To a whole generation of gamers the fact that a simple press of the start button offers the option to squirrel away your progress for continuation at a later date is no big deal but some of us can remember a time when the pause button was on the console itself…
To complete Sonic or Super Mario Bros you had play through in one sitting, or if you were devious enough you could pause the game overnight to resume in the morning, try imposing a nine hour interlude on a PS4 session and watch as smoke rises from system and the CD melts inside.
Maybe, I’m not brave enough to try it.
There was no infinite lives malarkey, no bottomless well of continues. Take BioShock Infinite: when Booker dies he is regenerated mere meterS from his demise, furthermore any damage he has dealt his adversaries remains. The penalty for death is limited. If the spiky blue hedgehog perished a trip back to a checkpoint was on the cards. Many games these days operate under this procedure but the checkpoints are ten a penny.
Dying is of no consequence, to be laughed at. Completion of an eight-bit adventure was a challenge, if managed at all. Nowadays it is to be expected, yes most are heavily narrative driven and continuous stalling would be adverse to the telling but surely the greater joy is in the accomplishment of a challenge.
One game that got the balance spot on is the original Resident Evil. Progress could only be saved at typewriters scattered about the mansion and its grounds, to further test the players skill they could only be activated with a finite number of ink ribbons strewn willy-nilly throughout. Choices had to be made; pick up an ink ribbon as opposed the green herb, head to the typewriter via the hordes of the undead or brave the unexplored gloomy corridor in front of you.
Sadly even Capcom have eschewed this option in their latter efforts as they, like everyone else seems intent on bringing gaming to the mainstream.
Just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it is better.
So yes games are getting easier, or perhaps i’m just a grumpy old man yearning for a simpler time.
What do you think? Do you miss 2D platform games? Where have all the boss fights gone? And is anyone else fed up with the yearly release in the franchise, or every couple of months. Assassins creed and Call of Duty I’m looking at you!