The reason I've not been around much, is that I've had an ultra serious, highly 
professional and very extreme concert to do in Winchester over the weekend, so 
I've been doing a lot of singing and practice. Luckily things seemed to work 
out so now I'm back in my flat I thought I'd relax with an old classic, mega 
man 2. 

This is a nes game I play on the mega man aniversery collection. Graphically 
it's great from a low vision perspective, lots of great platform gameplay with 
high contrast but litle text. 

It's also known to be a pretty tough game even by Mega man standards. 

Today, for the first time ever I finished the Quickman force beam drop without! 
the time stopping weapon. 

To explain, as with all Mega man games you can go through the first eight 
stages of the game in any order you like. every time Mega man defeats a boss, 
he gets that boss's weapon. Not only will this do more damage to another boss 
making them far easier than just with Mega man's standard arm cannon, but also 
certain weapons will make places in the levels easier too, for instance using 
the rotating shield weapon to ward off a large bunch of enemies. 

When defeating flash man, you gain the item time stopper, which freezes all 
enemies on screen, as well as hazards like dropping ledges. 

In Quickman's laire, there is a rather infamous section where you need to drop 
down a series of long shafts. As you drop, instant kill force beams come from 
the walls, meaning you need to be very precise! about where you drop, what 
ledges you land on etc, sinse a second wasted and Mega man is toast. 

Of course, using the time stopper can simply freeze the force beams of doom in 
place, meaning they don't fire, and so making this extremely! difficult section 
far easier. 

Doing this without! the time stopper however, is regarded as one of the great 
challenges of Mega man 2, and even though I've previously finished the game, 
it's something I've never been able to do before. 

So what's the point of this? 

Mega man has no difficulty settings, merely a number of ways of approaching 
each task, depending upon what weapons you have and how you use them, yet, 
approaching something in the game with! one item makes it far easier than 
without, yet there is satisfaction to doing things both ways. 

This is something I deffinately would love to see more in games. not difficulty 
settings that merely increase the frequency and damage of enemies or the speed 
of the game, or ad a special obstacle, but in game challenges, ---- side lines 
if you like that the player doesn't have! to fulfill, but can if he/she wants, 
just as something to do in the game. For instance, in a game like tomb raider, 
have the choice of using melee or ranged weapons. 

Phil has certainly built a lot of this sort of thing into Sarah, but as with 
many things in audio games, it's not something which I really think we see 
enough of, sinse people just present the game, the difficulties and leave it at 
that. 

ultimately, I suppose this comes down to the reactivity vs judgement based 
gameplay. Even in mega man, with it's analogue jumps, though all you can do is 
run and fire, there's a lot of judging to be done, where as something that 
simply presents an audio and asks you to react is not going to have the same 
scope for in game challenges or choice. 

Hopefully though, this is something that our devs can change in the future, 
---- in fact from what I've heard I've got hopes of Perilous Hearts in this 
respect. 

All the best, 

Dark.
---
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