Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Games time forgot: Xiao Xiao

1:00 PM on 02.25.2009 // Anthony Burch

There was a time -- some might call it 2001 -- where flash animations were truly the bee's knees. Neither indie games nor viral videos had become the powerhouses they are today, and thus it was up to the regular contributors at Newgrounds and Albinoblacksheep to provide the bored denizens of the Internet with something to do while ignoring work.

In this atmosphere of boredom and mediocrity, it was only appropriate that the laziest of art styles (stick men) and the laziest of narratives (people killing each other) combined to form one of the most prolific and entertaining flash series of the early 00's: Xiao Xiao.

Though the series initially started off with a few noninteractive fight scene animations, it eventually branched off into reflex games, side-scrolling brawlers and, most entertainingly, a Virtua Cop ripoff.

Hit the jump for more.

Story:

Xiao Xiao has sort of an interesting history. The very first Xiao flick was a hand-drawn AVI video converted into Flash, which increased its popularity tenfold. The second Xiao Xiao movie was not a movie at all, but rather a series of timing-based minigames that rewarded the player with neato fight scenes. The third was another straight animation, the fourth was an arcade-style shooter, part five was noninteractive, part six wasn't, seven and eight focused more on gunplay than kung fu, and the ninth (and final) was a Final Fight-esque beatemup.

It was, if nothing else, a pretty exhilirating series to follow. You never really knew what was coming next: would we get another awesomely choreographed fight scene, or an even cooler game of some sort? If the latter, what sort of game would it be? The series was united by the one thing a teenage boy would never get tired of (consequenceless violence), but the ever-varying forms it took kept it fresh and interesting for its relatively large fanbase.

Gameplay:

Actual Xiao Xiao gameplay was, generally, not that interesting. Part four's mechanics didn't extend beyond "shoot stuff and occasionally hit the reload" button, and that was one of the deeper games.

No, the real fun of the Xiao Xiao games came from their pacing, and the creator's knowledge of his audience. In a world where wifi and cable modems were not quite as ubiquitous as they are now, the games' small file sizes lended themselves to short load times. They took the visual fluidity of the games and combined them with the bare minimum interactivity in order to make the player feel like they were taking part in a true Xiao Xiao animation. None of the individual episodes were particularly mindblowing, but they all felt fresh and fun in a way that most other flash series just plain didn't a decade ago. 

 

Why you're probably not playing it:

The key words in the previous sentence were, "a decade ago." For better or worse -- probably better -- we've moved away from fetishizing stickman violence in all its incarnations. It still helps to have the fluid animation and good choreography the Xiao Xiao flicks and games so adequately dealt in, but connections are faster and expectations are larger. Simple stickmen and halfhearted gameplay don't cut it anymore. To be honest, it's not even worth revisiting the old Xiao Xiao games for any reasons beyond nostalgic ones; they're an artifact from an era of Internet entertainment that, thankfully, does not exist anymore.

Granted, the hole that existed when Xiao Xiao became passe has since been filled by a hundred and fifty goddamn castle defense and zombie shooter games, so maybe we haven't progressed that much after all.

 






 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

FakePlasticTree avatarFakePlasticTree
Favorite demon in Shin Megami Tensei, eh? Oh, I got many but so I'll just pick one for now whom is a beast in the Persona series. Yoshitsune--Hassou Tobi, Heat Riser = Don't fear the REAPER!
Flegma avatarFlegma
Played half an hour of Last Story. Yay, British voices! But the absence of colours makes me want to play other games instead, especially in this greyscale season.
HeyItsDad avatarHeyItsDad
There's not even enough reviews out to give Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth a rating on Metacritic...what's up with this?
ooktar avatarooktar
Dat Booty.
ooktar avatarooktar
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
Just came across someone who tried to debate that people don't hate change - They hate BAD change - Ahahahahahahah!
Agent9 avatarAgent9
I miss Crash and Spyro. They had a fantastic trilogy on the ps1 and I loved every minute of it. Here's one of my favorite Spyro tracks, why not post one of your favorite tracks from wither of these great games.
Larxinostic avatarLarxinostic
Many thanks to a pal from time immemorial for his sneaky late birthday present to me of a digital Amazon gift card, which I promptly redeemed for this alluring beaut. Cheers! Viva la PS Vita~ [img]http://i.imgur.com/Cx3fPPb.png[/img]
Parismio avatarParismio
So I played xcom eu last night to get that xcom hype back. Half hour ago I already lost my brother, my best friends and my dog. Its been a stressful evening.
Nick R P Green avatarNick R P Green
Asides from a last proof read and any final edits, the script for my final 2015 reflection video is now complete. I will see this through to its conclusion. There'll be a blog version as always and once it's done and over with, I'll finally update my bio!
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Gore Magala set complete! That only took like 15 or 16 tries!
Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
AT LAST, THE FOUL SEEDS OF RAGE BORN FROM THE WITHERED PLANT OF LOVE BREAK THROUGH THE EARTHS CRUST TO GIVE RISE TO A HARVEST OF RAGE. A NEW BLOG WILL BE THE GRAIN AND THE BREAD, TO FEED THE GNAWING HUNGER OF HATRED ALL VITA LOVERS HARBOR.
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
I'm glad that the Amiibo stock situation got much better. Because Hasbro sure as hell didn't get the memo with their Marvel Legends figures. These two seem more elusive than a western Lucina Amiibo!
taterchimp avatartaterchimp
Yay, finally beat the Necrodancer!
Jinx 01 avatarJinx 01
The next time you're getting riled up about game news, politics, drama, etc. just step back and be like The Dude.
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
So #TeamCap or #TeamIronMan ?
Gundy avatarGundy
*Neps Internally*
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Seeing as how SMT is nowhere near as massively popular as Pokemon, this probably won't become a thing. Still, I'm curious about whoever's favorite demon/persona. Mine's probably Trumpeter! Without 'em, I would've never aced P4G on Very Hard.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Playing Tearaway Unfolded without glasses on makes it looks even prettier, gives it a glossy papercraft or almost dreamlike feel to it.
Parismio avatarParismio
eating cold pizza RN. i would warm it up but eeeeeeeeeehhhhh.
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -