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What's better: a pre-boss battle supply cache, or resources too good to use?

Vote now as we continue deciding the single best thing in games

Last time, you decided overwhelmingly (94%!) that knocking folks over edges is better than big engines rising from the bonnet. Honestly, I cannot disagree. I adore that giant supercharged engine. I will always pick the cars with that giant supercharged engine. But imagine if someone were standing atop that giant supercharged engine's towering intake, and I kicked them off it. Glorious! This week, I must apologise, but circumstances have led us to a choice between two wholly dissimilar things. What's better: a pre-boss battle supply cache, or resources too good to use?

Pre-boss battle supply cache

You enter an area overflowing with ammo boxes and medkits and and potions and armour shards and elite units for your squad and grenades and a full supply of corpses to reanimate and power-ups and heavy weapons and oh, you know: something big is about to happen. A boss battle is coming, and I am now so ready for it.

It's always exciting to find this room. And once you know a game does it, it's nice to trust that you can go a little wild in the rest of the game with the big exciting weapons which use rare resources, secure in the knowledge that the game won't send you into a boss battle with only five bullets. Sure, it's practical and helpful to have full fancy ammo for a boss battle, but more than that it's exciting to absolutely let rip against the boss. Because you don't have anything bigger to save it for, do you?

Resources too good to use

The final battle is here. There is no way this cannot be the final battle. Absolutely the game will end after this. I cannot see any way the plot might escalate. This will be my greatest challenge and I will need to give it my all. Yeah, but, I can't use my magnum ammo here, or my max heal potions, or my rare crafting materials, or my biggest mana potions, or my mega-spell with the really long cooldown, or my prized elite units, or my insta-kill shivs, or my best foods, or my best spell reagents. They're so powerful, and what if I need them later?

I might use one or two, as a treat. Just burst one man with a magnum bullet. Drop a minisquad of elite units deep behind enemy lines. Lazily chug a rejuvination potion because I can't be bothered to wait on regen. Blow a five-minute cooldown on a trash mob. Just to see what happens, you know. Just for the feeling. But I'll save the rest. I know I will be ready for anything if I save the rest. It's a good feeling of comfort and security. And when I do overcome challenges without using these precious resources, I feel even better for triumphing in this self-imposed higher difficulty mode.

Plus, it's so rare in life that I have anything precious to save up and cherish. Now that's a power fantasy: owning lots of nice and valuable things without immediately consuming them to survive. And besides, a Diablo II stash loaded with Full Rejuvenation Potions is very pretty to look at.

Honestly, if developers removed these most powerful items from their games, I would only refuse to use the whichever resources got bumped up to become the new top tier. I might need them, you know.

But which is better?

It's difficult to pick between the two things when they are so unrelated (sorry again, reader dear) but I think I must side with precious resources. What's the point of a pre-boss battle supply cache if it doesn't offer the giddy thrill of finding treasures I absolutely will not use during the battle?

But which thing do you think is best? Pick your winner, vote in the poll below, and make your case in the comments to convince others. We'll reconvene next week to see which thing stands triumphant—and continue the great contest.

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About the Author
Alice O'Connor avatar

Alice O'Connor

Associate Editor

Alice has been playing video games since SkiFree and writing about them since 2009, with nine years at RPS. She enjoys immersive sims, roguelikelikes, chunky revolvers, weird little spooky indies, mods, walking simulators, and finding joy in details. Alice lives, swims, and cycles in Scotland.