Quantcast
Games time forgot: Xiao Xiao - Destructoid

DestructoidJapanatorTomopopFlixist



Games time forgot: Xiao Xiao


1:00 PM on 02.25.2009
Games time forgot: Xiao Xiao photo



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.

 






Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.



Radio Dtoid 042: Nice Hot Mike photo
Radio Dtoid 042: Nice Hot Mike
5:15 PM on 07.28.2014







Win your choice of console from Destructoid! in Destructoid's Hangs on LockerDome

Destructoid Originals

5:15 PM on 07.28.2014
Radio Dtoid 042: Nice Hot Mike

Radio D is Dtoid's official community-focused podcast! Join Aaron "Mxy" Yost (Forums Admin), ConorElsea.com (US Community Manager), Kyle MacGregor (Contributor), Mr Andy Dixon (when he shows up) and maybe, possibly Beccy Cain...more



1:00 PM on 07.26.2014
There are Hawaiian Shirts in Sunset Overdrive!

As we recently learned, Sunset Overdrive lets players protect their genitals with the head of a green kangaroo, which is a very silly idea. But is that silly enough, in this post-Saints Row world? The answer is "who cares?" because there are also Hawaiian Shirts and Hawaiian Shirts are my jam.more



12:00 PM on 07.26.2014
The best stuff on Destructoid this week [7/26]

Let's get away for the weekend, just you and me. I know this little place on the coast. Nice restaurant, view of the water from the cliff side. We could probably sleep in the car in the parking lot and hang out on the beach a...more



View all Destructoid Originals






Back to Top




All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more