Some will insist there are more challenging games, longer games, more varied games, and less linear games than Streets of Rage 2- and they would be right on all accounts. Streets of Rage 2 was not revolutionary, but rather a well tuned classic from day 1, a work of casual arcade brilliance, meant to be played out in one sitting. While other designers were focusing on making games more accessible to players by adding save functions and level select screens, the Streets of Rage 2 team instead focused on making an accessible and re-playable arcade game without betraying the ethos of the genre. Read the rest of this entry »
When I think of the couple games to whom I owe the most of my wasted youth, Dirt Bike 3D (Released 2000ish) is high in the mix (download here Mac or PC).
Dirt Bike 3D brought three great things to the table: Uber-simplicity, a dynamic mouse control that was both rare and innovative (and controversial) for its kind, and a strong track editor.
Many of these old games would qualify today as “casual games,” and it’s such a misnomer. Jon Radoff of GamerDNA had some concise thoughts I couldn’t agree with more: engagement and depth of gameplay are not at all correlated to the size or length of the game. Dirt Bike 3D was a great example of a simple game that delivered a very deep engagement. The 2nd and 3rd points are my speculation at the reason why:
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Despite our penchant for 3D games, team Muse has fond memories of classic gaming, and most importantly, well balanced gameplay. On that note, I’m kicking off the Games We Loved section with an arcade style masterpiece that lived in relative obscurity, yet still managed its way into the youth and subconscious memory of a few of us at Muse – Asterax.
As you might have surmised, Asterax is an adaptation of the Atari classic, Asteroids. At first glance, it seems evolutionary, rather than revolutionary. The basic gameplay consists of blasting large chunks of rock into smaller chunks of rock – and eventually space dust. Once you’ve destroyed the rock, the level ends. There are no victory conditions, rather, your goal is simply to stay alive as long as possible – and collect as many points as you can. Your life is shortened by three types of alien spacecraft, and any collisions with the pesky bits of space rock. Simple enough. Read the rest of this entry »