The Swing Feature

My older brother isn’t what I’d call a gamer. He has an Xbox, but it’s primarily his NBA 2K and Netflix machine. That’s cool, dude plays enough NBA 2K each year to get his moneys worth from Microsoft’s machine (he’s not adverse to playing other stuff, he’s gone through the entire Assassin’s Creed series, it’s just not as big a hobby for him as it is for me). He’s also super nerdy about shoes.

He’s into shoes, particularly sneakers, like I’m into video games. The way I can talk about textures and appreciate animation and sound design and all that stuff? He can do that with shoes. Did you know there are things you can slip into your Nike’s that keep the toe box from creasing? Did you know what a toe box is?

So when I sent him a link to a story detailing the new build your own sneaker feature in NBA2K13 and how you’ll be able to export that design to Nike’s website and have it made, he replied with this:

Single handedly swung the purchase of this game for me. Thanks. On a similar note, I wonder what a game would need to include to elicit the same response for you? 

Good question! I’m not sure of the answer. I follow video games so closely that I generally know what I’m going to buy. Games don’t sneak up on me often. Here are some recent or soon-to-be purchases and what sold me on them:

-Knowing Gary Whitta was involved with The Walking Dead, and hearing the GiantBomb crew rave about the first episode persuaded me to pick up the season pass on Steam, despite having zero familiarity with the source material. I've only played the first episode so far, but it was fantastic.

-I wrote about my fantasy malaise when Kingdoms of Amalur came out, but a low price of $15 over the Labor Day weekend convinced me to pick it up. The bland fantasy story isn’t all that appealing, but the cool combat and class blending system are.

-As a lifelong Spider-Man fan, that new close-up camera angle (which makes for some dynamic-looking traversal) and Batman: Arkham City inspired combat system sold me on the Amazing Spider-Man (to be fair, I’m borrowing it from my brother. But after playing it, I’d gladly buy a sequel if Activision will actually let a studio iterate on a Spider-Man game to clean up those now-trademark rough edges).

-That slick audio and visual feedback that could help evolve the entire stealth genre is what sold me on Mark of the Ninja. It’s on my to-buy list.

None of those are really equal to my brother’s “OMG SOLD!” moment. But that makes sense, I follow games so closely that I came across that story and sent it to him, and I don’t even like sports! I’m now at a stage in my life where I have to be very choosy about the games I play—I just don’t have the time to get to them all. So I look for those cool features, those things that are different, something that will elicit an “I HAVE to try that” response.

What about you? What's a "swing feature" that made you buy a game?