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Alpha Shark's blog

9:28 PM on 02.07.2009

Alpha Thought

What up BROS,

This is your main alpha dog, ALPHA SHARK!

I'm new here, but hopefully I can bring my luxury lifestyle and my massive shark fueled pectorals to the masses.

My Pectorals

Yeah baby!

Alright, sorry, had to get my Brucie on. Won't happen again (until my next blog, if I'm not run out of here first!)

Now on to more insightful (hopefully) commentary...

This one concerns the art of introductory events within video games, as I've always wondered how much importance is placed upon these by the developer. In a way, it would make sense in today's market to do this, as game sites offer countless previews based mostly on the first few levels, and game demos often operate within a time limit (which in turn bind you to the introductory levels) or allow you to play one early level only. For me, this has a good/bad aspect, when strictly speaking as a gamer.

Of course, the common sense answer would flow along the lines of "You can never get another chance at a first impression", and from a developer's and publisher's perspective, it is absolutely important, but I ask this question because I have had quite a few different experiences as a result of this first impression.

Here's two example with two different results

Keep in mind I like to follow the industry and various gaming sites, so the games I do try and play are those whose overall style and setting I like to begin with (a.k.a disclaimer: not a fanboy comment on games I wouldn't have liked anyways).

STAY ALPHA BABY! (oh, still reading... that's cool, sorry)


Thought the premise was good, but wasn't committed to it after being burned by the last Tony Hawk game I bought (T.H.U.G 2).
Then I played the demo, consisting of the first few "goals". I loved it, I could feel that breeze carrying the fresh air into the stagnant extreme sports games market. Bought it day one. The controls were great, obviously, but the goals played to the strengths of those controls, something the demo showed brilliantly.

Lost Odyssey:

This game contains what I found to be one the most awesome introductory levels and sequences ever. The action was fast, the character powerful and seemingly unstoppable (almost), and the destruction left in his wake was vast. Unfortunately, the first level brought my expectations up so high that the rest of the game felt... meh. I've always wondered if that first level experience hadn't been so awesome for me, then would the rest have been just as awesome. I'm happy I didn't buy it, but sad because I respect what Mistwalker is doing (keeping the jrpg system alive while trying to innovate in other areas). And while my money isn't the difference between failure and success, it does means more money for them to develop more games.

I suppose my overall point of view is that I find the focus placed on the first levels of certain games can result in one of two things:

1) the rest of the game follows the hype provided by the first level, thus absolutely keeping the gamer interested for the ride and happy to have separated from his money.


2) The first level is awesome, creates great hype, the rest doesn't follow suit and suffers because of it (be it the pacing, storyline being too short/convoluted/whatever, having solid snake not be the main character in MGS 2 while marketing the game around him and releasing a rockin' demo that solely focused on him).

Alright, sorry for boring the one of you that will read this (thanks for the support, grandma!).

If you don't agree, don't get mad, the comments are there for you to tell me how ALPHA I am.
Here are two examples:

Bullsharks: Alpha

Pandas: Not Alpha

STAY BUFF, STAY ALPHA! (thanks for reading, I'm excited to be here)   read

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