Thursday, November 10, 2011

Random Thoughts On Some Games Or Somesuch

The Binding of Isaac seems to be quite a success. I don't really like it. I am tired of it already without having finished it once. I think this game is popular simply because it's so hard to begin with that it takes a lot of time to make any progress (so essentially you'll keep on playing just to see if you can get anywhere). As far as I can tell, there are two ways to win:

1) The random item generator gives you some overpowered stuff
2) You get really, really good through a LOT of repetition

I don't find the first mechanic pleasurable (or, FINE, if you want me to put it another way, I find it outright DESPICABLE. There!), and I don't find the controls and combat to be tight enough to provide an enjoyable experience so that I can keep playing and to get better. This game fails for me. However, the art direction and music are very good!

Also, I can't BEGIN to understand the current trend of sprite-based games to run really sluggishly on modern machines. All three of the games I've played recently (The Binding of Isaac, UnEpic and Stealth Bastard: Tactical Espionage Arsehole) had this problem, in some cases to a ridiculous degree. People must be building these games on top of REALLY shabby platforms. You know, devs, even if you (understandably) don't want to program your own engine, there's better stuff out there. Nifflas's games come to mind for some reason.

Rant over.



Blogger Gabriel Sandu said...

You should really start playing something more commercial and decently made. Or risk turning into an indie game philosopher :D.

I wouldn't be playing something called Binding of ISAAC simply because it's either a ... Biblical educational game or some sort of bad joke. By checking the wiki, it's some kind of Atomic Bomberman but in a wtf kind of way.

I have just finished Witcher 2 and it was nice, had blood, story, quite nice cutscenes - wouldn't call them original, but they were good and apart from beeing a bit short, I can't say there's anything wrong with it. Maybe the fact that it's easy to exploit a form of God Mode Jedi Shield. But you're a WITCHER! you're supposed to be a bad ass and unbeateable - except by another witcher, which is quite annoying to behold, actually. Luckily, the AI is really predictable and I could just exploit his shield timeouts by only attacking when down. Boss fights are a totally different thing, though, and quite challenging.

I won't lie by saying I once thought of creating a game that gives me just that: random maze like world, a selection of weapons and powerups and the ability to hunt, kill anything that moves. I'd guess I'd become bored after a while due to the lack of story. The idea originated in ChocoboWorld game. Which was an interesting minigame, but useless =D because it could just play itself.

By comparison, Danut played some really old mud-like game, in which a character could die just randomly entering a "bad monster inside" room. Also there were no savegames, and everything was really random, from the leveling up process to the items you found, sometimes beeing REALLY overpowered. Then by a twist of badluck, you'd lose all that :P. Wouldn't that be annoying?

Ps: Witcher offered that nice combo of mage-fighter with a balance between the two. Meaning: beeing a fighter was not enough to survive, and beeing a mage was not enough to kill things quickly. :D Also introduced limited amount of mana points, shield stopped the regen, and you could cast only 6 spells (without lengthy upgrades it's just 2) without waiting 3 secs to regen 1 point back.

12:53 AM  
Blogger Chiller said...

Indie games have been simply better for a long time now, mate. Where mainstream titles, while (usually) well-made, have grown increasingly stale, indies manage to innovate even in genres that have been done to death, like platforming.

This is a good year for mainstream games - we're getting Skyrim, MW3, Battlefield 3 on top of Deux Ex HR, but that's just a coincidence of timing really, iirc the last 2 years were bloody awful.

1:17 AM  
Blogger Chiller said...

And oh yes I would definitely call it "a Biblical educational game", but probably not in the way you would expect. Hint: just watch the intro.

1:18 AM  

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