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Varying up gameplay.

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Ive been playing alot of games that I liked alot growing up, and trying to figure out why I liked them more than other games. Ive noticed a trend in all of them that has to do with varying up gameplay so that the game doesnt get too boring or repedative. Also, why games like Final Fantasy that have multiple sequels made up of the same gameplay over and over are still fun, whereas games like Resident Evil got boring as hell after RE2. Resident Evil has varying gameplay as do all the other games ive been playing. However, RE's gameplay is varied up in a way so that its got different gameplay segments. The three basic gameplay elements in RE are Puzzles, Exploration, and Killing Zombies with a gun. Some of these other timeless classic vary up gameplay sort of the same way. They usually have parts where you're solving a puzzle, where its raw combat, etc. But then, they go in more detail. Each of the major gameplay elements have variation in themselves. Final Fantasy 3/6j: Most of the game's battle segments run on the same gameplay. Choose an action and then a target. repeat untill all targets are dead. However, alot of the game's battle segments are slightly different, and many have gimmicks of sorts. Theres a raft that you have to ride early in the game. Your party is on the raft and as it goes down the river, you cant go to the subscreen to heal or use items. As the raft continues down the river, you run into enemies you have to kill. You have a party of 3 people and Banon. Banon has a spell that heals all party members to full life and it doesnt drain MP. These battle segments on the raft have a little variation because you have a gimmick: Infinite life, but no subscreen. These battles are slightly different than most. From there, you can go on Sabin's personal adventure, where he runs into Shadow (A Ninja), Gau (An animal child), and Cyan (A Swordfighter). In this entire subplot, you have no magic users. They are all fighters of different sorts. These battle segments are different because of the strategy the player has to use. They'll use alot more items at this point in the game than most. Then theres also Locke's story with Celes. The battle segments are fought with only two people, both of which are sort of weak characters. Then later, you get to form your own party using 4 characters that you've collected to that point. when it boils down to it, the player is really choosing what sort of gameplay style they perferred. All Fighting? All Magics? Half and half? Since the player can choose almost at any time what characters to use, the player has the ability to choose a style of gameplay that they like the best. Even Contra has this sort of variation. Basically, its a run and gun deathmatch game. One hit and you die. As you go through the levels, there are different gameplay elements in action. In Super Contra, theres a part where you're in the water, and enemies are shooting you fro the trees. That segment, the action is really "Hide in the water, then kill bad guys when youre safe from attack". Also, most of the levels are left to ride side scrolling. That gets the player in the mindset that most of the action is going to be shooting things that appear on the right side of the screen. But then, some levels have you go up. If you fall down a hole, you die. The game play here is "Shoot stuff that appears at the top of the screen, and watch your jumping". Those are just a few examples from that game. Its the subtle variation that the player doesnt really notice that really hooks them. Its not just changing up the different kinds of games within one game (Tho that is important) Theres tons more games that do this. Also, the better ones do this with all major elements of gameplay. There are even different styles of exporation segments in Final Fantasy 6 (The Veldt, Locke in South Figaro). To me, I always thought that Donkey Kong Country was fun, but after beating it once, Ive never since had much of an ambition to replay it. So, with my concept of variation in gameplay, I started a new game. Realistically, all the water levels are the same, all the land levels are the same, all the barrel shooting levels, mine cart levels, and so on are all the same. They have different major gameplay elements, but all those segments are exactly the same as others. Theres not much of that subtle change in gameplay. In anycase, I thought I'd mention this because Ive been thinking about it a whole lot lately. It makes it a little clearer why some games are way better than others regardless of graphics and whatnot.

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