Lives and Continues

What happened to lives and continues in video games? Nowadays, you die, who cares? Just pick it up from the last long hallway you walked through. How many times? Until you’re tired of playing. The checkpoint and unlimited continue system of modern games has spoiled this generation of gamers. They’ll never know the heart ache of staring the final boss in the face, defient and determined to win, with only one life and no continues, only to be bitch-slapped back to stage one. They’ll also never know the triumph of sneaking in that last attack and stealing victory just as the end is nigh.

These so-called hardcore gamers. How many people would’ve beat Halos of Warfare 3 on OMFGendary if your continues were limited.
And don’t get me started on regenerating health.
Do you know what we used to call these gameplay elements back in the day? Cheat codes. You needed a Game Genie and an 8 digit code to have that kind of peace of mind.

The worst part of it is that that fear is perminantly instilled in me. Even as a play these modern games, I cling to each “life” like it’s my last. Which leads to me cowering atop a gargoyle in Arkham City, while two-bit thugs mock me. All because I’m afraid that one lucky bullet from just one of those crooks will have me starting from scratch in Arkham Asylum.

Oh, it’s cruel? It’s unfair? You know what else is cruel and unfair? Life! It takes you out of the game? You know what takes me out of the game? Being immortal. Having zero consequences for my mistakes. I could be the worst player in the world, and admittedly I might be, but I’ll never see menu screen again until I’m forced to reset the game for the next Xbox Live update.

If you’re going to add checkpoints, why exclude them from the one genre that would benefit most from them: fighting games. What I wouldn’t give to see the “Checkpoint Reached” dialog pop up when I’ve gotten the final boss down to that last sliver of health. Just before he unleashes that SuperUltraMegaCombo with Cheese that rapes 80% of my life bar.

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