One of the things I’ve been studying in my MA is playability – or the science of our addiction to video gaming. I’ll be honest, I have the attention span of a goldfish so I sort of read the books about it without actually taking much info in, but it got me thinking about the one game I have played through constantly throughout my life, finishing it with gold medals on each level multiple times.
Lylatwars came out shortly before my little brother’s birthday when I was about 9, and he got it for his N64 for his birthday. He was 8 and still scared of Turok, so I was usually the one to do the ‘hard’ levels.
The ‘hard’ levels being, of course, Macbeth (get all those damn switches) and the true version of Venom you can only do if you go from that level where that pancake-shaped ship with the skeleton tentacles tries to annihilate you. Also, to be fair, Sector Y with that lunatic robot thing is pretty tricky too.
The N64 was only at our mum’s place, which was a grotty nicotine-stained flat above the hotel which she ran with her partner. She was never, ever around because she was working/getting drunk in the hotel bar, so my brother and I would sit and play the N64 together and most frequently we played Lylatwars while eating whatever newsagent snacks our mum’s partner had brought up for us. I remember the controllers were often sticky with sugar and chocolate.
Througout the years, I can’t even begin to count the amount of times I have saved Corneria and the Lylat System. Even today, I have Lylatwars 3d on my DS and frequently play it on the tube home. I know the levels all by heart, I know when the enemies are going to come and I know when Slippy is going to start being frigging useless (e.g. pretty much all the time). So why do I keep playing it?
I remember when I played Star Fox Zero on the Wii U, and the first level was incredibly similar to the first level of Lylatwars (at least at first) and I nearly cried with nostalgia – I actually thought it was a super clever graphics remake, until I got to the first boss and realised no, it was gonna be a crappy showoff attempt with the half-baked 180 element of the gamepad.
I’m guessing from this that the core reason I keep playing Lylatwars is that I played it so much a a child, and I have some fond memories sitting with my brother and going through each level with him. Honestly, I don’t actually know if Lylatwars is as amazing as I think it is.
In any case, it is most certainly my most played game, and I was wondering, what is your most played game and why? What is the one game that you keep going back to?