Beyond retardation and evil

Well, hopefully the worst of that is over. Traffic yesterday came within spitting distance of tripling my all-time record from three years ago, which would make me happy if it hadn’t been for an article I wanted to keep a bit sub rosa. I have both an Advent Children review and an FFVIII re-evaluation halfway written already, but I guess I’ll let things simmer down for a while before those go up. No need to paint a target on myself for the mob’s torches and pitchforks.

Actually, it wasn’t that bad, considering the slightly terrifying fanbase for FFVII. I’m sort of surprised by how little venom I actually experienced directly. I guess the Internet is growing up a little bit; in years past I would have weathered a firestorm of angry email, and having active comment threads is just asking for trouble. But from 7,000+ page views I only received a single email telling me I’m arrogant and a few snide remarks in the site comments. It seems that these days people prefer to seethe in the comfort of their own stomping grounds, be it an infamously angry forum, a deadly-influential aggregator or just the journal of someone who should really know better. This sort of geek territorialism is really great, because it makes far easier the task of avoiding such winning remarks as “People like this should never be allowed to write!” from people who can’t recognize tongue-in-cheek flippancy… even when it’s clearly stated as such in the referring link. But I guess context and comprehension aren’t nearly as fun as working yourself into a zealous froth.

Anyway, you self-expression-hating doods will be happy to know that the Internet ceases to be an egalitarian venue as of today. You’ve gotten your wish. Hope you can afford to be a first-class citizen in the brave new world of corporate control.

And now! Back to your regularly-scheduled programming. Which I guess mostly consists of me not really doing much of note in this particular space.

P.S., did I miss anything?

41 thoughts on “Beyond retardation and evil

  1. Is this what ToastyFrog is really becoming? Is this what working at does to your psyche? You become a jaded, grumpy old man, who curses the advent of FMV?

    Bulldink. You were a grumpy old man long before 1UP was born. Rexall has a discount on Depends today, you senile 30-year-old.

    He cites FFVII’s shaky translation as a reason to complain – no shit! It was 1997!

    …Aaaaaand it was far more flawed than FF VI’s 1994 translation.

  2. Now, now, let’s not turn this into a grim inverse of Slashdot/Kotaku/etc. yesterday. Just smile and nod and move along.

  3. … Was there a Gameboy version of Battle of Olympus? How did I miss *that*?

    I have a new objective in life.

  4. BTW (and I admit that I don’t remember much about the game), how come Goonies II didn’t qualify?

  5. Blaster Master might count, but it’s a judgment call. Certainly, the vehicle uses various upgrades that would not be out of place in the Metroid series.

    NES Strider may also count, but that game involves much more stage selection.

  6. Would you consider Zelda 2 to be in this “genre” of Metroidvania as well? I know the overworld sequences are jarring, but the overall effect is the same (connected world, 2-D sidescrolling).

  7. Wasn’t one of the handheld Prince of Persia games (the Ubisoft ones) a Metroidvania? I seem to remember it might not have been a very good one, but there it was.

  8. I considered Zelda II, and I probably should include it since I’m also including Clash at Demonhead… but nah. And I totally forgot Goonies II, which is seriously embarrassing because it was the game that hooked me on this style altogether. That PoP game, I dunno… I couldn’t play more than about 5 minutes of it so I didn’t get a feel for the structure. Thanks, everyone. Keep ’em coming.

  9. Samurai Jack for the GBA was a flawed metroidvainia type game. And why isn’t Tomba! 2 on there?

  10. Well, if you’re going to include Adventure Island IV, aren’t you obligated to include Super Adventure Island 2 as well? Its been years since I played it, but I thought it was a free-roaming game as well?

  11. Actraiser? The only thing with that is the upgrade progression stuff only happened when you were tending to the towns…

  12. Naw, ActRaiser had individual levels. None of them were interconnected. Thanks for the heads-up on SAI2, though. I’ve never actually played it, so this is news to me.

  13. I liked the Final Fantasy VII feature. It’s too bad so few people realized how overrated the game was when it was first released. I never would have blamed FFVII for the staleness of Japanese RPGs, but it makes sense. Plus, it’s nice to see FFXII defended some more. What do you think of Kingdom Hearts? Given your opinion of Nomura as a… well, basically anything they pay him for, I can only imagine. MistWalker studios may be the place to turn to for the classic Square vibe in the future.

  14. Eternal Daughter for the PC (freeware) is reportedly very much Metriodvania. I havn’t played it myself though, but every thing I’ve heard about it is excellent.

    Kirby Super Star might sort of qualify. The Great Cave Offensive free-roaming elements to it. Milkyway Wishes also let you tackle the levels in whatever order you chose, but that’s really more Mega Man-like then it is Metriodvania.

  15. Wow, Popful Mail is one of my favorite games, I never would have thought to mention it.

  16. Jebus, people took that FFVII sort-of-review far too seriously. Silly people. Even if had been 100% serious, why would anyone want to be a journalist, if not for the sole purpose of being sincere? If anything, I would dare call it a bold move, based on honesty alone. Also: I wish Samus Aran were my bride, and I believe Aria of Sorrow was wrongfully exchanged for its big sister, Dawn.

  17. Mega Man X had the the whole “I can’t get to that place right now, I gotta find a powe-up” vibe to it. And the levels were interconnected by a stage select screen. Don’t include it. (Like I had to say that.)

    You should go ahead and say Igavania games suck, as that’s the one gaming cult that doesn’t wish bad things on you, I think. Earthbound, FFVII…(Did I miss any?)

  18. Alex Kidd in High Tech World, Sega Master System. If I recall it fits everyone’s definition of the genre, and featured puzzles requiring the player to know things like, say, “Who is the current Prime Minister of Japan?” You’d think localizers would have changed that.

    Oh, and for what it’s worth, open season on FF7 started shortly after the release of FF10. Having a game in the series on a new system opened up enough in-fighting in the FF7 crowd to keep them all from converging at once.

  19. “I considered Zelda II, and I probably should include it since I’m also including Clash at Demonhead… but nah.”

    I don’t follow. Zelda II belongs just as much as any of the other NES games you included. Unless you’re nixing it because of the part-overworld nature design, which it has in common with Commander Keen (Konami’s Japan-only Getsu Fuuma Densetsu is another example.).

    As for stuff you missed, there’s also Wonder Boy in Monster World (aka Dynastic Hero) which appeared on the SMS, Genesis and Turbo Duo, and the originally unreleased in the Monster World IV. And unless you accounted for it under Wonder Boy III, the Dragon’s Trap, which was Monster Land’s followup, would be another example.

  20. One more thing. When I do get around to actually blogging, I think I’m going to go in depth into what makes a 2d action-adventure (the conventional term for Metroidvania) game work (exploration) and what doesn’t (protracted backtracking without engaging challenge/gameplay for lack of better term in some cases, which sadly includes the Metroidvania games themselves). And how I think the Castlevania series should take a small moratorium for a straight ahead 2d action entry. No offense Jeremy.

  21. Final Fantasy VII sucked. Period. Does anyone like Ultima? It’s like Final Fantasy, only for people who have brains and like to think. Did I mentione I have a picture of Richard Garriott in my room? He is 10000 times more likeable than Cloud or Sephirot! RICHARD GARRIOTT IS FUCKING GORGEOUS!

  22. Rygar on NES is a pretty good Metroid-Vania type game, in fact very similar indeed to Castlevania 2. Maybe Dr Chaos? I would also include Demon’s Crest on Super Nes (yes I know it has more stage like elements but the revisting with different power-ups aspect is in full force).

  23. When combining Castlevania and Metroid, one should not use -roid as a suffix to create the word Castleroid. Its just wrong. Imagine using it in a sentence, “I’ve got Castleroids”. It sounds like you have raparts in a very unhappy place.

  24. Montezuma’s Revenge for various pre-NES systems (and Game Boy Color, under the name Montezuma’s Return) has a continuous 2D world, but I’m not sure if I would include it, since there aren’t really any powerups to speak of, other than maybe the torch that lets you see in dark rooms.

  25. What about Antiriad for C64, the Dizzy games (1 through 8), Everyone’s a Wally, Pyjamarama and Three Weeks in Paradise? I know Parish likes to think that home computers never existed, but, c’mon. These games are from where the Metroid people got (as in ripped off) the idea! (Samus looks an awful lot like Antiriad in the NES game).

  26. I’m going to skip the pre-NES and UK-only stuff on the grounds that I find pre-NES home games unplayable. I’m also going to skip Rygar, because it’s built around a hub-world design and the individual platforming areas are almost entirely linear. And Dr. Chaos is kind of like Goonies II, I guess, except incredibly unenjoyable.

  27. Metroidvaina is a stupid word for an awesome thing, but Castleroid is even stupider. Makes me thinks of Asteroids. I ‘ve said elsewhere that wish both of those terms would die, along with “hardcore gamer”, “instant classic”, “$name_of_game clone”, “$name_of_game killer”, “shmup”, “old school gamer” and “quirky”.

    And wonky.

  28. Crap, Demon’s Crest. I was thinking of that episode of Batman: The Animated Series with Ra’s Al Ghul.

  29. Juan: shmup = shoot ’em up. Usually of the vertical-scroller-with-six-million-bullets variety.

  30. Hey! Does metroid dredd actually exist? Will 2D metroid make a return in the nearish future?

  31. You forgot about Last Order when talking about crummy Final Fantasy VII related things. I’m sure Zack can dodge bullets… *throws up*

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