Posts Tagged ‘metrpolismania’

Last night I celebrated what was probably my 50 millionth virtual kill in a video game.  It wasn’t the milestone I thought it’d be;  I was expecting to be opening a bottle of champagne over an adoring and cheering crowd while confetti or streamers fell from the heavens onto my head.  Instead, I got another dude wearing camo and body armour coming around the corner to try and blow my head onto the wall behind me. 

And then it dawned on me, all this, and for what?

There is certainly something empowering about taking it to a dude or dudette on your TV screen.  Hell we’ve been doing it for years, watching bullets flying from a floating gun slightly off centre at the bottom of the screen But what are we doing really?  I mean, for humanity.  Well dismantle those guns and pocket that cold steel because there are warm and fuzzy feelings to be had when playing the following videogames, even if you don’t get the public recognition you deserve.


Yes, I will help your friend open a centre for families in my town.  I’ll file that paperwork straight away and Mr Thomson can move right on in.  Its moments like that in Metropolismania and its sequel, the town planning game series developed by japanese developer Media Factory, that help me sleep at night.

She saw KD Lang and said to herself, 'that's the look I want'

The games are relatively simple – to my girlfriend at least, who will go out of her way to satisfy the needs of these egg-plant loving people (if you’ve played the game, like me you’ll wonder why these people insist on telling me they like egg plant) by ensuring they have all the buildings, places and people they need to live a happy life. Me, well I’m perplexed by the whole experience.  But there is a certain charm to the game that keeps me glued to the screen watching her perform good deeds for the people in these bustling metropolii.  And the terrible localisation at times just seems like its too ridiculous to not be a joke, but it really adds to the charm of this quirky, if niche, town planning sim-lite.

Katamari Damacy

Aside from the charm of the simplistic visual design and the always awesome soundtrack accompanying the games, there is something that draws me back to each and every freakin’ Katamari game – despite them presenting me with a sense of deja vu every time.  But they say familiarity is comforting, and combined with the overwhelming sense of selflessness I feel each time I help the  prince or one of his  (way too cute for a grown man to admit digging on) cousins rebuild a world or galaxy that the King of All cosmos has inadvertantly destroyed, there is nothing not to love about the Katamari Damacy series.

Forget the big-bang, this is how the planet Earth was born

And all this is done by rolling around a giant ball, or katamari around the environment and picking up a whole damn lot of stuff – some is genuinely garbage, but as you get bigger it extends to everything from adult humans, to animals, fences, buildings and even continents and stars at times.

Okay, so this kind of makes it all sound like a megolomaniac’s dream, but grounding the games’ premises in righting the wrongs of the King makes it all okay.  And kind of humanitarian-like.  At least that’s what I tell myself each time I pick up a man who was innocently enjoying a picnic by the campfire…  And then i try and convince myself he lived through being crushed by entire continents.

Minon: Everyday Hero

 Have you ever played a game and had no idea what was going on?  Like none at all?  That’s what its like playing Minon: Everyday hero for Nintendo’s Wave-Cube.  A sequel to the 1998 PS1 title, Noone can stop Mr Domino, Minon Everyday Hero isn’t the greatest game in the world, but its charms, quirkiness and overall do-goodery is enough to just get it over the line from mediocre to okay.  Even if you have no freakin’ clue as to what you’re doing.

Yep, I don't know either...

Okay, so there’s a balloon in the tree and a kid is crying, I’m playing as a dude that kind of looks like a mixture between a ginger bread-man and Beat from Jet Set Radio, and I’m running on paths made of dominoes.  And that’s the extent of my knowledge.  But what I do know is that I’ll be damned if whatever I’m doing isn’t making the world a better place.  And the achievement and self fulfillment comes with minimal effort too – kind of like the game is playing itself.  Think of it as getting an undergraduate arts degree. 




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