Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bionic Commando, on rediscovering old games

And, no, I mean the new one, not the old one. I picked up the new Bionic Commando when it first came out, totally psyched to see a modern remake of one of my favorite NES games, only to put it down only a few hours later, frustrated beyond recovery at the difficulty and lack of save points. I was sad and angry at the same time, and turned to easier and more accessible games of the season.

A while later, I became obsessed with Demon Souls, reveling in a game that forced me to master it, to love it for all its brutality and lack of comfortable reward schedule. I was happy and relieved to finally put it down, satiated, and turn to more friendly games. But lately, after a few months of World of Warcraft's polished caress, I've been looking for a little abuse.

Returning to Bionic Commando, I rediscovered why I initially didn't like it. The controls are just a little too difficult, and the checkpoints way too far apart. Carefully picking my way across the elevated highways strewn across Ascension City, I had a familiar feeling. Spend twenty minutes fighting the controls, die, scream in frustration at lost progress, repeat. This time do it in ten, and make it a little further. Then in five, and a little further. Soon I was swinging through floating minefields with skill, feeling like I really earned it, when I had a flashback to the sound of crows and the glow of red eyed knights... and suddenly got it.

Sometimes a game just doesn't arrive in your life at the right time, and it has to go back on the shelf, forgotten, until you're ready for it. But while my co-workers are shooting plasma bolts at space zombies or piloting sackboys around on giant cats, this week I'm happily swinging to my death and drowning by my own bionic arm.

1 comment:

  1. "World of Warcraft's polished caress," eh? I jokingly refer to myself as a "WoW widow," but now I'm seriously worried...

    Also, there's nothing wrong with sackboys on cats! We should do more of that.