One part inspiration from Chris Carter, two parts blooming love of a certain balls to the wall, crazy Japanese development team, 100% pure platinum, I've set myself one hell of a complex goal: play every PlatinumGames title and appreciate them all. The biggest crux to this challenge is that it's not even strictly limited to PlatinumGames, which sounds absolutely dumb on paper, right? Well here's the reason: PlatinumGames is well-known for not always existing strictly as PlatinumGames for its entire existence, and I'd go as far to specify the people who are the biggest driving forces behind several games that will be on this list which are especially so included because of their intertwined design DNA and themes. Some of those people are Shinji Mikami, Atsushi Inaba, and Hideki Kamiya. The biggest example to the exceptions to the Quest for PURE PLATINUM? God Hand is one of the earliest progenitors of the character action genre as we know today and that was shepherded by Clover Studios, widely known as the people behind PlatinumGames before they formed PlatinumGames. So I guess in the end, this series of mine will run the gamut between character-action, beat'em up, and all sorts of games that specifically rank and grade you based on your efficiency and style.
I, however, am not Chris Carter. What little I know about Chris personally is that he is most definitely not a machine but is still somehow a well-rounded human being. He still watches TV as I hear from other Dtoiders and he has all sorts of pop culture knowledge that you'd expect a normal person to have. But he's not a man-machine that continues to function on the bare minimum of food, oxygen, and sleep. What I'm getting at is that I do not know the secret to Chris Carter's seemingly insane time management that allows him to play as many games as he does and still appear to be a perfectly functional member of society. So this series won't run on the goal of playing every single PlatinumGames title and talk about them all, in a single blog story. My journey to PURE PLATINUM will be smaller in scale, cutting up my experiences into more digestible chunks, rather than having a single splurge of a cblog talking about the entire experience over the course of time.
So you're probably wondering, what exactly will I be playing to define a journey to PURE PLATINUM. Well, I intend to give you that list now, hoping that you understand where I'm going with the parameters I've set for this journey, and hopefully you'll be holding me accountable to what I play on this test, as well as to the status of my arduous journey to be a true PlatinumGames fan.
In generalized order of chronology, the games I intend to play (with specific titles marked for a marked difficulty in replaying the game for a contemporary replay)...
- Viewtiful Joe 1 & 2 (technically impossible to currently replay)
- God Hand
- Devil May Cry HD Collection (currently owns the HD Collection on 360)
- Devil May Cry 4 (currently do not own, plans to buy original edition)
- Madworld (plan to buy)
- Anarchy Reigns (plan to buy)
- Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
- The Wonderful 101
- Bayonetta 2
- Legend of Korra
- Transformers Devastation (currently playing)
- Star Fox Zero (planned to play, currently unreleased)
- Scalebound (unlikely to own an Xbox One anytime soon)
- NieR: Automata (likely to own a PS4 in the future)
Bayonetta: not the first P* game I played but certainly not the last. It was awkward to play going backwards from P*'s discography but the mechanics behind it are still solid and it holds up. Plus, you get to use bazookas like tonfas. To date, my favorite move is still Stilleto with Lt. Kilgore, which transforms from a dashing strike to using twin bazookas like an Iron Man style jet thrust. This game would also spontaneously break into Sega nostalgia, with a motorcycle level and even a Space Harrier homage that goes on way too long. But at the end of the day, it's about punching an angelic God so hard, you send it flying into the sun.
Fun fact: I played through most of this with the Hero of Time costume. It's was difficult to attempt on my first run but equipping Link's cosplay gives you the Moon of Mahaa-Kalaa accessory for free aka the parry item.
Vanquish: Sometime I think P* takes wild guess as to how American Americans really are. Sometimes, the results are more American than American citizens. That's why we have Vanquish with a chain smoking Sam Gideon, rocket sliding across the terrain, arguing with gravely voiced military dudebros, and making liberal use of the film degree it got after watching The Matrix. Vanquish takes one look at the oft forgotten third-person shooter genre and adds the typical P* flair, which is 60 FPS, bullet time frenzied action in the most ridiculous but amazing action poses ever. Vanquish overall feels like it can do so much more but the wild ride is put to an end before it can get really wild. Until then, squeeze every second of boost you can get out of it.
You can't trigger bullet time, or AR mode, by itself. You can only use enhanced reflexes during specific actions such as boosting or directly after a dodge roll. But my favorite method of triggering AR mode was after springboarding over cover. Stylish as Platinum gets!
Bayonetta 2: It's weird to think I played the improved sequel before the first Bayonetta but here we are, along with a black president and a fifth Far Cry game. Bayonetta subtly improves on its combo system but expanding on what you can do with simply hand and feet attacks that do equal parts damage and speed, as opposed to the first game which made hand attacks fast and weak while leg attacks were slower but stronger. Simply equalizing the damage and simply making the two choices work for diversity makes combat so much more fun. The new weapons were also loads of fun, and Bayonetta's art direction and level design were freed up, spreading the fun across both antagonistic angels and demons for more variety in challenge. Of all of P*'s current titles, I'd say Bayonetta 2 is the pinnacle of their design and mechanics.
Did you know? My favorite weapon combo was Chernabog/Alruna: ultimate crowd control!
My journey to PURE PLATINUM starts with these three titles which defined my the beginning of my love of PlatinumGames. Next time, we'll dive into some of PlatinumGames interesting forays in third-party development for existing IPs. Even though you've never wondered how some of your favorite characters across games and TV would fare doing fancy kung fu and backflip evades, that doesn't mean its never too late to start imagining it.