Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tracing Playstyles

When summer offers a cold and rainy day (and swedish summers often do) there are few better ways to spend it than playing some Pokémon. Although there are some spin-offs that are enjoyable (like Mystery Dungeon) I've always preferred the core-series and have played Blue, Crystal and Sapphire multiple times so far. I intend to buy Pearl as soon as I get home.

So I've set out for another playthrough of Pokémon Sapphire, and love it as much as anytime so far. Unfortunately, my Pokémon all suck. They usually do. The reason for this is simple. I want to level all my pokémon at once, which means none of them are any good. My pokémon are often lower leveled than the roaming pokémon I encounter in the grass, which means I have to run back and heal my Pokémon at the center after every second fight or so. The only pokémon I can rely on somewhat is the one I started out with. For some reason he always ends up way higher level than everyone else, and always has to save me whenever I encounter some badass player.

But it doesn't matter, it's the way I enjoy playing Pokémon. I want all my pokémon to grow at once, and would never put all my efforts into only one or two, like Love and my brother plays Pokémon. They only play their starting pokémon (and maybe one more to cover a weakness), so that that one turns really überstrong and kicks everyones ass. It's a difference in playstyle, but in the end both styles work fairly well.

What's interesting though, is that it corresponds to how we also play other games. Like WoW. I play one billion alts, and prefer to level them all at once. I have one main which I usually level first and also put a little more effort into getting nice gear and whatnot, but in the end I'm always sitting there with a bunch of semi-good alts all around me. Love on the other hand has put all his time into one character. Since it's a druid he hasn't really have had the necessity to level any other class either. Today a druid can essentially fill any role quite well. My brother does the same thing. When he plays WoW (he takes breaks all the time) he puts all his time into one single character. I don't think he's even ever leveled an alt (Love has at least one other character at 80).

And you can see this behavior in other games as well. I've always preferred the team-games, like roleplaying games where you play multiple characters at once or some RTS games where you play several squads at once. Even though I love games like Resident Evil and Half-Life (and anything like it) I've never actually played any because I just don't enjoy the idea of just playing one character. Don't ask me why. I've also always preferred multi-player games over single-player games, like Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros and multi-player modes of Quake and Golden Eye, etc. Love is the other way around, he plays bunches of single-player games, all the time.

I won't try to make any Freudian analysis to why this could be. I don't think people would call me overly social, but with games I certainly seem to be. It's funny to think that I play WoW just like I play Pokémon, and that this kind of playstyle seems to be true for any kind of game, at least in my case. Thinking about it it's totally logical of course, if one likes a playstyle one will stick with it. But that two games that are so different (WoW and Pokémon) still can be played similarly is interesting.

And of course this could just be a coincidence. A sample of three people isn't really what one would call statistically solid evidence. So I wonder if you can see a line of behavior in your playstyle? Do you seem to prefer multi-playing or single-playing?

No comments:

Post a Comment