originals\ Jun 18, 2012 at 11:15 am

Nitpick: Am I gliding or walking?

Hover boots. Do you guys remember them? I do. For those of you who don't know, Hover Boots were an equipable item that Link can find in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It was quite nifty as you could glide across large gaps of open space without fear of falling down. This was most useful in the Shadow Temple. The animation was quite slick and you could distinctly tell if you were gliding or not since the walking animation made it seem like your feet made contact with the ground. 

So why did I bring up hover boots? Well, this time on nitpick I would like to discuss games where characters don't really walk but moreso glide, much like the Link who wears Hover Boots. It's an awkward notion if you think about why characters would glide across the ground rather than walking on it. Why would a game developer design the character and the world in a way that clearly segregates the two important aspects of the game? After all, if a player glides rather than walking on the ground, it breaks that sense of immersion giving it a poorly crafted gaming feel. It sounds rather harsh to say it this way but the fact remains it's mostly true. 

What games am I talking about where characters hover, glide, etc rather than walking? Well, I'd hate to nag on Tales of Grace f any more than I already have but it's a bag full of examples where gaming finesse is just lacking altogether. I won't go into details why the game acts like so since it might've been the limitations of the hardware it's designed for. Tales of Graces f has gliding characters for both good or bad. By creating characters where they can glide rather than walking, the controls are much more tight. If you want someone to go one direction from another then the game responds immediately. Since movement is simultaneous due to glidy characters, there is no motion needed for characters to turn or have the ground work against them. It's quite nice.

Tales of Graces f Screenshot 

While it's convenient for Tales of Graces f, I believe that these flying characters work to the world's detriment. I spoke earlier of immersion breaking. This is a concept that becomes more and more apparent as games become more complex. Think back a few decades ago where games were just pure entertainment with no concern for consistency. The only thing that mattered were gameplay mechanics. Now they've become so much more such as they include a great set of musical tracks, excellent voice acting, impressive technical graphics, a narrative that dazzles, and more. All of these greatly enhances the entertainment experience that video games have to offer. Because experience is such an important factor when dictating whether a game is good, if anything breaks it, it's hard to let it go. 

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