Simulation racers are bound by an extremely precise set of rules. With the assists switched off, anyone relying on luck is going to end up in the barrier faster than you can say "auto-brake fail".
In fact, bar a welcome corrective tap from another car keeping you on the track as you slide from it, there's no way lady luck will show her face, let alone a glimpse of ankle.
With the linear nature of most platformers, there isn't much scope for luck. The game designer can guess where you'll be at any given moment and know how fast you're likely to be moving, and throw in an enemy to catch you off-guard.
Above: Bad luck? Bad game design? GR's Dave H reckons the latter
Of course, some enemies have cycles of attack, so you could 'get lucky' and encounter them during their docile phase. You could also get knocked off a platform and land on one you didn't know was there. But... it's not like it happens all the time. And with Super Mario Galaxy's purple coin challenges, there's just no way you can do them all relying on luck. And then there's Mega Man.
Ironically, the degree of skill you need in a game like Bayonetta is linked directly to how much skill you have. It's easy enough in most third-person actioners to spam the attack button when you're near an enemy. This will grant you moderate success in Bayonetta, Batman or God of War without much need for luck. Why? Because you usually give more damage than you receive. That's how button mashers progress - not through luck, but through probability.
But what if you use skill? Ironically, that's when luck actually starts to come in. Once you start trying to play properly, you need to get lucky. Why? Because it's no longer about the ratio of attack damage. It's about being in the right place at the right time, choosing the right parry or evasion from the massively intricate moves list. Because trying to read a game like DMC3 or Bayonetta first time without trial and error is simply impossible.
Playing with skill requires lucky breaks right up until you know exactly how the game works, at which point it becomes a pretty even split between skill and memory.
Of course, all of the above is undone with the 'pervy factor' in Bayonetta. Put simply, the moves where she ends up nekkid are more powerful than the ones where she doesn't. So the more ladyflesh you try to see, the more success you'll have.
Now that's science.
07 Jan, 2010
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