Why don't we hear that as a prominent feature in games? I'm not saying, "oh the games need to be harder" or "You're just a bunch of pussies because games are so much easier" I'm just curious. Way back in the early days of gaming, one more try was the basic rule of games for two simple reasons. By inflating difficulty you could suck more money out of people. And if it was a home game we're talking about, you inflated the length, battletoads anyone? I'm not saying it was a good implementation of the idea back then, go as long as your allowance will let you or until you beat it then try again, however. All I'm saying is, it's pretty much gone.
Not to say games are "easy" just the fact that this design philosophy is almost entirely gone on big releases. Why is this? And why is it that this technique flourishes on top selling small budget games like doodle jump or angry birds. Why don't we operate on the basis of one more try? I think the main reason is that as technological entertainment advances, television, movies, hell even sports, people want a little bit more than they used too. People would rather pay their 50 dollars on a huge adventure epic than fifty dollars for a game that constitutes pretty much high scores. Also my general perception of the matter is the idea that one more try pretty much instantly dictates, hard or go till it gets hard.
Let's take a simple franchise that has stayed with many a gamer over the years, metroid. As time goes on the series slowly advances from one more try to adventure epic. In the original NES metroid, you're tasked with getting samus to the end of the game not only as fast as possible, but with as many items as possible. This was a way of putting tension on players as simply playing the game through to the end almost always got you the worst ending, did for me anyway. The only way you would get a better ending than just her back turned was by actually putting in some effort. If you had the drive to see the best ending you always thought to yourself after a fruitless attempt, "one more try..." and it got you to play more.
As time went on metroid evolved from a simple sci fi shooter race to a full on epic trilogy. I think the turning point was in super metroid, despite it being one of if not the most popular speed run competition. Here the series production values really took off, and the whole experience gave way to something more of an actual adventure. If you don't believe me just watch a video of the original metroid, compared to super metroid. And if you want to see how ahead of the curve it was in atmosphere, compare it to super mario world.
Then comes metroid prime, the only thing that compels you besides beating the game is getting 100%, a common thing nowadays. And afterwords, if you got every missile expansion, charge combo, and power suit up grade you got the best ending. It had no matter on time, and so the one more try design was gone. Instead it was replaced with a more modern, "all I need is time" philosophy. This newer philosophy can be said about the whole industry and how its new tech has led to bigger and better adventures. Which isn't really a bad thing, I don't think mass effect would have been the same game if it was an arcade style shooter. Or half life, or any other great modern game.
One more try has its place, meaning we don't have to phase it out completely. The monster hunter series is a great example of blending epic adventures with the one more try philosphy. The whole game series is based upon careful planning and execution. If you die, it's almost always your fault. It's rarely ever bad design, or unbeatable monsters. And if you get stuck on a monster the game always has items that will help you greatly, but you need to work for them. You can tackle it however you want, but the requirement of thoughtful playing ultimately always results in one more try philosphy. For example, even if you beat a monster that gave you trouble, there's always a new monster that you can challenge that is a bit harder, a bit more resilient, and a bit more powerful. But it's always beatable. Win or lose you're always in the option of, "one more try..." This design is partially because the story is written mostly by yourself, and your experiences with your band of hunters. It's there, but it's thin, and the main "epic adventure" largely comes from personally taking down these insane monsters with skill and finesse.
Of course monster hunter is not the only game that is doing this, it's just one that I can think of at the moment. Think about how many games you played that haven't been touted as, "an intense challenge" on purpose, but the challenge comes from execution and skill. A prime example of this challenge I'm not talking about is the great game,
This is a prime example of fun, deliberate, one more try philosophy. It's all about agility, dexterity and manipulation of meat boy. You die countless times a level and you always keep trying, same with the bit trip series. So back to my query, give me a good example of a game that uses the one more try philosophy, is developed like it, and requires skill. But it isn't touted by pretty much every one as being a ball bustingly hard game.
It is by far the most common insult I hear when I try to have a discussion with my friends. Day by day, every time I have my friends over when I try to discuss video games on something higher than, "OMFG SEE THAT HEADSHOT BRO!" The best example would not be my typical fanboy-esque discussion's with them, but rather when I tried to discuss my recent favorite movie. If you couldn't guess by now the fact that I'm a young retro gamer amongst fratboys, then the movie will.
It came up as a simple discussion, I run through my head all the numerous times I lose 2 to 1 in a discussion of video games, so I went a different approach. "Hey guys what's you're favorite movie?" My best friend naturally says 2001 a space odyssey. My other best friend goes ahead and says something rather meatheaded, "Resident evil." Already we have a pretty broad spectrum amongst the 3 of us. I myself am normally level headed in discussions, but I am an easily agitated fool. I'm also the biggest into platformers and slower games that require patience, or fast games that require skill. Monster hunter tri and super meat boy would be good examples. My other friend who we'll refer to as N for sake of convinience has two favorite genres, stealth and action games. His two favorite games are ratchet and clank up you're arsenal, and the legend of zelda the minish cap. He used to have a wii like myself but traded it up for an xbox. The third of us who we shall call E for the same reasons as N, has two favorite genres, shooting and action RPG's, his favorite games include half life 2 and kingdom hearts 2.
But enough rambling on us three, my main point is the discussion we had and what defines the state of not gaming, but the main gaming fanbase. My favorite movie as of writing is scott pilgrim vs the word. I acknowledge every flaw in the movie, scott is kind of unlikable if you take away the video games, ramona is pretty much just moody, and knives gets the shaft through all of the film. But even still, I like it for it tickles my geek senses. Every 5 seconds the first time I saw this movie I found a new reference, and I was incredibly happy for the entire film. The main point I'm getting at is that in the discussion it was my turn as such.
N:"Hey tanooki (not real name), what's you're favorite movie"
T:"As of now, scott pilgrim."
E:"That's a gay ass movie bro."
N:"I agree with E, that's a f***n gay ass film tanooki, how do you like it?"
T:"I like it because it's pretty much everything that I like about gaming, music, film, and life as a geek"
E:"So you like it cause it's gay?"
T:"Have you two even seen the movie?"
N:"But I don't need to to know it's a gay ass film."
T:"Okay, hear me out guys, I'll show you just the best parts of the film, and then you pass judgement."
I show them all 7 of the fights and they still write it off as gay. Now I'm pretty much a mixture of angry virgin nerd rage, and confusion. I showed them only the best parts and they still say the exact same thing. Less disagreement and more of the fact that it annoys me just how meatheaded they sound at the moment. So I ask them more indepth why. They spit out generic responses, it's just stupid with all the geeky stuff, I didn't get most of the references, I got the references they were just gay, the girl isn't hot, And through all of this I had a realization.
You ever hear people complaining about how the state of gaming looks just like some of the big sellers, brown and lacking creativity. Yeah, it's things like this that made it like that. Both of these guys are pretty popular at my school, and they share generic viewpoints on games. I need a gun and it has to be brown. Otherwise I'm not buying it. It's why things that get intense praise like okami do worse in sales than ninja bread man.
Teenagers these days are homophobic, at least in my school. Hell all they talk about is nasty awesome dirty things about hot girls in our school. Nobody wants to stick out or be different. The society at least I live in pretty much rejects different things. Look at the cosmetics industry for Christs sake. And things that people don't like in my society are tended to be joined together with things the gay guys do at our school. You know, wear things besides hoodies, baggy pants and listen to rap. In fact I guarantee that people would stop doing the drug of your choice if every scientist lied and said that drug activated some nuerological dis step or some bullshit like that and made you gay. Guaranteed pot would drop like a rock in sales.
Teens don't want to stick out these days. I know because I used to be brutally bullied just for being a bit different. Gaming is a nerd thing these days, and nerd things are mainstream these days. I'm not trying to say like a pretentious hispter ass hole here, I hate hipsters, but I know teens just want to fit in. And that means jocks playing black ops and weight lifters at school having boba fett emblazoned on their shoulder. But at the same time not knowing what it means to accept what you like.
I haven't met someone who doesn't like okami, but all I hear is call of duty. All the time. Every day it's just shooting games over and over again. I know people are saying the state of gaming is just fine, but I'd like some creativity in the slightest. I mean for f***s sake people, dead space is supposed to be one of the scariest series in this age of gaming, and in that your a super powered curb stomping suited up miner on a space ship. The most things do is startle you.
Things are stripped of their creativity because if deadspace was like say, you're suit only worked half way and you never had enough ammo. It wouldn't have sold, why? Because not being beefed up and living out macho fantasies macho games makes it gay. And gay games don't sell well. A prime example of idiotic opinions is when my friends told me they said DKCR was a horrible game. Why? Because the cover was gay. Now that's just stupid.
Look, I know I'm not the best blogger, I have a tendency to ramble. But the point I'm trying to get across is that kids don't do things that make them frowned upon. Being gay makes you frowned upon. Playing games that people aren't playing makes you gay. Not playing creative games makes these kinds of games sell bad. Which in turn makes the industry a bleaker place.
As an owner of a nintendo ds lite, a psp 1000 (yes I know), and every game boy I think it's safe to say that this is pathetic. I'm currently broke as I write this, but I'm so loyal to nintendo that I was going to sell about 75% of my wii games and all of my ds related things, games systems etc. Battery life is a big deal for me. I'm only sixteen, but even I travel a lot. During the school year when I'm not working I tend to be out of the house. The weekends I rarely ever get to sit around too. So on average I don't play a whole lot on the weekdays and on the weekends I'm always doing something out of the house. This only gets bigger in summer.
So when I'm not out of the house for around 8-12 hours at a time on the weekends I like to have something that I'd like to know will last me through the moments of down time. Currently I'm playing golden sun dark dawn, there's 30 hours of play time on that thing. Do you know how much I had to charge it? Twice. It's been the same way with nintendo consoles, my time, and the batteries. Well before they were rechargable.
Ever since the game boy nintendo has always been on top of battery life. How do you think they won over the il fated game gear, lynx, and long forgotten TurboExpress? When the gameboy was released graphics whoring was a major marketing gimmick. One year away from super nintendo era anyone? It was the battery life for parents and batteries, the games for the people who bought the thing, and the developer support that followed as sales went to the game boy.
I mean hell, for the longest time I've had no interest on the psp's. I've had one for a while now and I've never gotten into it. I mean, it has two of the main things that brought the game boy to the top. Games, (castlevania, metal gear solid, killzone, crush, prince of persia) and developer support (Monster hunter, little big planet psp, modnation racers). But throughout my busy lifestyle, managing work, friends, and just going places, I've always chosen the nintendo console. Mainly because with all the settings down I've only gotten around 4 hours for this guy.
Hell, monster hunter is one of my new favorite franchises, but my problem with it is I can't take it on the go. Yes I know about the freedom series and portable 3rd. Mainly because the battery life is piss poor on my psp, at around 30-40 minutes per quest, that would amount to roughly 6 quests. Sounds like a lot but it really isn't, a lot of things go into a quest, planning, not taking a lot of time to plan, not dying.
You can probably tell I like the series by how much I rambled, so when I heard the possibility of a 3ds monster hunter (keyword possibility) I was psyched. Finally my favorite time sink franchise mixed with the stellar battery life of a nintendo console. Then this news comes a long.
For the first time, I won't make a day 1 purchase on this thing. All the things add up against it man, poor launch titles, poor battery life, poor charger (A dock so you can play and charge?), poor price (near 300? I know it's probably near 250, but still) and what appears to be just a cheap gimmick as cool as it is. So yeah, I think I'll just stick with my lite for a while.