intriguing puzzles, challenges, etc.? While in many ways corny.. I thought the Longest Journey and Dreamfall was great in that respect. It was an
amusing story with different interactive scenes.
Challenge can sometimes be fun, but most of the time, I have noticed that people, who keep talking about 'challenge' as if it's the only thing they
can ever get excited about in a game, are the kind that would never understand what I get out of video games. I actually hate challenges, I feel they
are just obstacles in trying to get to the goal - it becomes ACHIEVING, it becomes GRINDING, it becomes WORK!
It becomes like you are working FOR the game (or its makers), instead of the game BRINGING YOU PLEASURE.
Instead of storytelling, puzzles and challenges, you should let the player experience and create his OWN challenge by playing the game any way he
wants! In Maniac Mansion, there is a loose 'story', but you create your own adventure and exploration experience any way you want - though it still
has puzzles, and some of them are really annoying, requiring running up and down, back and forth, etc. - it really lets you create your OWN adventure,
not the adventure/story/etc. that the makers of the game forced upon you. Story shouldn't be something that happens to the character in the game - it
should be something that happens to -you- because you do things in the game. You walked up the stairs, you opened the door, you found ...
Instead of someone just -telling- you that your character did those things, or worse yet, telling your character, that someone else did something
An example against the 'challenge'-argument:
I bought the game "Need for Speed: High Stakes". A great, fun game, very playable with a good analog joystick - it's even better than with a wheel,
because you can do incredibly fast reactions that way that would be too complicated and slow to perform any other way.
But. The game wants me to WORK for it, before I can play any track I want.
What the heck? I already PAID for the game, and yet I can't access the FULL game, before I GRIND and WORK, before I turn the FUN into WORK, before I
stop PLAYING and start ACHIEVING?
I have to basically PAY AGAIN, with my work, AFTER I have already paid with money! What is that?? DIABOLIC!
Well, of course there are patches that unlock the other cars and tracks and such, but if it's my game, for crying out loud, why would I have to keep
working to get those things that I should already own by having paid money for the game? Just give me all the tracks and cars I paid for, I am not
going to pay AGAIN!
That's the mentality and the attitude that a player has to go through these days - either you conform to our capitalistic norms, or you don't get to
have/play/see/do whatever you want with something you already paid for, your -own- stuff!
I guess they want people to get used to grinding in games, so they will have the right attitude in the office. Oh, and 'achieving', too, instead of
just relaxing and being entertained.
If you think about old board games, they are not about achieving, they are about fun and games, just playing and enjoying the company you are playing
with. But modern video games want you to work for them, grind this, and we will give you this shiny star, which will open this doorway to a world,
where you can then collect those emeralds, that will then give you a bonus, if .. aaaarrgh! Why can't game be just GAMES?
Anyway, sorry for going off tangent again - I didn't realize how much I had to say about this, and I haven't even gotten halfway through the
original poster's message..
So I guess I will skip the rest and just answer to the main point; Yes, I did ponder even after the success of Doom, that how many games actually
require you to clobber, punch, destroy, kill or murder someone - or explode their spaceships or whatnot.
It's like games are about mainly two things: killing and collecting. Collect a lot like a good, capitalistic materialist, achieve, grind and then
kill and destroy the nature while admiring the masonic symbols peppered throughout.
I actually felt bad about doing that in that Kirby game - I thought, "Why am I clobbering these innocent, cute beings who have not hurt me in any
way? A nice nature scenery, and cutesy music, and here I am, shooting these cute things WITH A CANNON!".. it felt somehow wrong.
I don't mind kicking Yamo or Ninja in Bruce Lee(tm) (1984), but I also don't mind exploring the levels without even meeting anyone for a long time.
The levels in that game are so interesting, it's like every room is its own little mini-world to explore (and the graphics provoke imagination). It
doesn't need the constant conflict to be entertaining.
But just electrocuting innocent blobs in Kirby just felt wrong. I guess they want kids to also think Tazers are a normal thing.. when you open your
eyes, it's shocking what you can find in an 'innocent kids' game', I tell ya..