Last time, you decided that a game within the game just for funsies is better than temporarily piloting an enemy. It was another close result but ultimately you couldn't resist larking about, and I can't fault you for that (though if I could hop up on your shoulders and Ratatouille you into voting otherwise, maybe I would). This week, I'm asking you to pick between two very different types of movement. What's better: slide kicks or relocatable buildings?
Long before Fortnite dances stormed the playground, the first video game move I saw someone attempt in reality was Sub-Zero's slide kick from Mortal Kombat. What could be cooler than the combination of sliding (which you shouldn't do because you'll muck up your shoes and school uniform) and kicking (which you shouldn't do because Jesus is watching)? Maybe childhood nostalgia is why I still think slide kicks are so cool. Or maybe, slide kicks are just extremely cool.
F.E.A.R.'s slide kick is great because you're some sort of paramilitary fighting ghosts and mind-controlled clones, and your most powerful weapon is not the gun which turns them into skeletons, it's skidding on the ground and kicking them. Bulletstorm's slide kick is great because it launches enemies into the air with an afterkick of slow motion so you can murder them in extra-daft ways. Vanquish's slide kick is great because the slide is powered by rockets and the kick is a flip kick. Mirror's Edge's slide kick is great because it lets you fight without stopping parkour. Even Fortnite eventually added a slide kick, which I dearly hope kids tried to perform on the playground.
From fighting games to first-person shooters, I have never met a slide kick I didn't like. Their presence always makes me happy.
A familiar strategy game situation: you've been working on your base for a while, carefully laying out your buildings for optimal performance, and are near the end of the tech tree when- oh no. You've built a bottleneck choking your war machine. Or your units need to travel too far for repairs. Or you've been mining suboptimally all this time. Or... ugh! So do you demolish your buildings to make room and start over, or do you live with this inefficiency offending your eyes and gnawing at your guts? Mate, just move the buildings!
I am always delighted when a game lets me shunt buildings around rather than rebuild. StarCraft is the game I most think of, where many of the Terran faction's buildings can lift off and jet over to set down in a new place. Along with correcting placement mistakes, this can also let you save money by moving a Command Center to a new location once you've mined out a patch. And when your base is under attack from melee units, what are they going do when your buildings lift off? Moving buildings can also let you retreat or advance production towards the front lines, though you have to consider how vulnerable you'll be in the process. In StarCraft 2, canny players will even share Tech Lab and Reactor add-ons as needed by swapping parent buildings in out of the docking spot.
The Eldar in Warhammer 40K: Dawn Of War go more high-tech, able to teleport buildings away. Hell, in Homeworld 2, you can pootle your whole mothership about. Or more low-tech, Warcraft 3's Night Elves buildings are mostly treants which can uproot themselves and walk across the map, punching enemies along the way. Or more peacefully, I've been grateful that new settlement-building game Farthest Frontier lets me deconstruct a building and reconstruct it elsewhere with one single command.
Tell me about your favourite relocatable buildings, gang. And while I'm clearly focused on fighty strategy games, it seems like some factory-building or sim games would have this? Help out poor old forgetful Alice, gang.
But which is better?
I wish more games had relocatable buildings. But I wish pretty much every game had slide kicks. I know which way I'm voting. But what about you, reader dear?
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.