Tuesday, December 5, 2000

Games, Games, Games!

I've pretty much decided that I'll be buying a Playstation 2 (PS2) when they become more readily available (Spring 2001, I'm told). This'll be the first game console I've bought since the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). Already the gap between the SNES and current systems like the Playstation (PS1) are massive. Granted we are talking a six or eight year gap here. When I get a PS2, the gap will be more like ten or twelve years.

I took my SNES to "NOVA" this weekend in hopes of comparing it with Alan's PS2. I showed the classic Streetfighter II, and as luck would have it, someone else brought a Playstation, so we could see the difference. Flat 2-D characters with blocky rendering and jerky movement were what you saw on the SNES. On the Playstation, you saw coarsely rendered human caricatures, but blocky on the polygon level, rather than pixel. And the characters were viewed in the round. You'd be able to see them from any angle, not just viewing the 'stage' where the 2-D fighters meet on SNES.

So I'm fighting Tom on Streetfighter II, and Tom claims to be a casual gameplayer at best. Still, he's beating my hiney every round. He finally lowered the 'agressiveness' setting in the options screen, and I managed to beat him once. Does this really seem like the description of the person who should be buying a PS2? Not if I'm expecting to beat folks in hand-to-hand gameplay. But consider the three games I plan to buy:

  • Oni. This is the closest to a full-fledged fighting game. It is an anime-inspired sci-fi action game, but has a storyline as well.
  • Bust A Groove. I think I've mentioned this one in the past. This is a dance contest. Even if I suck at it, it is the best damn example of a non-fight, non-strategy game I've seen, and the one that got me to thinking that I might actually enjoy playing with a game console again.
  • Black and White. This is the latest generation 'god game' from Peter Molyneux, the creator of Populous (about which I'll muse more in the near future). It looks truly intriguing, and I hope it's out by the time I get my PS2.

As you can see, less emphasis on shooters and fisticuffs, though there is some of that with Oni. The real test won't happen until I actually have the gear in hand, by which time it will be too late. But my experiments with myself on the SNES are at least pointing the way to some success if (when) I get a PS2.

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