Category Archives: neat features

Neat Features: Scott Pilgrim vs The World

Scott Pilgrim vs The World is a retro beat-em-up in the style of old NES games.  It is a roughly by the numbers game with some great art done by Paul Robertson, of Pirate Baby’s Cabana Battle and Kings of Power 4 Billion%.  Both of which are absolutely worth watching.

One thing stood out in the game , and that’s the fact that everything collides with everything.  Which sounds ridiculous at first (and kind of is), but results in some great situations. You can pick up and throw any object, and sometimes you can just kick and punch them to move them around.  Eventually you also get a kind of super throw to use.  And then you realize that you can throw people as well (including co-op partners).

It has almost a Dead Rising ethic to it, though simplistic.  The idea that everything can be interacted with on some level.  So of course, you start throwing things around and seeing how long you can keep them in the air.  And that’s where things really go nuts.  Because things collide and bounce when they are in the air.  As well as doing damage to enemies that get hit, either by you or flying objects.

This gets especially awesome in co-op, where you throw a guy in the air and then start hitting some objects, and everything is flying through the air and hitting everything else and damaging everything, while your buddy stands on the other side of the screen and hits them back.  Eventually everything lands and the fun comes to an end, but often it’s enough to make you giggle with glee.

The true benefit, of course, is that this is a new kind of gameplay added to an old style game.  Something that couldn’t have been done with original technology back in the 80s.  I think more old style games should be revisited with a pass of what current technology has to offer.

Neat Features: Chuzzle

I am a pretty big and unabashed Popcap Games fan.  Not all of their stuff, mind you, but I’ve spent more money and wasted more time on their games than I’m willing to admit.   I’m playing Chuzzle again lately, since it’s been released for iPhone (and with all honestly, when I got my iPhone it was the first game I searched for on the app store).  One thing I’ve always loved about Chuzzle was Zen mode.

Zen mode allows you to simply play the game, forever, without any chance of losing.  You accrue points.  You can achieve trophies.  But with no risk of failure.  Conventional game design wisdom would argue that a game without an end condition like that wouldn’t be of any lasting value, but I’m quite sure I’ve spent more time playing Zen Chuzzle than I have any other mode.  Part of this is the sheer joy of playing the game.  It looks and sounds great, and it is simply entertaining just to pop chuzzles.

I think what we can take away from this is that with enough polish, you can shrug off a lot of the conventional weight of game design.