Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Losing my mojo

I've lost my gaming mojo lately. From being the kind of guy who could spend evenings honing a Master League squad in PES or having a blast of Luminous Arc after a night out, I've entered a phase in which a day can feel complete without playing a video game. It's an odd feeling, and it's one that I blame or credit - depending on my mood - on Super Mario Galaxy 2.

I'm not going to criticise a game so close to perfection, more the aftertaste it's left behind. You see, after finding a game that somehow met my astronomical expectations, everything after it has felt lame in comparison. It's like after you've just broken up with your first love, when practically every other human being on the planet seems inferior. Okay, must own up here - SMG 2 was in no way my first gaming love, but the analogy stands. Although I've had some good gaming times since then, not one could hold a candle to SMG 2. The story begins with Sin and Punishment: Successor of the Skies.

Sin and Punishment: Successor of the Skies

Gung-ho action games are not for me usually. Memorising enemy placements, having to rely on lightning-quick reactions, no pause for breath between alien attacks - it all seemed like too much bother for what's supposed to be a laid back activity. But something about S & P appealed to me. Maybe it was because it was so different to my usual tastes, or the fact that it was made by Treasure, a developer held in high regard by the gaming community (yep, even customer reviews on Amazon). Anyway, to get to the point, I loved it to begin with. I turned the other cheek to the muddy, last-gen graphics and corny cutscenes, instead treasuring the rapid action and high-adrenaline techno music. Early on, S & P was also armed with nostalgia, as the bullet-hell gameplay and freaky monsters strongly resembled Contra III, the only shoot 'em up I've ever really got into.

You'd think we'd be all set for a Hollywood ending. Alas, I eventually grew tired of S & P. The length of the story mode was my biggest gripe. Only took around 6 or 7 hours to reach the end, which I don't think is good enough. Sure the defence will argue that S & P is solely reliant on replay value in order to realise its true length, but in the current market, in which triple-A releases vie for your attention on an almost weekly basis, it feels like a waste to replay a game you've already beaten.

No, for my definition of a classic, I think of titles that last a few weeks at least, like Ocarina of Time, GTA III and Bioshock. Granted, there are a few exceptions - namely Prince of Persia: Sands of Time - but in the main I like games which make you go on a long and fruitful journey, that take the risk that you'll get bored and lose interest halfway through. That's what I admired about SMG 2 - the scope and ambition - and that's what I found lacking in S & P.

Maybe my expectations were set too high.

1 comment:

Iasi said...

Buna ziua
Numele meu este Constantin Iacob si as dori sa facem un schimb de linkuri - 3 way link exchange - in sensul ca eu voi pune linkul dumneavoastra pe iar dumneavoastra imi adaugati un link catre cu titlul Iasi (fara diacritice)
Astept raspuns de la dumneavoastra indiferent daca acesta este pozitiv sau negativ
Va multumesc anticipat si va doresc multa sanatate si toate cele bune.