Can gaming be a spectator sport as well?
Game Guy by Leighton Buzzard’s Darren Gargette.
There are few videogames which can be tolerated by your significant other as you blissfully stare at your TV screen making sure that the other folk around think you’re wasting your life away before they swiftly go and observe their favourite actors in a fictional street.
FEZ, an independent game created by Phil Phish and the Polytron Corporation, is one of these games which is a pleasure to spectate as well as participate in and I think there’s a definite method to ensuring that everyone in the room is gripped by the on-screen actions other than the puppeteer.
Dying in videogames is rarely a fun mechanic in videogames and as of late with the disappearance of high-scores and the arcade scene there really isn’t any pressure at all on the player when it comes to death in videogames.
Dark Souls and Super Meat Boy are the only two games as of late which does great things with dying... and who thought that sentence would ever be written!
Dark Souls pulls you in with a dangerous yet compelling game world which puts you in complete control of the protagonist and gives you a risk reward system like no other game other than its spiritual sequel Demons’ Souls.
Whereas Super Meat Boy offers instant reload into the action, blood splatters on the wall to let you know where to go and to not go, as well as a very satisfying replay mechanic which sees often hundreds of Super Meat Boy’s plummet to their death – apart from one... the victorious one. FEZ is one of the few games in which dying is irrelevant. Falling off the game world instantly respawns you exactly where you last touched safe ground and offers no enemies of any kind other than a twin pair of platforms which, if mis-timed will squash Gomez into a gooey mess but that’s about as dangerous as it will ever get.
Portal is another fantastic game in which dying is used as a learning tool and while there’s no real instant reload like the previous two platformers mentioned it doesn’t happen all that often which gives your friends, family and partners the chance to chime in and participate in your on-screen shenanigans.
So when you’re pressing the back button in Trials Evolution for the 40th time, please be aware of any folk around you who may be getting just as frustrated as you are but without the satisfaction of conquering a level and put something more mellow on screen.
A game about observation and solving puzzles, not death, murder and loading screens.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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