22 Feb 2007

Zen-like simplicity: Part 1

Are simple games better than the complex ones? Games of vastly different complexities have all gained critical acclaim from the critics, but its usually boils down to the big name, big advertising games that sell well. More often than not, these games are usually big budget titles that boast complex gameplay, numerous features and play modes, and high resolution graphics. Readers of my blog would know that I'm a ninty fanboy, but that doesn't mean I don't like kicking ass on Xbox Live in Halo 2, chaining combos in Ps2's Tekken, or playing Guild Wars on the PC. Complex games are challenging and gives you a sense of satisfaction when you achieve top placing, get another frag or boost your character's level. Simpler games however, are just simply.... fun. In my opinion, the casual game market opened up with mobile phone gaming and internet gaming sites such as Neopets. Xbox Live Arcade, Wii's Virtual Console shop and PS3's Download service are just simply extensions and money making opportunities that have sprouted because the Men in Suits in M$, Sony and Ninty were smart enough to notice the growing demand for such games. Many of these games are simply rubbish, aiming to capitalize on impulse buyers. However, some gems can be spotted among the mountain of crap. Geometry Wars on XLA is an example of casual gaming done right. Many gaming classics on the VC bring old games to a new generation, though the pricing for the games can be debatable. The best casual games in my opinion however, are those with Zen-like simplicity, those that require little or no instructions and are musical/visual masterpieces on its own.

Winterbells - not a classic, but fun nonetheless
fl0w - PC flash game, a classic example of simplistic-yet-intriguing gameplay, to be released on PS3 soon
Cloud - dreamy, fluffy, pointless.... but visually-pleasing and kinda fun

Go try them out for yourself.

No comments: