In videogame terms, I die a lot. It’s one of the best ways to learn how to play, dying. Unsure if you can make that jump across the gap? Try. Think your rocket launcher will blast a hole beneath your feet to fall through? Try. Curious as to how long Banjo can hold his breath underwater? Try. What’s the worst that could happen? Oh…you died. Hmm. Let’s put quotes around it actually.
Well, try again.
Back in the day, you could die as many times as you had lives or hearts or hit points or whatever. You had something, and if you ran out of it, you ceased to exist. Also, falling off a cliff generally never worked out well.
Recently, dying in videogames is becoming a thing of the past. Suffer too much damage in Fable II, and you fall unconscious for a bit, only to wake with some scarring and experience drain. Charge head first and unprepared into a Big Daddy battle in BioShock and you’re revived in a nearby Vita-Chamber unscathed. Miss a Prince of Persia jump because you are too busy oogling all the pretty colors? Don’t worry. Elika will save you. And in the LEGO games I’ve been enjoying recently, you just explode into bits and reappear in a second or two, ready to punch, shoot, and collect all over again. No big deal.
Now, the debate currently is not towards dying in videogames/not dying in videogames. Instead, it’s about achievements linked to these. They are never fun, and they are rarely for those that die a lot (e.g., me). Instead, the challenge is always to not die…or die a small amount.
Sifting through my Xbox 360 collection, I found a couple death-themed achievements, and sadly, I’ll most likely never unlock them. First, they are full of The Stress. Second, they are a lot of work. Third, I’m really not a cheater, and so the whole save/restart a level if it doesn’t work out seems a bit silly to me. Doing it that way is not really achieving anything in the end. Anyways, here’s some I found:
Kung Fu Panda: Invincible (50 Gamerscore) – Make it through the entire game without dying.
BioShock: Brass Balls (100 Gamerscore) – Complete the game on Hard difficulty without using a Vita-Chamber.
Prince of Persia: Be Gentle With Her (100 Gamerscore) – Elika saves you fewer than 100 times in the whole game.
I actually thought about going for that Kung Fu Panda achievement after beating the game, but there are just so many cheap deaths in the game as the platforming is just so so. Plus that obnoxious alligator boss would just be looming over my head the whole time, I must have died on him 20 times my first time through.
Ha, yeah. He was quite tricky. Oh, and jumping between lily pads on that one level would be absolutely torturous because a single misstep and you drop into the water, dead. Because…pandas can’t swim?
Interestingly enough, the PoP achievement you mention here I was actually awarded, when I was CERTAIN Elika came to my aide far more than a hundred times. I lost count after 40-something, and just kept playing. You can imagine how stoked I was to see the achievement unlock during the credits.
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