Stream of consciousness: What I look for in the games I play & a short lil’ update

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Here are some articles to look forward to. In actuality, it’s a list of things I might write tomorrow or the day after that. But I’ve cleverly disguised it as a little note to keep y’all updated. I am so crafty. Anyway, the things that have piqued my interest lately:

1. Two Dots on Google Play seems to do micro-transactions and wait-to-play, or-pay in a different sort of way. I plan to explore my thoughts on that in detail.
2. I could write about Pixel Dungeon in the same way I wrote about Hoplite. I’ll have to refresh myself on how it feels to play the game but I used to play it so much that there’s no way I don’t have an interesting opinion about it and why I stopped playing it.
3. I could talk about “flow” in simple games like Flappy Bird and Timberman. Flow as I understand it is the optimal intersection of challenge and skill, where one is challenged enough to keep things interesting but skilled enough to foresee and/or enjoy success.
4. I could talk about the special place reflex and timing-centric gameplay has in my heart. A few examples would be Stick Hero and RETRY, the latter created by “the guys in the room next to the guys who made Angry Birds”.

Gee, I really am sort of a mobile game enthusiast. At least, that’s what my genuine interests seem to point to. I think it’s because mobile games, due to their size and scope, tend to emphasize one or two particular mechanics in their gameplay. And even when they don’t, they seem to really know what they want to be.

Most likely, I’m just too lazy to pick up a bigger game and commit to it. I don’t think it’s wrong of me to act like this, though. I seek enjoyment and if I find it faster and more often in mobile games, then the fault only lies in the bigger games that are supposed to be capable of more.

I guess what I seek in any game, then, are strong, distinct mechanics: games that have clear intention in their gameplay. Stories in games are great, as long as the game’s mechanics match somehow. This criterion doesn’t necessarily exclude bigger games. But it seems that they exclude the big games I’ve played lately (CoD, Destiny, Dragon Age… Not a stellar line-up. I’ll work on it).

Ah, gee. I’m really feeling to play some Kirby right now. Squeek Squad on the DS. I’m not much a Nintendo fan and I never payed all that much attention to that game. But as I talk about the things I love in games, I can’t help but imagine I’d find these things there. And talking about story and gameplay co-mingling, I remember Metro: Last Light and Far Cry 3 (for its ironic use of ludo-narrative dissonance). And I imagine that I’d find the same sort of focused, confident gameplay in the pile of games I’ve let alone for a while now: The Darkness II, Bulletstorm, not sure what else.

Well, look forward to it, I guess. Haha.

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