Saturday, January 3, 2009

Year Round-up, part 2

Well, someone commented, if a tad derisively, so I'll continue. Perhaps I'll even soon defend my favorites against Alex's wantonly impolite criticism ("And LFD has the depth I would expect from a TC mod for UT2004 or HL2 that someone coded up in 8 hours"? There's no way that's not inflammatory).

So, onward.

For a game that's over twelve years old and is highly respected across the gaming world, I'm surprised that I had missed this one until now. I played it on the DS over the past week or so, and am currently playing my New Game + to collect all the endings. What really surprised me about this game is its repeated peculiar subversions of JRPG mechanics - especially during scenes of story. The game from the very beginning hints at non-linearity (although this game doesn't have too much of it) by allowing you to, for a while, completely ignore the fair you are supposed to attend in favor of taking a cross-continental walk, and even entering your first combats. Later, I was surprised by the amount of freedom Chrono Trigger gives you in what would in other games be straight-up cutscene. It's hard to describe how even the most moderate amount of interactivity amplifies the emotional impact of the scenes in which it occurs. If I ever make a game, I'll certainly employ techniques from this game which, mysteriously, haven't really been seen since.

Found via Rock, Paper, Shotgun, this tiny game is a simple, beautiful, and peaceful short about solar domination. While its end-game is dull, the beautiful sloth of inter-asteroid spore travel made me quite happy.

KICKASS - Audiosurf
Another February game. Cheap, fun, and fairly synesthetic, I agree with pretty much everything those fine folks at RPS had to say about it in their year's recap. They're a bit better at his "blogging" thing than I am.

More later, possibly even today.

1 comment:

alex said...

Well I'll admit one thing. Whenever I hear Up To The Roof, I think of Audiosurf.

That said, it's a lame game. We need better rhythm-based stoner games. Here's my idea. You take Warning Forever, remove the fire button and make your ship constantly fire, and then make it so that the aiming cone locks and unlocks to the rhythm. Your ship will effectively dance from the alternating movement of pivoting and translating your cone of fire! Add in the bosses dancing and firing to the rhythm, and I think you have a winnar.