So, why do these still exist exactly?

#1 Posted by Sticky_Pennies (2019 posts) -

While playing Chrono Trigger for the DS it hit me, because the lack of being able to save wherever you want it especially shitty on a portable game because there's always a finite amount of time that you can play. Why do games use save points still, even though the technology to save wherever you damned well please exists and has existed for as long as it has?

#2 Posted by Diamond (8634 posts) -

Gameplay design.  Doesn't allow you to quicksave 'cheat' like games that let you save anywhere.

#3 Posted by Meowayne (6084 posts) -

Because they add tension and structure. I wouldn't want to be able to save anywhere in Silent Hill or console JRPGs.

However, I agree with  you that no portable game, ever, should have save points. That's as far from good handheld game design as you can get.

If my flashcard didn't allow me to save everywhere in Chrono Trigger DS, I doubt I would still be playing it.

#4 Edited by Cerza (1653 posts) -

I've been wondering this for a while now too and the only conclusion I have been able to draw is that save points still exist so that players can't gimp there save game. What I mean by this is you wouldn't want to save your game at a location you think is safe and five second after saving ZOMG a crap ton of enemies spawn and you die. Then every time you loaded your game you would die 5 seconds after loading and that would suck, because then you'd have to start over and you wouldn't be a happy camper

#5 Posted by Verdugo (2001 posts) -

It depends on the gameplay design, save points fit will with certain games but not with others. Half Life 2 for example gives you the ability to just save your game anywhere, which actually fits since save points (not counting the checkpoints in that game) would seem cumbersome and sometimes frustrating in that type of game.

An RPG like Final Fantasy X for example utilizes save points for it's gameplay design for reasons such as:

1. It's a console game.

2. To immerse you further into the game, virtually obligating you in some cases to progress onwards to mark your place in the game.


But, really, it's annoying to have your battery in the red on your DS and you are busy hauling ass to find a save point before you are totally screwed. I never much liked them in handheld games either.

#6 Posted by Verdugo (2001 posts) -
SuperMooseman said:
"Verdugo said:
But, really, it's annoying to have your battery in the red on your DS and you are busy hauling ass to find a save point before you are totally screwed. I never much liked them in handheld games either. "
As a compromise on the DS, you can just shut the lid and it will go into 'hibernate' mode -- it uses much less power, but enables you to jump right back into where you were."
Yeah, that is a plus side. I almost forgot about hibernate mode, my DS hasn't functioned in about a year.
#7 Posted by Al3xand3r (7574 posts) -

You can always put portables to sleep so yeah. But they could enhance that ability with a "save and quit" option. So you can turn it off and when you go back it loads that save and instantly deletes it so you can't abuse it.

#8 Posted by TwoOneFive (9459 posts) -
good games do it. 

Ones that want to force you to go through a series of events without being able to start at any point in between them. 

I think Dead Space was good for it. 
#9 Posted by Bellum (2944 posts) -

I think if you have to rely on an arbitrary save point system to produce tension, it's a product of bad game design. I don't think the frustration of having to fight with the game mechanics is the sort of tension a good designer should be going for.

#10 Posted by WilliamRLBaker (4777 posts) -

all most all portable devices have a suspend option close the screen and....your set.

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