Sometimes, I'll use these recaps to post "leftover" blogs, stuff that may be partly unfinished or not up to par, but I want/need to share anyway. Likely, these are things I planned to finish much earlier, but then I got caught up on other stuff and eventually lost the enthusiasm I had for it or already forgot most of what was left for me to add to complete it.
I got quite a number of gifts last Christmas from the Secret Santa activities I held here and in the forums. Savant - Ascent (sic) was one of the more intriguing ones I received, courtesy of Robo Panda Zed. At almost an hour, this might as well be one of the shortest games I've played in my life.
The graphics was one thing that stood out to me immediately. I'm a real sucker for 2D sprites, especially when they're wholly original and not deliberately trying to look "retro" or straight-up copying the style of some older game (which is quite a bunch of indie games nowadays, unfortunately). The game is a twin stick shooter in a 2D plane, with the gimmick that you can only move/jump between set platforms on each level. It's not a very difficult game, but offers a relatively good challenge. You do collect pieces of LPs by killing special enemies which, when completed, each upgrades your character with a new skill that all stay with you from then on out.
The music, however, is the most notable aspect of Ascent. To me, this game is an basically an album. Savant is the name of the artist. I should have gotten that from the game's title since that usually is the naming convention used for music or music albums. Each of those LPs you collect represents one track of the album which starts playing once you obtain it (you can change tracks anytime). The enemies that carry the pieces aren't really that hidden nor hard to kill and with a decent amount of skill, you can go through the entire length of the album in one clean run of the game. I believe that was truly the intention of the game's creator, to serve as an accompaniment to the album, the same as what a music video does to one song. I think it's a very creative and commendable thing to do.
I do imagine that nowadays, standing out from the rest of the crowd is a lot harder to do in any creative endeavor since others in the past have already thought of and have done any new idea you may have had in mind. Which is why in the music scene, for example, some artists look beyond the music itself in order to gain notability. Some aim for the weird, outrageous or "memetic" in their videos to attract the internet crowd, for the internet is the fastest way to spread the word about a thing in this age we live in. You can't deny that the music videos contributed a lot to the success of some artists like PSY or Lady Gaga, for example. Crazy/random stuff. "They eat that shit up", as you Americans would say. Some also sell themselves as a character or personality aside from just a musician, quite popular with boy/girl bands and idol singers. AKB48, for example, greatly capitalizes on their nerd/otaku crowd with their "hand-shaking" events where buying an album nets you a ticket to participate in this event where you can shake hands and take a picture with your favourite girl, which can most definitely never go wrong in any way possible.
There may definitely be cases where the gimmick severely downplays the music which turns out to not be very outstanding or any good at all. I for one believe that's not the case for this one. I enjoyed Ascent and the aggressive and fast-paced electronic music it offers. I think the games does well in representing the type of tone and feelings it conveys.
At $2, you really can't go wrong with this one. Not to mention it goes on sale quite often. Would definitely recommend checking out his other music as well, like the ones on his SoundCloud.
Lately, I'm getting a real kick out of watching American wrestlers wrestle in Japanese wrestling shows. It's so surreal. Makes me smile thinking what must be running in their heads while in the ring:
"Where am I? What am I even doing here? What's the announcer saying? Oh, he said my name!"
Is this racist?
Also been watching Love Live! for the past few days. I really like it, actually. Quite a surprise, as someone who's really not into this sort of thing. Might talk more about it some other time.
No fails again! Let's celebrate!
The world needs more of these stupid moe anime x hip hop mashups.
- Luna Sy