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On Pikmin, FPSs, and resource management.

Like everyone should be, I am practically giddy with excitement for Super Smash Bros. Brawl. It comes in waves, the rabid anticipation- the path of which can usually be tied to the quality of the Dojo updates. With the announcement of Captain Olimar Wednesday, and his Special Moves Friday, this anticipation reached a fevered pitch. It is not just the potential to beat the crap out of Pikachu (hmm. Pikachu, Pokemon, Pikmin...there's a theory to be had there)with another character- Olimar and the Pikmin introduce a concept that (to my admittedly scant knowledge) has never been introduced, or effectively implemented in fighting games- resource management. (Health and time necessary to execute moves excluded- those are too ubiquitous to considered a special feature in fighting games) In Brawl, Olimar's effectives depends almost entirely on having a ready stock of Pikmin at his disposal. Samus never has to refill her missile stock, Link never pauses to fell a tree and rig up some fletching to fill his arrow quiver. The nearest analogy that could be made is Ice Climbers, perhaps...if you could control Nana, and pick extras out of the ground...okay, there is no good analogy. I have 0 idea what to expect, which is why this gets me squealing like a college-age guy should never do.

What games do use the effective management of a resource as an essential gameplay aspect? Being a console gamer, I cannot say RTSs, but that's probably the best example. As my roommate is barreling through Halo 3, I will stick with first person shooters, and the notion of ammunition as a resource. People often complain when ammo is too scarce in an FPS, but I think it adds a much needed tension that is otherwise lost. Half-Life 2 lost much of its atmospheric charm when my brother stumbled upon an infinite box of rockets for use against any of the giant helicopter/bug/alien things. (Let's not even get into the whole "reload without losing the rest of the expelled clip" issue that was only tackled in Gun) Halo never has a situation where you are not in the immediate vicinity of 20 errant weapons.

So why have ammo at all? Why reload? Is it to achieve a feeling realism, or at least a semblance thereof? Reality amidst infinite ammo supply crates, amidst distant futures of various distances? I understand the need for Medal of Honor, but by the year 2552, bullets cannot be automatically loaded, or teleported in, or something?

Anyway, I don't think it's going to change anytime soon. Old habits die a slow painful death, or at least they do when you don't have enough ammo to finish them in one go.
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About Theplanmanone of us since 1:24 PM on 11.30.2006

Been lurking Destructoid since they had the free SNK hat giveaway.
Decided to make it official.