Vapor Trail

Brad: There seems to be a misguided idea among game designers that putting fewer checkpoints in a game makes it harder.  Vapor Trail is apparently big proponent of this theory, since dying in the game generally sends you back to the very beginning of the level.  If you think about it though, this idea is for the most part misguided.  The easier parts of the game don’t magically get harder just because you’re being forced to play through them over and over.  I suppose it slightly increases the chance that a player might screw up an earlier part of the level, but for the most part, it’s just repetitive, frustrating, and makes the not very challenging areas seem even less interesting by comparison.

Maybe from the perspective that it makes the game less fun, thereby reducing the chance that a player will bother stick with it long enough to get through a level, I guess you could argue that it does make the game harder.  So, um… good work, I guess.

Kill this thing without getting hit or be forced to play through the entire level again.

Stryker: The storyline to Vapor Trail is that terrorists somehow hacked into the military’s computers and are threatening to launch nukes at every major city unless their demands are met.  Now in real life that’s a pretty unlikely scenario, but this is not unusual territory for a video game, so we’ll let it pass.  Here’s a question, though – how is launching one fighter jet going to solve that problem?  As in, what’s your mission?  The game is kinda vague about that part, which is understandable since it doesn’t make any goddamned sense at all.

Mr. Do!: We’ve seen some power-ups of questionable usefulness in shooters before, but a cannon that shoots your bullets in a left-to-right “curveball” arc?  Ideas like that are bad enough to get you elected governor in most southern states.

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