Video Game Review on a Pole
Last year, in 2014, one game came out that exploded in popularity and won over the hearts and minds of many. That game was called Shovel Knight, and many reviewers gave it high scores and declared it among their list of favourite games of all time. And I will tell you something, I love this game too. It’s a 2D side-scroller hack and slash that pays homage to games like Ducktales, Mega Man, and so many others. It has great controls, a memorable soundtrack, one of the best stories in video gaming, and had a great amount of replayability. There is so much to love and gush over.
But here’s the thing. Over one year before that, a different game came out a similar way and gave me a much similar reaction. And the overall reception among others was mostly a glance. To be honest, I wasn’t sure why, but today, it gets the recognition it deserves. This game was called Guacamelee. It was developed by a Toronto independent company called Drinkbox Studios. Guacamelee was a Metroidvania style platformer beat-em-up that had influences from games like Super Metroid, and I’ve made it public knowledge that my favourite game of all time is Super Metroid. Guacamelee also has some amazing visuals, incredible music and gameplay that I came back to over and over again. And dare I say it, I loved this game just as much as today’s reviewers who loved Shovel Knight. In fact, and this is no joke, Guacamelee became among my list of my favourite games of all time. And yet somehow, when the game came out, I didn’t know how to put that love and desire into words for a review at the time. And now, I need to rectify this, right now. Submitted for the approval of the Review A Great Game Day 2015 society, this is an open love letter for Guacamelee! Continue reading
Trilogies are a dangerous thing to make these days. The expectations to finish something strong is very difficult to pull off. A lot of people liked the first Matrix movie, but hated the next two in the series. The majority of people love Godfather 1 and 2, but thought 3 almost ruined the series. For me, Spiderman 3 sucked so much, but Spiderman 2 is one of the best superhero movies.
But what happens when there’s a trilogy of video games? It’s just as complex to execute it correctly. So much so, that there are franchises, like Half-Life, that don’t even attempt it. Hell, I still demand a Startropics 3. Get on that Nintendo.
But what happens when one of the biggest independent horror video game phenomena of recent memory comes out and popularizes the genre of scary games? Then a sequel comes out months later and becomes an even bigger phenomenon to behold. Well, that means that the expectations of the third game better be the best game it can be. That’s a lot of pressure for a video game company to hold. Especially when that company consists of one person. Continue reading
You know, it must be amazing to be Scott Cawthon right now.
Currently, the Internet is full of such negative things, like the hostile Gamergate debate, Kim Kardashian’s photoshopped head on a photoshopped naked body, and that frightening Too Many Cooks video. It’s a shame when it’s reverted to the fact that the only thing on the Internet to make people happy is porn.
But in comes Scott Cawthon, an independent game designer whose previous works mostly went unnoticed and ignored. Then in August of 2014, he released his next project, called Five Nights at Freddy’s. A point-and-click horror game, where the objective is to survive the onslaught of animatronic robots. It caught the attention of many, and it became huge among gamers. It was even featured on so many Let’s Play channels, who loved the simple design of the game, and the eerie setting and the jump scares which was easy entertainment fodder. It was the perfect fuel for big names like PewdiePie and Markiplier.
Whenever I think “3D”, I still have visions of an episode of SCTV, when comedian John Candy, during a sketch involving a Monster Chiller Horror Theatre movie, stares at the camera asking the audience, if they want any … Pancakes?!? He then proceeds to move a stack of pancakes back and forth with eerie music to match. It’s still one my favourite moments of that show, mainly because even after all the years that 3D has existed, it’s still a great way to explain how gimmicky and useless the technology is.