I hate contact damage

There have been a few hedgehogs, freezing in winter. They were sitting in a cave around a campfire but it wasn’t warming them enough, just yet, so they ended up getting cuddly and hurting each other, hence pushing each other back.

Now, while that makes a lot of sense in this kind of fable… because of hedgehogs having spikes or needles… it doesn’t make any sense in a lot of games. And that’s what this post is about.

So, ever since I started playing games, I was wondering why you’d take damage when you’re only bumping into other enemies. After all, they should be hurt if you bump into them. But since they don’t get hurt, you naturally shouldn’t get hurt by them either unless they run into you with a knife and legitimately stab you. After all, getting stabbed hurts – trust me, I’ve been there, although it’s only been my hand that took contact damage from my knife.

In games like Mario, there are enemies with spikes on their head, so that bumping into them actually would make sense, I guess? Meanwhile touching somebody in Hollow Knight or Dead Cells, hurts you, too, and that despite Hollow Knight’s enemies’ squishiness or the rotten nature of the corpses and stuff in Dead Cells.

I guess it kind of makes sense to have a Goomba hurt you in Mario as naturally his only way of attacking is the actual charge and bump he does but that’s no excuse for all the other enemies that are out there, shooting projectiles and bolts at you. They’ve got their means to attack you, so why do they hurt when you hug them?

To put Mario aside, I’d guess that the damage on contact mechanic was there in the first place for a lot of older games because of technological restraints (as in not being able to animate a stabby attack for every enemy). But nowadays there’re so many ways of damaging you… you don’t really have the technological limitations that you had back in the day and therefore, I wouldn’t know why something would hurt you upon touching you unless it’s on fire and/or covered in spikes.

In Risk of Rain (which very much is a platformer, I guess?), enemies attack you and have their own animations to do so. Running or dodging past them doesn’t hurt you. You just do your thing while they actually try to kill you. Not by just running at ya but by actually shooting, biting, stomping, and jumping you.

And the same goes for Risk of Rain 2: You are in a 3D environment with so much going on that you aren’t able to care about your character getting damaged by enemies hugging you. A lot of 3D games don’t have contact damage, although I remember the first Blinx game (you know that game about time-travelling cats with vacuums fighting monsters by shooting trash at them?) being programmed in a way that allowed enemies to move towards you and cause you to lose a life, which was just obnoxious.

If I remember correctly, you were able to turn on a challenge of sorts in Bastion where you got damage on contact from enemies. Despite them already hurting you with their attacks and despite the game being so challenging, you could already make it a lot harder by having the enemies hurt you by just touching you. The next step from that would be damage on sight, although that’s probably a thing already in some game. Who knows?

And yeah, I know, complaining about games is like yelling at clouds or fighting windmills. I won’t achieve anything by doing it, but I guess I still have my right to complain about it being a thing without an excuse for it being a thing. It’s just another unreasonable thing to do when there’s so much else to complain about in the world, but I thought it’d be a nice writing prompt. I don’t really think that games should have anything like that. 3D games generally need some reason or animation to explain how something hurts you upon contact while 2D games quite often do it because of limitations, although even that doesn’t make sense – especially when these enemies have attack patterns already.

But I guess that’s enough about this topic for today. Cheers!

This post is part of a challenge called BLAPRIL. The goal is to post as much as possible during the 30 days of April. There are different themes during some of the weeks and a lot of mentors, newbies and participants participating. Feel free to check this hub-post out and check out the other participants!

Super Mario Multiverse 2020 – Mario Kart Tour

Well, hello there, fellow mages and non-mages! I wish you all a happy 10th of March! This day is a day to be remembered. It’s Mar10, after all, or – if you still don’t get it – MAR I O Day!

And hence I decided to write about Mario Kart Tour, my initial hype, my first few impressions and what the possibility of a mobile version of the Mario Kart sub-franchise meant for me, back when it came out and when I started playing.

First of all, I’d like to mention that this post here is a part of something whole, something great and awesome! This post is part of the Super Mario Multiverse that has been organised by The Well-Red Mage where a ton of different people around the world post about Mario Games! Feel free to check out the hub-post here with all the different posts linked to it and check out the other fellow writers and bloggers. 🙂

With that being said, let’s get into it.

Mario Kart has always been a great game for small gatherings of friends and family members. I really enjoyed playing it at a friend’s place on his N64 and I even enjoyed playing the NDS-version as well as the Wii-version whenever someone brought their Wii to a party. I always thought that an App would be great so that people around the world could play it on their mobile devices and while Emulators are a thing and work quite well on the phone it never really felt “right”.

That’s the reason why I was so excited about Mario Kart Tour to come out. I registered for it on the day I got the notification for it. I installed it instantly on the day it came out and I took part in my first cups and tournaments whenever they were available. I really wanted to get good at this game so that I could play with other people and compete with friends.

Mario Kart is weird in a way as you can make great friends by playing it with others and you can lose friends when you get a Blue Shell going at the right time.

Mario Kart Tour, though, is… very different.
You automatically drive and only need to steer and drift. Items are different and characters get unlocked in a gacha-like way. The game is free to play but there is a premium package to it for a lot of money and essentially you can win in tournaments at the beginning… but to win in the long run, you’ll have to pay money. Winning in tournaments is done by getting a lot of points. You get points for the place you finish at, the items you use, tricks you pull off, the characters, karts and gliders you use, and overall it’s a competition of skill and style! I liked that a lot.

But the fourth speed-grade is unlocked when you get the golden pass. A lot of characters and rewards can only be gotten with the golden pass. It’s all very tricky. Without that pass, you can’t compete, and hence it seems as if the game is pay to win… but you can still have fun. You can still play along with other people with more levels being unlocked over time and I just found it interesting to see what a mobile adaptation could look like, but I really hope that they don’t settle for this as the finished version.

And hence, I’ll stick around to my emulators and actual games and stray away from this mobile app. I didn’t particularly like it but I really got excited about it and in a way, I enjoyed my ride and the feeling of nostalgia I got when playing Mario Kart again… and that was nice.

I hope you enjoyed this short post here. It’s not a review but more of a comment, which is not something I usually do but I thought that this would fit quite well into the Super Mario Multiverse.

Please check out the hub-post and the other writers…

…and have a fantastical MAR-IO-Day!

Until next time, cheers!