Game Review #1: Some Linear RPGs

RPG games are my favorite. Basically, RPG games try to pull in the players to the game as much as they can, so that the players can feel as they’re adventuring by themselves. While certain RPGs are outstandingly fresh and innovative, most of them involves leveling up, repetitive hunting and defeating generic bosses. They usually involve a linear storyline and a set ending, and even if you die, you start again from your last save point, forever stuck on a forced storyline. JRPGs are especially a good manifestation of it; as you move along a set road (“hallway”, as IGN puts it), illustrations of the vast world are used as textures on walls and skyboxes, and you can’t really travel there.

Well, apparently some developers decided to twist the tradition with a touch of satire:

Super Press Space to Win

http://www.notdoppler.com/superpressspacetowinactionrpg2009.php

super press space

This is nothing like what you would expect from an RPG game, yet it is everything: it has gold, health bar, skeletons, dungeons, bosses and potion shops. It even has a double final boss, which have to be defeated twice once the boss reveals his “true” power–this should be quite familiar if you’ve played some RPGs. (Zelda, cough cough)

The only difference? (A bit of) simplified controls. Actually, the word “controls” is more of a misnomer, since your only option of input is the space bar. But I mean, what’s the big difference? It’s basically the same thing. Whatever you do you get to see the endings right?

Linear RPG

http://www.sophiehoulden.com/games/thelinearrpg/

the_linear_rpg

Compared to Super Press Space to Win, the Linear RPG takes a more straightforward approach. It definitely does not have the qualities of a common RPG, and it far less resembles a playable game. Rather, it takes a more abstract approach. This is literally, a “Linear” RPG. How to play? Just move left or right. You are stuck on a one-dimensional overworld, until you reach the end. (The game technically has no “end”, however. You can always reach the end and choose to go back, which is different from most other RPGs.)

This is probably what you would get when you strip down all RPGs into their core skeleton. There is a beginning, there is an end, and unless in a very rare chance the story is procedurally generated, there is nothing that you can do to change the flow.

If you look closely though, there is actually a story here. It is the text written in the background, which scrolls down as you proceed with your “line”. There really isn’t any point in reading it, however, since it’s mostly nonsense.  A generic mix-up of classic hero and princess story without much of a logical flow. If the devleoper was making a point here, it would be either towards the incredibly generic story of many RPGs or how developers sometimes try to cover up their terrible main story by loading the player with tedious sidequests and hunting sessions.

 

These games are largely making a statement rather than trying to be fun. Don’t take them literally!

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