I’ve noticed that I haven’t really been enjoying “twitch” games, that is, games that have action and focus on manual dexterity and/or timing. I’ve especially been frustrated by those that are difficult. Today I started thinking about why that might be the case. (Brought on by playing Mega Man 9.)
The thing about action games is that they expect you to play them over and over, to practice, and thus to develop the skill of playing the game. Then, once you finally master the skill and pass the game, you’re supposed to feel a sense of accomplishment. And that’s good, if that’s what you want.
However, I play games a little differently. Personally, I don’t really enjoy developing a skill to play a game; if I have trouble passing something and finally get through it, I feel relief more than accomplishment. I’m not looking to develop and exercise skills in “simple” play of a game.
What I’m looking for is more in the line of experiencing the game. I want to explore the environments, learn the information about the game world, hear the story, see the ending. If I have to go back and repeat something until I get it right…well, that’s just interfering with my true enjoyment of the game!
You might be thinking that this implies I never replay a game. However, this isn’t true. There are games with multiple endings, of course, but what I really enjoy are games with multiple strategies. My favorite type of games are the strategy/builder type games; Civilization, Master of Magic, Galactic Civilizations, Master of Orion. (Why do I feel like there should be a game entitled “Master of Civilizations”? Well, anyway…) Once you finish one game of Galactic Civilizations 2, you can play another as a different race. Or with a different galaxy size. Or different distribution of planets, combination of opponents in the game, research speed, opponent intelligence (difficulty level)…And that’s not even considering the different ways you can play the game, conquering through military force or seducing planets through influence, etc., etc..
Therefore, while action games can certainly be fun, they don’t hold my attention like strategy games.
(This is all, of course, completely subjective; I’m well aware that everyone plays games for their own reasons!)