5 Gaming Mechanics That Just Need To Make A Triumphant Return


Video games have come a long way over the last few decades. Each decade giving way to new, innovative and exciting ways to allow our virtual selves to go about their questy task based business. Over the years we've seen some gaming mechanics become mainstream AAA and indie staples. Mechanics such as autosaves, allowing players to do away with immersion breaking distractions like manually saving the game at a designated spot are now commonplace in today’s gaming library. There have however been several genius and almost irreplaceable mechanics that have been just that, replaced. With video game developers trying to recapture the old glory days of old school gaming, Doom reboot and Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy being big contenders in this field, here are 5 gaming mechanics that need to make a triumphant return!
 
1. Smashing Stuff For
In Game Currency
With today’s fascination with loot boxes the idea of having some form of
in game currency has quickly come to a halt. Now we often need to have to spend real world money just to be able to buy a shiny new weapon or purchase a flashy upgrade, looking at you Battlefront 2. Back in the day games such as the Ratchet & Clank series allowed you to wallop pretty much any part of the scenery to able to gain a few extra nuts and bolts. These were then used at vendors dotted throughout the levels to buy new weapons and upgrades for the titular characters. Enemies also dropped the same currency when they had been righteously obliterated to give a sense of instant reward and when buying a new weapon from the vendor you got a literal representation of ‘bang for your buck’. Many of the upgrades and weapons however seemed to be astronomically expensive, giving off the first impression of just being unattainable. However with the glorious application of virtual vandalism you could quickly scoop up the required funds if you were willing to put the time into the game. These weapons often felt like a miniature side quest in itself, plus with the added bonus of each piece of environment having its own and sometimes comical destruction animations it gave each game that little bit extra humour and character.
 
2. Spilt Screen Multiplayer In AAA Titles
Video games today have increasingly engrossing single player campaigns. Each story dedicated to crafting this new universe around you and giving each player as much agency as its developed limitations will allow. These 10-20 hour epics will often leave you wanting so much more, hoping that the sequel to your newfound
favourite will not be too long a wait. When these glorious campaigns are done though we are often left with the equally disappointing choices of NewGame+ or actually waiting for the sequel, but it wasn’t always like this. Back in the games of yesteryear story campaigns would often allow you to co-op with a trusted friend of equal skill or a partner/family member who has just decided now is a good time to take an interest in your favourite pass time only to really subject you to roughly two hours of playing the first level while you try not to bark simple “Press A to use the ladder” instructions through gritted teeth, ahhhh good times. We also had far more of an opportunity to turn this bond building task on its head and have a couple of go’s in various player vs player matches, be they shoot each other in the face arenas or virtual racing tracks slick with countless opportunities to fire banana shaped rockets at your opponents, take that friendship!
 
3. Unlocking Bonus Levels Or Different Game Modes
One of the best reasons to really spend your time mastering your favourite games during the
Playstation 2 and N64’s time was the allure of unlocking a bonus level. Get every collectable in each level or beat the game on the hardest difficulty in under a certain time often rewarded us with the, at the time, totally suitable and justifiable extra bonus level. A whole new level to explore, you felt like Indiana Jones or Lara Croft discovering a lost civilization untouched by anyone but you and you alone, at least until you went into school the next day and discovered all your friends had done the same thing. Let’s be honest though,that didn’t matter one little bit did it? This new bonus level was your reward for your hard work, it was your trophy that said you were the greatest and we loved every second of it. Other bonuses you could unlock would give the game an ultra hard difficulty setting or handicap you with a limited number of saves making your next play through even more of a challenge. Games such as the MaxPayne series dishing out Hard Boiled and New York Minute difficulties will always be a shameful hurdle that I have never even come close to surpassing. I for one would much prefer to put the time into my games rather than hand overeven more money to unlock it through DLC or season passes. I mean who doesn’t want to put the grind in to run around Resident Evil 2’s nightmarish RaccoonCity Police Department as Tofu, a character who was a literal block of tofu armed with nothing more than a combat knife and frantic button bashing.
 
4. Cheat Codes
Our penultimate entry on this list is something I would happily while away the hours of my youth doing, and that
is cheat codes! Now technically they still do exist if you’re a member of the self proclaimed master race and know how to use root commands, but for us lowly console plebeians the idea of quickly hitting the right sequence of buttons on the game menu or typing in the correct password for a useless yet ultimately hilarious ‘Big Head Mode’ is sadly athing of the past. Gone are the days of infinite lives and infinite money, unlocking new costumes and NPC skins for your playable character, or even myall time favourite of low gravity mode which turns every bullet and fist into a rag doll inducing Hulk smash. These minor additions to some of our favourite games is often the reason why they are some of our favourite games, which we will return to time and time again whenever we get bored of the prospect of saving the world or becoming top of a leaderboard. Stop asking me to pay more money for new weapons or for my character to be permanently wreathed in cool flames and give me a button sequence so I can feel like a cool video game hacker again, I don’t think that’s too much to ask is it?
 
5. Health Packs
The final entry on this list is less of a mechanic that needs to come back and more of a mechanic that is making a triumphant return and should be celebrated with the reverence it deserves, health packs! Soaking up 20 bullets in a matter of seconds and ducking quickly behind a convenient piece of environment while your health regenerates just cannot beat the feeling of vanquishing your foes by the skin of your virtual teeth and then spending the next ten minutes frantically backtracking for that health pack you saw at the start of the level. Each encounter would feel like it could be your character’s last and you would fight tooth and nail using all the skills you could muster to ensure that this friend you’ve grown to care about would survive and accomplish their goals. You would become so much more alert when your character was at low health and a very real feeling of dread would come over you as you limped your way around a corner and encountered a room swathed in fresh bad guys wanting nothing more than to send your virtual new bestie into an early grave. Go away regenerating health mechanics, and health packs never leave us again!
 
Do you have any more video game mechanics that you think should dust themselves off and make a triumphant return? Leave a comment below and the reasons as to why.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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Drew Lewis - PaXaN

Hi folks, Drew here from PaXaN. I am an up and coming video game journalist looking to inject your daily cravings for virtual screen time with various features on video games and the industry itself. Keep an eye on this space for more news and features on your favourite games both new and old. Have an idea for a feature piece or something you’d like for me to cover? Send me a message on WeChat or email me and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. WeChat ID: DrewAW, Email: awl1989@yahoo.co.uk

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01 Mar 2018


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