Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Top Ten things I like in video games (Part 2)

     This is the second part of my third countdown, Top Ten things I like in video games. If you've missed the first part, go ahead and read it first. Here, I talk about the ten things I look forward to when I play a video game. Now, let's continue this list with number five.

5. Music

           Yes, you've read it right, I like music in video games. Why did I chose music? Well, for many reasons. Music is very important in video games, hell, in all media. It can express emotions or set a mood. If your game lacks emotion, it wouldn't really be a memorable experience, at least to me. It can make something as simple as opening a chest epic. It helps a lot when you try to build an atmosphere for your game. Also, it is something I always keep noticing in games. Good music shall not go under my nose. It contributes a lot to making an action more than just an action. For example, try fighting a colossi in Shadow of the Colossus without the music playing. Pretty boring, right? Now, try to fight a colossi with "The Opened Way" playing in the background. Now, I think you guys know what I'm trying to say. It can make your overall experience all the more memorable. I will not reveal what my favorite soundtracks are since I am saving it for another list.

4. Bonus worlds/Special worlds

         Sometimes, when I'm about to finish a video game (a good video game), I feel a bit... sad. Some games are just too good and you don't want to finish them because you want more. Some developers actually understand how I feel. So, what do they do? They include bonus worlds/special worlds. By that, I'm not talking about Sonic The Hedgehog special stages. I'm talking about World S from Super Mario Galaxy 2. Why are they so awesome? Because they make the game longer, so you don't have to cry over the fact that you'll have to fight the final boss because you don't want the game to end. Another things I love about bonus worlds/special worlds is the fact that they are usually much harder than normal levels, meaning you'll be losing more lives and you'll have to practice your skills which takes some time. Grandmaster Galaxy from Super Mario Galaxy 2 comes to mind. I think you guys know by now how much I love my games to be difficult. This is very common in Super Mario games. Some Mario games that include this bonus worlds/special worlds are Super Mario World, New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Super Mario Galaxy 2. One of the many reasons why Super Mario Bros. is such an awesome series.

3. Playing as different characters

             You know, I like playing as Mario or Sonic. They're awesome characters, don't get me wrong. But playing as another character, other than the main character, is great! Like I said, I like playing as Mario and Sonic but being able to play as the other characters is something great and keeps the game fresh. After constantly going from point A to point B in Sonic Adventure, I'll get a bit tired. Fortunately, the game allows to play as your friends like Tails, who has to race Sonic or Eggman, Knuckles, who has to find 3 pieces of the Master emerald in each stage, etc. It makes the entire experience much less redundant. But Sonic The Hedgehog and Super Mario Bros. aren't the only ones who allow you, the player, to play as different characters. In Team Fortress 2, you have nine COMPLETELY different characters you can chose from, each with their own pros and cons. If you are sick of playing as a Sniper, why not help on offense and play as Solider? With more characters comes more strategies and different ways to play. I also feel like I should talk about Xenoblade Chronicles (what an underrated game!) which allows to play as several different characters, each with their own Arts and styles. Overall, being able to play as different characters is a fantastic feature.

2. Upgrades/Items/Techniques

             If there is one feeling that is truly satisfying, it is the feeling that are getting stronger. Leveling up or getting better weapons, you'll be satisfied to know you're actually becoming stronger. That is why I love upgrades/items. By items, I'm not talking about a potion you use once and then it's gone. I'm talking about Legend of Zelda style items. You get it once and it will serve you 'till the rest of the game. I also like the upgrades from the Metroid series... and the brush techniques from Okami. There is something about getting a new upgrade that is just so satisfying! Is it because you can overcome new obstacles that used to block your way? Is it because you are getting closer to becoming a walking swiss knife? Either way, getting more and more stronger by gaining new upgrades/items/techniques is a great feeling and also a great way to reward the player for his efforts. Yet another reason why I love The Legend of Zelda and Metroid.

Before we get to number one, let's recapitulate!

10. Flashy moves

9. Open worlds

8. Intense difficulty 

7. Art styles

6. Creepy levels

5. Music

4. Bonus worlds/Special worlds

3. Playing as different characters

And finally

2. Upgrades/Items/Techniques

What is my number one thing I like in a video game?

1. Boss battles

          Yes, you have read it right. My favorite thing in video games are boss battles. There are so many reasons why I chose boss battles as my favorite thing in a video game. Firstly, the challenge. In many games, you have to fight against several minions. Killing the minions is easy but trying to beat their boss can be difficult. Usually, bosses try to put the player's skill to the test and see what he learned in his journey, which is one reason why I love boss battles. Second, the feeling of accomplishment. Whenever you fight a boss and defeat him, you get one obstacle out of the way. Can't say the same thing when you kill a minion. Some games like the Legend of Zelda games will give you an extra heart as a reward for the player. Third, they are different from each other. While there are many bosses that look the same (*cough* Andross clones *cough*), there are a lot of other bosses that try to do something different. Take the Great Mighty Poo for example. You are pretty much fighting a giant ball of singing crap and to defeat him, you have to throw toilet paper in its mouth. Even to this day, people still remember this boss battle. There are so many series that have great bosses, it's pretty hard for me to chose a favorite. Fourth reason, they are awesome. Of course, not all bosses are good, but when they're done right, fighting them is pure bliss. To conclude, boss battles are the one thing I look forward to the most when I play a video game.

This was the Golden Hedgehog. Hope you enjoyed the list and of course, have a nice day!

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