Thursday, October 10, 2013


We’re going to make our game as hard as possible. It’s going to be insane. You’re going to die, like, a million times, and some people are going to love it. I am not one of those people. See, I’m not the world’s most skilled gamer. And frankly, I don’t care. I play games for fun. So when I play a game like this, my first reaction is one of total confusion. I mean, why design a game that prohibitively difficult? That audiences inherently limited? I mean don’t you want lots of people to play your game? And whets the fun in getting your ass kicked?

Hats what I was thinking in my first few minutes with Strength of the Sword 3, this ridiculously tough PlayStation Network beat me up. It’s a brawler in which you’re not faced with strength of numbers, but strength of opponent. Each enemy is an event, which requires detail and precision. And most of the time, perfection. But you know, the funny thing is the game sold me. After a while, I started to appreciate that difficulty, despite its needlessly overcomplicated mechanics. Then the games bigger shortcomings attacked me from behind. So you play as some guy. I don’t know. You’re never really told much, which is fine, because I don’t really care.

 I just want to play, and fortunately, this game lets me. You start off with a tutorial that already tough enough to kill you. See, the game is built around this complicated battle system, that really all about counterattacks. I mean, I think. I don’t know. I’m not very good at this. So enemies attack, you lock on kind of and you fight. Your first instinct is to swing away, but that exactly what the game doesn’t want you to do. Try it, and you end up deaden seconds. So you have to block, you have to dodge, you have to counter. To survive even one battle is a challenge. As it figuring out how to play. Some really complex combos. And I’m not talking about delicious pretzel snacks, either.

See, over complexity? That subjective. You might love that. A bad camera? That objective. That a problem regardless of preference and this camera are actually kind of stunning. I mean, TJ saw this and he thought the game was flitching out. I was, like, nope. That just the normal camera. That jerkiness is deliberate. He didn’t speak for an hour. Which was actually delightful?

Speaking of delightful, the game looks awesome. I love the art, I love the style I guess the game was developed by, like, three guys, too. Which is both impressive and kind of instructive? I mean, this is a pretty ambitious game with pretty ambitious ideas. The fact that those ideas are undermined a bit by some technical problems is a lot more understandable given its modest creation.

I hate deliberately complex games, like, on a philosophical level. But this one? This one grew on me. And it might’ve grown larger. But I mean, I don’t get motion sickness, but everyone has their limits. And doing this crazy stuff through the motion sickness? Hats brutal even for Strength of the Sword 3.

Honestly, I usually get impatient with these overcomplicated games, and there were moments when I did, with Strength of the Sword 3. But fortunately, there are moments of brilliance here. The problem is the games grand ambitions are pulled down by its execution. I mean, it’s hard to really become invested in these complex battles when you can’t freaking see them. ( more from this sources )

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