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News: Virtual On Force EX Option

Posted on : 06-08-2010 | By : | In : News



What with the release of the Xbox 360 port for Virtual On Force getting ever closer, it seems that there are concerns that this series of games may not entice newcomers. With this is mind, 4Gamer has covered the announcement of a new EX Option. This effectively allows the player to grade the difficulty of the offline singleplayer campaign as per their burgeoning skill level (such as increased health, as pictured above). To be honest these kind of difficulty nullifying features tend to rub me the wrong way, especially considering the previous 360 release of Oratan 5.66 succeeded off the back of its untainted learning curve. Admittedly, this EX Option is entirely at the player’s discretion but this addition to Force reeks of management not development, as any gamer with half a cognitively active brain wouldn’t bother with this.


Comments (7)

The EX options in After Burner Climax were awesome, if they’re like that it could be a lot of fun. Especially if they implement some of the special match rules popular among players.

This doesn’t sound to much different than the Continue Service in King of Fighters games. Just a crutch for anyone to use when they just want to keep playing and improve later.

Thing is Oratan, on the DC, had a perfectly service able Practice mode separate from the main game. This EX Option modifies the whole game. That’s just lame.

The issue I see is that someone having trouble (and not thinking to rectify that with practice) is just going to jack up all the bonuses they can to push through instead of covering their weaknesses. That’s why straight difficulty levels for games like this work better.

Leave the fine-tuning to Training Mode.

I can see where you guys are coming from, but the option is just for single player offline anyway. If it’ll help a player get through the game, why not? Online will retain normal gameplay anyway.

It’s a packaged game, so I can understand if they’re just trying to cover their bases to appeal to the mass audience.

How different is this from just setting higher/lower health in a fighting game anyway? Can you actually customize it so that the enemy won’t use secondary attacks or something odd like that?

I’m actually in support of this option, as I think one of the problems with mecha games is that they require from the player a skill set that needs to be developed over time, and that leads to an abnormally high rate of players (and reviewers) giving up on mecha games in disgust before they really start to understand the game.

However, by developing a “fix” for this problem, they’re also taking away part of what makes the game the game it is, by not forcing the player to play the game “correctly”. A good example of this is with RTSes like Starcraft–you can get through the campaign fairly easily, but the multiplayer component, despite having the exact same mechanics as the single player mode, requires an entirely different level of skill. Everyone can theoretically get through the campaign even if they could never get anywhere in the multiplayer component, but in the process of making the game newbie-friendly, they also perpetuate their newbishiness, never allowing them to break into the “real” game from the fenced-off portion you offer.

It’s like the old adage about the horse that can be lead to water but can’t be made to drink, except in this case the cowboy got sick of leading the horse to water and let the horse roll around in the mud for a while. Actually, that is a really bad analogy, but the point is that this is a self-defeating game design decision–you realize that most people aren’t learning to play the game correctly, so you put in a mode that makes it easier, so they can never learn to play the game correctly.

I think that’s true in the West, but in Japan – where this pop-cultural mythos is embedded into the media – is it really necessary?

This isn’t something that teaches you how the game works either, which I do agree that quite a few mecha games need sometimes. No, it makes the game easier and fits more with your Starcraft analogy – as expert players will decimate these new players.

Remember this is a multiplayer focused game though and already has a big community around it. This feature just seems very out of place.

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