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malrak

Title Screen or Ending - which is more important?

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Gameplay is King, of course.  But I've been thinking about other details of game design and wondering how they're weighted.   Specifically, looking to re-spark that tried and true fan rivalry of Title Screen vs Ending (not a real rivalry, just made that crap up)

 

So you're designing a game with limited space - which do you feel is more important to deserve the extra bit of "nice," the title screen or the game's Ending?

 

Ending for me, personally.  I can't think of a single time that a title screen has impacted my opinion of the game, but I can recall many, many times I've ended a game with a "that's it?"   

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The ending, absolutely. Too many times have I gotten through a difficult game, only to be rewarded with next to nothing. *cough* Battletoads, Ghosts 'n Goblins.

 

A decent ending allows the player time to reflect on the entire journey, and when done right it can elevate the whole experience higher than it would have been otherwise. Ghouls 'n Ghosts and Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts are good examples of this in action.

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At least there's text. I remember some European Amiga/DOS games where you get some random image which could have been a cover or any generic piece of marketing. 

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Title screen for sure. Everyone sees the title screen. Not everyone makes it to the end.

 

What was the print magazine that showed the end sequences of old games on the back pages? I enjoyed that feature. 

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post-29698-0-79204700-1554538811_thumb.jpg

post-29698-0-76211300-1554538857_thumb.jpg

Twinbee 3's ending had an ending scene and credits!

 

 

post-29698-0-26007400-1549944250_thumb.jpg

 

While Roadblasters on the NES just had this lame screen...

 

Both being arcade type games, they don't really have much of a story but still cool when there's an ending sequence. I know Stinger (Twinbee 2) has a opening sequence after the title screen.

 

I know back in the day most games had the story in the manual, so they could skip and intro screen and just have an ending.

 

I'd choose any ending over title screen most of the time, but that depends on the game's genre. If it's and RPG or an adventure game it better have an ending rather than just saying "congraturations" at the end. And I also feel it's very important to have an ending at the end of shoot 'em up games... being some of the hardest games out there for many. If the game just ended without even a text screen wouldn't just make as much as an impact when you finally beat it. But by the late 80's games started to be able to not only fit a title sequence and an ending, but some even have cut scenes!

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Part of the classic gamer in me thinks that games shouldn't even HAVE endings. Just go faster and faster until you run out of lives while chasing the high score. 

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Who Framed Roger Rabbit is one of those that if you manage to beat Judge Doom you get this:

 

roger_rabbit_ending.thumb.jpg.9679c6669ef36bf277ca6d945b38acca.jpg

 

 

 

It's LJN's way of saying, "You beat the game.  Now go fuck off."

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39 minutes ago, Flojomojo said:

Part of the classic gamer in me thinks that games shouldn't even HAVE endings. Just go faster and faster until you run out of lives while chasing the high score. 

 

 

Noooo.....  lol

 

The arcade version of Golden Axe had one of my favorite endings.  Now I'm imagining it your way where they just go faster and faster, and my mind queued it up to the Benny Hill music.  😂

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20 minutes ago, frankodragon said:

 

 

 

 "You beat the game.  Now go fuck off."

 

That could very well be the best ending ever if it would literally say that.

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Definitely the ending. I think there always needs to be a reward for players who beat a game.

 

Bionic Commando NES was the first time I was really impressed by a game's ending and I always wanted to see more of that.

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BitD, my brothers and I were disappointed when the ending of the 2600 Demon Attack turned out to be a blank screen because it crashed.  I think that day we spent hours swapping turns, but eventually we could get there in no time.

 

Endings are fun--something to strive for.  In games without real endings (RPGs/RTSs), I think achievements fill some of that desire.

 

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9 hours ago, frankodragon said:

Who Framed Roger Rabbit is one of those that if you manage to beat Judge Doom you get this:

 

roger_rabbit_ending.thumb.jpg.9679c6669ef36bf277ca6d945b38acca.jpg

 

 

 

It's LJN's way of saying, "You beat the game.  Now go fuck off."

Just like Mass Effect 3!

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13 hours ago, frankodragon said:

Who Framed Roger Rabbit is one of those that if you manage to beat Judge Doom you get this:

 

roger_rabbit_ending.thumb.jpg.9679c6669ef36bf277ca6d945b38acca.jpg

 

 

 

It's LJN's way of saying, "You beat the game.  Now go fuck off."

It's beautiful. What an emotional roller coaster.

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On 9/2/2019 at 7:52 PM, Flojomojo said:

Title screen for sure. Everyone sees the title screen. Not everyone makes it to the end.

I was thinking that at first- but that ending is going to stick in your head as part of your final impression of a game. A bad ending can make a game seem less fun overall.

 

The title screen's important too, but most will just skip past it after awhile. And the first impression factor will come from the box/label just as much as the title screen. 

 

I think a few more bits into the ending is better overall, with one caveat- do NOT skimp on your title MUSIC. You can get away with a cool static screen & save animations for the ending, but a good theme song can make a game damn memorable- especially if you'll be on the title screen for a few seconds picking difficulty or whatnot. Music is important!

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NES games, honestly, I rarely can recall an ending on them that was of any real amazing value for the time put into it.  I just don't think they cared that much other than some cheap little thank you message with or without some cool ending graphics (like the triforce/zelda bit on Zelda 1, down to the misspelled congraturation text stuff many others had.)  Back then it seems it was more about the journey than the after thought of it all and since we didn't really know better then we were happy to get that.  So really the Title screen was given far more credit or I should say opening cinema/title screen, than the endings.

 

That changed on the SNES almost immediately, not so much with Super Mario World, the credit had more value than the ending showing the characters.  But almost immediately you had ActRaiser.  That one really drew you into finding value with your efforts showing how things improved, the peoples love for them and the land being saved.  Nintendo caught onto it too, check the ending with Zelda Link to the Past as that really ran with it as well.  I'd argue the 16bit era fixed a tragedy that really gave you value both coming and going so it was worth seeing what it was about, but also seeing how good things could end up too.

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Some later NES games had nice endings. Super Mario 3 had the whole sequence with all the worlds, for example. Bionic Commando's ending was kinda cool, and I seem to remember Metroid having a worthwhile ending. But it was kinda rare. 

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I gotta go with the title screen, because I would rather have something like Ninja Gaiden or Megaman 2's opening screen and have a crappy end screen like this:hqdefault.jpg.f10d5a6429caf95012a60fdda03b884e.jpgPlus it gives people a reason to play the game because it's more of a "you gotta see this to believe this" type of thing.

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