| Wednesday, December 28, 2011
I'd heard good things about this game, so I finally gave it a try. Hm.

Let's start from the beginning. So, a screen is here with some grey and some black and maybe it is trees. Right. Is this a loading screen? Some sort of credits? An intro? Nothing seems to be going on. I did have to press any key to continue, so I'll do that again. Nothing. A? No. D! Nope. Space bar must do it.

Oh, arrow keys, gotcha. Neat. So let's run along now. Let's run along as demonstrate one problem with puzzle-solving games.

I don't think the same way you do. Sometimes I think this is because I am smarter than everyone else. Other times I think this is because of some undiagnosed mental illness. Usually I figured everyone has their brain wired a little bit differently (but mine is still wired better :P).

So what do we do when we see a giant spider? Well let's see, I saw a trap in that tree back there. That must be significant. The spider seems to be pretty tall, so maybe I can lure it back to the trap. Huh. It doesn't move. Well, maybe I can climb it! Nope, can't climb it. Maybe there was something else back there that I missed, like that previous puzzle that I tried to do the wrong way (we'll get to that one). Oh. Yes, of course, the trap fell on the ground. Well let's just drag that right back here and okay, problem solved.

Rewinding a little bit, let's see right here we have some water and a box. Hm. Well let's see, my swimming isn't so great. So I drown. Maybe I can float on the box. Nope. Maybe I can hang on to the box and sort of have-swim, half-float, then climb up at the end. Nope. Uh... shove box out farther and do a jump-jump maneuver. Also nope. Oh well of course! This time the usually background nothing trees are in fact the solution, I just need to climb a bit and push over the conveniently rotten one and walk across.

It's not all bad. There were at least two occasions where I was running or rolling right along and saw something come on the screen and instantly understood: "yep, that is going to crush me" or "yep, I gotta keep hopping and keep this rolling before a spider eats me" or "yep, I say yep a lot in my fake dialogue, despite it rarely being a word I use while gaming." So that was good. I liked that. It felt like it had some of the flow going like in Mirror's Edge.

But I'd guess I only played for 10 or 15 minutes (or I have no sense of time and Steam says 23 minutes). That's not very long for me when I'm on break from anything remotely like work or school for at least a couple weeks. I ended up quitting, frustrated, thinking "this stupid game." Maybe I'll come back to it later, possibly with a better impression. In the meantime, I can watch Firefly and wonder why I only get around 200-500kb/s at home.


Syl said... sounds to me that you were entirely focused on the puzzle solving aspects, rather than what I call the journey.
Here's a little secret: I don't like 'jumpy puzzle games' myself. sometimes puzzles are a necessary evil to experience an otherwise very atmospheric, beautiful yet creepy game though - Limbo is that for me. I fell in love with the film noir style, the quiet, the spooky. screw the riddles. I love my selective brain.

Klepsacovic said...

It's hard to go on the journey if I keep getting eaten by spiders. Story and gameplay are linked and I don't think they can be separated.

Syl said...

"It's hard to go on the journey if I keep getting eaten by spiders."

Can't argue with that :D

as for the separation: I'd say they can, depending on the game/genre. not for an MMO certainly, but for 5hrs worth of play?

Azuriel said...

I played and beat LIMBO in a single, 3-hour sitting. It had just the right blend of ICO + Out of This World. I just wish it was longer, of course.

As far as puzzle frustration, the spider part at the beginning of the game is definitely the worst. There's an annoying parasite part later on, but everything else is amazing.

Klepsacovic said...

@Syl: The shorter the time, the harder it would be to separate them, I think. With more time you can add side activities which can help with the central plot. Maybe more potions, better gear, or just practice that isn't repetitive failure.

@Azuriel: I'll try to get past the spider part and enjoy the world more, if that's the case.

Post a Comment

Comments in posts older than 21 days will be moderated to prevent spam. Comments in posts younger than 21 days will be checked for ID.

Powered by Blogger.