Sunday, March 16, 2008

Mini-article: An expansion on "Games: Having fun VS mastering the program"

This is a good example of what I meant in "Games: Having fun VS mastering the program", in regards to playing a game as a game, and not finding a certain way to turn it into timed button presses.

I was reading through the comments section on this Go Nintendo article, and I feel like I should put in my two cents on the whole "Snaking in Mario Kart" debate.

I will not deny that snaking was intentionally put into past versions of Mario Kart. As many have said, the staff ghost data on the time trials commonly use this tactic to decrease their lap time. And that's fine for time trials. But I feel that racing against other people is something much different.

If you're a snaker racing against another snaker, the outcome of the race all comes down to who can get more boosts out of each straightaway, which is usually largely dependent on the kart and racer used. I find many snakers use Dry Bones and his Dry Bomber due to it's agility and resistance to slowing down on rough terrain. The only other factor here seems to be pure dumb luck.

If you're a snaker racing against a non-snaker, the race is pretty much determined off the bat, with you snagging the gold. What's the fun of racing if you know you're going to win? And how do you snakers cope on levels without straightaways? Choco Mountain must be a real bitch to win, hmm?

Now, before you start calling me a stupid n00b who can't snake, allow me to say that you'd be absolutely right in saying this. I can't snake. Why? Because I've never tried to. I've never even wanted to. I consider snaking to be just as low as using cheap moves in any fighting game. Have you run into any punks online in Brawl, using nothing but Pit's sword-swirling technique to get the job done? I look at that in exactly the same way I look at snaking. Sure, it's in the game, but is it the right thing to do? I don't think so, and I'm sure many agree.

I'm not saying snaking is 100% wrong, and that all snakers are losers or unskilled. I'm just saying that I don't think it's the true way to play Mario Kart. Like Pit's spinning blades, snaking is present, but overuse isn't right. Save the boosting for the corners, and leave the straightaways for how Kart was meant to be played.

Feel free to discuss this in the comment section, or in this forum thread.

The Duck Has Spoken.


The Buzz Saw said...

Wow, I didn't even make it past the title of the post without having something to say (but yes, I did read all of it).

Your problem (like many others who oppose snaking, wavedashing, etc.) is that you have this belief that players substitute fun for these advanced techniques. Fun and competition are not mutually exclusive. I'm not sure who first propagated this idea, but it annoys me how you believe that by snaking/wavedashing, I am no longer having fun.

Who are you to tell people what fun is? Fun is a completely personal concept. Fun is different for every person on the planet. There are some people who do not even like video games (much less Mario Kart). Is there something wrong with them too?

Also, there is no "how the game should be played". The game should be played however people want to. If the game permits it, people can do it. The whole idea of "creator's intent" is a fabricated concept that casual players use as a crutch when they lose. The funny part is that they all cannot even agree on what the creator's intent really is. If a someone else uses an unorthodox tactic and wins, it should be banned, apparently...

Anonymous said...

HAHAHA, Duck, The Buzz Saw just kicked your butt with that reply, I agree with him completely and his reply is truly amazing, so I won't even bother with mine.

ChazFox said...

I had absolutely no idea of the existence of snaking until reading news articles today. I was perfectly aware of drift-boosts, just that I had no idea that they could be abused on straightaways like that.

As such, I'm glad it's been taken out because that means that as something of a total newb at Mario Kart games, I won't be getting absolutely destroyed as soon as the light goes green. :)