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Topic: Where's AlexSays?

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Adam

61. Posted:

I don't think Click Clack ever said non-Nintendo games are more "adult."

I also don't get where exploration comes into play with Galaxy. It's pretty linear, and there weren't a lot of secrets. I've never heard anyone talk about Mario as an intellectual experience, nor seen any evidence with the many people I've played Mario with over the years. Everyone just wants to see if she can get to the flag pole or star, which is a lot of fun.

Don't get me wrong, it's an all right game, but calling it some sort of intellectual experience is a huge stretch. I can enjoy imaginative children's stories more than most people my age, so I understand the possibility there, but I don't think Galaxy achieves it in any way. Mario 64 felt more imaginative to me. Galaxy had such a dark and drab mood.

I think most of the stories in RPGs are atrocious, but it's still a story-based game, and you enjoy that in a way that you do not enjoy a Mario game (which, in the few cases where there were stories, were even worse than the worst RPG). I'd never say Disgaea 3 is a better game than almost any Mario game, but the story and strategy aspects engage the mind in a decidedly different way.

Edited on by Adam

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warioswoods

62. Posted:

@Adam

I also don't get where exploration comes into play with Galaxy.

Indeed, it is much more linear than some of the previous 3D Mario games, but that only goes to strengthen my point, so I'm not sure why you even bring it up. Mario 64 introduced a new twist on Mario gameplay, having a sort of "playground" feel where you freely explore each level like its own microcosm--actually, in another interview, they described these as little "gardens" for the player to explore, and I couldn't agree more about that game. Each little level or "garden" was a pure joy to explore, play around in, find secrets, try to reach a point you can see in the distance, etc. Now, for Galaxy, they went back and combined that style of gameplay, which had dominated the first 3D Mario excursions, with a revival of the kind of linear perfection of Mario 3. That's not just some random connection I'm making, as there are numerous nods to Mario 3 in Galaxy, and it's clear that they were thinking about the way that title differed from something like Mario 64. So, in Galaxy, you get the return to the "song" form that I've described, where each level has a linearity to it that takes you through a certain course, but which, like Mario 3, is usually such an exceptionally well designed course that the experience is wonderful and will make you want to replay the same levels repeatedly. That's absolutely clear as you play through the game.

I've never heard anyone talk about Mario as an intellectual experience, nor seen any evidence with the many people I've played Mario with over the years. Everyone just wants to see if she can get to the flag pole or star, which is a lot of fun.

We define an intellectual experience in completely different ways, first off, and I don't know why my efforts to describe it seem to fall short. I'm not talking about the player consciously saying to themselves "what great design!" as they play through the levels. No, that would be bizarrely misplaced, just as listening to a ingenious pop song by the Beatles should be something that you enter into, and that absorbs you directly, not something where you're thinking about the song on a second level the whole time. Nonetheless, those kinds of experiences, where you make your way through a song, level, or film that has a perfection to its structure and design, are in fact engaging some of the "highest" parts of our mind. This is why Kant dwelled on instrumental music, enjoying the forms of nature or painting... these may be entirely "contentless" and abstract, yet enjoying them really means enjoying a certain perfection of form, and engages our mind in a wholly unique manner that couldn't possibly be further from your mentions of "instinct."

Galaxy had such a dark and drab mood.

On this one, you are surely aware that your opinion is not just in the minority, but probably more so than just about any gaming opinion one could hold. I don't even particularly care for most gaming reviewers, but just a very quick perusal of the reviews for Galaxy shows that pretty much everyone derives the same childlike joy from the game:

"It creates a constant sense of wonder that manages to permanently transplant a grin on my face while playing. Even when I died I was smiling" - Gaming Age

"There’s such a great deal of diversity throughout Super Mario Galaxy’s level design that it’s hard not to get excited when a new area opens, knowing that there’s a whole new set of puzzles and obstacles designed around the theme of the level...It’s because of these moments that Super Mario Galaxy generates a consistent level of excitement throughout the entire experience that few games can replicate." - GameTap

"Super Mario Galaxy is the most profound game since "Super Mario Bros." - Play Magazine

"t is as if the boundaries of the genre have become transparent, allowing a unique light to shine forth. Super Mario Galaxy will influence gaming perceptions, sure to replenish any lost passion. It will frequently hug your inner child, evoke tears of joy and tug at the heart. It is everything we have always desired, more than we could possibly have dreamed." - NTSC-uk

"It’s got megatons of style, inventiveness, playability and replayability…and all the while, it still manages to feel like sunshine, candy and the glory days of 3D console videogaming yore." - Game Revolution

You can pretty much pick any review and find that sort of statement in it. I'm not saying that mere majority, even when overwhelming, is a good argument in itself, but I know that you can't possibly believe that your evaluation and enjoyment of this game is anything like the reaction of nearly everyone to give it a go. Likewise with other Mario titles, it would seem from your statements on the subject; you don't seem to enjoy the series or the genre in a way parallel to most others, which is perfectly fine, but you should be aware of that when trying to analyze the type or level of enjoyment one generally gets from a Nintendo game.

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Adam

63. Posted:

I never said I was in the majority about the atmosphere.

But even if I did say so (which again, I didn't -- I know it's a minority opinion, and I never presume to give the opinion of anyone but myself), I also think citing review quotes is the absolute worst way to express what the "majority" thinks. Reviews are not synonymous with popular opinion. Game journalists are generally the worst kind of journalist (present company excluded, as always! I haven't been following this site since VC-Reviews for nothing!), always making hyperbolic statements like these in the name of a vague, niche crowd that on odd days calls itself "hardcore."

I don't understand the giant paragraph about Mario Galaxy taking a step away from open-ended game play as a defense of the game being about exploration. You just explained how it's not about exploration.

About the design thing, I understood that fine the first time. I was simply saying I don't agree that it's the case.

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warioswoods

64. Posted:

Believe me, I agree about the gaming press, but that's actually what, in the case of some of these reviews, is so surprising; these people usually hate colorful, childlike games--and they're usually just dying to find a way to say that Nintendo games are going downhill, too easy, etc--but with this one they had no trouble admitting the pure joy of playing it. But anyhow, I don't think one needs to cite a whole lot of evidence to make the point that Galaxy is one of the most widely acclaimed and loved games of the past many years. You'd certainly be hard pressed to find another person anywhere saying that the game is "drab" or "dark" in the slightest, even if they found this or that gameplay element to criticize.

I don't understand the giant paragraph about Mario Galaxy taking a step away from open-ended game play as a defense of the game being about exploration. You just explained how it's not about exploration.

Oh, that paragraph wasn't supposed to defend exploration as the core of this game, I was agreeing that it isn't, but that the linearity of Galaxy only further underscores the analogies I've made to pop music, etc. In fact, I only mentioned "exploration" once with direct reference to Galaxy in any of the posts above: "That kind of 3D game plays off the sense of curiosity, exploration, and general wonder that you had as a child." That statement is still correct, exploration is one of the things the game plays off of, but by no means does it feature as large here as it did in previous Mario titles. As I said, it combines that with a throwback to more linear levels like Mario 3. Actually, the planetoid concept was the perfect solution to the question of linear vs. open in a 3D game, because the levels have a path to take you through, but that path may bring you through many tiny planets that you can briefly explore before moving forward. It has a little of that "garden" concept preserved, but within a bigger emphasis on linearity, which is a brilliant solution, as far as I'm concerned. This is a big part of why I believe Galaxy could easily be seen as the near-perfection of most of the strengths and goals of the series up to this point.

Edited on by warioswoods

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Adam

65. Posted:

I was referring to the story, and I am definitely not alone there. It's this absurdly serious thing that does not belong in the game. The levels themselves are extremely colorful. Where I probably am in the minority in regards to Galaxy is that I think the orchestral soundtrack makes it worse. Everyone I know loves it, but not only do I find the original songs to be forgettable, but they seem too serious and epic for a Mario game. Couple that with the story, and you should understand what I meant, even if you disagree.

The game itself is basically Mario 3 in space in 3D, and that's why it's my favorite of the 3D Mario games. I have high hopes that Galaxy 2 will improve on most of the areas of Galaxy 1 that I didn't like. I do like the game, but I don't think it's as amazing as the press makes it out to be, so as the lone voice saying, "The game isn't perfect," I realize it often sounds like I think the game sucks, which it certainly doesn't. Oh well.

Oh, and about the lesser emphasis on exploration, I think that's a good thing, too. I want to explore Hyrule at a leisurely place; I want to run straight through the Mushroom Kingdom as fast I can and then do it again. I rather Mario games that challenge my reflexes, not force me to wander around aimlessly. Miyamoto stressed how opposite he wanted the original Mario and Zelda games to be, but before Galaxy I was starting to worry that the distinctions were not as great any more due to the open-ended levels and puzzles (two things Mario didn't have much of before). Metroid Prime series was a much worse offender in this regard, though, trying to be basically Zelda in space.

Edited on by Adam

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warioswoods

66. Posted:

Oh ok, I can understand that much better if you're talking about a dark story. The story really doesn't concern me at all, though, in anything I'm talking about with regards to the enjoyment of the game. Everything I've said about the game being imaginative etc is meant to refer to the worlds themselves, the gameplay, and the overall design; again it's my point to begin with that the story is pretty much irrelevant for the type of enjoyment I'm talking about. I guess I'm a bit like Miyamoto on that; the gameplay is exactly the same no matter what intros you provide to explain why you're venturing to the places you're venturing, so you might as well just have the princess get captured for no reason and then let the player go ahead and start playing. A nice story can be a bonus, sure, but it in any way crucial to your enjoyment while playing a game like this, it's just a supplement that frames everything.

I also didn't intend to get into a debate about Galaxy, but I guess it ended up being the best example to talk about great design and how one enjoys that. Maybe we should have picked a Nintendo game we can both agree on; even then, though, it sounds like we'd be talking about different aspects of the game that entice us. However, I stick firm by my central claim, which is that the primary way in which a person enjoys a great Nintendo game is much closer to an "abstract" enjoyment of the playful design, ingenuity, and inventiveness of the game's worlds or stages than it is to anything instinctual related to the running or jumping portrayed, and one's "higher" intellect is every bit as engaged (or often more engaged) by this enjoyment as it is by a game that has a complex plot, characters, etc. That's all I'm really trying to make clear (that and the fact that Clickity's posts about higher / lower were fundamentally wrong :p); Galaxy is a side issue.

Twitter is a good place to throw your nonsense.
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Knux

67. Posted:

It looks like AlexSays had dissappeared again. I wonder what happened to him... :P

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Machu

68. Posted:

He's waiting to pounce!

Although I'm pretty sure I saw him shout at someone recently. It was cooool.

Double spacing rocks btw, I see why he like's it. :D

Rawr!

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Modern_Legend

69. Posted:

Ive been wondering too, he oughta return soon

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