So letís say that youíre a person who recently beat Dark Souls. Whatís next? There are a lot of great games out there, but what if you crave the same kind of challenge that that game gave you? What if you want to have your ass kicked some more? Play it again, you say? Fair point, but Iíll probably do that later.
I think I found it, though. What do you do? You devote 3 bucks of your hard-earned Steam Trading Card money to buying La-Mulana.
And thatís exactly what I did!
I already played a bit of this game when it was still the free version, but I never got far. Mostly, that was because the free game was beyond cryptic. Nothing was explained, up to and including the most basic of gameplay elements. It took me about 10 minutes, and then I was completely stuck. I dicked around for about an hour or so before I decided that I really was irreparably stuck, and I havenít touched the game since.
Fortunately, the Steam version is MUCH more accessible. You get regular in-game e-mails with tips on how to progress, and there are steam videos and manuals explaining how to actually play the damn game. It goes without saying that helps a ton. Being able to take Steam screenshots of tips rather than having to write everything down is also very useful. Youíll still get stuck regularly, but at least youíll get stuck because of a puzzle and not because you didnít realize that you have to do certain things in the menu before you can perform basic functions like reading stone tablets.
I still maintain that this game isnít particularly difficult (not yet at least), itís just very very cryptic. You will be stumped by how the hell youíre supposed to get that treasure chest to open much more often than youíll feel overwhelmed by the enemies. Regardless, Iím liking it a lot more than when I played it the first time, and I got a lot further too. By now Iíve already reached and beat the first boss. Again, reaching the boss (that is, getting it to appear) is much more difficult than actually beating him, but itís all good. La-Mulana definitely has a different kind of challenge than Dark Souls did, but Iím starting to appreciate it more and more.
Iím not yet sure that Iíll be able to beat the game without outside help, but Iíll be damned if I donít give it a fair shot.
It feels like it's been a decade since we've seen the rise of the crowdfunded game. I'm always surprised when I remind myself that crowdfunding has been a thing long before the first crowdfunded video game, but nowadays a crowdfunded game seems like a dime a dozen.
Of course such a phrase is an incredible disservice to some of the great games that have come out thanks to websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Games like FTL, Shovel Knight, and even Undertale are around thanks to crowdfunding; thanks to people gathering around and literally putting their money where their mouth is, a game they want gets funded and inevitably the greater landscape of gaming benefits from it. Most of the time the landscape gets to benefit from it anyways.
Don't worry though, this month's bloggers wanted prompt isn't an exploratory thesis on the effects of crowdfunding on video game development. We just want you to talk about your favorite games, as long as they were crowdfunded. This topic can be simultaneously broad and narrow, because you can talk about whatever game you want, however you want, as long as it was crowdfunded.
For me, FTL is the original crowdfunded game, and it was great. It was somehow minimalist and incredibly detailed at the same time, and it was all done because a man wanted to do it, but needed the money, and thousands of other people wanted to see where his idea would go. Shovel Knight to me feels like this natural evolution of the classic 8-bit gaming of yore without also throwing myself back to a time when gaming was honestly comparatively archaic. And everyone's talked to death about Undertale, so we all know where I'd go with that.
To participate in this month's bloggers wanted, just start a blog! Oh, and title it "Crowdfunded: [your blog title here]." I bet this month is going to be pretty diverse, since it's basically writing about your favorite crowdfunded game. So I hope to hear about some good games revisited or amazing games no one has heard about.
Remember: Persona 5 was not crowdfunded, but excuse me as I plow through it.
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