So I usually try to check out the indie games after finding I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES!!!1 and checking this morning I came across a game that intrigued me, SOUL.
For a measly 80 pts you'll get one of the more beautiful, interesting and simply fun games I've come across. The plot is simple, you are a soul from a recently deceased body and your goal is to navigate the corridors of this "hospital" and get to heaven. You do this by using only the left stick on the controller and avoid all surfaces, it's almost like Operation on steroids. Problem is, there are demon-like globs, walls, water and clouds(!) that stop you.
I can't express how much fun I've been having playing it the past hour, I actually had to stop and post it to this blog hoping that more people come across the game considering how at a moon-buck it's a steal.
Go play this game now, stop reading, go to the Indie Game marketplace and buy the damn thing.
Let me get this out first, until last week I owned a Wii and Xbox 360. Now I was pretty content with my two systems, the Wii did get tiresome with so few games that really interested me that it slowly gathered more and more dust while my Xbox 360 hummed and whirred it's loud little drive away while I played everything from Bioshock to Bully and bathed in it's glorious achievements and clean interface that felt like home every time I'd turn it on. But something came out 2 weeks ago that had convinced me when I was younger to rent a PS1 and later to buy a PS2 on launch night, Metal Gear Solid. When I first came upon it a friend brought it over and showed me this cool ninja fight and sneaking around guards in at the time glorious 3d graphics. I was stunned, I was hooked. So I rented a system later that year, bought a memory card and beat the game one or two times. I even asked for the system and game for Christmas the following year just to play it more. In a sense it was my muse, the best game that I had ever played and I didn't care how many times I beat it the story and gameplay was beyond all others. My experience with the series on PS2 was close to the same experience as the last, with MGS2 not as sweeping and memorable as MGS3 I still enjoyed both more than once.
Then came this "gen" of systems. I saw the previews for PS3 and these amazing videos of Killzone and Tekken, all seemed almost impossible to think I would have a system with so much power. Apparently it was, as rumors spread and facts arose my view of Sony as a game company was tarnished and soon left behind. I started researching this neat new system called the Xbox 360, I hadn't had an old Xbox and wondered "hey, why not try a different system this time around." It was great, so many games whirred there way in my DVD drive as I played each one, falling in love with this new controller that felt like it was made just for me. Then the Wii came out, I had to have it but after a few attempts in cold mornings outside the local Target I gave up and waited until I was able to order it online. The Wii was a love hate system in my household, sometimes being the life of the party and then once the party was over like a bear in winter hibernated away in it's cubby, awaiting the next get together. "The PS3 has no games that interest me," I'd tell myself as each game hyped to be the greatest game ever fell on the review chopping block. Sure there was Uncharted, Ratchet and Clank and even Resistance, but it wasn't enough to convince me it was worth it. Sony had hurt my interest as a consumer and I felt that it did not deserve my hard earned money.
Two weeks ago that all changed, I knew it was coming out and that it probably would be just as fun as the others but I still wasn't convinced that a system is worth purchasing for one game. After reading reviews and hearing negative comments here and there, I couldn't resist anymore. Going to my local game-monopoly store aka Gamestop I wandered in looking at all of the games for PS3, wondering if it was worth the purchase. My eyes set on MGS4 again and I was convinced, I needed to get the system. I told myself "maybe it's come around, it sure has had a lot of firmware updates so maybe it's not so bad afterall." After purchasing I proceeded home and unboxed the giant shiny black beauty. After getting it hooked up I turned it on. Anticipation grew as a symphony blared through my HDTV's speakers and here I was, staring at an almost identical menu as my PSP. "Not bad," I thought as I would already be familiar with navigation. After a small update and tweaking video settings I was ready to see Solid Snake's last battle. I put in the disc and awaited the dreaded install screen. After Snake chain smoked 3 1/2 cigs we were ready to go. Starting I could already see the perks of the cell processor, yes the scenes were beautiful and the character details were phenomenal. I knew it would not match the early footage of Killzone, but this was good enough for me. I felt right at home when Snake stepped off the truck and entered the battle, almost as if telling me "welcome back, we missed you."
Now I haven't finished Metal Gear yet, I am almost done with Act 3 and have so far thoroughly enjoyed this latest adventure of the legendary Solid Snake. Yes it has it's shortcomings like Snake's inability to climb over ledges higher than his thigh and yes sometimes I want to do something quick and forget which button combination or which menu to open to do so or how I cannot press up against the wall unless I face it and hit triangle. I can deal with these things because sometimes you have to adapt, just like the games feel and evolution of it's gameplay mechanics change with each new system. Yes the PS3 isn't hasn't matched my Xbox 360 yet but I have faith that it will. Sony learned a valuable lesson this time around with systems, they were bullish and paid with gamers like me who decided to take the plunge and try a different system. All I know is that when I'm done writing this that I will go back into my living room, turn on my PS3 and continue Snakes mission. But I do know that I will not forget what had to be done by Sony and more-so Kojima-san to convince me to cross over back to the ranks of the Sony while still keeping my mind open to the other offerings this generation of systems has given me.