- Jul 4, 2014
- Reaction score
- First Language
- Primarily Uses
That reminded me of the worst dungeon ever created in the Star Ocean series (and possibly in any game I played so far). It usually takes up to 3-4 hours to complete without ANY save points available, and with a very high chance to drop dead even from some normal enemies, let alone the bosses there.Personally I prefer to just be able to save anywhere. I've played too many games that just go too long between save points and I have to leave for work NOW so I have to just shut down and lose progress. And don't get me started on the one game that had me go 1.5 hours without being able to save, then I got a Game Over due to a poorly explained fail condition. Deinstalled that game and never returned.
Granted, it's an optional, post-game content, but still...
Obviously, I never finished that dungeon.
- With save-anywhere, it is very possible for the player to lock themselves into an unwinnable situation (e.g. deep in a dungeon with low HP, no MP, and no items), and there's little the designer can do to prevent that (short of sweeping system-wide changes to dungeoneering). With intelligently-placed save points, the designer can prevent the player from locking themselves into unwinnable states.
I can't help but feel the need to say this here...
If that situation ever happens, it's the player's fault. Everyone with logical thinking should know that if the resources are low (HP/MP/etc), there is a chance to get into that situation you described. I won't lie, I have been there too on occasions, but I dealt with it, it was my fault, and not the developer's fault in any way.
With that said, there is a very related, but still a bit different topic that should be taken into consideration when talking about the "save anywhere" method.
That would be the number of available save slots, and the usage of these save slots.
A game can allow saving anywhere in different ways.
- Infinite slots, no restrictions, the "sure to please" way, in my opinion.
- One slot for one playthrough/character, the save always replaces the last one.
This only matters if the game we are talking about throws a real "Game Over" screen when we got dropped. If it has a re-spawn system, it's still a fine save system to have, no permanent damage that way.
All in all, I like to save anywhere nowadays, mainly because I'm not playing games for the challenge anymore, I just want to see the story told.
It still feels good to accomplish something in a harder game, but that's not the main point for me anymore.
Besides, the save point mechanic won't make the game really harder, or add anything to the game itself, it just makes the game feel longer when you want to see that next save point but it just doesn't want to show up for who knows how long, and you feel like you haven't seen one in hours, when in fact, the last one was 15 minutes ago. Yeah, that feel, I don't like it.
Also, I don't consider the added features to these points relevant to the saving mechanics. Yeah, they can be nice, but the most important thing is the ability to save the game, and just because someone drops a waypoint system or a restoration option there, it doesn't make it less tedious to return to that point whenever we want to save the game, record our progress. They just doesn't matter when we talk about the save mechanic itself in a game.
But again, like with all game features, it doesn't matter which way the game lets me record my progress, as long as that game is enjoyable otherwise.
I can tolerate big areas with very few save points (within reason, of course - yeah, Star Ocean, you got a minus point for this! -.-), if I like the game's characters, story and features. I still don't see the reason for using save points in this age and era, but that won't prevent me from playing these games.