2 comments on “Level hubs need to die

  1. Interesting perspective. Interesting in part because I feel exactly opposite. I find level hubs to often be the most interesting part of a game – often far more memorable than what happens within a level.

    Hubs give an opportunity to hide secrets and surprises, and to further leverage that impact because the player may be in navigation mindset. I actually love the fact that the camera perspective shifts and you can see more of the game world within a bigger context – similar to an ‘establishing shot’ in cinema.

    I don’t doubt the conviction in your perspective, it is simply curious because I ernestly LOVE games with hub areas. I prefer them to open world games like GTA as well. It seems a bit ironic to me that you use Mario 64 as an example of what NOT to do when it was so incredibly successful and well-recieved (with M64 I was probably more enchanted by exploring the castle than going through levels).

    At any rate, thanks for the food for thought.

    • Your comment is making me think quite a bit on my level hub opinion. I had to re-read sections of it too because it has been a while since I posted it. Super Mario 64 might be an odd example as well, because I absolutely loved it when I first played it.

      I think it comes down to the fact that I want to keep playing. If I finish a level, I want to get back to having fun quickly. In SM64, that means I need to jump back into the painting or run and find another painting. Of course, I had a lot of fun running around that castle, so which means that maybe being in the castle wasn’t actually limiting my fun. Super Mario Galaxy 2’s spaceship is the much better example because I found it just terrible. I didn’t enjoy being on it, and I didn’t enjoy exploring it. It was simply a barrier to me enjoying the game.

      If you ever write more about your thoughts on level hubs, I’d love to read it.

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