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C2C Shiro avatar 3:21 PM on 01.30.2009  (server time)
Autosave: a double edged sword for RPGs

For a time I thought that manual saving was an obsolete relic of times past. Though I certainly did play many games during the pre-PS2 eras, most of my gaming experience comes from the PS2 era where autosave games were starting to get quite common. Many of the games I played (mostly the arcade kind) had autosave saving me from spending time actually trying to save. But it always bugged me that most, if not all, the RPGs that I played at the time didn't come with this awesome feature.

Almost anyone who has played some kind of RPG that required you to save has some kind of horror story of losing hours of progress on an RPG just because they didn't save. This situation isn't even exclusive to RPGs, I think I just attribute it more to them because of how time intensive those kind of games are. It is the worst feeling, having to retread old ground in a game simply because you didn't save the first time around. This anti-manual save stigma grew to the point where I thought that every 360 were the game without autosave would annoy me to some degree. Cue in Fallout 3.

Fallout 3 would have been good game had it not been so janked up with so many glitches and problems. In an ironic twist though it wasn't a glitch that made me hate Fallout 3, but the autosave feature that I so highly viewed. In Fallout 3 every time you enter an area the game autosaves. Late in the game I entered an area, a building in this case, where I wasn't supposed to be and angered the wrong kind of people. So I got turned into Swiss Cheese. "No biggy, I'll just load up the save and get outta the building", I thought. Nope, the people outside were pissed too; seeming to telepathically know that I pissed off the people inside and proceeded to tear me to pieces. I then came to the realization that the autosave screwed me over into a situation that I could not win nor escape. The last manual save was 16 Hours before this.

I stopped playing Fallout 3 since then.

I have now grown to appreciate manual saving and no longer view it negatively. Both autosaving and manual saving have their advantages and disadvantages. Manual saving puts you in charge of saving and only you are to blame for any progress lost because you didnít save often. Autosave spares you from having to remember to autosave but can royally screw you over if it saves you in a horrible situation. But I had to re-learn a basic lesson from RPG Playing 101, save and save often.

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