The Curse of Muscle Memory

Oh, this hit me hard when I went from F.E.A.R. to F.E.A.R. 2, as the control binding functionality actively regressed between installments. The first’s PC version had native support for Mouse4 and Mouse5, whereas the second had no concept of them.

Rather than make do without, that was what drove me to configure XMBC.


Muscle memory - kinda.

After 2 weeks of with lots of driving a car, I was back at work, driving my train as usual. Accelerating out of a station, I had to go one track to the left. No problem, there are switches. Well, right before that, I started to look left over my shoulder to see if the lane was free.

Another time I tried to put on a seatbelt. On a train.


This reminds me of when I first played Uncharted, I started on the third game, since I was borrowing it, and essentially played them backwards as I got into the series.
This was how I learned that the ability to throw back grenades was a new feature in Uncharted 3 that was not present in Uncharted 2.

This uh…took a lot of retraining to remember to move away from grenades.
And a lot of failed checkpoints…


Oh, I get that. Quick 180° turning has been a part of the Resident Evil franchise since 3, and over-the shoulder camera was introduced in 4.

Pressing up to go forward and left and right to turn were always there, and 0, 1, 2, 3 and Code: Veronica all had static camera angles and pre-rendered backgrounds. That meant that you could literally be facing any direction in relation to the camera, and up on the Directional Pad/Left Stick was still “move forward.” and the original (non-remake) 1 and 2 both lacked the quick 180 introduced in 3 (although the Game Cube remake of 1 as well as the DS port added it in).

The first game in the series that I played was 4. It had Quick 180 and the camera was set over the shoulder. In addition, you could fine-tune your aim down to the pixel (Code Veronica and earlier only let you aim straight, up diagonally, and down diagonally, with an auto-aim feather that may or may not exist depending on the game) thanks to the new camera angle. The second game I played was 1’s Remake, which was a real eye opener. Both were intended as Game Cube exclusives only to be ported out to other consoles and PC later (4 got this earlier, thanks to the Game Cube not selling particularly well at that time, but for a while it at least had the best looking version), but both played very differently. I couldn’t wrap my head around the UP = FORWARD tank controls, so I chose an alternate scheme where R was RUN FORWARD and aiming was done with left stick. Then I bought 3, and got a crash course in tank controls. Then I got the N64 port of 2… boy, was I surprised at how much harder these games were without the ability to do a Quick 180° turn. Nothing like slowly turning while a Licker or a mutated Mr. X is charging you!

There’s a reason fans from the first entry accuse the newest games of being too easy…

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Driving an automatic car after years of driving a manual. I spiked more than a few brake pedals trying to hit the clutch.


When I’m listening to music I like to “dance” by which I mean just shifting my body weight from one foot to the other and using my hands to push from my desk to my bed and back. I can’t really sit still in my chair when listening to music unless I’m doing something else and not focusing on the music.

Turns out it’s a really bad idea to listen to “just a couple” songs before bed when you’re tired, have been awake for over eighteen hours, spent nine of those on your feet at work, and can’t seem to stop yourself from doing this silly little dance or playing “just one more” song… Even though I’m having to sit down every couple minutes to catch my breath I’m like “can I breathe again? Okay let’s go!”

My legs hate me. They almost gave out when I finally closed down bleeping YouTube.