Monday, October 29, 2012

But it sounds better on a turn table

It occurs to me that I did not talk enough about how good Transformers: Fall of Cybertron was and why. My reasons will be a nice counterpoint to my problem with The Unfinished Swan. Just to get this out of the way, and call me a philistine if you must, I enjoyed Fall of Cybertron much, much more than Swan. This is not me talking through the rose colored glasses of childhood lost. This is grown up me, aging and cynical, saying that it was a damn good game and I am not embarrassed to admit my affection for it. It was effective for precisely the opposite reason Swan was ineffectual: the story.

Story, in a Transformers game? Again, I am not kidding. Full synopsis: Cybetron is going dormant in no small part to the ongoing civil war between the Autobots and the Decepticons. The Autobots are trying to leave and Decepticons are trying to kill them before they can escape. That's it. Granted, there are little side events (Megatron being destroyed/rebuilt, the creation of the Dinobots), but the main arc is that simple, which is exactly why it works. It's simple. The bad guys are bad, wonderfully, comically, thoroughly bad. The good guys are so noble it makes me ill. It is a simple game with a simple story and it is just as if not more engaging that complicated games with convoluted stories to tell.

Perhaps simple is the wrong word. It is focused and it fits the action well. This is where Swan failed: it's story wandered between two characters and felt disconnected from what I was actually doing. If only Megatron showed up and killed the swan, then told the child to stop being such a bitch and channel his inner rage into world crushing destructive power. So yes, I think Fall of Cybertron was a better game than Fall of Cybertron.

Just to stave off any hipster style mocking, Flower is better than both of them, as are Everyday Shooter and Ico. Flow and Journey, not quite, but still pretty good. Indy enough for you now?

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