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Author Topic: This game is like...  (Read 6016 times)

zglkm

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This game is like...
« on: March 09, 2008, 04:49:16 am »

...the SMB3 speed run with the save state key being available only every few screens instead of whenever you want. Someone directed me to this game recently calling it "the hardest game ever," to which I can only reply, bullshit. And first, let me state that, in about 2 hours, I've made it to this Bowser/Wart/Wily/??? boss which I'm currently working on, without help. So, please don't pigeon hole me into the "can't make it past the second screen" loser box.

Although I can't say my "R" key has seen nearly as much wear as the lot of you, I feel I've played enough of it to deduce the following: the game play is too simple. The primary factor that makes this game "difficult" is timing. Each puzzle (and yes, I will refer to them as such) has one and only one unique solution to the next save point, which is a series of jumps (and occasionally shots) that have to be preformed within a window of fractions of a second in order to not be exploded into bits. In this fashion, the player repeats the segment over and over, perfecting the exact series in the exact timing necessary for the segment, leaving just enough leeway for the skin cells you shed during the whole process. Perhaps.

Remember that toy in the 80's called Simon? It had 4 colors and sounds associated with them and would randomize a pattern, adding one by one to that pattern which you would have to sequentially repeat. Well, this is exactly the same thing. Except ... it's not randomized. It's the same damn pattern until you get it. You also don't have a seconds worth of thought to remember the pattern; the solution can only be completed if you enter the correct pattern down to the millisecond.

I could seriously close my eyes for some of these screens. The visualization means nothing anymore. It's how long I hold right, jump, release jump, double jump, release double jump, stop, ...

One thing I read in the FAQ is that the developer of this software seems to have something against people saying the difficulty is simply compensation for poor level design. Level design can encompass any number of aspects as simple as graphical design to environmental interactivity. Simply put, saying "level design am bad" is vague at best, but I think we can agree that how the game play involves the environment is simplex. Things are either completely safe to land on or deadly. The path is linear to the extreme: no extent of the imagination is required to get across an obstacle, for it is only a series of precisely time jumps. 

So now, you know when people say "poor level design" that they are not referring to beautifully rendered backgrounds but precisely this. And you disagree? Please. If you're going to make Stupidly Hard Games (SHG), at least own up to it and don't try to give some bullshit defense about testing and which shade of SHG is too SHG to be absurd and which is not enough to be just a collage of boring copyright infringing sprites. I've played hard games that are wonderful and involve more than a series of perfectly timed jumps and double jumps. Innovative devices that alter how you interact with the environment, toggling them off on and on, switching between them, and all of this midair -- just to scratch the surface of what this game is totally devoid of.

Well, that's my shot at criticism. For what it's worth, I'm going to continue playing because I'm for some reason addicted despite all of what I said. How annoying.
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sequoia

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Re: This game is like...
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2008, 07:49:15 am »

Well said, and you do make a good point.  The challenges in this game aren't deep, but they're fun.

Your last line says exactly what I think too.
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Tenebrais

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Re: This game is like...
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2008, 08:35:53 am »

Just so we know, have you beaten any bosses beside Bowser/Wart/Wily? If not, the game may not be as linear as you thought...
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Skittles

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Re: This game is like...
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2008, 10:54:25 am »

lol wait till he gets to the spike corridor can't wait to see what it comes up with then
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Kitty

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Re: This game is like...
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2008, 11:51:28 am »

I must agree with Tene. How many bosses have you beaten?
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Cheez

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Re: This game is like...
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2008, 04:18:15 pm »

I don't even know what zglkm is talking about, but he's entirely missing the point of the game.

It's not supposed to be complex.
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Dagnarok

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Re: This game is like...
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2008, 04:19:36 pm »

NES games never were complex to begin with. :P

At least not of this variety anyway. :P
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Cauldrath

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Re: This game is like...
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2008, 04:26:54 pm »

Technically, the memorization aspect applies to all games without random elements.  IWBTG has some random elements during boss fights (randomly choosing from move sets), but it wouldn't be reasonable to require pixel-perfect platforming in a completely randomized environment, unless the changes are immediately obvious, such as a spike being in position B instead of position A.

As for the spike corridor, if you mean the one with the elevators, I found that to be one of the easiest screens in the game because it never changed, never moved, and gave you plenty of time to get out of the way of anything.  Unless, of course, you mean the G&G spike corridor, in which case I have the opposite opinion.  It is constantly moving and requires both precise timing and positioning, which is why I'm never going to go back there.  However, because neither room is random in any way, you could get through said rooms with pure memorization.  On the other hand, most games are like that anyway.

As for environmental interactivity, there is a switch that lets you alter one area of the game, and there are a couple areas where the area changes based on what other objects in the environment are doing.  It's nothing on the scale of, say, Fracture or Lemmings, but it is there.  Maybe you should give IWSTK a try instead, once it actually gets some difficult levels?
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dsk

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Re: This game is like...
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2008, 04:56:05 pm »

OP lost the point of the game. It's not supposed to be complex. The simplicity makes it awesome, with difficult timing "puzzles", per se.
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Chris S.

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Re: This game is like...
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2008, 04:09:00 pm »

This criticism is like... premature.  Either finish the game or give up before making a critique, whether positive or negative.
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Rad

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Re: This game is like...
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2008, 05:56:14 pm »

in megaman and metroid and just about every game that's not racing or puzzle... you just jump around.
and shoot...
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Midgetto52

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Re: This game is like...
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2008, 10:00:52 pm »

Essentially, the only thing that you said was that you didn't like the platformer genre of gaming, because this game is obviously just a painfully hard platformer.  Seriously, in its genre, it's easily one of the hardest (and best), second only to Battletoads, and even that is pretty close.

But really, the game that you described near the end of your post described some high-end, multi-million dollar game like Assassin's Creed, where anything and everything is fine-tuned and accessible to recreate the world of an assassin, and it does a pretty fine job of it.  But this game, to quote from the homepage, is supposed to be "a sardonic loveletter to the halcyon days of early American videogaming, packaged as a nail-rippingly difficult platform adventure;" which certainly doesn't describe A.Creed. 
Comparing these two games to each other would be like comparing an alligator to a waffle iron: sure, an alligator is cool, and fun to play with and watch, but it's totally different sense of satisfaction; one that you can't get when you're eating a freshly made waffle.

...

So that analogy got a little out-of-hand, but you get what I mean, right?  You're not approaching this game from the right perspective.  I don't know how many game systems you have, and I hate to make judgments based off of posts, but if you really had played the SNES in its prime, or gone back and played the NES games that made videogames what they are, then you'd definitely have an appreciation for the difficult simplicity of the game.  The best part of the game is that it's so simple, and yet (and you agreed), it's ridiculously addicting, because that's what platformers do.  You fail, but then you think, "just once more," and then you fail again; rinse and repeat until you get it.

The level design of the game really is fantastic, like any great platformer is; it keeps you on the brink of insanity, keeping you mildly irritated, but only enough to keep your need for success alive.

I've said too much already; I've got a literary analysis to do.  :)

But really, don't complain; play the game if you like it, but the genre is all that's throwing you off, it seems.
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Supa

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Re: This game is like...
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2008, 10:29:21 pm »

Great analogy (or at least what I think that was). And yes, I agree as well. You're approaching the game from the wrong perspective. Oh yeah, and lol at the alligator vs. waffle iron part, great comparison.
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Ben Sheffield

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Re: This game is like...
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2008, 09:21:04 pm »

Did anyone else notice the undercurrent of frustration and bitterness in his post? I personally doubt that he's doing as well at the game as he claims.
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Skittles

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Re: This game is like...
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2008, 11:48:52 pm »

Did anyone else notice the undercurrent of frustration and bitterness in his post? I personally doubt that he's doing as well at the game as he claims.
you can tell that from the "it took 2 hours to get to bowser" part
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