Monday, April 25, 2011

Lost Arts in Video Games

Video games have greatly evolved from a single joystick, to a pair of joysticks and a ton of buttons I'm amazed we can memorize the functions of. But because gaming has advanced so much there are some things that get lost in the shuffle, and are long forgotten. Here are my top three things in video games I miss, as dated as their concepts may be:

3. Cheat Codes

I really miss these things. Now I'm not talking about hacks that were not put in by the game programmers. I'm talking about the phrases and button combinations that we grew to memorize that enhanced the experience of a game and required nowhere as much skill as hacking. These are still around is some shape or form, but not in the way that just brought out the crazy side in gameplay. Back then we has codes for giant heads, infinite ammo, the ability to send your opponent flying in a single punch and to have citizens abuse the second amendment. Now we mostly have cheats to change the look of our characters. Some games today still have that charm in their codes, but it would be nice to see it more often.

If you recognize this, then you know what I'm talking about.

2. Death Penalty/Lives

Remember back in the day, when getting killed in a video game was a major deal? If you got your killed in a video game, by a boss or a pool of lava, chances are you'd get sent three miles back on a journey back to where you were. And to make matters worse, you have even less patience than before so you're twice as likely to get killed. And don't even get me started on when you run out of lives...

Nowadays, if you get killed in a video game, you'll probably return to the exact point you got killed which sort of defeats the purpose of getting killed aside from starting a small section over again. Don't get me wrong: I like how it is now. Running back to where I was, is certain hell. But the way it used to be, it made us a lot more careful when traversing gaps and dodging laser beams. A time with lives and a death penalty was a more cautious time in gaming.

"Am I the only one still on life support?"

1. Local Multiplayer

Now this right here, is something that has all but vanished off the face of the video game world. We live in the age that we don't even need to be in the same county, let alone the same room, to carry on a conversation with someone. Now that transfers into video games, and it saddens me. Whatever happened to the days when you had to go over to a friend's house so you can have enough people to get a game of Goldeneye or Super Smash Bros. going? Nowadays, all it takes is an instant message to your friend fifteen minutes away to get them to play a video game with you.

I don't know about you, but I enjoy seeing the look on my friends' faces when they tasted sweet defeat by my hand. Now we have to settle for hearing a person's reaction over a headset, or just a trolling comment about your "cheapness". I always thought the true joy in video games was playing together with friends. Literally together. Well, the main positive to this is that you can play with total strangers with them having no idea who you are. That can sometimes be a negative as well, I guess. Though some people may not like it, but I kind of like Nintendo forces local multiplayer on their games. The friend code system may not be that great in my opinion, but it's another interesting way to keep you playing with people you know personally (or anyone who sees the code you revealed on a forum site).

1999 was a good year.

To conclude, I'm loving the video game scene at this point, but looking back at how it was years ago, there are some parts of it that make me want to go back time. I just wish this stuff stronger stood the test of time...


  1. i still hang out with friends and play video games! i also agree that cheat codes were fun, like in GTA

  2. Awesome. In my opinion, I find playing with friends physically is a lot more fun than playing online.

    And if only cheat codes could be as fun as they are in GTA...