Saturday, December 8, 2007

MX vs. ATV demo... Fun for Liza (mostly) and I

I'm not much of a grinder, but if it's fun to move around and do stunts I'll play a skating / snowboarding / bike riding game. MX vs. ATV didn't really provide much in the way of a fun demo (very limited, the available vehicles felt uninteresting).

What was fun was when my girlfriend (Liza) came into the room and watched me crash and burn. She loved watching the character fly off of the ATV or motorbike and skitter across the ground. She then prompted me to try and jump up to an inaccessible place. We don't always share gaming moments, but she definitely saw the sandbox I was playing one as a potential source for entertaining emergent gameplay. We tried various angles of approach and strategies -- and managed to get close (and even crash through the world once) but we eventually gave up.

Still, we laughed a bunch and had some fun trying to break the demo. It's nice when a game supports this kind of mode.

  • Features that helped in this case:
    • Sandbox arena where you can act without time pressure.
    • Easy to reset progress if get stuck (no need to watch long crash animations if you don't want to; easy to reset back on the track if you veer off).
  • Features lacking in this demo:
    • Not enough variety of objects to interact with or vehicles to control meant that actual exploration of the sandbox was quite limited. With the addition of even one souped up version of a vehicle we would have been able to do much cooler stunts (and seen a trend of progressively cooler gameplay -- which might have encouraged us to play more).

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