OR I found a game that doesn't make me want to rage-quit
That probably sounds odd. Most people want to get better at games because it's rewarding and so they can beat them.
But I'm old. Not like in numbers, but in parenting induced fatigue.
Which basically means there's a lot of shit I feel too old for but this hasn't stopped me putting time into gaming, which I enjoy a lot. It Just means I don't pull all-nighters trying to max out all my characters levels anymore and I tend to avoid games that make me rage-quit quicker. I tend to go for games with an easier pace.
A colleague at work pointed me in the direction of Hyper Light Drifter a few weeks ago. I was dazzled by the bright colours, pixel art and intriguing story the trailer gave off with the beautiful music by Disaster Piece in the background. Still, my adult, reasoning brain reassured me I didn't need to buy a new game yet (I have a long list of games I own I haven't touched). Then I bought a copy of Edge magazine and read an interview with the game's creator, Alex Preston. I was super intrigued by how the guy embedded a lot of references to his struggles with his own health condition in the game. 15 quid's not a lot, I thought to myself.
and it's like...I don't know. It's like a real game. Everyone talks in pictures or weird robot noises which surprisingly, works as a brilliant method of storytelling in the game. You interpret it differently compared to how you would if it were text or voice. and I don't know how the hell they did it, but when I get defeated in the game, it doesn't make me want to rage quit and mumble "I'm too old for this shit". It makes me want to try again. And again. Until I beat it.
And as much as I love RPG's and levelling up systems, there's no grinding involved. Your skill is based on pure practice from the time you put into it and I can't believe I'm saying this but I love that.
Even when you buy a skill from the shop, it's certainly no shortcut. Great, I thought. I can buy the double dash and make it across bigger gaps/dodge enemies with ease. But it turns out, you have to get good at using that skill too. Endless time spent trying to get the perfect rhythm in mashing that button. Everything must be earned.
I've no idea why this game- a type of game I'd usually play for about ten mins, die once and never play again- has me so involved. I was going to say addicted, but it's a more conscious way of playing than that. As in, I actually choose to play it.
Did I mention it has local co-op? on the same screen? Which seems like a novelty these days.
This is a beautiful game, with its expected load of dark vibes- yet it's colourful world and characters help keep a surprising balance.
I may not be ready for anything beyond its standard choice of difficulty, but this is definitely a game I will be returning to with a number of doors to unlock and skills to earn. In the meantime, I'll be keeping an eager eye out for Heart Machine's next game