Hi everyone. I know it has been quite a long time since Dust or I have posted anything. He started a company and I got really busy at work and this hobby of ours just fell a little by the wayside. I would like to get back to writing, but won’t make many promises.
That being said, I just finished Toki Tori 2+ and felt compelled to write something on how absolutely amazing I thought it was. There is so much I want to talk about in the game itself that I do not want to limit this to my usual format of picking a specific life lesson learned, but instead focus on the great aspects of the game and see where lessons fall out. Continue reading →
We want to believe that we are aware and peering into the “true colors” (to borrow from 18th century naval idioms) of the facts around us. Sometimes, however, we realize how blind we can be to the façades that face us every day. I had a moment of realization about this when I was playing Bit. Trip Saga a little while back. Continue reading →
Hello all, as you may have noticed from Dyl’s post, we’re back. I’ve had my hands full with Tea-Powered Games recently. If you haven’t checked us out yet, go see if we are your cup of tea.
Sorry, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t at least mention it, but I think we have some exciting stuff brewing for anybody who wants to see games tell stories in new and interesting ways. With the shameless plug out of the way, let’s talk about a game you might know nothing about: Democracy 3.
I have a confession to make: I’m a long time Zelda fan, but lately I’m less likely to pick up and be impressed by a new Zelda title. It’s not that I think the overall quality has gone down – probably the reverse – I’ve just changed as a consumer and feel like I’m no longer the target audience. Rather than ignore this feeling or sweep it under a proverbial rug, I’d like to take this opportunity to deconstruct it, and hopefully come out the other end of this post with a better understanding of what I hope I like about A Link Between Worlds.
We have all heard the expression “think outside the box” before, right? It is generally used to imply that we should try to think more creatively; perhaps we need to challenge the biases and expectations that we are using to confront a problem. Continue reading →
This week I want to discuss something a bit more specific and mechanical: the clothing in Pokémon X/Y, and how it ultimately relates to engaging the player. Picking out a character’s clothing is the kind of thing which shows up in various games, but it’s not as simple as putting in extra art assets and telling the player to have at it. Here’s why clothes don’t just make the (wo)man, they can make the game too.
It’s been a while since I wrote WIHILAFinal Fantasy 14:A RealmReborn, and those articles are not a prerequisite for this one (but you’re welcome to go have a read anyways if you haven’t yet). Now that I’ve spent some time (understatement) playing the final release , I’d like to draw some lessons about basic mechanical system design from what has easily been the most engaging part of this game: the crafting.
In honour of our new series, Playing with Aesthetics, and with a new Pokémon game approaching, I’d like to take this opportunity to dredge up the topic of Core Aesthetics again, and use it as a lens on the design of Pokémon games (and the upcoming Pokemon X/Y). I believe that a lot can be learned about the broad appeal of Pokémon games by examining how it covers many different core aesthetics. Through iteration and improvement over its history, the Pokémon games have kept many core game elements constant. Instead of constantly changing or over-developing, the game has steadily spread to reach many more aesthetics than the average game can.
Here in the WILA posts, I oscillate between picking out a single game mechanic and elaborating on its many design benefits, and highlighting a single theme or goal of a game’s design and picking out the design choices which serve that theme or goal in the game. For Dragon’s Crown, I’d like to do more of the latter and talk about how the game packs itself full of story (of the flavorful characters, locations and histories kind) without stopping the action.
But first, a generally non-controversial assertion: players like playing.
Dragon’s Crown is Vanillaware’s latest masterpiece, and I plan to lose myself in it for many hours. It is an Action Beat ‘em-up style game, self-described as ‘Swords, Dungeons, Sorcery, Dragons’ with ‘gamemaster-style storytelling’. From Vanillaware’s past work (Odin Sphere, Grim Grimoire, Muramasa) I know to expect a beautiful, solidly-designed game.