No, don’t worry. This is not another list full of sexual innuendos.
What do I mean by spicing up your gaming? It’s all these little things you do that are utterly useless but still bring excitement to players. Read on, you’ll see what I mean. It’s time to spice up your reading with a little top 10 generator!
Character creation options have improved drastically since their day view in gaming. We’ve gone from name entering to practically molding the avatar like it was a clay doll. There’s nothing wrong with taking some time creating a character, but when you spend 3 hours making sure his bone cheek muscle structure is just right, you’re exaggerating. Not that there’s anything particularly wrong with that! Your character is supposed to be your virtual reflection. I can see why you’d want him to have the same amount of perfectly chiseled abs or the same bouncy chest.
Overkills... I made a whole list about them. Why do we do it? Simple: It’s an easily attainable state of superiority. It’s for the same reason we like God games like Black and White. We love the empowering feeling of having a character that annihilates his enemies. It’s a good reason why so many of us have Level 100 Pokémons and love Rocket Launchers so much. In any case, if you have to kill something in a game, might as well make it big.
A simple case of OCD in gaming, completist syndrome is a way to express you perfectionism in games. In fact, it’s so important to some people that they don’t consider a game finished until they “100%-ed” it. It’s a thrill of domination, somewhat similar to the overkill. Being motivational enough to have greatly increased the use of walkthrough and create a video series earns the completist syndrome a spot on this list.
This is probably the simplest way to put a little extra “hmph nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnngh BOOM Chakalaka!” in your gaming experience. When you already dominated a game, you have to give yourself a little extra challenge. Some of these famous challenges include:
Speedruns : Trying to beat a game as fast as you can
Hard runs : Trying to beat a game with imposed rules that make it harder. i.e no equipment upgrade or playing while sitting in the fridge
Run runs : Trying to beat the game while running
Blind runs: Beating a game without looking at it.
No runs: Beating a game while not playing it.
Kitty runs : And look how cute he is!
This is a pretty new concept. You already had the game, you beat it completely collecting everything and it gets re-released. Back in the days, we had little incentive to buy it over again, but now they come with achievements and your “bragging for getting every secret in the game” can turn into “bragging for getting every secret in the game have having earned a virtual medal for it”. It may sound stupid when presented like that, but it’s enough to convince a lot of people including me.
Hey look! It’s a shell! Ooooh! A rock! Wow I can’t believe it! Cow manure! Do you recognize yourself? When things so useless are collectable, people tend to go overboard. I’m not talking about collecting them either. I’m looking at the Link that cuts every spot of grass and bomb every wall, the Mario that falls down every pit hoping to find a secret, the Donkey Kong that throws a barrel on every wall, the Fallout/Diablo player who grabs every loot. Is this spicing up gaming for me? No, of course not. But it is useless and some OCD freaks like it.
When the game gives you lemons, you throw the lemons away and use grapefruits instead! That’s the most thrilling way to play! Every video game universe is bound by some kind of rules that are either easier to follow or hard to work around. If you want an exciting experience, defying these rules is the way to go. You’re supposed to use stealth? Beat the crap outta people! Unbeatable boss? Run him to the ground! You’re playing a game where you steal cars and kill people? Stop at every red light and help all the old ladies get across the road! This is what gets my blood boiling!
In some beat’m ups, there have score system for your style; notable mentions include Devil May Cry and Viewtiful Joe. However, this is not what I want to talk about. I’m talking dropping a crate on a guy, shooting a grenade leaving an enemy’s hand. Adding insult to death or just plain adding comedy or irony to a death is a very gratifying feeling. Thank god we have open-world games letting us have all the fun we want! I’ve heard so many stories from games like Prototype, GTA and Saint’s Row. I also love to get creative with Super Scribblenauts and Worms, but one game takes the cake: Just Cause 2. I haven’t played much of it and I can’t begin to imagine the things I would do with it (kinda reminds me of Scarlett Johansson). Anyway, I’ll end this section by letting you imagine tying a guy to a health pack and torching him. Sweet irony.
Super Mario RPG ruined me. I didn’t know what timed hits were, and he showed it to me. However, he did not tell me other RPGs didn’t use that technique. For the most part of my childhood and early teen years, I’ve pressed the action button at the time of attack. When I finally proved it didn’t work, Squall’s gunblade arrived! As if I didn’t have enough, Paper Mario was created. I still have that reflex sometimes... in every RPG I play. Fortunately, thanks to Pokémon, I know it wasn’t just me. What did you press to have more chance to catch a Pokémon?
Don’t you know what I’m talking about? Let’s throw out some examples, shall we? First up is Super Mario Bros 3 on the NES. As most of you should know, after you beat the boss at the end of each world, they drop a magic wand. Now, you can pick it up after it falls on the ground, or, if you’re an overachiever, you can try to pick it up as high as possible! Not for points, not for extra lives, just for the additional challenge.
Then we move over to the SNES with Super Mario World. The not-so secret switches that activate the colored blocks are quite useful. Though, one thing I liked more than to using them is posing as I activated them. Whether it was a simple jump, a crouched jump, feather cape nosedive or a spinning fireball jump, I had to make it special.
Finally, in most Kirby games, the stage finishes with the grabbing of a star and a Kirby clones and friends dance. Before the dance however, you get another chance for a freeze-frame pose of victory. And with all the power-ups in Kirby, your options are wide open! My favorites are of course the stone Kirby Muscle-Man transformation and the fire Kirby burning himself.
In the end, all I want to show is that the best victories come with a pose. There are plenty of games that give us a couple of freeze-frames to exploit and we often use them.
By the way, the image for number 2 comes from the site www.vgcats.com. The comic series Super Effective is a great read. Go check it out!
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