Adding content to games

I find myself drawn to the subject of adding stuff into games. It’s very interesting topic and a fun one at that. We all thought of adding something into the game but hardly anyone looks that deeply at it and considers all the angles for doing such a thing. When it comes to adding in anything the first thing that should be considered is the gameplay reasoning. For me this has became my sole reasoning behind wanting or not wanting adding stuff to games.

If your adding something in it has to be meaningful in my view. I know good few that look at the plot as a reasoning for adding something. Adding something for the sake of plot sense. Fair enough there are stuff that are purely for plot reasons. These items are for decoration or as a reward. It’s not like they would drastically change how you played the game. Adding something for a plot excuse just seems like a waste of time and energy. The amount of effort that would go into adding something that would only serve as a minor plot interest is a huge waste.

So to start with you need to consider the gameplay reasoning. Gameplay reasoning is really a bunch of questions relating to gameplay you have to be able to answer.

  • Would it be a fun addition? – The most difficult to answer but the one you must consider the most. No point adding something if it’s going to distract from enjoyment of the game.
  • Would it have a unique use within the game? – Something that is over looked. No point spending ages adding something only to find you could have just used something else already in game. It’s annoying finding yourself having to work on something to find someone else has already done so.
  • Would it be a benefit? You may think something would be a great addition but you need to consider whether this would actually benefit the game itself. The actual benefits of the addition itself. What the game get and what the player get out of the addition.
  • How much of the game would be changed and would it be worth it? – One of those questions gamers don’t consider. If your adding something in you have to change the game to incorporate it. No matter how tiny it is your still making changes for it to be in there. The amount of effort needed to add something in must be sequel or less then the worth of the addition.

Probably a ton of other stuff to consider as well. I just felt the need to get this out there.

Why I Don’t Like Idea of Star Fox Reboot

Before I begin I would like to make this clear. I like the StarFox series. I don’t just really like 1 game in the series I like them all for various reason. I also don’t like certain parts of them. I like to daydream how I would remake the games and what I would do to make them more fun. However I appreciate the series for what it is and enjoy all the games. Although I have yet to play original StarFox.

What Does a Reboot Actually Mean

  1. Gameplay Refinement
  2. Fresh New Start for Story
  3. Removal of Certain Elements

Why This Could be Bad

Gameplay Refinement doesn’t sound too bad. Until you consider this might not make the series like your favourite game within it. They could easily decide to use your most hated game in series as base for the rebooted series. That’s if they use a game from the series. No one needs to be that confined when doing a reboot.

Fresh start for the story has potential. Could easily explain things better or even remove the entire story for a completely different one. Why use anything from current story for a reboot? If they are rebooting it might as well start completely new instead or relaying on the older story right? Note the sarcasm.

Removing parts you don’t like sounds great. However it’s easy to over look one thing. Reboot could easily remove parts or elements you want to keep in favour of the ones you wanted the series to drop or with it never had. You have to take both sides in order to fully understand what a reboot might hold.

Reboot Sequel

Now this is where things get even worse. StarFox Series has been passed around quite a bit. Part of the issues with series comes from that. The biggest problem with any reboot is what happens after the reboot. It’s easy enough to forget that you obviously want more than one game. Following through with a reboot has its issues.  No one can plan for every game that will ever be made for the series. You can have vague ideas of where the series might go but if you’re not handling the entire series whatever benefit you hoped a reboot might bring will be lost in the sequel or prequel.

Final Thoughts

Dreaming of what may have been is one thing but actually saying they should reboot it and lose everything we have in favour of something potentially no one likes I don’t think is the answer. There are too many unknowns with a reboot. I feel the risk is too great. There is no guarantee you will get what you want out of it. Potentially we could end up with StarFox’s Nintendo Land Heroes (a pun on Skylanders being a Spyro reboot). Really think hard about what you want from the series and is it really worth risking everything (and I mean everything) for a reboot that may not be what your after?

Macross Frontier – Why combining series and movies is good for Ranka and bad for Sheryl

A lot of Sheryl fans would love to see series and movies combined purely because of movies end. They desire to have Alto x Sheryl but with series happy end. At first I felt annoyed by this until I messed around a bit on iMovie Maker. Combining clips form series and movies. Originally over lapping them to show how depressing triangle is. During this course I decided as a joke due to similarities combined the series and movie moments to create a combined one. This proved to have interesting results. (Click to play the video.)

To start with we will go for Ranka’s rescue concert. Both series and movies feature a moment Ranka heads off to rescue someone she cares deeply for by singing. In the movies this was Sheryl however in series it was primarily for Alto. Now combining the two is tricky. While the obvious thing is to rescue both this would mean Alto wasn’t part of the rescue party like in the series as a result we would end up just following the series. Having it primarily a Sheryl rescue doesn’t work either. That was movies main focus. So the solution is a weird one.

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As you can see the only way to combine them both is to have a random goth Lolita that looks shockingly like Alto attempt to rescue Alto during Ranka’s concert. Sheryl while both in series and movies she was captured she has no purpose in the combined rescue. The goth Lolita has no reason to rescue Sheryl as that would follow movie events and Alto can’t rescue Sheryl because he is also captured.

Moving on we got the pre final battle. During pre final battle one of the girls sings alongside side Alto battling. In series this was done by Sheryl who went up against a fake Ranka. In movies this was done by Ranka with no fakes around. Alto in both gives up towards the end and the girl who sang during pre final battle is upset over Alto’s loss. In the series Ranka was rescued at this point and sang encouragement, healed Sheryl and was reunited with the other two. In movies Sheryl sang encouragement and was reunited with both Alto and Ranka. Problem with combining the two comes down to Ranka and where she is during the pre battle. If you have her in fake Ranka that would be just following the series and likewise having her singing with Alto just makes it like the movie. While having them both sing during pre final battle sounds like a good idea it would be equivalent of pressing skip button. The solution is as follows.

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A Ranka vs Ranka pre battle which leads to Alto rescuing Ranka and being reunited with her. Sheryl again loses out. Since she is not there to sing at beginning nor is she the one missing she has no part to play within the combined story.  If she sang later it would be like the movies. At best she may appear during final battle as an onlooker.

The final part is the ending. The primary goal for all Sheryl x Alto fans. This is by far most interesting. During the movie final battle Ranka is left alone, Sheryl in coma and Alto is MIA. One of the side pairings are now together unlike in series. In series all three are together but one pairing is permanently separated. Now going with the Sheryl x Alto fans Alto must have confessed to Sheryl and gone MIA as well as best happy end for all other pairings. This leaves Ranka alone and Sheryl in coma. So far this isn’t really a combination of the two. There is only one solution left to us…

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Starting similar vain to movies it eventually merges with series towards the end. Yes that means even though Alto confessed to Sheryl it is Luca that goes to her instead. However having both Ranka and Sheryl OK would have made it follow the series even with Alto MIA. It would also defeat the purpose of why Sheryl x Alto fans want to combine them both if Alto was MIA. This leaves us with Sheryl in coma while Alto flies around with Ranka on looking.  Since no one else was hurt Luca like in series then goes to the hospital to visit Sheryl.

List of Frustrating Elements in Video Games

Level Gap – When it comes to any game there is a point the challenge increases. You got near end of level or even the game and you’re not really struggling. In fact your probably skipping along to the music as you progress through level. The final part comes and boss or something like it appears. Suddenly your no more than an easily squashed bug on the floor. You can’t dent its armour and at best you may actually hit it. Even hitting its weakness is doing next to nothing. It’s frustrating when this occurs. The sudden spike makes no sense and doesn’t feel natural. It doesn’t happen with just monsters but with puzzles too. Sudden spike is just harsh and makes it feel like a punishment.

Bringing Back First Level Elements – When it comes to final dungeon you don’t expect to do exact same stuff you did to solve puzzles like in first dungeon. In fact by time you get there you probably forgot 1/2 stuff you did at start. It will be nothing more than a vague memory. Unless it’s a short game. There are some games that seem to like doing that. Bringing up older stuff just to see if you have good memory. I can imagine many would be confused as to what they are supposed to do. It’s not something they did throughout the game so it’s not high on list of possible solutions if it is on the list at all.

Save Locations – When it comes to saving your game you want a good selection of places to save and re-spawn from next time you play. Evidently there are some pretty bad places you can save or can’t. Just before final boss you expect a save point. A place you can rest up and restore health in relative safety. Likewise you expect a save point outside a dungeon or after a lengthy cut scene. Not all games seem to follow those rules though. Understandably a save spot before a boss battle gives away your coming to a boss battle. Having bigger restriction to only 1 location being able to save at makes things really annoying. Having to backtrack to that lone location makes it frustrating at times. Specially when you want a quick out or want to save before heading somewhere dangerous.

Item Collection – Nothing is more boring then collecting x amount of x object. I can understand a couple of sidequests requiring you to collect specific items but then you get games which require you to collect 50 of each item. There is a step too far. Worse still is when you collect tons of items and there is no way of knowing how important one item is compared to another. This means you could sell an item you only get once. Then you get games that let you collect items that you will only use the 1 of and the rest are useless. Then you got items that serve no purpose.

Bad Directions – When it comes to finding your way around it’s important to have a good map, compass and directions. Nothing worse than being given some obscure directions to find a something. Wondering around ages for something that is really important and you must find to complete the game isn’t exactly fun. Maps only sure the very basic information, no compass or a very vague information all hinder the traveller. Sometimes finding where you need to go is a puzzle on its own.

DLC – Every game should allow you to complete it without use of DLC. Whether that takes longer or is more difficult that’s fine. Having to buy stuff to complete the game is silly. Unfair on the gamer. We expect full and complete gaming experience not one you have to pay for to see end of. What’s worse is when you get DLC to find that in-game you have better or equivalent stuff in-game already. Nothing is added to the game except a re-textured object. If there was more to it then that that’s fair enough but if it’s not actually adding anything to the game why do you have to pay for it?

My 2012 Awards

Don’t Want it to End 2012 – The Last Story

When it comes to The Last Story I wish it was longer. I really feel this game should have been longer. It is just so much fun and story plays such huge importance to the game. I completed the game over a weekend and wish there was lots mroe to do. At best can replay dungeons or online modes but I want more story based dungeons. Want to know more of this world.

Please Move on 2012 –  Macross Frontier

As much as I like Macross Frontier I feel it’s getting to point of stupidity now. In particular with Sheryl Nome. She’s basically slapped on everything and gets most attention out of all the characters from series. Her pairing with Alto seems too over used now that it’s annoying. I’m just getting fed up of attention she gets and really wish we could move on. Although this could be me as a Ranka fan just wanting more Ranka stuff and less Sheryl stuff. XD

Please Don’t Forget 2012 – Pandora’s Tower

Out of three major JRPGs localised for Wii by Nintendo Pandora’s Tower feels neglected. The game is a lot of fun and offers a darker theme. It’s not same type of RPG as other two which is why people shouldn’t compare them. The timer is nothing to really worry about and Elena is a lot of fun to interact with. It’s also one of the few RPGs on Wii that actually use Wiimote in a meaningful way and not just as a normal controller. Please don’t forget about this game.

Missing One 2012 – Star Fox

I love Star Fox series. Normally we at least get some sort of minor mention but it’s been quiet for too long. Last Star Fox game we got was a remake in 2011. WIth no Star Fox attraction in Nintendo Land we are all waiting in hope something at least a little Star Fox related appears. Hopefully this year there will be something new Star Fox related.

Most Played 2012 – Theatrhythm Final Fantasy

It’s a great game to pick up and play now and then which is probably why I play it so much. The Dark notes are addictive and the music I know of. Since listen to mostly Japanese and gaming music most other music games just don’t interest me. It’s also one few music games I am actually OK at. There is no way I can do the harder difficulty ones. It took me 15+ attempts on lowest difficulty of Dark Notes.

Most Random Fun 2012 – AKB0048

When it comes to concept it sounds crazy. It’s rebel space idols with micsabers and mechas to put simply. The concert scenes range from almost normal to combat idol battling against army who are trying to put an end to entertainment. The fact the series also promotes real life idol group called AKB48 you would be forgiven for thinking this would be complete rubbish. It’s not. It’s a great deal of random fun.

Most Wanted to be Localised 2012 – Project Mirai

When it comes to other games I feel a bit safer in regards to their localisation. Project Mirai is music game starring vocaloids. The style is done as uber cute chibi or nendoroid style. It’s first Vocaloid game that Gumi has appeared in. Some of music videos have been redone for 3D. Needless to say I always wanted to try out a vocaloid game and this cute one looks perfect for me. However no word on game ever getting localised.

Best New Monsters 2012 – Dream Eaters from Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance

I really wanted to give this game a reward. This is was best I could think of. I feel some people are too hard on the game. I haven’t played all Kingdom Hearts games and I don’t find this game confusing. maybe people relay too much on their memories of the games as opposed to reading what this game has put about them. Choosing to skip cut scenes and not read reports. This game is heaps of fun. I really like Dream Eaters. I like their quirky nature and the way Sora teams up with them. I find their designs are a lot of fun and most unusual when it comes to collecting monster type systems.

Best Multiplayer Fun 2012 – Nintendo Land

When it comes to having fun with others Nintendo Land is just heaps of it. It wouldn’t be the same if it was online multiplayer or played on my own. The game really shines through when played with others. Unfortunately it makes playing single player a bit difficult to do. Once you experienced how much more fun it is with others hard to look back at single player.

Best localization 2012 – Harvest Moon 3DS Tale of Two Towns

When it comes to localizations it can be worth the wait. Especially in case of this 3DS port of DS game. In American release this game was plagued with issues and bugs. European release it was saw fit to have bug fixes. No lag and random crashes for us. We like to thank the American beta testers for their work in finding these glitches so that us European players can get much-needed bug fixes.

Happy Ending 2012 – Aquarion EVOL

From the premonitions, love triangles and previous series ending this was aiming for potentially a huge bad end. For a light-hearted mecha series it would have been disappointing specially with the themes of defeating ones destiny. Ultimately what we get is one super happy end for all. Love triangle dissolved without sad rejected characters at end. Everyone moving on and building a happier world. Whether or not you feel about the end pairing everyone was happy. Which is more than what can be said of other series and movies.