So, actually, I don’t honestly like Meteos all that much. It was stylish and kind of fun, but it never really grabbed me. It’s a matching puzzle game with this really weird blast-off mechanic, which makes for a lively and energetic puzzler but not one, I’m afraid, that I find particularly engaging.
I do have fond feelings for Meteos, though. Or rather, surrounding Meteos, if not for the game itself. For one thing, weirdly enough, it was one of the first games (perhaps the first) to convince the cynics I knew to maybe give DS a fair chance. Why? Because it had Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s name attached to it: He of Space Channel 5 and (more to the point) Rez fame. And with those colors and grids and spacey effects, you can kind of see where people might draw a line between Rez and Meteos and think, “Yes! Mizuguchi is here to save the day and bring legitimacy to this benighted platform!”
Of course, in the end it was just a hyperactive puzzle game. But it caused DS critics to think more positively about the system, which was a hell of a task at the time… not that the opinion of any of us creeps in the games press mattered in the end, given the nature of the games that ultimately caused the system to rise to the heights of the sales charts.
On an extremely personal note, though, Meteos has a fuzzy little warm spot in my heart simply because it gave me my first chance to rub elbows with a “superstar” game designer. Mizuguchi came by the Ziff-Davis offices to promote the game and do some interviews, and the higher-ups took him to lunch at the restaurant downstairs. For some reason, I was invited to tag along… I suppose as a “hey, that dude at our website likes DS games and games from Japan, we should bring him.” I was still pretty fresh from being some jackass nobody with a blog (as opposed to what I am today, a jackass slightly-less-nobody with a blog and a podcast), so it was all very exciting.
Mizuguchi was, not surprisingly, super chill, and very friendly. Even to a jackass nobody like me. Despite that, I’m still not in love with this game — despite what dark conspiracy theories about ethics in games journalism might have you believe — but it’s a nice memory.