A horse is a horse, of course; of course, unless that horses is ridden by commenter markandrovich1, in which case it becomes something of a liablity. Share your video game horse woes in today's equine edition of Speak Up on Kotaku.
As someone who has played thousands of video games in the arcades and on every system from the late 1970's through the present, I've ridden more virtual vehicles and animated animals over the years than I care to count. Yet, as I played Shadow of the Colossus on the recently-released PS3 collection, I came to realize that one particular creature has caused me more trouble than any other: the horse!
Maybe it all began with Activision's Stampede for the Atari 2600. That's the first videogame I can remember riding a horse in, and I'll be darned if I didn't continuously run into cattle skulls, fences, and the obstinate Black Angus. Playing games in 3D wasn't any kinder. I loved Zelda on Nintendo 64, but when it came time to ride Epona, I might as well have been trying to ride a unicycle. On top of a Segway. It wasn't pretty.
I thought I finally got the hang of horseback riding in Red Dead Redemption (except for those rare occasions when I rode into a stream and drowned). But, for the most part, I was able to control my ride. Then they added cougars and bears that swiped and killed my horse out from under me. No fair! Of course, if it wasn't the wildlife that killed my horse, it was my poor aim. (Note: Never use target lock on rabbits who run *under* your horse's head at inopportune moments. One errant shot later and...blam!...I had to walk back to town.)
So, I've resigned myself to the fact that I am going to run Agro into walls repeatedly, that I am going to ride him directly into harm's way, and that I'd be safer wandering the land on two feet instead of four. It's not poor design. It's me. Thankfully, Agro's a videogame horse, and he lacks the ability to run away from me never to return. If he only knew how badly I've treated his video game kin, however...well, let's just say (without a spoiler) that Shadow of the Colossus might have ended differently.
Is it just me, or does anyone else seem to have trouble with videogame horses?
About Speak Up on Kotaku: Our readers have a lot to say, and sometimes what they have to say has nothing to do with the stories we run. That's why we have a forum on Kotaku called Speak Up. That's the place to post anecdotes, photos, game tips and hints, and anything you want to share with Kotaku at large. Every weekday we'll pull one of the best Speak Up posts we can find and highlight it here.