MegaMaster Musings

All Flash, All Flair
May 12, 2004

You know, I wish Capcom would lay off on the Flash sections. I don’t see it to be a very economical use of my time to have to sit through a 30 second logo sequence and another 15 seconds for all of the interface items to shift into place before I can even see anything of significance.

And that’s not even counting load time.

I received an e-mail once saying MMHP should be in Flash so as to reduce download times. Now this was a private e-mail sent to me, as opposed to a MegaGram, so I won’t post it and embarrass the person, but I feel it’s open fodder for me to scratch my head over.

Primarily I’m trying to figure out what kind of Internet connection could cause this curious phenomenon where text downloads more slowly than Flash. Even a dial-up should just cause both to be slow.

But on the other hand, this person has clearly never actually tried viewing a Flash website using dial-up. I have. Take Capcom’s for example. While I load their regular HTML content in less than 5 seconds with images off, and a little bit longer with image loading turned on, their Flash sections literally take on the order of ten or fifteen minutes of load time, during which I can watch nothing but a little progress bar. (At least with an HTML page with images, I can begin to read the content even before the images load in.) Not only that, but many of Capcom’s Flash files don’t even load in their entire content at the beginning, so every time I click a link within one, I have to wait another ten minutes for the next panel to show up.

Needless to say, whenever I’m forced to visit a Flash site, I tend to minimize the browser and go do something else for a while...

I’m not bashing Flash, nor am I saying that nothing good can be done with it. However I wish less websites would rely on it for their actual content. In my view Flash has always been best reserved for movies and interactive animation—things where you actually need objects to move around a lot. Flash doesn’t begin to approach the usability of a standard HTML page, so it’s best reserved for visual flair and not real content.

- The MegaMaster