This is the traditional way we view our animal counter parts: a hierarchy of classification, labeled and lined for our own purpose. What Aristotle started, we finished. But, what if there is more to our DNA resembling brothers and sisters?
Donkey Kong teaches us that there is an endowed balance within the universe, and the tension between these opposites can produce profound effects.
This game’s puzzles are so easy you can use them for consciousness screening.
Sydlexia’s Ranking: #22/100 My Rating:
Playing Illusion of Gaia is like having an intense dream. The game is easy to play subconsciously, and the story doesn’t have any concrete sense of cause and effect; you will be whisked away randomly from desert to sea to land simply because a NPC says “off to ‘so and so’ next!” Anyone who is more sentient than a ham sandwich will be able to thrive.
Everyone wants the same things: to use a lightsaber.
Sydlexia’s Ranking: #43/100 My Rating:
The bar is set very low for Star War games. All any fanboy wants is a chance to play out their galactic fantasies. Even the most fumbling games are greeted with praise and play due to it satisfying the deep-seated need of adventure and acting out heroics.
I remember these games being a big deal to my childhood-self as the idea of a multi-medial approach was something to get excited about. The thought that you could watch the Star Wars movies PASSIVELY and then play them out ACTIVELY so unique.
This game has a hard time making the same claim in 2018 — it’s grown quite rough around the edges.
Games that require guides to complete them in a fun manner aren’t games.
Sydlexia’s Ranking: #39/100 My Rating:
Shadowrun was doing everything so right.
When a puzzle arose, different hypotheses could be formed and tested with the appropriate interplay of challenge, confusion, and reward. You never were at a complete loss (having no clue where to start) using the last resort plug-and-chug method (recounting every step, taking to every NPC, trying every command). The story pointed you in the right direction — it was then up to you to piece it together.
You had to do some repetitive grinding for levels and endure moments of uncertainty, but a framework held it together.
Until this wacka-doodle of a game spirals out of control.
Since I was quarantined in my bedroom on the third floor, I decided that I needed to simulate some kind of social interaction. I ended up playing Super Metroid where you are a sole explorer on an isolated planet with no intelligent life forms. I did end up making friends with a larva, though.
While it might have been an overdosage of Dollar General Store Brand Effervescent Cold Relief, the draw into planet Zebes core was immediate — all I wanted to do was explore, be rewarded, and explore more. You could say that the gameplay was almost as contagious as my flu 😷.
The characters in FF3 are superb — I feel like I’m saying goodbye to dear friends.
Sydlexia’s Ranking: #3/100 My Rating:
Man, has this weekend been junk. I took a practice board exam to only be border line pass/fail again, had to create a research presentation on clinical education that I’ve put off for a month, and had to write a PICO (Patient Intervention Comparison Outcome) on the effects of cardio rehab on pulmonary function. At least I got to save the world while bawling my eyes to 16-bit characters; that really brought me back down to earth.
Something really has been lost in the sandbox era of RPGs — with open worlds and forge-your-own-path plots, no one needs to tell a good story anymore. The allure of Elder Scrolls and Fallout isn’t the characters, it’s that you can do whatever you want.
FF3/6’s back end is non-linear, but infuses each moment with meaning and significance through finding each of its 14 characters. The subtle discoveries and deeper understanding of the characters you play burgeon them from simple pixels into case studies of human nature.