Emer: I beat a game.

Games Played: WoW, New Super Mario Brothers, Oceanhorne

Games Finished: New Super Mario Brothers

I have a confession to make. I nearly cheated.

If you are the actual worst at Super Mario Brothers and fail a certain number of times (not in the same place, just die in general), you are greeted with a green exclamation point the next time around. This is incredibly rude of the game, because it assumes you’re an idiot and can’t figure out what to do next. No, game. I know exactly what to do, it’s just that my fingers don’t work, so STOP JUDGING.

Still, though. You can hit the block and get a “super guide”. Luigi appears and slowly, cautiously, shows you how to beat the level. You can cancel the guide — which gives you control of Luigi. And if you beat the level with him, or let him beat it on his own, you can choose to “move on.” That is, mark the level as complete, regardless of you playing it all the way through or not.

So there I am in the final battle in Peach’s castle, and I’m fighting Bowser, and I’m suspicious because it’s the easiest boss fight thus far (a mirror of the first bowser fight in the NES ancestor of this game). But of course it’s a fake out and there’s a second fight that starts while I’m looking away and then I die. I’ve been playing for a few hours now and I’m furious, so I hit the stupid exclamation point and let Luigi get back to the same point and then …

I thought about it. I REALLY thought about it. I thought about taking control and beating the game and washing my hands of it, or worse, letting him finish. I just wanted to be able to call something, ANYTHING, finished this week.

Good news, though, it turns out an overdeveloped guilt gland is good for something. Luigi died, and I started over, and after a few more tries I beat the game. So, New Super Mario Brothers, you are DONE*. It was pretty fun, actually! I approve.

Now, to Oceanhorn, and here’s something I don’t consider cheating: Looking up a guide.

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Wait, I DO when it comes to Portal because where’s the fun in that. There’s a difference. I’m not sure what the difference is but in this case I think it’s just simply that I’m not really enjoying Oceanhorn and haven’t since I bought it. There’s no scrolling maps, no quest list. Since every island in the game is fairly small, they had to build up, meaning there are multiple caves, underground entrances, and ladders to roofs/hills, so trying to remember where you’re going, what you were doing or why you exist is really a challenge.

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On the other hand, It’s a gorgeous game, especially for one made for iOS. The mechanics aren’t hard, the puzzles are a little, but the real frustration for me is the same as it was in Limbo. Mobile devices are simply not made for fine-tune control, so when I have to do something on a timer I have rage issues. Still, there are some nice things about it. Bosses are at least a slight challenge, and in what I think is the penultimate dungeon, there’s amazing steampunk monsters that whine and clank when you hit them. And, I loved Zelda:Windwaker, so I do enjoy the echoes of that in this game.

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I think I’m nearly done — graveyard island and oceanhorn itself left. Mobile wise, Harry Potter’s next, and then I have some awesome choices ahead — KOTOR, Silent Age, Tails from the Border Lands, The Wolf Among Us, Year Walk, Continue, #sworcery, Final Fantasy Record Keeper.

Big game wise, I have no idea where I’ll go next. I’m having a crisis. I’m missing immersive games, but ones with story.

 

*Ok, so, done in this case means beating every level. I only briefly considered requiring myself to get all the stars, and even more briefly considered playing the “dlc” of Super Luigi Bros, but the point of this exercise is to beat games, not to spend a month trying to get the third star in a level.

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