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Tag Archives: Metroid

I guess that means I owe everyone an update. Here goes nothing!

 

The information blackout this summer has turned out to be a pretty good thing for my work, I think. It’s kept me focused on making rather than presenting, and I haven’t spent more than a few weeks at a time focusing solely on other work. I think it’s safe to say that my current project is not only at the point where Hysteria and The Outer World managed to get to, but it’s already beyond that. I have already programmed and art-ed in every major mechanic for the player character, created a useful tile system that allows me to fairly quickly create and apply a new set of tiled graphics to an area without worrying about setting the right tiles for the right spots (as they automatically set themselves to the right tile graphic based on what’s around them), coded a nice little Baby’s First NPC Dialogue System complete with branching dialogue paths and my own syntax codes to make certain actions happen when the text reaches a specific spot, and even put together a few enemies to fight, all with their own simple AI systems.

Right now, I have the foundation just about completely laid down. It’s quite playable in its current state, and even rather pretty, save for the lack of UI elements and various things I intend to sprinkle around levels. But even so, I feel like it’s too soon to show it off just yet.

This game’s mechanics are simple even for a sidescrolling action game. If you’ve played Prinny: Can I Really Be The Hero, you know the kind of movement system I’m putting in place. It’s very much a modern take on an oldschool gameplay style. You have quite a few actions at your disposal, but they are all limited and balanced in their own ways, so you need to think through how you’ll go about each scenario you end up in. It’s like if you took the old NES Castlevania games, how they handled moving around and how each weapon or item you used had its own limitations, and applied that same sort of thinking to 2D Metroid game progression, where you obtain new skills and items as you progress, which open up new possibilities. Dare I say… Metroidvania?

Surely this is nothing new. It probably sounds a lot like things you’ve already played. To be fair, this IS a smaller project than those before it and I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel. I have ideas that I’m sure will make it a very fun play, but the problem is that they mostly rely on a more finished state to show them off. I still want the ‘full reveal’ to be a surprise for everyone so I’m not really going into detail about the game until I’m really ready to lift the curtains. When that happens, I’d like to have a demo to throw out there to let you experience the first couple levels for yourself and see what I’m really on about here. Or at least have it coming soon.

With school back in session, I have less time to get work done on the game, but this has been a very productive summer and an interesting game project so far. I plan on continuing my work on the game alongside schoolwork and art commissions. I’m hoping that this will be successful and everyone likes what I’ve done!

Just a cheeky little bastard~

That’s Metroid: Zero Mission. On GBA. Little King’s Story is on the Wii. Today’s theme seems to be revisiting games from my past, actually. These are ones I’ve played and loved before, and I’ve gotten back into them recently.

There’s not much to say about Metroid: ZM. It’s one I’ve played a lot in the past and I’m coming back to it with the help of emulators to enjoy it again and try some playthroughs I’ve never tried before. I don’t think I’m up to the 100% in less than 2 hours ones, but 15% completion was a fun challenge. Zero Mission really cuts into the heart of what I love in a Metroid game. It’s how you can play it a billion different ways. It’s how you get further into the game and discover that some little shortcut or hidden passageway could allow you to access an area before you’re “supposed” to. That freedom to go BEYOND what it seems the developers intended, even though it’s so smartly designed that you can’t possibly get yourself stuck or in an inescapable situation… that’s just beyond awesome. The game itself is only the surface, and it’s designed in such a way that playing around within the game, cleverly finding paths that you “shouldn’t” get into, getting items before you normally would, are all hugely satisfying, even if the reward isn’t great.

It’s also a little worrying, in a way. Modern games seems to put so much into cinematics and beautiful assets and a well-crafted story, that a GBA game knocks them out of the park in terms of how well it’s designed and how the overall package holds up in terms of gameplay. Zero Mission is still beautiful in its pixelated details, perfected down to every last corner of the map. It’s truly inspiring. Really makes me want to get back to The Outer World. But I know I can’t… not yet, anyway.

The other one today is Little King’s Story. I tend to gush about this game a lot, because it’s just SO GOOD. I beat it maybe a year or two back and I loved everything about it. I can’t believe I let the cover turn me off of this one for a while. By all means this looks in every way like a kids’ game. Or something easy. Trust me, it’s neither.
Well, you could say it’s a kids’ game, but there are some really deep messages in there, some surprising themes they cover, and some really emotional moments, all under the guise of this cutesy game about a little kid who found a magic crown and became king.
And also, it’s not an easy game by any means. There’s a ton of challenge to be found after an hour or two in the game. Right from the first enemy you face, you’re shown that all-out attacking will get you slaughtered quickly. And bosses don’t play nice, even from the early parts of the game. You must strategize, move around, get defensive, take risks, and think things through or the game won’t be doing you many favors.

The bosses are all so interesting, too. There’s 8 of them, I think, and each one is MASSIVELY different, using the base mechanics in radically different ways. The boss that turns the stage into a pinball table with a fat man as the ball and your army as paddles is the best ridiculous idea ever.

I started playing again lately to try out the unlocked Tyrant mode. I might have started this right after beating it but the last boss stomped me so many times I just had to give it a rest. The new difficulty makes the game insane. It should really just be called Everyone Dies Mode or something. Of course, being me, I LOVE IT.

I don’t think I could have gotten away without talking about some of my favorite games. I guess this post was bound to happen. 🙂

 

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