here is a quick post, just to tell you I'm currently scratching my head regarding how to upgrade the COWARD system. I'm not really a big fan of the O for Originality, actually. It's tough to grade, especially considering I'm playing totally different series of games, and I feel it's a bit off. My examples would be for Day of the Tentacle, Final Fantasy VI or Baldur's Gate II. They are not pinnacles of originality, they each play by the rules of the genre, and they're just absolutely fabulous games...
So I was thinking about O for Observation, which would grade how sniffing around and searching around every nook and cranny of the places you explore are rewarding. I thought about this playing Legacy of Kain, where backtracking is fun once you've obtained new abilities, and it applies to a lot of games I intend to play. Everybody loves a good sub quest, or having an item which is not mandatory to complete the game...
What are your thoughts?
On a side note, I forgot to give the MAMA (More Annoying Monster Award) for Legacy of Kain. Considering I haven't seen the whole game, I'm not too sure about this one, and it's especially difficult to discern in a game where mainly every enemy can be a cakewalk or a nightmare, because of the random battle system and controls. But I have one serious guy for the post : The liches in the sewers. The liches in themselves are not bad. They throw at you homing magic missiles that you can repel using the spell.... err... "Repel", and they go down easily. They are a pain before you acquire the spell, but are quite easy afterwards. Considering the vampire is highly allergic to water (in Kain's universe at least), the sewers are dangerous in themselves. However, you can switch to Mist form and cross water without any problem. But here comes the MAMA : you can't have both spells on at the same time. And when you have to cross long sewer tunnels ridden with these liches, it becomes an absolute chore. You get hit by every spell (they don't miss, these liches. ever.), making your character step back and getting hit again by another spell before being able to thrust your sword in one of the liches. Or you choose to cast Repel, and can't get close enough to the Liches to hit them without crossing the deadly water.
So here goes : The MAMA Award goes to the Liches in the Sewers. I know, this MAMA is dependent on a place to work, but hey, I never said anything about this being forbidden, did I? ;)
Please let me know what you think about the COWARD system evolution in the comments!