Where's my damned restart button?

2011-03-26

Imagine a road-based racing game where a single crash could mean guaranteed failure, a pool game where you could be left with less shots available than balls on the table, an FPS action sequence where you know you can't succeed since your ammo and health is almost depleted. Imagine any of these situations, or similar ones, where you've progressed only a few seconds into the level and the worst happens, meaning you'll have no choice but to try again. Your friend? The restart button. Even the toughest racers like Wipeout don't mess with the restart button, so why has it become a costly rarity in modern gaming?

Familiar loading screen

Ten seconds of epic-fail gameplay should not be followed by a repeat of a one-minute loading time. It's not a huge wait, but for gamers keen to take on the hardest challenges in gaming, a one-minute wait, after the thirtieth attempt is a painful experience. Undertandably, progress into a level could easily mean that new areas have been loaded; a restart to a previous point may access areas that have already left easy-access memory. But when you're mere seconds into your latest run, and you can already tell things aren't right, you really shouldn't be subjected to another massive wait.

Short and simple: let's preserve the restart button. It's not about making games easier, it's about easing frustration when you're trying to take on the hardest challenges. Gamers should be able to tackle the toughest badstuffs without having to wait each time. Impatience? Not really, it's just a sensible thing to see in games that could reduce wasted time.

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As an impartial collaboration facilitator, it would be unfair of me to name my favourite member of your team. However, it's perfectly fair to hint at it in a way that my least favourite probably isn't smart enough to understand. Rhymeswithglue. Orange, you are doing very well.