Games Played: New Super Mario Bros, World of Warcraft, Oceanhorn, Lego Harry Potter Years 5-7
Games Finished: NONE 😦 I really thought I’d have NSMB on this list.
Did you know that bullet bills high five when passing each other? And that only moving coins get air bubbles in underwater levels? And that fish are total assholes? And why do coins in non water levels need bubbles? And, it’s easier to have good reflexes on castle levels that move UP than ones that move sideways? These are the things I think about as I listen to Mario die (“oh, no!”) for the thousandth time. Have you ever watched Super Mario Brothers is Frustrating? I think about that guy a lot: “Who builds an elevator in a castle like this? All the levels go to a spinning ball of death at top!”
Anyway, the thing is, I don’t thinking making progress in this particular game is much to brag about. Actually, I don’t think making progress in any game that I’m likely to play is much to brag about, unless it’s e-sports ladder style or pvp rankings. But all the same there’s this little glow of pride in me that I’m not actually terrible. I might even be almost decent. Shit, maybe we misnamed this blog. Perhaps it shouldn’t be The Actual Worst, it should be Possibly Decent. Ch00, we might need to scrap it, burn it down and start fresh.
Just kidding, I’m stuck on what I think is the penultimate castle and I’ve been stuck here for ages, I am the actual worst.
One of the things I really like about Mario is how chunky it feels. I don’t really know how to define chunkiness in games. Alien: Isolation is chunky; there’s an almost physical feeling to the door jacks or save points. SMB is chunky: there’s a certain concrete feeling to the game. I mean, you’re hopping on spike turtles heads, sliding across ice, and the noises and cartoonishness of it gives it a different feeling than something slick and sleek. I also like chunky controls in real life: thick steering wheels in cars, tactile instruments, mechanical keyboards. Things that have a presence. And games that have it — it might be mostly the sounds. Mario’s pattering feet, Alien’s satisfying CLICK of the save terminal or clatter of a door lock being pulled off. I don’t know.
I’m still playing WoW. Worse, I preordered Legion, but in my defense (there is no defense) Legion looks really interesting. Blizzard’s tried to redefine this game many times, and it’s hard. Bring the classes too closely together and you don’t feel a ton of difference playing a mage vs. a lock, or a kitty vs. a , they feel too similar. Bring the classes too far apart and it starts to feel like you’re limiting class composition in raids. Balance for PVE and you screw PVP. It’s a big, messy complex game. I think they made a smart choice in Draenor when they simplified talent trees (or was that MoP?) and made talents situational. But I REALLY like the way they’re changing entire classes, stripping them too their roots and rebuilding, in Legion.
I watched some Alpha streams from Nomanis and FatBoss and DuckSauce and it’s way too early to have any sense whatsoever of gameplay but what I saw I liked. I can’t wait till Alpha/Beta returns, whenever that happens.
I also made a dent in my iOS games this week. My iOS wishlist might be the longest of all my games wish lists, but … Wait.
I just had this horrifying thought, harking back to all the iOS games I’ve bought and deleted over the years. Do I have to play all those, too? No. No, the line has to be drawn somewhere and its here: the games I have installed already on my iPad are the games I need to finish.
Shit, this is really going to bother me. But I have to build small realistic goals to start. Maybe that can be NEXT year’s resolution.
Anyway, I’m polishing off Lego Harry Potter, Year 5-7, purchased back when I was going through a Potter re-read. And I think I’m pretty close to finishing off Oceanhorn, which is fantastic because although it’s a pretty, well-made game, it’s also not all that interesting. I think it is meant to be wind waker like, down to the sailing, but I don’t have any emotional resonance with this game as I do with any Zelda game. To be frank: I care about Link. I have NO IDEA what the main protagonist in this game is named, nor really what I’m doing or why. Kill these weird beetle things? Sure thing. Desecrate an ancient temple? Yeah ok, don’t have to ask me twice, does this mean I’m going to beat the game now? How about now? Now…?
PS: Choo’s game this week (Creeper World 3) looks 100% the kind of game that I would fail at so badly I’d end up hurting my computer in retaliation; it also looks like the kind of game I’d love to watch someone ELSE play.