Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Hammer is Not Ready to Hand (3-D Adventures of World Runner and 8-Eyes)

The mail theft issue has maybe been resolved? At least, yesterday's mail wasn't stolen. Two Netflix discs arrive today, so if those vanish, I'll be up a creek a bit, as I don't think Netflix will be terribly amused by three discs in a row getting lost in the mail. But I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

3-D Adventures of World Runner is another sort of blase exercise in tedium - a Mario clone with a rudimentary 3-D engine such that you run straight across a plane and can veer right or left. Much effort is expended weaving through mazes of enemies and leaping over pits. It's another in what is clearly already a long line of games that are not so much fun as not-entirely-unfun. Entertainment in these games is a state of anesthesia. The game is a narcotic, offering bursts of mild pleasure in amongst the numbness of repetitive action. This is what fun is.

I would have found this morbidly and utterly depressing were it not for the stark reminder that life is not actually a nihilistic oblivion in which the best one can hope for is to feel nothing at all. It would have been nice if this reminder came in the form of a great game that provided genuine pleasure and stimulation, and enlivened the senses and the mind to show a hint of what grand heights the human mind is capable of. Instead, however, I played 8-Eyes.

8-Eyes is basically a crap Castlevania clone with a light skin of Mega Man. I love both of these games, but it turns out that it is very much possible to combine them into a total piece of shit.

Dear reader, I confess my failings - I could not last 30 minutes. 20 minutes of a maddening side-scroller where you have one life, your sword has less reach than most of the enemies you fight, and you routinely have to try to hit specific squares with your fucking hawk companion that just swoops around imprecisely at all times. The game is uncontrollable, awkward, uncreative, and pointless. And I mean pointless in the most perjorative sense. Unlike 720, where the absurd frustrations blend into a certain predictability, this game just keeps punching you in the stomach no matter what you try. This is not numbness, but a sort of passive aggressive water torture.

More on this thought later.

1 comment:

  1. I've played World Runner, and your description brought back countless memories of weaving left and right and jumping over pits. I remember kind of liking the game.

    Of course, I was eight years old. And most eight year olds are a little dumb.