Forums - Gaming Discussion - Are lives in games an outdated mechanic?

What do you think?

Yes 22 56.41%
 
No 17 43.59%
 
Total:39
Dulfite said:
So in SNES and NES games, I find myself suspending software and creating suspended points that I save, and I do it like ALL the time. I hate having to start part of a level over, or a whole level, or getting a Game Over. I wish modern games could be suspended and stored like the old ones on Switch haha.

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OneTime said:
Dulfite said:
So in SNES and NES games, I find myself suspending software and creating suspended points that I save, and I do it like ALL the time. I hate having to start part of a level over, or a whole level, or getting a Game Over. I wish modern games could be suspended and stored like the old ones on Switch haha.

Search YouTube for  "Beat-A-Game Button"

Not sure what you are getting at here. If it is that I shouldn't play games, if I can't tolerate what I described above, and that I'm spoiled, uh... okay?

If something else, please expound.

Thanks.



Obviously no. Lives suit some games and don't suit others. Just watch the video posted in this thread.



For the most part yes. Most games just load your previous save, and TBH even games that do have lives make them rather pointless. For example you still have lives in Mario, but it doesn't mean game over. You just reload your last auto save and you literally pock back up where you left off. You may have to run an extra 2 minutes to go back to where you were, but it is nothing more than an extra load screen at the end of the day.



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Its an outdated mechanic which is why hardly any games come with it now. Even Super Mario ditched it in Odyssey.

This is just a way to artificially boost difficulty in older games and some platformers. However there are games which have a permadeath mode, which for the most ardent of gamers can make for a unique, and interesting (also intense) experience.



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mZuzek said:
The_Liquid_Laser said:
Depends on the game. People like to use lives in Smash Bros, for example, or Street Fighter. I'm playing a lot of Super Mario 35 and I basically get 1 life. It's an extremely fun game.

I mean, yeah, but you know that's not the kind of life anyone's referring to.

It never hurts to be clear.  "Lives" depends a lot on genre.  I think what people are saying is they don't like lives in games where you complete stages and you are trying to gradually progress toward the end of a 15 hour+ game.  There are probably other genres that lives don't make sense: RPGs and open world games, for example.

On the other hand there are still genres where "lives" make sense.  Fighting games are a great example.  Competitive games, in general, are often better with lives because a match only lasts so long.  Roguelikes are another genre where "lives" make sense.  From the beginning the concept of a roguelike is that you get 1 life and once you are dead, then that's it.  Gradually roguelikes have let you carry a little bit over from one game to the next, but it's still basically built on the 1 life concept.

The original question was "Are lives an outdated mechanic".  My answer is "no", because it depends on the genre and how the game is designed.



Personally, I don't like having to repeat stuff I've already played, so I do kinda find them to be a largely pointless relic of the arcade era. I certainly didn't miss them in games like Mario Odyssey, Ori, or Yooka Laylee and the Impossible Lair.



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They sort of are, except that in a lot of games, nothing has really been done to replace them.

There has to be some stakes that make death kind of intimidating, but in a lot of game, death just means you have start over a little while back. This was a problem for me in REVII. IIRC and my memory isn't fuzzy, death generally didn't set you that far back. So, in the beginning, being chased around the house freaked me tf out, but eventually when I realized death was a minor inconvenience, I was just like "whatevs".

Similarly in Mario Odyssey. I virtually never ran out of lives in Galaxy, and even when I did it was more of an inconvenience than anything. Having the player drop coins instead was a step in the right direction, but the penalty was too small to be meaningful.

Replacing lives with checkpoints has its own problems. If the checkpoints are too far, then it's frustrating if you don't get any chance to adapt to a new level and have to suffer a significant setback. On the other hand if they're too close, then dying has no impact whatsover. In these cases, lives actually may be a better solution.

For example in the last level of Odyssey, I think giving players 3 lives and some checkpoints would have been better than sending them all the way to the start of the level if they fail. This gives you a couple of chances to learn a new part without a major death penalty, then if you can't figure it out, you take the L and have to redo a big chunk of game. Lives work this way in Mega Man 11, and they're make the game better than if you could restart whenever from a checkpoint.

There are other ways to go about it of course. ZombiU's solution was pretty clever. If you die, your previous character is a zombie with all the shit you were carrying at the time, and if you don't kill them, you lost it all. Kid Icarus also had a clever solution where if you die the difficulty decreases, but so do the rewards.

So, I don't think lives are really outdated. They're one method of making failure consequential, and in some contexts it works perfectly well. But they shouldn't be used just for the sake of tradition. There are other methods that are better for different kinds of games.



Playing Mario Sunshine in 3D Collection has me cursing the lives system. The FLUDD-less levels are kicking my ass and having to do the trek back to the entrance of the section every 5-6 attempts is a pain in the ass.



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For the vast, vast majority of games it makes no sense. Lives are a holdover from arcade machines that wanted to eat up your quarters. I was glad when Super Mario Odyssey abandoned lives. I get that a lot of the game isn't tough at all, but it's a welcome change.



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