This post is actually more about something that separates good games from great games: replay value.
There are many games I enjoyed, but which I wouldn’t necessarily want to play again. Mostly story-based games.
They’re fun to play, but once you’ve seen it all, the novelty has worn off. And if it was a really laborious game, the thought of going through the exhausting sections again is enough to turn me off permanently.
The games with crazy-high replay value for me, on the other hand, tend to be games where you contend against the most dangerous animal of all: man. Shooters, fighters, and the like.
Now, you have to remember, it’s a miracle that games have multiplayer at all. Games that required friends were always a gamble for developers, because most games didn’t actually include the friends along with the game packaging. They relied on the gamers to have or make the friends. By going outside.
This was folly.
Now, with XBOX Live, the friends actually ARE packaged in with the game. Of course, calling the typical gamer on XBOX Live a “friend” is a stretch, unless you like hanging out with Junior Klansmen with Tourette Syndrome, but the result is the same - you’ve got people to play with!
Anyhow, the games that probably got more replay than any other in my life are, in no particular order, Goldeneye (with shooters in the Halo series quickly catching up), Mario Kart, and Super Smash Bros. 64.
You could have put another couple zeroes on the SSB damage counter and that thing would STILL be maxed out.
For the fighters and shooters, two things fuel the replay urge for me. The first is the complexity that arises from the almost endlessly flexible strategies the other players would use. The second is the drive to get better and better. It’s a long and rewarding skill climb.
You realize how far you’ve come when you introduce another player to the game, and you feel like Shaq playing one-on-one against an aborted fetus. It’s all you can do to avoid dunking over and over again until the other player is a stain on the court.
Wow. That got gross fast.
Anyhow, the one thing that sticks in my mind as the signal that a multi-player game will have huge replay value is whether or not it led to massive amounts of homo-rific screaming during gameplay. Obviously, part of that is the Mountain Dew talking, but the rest is pure excitement. Let’s call it the Chumfest Test.
So, hypothetical readers - what are your Chumfest Games? Tell us in the comment section below.
And, remember, the offer for Immortality is still on the table: the first to comment on this blog will become a recurring character here.
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