Friday, May 20, 2011

It was too awesome, that's what happened

There's a sequel to American McGee's Alice coming out in a few weeks and the part of me that is still twenty and listening to Coldplay's "Clocks" is thinking "Awesome!  I've been waiting forever for this!" and the part of me that has a job and a boyfriend and a life is thinking "Ugh, enough Alice--and hey, whatever happened to American McGee's Oz?"

And I'm not going to
give you the satisfaction
of a screen shot.

I'm not going to talk about how much of a stupid, pandering retread Madness Returns is probably going to be except to say that okay, so her parents didn't die in an accidental fire the way they did in the first game, which is why she was in a mental hospital and got out at the end to live free and happily.  So now she's still in therapy, and goes back to Wonderland in repressed memories, and in the end we're going to find out that . . . what, they were murdered by someone she imagines as the Queen of Hearts/Jabberwock/Mad Hatter?  Gruesome--so will there be a third part where she avenges their murder?  Were they murdered by her?  Then why would I want to play a murderous pseudo-goth teenager, that doesn't sound fun

I don't know.  And I don't care.

I am really sick and tired of people telling me that I have to play a game because it has a "good story."  Frankly, I hate being told that I "have" to do anything but eat, breathe and sleep, but with as little time as I have now, the last thing I "have" to do is sit on my butt.

I like games with Rabbits in them
If I wanted a good story, I'd see a movie or watch TV or, I don't know, read a book.  And some games DO have good stories--like Sam and Max, which is all story, told in puzzles and dialogue.  Or Epic Mickey, but Epic Mickey would have been a lot more awesome as a movie or a comic than as a game, because in order to get to the awesome story parts with Oswald, you have to wander through a bunch of mind-numbing gameplay.  The story of Bioshock is very neat (and supposedly, Atlas Shrugged taken to it's logical and extremely bizarre conclusion) but again, hours of wandering around collecting items and shooting a series of identical bad guys.  And I've got serious mad old-skool love to Chrono Trigger, but again, I'd rather watch it as an anime or read it as a comic than have to fight my way through the Black Omen one. more. time.

But by contrast, games like Katamari Damacy and Rabbids Go Home and the old-skool Mario Bros games have only the most basic of storylines--Fix the universe.  Pile stuff up to the moon.  Save the Princess.  And the gameplay is simple, and it's not pretending to be something that it's not.  It's just a game, and it's fun, and I have wasted more hours than I can count trying to roll up the right sized cow.  They're cute and they're simple and I don't ever feel like I have to try and justify it to anyone because it's just a game

Besides, most modern video games seem to take far more effort and frustration that the story is even worth.  Like Epic Mickey.  It's easier and less involved to just read Alice Through the Looking Glass, plus you can take it outside and maybe follow a white rabbit someplace on your own adventure.

This isn't even, of course, touching on how stupid and tiresome "dark" fairy tale retreads are.  That's for another day.

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