Evening Reading

Have you ever stayed away from a game for want of feeling hardcore enough to "really" play it? Or, worse yet, bought a game and then watched it sit on the shelf all the while wondering whether it would be fun or just punishing to give it a shot? Shooters, fighting games--anything with a competitive element--hold the potential to trigger such a response.

But does the root of this issue lie with the game, or the player? In the case of say Call of Duty, where there are so many people playing and enjoying the game, how can the design be at fault? I'll go one further; isn't part of the reason for being concerned about personal performance in the game dependent on liking the game in the first place? If you didn't like the game, you wouldn't really care whether you were any good at it or not.

This relationship puts designers in an interesting spot: Risk undermining the core appeal of the game by neutering some of its competitiveness, or potentially create the "walled garden" effect when the game quickly becomes dominated by pros. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 got me thinking about these questions this afternoon because I've always felt it does a good job of striking a balance where pros and amateurs alike can have fun.

Xav's Marvel vs. Capcom 3 review is just part of today's video game news on the Shack:

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