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March 23, 2005



"Obviously, this is not the blog to come to if you want rabid opinionated ranting."

This is why I like your blog, Jamie. Keep it up. :-)

Corvus Elrod

I thought Zelda: Wind Waker had a nice, "push this button now" elements in it. Although not long sequences, the game provides on screen cues to use your special attack during combat. Not only does the appropriate button light up in the interface panel in the corner, but Link's sword glows and the controller vibrates.

Tangential reference perhaps but, but I've not got enough coffee in me to fire on all pistons.


You forgot Shenmue! Honestly, I think this is a great way to subvert the cutscene - put it on the screen, but keep the player interacting. It probably wouldn't work for the talky-talk of a Metal Gear Solid game, though. Unless you could (goshwow) choose what Snake said and through those choices alter the course of the game. But that might conflict with Kojima's MASTER STORYTELLING.

Tom Spilman

Shenmue did this very well as it was forgiving in most cases. Missing one of the button sequences wasn't a "game over" failure. You could often miss several button sequences in a cut scene, but you would still successfully complete it. For example in the chase scenes you usually had 3 failures before you would loose the guy you were chasing.

This simple thing enhanced the fun for me as it became less frustrating. I looked forward to those sequences, but would have become really bored with it if they happened too often. Just talking about it makes me want to go play some Shenmue.

Noel Llopis

> DDR is still totally engaging to me. (Though Parappa &
> Amplitude/Frequency are better as far as gaming goes.)

Ah, I'm so glad somebody else sees this!

DDR is lots of fun because of the input device, but Amplitude is simply an amazing *game*. DDR is actually a lousy game, but that's because it's a straight port of an arcade machine, which has very different goals than a home game.

I enjoy both of them quite a lot though. I just keep wishing for a game with the gameplay of Amplitude and the input device of DDR :-)

Adam V.

Is Amplitude much better than Frequence? I never played much Amp. because (1) I got burned out on Freq. and (2) I didn't care for the songs in the kiosk demos.

As far as DDR goes, it's more fun as exercise than as gameplay, but maybe that's just me.

Rob Stevens

I thought the Frequency/Amplitude relied heavily on the selection of the right musical tracks. I thought Frequency was a far better game than Amplitude, in that regard, but that's very subjective. DDR suffers the same problem, the music selection can render an entire mix unplayable for some people. I personally think that DDRMAX2 for PS2 is the best of the current generation DDR games.

Anyway, I don't agree that the gameplay is the same as with Dragon's Lair. Dragon's Lair was about NOT knowing what to press, and making the right guess. DDR, Amplitude, and the other games mentioned specifically tell you what to press, and you've got to be in the right mindset to get it done. With DDR, you have to get your legs to do what your eyes are seeing. Frequency makes you work your fingers, eyes, and ears all at the same time.

That said, I agree that DDR is, for many (including myself) about exercise. It's just a fun way to get off my fat ass. Although, my ass is far less fat now, having lost approximately 60 lbs. to DDR in total.


Mark LeBlanc (8kindsoffun.com) wrote about what he believes are the 8 kinds of fun found in video games which I found to be fairly representative. One of those categories is "masochism" or "submission to the game". I think this is a very legitimate form of fun that is too often underrated.

Parappa and DDR and the "Simon Says" type gameplays are overt forms of submission as being fun. A more covert submission as fun example would be tetris or minesweeper played at high levels. Experts at these games have developed muscle memory, pattern recognition, and more and are no longer thinking as precisely about every move that they make. Indeed the aesthetic feeling the user experiences when playing high level tetris could surely be compared to high level DDR where your conscious brain goes to sleep and you let some subconscious part of your brain kick it into overdrive (which is precisely what is probably so fun about these types of games).

To use yet another example, how about Ikaruga, 1942, etc. Since the enemies always appear in the same pattern, many expert players develop set patterns. These patterns take hundreds of gameplay sessions to perfect but as they are mastered the game becomes more and more about masochism - submission to the game.

Jeremy Statz

I think I view these more as "reflex events" than anything, at least in RE4's case. They randomly picked which button you had to hit, so you couldn't memorize a sequence in the same way you could something like Dragon's Lair. I'd find myself getting pretty keyed up whenever I was in a boss fight or cut scene where this stuff was being used, since my reaction time was genuinely being tested. This is very different feeling from the "waiting to hit A" concept, at least in my mind, and insured I was paying sharp attention at all times.

mike d

what's up with you gamers and your hostile competitive mentality?

high level play is all about harmony, not domination. The player becomes the yin to the games yang. Any hapless opponent is essentially fighting against nature.

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Jamie's Bragging Rights

  • Spider-Man 2
    The best superhero games of all time Game Informer
    Top five games of all time Yahtzee Croshaw
    Top five superhero games of all time MSNBC
    Top 100 PS2 games of all time Official Playstation 2 Magazine
    1001 Games You Must Play Before You Die Nomination for Excellence in Gameplay Engineering Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences
  • Schizoid
    Penny Arcade PAX 10 Award
    Nominated for XBLA Best Original Game
    Nominated for XBLA Best Co-Op Game