Besides, the reality is I quite often just want to play a game by myself, and don’t want the company of others shoved into my face. For endgame content in many ways to be completely locked out from me because of this fact  often feels like a really weird decision.

I concede that all these issues have often not stopped me from sinking many an hour into a game’s final hurrah – it’s happened before, and with The Division it’s probably going to happen again. It doesn’t change the fact, however, that the highlights of the game to me have long since passed as I begin to proceed down the endless path of the endgame. It’s a shame this is the case, and I don’t see my opinions being shifted any time soon – I just wish that the end of the line could one day be met with more excitement than trepidation.

Opinions on… Wrestlemania 32

There was a moment, at some unknown point during the show, that I realised I was just… Well, watching Wrestlemania 32. Not getting gripped by it and hardly getting enthused by it, just – watching. This normally wouldn’t be too much of a big deal – I watch many a WWE pay per view in the same way – until you factor in the fact that this was meant to be the grandest show of them all. The fiercest fights, the epic conclusions to storylines that had been raging on for months… And here I am. Just watching.

That’s not to say this Wrestlemania was a complete train wreck, because it was certainly fun enough; there was just so many little things wrong with it that the enthusiasm and energy of it all started to slowly but surely deflate like a balloon as time went on. The pre-show perhaps demonstrated the first warning signs of this happening – three matches, all pretty forgetful and one even for the US title, put on in front of a half-empty stadium and all interrupted halfway through with advertisements. Being a fan of Kalisto, the fact that commentary was shouting this was his apparent “Wrestlemania moment” (A statement made so many times throughout the show it lost all meaning) was made all the more jarring; it honestly felt like it was anything but.

Things did pick up with the first true match of the night; the Intercontinental Championship ladder match. Sure, these things always turn into spot fests and not much else, but at least this one worked; Zayn and Owens bumping into each other at random points during the match and promptly pounding the heck out of each other was fun to watch, and the spots themselves (Many of the best including Zayn again) were impressive to watch. The fact that Zack Ryder won – a guy who hasn’t even been seen on TV for an eternity – might have been a bit odd and unexpected, but only in a good way. To make it seem anything was possible at that point of the show can only be seen as a good thing, after all, and later events can’t really be seen to change this fact.

The next few matches, though, left something more to be desired. Styles vs. Jericho just didn’t hook me in any way, and while I will admit I’m not exactly an expert on technical wrestling, I’d argue it even looked confused and sloppy at points. The New Day popping out of a giant box of cereal was fun, but then to have an instantly forgettable match that was both short and saw them lose didn’t make much sense. The legends popping out at the end, especially Austin, were again a fun enough moment; yet for reasons I can’t fully put my finger on, it wasn’t exactly something that blew my mind, either. Maybe I was expecting more from Austin, especially considering this was his home state? It was a weird one, to say the least.

Ambrose vs. Lesnar continued the trend of being underwhelming, but special mention goes to this match for actually turning out to be a real certifiable dud. After weeks of hype and realistic expectations that there was the possibility it would steal the show, what actually happened was nothing short of boring. A few kendo sticks, a few chairs, and a fire extinguisher… And that’s your lot. There was a tease with a barbed wire baseball bat, sure, but the fact it remained as just a tease and never actually got used was just plain stupid – why even introduce it in the first place? When everyone was expecting an all out war, for the match to turn out to be something that wasn’t even a memorable street fight is downright disappointing. For it to not even benefit Ambrose or Lesnar in any way only makes things worse.

Next up was the women’s championship match, with the ability to actually say “Women” and not “Diva” proving a refreshing change. It was alright – I didn’t get as much out of it as many others seemed to have done – but again the ending just continued the souring of the whole spectacle. For one, not only does Charlotte win (Probably the least fan favourite of the three),but she does it after completely shrugging off the effects of being hit by a giant move moments earlier. After all the talk of women being strong and amazing, the fact that Charlotte couldn’t even win without a man’s help also doesn’t make much sense. Seeing the pattern of the whole show yet? It’s a pattern of continual disappointments and mistakes. Some are small, some are easily forgotten, but all are just something you don’t want to see at an event like Wrestlemania.

Thankfully, the next match generated at least one moment that will be replayed for years to come – that being Shane jumping off the top of the cell. The rest of the match was slow, plodding and honestly a bit boring, but that moment was pure, one hundred per cent gold. It’s legitimately terrifying to watch him standing up there, yet thrilling to watch him jump all the same. Then, with the wreckage of the battle lying around him,  to see Shane just taunting Undertaker to keep bringing it is – quite simply – amazing. Argue the result is stupid, but to me it doesn’t matter – this is the one moment I will take away from this Wrestlemania, and I don’t think I’ll be the only person to hold that opinion either.

The Memorial Battle Royal was passable but instantly forgettable – Baron Corbin winning was a nice surprise, mind you, and it’s nice to see Sandow still actually being cheered. It’s what followed which swung things back into being disappointing and dull at a remarkable pace -which is incredible considering the scenes in question involve the Rock. The main issue here is the whole damn segment just dragged on forever – considering this is the last hour of a show that’s already approaching SEVEN HOURS long in total, you just sort of wish the Rock would get on with it for once. For the Wyatt family to come out and them immediately be squashed is yet another oddly stupid decision. Not only making the Wyatt family look like bigger jokes than they already are, but it also unfairly hyped also the crowd into thinking they were going to get a match including the Rock – only for that match to be six seconds long. Evan typing it doesn’t sound sensible, and you wonder what the WWE were thinking when they did it.

Anyway, after all those irritations, those sub-standard moments, and the occasional bouts of boredom, we reach the main event… And it’s a main event where a lot of people were expecting a train wreck before things even got started. Unlike most of these people though, the result is not what bothers me the most here – it’s the fact the match was so mind numbingly, soul shatteringly dull. At one point I honestly thought I was watching highlights of an episode of Raw and not the main event of Wrestlemania, and that confusion set in because the whole match was making me feel sleepy. Sleepy, of all things! It’s a crushing blow to end on, one that fans never wanted in the first place; the fact it’s the finale to a Wrestlemania that wasn’t exactly stellar to begin with just makes things infinitely worse.

In the end, I honestly don’t really regret using my time to watch the entire show. I don’t feel enraged at the results, bitter at the WWE, or anything along those lines. There were amazing moments and good matches, and fun was indeed had – it just felt like it should have been something more. It should have been more polished, more eventful, and just overall more damn exhilarating. Last year at Wrestlemania 31 I remember shouting at my TV screen in excitement as certain events unfolded – this time around the continuing barrage of irritants and problems just left me completely stoic… And Wrestlemania really shouldn’t be leaving me feeling that way.