Monday, March 22, 2010

Because it's Japanese.

Anyone who has played any JRPG has played White Knight Chronicles. It it rife with eastern cliches, something that Dark Clouds 1 and 2 were as well, but is missing any of their charm. Dark Cloud 2 is an example of a complex game where all the parts are important: re-building towns correctly netted bonuses, any and all weapons were fusible and netted something better (or hilariously useless) almost every time, and combat required slightly more dexterity than shuffling through menus while watching a timer tick down. White Knight Chronicles has all these things, but they have all been pushed aside in favor of online groups. I just unlocked weapon fusing last night, but instead of allowing me to take any two old weapons and mash them together it is restricted to specific recipes that must be unlocked through overly generous 'donations'. I assume that georama is restricted to the online component, which is a shame because I will never see it. Honestly, I was looking for Dark Cloud 3, something that even Rouge Galaxy didn't manage to do, and it is not here. I suppose it is closer to playing Everquest II solo with bots, not that I would know anything about that.

Nostalgia is a funny thing. It blinds most to the fact that very few games age well, especially when stepping back to the dawn of 3D. Old 2d games are fine, as long as they were well drawn and animated to begin with they lose nothing. For example, I view Super Mario Brothers 3 to be the finest game ever made, and the prettied up version from Super Mario All Stars is something I would still be able to play today with little, if any, visually induced pain. Step back to early platformers like Tomb Raider and Super Mario 64 and the story is much different. What I see is not what I remember, so often times it is best not to go back at all. As fond of my memories of Dark Clock, Summoner, and other early PS2 games are I will never look at them again, lest the foggy visions of old gaming days be tainted with expectations of 60 frames per second at 1080p.

Time: the greatest anti-aliser.

And just because I mentioned Summoner:

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