May 7, 2008 8:00 AM |
[Save the Robot is a biweekly column from Chris Dahlen crafted specially for GameSetWatch, dealing with gaming as pop culture and cult media. This time, he examines the 'everything but the kitchen sink' attitude to visual/conceptual design in games and other media.]
Just a few minutes into PC indie title Noitu Love 2: Devolution, I knew what it was. I knew by the way I'd travelled from high-tech alien shoot-downs to a 19th century music hall and gothic clock towers, and the next minute, to a Japanese mish-mash of blossoming trees and samurai bots. Later settings - a western train chase, a deadly TV set - confirmed what I'd already deduced: Noitu Love 2 was a stylistic pastiche, a conceptual collage, and in other words, a mess. And I knew I was in love.
I’ve been calling Noitu Love 2 my Jets 'N' Guns GOLD of 2008 - referring to another PC indie game with a dysfunctional attention span, another kettle into which some hackers had thrown everything they could on the basis of one principle: "It would be so awesome if ... ."
Zombies, metalheads, mice, pirates, cows, and homicidal beer: it all had a place in Jets 'N' Guns GOLD, making it not just a shoot-em-up action game but - speaking purely of style - the kind of thing you'd otherwise get if you threw your ten pulpiest comics in a shredder and, following your best instincts, taped the strips together. It's not random, but it has a fantastically random energy.
This approach to gamemaking - to throw everything plus the kitchen sink into the visual design - is not new.
Categories: Column: Save The Robot