How do you feel about the Game Over screen?

Wired has a great piece up on how video game developers have dealt with in-game death over the years. From the power-up mushroom in Mario to the Regenerative Shields in Halo, developers have been tackling creative ways for players to ”˜die’ or ”˜fail’ for years.

I am of the camp that would like to see less ”˜fail-states’ in gaming, because let’s be honest, nobody likes to put  45+ min into a game only to have to start over because of not clicking the potion button fast enough. The game over screen shouldn’t even be considered in this day and age, there are more inspired ways of handling the situation. After all, fail-states are relics of the coin-op era where more deaths equaled more money.

Is there anything quite as frustrating as having to watch a 3 minute cut scene before a particularly hard boss battle over and over again? How about having to re-collect items from three rooms back because you ran out of hearts? Games like BioShock have done a better job by providing Vita-Chambers which resurrects the player to the nearest chamber while saving progress and damage on nearby foes. Simple but yet ingenius. Too easy for you? Just open a menu and turn the feature off.

Kirby’s Epic Yarn  has also tackled the issue of fail-states…and by that I mean it doesn’t have them. You can go through the entire game falling into every pit and hitting every enemy, but your end game ”˜bead’ total will be affected. Didn’t collect enough beads at the end of the level? Well then the secret level will be unavailable after the boss battle.

Perhaps I just need to suck less at gaming, but I play games to have fun, not get frustrated. How do you feel about dieing in games? Is it necessary, or a remnant of times past? Tell us in the comments!

Eugene lives in New Mexico and has been a life long gamer since getting his hands on an NES. Always partial to Nintendo, Eugene has made it a point to keep informed on all things Mario.