Sunday, 9 December 2007

more aquaria thinking

I think part of what's making me nervous about the game is a lack of sense of stable-progress.

Thinking about Mario, in the earliest games there was no way to preserve your progress. You ran on and on and on and maybe you won the game and maybe you didn't. There were warps to make it easier, but you couldn't really see an overview of things. Mario 3 / Super Mario World changed that a lot. There was a World Map. You could see the levels stretched out in front of you. You could easily back up to revisit places you'd been before. You could make choices about which direction to go and clearly see what difference it would make.

Not that there's anything wrong with wandering around exploring a mysterious landscape!

But with limited save points and a minimap that is not always all that helpful...

You don't know where the next save point will be. You're not sure how easily you can reorient yourself if you restore a saved game later. Will you be able to tell where you were and where you were going? There are multiple save slots - why? Will you ever need to restore an older game to fix a mistake you made in your newer game? What sort of mistakes can you make? When I tried to zone dragging a mysterious object and it didn't zone with me, what happened to it? Is it lost forever? Will I have to start over?

I don't have a sense of *stability* yet. I don't know whether I will have to slowly backtrack through dozens of levels to get back to where I was. And I don't know how far it will be to the next save point. All of this adds extra nervousness and uncertainty to my wandering around in the water... it makes it tempting to just stay curled up in my nice pretty cave. (You know, I would happily play Underwater Harvest Moon in this environment, planting and sowing and tending pets...)

Also, it's fun to explore but I'm nervous about the prospect of boss-battling like this... My only attempt at fighting was met with *total* confusion and instant death, even with the walkthrough. Oh well.

edit: After discovering that the walkthrough was not very clear and the place I was supposed to be was THAT WAY, I managed to fight something properly. Okay, that's better. Still, this would work fine as a wandering adventure game without death really...

Also, sometimes I have real trouble picking up objects, because they fall near me - too near for me to MOVE if I click, but not near enough to touch.

1 comment:

Monele said...

Gah! Blogger ate my neighbors... I mean, my post :(.

Was just saying that I had similar complaints (being lost/bad map, confusing colors) but that everything else was pretty spiffy.
You don't lose objects : everything resets when you leave a zone (enemies, plants, life stuff, even rocks I think). It's pretty "safe" :). I'm thinking of buying the game so I need positive thinking, positive! XD