Why Canít IÖ Skip Ahead In Games?

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  • faux-C 14 Sep 2009 22:18:38 9,398 posts
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    John Walker blogpost on RPS

    This thought has stuck with me for ages. Itís a thought that comes back to me every time I encounter a section of a game thatís extremely difficult. Especially when itís a stupid stinking boss fight. With the recent announcement of all three Metroid Prime games getting remade for the Wii it reminded me that Iíve finished neither of the first two because I couldnít get past bosses. In the first one itís the final fight, but worse, so much worse, in the second it was a fight midway through the game. (Everyone Iíve asked about it says, ďYeah, you need to use a guide to get past that, and then be very lucky.Ē)

    Which leads me to think: why isnít there that button?

    Quite apart from the inevitable "what a n00b" comment (I can't personally remember getting stuck on either MP or MP2), it's an interesting point.

    My initial response is "hell yeah!" Surely it would make sense for the developers to allow you access to all of their work, even if it means skipping puzzles, or bosses. I've always thought it must be so dispiriting putting work into something that barely anyone will see.

    Thinking about it more deeply though, fulfilling difficult tasks is incredibly fulfilling and adds a lot to enjoyment of a game. The psychic release and adrenalin that comes with *finally* beating something is so huge as to make the frustration worthwhile.

    The trouble is, my opinion is probably tainted by the fact that I don't play as many games as a lot of guys probably do, and I choose very carefully, so I only play well-made games really, i.e. games where the balance is pretty much perfect between punishment and reward.

    The only game(s) recently that I've actually played through that aren't great in this sense are the Phoenix Wright games, where the humour and style means I can just about overlook having to turn to GameFAQs when some particular bit of a trial makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. This then leads to another problem. They could make PW's trial sections easier. They could make them auto-complete if you just can't figure it out, or something along those lines. However, they would then be treading a very thin line between games an interactive fiction, surely?

    Hmph, I just don't know.
  • gohda 14 Sep 2009 22:19:27 6,642 posts
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    grow a pair
  • funkyd 14 Sep 2009 22:20:30 7,522 posts
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    Things are fine the way they are.
  • the_dudefather 14 Sep 2009 22:22:10 9,299 posts
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    Alone in the dark had a chapter skip feature

    Even though parts of that game were infuriating as fuck, I never used it (hate the idea of 'missing out' on content)

    (ง ͠į ͟ʖ ͡į)

  • phoopipe 14 Sep 2009 22:22:25 1,409 posts
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    And Metroid Prime is over hyped shite.
  • PinkSpider 14 Sep 2009 22:22:56 3,346 posts
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    Haven't Nintendo announced they are developing this concept?
  • faux-C 14 Sep 2009 22:22:57 9,398 posts
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    phoopipe wrote:
    And Metroid Prime is over hyped shite.

    Nope.
  • megastar 14 Sep 2009 22:23:42 17,192 posts
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    This would be shit! You'd end up skipping 50% of the game due to lazyness! If its there you will use it more and more as time go's on.

  • Deleted user 14 September 2009 22:23:51
    PinkSpider wrote:
    Haven't Nintendo announced they are developing this concept?
    I think they patented something about it, not sure if they've actually announced anything which is going to use it though.
  • eloquence 14 Sep 2009 22:24:18 39 posts
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    option to change difficulty during game > skip ahead button

    Why skip ahead? To progress through the story, oh please what story. Just play the game.
  • gohda 14 Sep 2009 22:25:13 6,642 posts
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    megastar wrote:
    This would be shit! You'd end up skipping 50% of the game due to lazyness! If its there you will use it more and more as time go's on.

    Yes indeedy
  • PinkSpider 14 Sep 2009 22:25:18 3,346 posts
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    disussedgenius wrote:
    PinkSpider wrote:
    Haven't Nintendo announced they are developing this concept?
    I think they patented something about it, not sure if they've actually announced anything which is going to use it though.
    Think it's going to be put into the new NSMB Wii game.
  • faux-C 14 Sep 2009 22:26:52 9,398 posts
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    gohda wrote:
    megastar wrote:
    This would be shit! You'd end up skipping 50% of the game due to lazyness! If its there you will use it more and more as time go's on.

    Yes indeedy

    You'd be pretty stupid to do that though. If its a good game, the fun is in the playing, not the finishing.
  • megastar 14 Sep 2009 22:27:58 17,192 posts
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    faux_carnation wrote:
    gohda wrote:
    megastar wrote:
    This would be shit! You'd end up skipping 50% of the game due to lazyness! If its there you will use it more and more as time go's on.

    Yes indeedy

    You'd be pretty stupid to do that though. If its a good game, the fun is in the playing, not the finishing.

    which is kind've the whole point of my post
  • faux-C 14 Sep 2009 22:30:29 9,398 posts
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    megastar wrote:
    faux_carnation wrote:
    gohda wrote:
    megastar wrote:
    This would be shit! You'd end up skipping 50% of the game due to lazyness! If its there you will use it more and more as time go's on.

    Yes indeedy

    You'd be pretty stupid to do that though. If its a good game, the fun is in the playing, not the finishing.

    which is kind've the whole point of my post

    Well then you've completely missed the point. No-one is forcing you to skip. If you skip through laziness, it's your own fault.

    If it were to be implemented, it would assume the average gamer was a little more mature than this, which may be the problem.

    Quite apart from the fact that a well-designed game, with a good learning curve shouldn't really have any impassable sticking-points.
  • Metalfish 14 Sep 2009 22:30:48 8,819 posts
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    I think being able to change difficulty on the fly would be a better solution. Possibly as part of an option from the menu:
    -Press "I'm having trouble/stuck"
    -"what bit are you stuck on? [list of tasks/enemies]
    -Options for "how to beat sectoin/opponents" (sorta gamefaqs)
    -etc etc etc
  • speedofthepuma 14 Sep 2009 22:30:53 13,293 posts
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    The solution to the problem is to stop making games with difficulty spikes, not to still have them and design in a way to skip them.

    I lurk. If I've spoken to you, I'm either impassioned, or drunk.

  • megastar 14 Sep 2009 22:32:39 17,192 posts
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    Thats like giving someone a knife and saying "If that guy over there pisses you off, then stab him. It's naughty and you shouldnt do it really, but we wont penalise you for it".
  • RunningMan 14 Sep 2009 22:33:17 2,419 posts
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    It's a good idea. Quit too many games just because of one bad boss design decision. Stopped playing resistance retribution recently as I had reached a point in which I had to snipe 20 odd exploding aliens but using the psp buttons to aim, for some reason the auto-aim wasn't on for sniping...
  • shamblemonkee 14 Sep 2009 22:33:55 14,437 posts
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    skip to the end.
  • RunningMan 14 Sep 2009 22:36:25 2,419 posts
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    What I want is adaptive help. If I can't get past point X whether it be a boss or level design issue, why can't the game help me out if I done the same thing 20 times. I've paid 40+ quid for it, would be nice to finish it. It wouldn't even have to be too much in your face. Imagine if you fighting a boss and just occasionally, some things go in your favour, random roof collapse maybe, dunno but it could be tied into the narrative.
  • beastmaster 14 Sep 2009 22:36:51 11,448 posts
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    Splosion Man has a level skip feature if you die a lot. Not used it, but it's there.

    The Resident Evil films. I'm one of the reasons they keep making them.

  • faux-C 14 Sep 2009 22:39:34 9,398 posts
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    megastar wrote:
    Thats like giving someone a knife and saying "If that guy over there pisses you off, then stab him. It's naughty and you shouldnt do it really, but we wont penalise you for it".

    I'm curious that you assume that a game these days is trying to prevent you from reaching the end, and is antagonistic toward you as a gamer.

    I can understand this with older or arcade-y games, which are actively and (now) needlessly difficult, based on the one-more-coin mechanic, but I'm not sure it's relevant anymore.

    It would be preferable generally to feel that I and the game, (or I and my identified character, as synecdoche for the game engine), are in it together, striving toward some mutual goal, surely? (Which, fwiw, I tend to feel anyway).
  • warlockuk 14 Sep 2009 22:39:44 19,180 posts
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    That's why games usually have an extreme pussy mode...

    I'm a grumpy bastard.

  • RabidChild 14 Sep 2009 22:41:29 2,292 posts
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    Doesn't 'splosion man let you do this?

    I don't finish most games anyway, so i'd probably quite like this feature. Particularly to skip annoying boss battles

    EDIT: i'm sloooooow

    EDITEDIT: huhuh, extreme pussy mode. Would make rescuing princess peach interesting. And pokemon weird.
  • megastar 14 Sep 2009 22:51:05 17,192 posts
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    faux_carnation wrote:
    megastar wrote:
    Thats like giving someone a knife and saying "If that guy over there pisses you off, then stab him. It's naughty and you shouldnt do it really, but we wont penalise you for it".

    I'm curious that you assume that a game these days is trying to prevent you from reaching the end, and is antagonistic toward you as a gamer.

    I can understand this with older or arcade-y games, which are actively and (now) needlessly difficult, based on the one-more-coin mechanic, but I'm not sure it's relevant anymore.

    It would be preferable generally to feel that I and the game, (or I and my identified character, as synecdoche for the game engine), are in it together, striving toward some mutual goal, surely? (Which, fwiw, I tend to feel anyway).

    You're using big scary words - don't like. You win!

    :(

  • lavalant 14 Sep 2009 22:52:22 1,328 posts
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    If you're not putting the effort into get past something then you can't be enjoying the game very much. As with Metroid prime, I found the game a chore to play so couldn't be bothered putting the effort in.

    But somethign like Ninja Gaiden, Godhand, Megaman 1 and 2, master mode on FZERO (snes) I completed becuase I was having fun at the same time or something was driving me (like gaining new weapons in megaman).
  • steoc4 14 Sep 2009 22:55:35 1,657 posts
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    On the one hand it's a tempting idea, on the other I could see myself abusing it and not getting the most out of games.

    I remember when I was younger I loved Broken Sword 1 and spent weeks completing it, then Broken Sword 2 came out just after I got a shiny 56k modem and discovered the wonders of FAQs... BS1 remains one of my all time favourite games but I remember little of the weekend or so it took me to complete BS2.

    It's just the same as racing games for example, why not let you have all the cars at the start? Because making you work for something can make it more satisfying.

    At the same time there's nothing more frustrating than a game you're really enjoying the story of and frustrating gameplay gets in the way (Folklore I'm looking at you), and especially Boss Fights that play nothing like the real game. That annoyed me in MGS, not on normal mode because bosses were fine, but I loved sneaking my way through levels on the hardest difficulty, but on this difficulty bosses were impossible.
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