Thursday, July 22, 2010

How to Get Me Interested in a Game: Offer Naval Exploration

I dunno what it is about feeling like a pirate. But any time, I get the opportunity to explore the sea in a boat, I'm giddy like a little kid. Skies of Arcadia is one of my favorite games. I really like it, because not only was I on a ship, but I was using the sky as my sea. It's beyond what Barney Stinson would deem "AWESOME" when games offer you the ability to fly or take a boat to your next destination, Skies of Arcadia always gets points from me because it combined both.

Let's be serious for a second: all the walking we do with our characters gets boring. Plus, our poor party's feet are probably killing them. We want them to fight and then walk it off? I dunno, seems a little a cruel. Let's make it a tad realistic and give them a means of transportation. The Dragon Quest series has always done this well. I loved Dragon Quest VIII, mainly because I had this open world to explore as I pleased. Want to sail across the sea? It's yours for the taking. Want to hop on an animal to get across the plains faster? Dragon Quest VIII did it, and it was great for the open world that was before you. Even more cool was Dragon Quest IV where you could use a hot air balloon to get over mountains <3. The point is things need to be spiced up. I think any time you add in a cool feature like controlling a ship, a plane, an animal, etc, you're giving the player more to do than just walk around. It also makes it far more convenient for the player as well - waking is so slow, it takes F-O-R-E-V-E-R (yes, Sandlot, reference). RPGs can get repetitive, I love them to death, but this is not a surprise to anyone who has played them. So, adding in a little something extra to do on our epic journey - where we're in control, it's just icing on the cake. In all honesty, I wish more games did it. Instead of putting my character on a ship or plane, let my character control it via me. I want to dodge other air crafts, fire a cannon to sink a ship, jump abroad an enemy vehicle and steal their treasures, ohhh I want to capture enemies and make them work for me mwahaha. I just want this extra aspect in the games I play.

Anyway, on to Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City. Today, Atlus posted a video of the naval exploration. We've seen naval exploration before, but I'll say this does look like it's going to be a fun time. The game is throwing in some strategy by having unexpected traps pop up all over the sea. And I know it has been in game after game, but I just love battling enemy ships on the sea. I'm hopeful on this and I think it was a great addition to the game. I also like that I can fish, maybe it's because I play Harvest Moon games like it's my job (well, it kinda is, hehe), but I enjoy reeling in fish. I'm curious to see if there's any strategic element into catching them. I'm going to be bummed if it's merely going into an area and the game deeming I've caught a fish. We'll see how it all pans out when it's released in September. But, I'll just say, any time I can ride the sea like a pirate, I'm happy. This is the spice to my chicken I've been longing for. All games need to keep it coming - I've watched my characters walk and walk over a decade now and it's making me tired just thinking about it.

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