My previous post stirred something in me, reminding me of the often promoted idea that “gameplay is king” when it comes to the issue of visuals in a game. Now tell me if this sounds odd but when was the last time you thought greatly of a king when their land was in ruin, where a profound leader is unfortunately leading some truly awful. It clearly isn’t much to be king when only a fool would dare have the people of this land in their charge. A king, much like us all, are compositions of those we surround and are affiliated with, whether we really like it or not.
Such thoughts came to mind in my recent musings about my disappointment in my recent gaming endeavours. It isn’t anything particular, simply a feeling or lack thereof it. I played Mario 3D World and felt nothing magical within any of the hours, an odd quality to note I admit. I recall when I first played Super Mario Galaxy 2, I was constantly running upstairs to tell my brother about it, I was giddy like a child at the wonders of the game. Every so often I’d loudly proclaim “ohhhhh that’s cool”, I was enamoured by what they could do and were willing to do with the Nintendo Wii. Playing 3D world feels so safe and lacking in energy, in personal character. It is as if something took what they thought made Mario and distilled it.
I have recently been having a go at Smash 4 for the Wii U for those who don’t stare at their e-mail waiting for my next drop of wisdom/entertainment. Quite frankly, it is incredibly….okay. I’m just not blown away by anything, not astounded or forced into grinning like a child as I had hoped.
Perhaps I was wrong to hope such from what is essentially more Smash Bros in its entirety, there isn’t any massive appeal apart from a decent online service and customisable characters with neither being particularly impressive or amazing. I’m not exactly stoked to play as any new additions to the roster as I was say Sonic when he was announced for the previous iteration either. Like I said previously it feels more then ever to be aware that it is a fighting game, the flair of individual reactivity in the small things isn’t as prevalent as I wished for, something I’ve touched upon before with things like the new sound effects and small tweaks to existing animations.
The gameplay is pretty good….a little less flowing than say Brawl when it comes to quite a few moves, I see what people meant when they felt they weren’t happy doing anything when the first public demos were available. More than just how it feels in gameplay, the sound effects just aren’t doing it for me, they just don’t resonate with me when I land a hit or get a perfectly blocked attack.
The visuals while enjoyable in a HD upgrade from the previous in stunning 1080p, I don’t feel much looking at them. Perhaps as characters forged on systems incapable of simply fantastic polygonal models they had applied their design efforts elsewhere, to aspects that would punctuate what they saw in their minds. As such the models look good for the Wii U but that really is all, everything and everyone looks smooth and clean but perhaps not polished, there are a lot of characters so it might be likely that efforts were made to maintain the resolution and frame-rate with subtractions elsewhere. I really like the 60 FPS but I think I wouldn’t cry if the game was in a lower resolution as a trade for a more visually stunning game. Let the PC hordes boast about high resolution and lush effects, I prefer the latter to make the game better for a console.
During my day today I found myself without internet and decided to step into my emulators to have a swing at some GBA games while I wait for the router to stop bullying me. I booted up a little known game called Klonoa: Empire Of Dreams with a 100% file, playing the levels through for fun. Lo and behold, I ignore the one world with music and visuals that just don’t do anything for me. I am very aware and make others aware when necessary that I am audio nut, although that may also come together to make me an aesthetic nut but I digress. I define what truly makes my gaming experience clearly different from some and alike with many others, recently I haven’t been struck by anything to even grasp at, not a happy place to be found.
My first Wii U game was Mario Kart 8 and while I wish some of the visuals were more fantastic and mesmerizing, I found joy in quite a few good musical tracks and I liked the few stages with lots of nice nuances like twinkling sparkles in the air or golen syrup being sprayed from a pipe while I get cheered on by a gingerbread-man-esque Toad. I can generally feel when the love put into a game is showing and with Kart 8 I finally feel like some real people got their teeth into the game and made it something more.
My next game if I really can’t get into Smash is Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze. I know the game looks good and the music has been lauded every which way to Sunday. The gameplay is solid and being a game from Retro Studios it is full of little nuances here and there to solidify the game as something fantastical…I hope. See that might just be it, I’m hyping up games only to be let down.
Then again, these games are supposed to be marvels of gaming, highly rated experiences by several people and review sites/blogs/magazines/things. Have I shifted away from the current ideals of a good game or have they shifted from me into something I cannot find joy in? Only time will tell, I look to my next gaming adventure to find the holy “full package”, that which will satiate my hunger and give me something new to gawk and freak out about to others.
I just wanna feel like praising something cool in a video game without a huge BUT following.
What games have you played that really made an impact on you, that you love to talk about? Can you play a game where something you find important is disappointing, even if the rest is impeccable? What aspect of a game do you adore, be it the writing, music or what have you? Thanks for the read and I’ll see you later.