I have a lot of pet peeves in video games. One of them is unexplainable health regeneration. My beef isn’t how a soldier for the US Army can get shot within an inch of his life and in seconds be completely restored to health. I appreciate and enjoy many first person shooters that use this concept even though it makes me scratch my head.
No, my beef is with food in video games that give you health or stat bonuses.
It probably began while playing Streets of Rage for Sega Genesis. As an ex-cop I began my battle with the thugs of the city. I fought through waves of bad guys by punching, kicking and suplexing them. I’d destroy objects around me like phone booths and garbage cans to discover weapons like glass bottles and knives. After taking a few hits, my health bar would shrink and I’d fear for my life. I was knocking on death’s door until I finally destroyed a barrel to discover an apple on a plate. AN APPLE ON A PLATE!
This is wrong on so many levels. Why is there an apple on a plate? It’s not sliced, so you could pick it up and eat it with your hands, but why would you? It was in a rusty barrel. I had just discovered an empty beer bottle in the previous barrel, so how sanitary could this fruit be. But not only do I eat it, it gives me more energy. Why?
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but now it helps you heal from stab wounds and being hit in the face by gang members with baseball bats? Whatever. I suspend my disbelief and continue playing the game until I destroy a telephone booth to discover a COOKED TURKEY! Now obviously, this gives me even more of my health back, because the only thing more logical than an apple giving you life is a turkey.
This idea was around before Sega Genesis. Mario ate Mushrooms, and it hasn’t gone away. Fallout 3, Grand Theft Auto, World Of Warcraft and countless others have had gamers stop in the middle of battle and eat hot dogs and muffins. Even in last year’s Dishonored, a game where rats have brought on a plague killing a record number of citizens, you eat RAT SKEWERS to regain health.
Maybe I’m just nitpicking but it takes me out of the game when I’m supposed to be a badass, smarter than my enemies and I’m hiding behind cover eating rat skewers in a world that is in shambles from the plague they’ve brought.
I give a pass to potions and even the pain killers in Max Payne seeing that they are “pain killers” but turkeys in the garbage? Chill.