Good day, dear readers! Are you ready to be thankful! I can’t hear you!!! Ahem, it’s time to discuss a few more things the Duck is grateful for in celebration of Thanksgiving. Today will be a random collection of convenient gaming features the Duck appreciates that most people probably overlook.
The Ability to Save: We may take it for granted these days, but back in the day, not all games granted you the ability to save. I don’t know why, considering other games produced during this time period had this function, but certain SNES games were like this, and it was a pain in the behind. Fortunately, this didn’t seem to be a problem with really good games like Zelda or Donkey Kong Country, but I did have to commit to countless hours whenever I wanted to complete such games as Jurassic Park, Joe and Mac, or Porky Pig’s Haunted Holiday. It’s not fun when a game makes you feel like you’ve just started a prison sentence….
Skipping Cutscenes (and Credits): I’m a big Kingdom Hearts fan. I loved the first two PS2 games and am super thrilled for the release of KH3. But do you know what was one of the most monumental differences that I noticed between the first two games? The second game actually lets you skip cutscenes, a feature I would have really liked in the first game the many, many times I got murdered by Dark Riku! I kid you not, this is a really big deal for me, and I’m so glad modern games typically have this feature.
Convenient Settings: Do you guys remember what it was like dealing with the GameCube’s settings? Every time you wanted to change the time, or manage your memory cards, or what have you, you’d have to turn the GameCube on (or off first, if you were already in the middle of using it) and hold down a button just to reach the settings. I think to do the same thing on the PS2, you would have to take out the disc and reset the console. It may sound unimportant, but being able to change a console’s settings at any time is really convenient nowadays.
Whenever a Game Allows Multiple Save Files: cue angry old lady voice Back in my day, video games let me have multiple save files. We didn’t have time for these fancy new “profiles” and whatnot! Kids these days, with their Game Boys and motion-controlled doohickeys! Why, I walked to school, and it was uphill both ways, and… un-cue
Seriously, I can’t properly get across how much it bothers me that so many games nowadays seem to allow just one save file unless you want to create another profile. I don’t want to always have to delete my old game just to start a new one! This bothers me so much that, when I replayed Rayman Legends recently, I just committed to replaying every level in my already finished file, while making sure I collected every single Teensie (a tough feat to properly keep track of once you’ve already found them), just so I could say I beat the game 100% again. And when I started a new playthrough of Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus, I had no choice but to restart the game in Challenge Mode because I refused to be bullied into deleting my current file!
Ahem, in short, whenever a game does include this seemingly forgotten feature from the past, I am eternally thankful!
No More Memory Cards: Let me tell you, the last thing you want to do is buy a new console and a game or two, bring it home, set it up, then realize you need a memory card to save anything! I did this with Rayman 2 on the N64. Having played plenty of other games that saved directly on the cartridge, how was I to know that this game and this game only required a memory card to be plugged into my controller! Furthermore, I had probably ten or more memory cards for the GameCube because they fit so little. It’s not fun, as a child, to have to ask for a memory card for your birthday instead of a game. And that is why I have to say, good riddance, memory cards! You will not be missed!
It’s that time again, your turn to share your own thoughts in the comments below! What overlooked, but useful, gaming features are you grateful for? (And do you also wish multiple save files would return? Because I do!)
Image Captured by Hatm0nster
Modding. The first game mod I’ve ever played was literally pen&paper – you had to download a huge text file and then print lots of pages filled with fancy text and chart. And then you had to roll tabletop RPG dice. All this since the game code was virtually unbreakable and you wouldn’t be able to change it. Nowadays, not only there are literally millions of people who will create new content for you, but game developers are becoming more mod friendly and we have entire modding communities (thank you, moddb and Nexus!). What an age to be alive.
Gog.com. Before it’s emergence, playing vintage games was a chore, with trying to find the game you wanted difficult enough, and then you had to set up the emulator, get the manual, and so on. Sure, sites like Abandonia or Home of the Underdogs, but Good old Games was a major breakthrough. For a reasonable price, you get the game, the feelies and the patches or DLCs (even if it doesn’t always work smoothly, it’s still a huge leap forward).
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Gaming sure has changed over the years, hasn’t it? Just the fact that we can now connect consoles to the Internet and download games or even get free updates to existing games is pretty cool. I finally decided to connect my Wii U to the Internet some time back and was delighted to find that I could download several additional characters to Hyrule Warriors for free. Gaming is so much easier and convenient nowadays.
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Good points! Never really think about these, but I miss them terribly whenever they’re missing!
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