Well, this time, it’s something that many of us literally couldn’t game without. Not unless the futility of beginning a several-hundred hour adventure anew each time you load up is appealing.
Which it isn’t, if anyone’s keeping score. I’d rather thrust my ‘nads into a bee’s nest.
But first, a nostalgic ramble. The more decrepit gameaholics among us will remember a time when saving progress wasn’t an option. Well, kinda sorta. ‘PASSWORD’ screens are now a thing of the past, but this rudimentary system was at least some way of continuing after powering off the console. At certain instances in the game, it would display a hideous set of random letters and numbers. These we would have to either instantly memorise like some kind of Rain Man or write down for later.
Congratulations! If you have fond memories of an old notebook from McDonalds that you filled with passwords for Super Hang-On! back in the early Nineties (your particular recollections may differ), you are officially old as hell. In video game years, at any rate. Think on, young ‘uns, with your conveniently placed ‘Save Game’ menu options or even –and many of us oldies still suspect that this is some kind of witchcraft– auto-saving.
Have you ever wondered why just about title that features auto-save feels the need to tell you upon startup that this game will save your data automatically? It’s because that very fact alone BLOWS MY MIND INTO TINY FRAGMENTS OF SQUELCHING BRAIN-MEAT every time.
Back in the cloying sands of time, this was the way forward. Password input for the games that featured such, or an increasingly desperate bid to complete in one session those that didn’t.
No, mother. My twelve-year-old self still doesn’t give a rat’s ass that my lunch has been stone cold on the table for twenty minutes. The final boss of Gunstar Heroes has viciously murderised me ten times in a row, and I cannot stop until I have finally put a bullet through his body.