Posts Tagged ‘Console Game’

After finishing my 30 comparison reviews and refining the criteria adding things from a variety of theorists I thought I should compare the game I’m making to the same criteria and think about how I should deal with each aspect.

Name: Cancelled?

Type: AGON & MIMICRY

Platform: PS4, PS3, PS Vita & PC

Quick Breakdown:

This game falls under AGON because you will be ranked at the end of every stage, these ranks will go all the way from SSS (the best) to T (for terrible). You’re ranking will be based off damage taken, number of continues used, time taken to complete each stage and enemies killed. The rankings will be entered into a leader board automatically which can be compared amongst your friends on your private leader board and across the world on the open leader board.

This game falls under MIMICRY because you are taking on the role of Shin Haroki in his quest to make his manga No. 1.

Forms of play:

LUDUS – This game has clear preset rules and goals.

What needs does the game fulfill:

Competence – There will be a variety of stages with multiple parts allowing for a sense of progression  You would not get the same sense of progression if each Level was not made of several smaller stages as one long level would seems to go on forever and feel more like an endurance match.

Autonomy – I would like to have a dialog tree for each of the main characters interactions. The player will then choose from different dialog options and have them lead to different conversations and items. I would also like to have multiple endings that will add replay value as well as a larger feel of control.

What player type(s) does this game suit best:

Explorer because I would like to have multiple endings depending on the players choices throughout the game.

Achiever because of the rankings you would receive from each level which would unlock bonuses.

Examples of Punishment and reward within the game:

As the game goes on check points become more scarce making the player have to go further back till their skills are sufficient to complete the obstacle. Dieing will cause the player to return to the beginning of the stage or the closest checkpoint if a player dies while they have no lives left its game over and you have to load the game. You will also loose points in the rankings at the end of each stage for using continues and taking damage. Rewards will take the form of power ups and new skills gained from beating bosses or reaching a specific milestone as well as higher rankings at the ends of stages for performing well and not taking damage.

How does it deal with the Hedonic Treadmill:

I would hope that the competitiveness between friends would motivate people to play stages again. This is why I plan to include a private leader board which only compares you to people on your friends list, which means that you can see which of your friends scores are higher than yours and then you can try and beat them. The inclusion of multiple endings and branching dialog trees will help keep the story mode from feeling to much the same. The inclusion of other playable characters after you complete the game would also increase the games life span. Trophies and achievements will keep people who play that meta game playing until they have unlocked everything adding extra incentive to casual players to pick the game back up as well.

Final Thoughts:

Doing this review made me think of things that I was overlooking like what platform I would like to put my game on and what type of player was I aiming to attract. I chose only Sony consoles because of the cross play feature they provide allowing you to continue your save no matter which of their systems you are playing on. I also chose PC because of the promotion you get from being sold on a store like Steam, new launches on steam are mostly featured on the from page and it is one of the most used digital stores in the world so that is a big deal to be seen on the front page of a store that gets a huge amount of traffic.

Braking things down like this really helped me see how my game would fulfil each element and writing it down in this format made it more clear to me. This is something I will definitely keep in mind and review future game ideas in the same way to make sure it will fulfil its full potential.

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Name: Lollipop Chainsaw.

Type: AGON & MIMICRY

Platform: PS3 & Xbox 360.

Quick Breakdown:

This game falls under AGON because you get a score and ranking at the end of every level which then gets put on the leader boards world wide so you can see were you rank. This could drive you to improve your score so you can beat the people above you.

This game falls under MIMICRY because you are taking on the role of Juliet and using all of her skills and abilities.

Forms of play:

LUDUS – This game has clear preset rules and goals.

What needs does the game fulfill:

Competence – There are plenty of upgrades and skills to keep you progressing long after the games completion.

What player type(s) does this game suit best:

Achiever & Explorer because even though the game is a linear path and story there are still plenty of things to collect, fined and unlock. as well as a ranking system which will compare your scores on each stage to other peoples around the world. This allows for people to play more competitively and try and beat the high scores.

Examples of Punishment and reward within the game:

each time you use a continue it takes away from your score at the end of the stage and for not dying your reward is an A+ rank in that category and no penalties. For doing well and beating Juliet’s dad’s score on each stage you are rewarded with a trophy and an in game unlock able.

How does it deal with the Hedonic Treadmill:

The main reason to replay this game is its abundance of unlockables as well as seeing both endings. For the more competetive players the leaderboards will keep them busy until there satisfied.

Analysis:

Lollipop chainsaw is a fun hack and slash game where you play as Juliet through seven stages (six plus a prolog) with your goal being to kill zombies, save students and defeat the dark purveyors so Juliet can enjoy her birthday. You start with a slim number of combos and skills available to you at the start but gain new skills as the story progresses, combos however have to be purchased at the store using the zombie meddles earned by killing zombies. The game has a great sense of humor and doesn’t take it’s self seriously and even has two endings for you to experience giving it some replay value but aside from that the only other thing to bring you back is collectables, costumes, leader board rankings and trophies/achievements.

I found myself getting into flow quite quickly with this game as the story and characters were likable and engaging and the combat system was solid these aspects helped me get immersed into the game and made me want to know what would happen next, though I don’t think the draw will be as effective in a second play through, as i will already know what happens and just be trying to get the collectables I missed and buy new costumes. This makes it repayable but not as engaging as the first run through where everything was a mystery.

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Name: Divekick.

Type: AGON

Platform:PS3, PS Vita & PC

Quick Breakdown:

This game falls under AGON because it is a very tactical game which requires precision, accuracy, timing and a little luck as each match is one shot kill which keeps everything intense between the two players as matches can be turned around very easily.

Forms of play:

LUDUS – This game has clear preset rules and goals.

What needs does the game fulfill:

Relatedness – You can test your skills against your friends in both couch co-op or online multiplayer.

What player type(s) does this game suit best:

Killer & Socializer because you can test your skills against your friends or strangers and have a laugh while playing because of the light hatred style of the game.

Examples of Punishment and reward within the game:

You get hit once you lose you land one hit you win.

How does it deal with the Hedonic Treadmill:

Like any good fighting game what will keep you around is the game play and Divekick has one of the most balanced styles out there because no matter how good you are you still die after one hit meaning even a new player with a bit of luck and good timing can take down a veteran player. This makes it a game you can come back to any time and not feel out of practice this is something that plagues a lot of other fighters as your skills would get rusty and you forget combos, Divekick does not have that problem only having two buttons.

Analysis:

Divekick is a fighting game which only uses two buttons, dive and kick, these buttons can be set to any key or button you like this is throughout the full game from the menus to the matches. Each match is played until one player has five wins with each match being one hit kill and lasting a maximum of 20 seconds, when the time is about to run out its the closest person to the middle that wins, this is harder than it sounds as you can only move by diving and kicking across the screen making each movement risky as it leaves yourself open to attack making this game very competitive.

Divekick is a game that takes little skill to learn but plenty to master as each character plays differently with their own unique dives and kicks. I found myself getting into flow easily in this game as I would be fixated on getting my timing perfect to defeat my opponent and not leave myself open for a loss. The fact that the game is one hit kills also makes it more intense because no matter how good you are anyone could beat you if they play it safe and time their movements, his makes the game incredibly balanced which is an important aspect in a fighting game and allows everyone to enjoy it.

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Name: Disgaea 3 Absence of Detention (The PS3 version was called Absence of Justice).

Type: AGON & Mimicry

Platform: PS3 & PS Vita

Quick Breakdown:

This game falls under AGON because you have a clear goal you must accomplish and have to make your party stronger and improve your skills to succeed.

This game falls under MIMICRY because you are taking on the role of a daemon and his goal to become a hero and defeat the overlord.

Forms of play:

LUDUS – This game has clear preset rules and goals.

What needs does the game fulfill:

Competence – There is a very deep leveling system here with the ability to reincarnate your characters into different classes yet keeping some stat bonuses and skills. The games max level is 9999 meaning there is an almost endless amount of level progression to be had and the ability to master a variety of classes. Each section of the story mode is split into stages meaning you can quickly gain a sense of progression by completing stages and chapters very quickly in the early parts of the game.

What player type(s) does this game suit best:

Achiever because there is plenty of classes to unlock equipment to collect both of which can be leveled up to ridicules numbers. There is also a well writte story to enjoy and complete.

Examples of Punishment and reward within the game:

If you die you have to start the stage again and loose any levels, experience or items you gained during the fight. You receive a rank for each battle based off of points you gain for doing well, like performing combination attacks and killing enemies quickly, the higher your rank the more rewards you get at the end of the stage.

How does it deal with the Hedonic Treadmill:

The amount of classes and levels allow people who want to max out their party plenty to do as the leveling system is one of the deepest I have come across in an RPG game. This is the main meat to the game after you complete the story. To level up your equipment you must go through a randomly generated dungeon within that weapon and the further you get before giving up the more levels the weapon gains.

Analysis:

In Disgaea 3 you play as a daemon named Mao who’s goal is to become a hero and defeat his father, the overlord of the underworld, to avenge his 10,000 hours of lost game data, his father crushed his console by stepping on it by accident. Disgaea 3 is a top down tactic RPG game with several classes available at the start, and plenty to unlock, each with their own skills to learn. The combat realize heavily on your tactics and strategies if you don’t spend time grinding. The depth of the combat and deep leveling system got me immersed in the game. This level of depth and challenge are enough to get me in a state of flow as I can spend hours mid maxing my team and loose track of time. The game also has likable characters with funny writing that will make you want to see the journey through to the end and keep you coming back for more.

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Name: The Amazing Frog?

Type: AGON

Platform: OUYA

Quick Breakdown:

This game falls under AGON because you try and out do your friends or compete with them in various game modes.

Forms of play:

This game falls under PAIDIA and LUDUS because if has no rules unless you select a game mode to play in meaning you can do whatever you like and invent your own goals and challenges when you are in free roam mode.

What needs does the game fulfill:

Autonomy – You can do whatever you like in free roam mode with the size of the map being your only limit.

Relatedness – This game has couch co-op, you can play the game modes together or just mess around in free roam.

What player type(s) does this game suit best:

Explorer because there are tones of things hidden in mazes or on top of clouds for you to reach and finding them could become a challenge you set as your own mission in the game.

Socializer because of all the things you can fined in the level you will fined yourself calling your friend over or having them slam into you to help you fit through a basket ball hoop. Since you have to be in the same room to play you will defiantly be communicating with each other.

Examples of Punishment and reward within the game:

If you miss a trampoline while bouncing you loose your momentum. Finding all of the hidden things in each level is a reward in itself as you feel a sense of achievement.

How does it deal with the Hedonic Treadmill:

The games re-playability comes from the imagination of its players who have thought of creative things to try out in the game. The game also gets regular content updates meaning its always getting better with more to do every few weeks.

Analysis:

The amazing frog is a sandbox game with no goals besides the objectives in VS modes, kill the other player five times, hold the crown for three minuets or get to 5000 points first. You play as a frog, as the name suggests, and can run round and explore the various open levels in the game. There are explosive barrels, cars which will explode on collision, cannons, trampolines, bouncy castles and fans all around most levels which will launch your frog into the air or help bounce you back and build momentum; the main game play aspect of the amazing frog is its rag doll physics as you launch your frog high up into the clouds only to fall back to the ground and aim for a trampoline or try and shoot yourself through a basket ball hoop. The appeal is making objectives and goals for yourself which creates challenge and once you complete a goal like bouncing your frog through a basket ball hoop then you might try doing it while holding a ball increasing the challenge to match your new skill in the game. This makes the amazing frog so easy to get into flow as the player sets the skill and difficulty of each challenge this works especially well in a group because every time we did something new we would notice a something new just out of reach and set ourselves a new challenge to reach it (like reaching the pink unicorn bouncy-castle in the clouds).

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Little things like these reward you for exploring the level and keep you looking for what else is hidden. But this also adds a level of competitiveness as you want to be the first person to get there and do something no one ells in the room has which will make people get competitive and shoot at the other person with an AK47 or a crossbow to knock them out of the sky before they reach the goal so you can get there first.

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Metal Slug 3:

Type: AGON & MIMICRY

Platform: PS2

Quick Breakdown:

Note: the game does have random weapon drops in each stage but since you have unlimited continues I did not think this was a strong enough element to class the game as ALEA.

The game falls under AGON because even though its a cooperative game you both have an individual score adding an element of competition between each player as well as having you both work together to defeat all the enemies and bosses.

The game falls under MIMICRY because you are playing as a solder taking out the enemy army.

Forms of play:

LUDUS – This game has clear preset rules and goals.

What needs does the game fulfill:

Competence – The game has several stages making progress easy to see and track.

Relatedness – There is a couch co-op mode were you can play through the campaign with one other person.

What player type(s) does this game suit best:

Achiever because you can easily track your progress and you gain score at the end of every level and at the end of the campaign put your name on the leader board.

Socializer because you can play the full game in a two player mode.

Examples of Punishment and reward within the game:

There is not much punishment as you have unlimited lives as long as you hit continue before the timer runs out when you are out of lives. At the end of each stage you are rewarded with a score appropriate for your performance during the level this can be low and considered a punishment if you played badly.

How does it deal with the Hedonic Treadmill:

There is not much re-playability here as you can only do the campaign on a different difficulty and all four of the characters you can choose play exactly the same.

Analysis:

Metal slug 3 is a arcade stile side scrolling shooter where you play through 5 unique stages as solders. In the game you will play on the land, in the air and underwater with many different vehicles, weapons and power ups you can play with up to four players and have unlimited continues so you basically play until you win, however this does not take away from the challenge of the game as most enemies will kill you in one hit so you will find yourself spending a long time trying to take down a big boss until you get use to its attack pattern. The game is also score based so you and your friends will constantly be competing to get the items that drop or charge out front to get the kills unless of course your not competitive which is nice that the competitive side of the game is not the focus allowing people to ignore it. The large verity of stages, multiple routes, vehicles, weapons, enemies and bosses keep you interested and make it easy to get immersed in the world the game presents, this combined with the games challenge makes it easy to enter a state of flow while playing.

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Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA f:

Type: AGON, ILLINX and MIMICRY

Platform: PS3 & Vita

Quick Break Down:

This game falls under AGON because It is very score based making you want to replay a song over and over till you get a ranking your happy with and with a minimum 80% to pass it is very challenging.

This game falls under ILLINX because you can become disorientated very easily following the positions of the shapes on the screen especially when the back ground is the same colour as the shape that is next, I still get lost while playing from time to time. here is an example of game play:

This game falls under MIMICRY because you are trying to mimic each of the songs by pressing the correct button in rhythm.

Forms of play:

LUDUS – This game has clear preset rules and goals.

What needs does the game fulfill:

Competence – Every stage is about precision and accuracy, this lets you see how much your skills have improved each time your score gets higher. When you achieve a perfect you feel like you have mastered that stage.

What player type(s) does this game suit best:

Achiever because there are plenty of songs, costumes and items to unlock as well as plenty of scores and difficulties to overcome.

Examples of Punishment and reward within the game:

If you miss to many notes or perform to poorly you are stopped during the performance and have to start again. If you complete a stage you are rewarded with plenty of unlockables and in the early game a new song to perform.

How does it deal with the Hedonic Treadmill:

The game expands it life by having a feature which lets you create your own stages. You set the dance routine pick any mp3 track you want and set what buttons need to be hit and when. The only limitation is the person who downloads the stage must have the exact same track as the person who made it or the timing of the whole thing may be slightly off.

Analysis:

Hatsune Miku: Project Diva f is a rhythm game were you push the corresponding buttons to the display on the screen as close to the target area as possible, each button press can be graded in five ways; awful, bad, safe, good and cool anything below a good rating will break a combo. This sounds simple enough its just basic hand eye coordination right? That would be true but the game has the shapes appear from all over the screen making it very easy to loose sight of the next shape and become disorientated, the music video playing in the back ground can also camouflage the symbols by being the same or a similar shade of colour.

The game is also very unforgiving requiring at least 80% to pass the stage but this can also be the appeal the controls are very simple but the level of challenge varies from each song and the difficulty setting you select. This made me refuse to give up when I would fail a stage by less than 4% as you will find yourself thinking “I can do this just one more try” or “Dam, I would have made it if I hadn’t screwed up that last chain”.

This addicting game play style of repetition combined with catchy songs got me hooked from the demo, so much so that I bought the digital version and downloaded it that same day. This shows that you don’t need depth and story to immerse the player, simple input combined with spikes in difficulty can be just as immersive, trying to beat your old score or the scores of other people or even just to get enough money for a costume, accessory you want or furniture for your apartment. There feels like there is lodes or content to unlock and play that is basically repeating the task of tapping buttons in rhythm.