VGT – Prudence or Common Sense in Game Design

I recently read that Ancient Greek philosophy considered prudence to be one of four virtues that included prudence, temperance, justice, and fortitude.  Many hundreds of years later the Catholic church added three more making a total of seven.  So you have the seven virtues to counterbalance the “seven deadly sins”.  But PRUDENCE is another word for COMMON SENSE – something that is supposed to be within all of us – although further developed more in some rather than others.  Prudence keeps you from sticking your hand in the fire or walking off a cliff.  I’ve watched a show called 1000 Ways to Die on Netflix streaming so I know that prudence is lacking in our world.  There are also the Darwin Awards.  Look that up on Google and you will realize how senseless people can be.

How about a kiss Zelda?

What does this have to do with video games?  I have been playing my “new” CDi game Link: The Faces of Evil and I have truly been suffering.  The reason I’m suffering is because there is no COMMON SENSE in the controller design of this game!

The CDi “Spoon” Controller

Actually I’m going to go back a step further and talk about the controller I have for my Phillip’s Magnavox CDi.  It is horrible to use.  I’ve heard it called “the spoon” because of it’s unique shape.  It is straight at the bottom and has a rounded top.  There is a direction pad and two buttons.  I find myself holding it in my right hand and trying to control direction with my right thumb, which is awkward for me.  Then I use my left thumb to push the left button.  I use my right thumb to push the right button, button in order to do so I have to stop using the direction pad.

It’s not a bad looking game

There are simply not enough buttons for this game.  The Button 1 activates the sword and button 2 activates a secondary item.  with no buttons left that means to jump you push up on the direction pad.  What I wouldn’t give for a jump button!  If you push down, link squats and walks like a duck.  Just moving around, I go from jumping to squatting because of the imprecise direction pad.  To pause the game, I have to make Link squat and then press button 2.  Sometimes I want to pause but forget to squat then I accidentally waste an item like a bomb or firestone.

Hand drawn backgrounds make platforming difficult

Now, I’m not saying this game would be a good game if the controls were better.  The platforming is still defective and sometimes an enemy comes along that is impossible to deal with.  But it could be a better game if I had better control of my jumps.

Get used to this creepy shopkeeper!

There is a lot of grinding to this game because you need items such as lamp oil, ropes, and bombs – they all run out quickly.  Plus, I have to go kill one kind of enemy to get snowballs that they leave behind.  (Yes Snowballs!), then I use the snowballs to kill a certain enemy and they leave behind firestones (Not the tires).  Finally I can use the firestones to kill the deadly snow monkeys.

My save/load is not working for the game so I’m keeping my CDi turned on until I beat this thing.  I’ll keep you posted.

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