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Author Topic: Video Game Save Points  (Read 597 times)

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Offline PixelDustTopic starter

Video Game Save Points
« on: March 12, 2015, 05:14:01 PM »
Okay, just a little bitch session here.

I love video games.  But when you have me spend an hour on a level, I expect to have some decent save points.  Like if I make one mistake and that entire hour is wasted, that just makes me mad.  Why should I keep playing if I know that all that time will be for nothing just because there's some glitch or I didn't see one damn guy at the right moment?  Why have a manual save feature when it only takes you back to the very beginning of the level, WHERE IT AUTOMATICALLY SAVED ANYWAY?!?

This is my main gripe with Styx, Master of Shadows.  I love this game.  It's Assassin's Creed with a greedy goblin.  I want to play more of it.  But not if I have to waste hours and see no progression!  If I meticulously work my way through a huge level, at least let me save halfway through!  If I have to replay a room or two, that's fine.  But fifteen rooms, killing freaking 40 guards, THEN I get killed because I didn't see ONE guy?!  Even that's alright, as long as I don't have to go back and make it past the other 40 all over again!!

It absolutely kills an otherwise fantastic game!  I want to play it so badly, but wasting all that time just keeps me from it.  Why?!  Why must players be punished for making one mistake?  Maybe they're critiques would be a lot better if not for this one maddening issue.

Offline Mathim

Re: Video Game Save Points
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2015, 10:47:05 PM »
Same thing happens to me. Even in a game like Fallout 3 or New Vegas, where save points are plentiful, and auto-saving is possible, you sort of just take that for granted until you've been outside for a long time and haven't been able to utilize auto-save and the game freezes up on you as it tends to do quite frequently. I don't think I've ever gone an hour into it without a save, but definitely many a half-hour interval has passed without the opportunity to save being remembered before a game-breaking freeze occurs.

What's neat about the Nintendo 3DS is that when you download (most) games on the Virtual Console, they've upgraded these old classic games to where you can freeze the action (not like the normal pause button) and create an instantaneous save in them. And not just a quick-save, either, a save that can be reloaded indefinitely if you should want to. It's quite a life-saver in games like Legend of Zelda titles where going somewhere unprepared can spell disaster and require lots of climbing back up to the top of a building or being beaten by a boss that you would have survived if you'd had full hearts.

Offline PixelDustTopic starter

Re: Video Game Save Points
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2015, 01:40:37 AM »
Same thing happens to me. Even in a game like Fallout 3 or New Vegas, where save points are plentiful, and auto-saving is possible, you sort of just take that for granted until you've been outside for a long time and haven't been able to utilize auto-save and the game freezes up on you as it tends to do quite frequently. I don't think I've ever gone an hour into it without a save, but definitely many a half-hour interval has passed without the opportunity to save being remembered before a game-breaking freeze occurs.

What's neat about the Nintendo 3DS is that when you download (most) games on the Virtual Console, they've upgraded these old classic games to where you can freeze the action (not like the normal pause button) and create an instantaneous save in them. And not just a quick-save, either, a save that can be reloaded indefinitely if you should want to. It's quite a life-saver in games like Legend of Zelda titles where going somewhere unprepared can spell disaster and require lots of climbing back up to the top of a building or being beaten by a boss that you would have survived if you'd had full hearts.

I'd agree about Fallout.  I had to make a conscious effort to save every few minutes when outside or in a particularly large underground area.  But at least you could save manually and pick up at that exact spot.  The 3DS feature is fantastic as well.  I've beaten Super Mario Bros. 2, Metroid, and Castelvania due to that save state feature.

Online Matttheman89

Re: Video Game Save Points
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2015, 11:30:58 PM »
You want to hear a horror story involving save points in video games? Imagine this, if you will.

You're playing an adventure game set on this huge island with all kinds of places to explore, starting from one spot in particular and moving further and further out onto the island as you progress through the game. The starting area in the game is your 'home base' where you can upgrade your equipment and skills for the various characters you play as in the game. Pretty standard, right? Well, it also functions as your ONLY save point in the ENTIRE GAME.

That means the further away you go from your starting point, the further away you are from being able to save your game. And after a certain point, it can take upwards of an hour or even longer to get to wherever you need to go since the game lacks quick travel (another feature that we take for granted in a lot of different games today). Imagine you suddenly need or just want to stop playing for whatever reason and want to save your game; before you could, you would have to keep playing for at least ANOTHER HOUR before you could stop unless you want to lose all of your progress.

That my friends, is One Piece: Unlimited Adventure for the Wii.  :P

Offline PixelDustTopic starter

Re: Video Game Save Points
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2015, 12:06:41 AM »
Holy crap.  Yeah, looks like they need to work something out there.  Maybe a patch for saving wherever or something.


Offline consortium11

Re: Video Game Save Points
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2015, 06:08:39 AM »
Another personal issue of mine when it comes to save points; don't put them immediately before unskippable cut scenes. Especially long ones.

The Legacy of Kain of series was infamous for this but the one that I recall most frustrating me was the first Assassin's Creed game. If, having completed the game, you wished to basically "free play" with all the abilities and items unlocked you needed to load the penultimate mission. The issue? The start of that mission featured a 5+ minute long cut scene that you couldn't skip.

Offline PixelDustTopic starter

Re: Video Game Save Points
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2015, 06:24:47 AM »
Another personal issue of mine when it comes to save points; don't put them immediately before unskippable cut scenes. Especially long ones.

The Legacy of Kain of series was infamous for this but the one that I recall most frustrating me was the first Assassin's Creed game. If, having completed the game, you wished to basically "free play" with all the abilities and items unlocked you needed to load the penultimate mission. The issue? The start of that mission featured a 5+ minute long cut scene that you couldn't skip.

I played Soul Reaver, and the aforementioned Assassin's Creed, so I'm right there with you.  Current games have gotten better with the feature to skip the scenes, but yeah.  Old games sucked in that way.  But they were proud of their cut scenes.  LOL

Offline Mathim

Re: Video Game Save Points
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2015, 01:13:47 PM »
Xenogears was horrible for that same reason, long unskippable cutscenes were rife and many of them involved extremely difficult battles so if you fucked up and died in the battle, you had to watch it ALL OVER AGAIN. And the battle system for the giant robot portions was such that level grinding didn't help for shit. So you had to have basically perfect strategy and lots of luck. Pain in the ass. I still love that game, though. But you'd think on the Playstation Network they'd have developed a 'quick save' type of thing for older games that got re-released for download.

Offline PixelDustTopic starter

Re: Video Game Save Points
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2015, 03:14:42 PM »
Xenogears was horrible for that same reason, long unskippable cutscenes were rife and many of them involved extremely difficult battles so if you fucked up and died in the battle, you had to watch it ALL OVER AGAIN. And the battle system for the giant robot portions was such that level grinding didn't help for shit. So you had to have basically perfect strategy and lots of luck. Pain in the ass. I still love that game, though. But you'd think on the Playstation Network they'd have developed a 'quick save' type of thing for older games that got re-released for download.

I hate that; when there is an experience grinding mechanic that doesn't help.  There's just no point in the first place.  :P

Offline Mathim

Re: Video Game Save Points
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2015, 03:47:46 PM »
It's only for certain parts, and it's not always that bad in the giant robots (it would help if save/restore points were as frequent as in FFX, let me tell you, though) but at certain story battles it's really more of a puzzle than a fight.

Online Matttheman89

Re: Video Game Save Points
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2015, 01:12:24 PM »
Anybody ever played the 2nd Zone of the Enders game? It's save system is just terrible! It gives you the option to manually save the game, but not only does it not save what room you're in, it doesn't even save the experience you've earned since the last checkpoint! All it does is save your time! And then when you turn the game back on, you're back at wherever the last checkpoint was with all enemies respawned and your EXP gone! Why even give me the option to manually save the game if you're only going to take the autosaves into account!?

It's a great game, but with it's high level of difficulty that terrible save system isn't doing it any favors.

Offline Drake Valentine

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Re: Video Game Save Points
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2015, 03:57:27 PM »
Or games that troll you with a boss fight right before you can get to the save point. Like literally the save point is just feet away, you can see it, but bam ambush boss battle.

FFVII did that, presently one of the few ones I can remember off top of my head. You run through some canon area, fighting enemies, taking a beating and finally when you reach the top there is a save point waiting for you. Yay. But before you can get right to it, the main villain drops a boss battle on you; which could be fairly difficulty if A) You are underlevel or B) already taken a beaten on your way up and C) if you don't use strategy guides to know about it beforehand.

I happened to underwent all three, but fortunately I tend to horde mana pool, summons, and limit breaks so I unleashed a storm of hell on that boss with my party.

There are also games that offer you limited saving ability, the first few Resident Evils were infamous of that. Actually, I tended to like that save ribbon function, it made it where you had to think when to use your saves.

Then there are games with unskippable cut-scenes as mentioned.

And Majora's Mask? That had one of the most complicated saving functions ever. You would either have to A) Use the Ocrania(sp) of Time to go back to Day 1(big pain in ass given the game is still kind of lengthy on a 3 day set and going back to day 1 resets almost everything.) Or B) use your sword to smack owl statues to save your progress up to that point. Both items of which you had to find(I believe) before you could do either of the two. I can't recall if you had to go back and get them again or not, been so long, such nightmares of that game.

Offline ThatRPGuy

Re: Video Game Save Points
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2015, 04:05:22 PM »
They actually recently remade Majora's Mask on 3ds. It's a great upgrade to a game I loved, the risks nintendo were willing to take with the Zelda formula back then were amazing. The biggest change they made was to allow you to perform a full save at any of the game's statues.

I've seen a ton of arguments about it. Some people feel that's still not enough for a handheld game (if you actually game on the go a lot, I can understand the argument. I personally use my 3DS at home more than anywhere else, so it doesn't bug me all that much.), I've seen people argue that it destroys the entire feel and challenge of the game. Many of the events in MM were on a timer, if you missed the time or failed, you'd have to reset time and repeat the entire quest chain again. Saving mid chain allows you to reset if you make a mistake, rather than start over. While I understand the argument, I personally don't mind not having to redo all the easy bits of a quest I've done before. Some may argue it shortens the game, I don't mind that if the only time you're cutting out is the time you spend repeating the same actions.

In some games though, infrequent saves are almost necessary. They're the only thing that makes classics like Resident Evil scary. If every room had unlimited retries, that feeling of a desperate need for survival wouldn't be there, nor would that feeling of relief at a safe zone. Balance can be hard to find, 90s Capcom boldly tiptoed that line every game.

The thing that drives me nuts are a few of the modern shooters I've played that go so far as to checkpoint mid firefight. That just sucks the challenge right out to me.

Offline Hemingway

Re: Video Game Save Points
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2015, 04:15:02 PM »
Another personal issue of mine when it comes to save points; don't put them immediately before unskippable cut scenes. Especially long ones.

I definitely agree with this. I remember an example from Gears of War, where the checkpoint was just before a section where you were forced to walk slowly and listen to exposition. Just before some difficult area. Over and over.

Online Mr L

Re: Video Game Save Points
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2015, 01:11:53 PM »
Or when you're achievement hunting and the achievement in question forces you to take a fatal jump. And they put you back in time for enough dialogue that forces a mute to keep from going crazy.

Offline Mathim

Re: Video Game Save Points
« Reply #15 on: April 28, 2015, 03:17:30 PM »
Or games that troll you with a boss fight right before you can get to the save point. Like literally the save point is just feet away, you can see it, but bam ambush boss battle.

FFVII did that, presently one of the few ones I can remember off top of my head. You run through some canon area, fighting enemies, taking a beating and finally when you reach the top there is a save point waiting for you. Yay. But before you can get right to it, the main villain drops a boss battle on you; which could be fairly difficulty if A) You are underlevel or B) already taken a beaten on your way up and C) if you don't use strategy guides to know about it beforehand.

I happened to underwent all three, but fortunately I tend to horde mana pool, summons, and limit breaks so I unleashed a storm of hell on that boss with my party.

There are also games that offer you limited saving ability, the first few Resident Evils were infamous of that. Actually, I tended to like that save ribbon function, it made it where you had to think when to use your saves.

Then there are games with unskippable cut-scenes as mentioned.

And Majora's Mask? That had one of the most complicated saving functions ever. You would either have to A) Use the Ocrania(sp) of Time to go back to Day 1(big pain in ass given the game is still kind of lengthy on a 3 day set and going back to day 1 resets almost everything.) Or B) use your sword to smack owl statues to save your progress up to that point. Both items of which you had to find(I believe) before you could do either of the two. I can't recall if you had to go back and get them again or not, been so long, such nightmares of that game.

I'm drawing a blank as to which FFVII boss you're referring to where that happens. Majora's Mask wasn't so bad since you could skip days with another song on the Ocarina and as long as you activated teleport points, getting around wasn't any great difficulty. Would have preferred one or two more owl statues to get to certain areas faster. Very few events really needed stuff to happen during all 3 days, so even that isn't a big deal most of the time.

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Re: Video Game Save Points
« Reply #16 on: April 28, 2015, 04:22:34 PM »
OMG save points are the bane of my existence. I run in to this issue a lot with Diablo 3. I enjoy playing in adventure mode, but I'm a total completionist... I want to expose the entire map before I go fight the thing the bounty is on. I want to explore every nook and cranny and I want to open every treasure chest and defeat every timed challenge. But because I feel the need to do all those things (and it is bordering on a real need... I get so annoyed and twitchy when I try to skip over things like that, I get pissed enough to just shut the game off) I haven't actually managed to clear all of an area's bounties to get the bonus stuff because I run out of time. I have a life that requires me to walk away, and because the game is online, I can't just pause it because my connection will eventually time out no matter what I do. So not only do I lose any progress when it comes to revealing the map, I also lose the important points like killing the bounty stuff.

It's gotten to the point where I haven't touched the game in a while because I get tired of having to start all over.

Offline Mymar

Re: Video Game Save Points
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2015, 07:18:05 PM »
Castlevania Lord of Shadows 1 (Don't really know about 2 yet) I love the game, HOWEVER, I really dislike the random save points that really make some points irritating, like having to beat a boss 4 times, just to die at a stupid point two minutes later, without ANY save point. Bosses should be an autosave in any game.

Offline marblesoda

Re: Video Game Save Points
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2015, 12:36:04 PM »
Legend of Zelda: Link Between Worlds.

I wanted to like that game.

*looks sourly at save points that are only outside dungeons, so if you want to save in the middle of a dungeon, tough luck! go all the way back out, and then when you're ready to go on, go all the way back in, redoing puzzles, dealing with quick-respawn enemies* I understand being able to save anywhere and then just spawning me back at the beginning of the dungeon, or the beginning of a set of rooms, but this was just dumb. Skyward Sword didn't have a save anywhere function, that's true, but at least it put save points inside the dungeons!

This really ticked me off when I got to the last fight, but I managed to beat it first try.

With one quarter of my last heart left.

Stupid birds.

Offline Mathim

Re: Video Game Save Points
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2015, 04:25:42 PM »
Legend of Zelda: Link Between Worlds.

I wanted to like that game.

*looks sourly at save points that are only outside dungeons, so if you want to save in the middle of a dungeon, tough luck! go all the way back out, and then when you're ready to go on, go all the way back in, redoing puzzles, dealing with quick-respawn enemies* I understand being able to save anywhere and then just spawning me back at the beginning of the dungeon, or the beginning of a set of rooms, but this was just dumb. Skyward Sword didn't have a save anywhere function, that's true, but at least it put save points inside the dungeons!

This really ticked me off when I got to the last fight, but I managed to beat it first try.

With one quarter of my last heart left.

Stupid birds.

Yeah, that was one innovation in Skyward Sword I would have wanted them to maintain in later titles and even remakes. But ALBW also sucked because you didn't get items from dungeons, but had to rent/buy them! What was up with that? Defeats the whole purpose of dungeon crawling and exploring and mini-bosses!

I just started playing Final Fantasy Tactics Advance 2: Grimoire of the Rift on the DS, and it occurs to me that every strategy games should allow for a 'quick save' feature so you don't have to quit in the middle of a battle which, when it's a turn-based tactical RPG, can take oodles of time to complete all the way through, have traditionally not had any way to quit right in the middle and pick up where you left off.

Offline marblesoda

Re: Video Game Save Points
« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2015, 05:59:10 PM »
Yeah, that was one innovation in Skyward Sword I would have wanted them to maintain in later titles and even remakes. But ALBW also sucked because you didn't get items from dungeons, but had to rent/buy them! What was up with that? Defeats the whole purpose of dungeon crawling and exploring and mini-bosses!

I know right? I know they were trying to "go back to their roots" and even this new Wii U title might not feature the "go through dungeon, get item for next area/dungeon" formula, and that kind of scares me. I like that formula. It means lots of great puzzle solving fun for me! I love that spark, that moment, when you beat a boss, get a new item, and you're like, "Huh, where can I use thi-WAIT I KNOW!" and then you get to a new area. Buying/renting the items was just cheap... especially since you could get them all if you had the patience to sit around for 3 days catching bees. There was no puzzle or challenge to it at all.

Offline Mathim

Re: Video Game Save Points
« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2015, 06:04:06 PM »
I know right? I know they were trying to "go back to their roots" and even this new Wii U title might not feature the "go through dungeon, get item for next area/dungeon" formula, and that kind of scares me. I like that formula. It means lots of great puzzle solving fun for me! I love that spark, that moment, when you beat a boss, get a new item, and you're like, "Huh, where can I use thi-WAIT I KNOW!" and then you get to a new area. Buying/renting the items was just cheap... especially since you could get them all if you had the patience to sit around for 3 days catching bees. There was no puzzle or challenge to it at all.

Seriously. I mean, not only should they maintain the bird statue mechanic, but why not also give the players the ability to reset a dungeon, or upgrade the difficulty a bit for a second run through? That way if you really like a dungeon and want to go through it again from the beginning, you won't have to start an entirely new game. You wouldn't have to forfeit the item you get from the dungeon, it will just be unusable until you reach the point where it becomes available in that dungeon. That way if you get bored and want to leave, you still have the item with you even if you left the replay of the dungeon unfinished.

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Re: Video Game Save Points
« Reply #22 on: May 04, 2015, 02:57:02 AM »
I'm showing my age here, but the Sega CD system was horrific with this.  Aside from the awful Night Trap and Sewer Shark type games, it had a bunch of translated Japanese RPGs that were simply awesome: Popful Mail, Dark Wizard, Vay, and the incredible Lunar and Lunar 2.  The problem was not only the save states, but the cut scenes.  Dark Wizard had some fifteen minute long cut scenes--great anime, but there was no way to skip them, and each of the four playable characters had one.

Lunar, while one of the best RPGs I have ever played, even up to the present, had an insane number of cutscenes, all unskippable.  Worse yet, Lunar 2 required you to spend the same points you earned and used to rank up magic spells and fighting skills--in order to save the game.  That's right--spend the points you just earned in the last hour on ranking up your martial artist's AoE attack, or your priest's heal spells...or save the game for later.  I got in the habit of just turning off the TV but not the game, and picking up the next day.

I literally took ten years to win that damn game...I played a few times a month, and it was so long, between character building, dungeon crawls, cut scenes, and map exploration of the massive numbers of zones...but the finish was a 25 minute cutscene like the end of a movie.  Well worth it.  Hmm...I might be up for playing it again soon on an emulator...