Friday, November 4, 2011

Temp Saves and Controls

There are two features that should have been included in every single game released in the last, well....ever, but I will forgive you your trespasses, AS LONG AS YOU START INCLUDING THESE GOING FORWARD:

  • Temporary Quick Saves
  • Fully Customizable Controls
Temporary quick saves are quick saves that self delete when accessed, so all of you “quick saves ruin difficulty” people can spare me the complaint. A temporary quick save is a quick save that allows you to save your game at any given moment, and resume from that spot, the caveat being that the save is deleted when the game is resumed, thereby giving you the benefit of a save anywhere feature without the unfortunate side effect of removing the challenge. 

By the way, these actually exist (I've used them in a couple of GBA games) so I'm not just pontificating about some nonexistent thing here.

If I am playing a game and then something comes up and I need to turn off the system, and I am 30 minutes away from the next save (and 45 minutes past the last one) why should I be punished for that? Why must I be punished for having a real life? Movies don't punish me. Music doesn't punish me. Why do my games? Let me save in an instant and resume when life allows it. I have some games that are so stingy with saves that I don't bother playing them unless I have at the very least an hour free to play.

That's asinine.

As for fully customizable controls, this is something that should have been in gaming since the beginning, let alone now, when controllers have so many buttons and gamers all have their preferences for certain types of games. There have been games that have turned me off merely due to an incomprehensible control scheme, an issue that could easily have been remedied with a feature that allowed me to set the controls to my liking. I don't understand why developers want to restrict us to certain presets. Hell, many games don't even offer a choice of presets, let alone an actual customization option! What's it to them if I want to map crouch to the control stick button? I don't WANT to push B to crouch!

A huge annoyance for me in hack n slash games is the dodge/block controls and mechanics. Ninja Gaiden does it perfectly. Left trigger to block, left stick to dodge. Perfect. Available at any given moment, enabling split second timing. And what do other developers do? Screw it up, of course! Take Ninja Blade for example. The game was clearly supposed to be From Software's answer to Tecmo's Ninja Gaiden. Okay, I'm cool with that. I look forward to the game, I eagerly anticipate playing it, I download the demo, hold the L trigger, it blocks (sweet!) push the left stick....and nothing. The damn dodge mechanic is mapped to the right thumbstick.....


Now I have to move a finger from the face buttons to dodge, then move it back to attack.

This might not sound like much but to a hardcore hack n slash player this is a huge issue. On top of it, the actual roll dodge itself fucking sucked, but that's beside the point (game sucked as well, but let's not digress too far).

Is there something I am missing here? Some reason why game developers would not want gamers to set the controls to their liking? Would From Software have suffered some slight if I had remapped the dodge to the left stick? If so, someone fill me in, because I don't get it!


  1. Temp quick saves sound like a great idea for sure. I've never played a game with that feature. In terms of more linear-focused games, the automatic checkpoint feature does a fairly good job at spacing the checkpoints in many games I've played. I'd say the issue you mention is more of an issue for large environment/open world games or RPGs than with more linear-focused games, but it definitely is something that would be great to have in any game.

    I can't even remember the last time I played a game with fully customizable controls. If I'm not mistaken, many PC exclusive games, both indie and non-indie, have this feature. I've certainly played, or seen being played, many PC games like that at least. So it definitely is something that needs to happen more for consoles.

  2. It appears that we are in agreement then :)


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