Dying in Games

This is one of those things that varies a lot from player to player. For me at least, suffering major consequences for dying in a game sucks a hugemassive cock.

Dying in itself isn’t a problem, because without fail potential, a game has no challenge. If you were to fall down a pit in Mario, and the game then spawned you on the other side of the pit, there’d be no gratification in conquering the pit to begin with. However, when I fall down a pit and the game sends me back to the start of the level, I have to question why. And if I fall down the pit three consecutive times, then the game sends me to a further-back location, I really start to wonder what’s going on here.

Going by the trends I see in games journalism, it probably sounds like I’m supporting the modern, tripple-A, “easy games with regenerating health and instant respawns” cliche, but that’s not the case, because I don’t play those games. I mostly play stuff that’s either aging or indie, so this is about those games.

Moreover, the examples that I will cite of games that handle dying correctly and incorrectly come from all eras of gaming.

The desire to write this post springs to mind every time I suffer a particularly frustrating death in a game, and since that just happened in Metroid Prime, I’m going to start with the Metroid series.

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