Games are often associated with a barrage of curse words and sweaty palms in my mind. There are a few games, however, that can sometimes lull you into a sleepy state but not necessarily because they are boring. It is more in the way that one may get lost inside a painting or picture. There are parts of several games in which I can just enjoy being/existing relatively easy, Hyrule and Termina field or Nippon come to mind initially. But it is hard to think of whole games that give off this calm aura in a world where the majority of developers are trying to top each other by producing games bloodier and gorier than the rest. Thankfully, there’s this game that I adore called Ico.
Sure, there’s a fair amount of combat in Ico, but there is no health whatsoever so the player can take as many hits as they need to. It would be relatively easy for someone to not even die on their first run through the game and once you have run through the game once you can find ways to skip whole sections of combat. Besides that the game is made up of puzzles and platforming, which can be challenging at times, but I have played it so many times that I breeze through based off my memory.
On the aesthetic side, the graphics are incredibly soft and the environments are beautiful. There’s really no music for 90% of the game so it’s also very quiet besides the sounds of water, birds, or wind. And finally, there’s barely any dialogue or complicated plot to get worried over. There’s just a courageous young boy and a mysterious princess who, though they can’t understand each other, share the purest form of love (Team ICO, y u so gud @ dis?). Considering the situation, you feel like you’re the only two people in the world when you stop to take in your surroundings in that giant castle.
These just keep getting longer, I apologize sincerely. I could blab about my favorite games for -forever-.
Day 19 - Favorite game based on a movie/book/comic/etc. - BioShock
This might be cheating a little bit. BioShock is not completely based off anything, but the majority of the themes and environment owe homage to Ayn Rand, especially the novel Atlas Shrugged.
I avoided movie or comic games just because I don’t play many, and there aren’t many I actually like. BioShock, on the other hand, is fantastic and I don’t think I need to talk it up much here. The mix of gameplay elements as well as one of the best deliveries of a plot I’ve seen makes for an amazing package. Rapture is one place that won’t leave you soon (especially when you have a Little Sister vent in your house staring at you day and night).
For the record, BioShock 2 is great as well. Not as good as the first, duh, but I found the gameplay changes to be refreshing
Day 18 - A game that you wish more people would've played - Okami
I was either going to go with this or Ico, but I have just heard so much from Capcom about how poorly both versions sold. The numbers are comparable to Ico, around 600,000 from a quick search on both, but this game was pushed more overall and had two releases, one -after- it won countless game of the year awards. It is even in the Guiness Book of World Records as the game with the least amount sales to also have received a game of the year award. To top it off, I can only think of one other person that I know who has played this game, and she borrowed it from me. (and she LOVED it so much she bought her own copy)
I followed this game feverishly from the first news of it (have I mentioned my immense love of wolves? Oh, Japan too, at least the quirky culture and mythology) and got it day one and fell in love. I recently replayed it for the first time in, well 4 years I guess, and fell in love again. The story is basic, but it’s based on mythology so who can complain. It’s full of hilarious, intense, and touching moments. The gameplay is amazing and I can’t help but just feel depressed when I play in wolf form in Twilight Princess because of the unbridled joy I have running at top speed in an interactive classic Japanese painting. There’s so much to do it’s mind-boggling (side-quests, equipment and accessories to earn, “heart pieces”, end of the game rewards) and after playing it twice I could still go back at least another time and try and finish off everything.
I heard a lot of people were turned off by the look of the game, not enough gore and realistic graphics maybe. I also heard of people being turned off by the main character being a girl, which is a bit upsetting as well. I recommend this to everyone who enjoys games and I’m very much looking forward to the DS sequel coming out next year.