I have a new pet peeve in games, and it’s probably more a sign of premature crotchetiness in myself than anything wrong that developers are doing, but why, oh, why must games be so damned dark?!

I’m currently playing Jak II and Metal Arms. The former takes place in a dystopian future city that seems to be located somewhere in the Arctic during winter: daylight hardly bothers to make an appearance before the town is plunged back into night. I’ve just started with Metal Arms, but the first levels take place in a mineshaft, of all places. I’m supposed to learn the controls, blast badguys, and rescue miners with only a headlamp to guide me? Even with my TV’s brightness turned up to the max, I have to sit right up against the screen in order to make out any details. It’s driving me crazy, and will probably drive me to an eye exam sometime soon. Or maybe I’ll play Billy Hatcher again. It may have been a crappy game, but at least I could see where I was going.