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To be or not to be...killed

 
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johnomg
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Joined: 12 Jan 2009
Posts: 144
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 3:40 pm    Post subject: To be or not to be...killed Reply with quote

G'day All Very Happy

I've just been reminded of a "Pet Hate" of mine from decades back, so thought I would share and see what other people thought.

I'm not sure if it applies to Modern Games anymore as I don't play many.

I detest Multi-Level Strategy Games that Kill you off and force you to start from the beginning, whether it be a "Shootem Up" or "Puzzle" if it didn't have a "Save" feature of some sort then it drove me nuts! Pissed

As an example: Imagine if BD had no Freeze or Select Level feature, you get to Cave P/5 and lose your last life then have to replay 80+ Caves to get back to Cave P/5 Confused

I doubt BD would have gained the popularity it has if that was the case.

A few years back I read an interesting article about Games that flopped in the market place even though they were quite good in Design, Graphics or Gameplay.

One of the reasons mentioned was being "Killed Off" and having to start from scratch. I can't quote it exactly but the jist of it was that people soon got sick and tired of hitting a Brick Wall (so to speak) and having to replay lower levels (without being killed off) over and over again to be able to master a higher level.

That struck a chord with me because I had been there and done that, those sort of games quickly lost my interest as they became too repetitive if you had to keep replaying lower levels when Killed off. They very quicky got assigned to the back of a drawer somewhere.

The pity is some (I can't remember the names) were quite good and I enjoyed them at first but the lack of a Save feature and having to replay levels to progress in the game became too boring.

With all that said a recent post about people using the BD Freeze feature got me thinking.

I would be the first to say that BD without 3+ lives just wouldn't seem the same...but is it really an integral part of the game??? I know I pay no attention to it because I use the Freeze feature.

To me, the purpose of BD (or any Strategy Game for that matter) is to complete the Puzzle/Level, that's where the enjoyment is for me, not trying to save my butt from being killed off so that I don't have to start from scratch again.

Regards
John Very Happy
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Arno
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Joined: 17 Mar 2007
Posts: 1036
Location: netherlands

PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many C64 games had that frustrating disadvantage, indeed. I remember a game where in one of the higher level, you were almost immediately killed. So when I had 3 lives, I could practice with 3 lives, start all over again, practice with some lives, start all over again, practice, start all over, etc., etc.....

A lot of games seem to be based on getting a high score, but I've almost never played any game that way. My goal was usually to make my way through all of the game, reach the end, and see the end sequence (it's a pity that BD does not have one...)

I'd prefer if levels get "unlocked" as you proceed and complete the preceding ones. Lot's of todays games have that feature. The way it's done in BD (select A, E, I or M), I like as well.
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Sendy
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Joined: 17 Jun 2007
Posts: 186
Location: Square Wave Heaven

PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the ability to select every 5th cave and have employed it in all my games. It instantly creates an air of mystique about the later caves in each 5 cave 'episode', and sets up the opportunity for lots of mini difficulty curves, with the selectable caves being slightly easy and more friendly than the ones nearer the intermission (though of course this doesn't always work out!).
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johnomg
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Joined: 12 Jan 2009
Posts: 144
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arno wrote:
A lot of games seem to be based on getting a high score, but I've almost never played any game that way. My goal was usually to make my way through all of the game, reach the end, and see the end sequence (it's a pity that BD does not have one...)

I'd prefer if levels get "unlocked" as you proceed and complete the preceding ones. Lot's of todays games have that feature.


I'm similar to you Arno, my goal and enjoyment is in completing the game. I rarely, if ever look at the Score as I'm competing against the Game and not someone else (or myself) for a High Score.

The "Unlocking" feature sounds great to me, you complete a Level and it allows you to restart the game from that level without having to complete lower levels.

I agree that the End of BD is a let down after the time you invest in completing it Sad

Sendy wrote:
I like the ability to select every 5th cave and have employed it in all my games. It instantly creates an air of mystique about the later caves in each 5 cave 'episode'....


I like that feature in BD but rarely use it, probably because I'm too pedantic (so the wife says) and like to progress step by step without skipping ahead. Without the freeze though you would still have to replay the previous 4 Caves if you kept getting killed off in the 5th Cave.

johnomg wrote:
The pity is some (I can't remember the names)....


"Impossible Mission" is one of the games I was thinking of originally, I play it when I'm having a break from BD. It doesn't have lives but has a Timer, if you don't finish in time your kaput. Then when you restart the game the Rooms are in different locations.

There are several tough Rooms but to progress you have to complete all the easier rooms over and over again. To add to the frustration you have to try and find the new location of the tough Room to practise beating it.

I don't think the Original had a Save feature? I could probably use the CCS64 Freeze feature but I'm not really interested in completing it right now. I use it to pass the time when Rockford has done my head in Wink
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Sendy
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Posts: 186
Location: Square Wave Heaven

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the levels are well designed, they will be fun to play and re-play any number of times... I grew up with the lives and death thing as a video game staple. For me it adds to the adventure and excitement, knowing you can die permanently.

When you consider the games today, which allow you to save pretty much anywhere, it removes the spontaneity because any negative consequences from your actions can be instantly undone by reloading.

On the other hand, a game that kills you off easily and frequently and only lets you start from the same place every time you restart is obviously flawed so it's a case of finding a happy medium, which I think BD does quite nicely.
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johnomg
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Location: Australia

PostPosted: Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sendy wrote:
If the levels are well designed, they will be fun to play and re-play any number of times...

I agree with levels in a game being fun to play and re-play when it's "your choice". My skill level is reasonably low so if I strike a particularly hard level and have to keep re-playing the lower levels to get back to it then it gets a tad mundane.

Quote:
I grew up with the lives and death thing as a video game staple. For me it adds to the adventure and excitement, knowing you can die permanently.

I grew up with the "Life & Death" thing as well, I suspect your Skill Level and Mental Agility is a lot better than mine and probably why you reveled in it and why I detested it.

Quote:

When you consider the games today, which allow you to save pretty much anywhere, it removes the spontaneity because any negative consequences from your actions can be instantly undone by reloading.

They probably had useless gits like me in mind Laughing

Quote:
On the other hand, a game that kills you off easily and frequently and only lets you start from the same place every time you restart is obviously flawed so it's a case of finding a happy medium....

Your "Easily" is probably my "Bugga Bugga BUGGA not again!!!" Wink
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Dustin
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Joined: 23 Sep 2007
Posts: 322
Location: Erlangen, Germany

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Smile
I find the discussion about where to restart when Killed off in a game very interesting! My main alternative to BD is games on the SuperNES. I think these games also mostly have a good solution to this problem. In SupermarioBros, for example, most of the levels start relatively easy and get tougher if you progress further. The whole game is divided into 8 main levels, each of which subdivided into 4 "sublevels". If you get hit and lose a life, you restart at the current sublevel, but if it is your last life and you are Game Over, you have to start at the beginning of the current main level. I find this concept very goog (it's very similar to PL's BD games) In later Mario games, there are also In most of the role plays on the SNES, there are also certain savepoints in the game. If you lose, for example, in the middle between two savepoints, you have to restart from the last savepoint but not to replay the whole game from the beginning. I think, generally, that this is the best solution: If you're Game Over, you fall back in the game a bit, but not to the very beginning. Then the player will neither waste his lifes too airily nor be too frustrated if he actually loses his last life!
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