Press A

Discovering that items could be hidden in pots in Final Fantasy IV had me nearly destroying the A button on my Super Nintendo controller. Every square inch that I could be bothered to check, I would. Any amount of gil or potions I wouldn't need was still worth it. I was discovering. Everything was worth searching out.

For the past two weeks I have been playing Bravely Default: Flying Fairy. I'll be gushing over this one for a while because, to be extremely blunt, it just does a lot of things right. However wandering around a dungeon and encountering a point where I was prompted to press A to enter a story segment I felt a little sad.

Well, it was nice that I didn't instantly have to go into the story segment. What wasn't, though, was how it reminded me of the straightforwardness we are finding too often in games. Being told that we can pick up this item, or explore this spot tends to leave us with games where we don't have to explore random bookshelves or tables because nothing will ever be there. If it is, the game will tell us.

It becomes a little too straightforward. In one sense I like not being able to miss anything. It really clicks in with my do-everything-get-everything desires. At the same time it slaughters that sense of discovery. Bravely Default isn't the first to do this, it's just been the trend. I'm having a hard time balancing it in my head if I really like it or not.