Mark Sachs (ksleet) wrote,
Mark Sachs

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A moment of video game Zen.

I take back everything bad I said about Rockstar. Wait, I don't think I said anything bad about them, but just in case.

I have been known to rant about badly designed final missions in video games, especially when there's about a zillion parts and the one you're most likely to screw up is second from last. And as it happens, I've recently pulled Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas out of storage, out of a general desire to wrap the silly thing up after sitting on the final story mission for like, a year.

The final mission essentially consists of two parts. In the first part, you invade an antagonist's drug lab, fight your way through, and beat him. In the second part, you have to pursue the main villain of the story in a car chase through the city, which is easy to screw up at one dramatic moment. In my previous efforts, I kept blowing it in the middle of the car chase, which was really frustrating because after so many tries now I could frickin' fight my way through that drug fortress in my sleep... Every time I failed in the second part of the mission, I'd toss the controller down angrily and turn off the machine, knowing I was going to have to start over from the beginning again.

So I flunked it yesterday, but that time decided I might as well save the game before turning it off. I booted it up tonight and decided to take another swing at the mission... and it skipped past the drug lab and started right at the car chase.

In other words: a mid-mission checkpoint! Just the way I always wished they'd design these things, to minimize frustration and repetition! I'd simply assumed that they hadn't bothered and were content to make me play the mission over and over again, like how these things usually work. What does that say?

I'm not sure what that says, honestly, but what I say is, thank you, Rockstar. I finally beat San Andreas tonight and it was very satisfying. Then I stole an airplane and landed it upside down in the middle of the freeway, and caused a giant pileup of bewildered and angry commuters in both directions, and then the plane exploded and set off the other cars like a string of firecrackers, and an ambulance came but got helplessly lost amidst the nearby bridge supports, and meanwhile I laughed myself silly watching all the random chaos. I like video games.
Tags: games
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