DEAD AGAIN? UN-LUNKY

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So here it is, my first article for Battle Misfit (confetti/cheering etc etc.) I would start on a happy topic but quite frankly I don’t want to, and the reason for this is very simple. Let me set the scene: there I sat on a chilly Friday night, Toblerone in one hand, glass of suspicious knock-off Fanta lemon in the other, PS Vita placed on the chair next to me. I was browsing the PS Store (the Toblerone has been put down by now, I’m not at liberty to use a Toblerone as a touch screen stylus) when I came upon a quite charming looking platform game, one that seemed like it would fill the empty space on my PS Vita home screen quite nicely. So I downloaded it for the price of £11.99. It downloaded, installed blah blah blah. Eagerly I started the game. Opening video: charming. Title screen: charming. Little Indiana Jones-esque man running joyfully into mid distance: charming. So, here I go, play game, adventure mode, the world is full of puppies and happy people and…oh I died. Silly me, I best start again and learn the controls properly before I…oh I died again. Nevermind it’s jus…dead again. After about 20 deaths within the same 2 levels I realised that I had not downloaded a charming platform game, but instead something that failed to go through normal secondary school so it was sent to the Dark Souls School for Unruly Children, where it got bullied and finished said school with the single intention ruining my night and every night since.

For those that haven’t figured it out yet, I am talking about the unforgiving but addictive Spelunky. For those that did know what I was talking about, lets meet up, have a drink and collectively cry in a corner and hug in a completely non-sexual but supportive way! I haven’t come across a game this frustrating since good old Dark Souls, and even that allowed you to at least choose another path to go and get slaughtered in another area. Spelunky, On the other hand, just keeps throwing you into the same four levels of brown caves until you become not shit at the game any more. The game then praises you to completely changing the pace, enemies, environment and traps of the following four levels. You will then promptly die again. However you don’t re-spawn in the new environment. Spelunky says “Ah shame, you’re still shit. Go back to the start of the game and become less shit. Let me old all of those items and loot you’ve collected and throw them into a furnace while you struggle to reach this level again!”. This is not to say Spelunky is a bad game. Far from it! Spelunky holds enough (evil hatred) charm and (unfair enemies) variety that it very easily consumes hours of your life. There’s loot falling out the wazoo, dozens of items, maidens to save, treasures to find, shops to visit (don’t steal anything!) and although the environment only changes after four levels of increasing difficulty, wanting to know what awaits next is incredibly addictive. You’ll chase that metaphorical carrot until your face falls off and your hands explode with rage.

So, in conclusion, I effectively paid £11.99 for a tutorial on how to become infuriated and hit my head against objects in anger. But you know what? If that’s the side effect of purchasing a game as good and unique as Spelunky then sign me up to the face smashing night class!…….Yes it’s a naff joke but it’s my first article, so there. Now……where did I rage throw that Toblerone…..

MATT BRINDLEY

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