Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Gamers from Another Time (A Work of Fiction)

DAY 1: We have successfully landed what seems to be the remains of the planet Earth. There isn't much left. We have searched for survivors for over what once was a standard Earth day. We have come up empty handed. Since the Sun is now closer to the planet than it ever was before, we can only venture outside for certain periods of time. It is quite the hassle. Another problem with this planet is that there isn't anything left on it that is edible. The crew and I can only live off of what we have for food and supplies on the ship.
DAY 2: The only real upside is that the technology and certain infrastructure were left intact. We have found what looks like some sort of displays in which the people of the planet must have watched types of video entertainment. The crew also found some handheld devices that even though were slightly damaged, we were able to repair them to working order. One of the devices, the only one that had multiple screens, was most interesting.
DAY 3: We have found out that the strange looking device was a Nintendo DS portable gaming system. The crew has been quite fond of one game in particular. A strange, fast-paced game that keeps the player on your toes. It's called Warioware. I like it a lot. Good test for the reflexes. The crew cannot put this down. What can this game tell us about the people that once thrived on this Earth?
DAY 4: Too busy playing Warioware to do my Captain's Log right now. Will do tommorow.
DAY 5: Now that I've played the game, I can almost certainly say that the people who once lived her were pretty crazy. I can't see how children could ever be able to hone the senses that are require to play this game. It is strenuous compared to the video games we have back home. The fact that you have to use your hands is quite the challenge. Probably made before telekinetic technology was widely released. We would never put this kind of stress on anyone, especially young kids. It's almost disgusting.
DAY 6: Had a close call today. Solar flares nearly fried half the crew. No wonder why nobody is left on this rock.
DAY 7: It's time to get off this planet. The solar flares are only getting worse over here. Thanks to the technology left behind, our civilization will be able to add the history of the semi-psychotic lifeforms that once ruled this place. Maybe the galaxy is better off without them. Maybe we could have learned from them. Either way, I think this trip was worth it. It's just too bad that we couldn't find our friend that landed in a land called New Mexico last week. Oh well. We just hope that he made it out okay.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Surprise, Surprise

The first video game I ever played was The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. It was on the Super Nintendo. It changed my life forever. It showed me that movies and books weren't the only way to tell an interesting and intriguing story. It also showed me that games are their own special kind of art form (regardless to what Roger Ebert says). Fast forward about ten years into the future and we have a game like Grand Theft Auto: Vice City on the Playstation 2. A game that made the line between movies and video games a little shorter. Now, we have L.A. Noire which completely blurs that line. These are the kinds of games that I enjoy playing. The games that push the envelop and totally immerse the player in their own world. Any game I can get lost in, is a good one.
Even though I usually would never even think about playing a game that almost totally relies on a single type of game play I think it's a safer bet than one that basically never stays the same. Warioware is one of the latter. If I had to fully explain this game, in a nutshell, it's a couple dozen old fashioned Atari/Nintendo games mashed together and played at a breakneck pace.
Forget a story. There really isn't any in here. The challenge of the game is found within the many mini games that go from zany to downright ridiculous. I found myself swiping wildly on the Nintendo DS's screen, tilting it from side to side and even a couple times, blowing into it. I'm just happy that no one was watching me play it. If someone were to watch me play Warioware they would think I was nuts. They would also see the fact that I was having a genuinely fun time with it.
I also realized after a hour of play time, I was subconsciously memorizing some of the mini games in order to pass them a tad quicker. At first look, Warioware seems somewhat vapid. After you get the hang of the lighting fast mini games, the game ups the ante one more and forces you to do them even faster in order to progress further. Keep in mind, the mini games normally only allow you to take a couple seconds to beat them. Now it's giving you about second or two. This makes the game seem almost impossible and makes you delve into that subconscious I previously mentioned in order to instantly remember the mini game and how to beat it as soon as it pops up on the screen. You have to do this over and over. This makes the palms very sweaty.
Warioware isn't a game that I would normally play on a handheld system. It would make a phenomenal iPhone or iPad game that could make a ton of people look crazy. I can't see myself playing this game now that I've beaten the main part of it but I will look for a sequel in the coming years. The problem with the game is the lack of story. They don't even bother trying. I'll take a game with a decent story over a game with no story any day.