Tag Archives: DS

#ROW80 and Stories in Video Games

For the ROW80ers, well, look, here’s another post. Which is to say that I’m doing well with my blogging goal. ETA: Plus I just did my sponsorly duty, went back to Sunday’s linky, and visited and commented on my assigned peeps (except on one Blogger blog that just wouldn’t let me comment, as Blogger blogs are wont to do). Don’t know when I’ll get around to commenting on the Wednesday blogs. There sure are a lot of people participating this round. It’s exciting!

For those who showed up just for my random Wednesday musings…

Mostly I like casual games. I try to avoid it, but I can spend serious time on things like Bejeweled and Chuzzle. And I’ll have to admit that when I got my hands on Plants vs. Zombies, it totally owned me for at least a weekend.

The Sims franchise is a problem. Of course it all started with Sim City, each successive version allowing more control, more building instead of just trying to, I don’t know, win the game? And then…then…The Sims. Virtual dolls. With dollhouses and furniture and decorations! And a money cheat to make it all possible. Expansion after expansion, new toys to play with. Sims 2, Sims 3… There are things to achieve if you want, but if you just want to make a house with roommates Bingley and Darcy, and another house with roommates Jane and Elizabeth and just play out a neighborhood romance, that works too.

I’m terribly attracted to the games with trailers that promise a story. That seem to promise to put you into a story. Now that the book’s out of my hands for a bit, I’m playing Zelda Twilight Princess. I don’t feel like I’m in the story, but I’m interested in the story and I enjoy playing the game to a certain point. I suppose it’s the point at which it just gets so hard it’s not so much like playing anymore. I don’t so much mind playing a boss battle a number of times until I get it right. Honestly I’m just glad games don’t make you start all over from the beginning like they used to. But I like figuring it out, you know? Lots of things to puzzle out. Then it gets to a point where it seems like I can’t figure out anything.

And then I’m in Zork land. I feel like I standing in the dark, words across the abyss tell me that I’m standing next to a tree. And nothing I do seems to be getting me anywhere. Then I have to go online and find a walkthrough to get me past where I’m stuck. And eventually I’m doing that every scene and then it’s hard to see the point. I’ve lost that feeling of accomplishment I had at figuring it out myself.

Yet I’m still thinking about it and still going back to it because I want to know the rest of the story. And sometimes wishing I could just read the novelized version.

At some point during the winter, I found Surviving High School while browsing DSiWare, immediately wanted it, and knew it was the kind of thing that would suck me in. So I decided that it would have to be a prize for finishing Heroes ‘Til Curfew. Well, I was right about the sucking me in part.

I love this game. It’s basically a choose your own adventure book, set in high school. In the main story you’re the new boy at school whose name and appearance you get to choose. You get to decide if you’re going to go after the cheerleader or the goth girl, and go through a story that has a lot to do with joining the football team and keeping up your GPA enough to get your dad to buy you a new car. After you get through the main story, you unlock shorter episodes that feature other characters at the school.

This game pulled me into the story in a way that no other game has. And I suppose it’s somewhat ironic that it’s so much like reading a choose your own adventure book in a why don’t you turn off the screen for a while and go read a good book or something? way.

Anyway, just wish I could find more like that.

Games, anyone? What do you like?

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