Alex Kierkegaard wrote:Consider, for example ... what would have happened to the Metriod games if, instead of hunting for mechanics-altering and progress-enabling items, you were hunting for boxes with random numbers on them — boxes whose only function would be to increase your score, so that by finding more of them than other players WHO ARE NOT EVEN PRESENT IN THE GAMEWORLD you'd manage to beat their high scores. The entire series' atmosphere would have been instantly wrecked this way — which is the exact opposite to what would happen if pure scoring mechanics in scoring games were replaced with mechanics-altering and progress-enabling mechanics, i.e. with natural mechanics.
This passage rocks. It clears up so much shit for me. No wonder I could never manage to round up a sensible review of some of my favourite games such as Batrider or Garegga.
On the one hand, I love the how the milking aspect of their scoring systems' (which is a major one, if not even the most generous of all of their score sources) are designed. It's by developing techniques to destroy as many parts and projectiles as possible during boss fights that you get to see all of their coolest attacks, and how complex each and every boss design really is. It's also how you really come to push your options managing skills to the max. Especially if you're using the Garegga ships in Batrider (which is necessary for high score play) since their options control system is even more versatile. In short, boss milking unleashes some of these games' most impressive moments.
And then on the other hand... read icycalm's essay. These "secret" frantic action scenes should just have been presented by default. Not only to those obsessed with seing numbers increase or to those who think it makes sense to scrape off all of the color of your enemy's vessel before killing him. I've been revisiting a lot of shooters since I read "On Why Scoring Sucks And Those Who Defend It Are Aspies" (while completely ignoring the scoring), and I haven't enjoyed them this much since before I found the Shmups.com forum. Thanks for successfully diagnosing and treating my Asperger disorder!