On the other hand, lives do force the player to consider their actions to the point where mistakes can be very costly. It harks back to the golden age of videogames where lives were used to limit the value of game time, as most games were arcades and required money to play. In the age of home consoles this limitation has been lost but it doesn’t mean that lives can still play a role in modern gaming.
A different approach to lives would be to record deaths. This way the challenge is still there to complete a challenge using as little resources as possible. Grand Theft Auto IV does this as well as recording a multitude of other events such as helicopters destroyed or bullets used. After completing Shadow of the Colossus nine times I’d be interested to find out how many times I’ve died in the process, how far Agro and I have travelled or how many lizard tails I’ve eaten.
Beyond painstakingly recording these events manually there is no provision for such a feature but it’s something I find interesting, if perhaps not terribly useful. Perhaps The Last Guardian will provide this feature, but I’m not holding out.