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Are there some weirdo games out there for me?

Ron Alpert, Blogger

August 22, 2007

4 Min Read

  Games Convention (or whatever they call it) apparently is goin' on in Leipzig, Germany right now. With E3 a thing of the past I kinda wish i could be there at the moment to shmooze and see what's goin' on. Also, damn it, it would be fun to just bum around in Germany. I hear the clubs are great and I know it would be a good time. Maybe in a few jobs from now I can swing it...

  New footage leaked out for Mario Galaxy, the board-goers are kinda oohing over it. It looks.. well, I wouldn't say it looks "awesome." It looks capable, but man - a team like that, a history like that, you'd think after all these years they could churn out something somewhat remarkable! I'll say this much, even considering the hardware, the graphics look absolutely as perfect as they would ever need to (I'd still say the same thing about Sonic the Hedgehog 1+2 on Sega Genesis --- hell even Mega Man 1+2 back on NES, to be honest!) But now that the visual style is fixed at perfect, when can we expect the follow up of spot-on gameplay? It's harsh to judge just my short tidbit-previews and teasers, so I will reserve, but I already know the outcome 'cause "it happens every time." If you don't need to revolutionize, why would you bother...

  Anyway in spite of myself I am interested to see the game when it launches. Have they even announced a date yet, I forgot! Mind you I have never played Sunshine and even worse, haven't played 64 for more than 5 minutes. I guess I could part with $5 on ebay for a system and a cart...

  This piques my curiosity about New Super Mario Bros on DS, but again after what I'd seen "why bother?" It doesn't look bad, at all, it just looks like.. re-tread. In case I am coming across as overly mean, I'll think back to... 1991 when Super Mario World came out and it was already getting old. We all loved it as it was a big audiovisual upgrade, and it had some nifty tricks and gimmicks, but sooo much of that was forgettable. Run to the right, jump. Get coins. Get 1UP. For such a beautiful and remarkable game, why must they rely so heavily on gimmicks and cake-icing to get by.. when the design of the earlier efforts were rather GENIUS? Someone put it on autopilot and called it a day.

  It's a little frowned upon to get snarky at the top franchises in gaming so I won't say anything to the tune of "these are bad games," they just aren't very evolutionary play-wise. Back then they didn't really need much more than an A/V upgrade and "more stuff to do," but in hindsight I want 'different, WEIRDER stuff to do." This loops around to today's games, where (damn it) everything is the SAME. Sequels are all well and good for films (not so much lately, honestly) but on games it just gets more and more boring.

  I won a copy of Psychonauts on eBay today. My coworker told me "it'll hurt your eyes to look at..." I can't say I've ever been too entranced by the screens I have seen of it but something about this game tells me it might be a little more approaching what games could (and should) be about. I dislike the design of the character, and I wince at the thought of "steering him around with an Xbox controller" but i am eager to plug in and get my feet wet with it.

  Looked at the video of Spore today, there's a new one up. It looks.. weird. Not bad, not bad at all.. the style looks a lot goofier and kiddier, or something, than I would have expected. Like Scholastic Edutainment or something. Again I am being harsh (but we should be!) I think WIll Wright is a Genius, looks like a megadork but a guy like him should look that way - he has a wonderful history and I think someone like that who has single-handedly helped steer the culture of videogaming more than a couple of times deserves a LOT of credit. He's no blowhard, just another PC geek in his suit and tie who seems to really know what the hell he is doing and the world is pretty fortunate for that. It's funny how he should be ranked among the likes of Miyamoto and yet you'd hardly picture the two ever being in the same room, never mind the same context.

  I worked till about midnight last night and wrapped up my latest level, and now I am off onto the next one.. no end in sight! I am happy with how it ended up, I still want to make some changes to it as time permits. Like I said before, "next gen is a pain in the ass" and ain't that the truth. .but it's nice having more showpieces, I gotta admit.

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