While gaming provides us with many memories and hours of fun, most of us have spent a lot of time in front of the screen without a controller in our hands. Whether waiting our turn or the next death, we often get to watch others play videogames. Here are some of my experiences when it was just fun to watch ...
While the general gameplay of most games is fun to watch, boss fights are a different beast. The increased difficulty, importance in the game world, and sometimes education aspects make boss fights entertaining to the best of us.
It was fall semester at university and also that era when everyone seemed to have an Xbox 360 but me; and they bought all the same games when they would come out. One of those was Dead Rising. My pal Oliver played it the most. Every time I might walk by his room, the moans of zombies filled the air and I would hover by the door, watching a couple moments of mall/zombie action.
Being a photographer is a tough job ...
Some lazy night when Oliver, me and some friends probably had better things to do, the planets or our schedules aligned to put us all in Oliver's room while he played Dead Rising. Sprawled out on a bean bag, small sofa, and hanging from bunk beds, we all watched, captivated by Oliver's prowess in destroying the undead. Things went from everyday zombie combat to mesmerizing when he came to a tricky boss.
The boss fight consisted of Frank fighting a wacky cult leader. However, since Oliver saved in a nearby bathroom, the fight going to the boss became a part of this repeated experience. Oliver would grab some health behind the concession stand, then carefully pick off the cultists around a corner with a deer rifle before they blew themselves up in their yellow raincoats, and scour theaters for health – jumping around angry cultists. After this OCD like ritual, Oliver would begin the tense sword fight.
Staring through a deer rifle at the cultists actually looked a lot like this, but without the beach.
Frank West, the main character, being a photographer – his best sword move was simply a slash. The cult leader obviously had more practice. As Frank, Oliver spent most of his time running between the seats of the movie theater the fight took place in. He tried slashing from behind, each side, or even a war of attrition where he'd get hit every time he hit.
Thus, the rest of us in the room watched, over and over, as Oliver happily fought it out. We would all suggest things for Oliver to try. Though, sideline strategists don't often have the feel for a game that someone with a controller in their hands does. Oliver was polite enough to try our suggestions, but he definitely enjoyed figuring it out himself more. I even kept some tactics I came up with to myself, in case I got the chance to play (I didn't, and my ideas wouldn't have worked either). Oliver did figure it out on the fifth romp through the theater: avoid the cult leader until he performed his leap attack, then slash at him while he recovered from his giant swing. Games can seem so easy when you know the answer.
Am I crazy if I want to check this theater for cultists in yellow rain coats?
Years later I got Dead Rising and played it myself. The cult leader fight was easy as pie; and, quite naturally, I played it just like Oliver did – jumping behind the concession stands, taking out the cultists around the corner with a deer rifle, and etc.. It's almost as strange as the dead coming back to life – how certain ways and thoughts reemerge in us from our interactions with others. Also, I likely would have never realized there was a bathroom save point in the theater if not for Oliver.
Images from here
, and here